#4  Justin Grubb of Turbo Time Cosplay


One of my primary reasons for starting this page of Featured Cosplayers is to learn how I can become a good Cosplayer myself and I’m not getting any better without finding out what makes this next guy successful.  He is Justin Grubb of Turbo Time Cosplay.  He is another fortunate find that happens to be local for me and connected to some of my past chosen Cosplayers I’ve come to know.  As soon as I checked out his profile and many examples of his work, I knew immediately I needed to get in on his secrets.

Justin at the 40th Anniversary of John Carpenter’s Halloween in Pasadena, CA.

Well, not really secrets because he freely shared any knowledge that I was curious about with how he did any of his cosplays.  He has a wonderfully “fresh” approach to Cosplay with his humor, his focus on research for the character he wants to portray, and the “no care” attitude towards popularity of the Cosplay and/or the obscurity and recognition.  Another words, he’s gonna do what he wants to do and love…period.

I always make it a point to meet and get to know my Cosplayers before I publish an article.  I could have easily just emailed and messaged questions and that could be alright, but I’m hoping to give the reader a better experience with reading about someone I like a lot. This is a bonus for me as I’m making new friends and one thing I’ve learned for sure is that the Cosplay community’s primary focus is the support given to each other and the friendships made.

Justin is terrific.  He agreed to meet with me during a somewhat low time in his life, as he just recently lost his cat Binx to a mystery disease, but we had a great encounter sharing both of our passions with Cosplay and what makes us tick.  Three hours at an Applebee’s booth with two fellas swapping Con stories and tricks of the trade produced a wealth of knowledge that became a story to be told in itself, here, too.

Laugh Out Loud Funny

The absolute characterization I noticed first that drew me to him was the humor and his ability to make me laugh immediately at several of his Cosplays.  His most recognizable character, and he’ll be the first to tell you, is Biff Tannen from Back to the Future where he has done every version of Biff from all three films of the trilogy.  They are hysterical!  He captures all the mannerisms, facial expressions and poses that are synonymous to Biff.  A very rare character to be cosplayed, but Justin pulls it off so well, it’s his signature role or the one probably talked about the most from his work.

While he was at the 40th anniversary convention in California for John Carpenter’s Halloween, Justin took advantage and also got to check out some of the film locations from Back to the Future and was resourceful enough to make this great video montage of Biff:

Some other funny characters that Justin has cosplayed I’ll be showing you later down the page are: Howard from Jingle All the Way, Marv from Home Alone, more Biff, Fletcher from Liar Liar, and Ted from Bill and Ted just to name a few.

Research is the Key, and Even More Research, Too

Justin finds a more screen accurate material to improve his “alternate timeline Biff” Cosplay

Justin’s specialty as a Cosmaker is all the research he does to satisfy his obsessive compulsive approach to getting a particular Cosplay screen accurate.  Everything from all the shopping and artist websites he’ll browse, to watching scenes over and over again of a movie or show, visual reference, comparing what others have done, to even contacting costume designers from the actual movie his character is from like he did for Back to the Future II’s costume designer Joanna Johnston.  He was looking for the right material for alternate reality timeline Biff’s robe.  She didn’t seem to remember as the movie is 30 years old, but she did seam to approve what he came up with, only later he managed to find a better material so he’ll be making a new robe for MegaCon Orlando 2019 as all the main cast members will be there from the movie.

Cosplay isn’t just the pictures you see on a particular Cosplayer’s profile, but I would submit to you, and Justin would agree, that the “play” in the word cosplay is one of the most important parts about doing the character.  Justin has several videos on his profile and even has a YouTube channel where he takes on each of his character’s mannerisms, accents, body language, and personalities.  This is where I believe he shines the most as where the countless reps of practicing Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s accent and Tom Wilson‘s voice and facial expressions pays off.  I remember asking him how he can keep a straight face when doing the funny parts of his character’s he portrays and he responded with, “I’ve said those quotes a million times, lol…

Justin’s Celebrity Photo-ops

My favorite stories Justin talked with me about, when getting to know him, are his many encounters with the celebrities he idolizes at the conventions he attends where he can get an autograph and picture with them.  And let me say not just any picture–Justin makes it a point to have the photo-op an experience he’ll never forget and that the targeted celerity will always remember, too.  Like when Justin got the chance to meet Mark Hamill who is the legendary voice actor for The Joker on Batman the Animated Series.  Mark Hamill, as you know, is also Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and he was coming to Florida for the Star Wars Celebration Convention.  Justin took advantage and even though every cosplayer at the con was in Star Wars attire Justin was the only Joker Cosplayer to surprise Mark with.  He even had the chattering teeth prop to have Mark hold for the pic.  Get a load of the several pics below of the photo-ops Turbo Time Cosplay gets with the chosen celebrities, and don’t spit out your drink looking through them, lol.

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So let’s begin showing off Justin’s gallery of photos to many of his favorite characters he’s done…

Turbo Time Cosplay Gallery of Photos

Biff Tannen From Back to the Future Trilogy
The Terminator T-800 Cosplay
More Arnold Schwarzenegger Character Cosplays
Michael Myers From John Carpenter’s Halloween
Additional Horror Themed Cosplays
DC’s The Joker and Gotham’s Jerome
Justin’s Niche (Rare, Cool) Cosplays
Group and Collaborated Cosplays

Cosplay doesn’t get any better than this…having friends with the same zeal for a story to be told through Cosplay of some of your favorite fandoms.  The Con experience is elevated and the fun translates to immediately thinking and planning for the next collaboration to be done.  It’s also a way to share each others talents to everyone else.  I’m grateful cause this is the very thing that led me to Justin, in the first place, through Pepe’s involvement with The Mummy Group Cosplay they did together.

Out Of Cosplay

Justin in his element

With a strong passion for Cosplay that Justin has, it seemed that almost everything he enjoys doing out of cosplay is, well, cosplay related.  Like his absolute love for movies, collecting action figures and even building dioramas with them, collecting movie props, shooting videos and playing video games.  I’m almost always guaranteed to connect with my new acquaintances with the same interests through the fandom culture.  I love a lot of the same movies and characters he does, as well.

When pinpointing some of his favorites he gave me ‘ties’ for first place in movies and video games.  For his favorite movie he says both Back to the Future 2 and the original 1978 Halloween, which he justifies as they are so different yet so good.  And favorite video game is split three ways between Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Batman Arkham series, and The Uncharted series.  He’s proved all these are his favorites as he’s done cosplays for every one of them listed.

Something else impressive he does, that is cosplay related, but I consider a non-cosplay talent is his ability to work with Photoshop and edit pictures to add to the composition and theme or mood that is being told through the photograph.  Several examples can be seen in some of his photos that I’ve added to his gallery above, like his Joker pic in front of the “added” Arkham Asylum background and his photo-op with Michael Biehn in front of an edited Tech Noir club sign from the original Terminator.  I also asked if he could play around with one of my Superman photos from my outdoor shoot with my wife as Lois Lane and what he did was incredible! See the photo of the original and then the edits below:

He does have a few other enjoyable activities he partakes with his friends like mini golf, bowling, board games, make dinners, go to comedy clubs and just hanging out.  I did reach out to one of his friends and they repeated to me these same activities that they like to do together.

What makes up most of his life right now is his job working at the PHSC state college store and his schooling as he will be graduating December 2019 from USF with a degree in Mass Communications, focusing in Advertising.  I can already, in my mind, see how this might work well with his Cosplay life and I’m sure he thinks about it, too.  I hope to pick his brain on what I could do to advance my work with that type of knowledge he has obtained.  I’ll have to bribe him over his favorite food of Hawaiian pizza or maybe chicken cordon bleu if it’s after he graduates and becomes a professional, HA!

“It’s Turbo Time”

Little Finger is scheming something up in his mind…Lord Baelish Cosplay from Game of Thrones; photographed by TKirk photos

A guaranteed question I ask every time is how did one come up with their alias or Cosplay title name.  I like trying to guess first and with Justin I thought it was pretty straight forward, but I was only partially right.  I assumed the “Time” portion to his name was a reference to the time travel within Back to the Future with his Biff and The Terminator with his T-800.  However, he told me it is from the quote “it’s Turbo Time” from Jingle All the Way when Arnold (Howard) is in the life size Turbo Man suite and is getting ready to take off in the jet pack to save his son–a funny scene from his favorite Christmas movie.  Turbo Time is also the name of the arcade of Turbo, the villain from Wreck it Ralph.  He recently re-designed his logo to show much of what he is passionate about as it’s written in the Back to the Future font along with the clock tower face from BTTF carved on a pumpkin representing Halloween, as you may recall from above is both his favorite movies.

Turbo Time Cosplay Logo

When doing these write ups on my chosen Cosplayers I feature, I also like to pick a favorite Cosplay of theirs after studying their profile for awhile.  It was hard with Justin because what drew me to his profile was his Biff cosplays, but I think I’m going with Lord Baelish from Game of Thrones that he does.  He has an uncanny appearance already when he is donning the robe and mustache.  He also does the perfect smirk on his face when posing as Little Finger and when I told him, without skipping a beat he said it’s already a natural look he does anyway, lol.  It turns out that he won a cosplay contest with his Little Finger in a large Game of Thrones group cosplay for MegaCon Tampa 2017.  Another contest he won recently was at the Saved By the Ball: ’90s Party at Ybor City Ritz as Alan Grant and his friend as John Hammond from Jurassic Park.

Another important question that I want to include to give you an insight of the person behind the façade is “Why do you love Cosplay, and what does it mean to you…?”  Here is what Justin replied, “It started off as a way for me to connect to and show my love for movies and characters I like. Movies are like my favorite thing and I thought about being an actor when i was younger. I always loved Halloween (aside from it being my favorite holiday and time of year and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and pumpkin spice and scary movies etc) I always loved dressing up. Sometimes It was hard for me to find a place to go with friends and be dressed up, and I changed my mind for what costume I was wearing like 10x throughout the year. It was like I said a way for me to have a chance to be one of my favorite characters and act out some of my favorite movie lines and scenes. So in 2016 megacon came around and they had Christopher lloyd as a guest. Back to the Future being my favorite, that brought me to my first convention and I entered the world of cosplay. Suddenly, other exclusivities aside, I found out that it could be
Halloween all year. I was immediately hooked. Now, cosplay means so much more than that as over the small amount of time I’ve been doing this, comparatively anyway, I’ve met so many great people and have made so many wonderful friends because of it. Friends that I look forward to seeing every con and friends that I hang out with almost every weekend. Cons have become less about the con itself, and more a reunion to seeing everyone I haven’t seen since the last one. And I’m lucky enough to make new ones just about every time. Another aspect of that is not just making a new friend, but collaborating with them in a duo or group cosplay. Feeding off each other and getting hype over a shared love of something just takes it to the next level. I absolutely love this world.”

Our Shared Photoshoot With Premier Cosplay Photographer BriLan Imagery

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Here’s a little treat for those who stayed reading till the end as I put together some more of Turbo Time Cosplay’s funniest pics…Enjoy!

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