Halloween Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Seems like as time goes on, I'm having more and more of my store bought props starting to fail. Mostly not lighting up, not moving or activating properly. One of my fave props, a Nosferatu-like hanging bat, went out right after the first season I bought him. I still hang him up, but I hate that his red eyes don't light up anymore. :(

What do you guys do with your failing props? Still use them? Try to fix them/modify them or just give up and throw them out?....


I wish I knew a bit about electrical stuff and then maybe I could make them work again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I usually keep the props and use them, even after they have failed. I have a pair of talking heads, who no longer talk despite my best efforts to fix them (more or less hitting them against something...that's my effort to fix ;). They're still cool looking even if they don't work anymore.
 

·
Typical Ghoul Next Door
Joined
·
6,907 Posts
If I still like what they look like, then I keep them as static props, otherwise I'll rehome them. I've learned to stop buying the fancy stuff now since I know they're not well made to last. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I don't buy them. The reason they fail is because they are cheap, Chinese-made crap that isn't made to last, it's made to be inexpensive so that stores make more profit. How many people complain about this stuff not working right out of the box? YouTube is filled with videos of bad props not even working in the stores. You get what you overpay for.

My props don't fail because my props are made to last and if something goes wrong, I know how to fix it because I made it in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
865 Posts
If I still like what they look like, then I keep them as static props, otherwise I'll rehome them. I've learned to stop buying the fancy stuff now since I know they're not well made to last. :(
Same here. I used to buy several animatronic props every year, most of them in the three to six hundred dollar range. I don’t do that anymore because the failure rate became too high. I don’t trust that they will last more than a season or two, if that. When I started taking apart the broken parts I discovered it was often a broken plastic piece that could not be replaced or repaired.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
I always consider if I would buy the prop even if it did nothing before I buy it. I try to buy stuff that I plan to animate myself or that I would leave as a static display. For example I bought the skeleton horse because I wanted to make a hearse and I did not care if the horse made noises or the eyes light up. As long as it keeps working it is a bonus but also a pain to change batteries. So I do not generally buy the animated props. They are not weather resistant, often need batteries or wear out quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I buy all my anamatronics when on sale for 75 to 90% off. I will buy anything that moves just to re use it if the cheap chonese guts just happen to hold up. I have gotten lucky with some being real workhorses even if many fail.

Combing awkward non scary props into one good and elaborate scary prop with little money or tech skill needed is where I have my fun. Add a 3$ security guard real uniform from a thrift store and some other old clothes and for about 20 bucks of sale items and pvc pipe and you can easily beat the 200 dollar props.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,787 Posts
I only buy props that I like how they look. That way if some part of them stops working, I still like the way they look and could use as a static item. There use to be a time when not many props were animated etc. Nothing lasts forever, and many are still better looking than what I could make myself and cheaper by the time I'd be done (depends on your DIY prop skill level of course). I have a number of great props that I suspect will stop working at some point but darn if I'd want to toss them or give them away. For example if my GR werewolf dad and son stop working, I'll still set them up lurking behind things and just add a triggered soundtrack of werewolf howls for when the kids approach. Some back lighting to them and they can still be ominous props ready to pounce on the kids.

Maybe the answer for some haunters might be in local haunt groups that have some talent in different areas and willing to share. A few weekends projects of Halloween workshop of "broken props" where people bring their items and more knowledgeable members could take a look and assess what the owner might do to fix might be a cool and useful thing to do. Doesn't have to be just electronics either. So many people out there have great crafting skills that could be shared--ie how to get that old crackled paint look on things. I suppose if someone knows students that took electronics class they might be willing to come and share their knowledge. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Maybe the answer for some haunters might be in local haunt groups that have some talent in different areas and willing to share. A few weekends projects of Halloween workshop of "broken props" where people bring their items and more knowledgeable members could take a look and assess what the owner might do to fix might be a cool and useful thing to do. Doesn't have to be just electronics either. So many people out there have great crafting skills that could be shared--ie how to get that old crackled paint look on things. I suppose if someone knows students that took electronics class they might be willing to come and share their knowledge. Just a thought.
I think you might be onto something there. Sounds like a great Junior Commerce project for a local school to setup a decoration repair business to give the electronics kids a chance to work on their skills. Between soldering and 3D scanning/printing gears, it might even inspire them to move on to building their own props and hosting a haunt with their newly developed engineering skills. Beside the halloween props, I'm sure there's a market for christmas decorations as well!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top