Labyrinth Costume (The Goblin King)


Sr Member
I wanted to show a link to a video of me wearing a costume from the film Labyrinth. This is the first costume worn by David Bowie's character in the film (I think he has a new one every scene). His character contact-juggles crystal balls in the movie, which is something I learned how to do a long time ago.

nate as jareth contact juggling down res 2 - YouTube

Also, here is a picture of a few details of the costume:

It was a great costume to build!!
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No, it's the costume he is wearing when he first appears in the nursery, at the beginning of the film. Kinda similar, but I don't think he has any kind of cape on the stairs.
The stairs sequence (MC Escher) is black and red velvet, and no cape. I never thought about it, but I think you are right about the different costumes per scene...

Hmm, I think when they encounter him as the beggar in the caves, and then he appears after the Bog to give Hoggle the peach, those might be the same. The rust leather jacket with the pauldron.
Love the contact juggling. Can you do it without looking at the spheres?

I posted a link to your vid over on MuppetCentral's forums, too. You should get some traffic from the Labyrinth fans over there.

To answer that question, I grabbed my contact juggling ball and tried it. Yes, I can! Thanks for the potential traffic. What site is that? Sounds like something I should know about!
*edit* Found it with a quick search. Thanks for the help!
To answer that question, I grabbed my contact juggling ball and tried it. Yes, I can!

Cool, that seemed slightly out of character in the clip, since obviously Bowie had no need to see what someone else's hand was doing, LOL.

But I figured if Michael Moschen could contact juggle without seeing his OWN hand, it had to be possible.

I saw some original Labyrinth puppets last month at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. They don't allow photography, but I found some pics online after I got back.

They had a maquette of Humongous, Sir Didymus, the four playing-card door guardians, the deaf doorknocker, a goblin named Fishface, and 18 Helping Hands from the shaft of hands.

Not to mention the Garthim-Master from Dark Crystal, and a bunch of original Muppets.

Awesomely well done costume. Now, if you just drop 50 more pounds, you will have that whole Thin White Duke thing down cold!

Seriously, well done and thanks for sharing.
Cool costume! Did you take pics of the build? Any certain patterns or did you just make your own? One more question! Can you multiball contact juggle?
The bones on the back are... Bones! My parents live right up against a mountain, and something killed a young deer in their back yard. 3 months later, right as I was starting this costume, there was a deer skeleton there. I (wearing gloves!) gathered a bunch of them and cleaned them per the instructions I found on a couple taxidermy websites.

Haha... I'm 6'2" and weigh about 150 lbs... If I lost 50 pounds, I'd probably be dead :p

I didn't take many build pics. I'm terrible at documenting things while I work on them. But all of the patterns I made up myself, just looking at tons of reference pics (including several of a Jareth action figure. Probably couldn't have done it without that!).
And no, sadly, I've never even tried multi-ball contact juggling for more than a couple minutes. Maybe someday I'll learn...
The collar is two layers, of two textures of leather. In between the layers I sandwiched in a coat hanger, bent to a useful shape. It lets me adjust the collar as needed. Also, the leather was fairly stiff, what with the two layers, so it didn't flop too much. Lastly, the bones holding it up did a pretty good job too.

I actually learned how to contact juggle because of this movie. When I watched it the first time, I truly believed it was fake, done with camera tricks. Upon learning that, indeed it could be done, I set about practicing immediately! It took a while to learn, but it was fun!
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