A man making his way to a Comic Con prompted a police response over his haul of toy weapons - which included a sword and imitation guns.
He was stopped by police on Springfield Road in Chelmsford at about 10:00 BST after a concerned call from the public.
But officers said it was "quickly established" the weapons were fancy dress items for the entertainment convention in London this weekend.
The team which stopped the man tweeted "#BetterSafeThanSorry".
The man was allowed to keep the items but was given "suitable advice" from the police.
Comic Con shows are designed for fans of television, gaming and sci-fi, and many attendees arrive in fancy dress.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "People are reminded to be sensible when attending fancy dress events as items may look real to the untrained eye."
The force's control room added: "All reports of firearms or weapons seen are treated as the 'real thing' until we can confirm that they aren't."
A 999 call from a member of the public reporting a suspect with these weapons @EssexPoliceFSU detained the male & they were established to be just toys as the male was attending Comic-Con! Suspect given suitable advice!@EssexPoliceUK @EPControlRoom #Weapons #BetterSafeThanSorry pic.twitter.com/JKqXtLeK67— Chelmsford LPT C Shift (@Chelm_LPT_C) October 26, 2018