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Discussion Starter #1
Typically Spirit is the saving grace of the season due to dwindling Target selections and just companies saving for the almight Christmas season. I have been to Spirit 3 times thus far and each time it is a little more disappointing. I feel their selection is is not as good as years past.

That being said, their new props are pretty good (zombie girl and the pumpkins guys swining in chairs singing/talking, the projector image (ghostly apparitions, zombies, etc.) are really cool. I am just referring to the cheaper decorations (price range $20-$50)...I just thought they were cheesy. For example, the skeleton animals are just stupid and neither scary nor interesting. Their mask selection was piss-poor as well.

Maybe I am being too harsh due to other stores not being up-to-par with their selection but am I alone in this paradigm? Overall, I am disappoint with this year's store selections.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I take the lack of responses that everyone is truly happy with Spirit.
 

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I've visited Spirit 3 times as well this season. My husband and I were each armed with 30% off coupons last weekend, as I had printed off 4. We were there for an hour, and I was quite literally searching for *anything* I could use the coupon on - inexpensive to the most expensive, I would have bought it. I cannot tell you how depressed I was leaving the store. My husband bought a mask and I gave the 30% coupons to other people in the store.

However, ALL stores have been a huge disappointment to me this year. I'm trying to spend money, but nobody has anything worth spending it on.
 

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I haven't honestly found anything this year either. I like the zombie bird feeder, but I don't feed the birds and can't see a reason to put the money out they want. So basically anything I get will probably be after Halloween, and thats if they even have anything then, seems my Spirits tend to put the good stuff away before they discount.
 

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It's not just Spirit, the other stores are a disappointment. A couple years ago the stores were in much larger locations and filled up. Now the local to me stores are in smaller locations and nothing really new. Guess this booming economy as the White House keeps telling us doesn't translate to Halloween.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's not just Spirit, the other stores are a disappointment. A couple years ago the stores were in much larger locations and filled up. Now the local to me stores are in smaller locations and nothing really new. Guess this booming economy as the White House keeps telling us doesn't translate to Halloween.
All the stores are just disappointing this year. I am going to stick with making my own props that way I know they will be awesomely horribly scary!
 

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Not pleased at all. I bought the evil doctor prop the first week they were open and as soon as I put it together the mask wouldn't function properly and go up and down over the mouth like it was suppose to so I took it back to exchange for a new one and they said they didn't gave any other new ones in stock to swap out the defective one with and they offered me the head off the display that was beat up from demonstrations in the store and a bit ratty but the mask part worked so I reluctantly accepted that better than nothing. I think the quality overall has declined majorly since they stopped carrying a lot of the life size Gemmy props that they used to like the Frankenstein ect. I just haven't gotten that cool vibe from any of the stores as in previous years and am very disappointed .
 

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While I love Spirit stores just for Halloween purposes anyway....I find their animatronics aren't made well at all, of course they are a lot cheaper than regular ones. Hence, you get what you pay for.

I love looking at their displays.

I worked at a Halloween USA 2 years in a row awhile back and I have to say it was the best job EVER!
 

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I just didn't like the fact that they couldn't find me a new replacement head since it was litterally fresh out of the box defective and the even said it appeared the mechanism was put in upside down at the factory. Even if they coulda sent me a new one I would have been satisfied. Pumpkin Nestor is about the only prop worthwhile buying from there as is the jumping spider. It's a shame because I had several other props lined up to buy there at Spirit and now I decided against it after checking out the quality in person.
 

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I think the fact I try and build most of my props is why I am disappointed in Spirit and pretty much everyone else. However, I know folks who don't build their own that think Spirit is awesome. I don't buy costumes or masks so that eliminates a good portion of the stuff most stores carry. They don't sell wiper motors, reindeer motors, pvc, pneumatic cylinders. When I go in, I am moostly looking for latex heads..which the selection sucks due to the fact they have hooks and screwdrivers in them. Sell a decent head...or variety thereof, for $25 and let us mangle them as WE see fit. I like spirits lights, but too pricey so I go elsewhere for them and see if anything is left after they go on sale. You have to remember. Most of the stores we visit are not catering to the home haunter, they are catering to the Halloween partiers which is not even close to the same in my opinion
 

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My 2 cents; Better mask selection that the past few years which is a plus. Nice lighting and special effects offerings. Only a couple new zombie babies rather than 10 new ones a year. Hoping that phase ends soon. I won't buy their animatronics due to the "cheap" factor. They carried some nice looking metal signs of which I bought a couple. The basic prop selection was mediocre. IMO they used to carry a lot of really nice static props for reasonable prices. Now the reasonable stuff is mostly small filler items, of which I have plenty. I made my last trip there yesterday and got a third amber led spotlight. I'm done shopping there now and doubt I'll go back on the 1st for the 50% off sale. I used the coupons for every purchase and saved some money which was a plus. Online stores like Halloween Asylum carry a much better selection for much better prices and I spent the bulk of my Halloween money with them. Guess we'll wait to see what they come up with next year.
 
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I like Spirit stores. Yes, there are issues - poorly engineered props being the most obvious. But it is a resource for a great many things we wouldn't get otherwise. I enjoy seeing the setup, and in fact return over and over for the vibe...and usually to pick up something else. Got a skull candelabra, the Haunted Book, fire and ice spots, and a few other items. And it seems to me that there is a larger selection this year, that correlated with the multiple themes - Garden, Garage, Attic.
I remember when the forum was filled with people complaining about their Gemmy props. Heh, me too. No, Tekky doesn't spend the time in construction or detail like Gemmy used to, but the frequency of breakdown seems similar. What I do like about Tekky is their website with the instructional and demo videos, along with the PDFs of the instructions.
 

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They have nice props this year (like other years), but not much of a selection, I think. not sure why. Maybe I am getting to picky. That is why I let my wife choose our annual Spirit prop of the year, she as great taste.
 

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I honestly think that if Spirit sat down w Gemmy corp and they both made an effort to re-introduce a bunch of thier lifesized props from 2007-2011 era that are now no longer availible and sell them exclusively thru Spirit in additon to whatever new lines of products they would carry, I think they would both see their sales skyrocket. Who wouldnt rush right over to grab thermselves a Dr Shivers or Boris Karloff Frankenstein or Count Vigor etc if they re-introduced them for a year or two.
 
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I find i'm indifferent about spirit this year. Like many other members, I too try and build most of my props. But this year I never had any time for new construction. We wound up buying 6 new animatronic props this year. They are not the best built, but for the price not bad. They have been a lifesaver this year for adding to our haunt.

I as well am finding a lac of "Halloween" in all the major retailers. There doesn't seem to much at all in the stores, let alone new product. Its rather disappointing.
 

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I think this year is better than recent years, but it's certainly not as great as Spirit's good ol' days. Although some props at my store are just plain unattractive, I did spend some money there this year, buying the witch of stolen souls, the coat rack monster and the jack o lunger. I am more pleased with them this season, and I hope this means we will be seeing them start to get better in future years.
 

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What I've noticed, and this is not an observation exclusive to Spirit by any means, but this year I'm seeing a lot more noticeably cheaper versions of props that used to be decent quality. For example, I have the 3 piece lawn zombie from Spirit that I got a few years ago, and he's made of rubber with metal stakes. Now they have one that's the same mold but made out of thin plastic. I think it's priced lower too, but that's not always the case. Along the same lines the zombie arm lawn stakes used to be made of a nice hefty rubber and now they too are cheap plastic now, but cost the same.

There seems to be a push now with the decor industry overall to dramatically lower production costs.
 

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What I've noticed, and this is not an observation exclusive to Spirit by any means, but this year I'm seeing a lot more noticeably cheaper versions of props that used to be decent quality. For example, I have the 3 piece lawn zombie from Spirit that I got a few years ago, and he's made of rubber with metal stakes. Now they have one that's the same mold but made out of thin plastic. I think it's priced lower too, but that's not always the case. Along the same lines the zombie arm lawn stakes used to be made of a nice hefty rubber and now they too are cheap plastic now, but cost the same.

There seems to be a push now with the decor industry overall to dramatically lower production costs.
I bought that same 3 piece lawn zombie...I have 2 of them. I either didn't notice the plastic one or was so visually disappointed I passed it up.

And to ironmaiden....there can NEVER be enough zombies.
 

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went today to get the bone chiller dvd sold out, no very impressed either, had the coupon, couldn't find anything i was diying to have. went to halloween express not scence setters no dvds, not impressed .at all. I too make alot of my props mostly all static and am satifisied with what i put out in my displays. I just can't spend that kind of money every year. the talent of this forum produces much better props then can be bought in the stores.
 
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