Thousands of film and gaming fans dressed up as their favourite characters for the Armageddon Expo in Tauranga over the weekend - but one costume may have been a little too realistic.
On Saturday morning police were called after a fan was seen carrying what turned out to be a model of a "chainsaw gun" inspired by a video game, rather than a real firearm.
In a stranger-than-fiction coincidence, the Armed Offenders Squad was sent in Rotorua later that night to a report of a person carrying a gun also found to be a fake - the target was going to a costume party.
Armageddon event manager Therese Costello told the Bay of Plenty Times that the Tauranga fan was apparently walking towards the venue when the police were called.
"They were cosplaying someone from Gears of War, the video game where the main weapon is a chainsaw gun," she said.
"This is not the first time something like this has happened. We've had callouts many times over the years: just people walking to the show and the general public not knowing what is going on, and the police get called."
Police callout aside, Costello said the turnout to the Tauranga event had "absolutely blown us away", speculating more than 12,000 people attended over the two days.
"People are so excited to have something to do. The energy on the floor... people are just happy to be here," she said.
"What we pride ourselves on is we have something to offer for everyone. Anyone could come to this show and find something they like these days. We're so diverse - the exhibitors that we have, we've got activities, gaming."
Director of Game Kings Ben Hawken said Armageddon was a great way to connect with people since "99 per cent of what we do is online".
"It's been awesome. Armageddon for us is a really cool way to meet our customers. We send a lot of orders out and we don't get that face-to-face interaction."
Hawken, 26, said a customer had introduced themselves who was their "all-time most valuable customer" and had "bought more from us than ever before".
"It was really wholesome," Hawken said.
Hawken thought people's costumes were "really cool", and said Armageddon was "a place where people aren't judging".
Two exhibitors travelled from Auckland for the Tauranga installment of New Zealand's largest entertainment event, held every year in cities around the country.
Kellen Worger, 28, created digital artwork, stickers and prints, and had rapidly grown her side-business as an artist over the past four years.
"A lot of this is Critical Role fan art, which is a Dungeons and Dragons live play YouTube show. That inspired me to start selling my art more because I realised people were interested in my stuff," Worger said.
"I started off with two prints and a couple of stickers. Now I've got the full booth."
Author Darian Smith was selling his books, and said the crowds made it "a really great environment".
"I have a series of murder mysteries in a fantasy world, so I describe them as CSI but with swords and magic."
Jamie Wheeler, 27, committed to his Thor cosplay, spending $250 on his outfit and making his own storm-breaker - one of the Marvel comic character's weapons.
He said he went to Armageddon to "be a cosplayer".
Matt Anderson-Tule dressed up as Evelynn from K/DA and League of Legends, and went for the experience and "attention for my outfit".
"I don't really cosplay so this is really out of my comfort zone," the 18-year-old said.
In the Rotorua fake firearm callout, not known to be related to Armageddon, police were called to Pukuatua St in the CBD about 7.50 pm, to a report of a person carrying a gun, a police spokesman said.
"AOS were deployed as a precaution but the firearm was found to be fake, and the person carrying it attending a costume party."
He said the event was a "camo party".