For Halloween in 2014, my son, Ben (then 5), and I built his costume together. In previous years, he had worn the usual toddler fare — store-bought monkey, dragon, and Buzz Lightyear costumes — but last year he found inspiration at the North Carolina Maker Faire, in the form of a costumed exhibitor dressed as Soundwave, the Decepticon from the first generation of Transformers.

While we were there, Ben mostly fixated on the working MAME setup in Soundwave’s chest, where the pop-out tape deck would be on the toy, but when we got home he started asking if he could dress up “like that blue robot” for Halloween.