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I was curious as to how long you were into Halloween before you were unsatisified with the goods you can get at local stores such as wal-mart, Target, Halloween Express, and Spirit stores? It took us 2 seasons before we just could not find what we needed or wanted at those local stores and had to start shopping online, going to conventions, or making most of our props.

Fractured
 

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I cant say that I ever became totally disatisfied with the stuff I find at the store you mentioned but I am very selective. There is always something I can use, but in most cases I find that I am not willing to pay the price they are asking. Over the last few years, the selection has really gone down hill. I am not sure what the buyers are looking at when they decide to carry some of this stuff but they really need to ask people that are in the business/hobby. Sprit and Halloween Express are terribly over priced.
 

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Well, I'd say I got tired of paying the prices for the stuff after the first couple years. So I had to use my creative juices, unfortunatly some of the stuff I've built myself, really didn't end up being that cheap. But somehow the stuff I've built myself is better. I still prefer store bought things like ground breakers for my grave yard scene and well, you can't exactly build your own fog machines, but my chiller was once a cooler :>)
 

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A couple years ago I found that I needed to go above and beyond what was available in the stores. With that said I still hunt the stores for bargains or for those rare top notch items.

I got to admit though. Between Target, Walmart, Kmart, Shopko, Big Lots, and Savers. I have spent maybe $40 this year. Between Michaels, Halloween Express, and Spirit about $250. There just isn't much there. I think when you get in the mode of looking at this stuff year round you learn what your capabilities are and the level of quality you expect from stores. Most stuff in stores is just crap.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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2 years.

I was building my own stuff, but was fine with the store-bought tombstones and the basic sound/motion triggered props.

Then the 3 year - my first big one after finding this forum and discovering that there were OTHER people that did this sort of thing and OMG look what kinds of things there are to build... now I can go browsing at the Halloween displays and walk out empty handed because the stuff isn't exactly what i was picturing. :rolleyes:
 

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sasquatch
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I selective buy at local department stores for things that I can find a specific need for. All the big stuff I make myself or order on line or pick up at Spirit.
 
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