The origins of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club can be traced back to 2004, and a small “player association” in the Star Wars™: Galaxies MMORPG called “Mandalorian Mercenaries” (abv: MERCS) founded by Tom Hutchens.
It would be 2 more years until the idea of Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club would be fully realized, anda chance visit to Atlanta’s DragonCon in 2006 would set the wheels in motion for the organization’s creation. While attending the convention, Tom saw several custom panted/accessorized Boba and Jango Fett costumes. No two looked alike outside the iconic t-shaped visor, and Tom’s first thought was how neat it would be to bring his Star Wars™: Galaxies Mandalorian character to life through a costume.
After doing a sizeable amount of internet searching Tom came across a couple small online communities of Mandalorian fans who were also working on costumes. Sharing his own costume construction experience, and learning from theirs, he began to realize the need for these localized pockets to be united one identity they could share. Tom put pen to paper and began writing down his vision of this identity, remembering back to his Star Wars™: Galaxies roots and reading through as much reference material on Mandalorians he could find. One of Tom’s references was his copy of Star Wars™ Insider #80 and an article titled “The History of the Mandalorians” by Abel G. Peña would coin the name “Mandalorian Mercs” for the first time.
Coupled with the name, Tom took his vision of a global organization representing Mandalorian costumers and fans to the internet and conventions where he began uniting pockets of fans around the globe. 8 years later Mandalorian Mercs is an organization of over 1200 costumed members located in over 50 chapters around the world. Mandalorian Mercs is a registered 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation in the USA, uniting Mandalorian and Star Wars™ fans through costuming while focusing on charity and volunteerism in our local communities.