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'Armed' cosplayers cause a stir in Derby, England

Cosplayers with fake weapons triggered at least two calls to police over the weekend in Derby, England, as about 800 people gathered for the J-Con anime and manga convention.

According to the Derby Telegraph, a police spokeswoman said there were at least two "major incidents" reported by alarmed residents, prompting investigations of the fans in "fancy dress." "We've obviously investigated but, when we've found the people involved, the weapons turned out to be fake -- just a bit of fun," she said. "From a distance, though, they didn't look like fun."

J-Con organizers embraced the incidents, linking to the newspaper story from the event's website, accompanied by the text, "THE MIDLANDS LARGEST ANIME & COSPLAY CONVENTION BECOMES AN UNDERBELLY TO GUN CRIME!" An unidentified attendee said the original report also caused excitement among fans.

Of course, such incidents don't always go so smoothly. Last year, police in Boca Raton, Florida, interrupted a cosplay photo shoot, and ordered five men in "military-style outfits" to the ground. There was also that ill-conceived promotional stunt at a Missouri theater screening Iron Man 3. And just this summer, a man dressed as Deadpool (complete with plastic weapons) was pulled by police from a train in Sydney, Australia.

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