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Discussion Starter #1
Restless Acres said:
Haunters like me always keep pushing for more and bigger and better, until it all gets to be too much (often times advancing age plays a factor), they completely burn out, and get rid of all their stuff.

Nomadmik said:
I finally got back into haunting which I did in my 20’s and love it more now than ever. I am reaching the age of burn out so I just take it slower. I work on props all year

I say what is the age of burn out? How have you changed your Halloween Display?

I have a garage full of Zombie props and halloween stuff and have only been doing this 3 years.... (age 55 now)
I just tried unsuccessfully to sell off a couple props to make room for the others I am working on.....
At a price that was less than cost of the parts - I got no interest.
To be fair I am not in a large city but only an hour away.
I gave up on selling at a loss and will instead reconfigure them some how after this Halloween for next year....

Eventually I will have to just get rid of my stuff as Restless Acres says? I have learned there isn't much resale value...
I am proud of my prop creations but this has made me more accepting of leaving them out if it rains.
The value is in the reactions of the TOTers and in the parents comments also......
 

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I started out making my props by hand which is a time consuming labor of love. Unfortunately, the props that are collectible are usually professionally made. I did sell a couple of props that I made which I sold for less than my time and mine spent on them. I did get some satisfaction out of someone else appreciating my work. My other older handmade props started to fall apart so they were discarded. The rest I still display proudly. Lately (last few years), I have been buying the mass produced props because I don’t have time to make them. They are also much easier to store. If you enjoy making them, make em! If you run out of room and can afford it, give some of them away to friends / neighbors and relatives. Part of the satisfaction of creating is watching others enjoy your creations.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I won’t ever buy any mass produced props even if they might become collectables because they are so cheaply made that failure is guaranteed! On top of that the realism is not that great. The price point dictates the crap sound and cheap looking faces etc.
I build stuff that really can be mistaken for a real zombie..... very life like!
I do enjoy creating them and the reactions I get.
Several people have told me “You should sell these props because they are that good people will pay for them”. Not sure but I guess if I made up a fake company name like “Props Galore” and charged way more? Probably people just assuming that home made props are something crap that is thrown together from junk and will fall apart in minutes?
You are part correct when you compare to automotive restoration as a similar loss of investment. But explain to me how the professional restoration shops stay in business?
People will pay for quality! But it is difficult to get that reputation as a quality shop!
Same with props..... Distortions have stuff priced in the thousands and someone is buying it?
Anyway I’m better of re doing my stuff into something different than giving it away for less money than it will cost to buy the parts to make more props.
Wanted others to know that is how it is!
 

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Professional restoration shops are in business because they take people’s existing cars and make them better. Also everyone needs a car. There is a very small market for props, and you are competing with a wide range of them from the cheapie ones to the professionally made ones that cost hundreds and even thousands. Not a lot of people need well made props. Even I won’t pay more than $200 for a prop (with the exception of 12’ skeleton). Yours may be better, but the costs to make them are high and you don’t have marketing behind you like the big boys do. Even still, if they are really good, people will find you and want them.
 

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I have about 36 pneumatic props. When I run out of room I retire one by using the solenoids and cylinders for something else. Tear it apart and start from scratch. The only thing you lose is the armature and maybe older clothes used to dress them up. Sometimes a new mask is all you need to make it fresh.
 

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A friend asked yesterday when I'd be done making props - as in, when would I have enough. I thought it was an interesting question ...

Like asking a gardener when they will be done buying plants. Or a model railroader when they are done building tracks. I plan to do less "big builds" and more refinements as time goes by, but I'll always want to change things up a little each year or improve props by adding details, or lighting, or movement to areas that need it.

My first year I built 5 life size zombies with PVC. I would not do that every year. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 ... at some point the yard would look like a rave, LOL. I really like accessorizing my tombstones and working on lighting this year. Next year I might get into animatronics more. As long as it all still fits in the designated Halloween shed I am all good :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have about 36 pneumatic props. When I run out of room I retire one by using the solenoids and cylinders for something else. Tear it apart and start from scratch. The only thing you lose is the armature and maybe older clothes used to dress them up. Sometimes a new mask is all you need to make it fresh.
This is exactly the road I am going down now.... reuse recycle rebuild!
I changed a zombie mask and then had to change angle of spine to look right which meant taking top totally apart..... nothing is as easy as it looks.
In the end it looks perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A friend asked yesterday when I'd be done making props - as in, when would I have enough. I thought it was an interesting question ...

Like asking a gardener when they will be done buying plants. Or a model railroader when they are done building tracks. I plan to do less "big builds" and more refinements as time goes by, but I'll always want to change things up a little each year or improve props by adding details, or lighting, or movement to areas that need it.

My first year I built 5 life size zombies with PVC. I would not do that every year. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 ... at some point the yard would look like a rave, LOL. I really like accessorizing my tombstones and working on lighting this year. Next year I might get into animatronics more. As long as it all still fits in the designated Halloween shed I am all good :)
I have a wall of zombies in my garage.
The new neighbour told me when he moved in and I had garage door open he was contemplating calling the Police as I had dead people hanging on the wall..... 🤣
 

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A friend asked yesterday when I'd be done making props - as in, when would I have enough. I thought it was an interesting question ...

Like asking a gardener when they will be done buying plants. Or a model railroader when they are done building tracks. I plan to do less "big builds" and more refinements as time goes by, but I'll always want to change things up a little each year or improve props by adding details, or lighting, or movement to areas that need it.

My first year I built 5 life size zombies with PVC. I would not do that every year. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 ... at some point the yard would look like a rave, LOL. I really like accessorizing my tombstones and working on lighting this year. Next year I might get into animatronics more. As long as it all still fits in the designated Halloween shed I am all good :)
Lol, zombie rave.... that would be a good theme.
 

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Lifelong lover of Halloween. When we were first married we bought a condo, which didn't get a lot of Trick or Treaters, despite what I thought was an amazing opportunity for them (stand in one place, knock on four doors!). So when we bought our first house, we wanted to go all out and do Halloween big! We decided on a Haunted Corn Field theme and built a bunch of stuff. We added to it every year and now have some great things. But we got burnt out on doing the same ol', same ol' every year. This year we are going with a cemetery theme and starting over. This one we can do it either way - buy stuff or make it. Probably going to do a little of both. But I don't know what I'm going to do with all the amazing stuff that we have collected. Sometimes people in our area have a Halloween garage/yard sale in late September and those are a huge hit! People like myself and other Halloween Lovers come from all around to get a bargain on some odds and ends and new props (for us). I think I will be doing that so that my old toys find good homes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I decided rather than sell for cheap...I would give a pair of hand made Zombie animatronics to a family member as they will really appreciate them. They are Halloween fans too! This way I have freed up storage space and now can just work on improving my existing props!
It is tempting to come up with new ideas for animatronics..... but I don’t have room. And the reality is that what I have will last till I don’t care to put up a haunt or display.
Zombies and witches are always in!
So there is no need for a new “theme”.
This has been a fun hobby and an outlet for creativity....but all things eventually come to and end.....
I am not burnt out but just scaling back! Maybe? 😉
 
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