The Blue Barracudas were one of six teams on the game show, Legends of the Hidden Temple. Comprised of two contestants, each team was represented by a combination of a color and jungle animal. Teams competed in physical and trivia challenges in order to qualify for the Temple Run, where one team was given 3 minutes to successfully find and retrieve an artifact within the 12-room temple without running afoul of the Temple Guards. The Temple was composed of rooms presenting physical and psychological puzzles; the most iconic room was the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, in which contestants notoriously failed to assemble a simple three-piece monkey statue. The Temple Run was so difficult, it was only successfully done 32 times during the show's entire run.
Like many tweens watching Nickelodeon in the early 1990s, we wanted to be on this show SO BAD. We would watch and rage at the kids who couldn't seem to answer questions which were basic listening comprehension or figure out the monkey's head goes on top of its body. In 2012 I found a website that sold the shirts and helmets the contestants wore on the show, and we decided to pull together a Hidden Temple cosplay group for Dragon*Con. The Blue Barracudas were our favorite team so we chose to be them and recruited friends to fill the rest of the teams. The store-bought shirts and helmets were paired with plain khaki-colored shorts and sneakers, but we also decided to distress our costumes and add bloody bandages, dirt, and eye black as if we were on a more rough-and-tumble adult version of the show. Sketch took it upon himself to make some realistic props from the show to add to our look; he sculpted the intricate medallions to ward off Temple Guards - called Pendants of Life - out of clay and cast them in resin. Painted with gold rub and buff, the medallions looked amazing and we made enough for everyone to carry some. Sketch also carved a full three-piece silver monkey idol from insulation foam which assembled exactly like the one on the show. Finally, we also painted a wig head and added a feather headdress to resemble a terrifying Temple Guard, and mounted it on a pike as if we'd killed one and taken its head as a trophy.
We were very excited to wear these but were not prepared for the reception we received at our first Dragon*Con; once we had assembled the full group we walked from our hotel to the con through the food court during dinner time, and the entire food court stood up and applauded in a mass-standing ovation. We were beyond shocked and humbled our silly group had elicited such a reaction. That night we were bombarded for photos, tweeted out by Felicia Day, and even had contestants from American Ninja Warrior ask to take photos with us when they were the actual athletes! The overwhelmingly positive reception continued when we wore these again for several years, including marching in the Dragon*Con parade, which was quite the workout as we ran around, tossing monkey pieces at each other and assembling it (poorly) along the entire parade route. The best part of wearing these, however, was that each time we met at least one person who had actually BEEN on the show as a kid and we got to hear their stories. One talked about abandoning his family at Universal when he heard the audition announcement, another made it to the Temple round and claimed the silver monkey parts were greased. One was eliminated right at the beginning and was still bitter about it; we gave him one of our medallions as a consolation prize. We will always enjoy wearing these costumes and still wish we could have been on the show!