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Local Cosplayer in international contest

"Steampunk Bender" only nominee from Florida

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Jacksonville, FLA – Fred Reed turned heads at DragonCon when he walked in wearing a steampunk Bender (from Futurama) costume, and it's that kind of attention that has helped him become a finalist in the Mary Sue and Calgary Expo's Ultimate Cosplay Contest.

Hundreds of entries were submitted and they were narrowed down to the top 10. Fred is the only one in Florida, let alone the only one from Jacksonville, to have made the final 10. In fact, most of the other finalists are from Canada. 

"The actual build kind of ran away with itself. There are roughly 200 hours in that costume. I started with a trash can and went from there. The wife gave me some funny looks when I stole one of her mixing bowls to make part of the head. The rest was primarily ABS plastic sheet, heated and riveted in sections, then held together with fishing line to give the best mobility," Reed said.

Reed says Steampunk has always been a favorite of his, based solely on how it looks. Pairing the steampunk design with the character from one of his favorite shows, Futurama, came from wanting to combine two loves into one outfit. 

"Plus it was the final episode showing that year so we wanted to honor it," he said.

As someone who cosplays regularly, Reed said going to Dragon Con in this particular costume was especially important. 

"The best day was when we happened across John Dimaggio (the voice of Bender). He leapt out of his booth to take pics with us and tweeted it! I've never been prouder or more excited to get that sort of reaction from the individual who inspired us," Reed said.

Now, he needs your help to win. If he gets the most votes, he will win a free trip for two and VIP passes to the Calgary Expo and be a judge in the costume contest there. 

Voting for the contest runs until March 15. To vote for Fred (Listed on the site as Justin) click here, and vote for Justin as Steampunk Bender.