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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went out yesterday to see props at Spirit and Halloween USA first hand and I was dissapointed in this years quality. Years past there has been much more and much better IMO.

There was a boa snake I bought last year and wore around my neck that I really liked and was very well made that I saw again this year and there's no way you could even put it around your neck. It was much more hard "plastic-ey" and you could barely move it.

Many of the other props looked very cheesey. I didn't like the Animated insane serial killer at all. It was more of a moving flat pillow.

I did like the Zombie babies, but even the one whos head rotates the body and head are grey but the neck where the two meet and rotate are pink and don't match :confused: with a little work they could look great and I would buy some on sale.
 

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WHERE YOU BEEN! :)

Be honest with you i have never been in a spirit store :eek: I usually just make stuff...It always look better anyway. Ill bet they contract out every year and sometimes you get better companies building things then others. Maybe next year will be higher quality.
 

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I went to a spirit store last week and seen several things that were new.two different animated witches,one that looks like shes flyng.i bought this one ,but i am going to make her look more sinister.seen the zombabies,witch that rises from a cauldren,and other stuff.the problem i have is the quality of the animatronics.they don't last.i got a chest ripper zombie and it worked only one year.stirring witch,didn't make it to halloween.the stuff is expensive,so i do wish it lasted longer.wal mart sucks this year ,just like last year.i was disapointed in big lotts to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE=Toetag;725953]WHERE YOU BEEN! :)

Be honest with you i have never been in a spirit store :eek: I usually just make stuff...It always look better anyway. Ill bet they contract out every year and sometimes you get better companies building things then others. Maybe next year will be higher quality.[/QUOTE]

Now that fireworks are done until most likely next year it's time to get back to Halloween stuff :D

I made my first small props ever last year and with the way things looked at the stores it looks like i'll work on my own this year and add the other things in that I bought on clearance after Halloween last year :)
 

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STARK Raving Mad
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Has anyone considered the idea that we have become "Halloween Snobs"? I know my wife and I have. After years of prop-building, facade-building, home-decorating, food-creating, house-haunting, and party-throwing, we find very little at stores that we like enough to buy. If we DO like it, we usually just make it ourselves. And Halloween Recipe Books & Magazines? Forget it. We left them behind years ago.

As far as the quality of props lately, yes, they may be inferior, but perhaps we just expect more.

Also, we may be experiencing the effects of a new buyer at some corporate office somewhere that knew he needed snakes, but went with the cheaper "plastic-ey" ones, probably assuming everyone was too broke to buy the good stuff. He'll learn.
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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I think the last really good prop I noticed was the warped Burtonesque candelabra's they sold at Michaels, Garden Ridge and Spirit about three years ago, nice little step candelabra with three LED candles.

It was a nice prop if you hadn't been able to locate any decent candelabras at the local thrift store, something to load down with pvc pipe and 'waxicles' of hot glue.
 

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Queen of the Night
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It's been a challenging year for me and I wanted to buy some really cool props. Sadly, I find the market lacking in quality. But on the other hand I might have become a Halloween snob because there are so many talented people on this forum that my mind can't accept less than the best....which is seen only on this forum.
 

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Now that fireworks are done until most likely next year it's time to get back to Halloween stuff :D

I made my first small props ever last year and with the way things looked at the stores it looks like i'll work on my own this year and add the other things in that I bought on clearance after Halloween last year :)
Hey- another pyro! I am as well. Do you shoot for a local company?

Dan
 

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I haven't seen much in the way of really innovative stuff in the past 4-5 years. Whats out there is pricey and you really need to shop around to either get a bargain or find something worth the asking price. Seems many of the stores are carrying the exact same things, just with different prices. Certain types of props can simply be made better and cheaper by doing it yourself. Selection this year is really marginal compared to the past few years. Hopefully it's not a downward trend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey- another pyro! I am as well. Do you shoot for a local company?

Dan
Good to see another pyro around :D If you aren't already a member of pyrouniverse.com you should check it out there's a ton of good info on there. I had an offer to get my feet wet with a local display company this year, but at the moment I don't have the time, but I would like to in the future :cool: Here was my small backyard display for the 4th 2009 if you want to check it out. Not my best show, but there's always next year :D

PART 1: http://www.pyrouniverse.com/gallery2/data/500/4th_2009_part_1.wmv

PART 2: http://www.pyrouniverse.com/gallery2/data/500/4th_2009_part_2.wmv

I was looking forward to seeing some cool new stuff in the stores this year after seeing some of the stuff in the 2009 Halloween Expo thread, but I guess not :( lol. I suppose if I drove closer to Chicago I might find some better stuff.
 

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Every single prop I bought this year I have taken apart and modified, for example making a sound activated prop into a motion activated prop instead, or utilizing that prop to make a bigger one, I do think that the quality this year is lacking as well. I started making pneumatic props last year, so I too may be a Halloween snob now.
 

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What I cant believe is that there are sites like this...for people like me. I just went to Spirts this weekend..and Im a noob at halloween props (I did get a 10yr old girl to cry and hide behind my garbage cans because she was scared of my garage set-up though) and I didnt really like what they had this year.

Online they had some limbs that were SAW name brand that looked a lot better than the typical generic ones, but they didnt have them in stores. I picked up some lanterns, fog juice, a spidey costume for the son, a sweet scarecrow mask and the animated Michale Myers.

He is a peice of junk in stock form. I spent about an hour taking him apart to throw an old jumpsuit I used as Jason last year on him...and he is so oddly porportioned that it didnt fit. So I beat up his stock jumpsuit added paint ect. Then I had to repaint his head so it looks like a mask and not a plastic head. That took about 2 hours. Then I had to bulk him up so he didnt have the phasic of steve erkell. Then the cheap zipper broke and had to be repaired. LOL.

But hes worth the $250 to me now. Hes pretty creepy looking and my dog keeps growling and barking at him.
 

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Hey- another pyro! I am as well. Do you shoot for a local company?

Dan
Another Pryo here also, I use the money showing fireworks to help fund halloween. I work part time for a company out of Pa.

I also have become a halloween snob after being on this site and others.
 

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He is a peice of junk in stock form. I spent about an hour taking him apart to throw an old jumpsuit I used as Jason last year on him...and he is so oddly porportioned that it didnt fit. So I beat up his stock jumpsuit added paint ect. Then I had to repaint his head so it looks like a mask and not a plastic head. That took about 2 hours. Then I had to bulk him up so he didnt have the phasic of steve erkell. Then the cheap zipper broke and had to be repaired. LOL.

But hes worth the $250 to me now. Hes pretty creepy looking and my dog keeps growling and barking at him.
I would love to see pics of that, I thought he was kind of goofy looking too when I saw him....

I wish I could find the old Skulls that Michael's used to sell for about $12. They had an articulated jaw and was hollow, they were great for props but now you cant find them anywhere, I contacted the manufacturer and they said they were discontinued now.........I havent found any others that work as good as those did unless you buy the Bucky's but they cost more :(
 

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Good to see another pyro around If you aren't already a member of pyrouniverse.com you should check it out there's a ton of good info on there. I had an offer to get my feet wet with a local display company this year, but at the moment I don't have the time, but I would like to in the future Here was my small backyard display for the 4th 2009 if you want to check it out. Not my best show, but there's always next year

PART 1: http://www.pyrouniverse.com/gallery2...009_part_1.wmv

PART 2: http://www.pyrouniverse.com/gallery2...009_part_2.wmv
Sorry it took me a bit to get back to this thread. Your vids wouldn't play for me- shame.

Here's a little something we did last year...just a small show ;)-


I do the big stuff and I've been with FBG for many years. Hard work, but lots of fun! Not like Halloween though ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Don't worry my show wasn't that good anyway. I remember watching that on pyrouniverse last year amazing little show ;)

I've thought about incorporating fireworks into Halloween with some smoke and strobes fired remotely occasionally, but don't because of the proximity. I can do it with foggers and strobe lights it just wont be as fun :D
 

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Well, I like to get the smaller animatronics, and to tell the truth I have been buying more of them recently than I have been before. The first one I got along time ago that still works was from Wal-Mart, and he is a skeleton that sings Bad to the Bone song. Most of the stuff I enjoy has been coming from Walgreens.

Previously, I have bought a smaller Freddy and Jason animatronic that make noises or songs, and move; along with a gulliotine skeleton guy who gets his head chopped off. The Heads Up Harry, and Face Ripper are very innovative things in my opinion. This year I would say the only innovative thing I have seen is the guy that has a saw through his head, but is that really innovative??

It's not like he has it in his hand, and than puts it in his head, but rather it's just in his head. The 3 skulls that sing a song at Target is really cool, but you have to like the way they look, and you have to like the song. I don't like either of those though.

I guess what I can say is that because last year was such a great year for smaller animatronics in my opinion, this year isn't as good, and it's disappointing to me.

For Big Lots, I'm shocked that I didn't see any of the old animatronics over there. It's other weird stuff I never seen before.
 

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IMHO there is never a lack of quality props. The main issue is the amount of time or the amount of money haunters are willing to spend on a prop (And with the times being tough this is heightened).

Personally I estimate a 50/50 split between my building and buying. If time is a concern for building and I see something I have to have guess what I will purchase it without reservation. The key for me is the prop must be of the highest quality if I am going to plunk down the loot.
 

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It is good to see other pyro's on this site....I have worked for a local display company for the past 8 years. Fireworks right into halloween.

I have to agree I have not been impressed with the merchandise that local stores are carrying this year. Some of the stores here barely even have a display this year.
 
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