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Discussion Starter #1
Every year I try to come up with a new and interesting prop. My goal is to
make some props that the people can handle and interact with. Parents go
wild with taking pictures of their child and me...makes us a "must-see" event
every year.

This year...What do you think of a fake 500 pound barbell? Made from a swimming
pool noodle and Styrofoam....completely weightless, but still droops at the end when
picked up?

More of a "posing piece" than an haunted prop. But it's all in the show. Designed
to be out front of the actual haunted entrance, to entertain and warm the crowd up
before entering. I have some nice size fake boulders, fake tree stumps...a nice collection
of "test-your-stregenth" toys.

And I've added a new great-big egg timer style toy for my "clock"..."it's not tome to go in
yet....now it's time to go in" thing....more of the outside show.

So the question is, do you think the barbell ideal is worthwhile and secondly, how many
of you other haunters do a warm-up show for the crowd?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I so well know that many of us build props, and we're rightfully proud of them.
And they are very much DO NOT TOUCH. Just like you, I've got a bunch of
those. Once you enter, it's hands-off.

At the same time, my "out-front warm-up" stuff is meant to be handled and enjoyed.
Pose and picture...a part of the show.
 

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I think it's a great idea for the ToTs. I don't think I've ever been to a haunt, private or professional that has a warm up. What a neat idea!
HM
 

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Discussion Starter #4
...and that's entertainment.

As my name says, Spookwriter...I do horror stories. Sell a few shorts, here and there.

But the people that come to our haunt...they use to just mill around outside, waiting their
turn to enter. Some would even leave before buying a ticket.

So somewhere along the line, I became the lead-in man. I'm also the first scene when
you enter the haunt, but I'll be back in just a moment. I'll hang out at the entryway, amuse
the crowd. Sing, dance, pose, chase the children a minute, let you have a chance to handle
some props, tell you a story...

I'll do whatever I can to help the people enjoy their visit. Because I want you yourself to come
back. I want you to tell others that you enjoyed our effort. I want parents to be able to enjoy
bringing their children. And by reaching out and letting these children handle a few props
--monster-for-a-moment-- even as they prepare to enter the actual haunt and the terror
it holds, I want these children to have an outstanding memory of Halloween.

That being said, I've had people of all ages come up to me all year long and say something
about how much they remember - and enjoyed- our haunt.

And to me...that says a lot.
 

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I think that sounds cute Spookywriter. These days it seems like every kid in addition to their parents has a cell phone so they'd probably love the idea and take advantage of it.

Please post photos of your barbell when you finish it and in use later. I'll be curious how you'll structure it, like how you'll connect the ends of the barbell to the weights (will they be balls or flat circular weights). Also curious how you will achieve the straight-to-bent-under-the-weight look.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Since you asked...

Blue pool noodle. Hollow center.

Broomstick or round stock in the middle section between the weigh area.
(Where you would grab the bar for a lift.) Jam stoppers to keep the stock in
place.

Cover bar with this "chrome" automobile decal stuff for a smooth metal look.
(I have rolls of it.)

I also have several sheets of white 2 inch Styrofoam. I'm thinking round cut
weights. About three on each side for looks. Silacone together. Cover the
front and rear facing sides with roof flashing. Thin but durable. Cover the
edges of the weights with black automotive decal. Nice and shiny.

Center hole for mounting.

Use a piece of rodstock through the weight bar to place weights. More silicone,
last piece of rodstock to "lock" things into place.

I will hopefully get just a tab of "bend" when lifting, be lightweight and durable.
The flashing should protect the edges on simple drops.
 
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