If you had thought that the highlight of the Halloween weekend was seeing the guy on campus with the Optimus Prime costume, you were right.
Not only was the outfit a hit on campus, but its creator also won $1000 at a Halloween Costume Competition at Kildare’s in King of Prussia.
For those of you wondering about the man inside the suit, meet sophomore Sean Dillon from Livingston, N.J. Dillon, who is majoring in exercise science, designed and created the award-winning costume.
At first, Dillon had been planning to work on another project that would have required him to tear his Optimus Prime suit apart.
“I didn’t want the suit to remain useless, and I also didn’t want to buy new materials for the new project,” Dillon said. He was hesitant to take the suit apart because this suit was the first thing he had ever made.
Just a few hours after this claim, Dillon’s friend, sophomore Chris Packard, told him about a Halloween costume competition in King of Prussia.
The fact that it was at Kildare’s did not stop the 20-year-old from entering the competition.
It did, however, change the way Dillon entered. Since he could not enter the bar, he asked his friend, junior Joe Ferry, to present the costume to the judges.
“As soon as the judges saw me in the suit, they gave me a nomination,” Ferry said.
Dillon and a bunch of his friends waited outside Kildare’s for an hour until Ferry came out with $1000 in his hands.
“I came out through the double doors with a big wad of cash and they were pretty excited,” Ferry said.
Dillon gave $100 each to all the people who contributed to making his victory possible. He was left with $700 and plans to deposit it and use it to work on his next project.
Dillon first wore his suit to the showing of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen in the gym on Oct. 23 and left his fellow students stunned.
Students could not recover from the fact that Dillon’s suit looked so much like the one in the movie. Then he did something that left the room applauding for more: He transformed into a truck.
Dillon’s multi-tasking suit was not something he made for this Halloween. The story began when he first heard that the original Transformers movie was coming to theatres.
“It was in 2006, and I was a sophomore in high school, and I found out that a live action Transformer movie was being produced for the summer of 2007,” he said.
Dillion grew up reading and watching Transformers cartoons, which is why he was excited when he found out about the movie.
“I worked on (the suit) on-and-off starting my sophomore year and completed my work on it in the Halloween of 2007, and that was the first time I wore the suit to the screening of the movie,” Dillon said.
The suit is now two years old and was made before the first movie came out.
“I looked at the cartoons of Transformers,” Dillon said of his inspiration. “It was much simpler in the cartoons than in the movie.”
Other than being creative, Dillon is also environmentally conscious.
“I am very into the environment,” he said, explaining why the materials that went into the making of the suit were either environmentally-friendly or at least recyclable.
“I used water bottles, cardboard, Plexiglas, duct tape, Styrofoam and metal and wire to hold it together,” Dillon said.
Altogether, Dillon spent about $100 for the suit, and he hopes to improve on it or make a new Optimus Prime with headlights, wheels and a voice that sounds like the one in the movie.