View Full Version : What do you want... Vendors pay attention!

11-05-2009, 07:36 PM
I've said this for years the vendors who FAIL are the vendors who build what they think people want not actually what the haunts want... some things are good idea's on paper but are not practical in a haunt. Blah, Blah, Blah...

So with ONLY FOUR MONTHS TO GO ... what do you want from vendors, what kind of props are you looking for this year?

What do you need, what would you like to see?

My response to follow...


11-05-2009, 07:41 PM

Too expenseive, break too often, and have to many already. I think plenty of people still want them or need them just I don't want anymore nor do I need anymore.

So what do I want...



3) THINGS MY ACTORS CAN USE to create illusions they are something other than a person, things they can use to scare people.

4) Fake weapons that do something like blast you with air, shoot or spray water, or have some trick to them that might get a reaction form a customer.

5) If I was going to buy animations I want something that makes a lot of sudden noise... BOOM!

6) Theming supplies stuff you can buy to accent rooms like detailed frames sculpted to look scary or things you can use to details rooms. Or simply massive set pieces that you could use to make a catacomb or something that is used to make rooms detailed.

7) Props on wires that can be used to hang in the middle of a room that my customers push through, things I can swing out at them to scare them blah, blah.

I would be looking for nothing else.

Now that is just me!


11-05-2009, 08:23 PM
1) How about some busts that just dont look quite right? Something you can set on a mantle or edge of a piano to detail a room but not the normal bust just something a little off. I'm not sure how to explain it but I hope this gives you an idea of what I am talking about. Detailed props and things like that.
2) Waterproof animatronics and props that can be used outdoors for a hayride or cornmaze.
Just my thoughts.

11-05-2009, 08:28 PM
Hey Larry, this is a great post, I think this is exactly what vendors are looking for (such as us), this gives us an idea in what direction to go in! Keep them coming!

11-05-2009, 08:49 PM
no animatronics!

i want really loud noise makers and effects, just like what larry said.

i want a signal siren/horm or something that i can blare to let actors in house know next group is coming in.

more Co2 cannon stuff or fog cannons

BIG attention grabbers for out at the street

stuff to put at the street in june to get everyone in the city talking about as they drive by. either inflatable or big signs, and lighting.

Crowd control stuff specifically for haunt industry
ummmm a new graphic design company...

11-05-2009, 08:55 PM
OH and also to copy larrys points lol

noise makers for actors, and different scare effects for the actors...
i have even podered using Co2 canisters like the Kobalt Tools portable air canister, and rigged up to air nozzle or something for actors to rome and shoot air blasts at customers.

also Sliding is amazing.... but whats next! and also how can we make sliding better.

pretty much anything and everything to add to actors costumes to make them not look human...

11-05-2009, 09:05 PM
Better costumes, more silcone masks and silicone APPLIANCES, more weapons.

More small props(think Fright props and Ghost ride skinned animals, etc)

Better quality static full figure sculpts. I mean more stuff like Unit 70 figures and gore galores zombies. The other stuff I saw last year wasn't as good for the price being charged.

More sound effect systems.

freak 'n' stein
11-05-2009, 09:35 PM

...okay, I have to second a lot of points already brought up...

This year we are foregoing construction of a lot of major sets and spending most the budget on COSTUMES and MAKEUP as well as cool props. We have virtually no animations, so it'd be cool to see what you guys come up with this year!!

Is it possible to manufacture stunt systems like those used at Netherworld? Flying, bungee, zip line harnesses, etc.

Thanks and see you guys at HAuNTcon!!!

Haunts of Richmond
11-05-2009, 10:44 PM
Crowd control stuff specifically for haunt industry

Actually, that's a great idea. More queue entertainment theme props... detailing... all with crowd control / line control in mind. Or just basic queue management vendors.

- Ryan

11-05-2009, 11:06 PM
Is it possible to manufacture stunt systems like those used at Netherworld? Flying, bungee, zip line harnesses, etc.

I think just about anything we could ever possibly want or need like that has already been made - we just don't know about it yet. The manufacturers/dealers of those types of things need to think a little outside the box and show up at Transworld. This would give them a whole new market, although they may consider pro haunts to be a pretty small piece of the pie. Maybe the Transworld promoters could look at inviting vendors from outside the industry, like those at the family attraction convention.

They would be able to charge more just because they could stick "Haunt Prop" in the description. That seems to be common, until haunters start going straight to the source and buying things at the same price as everyone else.

11-06-2009, 12:42 AM
weve been prodding for some time now looking for some reactions...its good to finally see them in this post.

Keep em coming !

11-06-2009, 12:49 AM
Do we want another animation that does the same thing as the last one just repackaged? NO!

This is the year to make smaller stuff that makes the difference, attention to detail stuff, stuff we can't buy any other place, stuff we wish we could get but don't know where to find it.

Give me stuff I can use to make entire scenes, or give me stuff my actors can use to scare people. I actually have the most incredible idea (s) and I've already told one vendors and he's like oh yeah right on! But I don't want to spill all my idea's on the table I want to hear your ideas.

We need ALL VENDORS to listen to the buyer don't make what you think is cool listen to US... your sales will increase 5 fold if you just listen to the people who actually use these products. Some of the things you are making are not practical, to heavy, to big, to tall, to hard to move, breaks to easy, or just don't need it.

Lets keep the idea's rolling in!


11-06-2009, 12:51 AM
Here is an idea...

A HAYRIDE LINE... effects made specfic for hayrides, things that will scare an entire haywagon of customers. That would be cool!


11-06-2009, 05:11 AM
Inflatables are everywhere.

They are easy to set up, easy to store, and durable.

But most inflatables are far too "cutesy" for haunters to use.

How about some inflatables that are actually realistic and/or scary?

11-06-2009, 05:23 AM
tell you what! if we could get a really really high detailed inflatable made as a prop that could then just deflate and be stored... that would be awesome!....

yes stunt system would be awesome!

however! im really a huge fan of the technology that goes into animatronics, however i wont buy a single one for our haunted house! too freaking expensive just to look cool. down the line i might buy a huge one for show, but right now they are a waste.

NOW! think about this... air cannon type scares, a good air cannon will scare EVERYBODY!!! EVERYBODY! its just a given... now we discussed the effectiveness of shaker cans last year. is there a way to get like shaker cans on steriods to mount on walls and in props.??? loud stuff used sparingly gets everyone! more of this...

and yeah no more animatronics. economy sucks and this year want a good enough year for most haunts to drop 4o5 grand on 1 moving animatronic.

this is a wonderful thread, and hope im not just rambling... im just brainstorming and i encourage everyone to do the same.

Mike Goff
11-06-2009, 05:38 AM
over head scares

over head animatronics

scares that don't take up valuable floorspace

small effective scares that are easy to hide

11-06-2009, 07:07 AM
Like it not, its the animatronics that the cameras crews from the news want to film not cool looking actors. You could do up a half dozen awesome looking actors and they come and say let's shoot in front of this dragon or an impaler or something like that. It sometimes looks better on film than in person so it's something to keep in mind..


11-06-2009, 07:09 AM
It seems like a majority so far as well as myself are looking for more goodies for actors. Better costumers, masks, toys/tools, noisemakers, ect.

freak 'n' stein
11-06-2009, 08:34 AM
I think just about anything we could ever possibly want or need like that has already been made - we just don't know about it yet.

You're right! I've gone to bungee trampoline sites and can't find EXACTLY what I'm looking for. I want, plain and simple, the harness, the cord, and a way to mount the cord. I know it all exists, it just needs to be consolidated into one quick and easy source...

11-06-2009, 09:37 AM
I was asked this year by several customers about a prop rig that when triggered would allow the prop to slide across a rope to the other side of the room and then when done be automatically reeled back in and reset. Kind of like the way the Scarefactory bats drop and go back up. But a rig for home haunters they can purchase for a decent price. We would be interested in retailing such a device.

11-06-2009, 10:06 AM

right now i'm working on several things i hope to have up for sale by transworld, though im not guaranteeing anything yet :(

on the table right now i've got SERIES silicone masks and foam latex appliances. these are masks and applaiances that all tie together with a coheisive theme, yet "generic" enough to fit several themes if dressed in the right scene or costume. the zombie/undead series is looking very promising folks. This is going to be my first year producing anything for anyone other than myself and i hope to post some production pictures soon.

keep these great ideas coming!

11-06-2009, 10:13 AM
Are you doing silicone mask now? Can you post some picks?

11-06-2009, 10:31 AM
im still in the modeling phases on all of this. right now the series looks like 3 masks, 5 appliances, and an undecided number of static props (4-6), all of them "matching" one another enough to thematically tie them together. the masks will also have options available on them to customize them futher, with one mask in particular having a built in startle-effect (im a proud papa with that one).

im going for something along the lines of how all of the ghosts in the haunted mansion look thematically tied, yet all are unique enough to progress the story without you thinking it was copy-paste copy-paste copy-paste.

creep house
11-06-2009, 10:50 AM
Like it not, its the animatronics that the cameras crews from the news want to film not cool looking actors. You could do up a half dozen awesome looking actors and they come and say let's shoot in front of this dragon or an impaler or something like that. It sometimes looks better on film than in person so it's something to keep in mind..


I agree here ...the news crew came and only filmed my Impaler!!

lots of great feed back on it !!....people are shocked when they see something bigger than life...........cool ? YES... also scared tons of kids !!!

The big animatronics are a big draw if you advertise them....

Casey............. CREEP HOUSE

11-06-2009, 11:45 AM

If you have actors that are looking real right out of a big budget horror movie they'll shoot them over the animations all day long because you can tell them what to do, talk to the camera etc. If you don't have actors that look like they are anything but fake as a rake yeah they'd rather shoot animations. Who doesn't want monsters like Netherworld? That is what vendors should supply otherwise they won't get much if any business from me. Its all I care about now.

As for the Impailer already have one, and it seems like almost everyone else does as well, which feeds back into my point DONT NEEd ANIMATIONS! Already have way to many and have no room for more and really don't want anymore.

Its time for the industry to turn the corner and new and exciting costumes and detail equiopment. Let me go one further... lets talk Gore Galore just an example, in my opinion he needs to go another direction he already has as many oversized as a person could ever want, do the same thing in a different mold isn't going to ramp up sales. Scarefactory has a zillion animations more than anyone could ever want, time to change directions, rely on the empire of animations you already offer and come to the show in a whole new light. Your history of doing one thing doesn't mean anything, expand what you offer, still offer the same stuff as before but turn the corner into a new direction.

If vendors are looking for business this March they will look at new things, new directions, radical twists and turns for their business. You must dig deep and simply bring to the table what haunts currently need not what we needed 5 years ago.

I love gore galore oversized costumes but he already has so many to choose from that if I wanted one I would be able to pick froom his current selection. Scarefactory has so many animations if I needed one I could surely find something to meet my needs! I'm only using these two companies as an example because I could name of almost every vendors and point out where a change could be made. CFX as an example could offer costume to go with the mask that would be different rather than simply just adding new masks to the lineup.

Sure I'd like to see new makss from CFX but on the same token I think they could also offer MORE than they do now... I'd love to see a few more new animations from XYZ but at the same time don't rely on just that think outside the box and come to the game with a new lineup!


11-06-2009, 11:53 AM
Ok so i have been thinking about getting into designing and making costumes to sell for awhile now.

What kind of costumes is everyone looking for? Just so i can get a general idea on where to start if im going to start selling.

Rotting Flesh Raido

11-06-2009, 11:58 AM
See, i find this thread highly encouraging. for a while i was worried that i'd have no way of competing with companies like scarefactory or unit 70 or CFX, but it looks like what people want now are more options for the actors, more detail for the scenes, and thats the area i was trying to start out in as it is... what i thought was going to be a niche has turned out to be popular demand.

if it helps you sleep at night larry, i dont have any plans on creating animations any time soon. Far too expensive to get into, far too volitle of an economy to tie up money into that at the moment, and too much competition.

11-06-2009, 12:37 PM
Remember Distortions "DARK ANGLE" inflatables. Wow! Realistic inflatables of all sizes from tombstones to caves would rock in the low light environment of haunts.

11-06-2009, 02:22 PM
This is an area I think needs a little tap.... We are working on some que line scare equipment for the actors to wear for BIG scares...

11-06-2009, 03:11 PM
Would anyone out there be intersted in buying a bulk lot of 15-20 premade zombie suits?

Rotting Flesh Radio

11-06-2009, 04:44 PM
If anyone is going to make big, new, expensive scares, how about making them so you can easily change the character?

The reason many don't buy them or continue buying them is that it either doesn't fit the theme or it won't when the theme is changed in a couple of years. Who wants to pay $10,000 and have to resell it for half that in just two years? But if you could swap heads/fronts/costumes for a few hundred and continue using it for another two years haunters might be more likely to buy it. Then you could retheme it again and continue using it. It wouldn't be a one-shot deal.

11-06-2009, 04:55 PM
Jackie, as far as costumes.... what about clothing for the 50's-60's era for staff and patients of an asylum? Just a thought......

11-06-2009, 05:55 PM
I would like to see props and anamatronics that are waterproof. 80% of our haunt is outside and when it rains we can't put out a good deal of our props because they would be ruined in the rain. I also would like to see more things that make sudden noise or shoot air. Right now we just use the hose from the air compressor to shoot air at people. It works ok but I'd like something a little more sophisticated!

11-06-2009, 06:16 PM
we are finishing up some R and D on "waterproof animatronics" I am happy to hear someone is in the game with me !! ABSOLUTEY... I am working on some stuff that has me very excited !! Que line entertainment, Big scare accessories for actors that can be used for any theme. Also working on some new improved slider equipment... we have new costumes complete from head to toe...

I agree highly, this is a great thread...... were happy to be onboard and we hope we will meet or exceed these expectations !

We will do our best...

Boo Crew Production
11-06-2009, 09:32 PM
I believe this would be a great thread to ask a couple questions. Would anybody be interested in more options for low voltage lighting. How about options for emergency lighting. I know this is pretty vague but I know how ones intellectual property and concepts travel.

A little more on the low voltage lighting, it has many advantages.
1) lower power consumption = lower operational expense.
2) less heat = less likely hood of fire.
3) less maintenance = lower operational expense.
4) customizable = easily customized to suit end users needs.

Does this sound like something that would interest you and your haunt? OR any other Ideas for electronic based products?

11-06-2009, 10:27 PM
Ken, low voltage lighting does intrest me. We have used it in our haunt for many years. It allows you to install lighting in your haunt without having to hire an electrician to install it. That saves many dollars that we could use for props instead. Also e-lighting that is inexpensive or basically plug in and let it charge is a great idea. Our e-lighting we use comes from Harbor Freight. They used to have 2 diffrent kinds one with a short cord and one with a long cord and adapter. The one with the longer cord I prefer but they dont sell it anymore. I am intrested in what you have mentioned.

Boo Crew Production
11-07-2009, 05:52 AM

That is great to hear. We are in the prototype phase currently. We will keep everyone apprised as the development is continued.

11-07-2009, 06:08 AM

I agree having great actors is essential for portraying a highly professional image for your show but what I'm saying is I had a crew of my best characters in awesome costumes two mornings in a row for two different stations and they loved the actors but when it came time for filming both stations wanted to film the big animations and props for their live shots. Actors would be asked to augment the big props and monsters when the cameras filmed but that's about it, no matter the quality.


11-07-2009, 07:17 AM
This has really turned out to be a great thread.... see, it seems like allot of these issues get overlooked, it has been a hit and miss problem. Right there is a great example of the vendor/haunt relationship that appeals to me.

Like Jerry Mcguire said "Help me Help you"

You CANT elliminate animatronics.... but you CAN improve some of the gray areas.... costuming, makeup, small props or animatronics...
Its true when the cameras are rolling they want the BEST OF THE BEST and they LOVE the Larger Than Life Animatronics.... but I think when the people are line they want the one one one with the actors.... True or not ?

Gore Galore
11-07-2009, 07:45 AM
I apologize for the long post

I appreciate you using Gore Galore as an example with many complements mixed in there.
But I am sorry to say we will never stop making Giant costumes. You should never stop doing what you are good at. I hope to believe we are best at Giant Costume designs. We continue to try to up the bar on ourselves and develop innovative new designs that can fit different themes.

AND We will augment those designs with new features that make them brand new.
Do you know what I mean?

Now all of our characters can be mounted on the "Creature Cart" Systems making them easy to use inside the Attraction rather than just for promotions or the Queue-line.
And we started adding water effects to our costumes this year.
Any of our characters can spray water on customers. We built a "Cthulu" with a water sprayer for an awesome customer and they love it. I still need to get video from them of it in action.

I am sure we could even add pneumatic features such as air cannons to our Creature Cart systems.

And Larry I believe we have some new design ideas that will knock your socks off this year. I am more than willing to share them in a phone call or email to anyone, but you can't let the cat out of the bag. We have already started sculpting on several pieces.

I am sorry to say that I think we have tons of product many people don't even know about and that is our fault. We have always focused on our costumes at tradeshows so many people didn't even know we made anything else. But we are fixing that at the upcoming Hauntshow. We will have the biggest booth we have ever had and our product categories will be well displayed.

We have tons of actor props and adding more this season:
-Weapons of mass destruction hand held actor weapons.
-Dope on a rope: severed head of your choice with a rope handle. We have been doign these for over a decade. The pic on the website doesn't do it justice. We can do it with any severed head or zombie bust we sell, and we are adding several extremely gory severed heads and busts this year to use with these designs.
-Bunrakboo lifesize zombie puppets, and neckbiter puppets

Plus we have:
-Sounds of Gore" Sound effects.
-Gothic frames for linticular images
-tons of Wall decor items and many more coming.
-heads out the wazoo severed heads
-My pet zombies lifesize static zombies and we are working on animating them too.
-"cadaverama" flat backed corpses and we are adding a couple this season.
-gory supplies: Intestines for actors and other gory supplies.

You can change out heads and hands with our costumes. We have done it for years. All of our systems are modular. It is hard to show that online but we can combine any of our parts to make an entirely new character. I was hoping someday to have a quicktime on the website where you can dress the barbie so to speak. You pick a body style, add a head, hands, horns, and paint finish. And you create your own custom character. But that is very involved on the website that is.
That is exactly how we do the "Deth Knight" Costume. And you can come back and buy different heads and hands and change out your character seasons later.

We are always open to our customers coming to us with ideas. So if anyone has something they would like us to do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

11-07-2009, 08:28 AM
Another thing I would like to see would be CGI prop combinations like Pale nights asylum door. GREAT IDEA! Something a little shorter on time so as not to create a bottleneck. That was our only concern with that prop. Other than that Kip GREAT PRODUCT!!!!! Also Kip, I love the custom idea we have come up with for you to make for us. Products like these will raise the bar!

11-07-2009, 09:04 AM
Lighted exit signs! can we make this low voltage? also can we think of unique alternatives to putting 20-40 $80 lighted signs in the house?

11-07-2009, 09:24 AM

I agree in the lines where the guests are it's all about great costumes no question...Animations are really good for distracting attention for an actor, its the cameras that love the big guys!


11-07-2009, 09:58 AM

Thanks so much for the compliments. As I mentioned to you the other day, we are working on an all new line of CGI integrated animatronics that I think will knock peoples socks off. Some of them will have a shorter cycle time for haunts that are concerned about bottle necking and some will be a little longer and more of a showpiece. I think there will be something for everyone.

To everybody else, there is some great feedback here. Thanks and keep it coming.

11-07-2009, 02:40 PM

Gore Galore Fawking RAWKS !!!

you guys are known for big giant creatures.... taht ( IS ) Gore Galore !!


when I think of you ( LMFAO ) I touch my secret places LMFAO....

No seriously.... S E C R E T P L A C E S <------LMFAO

Gore Galore
11-07-2009, 04:11 PM
Please keep your secret places secret.
But thanks for the props. Big time!

And Kip,
I also loved the asylum door. One of the most innovative combinations of technology to come out in years.

Boo Crew Production
11-07-2009, 09:52 PM

Lighted exit signs! can we make this low voltage? also can we think of unique alternatives to putting 20-40 $80 lighted signs in the house?
These are the exact type of products we are working on.

11-15-2009, 10:54 PM
One thing I'd like to see is more "sets" of props over individual items. Sure, many people will still just buy a single prop, but having a line of similar props seems to make a ton of sense. On the vendor side, it lets you reuse some of your work to get more products out of it, and on the haunt side, it allow you to build around a set of props where the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Scarefactory had an excellent example last year of what I'm talking about with their vampire bat series.

VMP702 - Static Vampire Bat
VMP703 - Feasting Vampire Bat
VMP704 - Leaping Vampire Bat
VMPCostume -Vampire Bat Costume

Using this collection of props, you could actually use the same character or group of characters throughout the haunt, sometimes appearing as a static, sometimes in the guise of a costumed actor, and sometimes as an animatronic. It would be very easy to base around this, possibly using a more "human" actor to start things, using a pepper's ghost effect and the static bat prop to do a transformation part way through the haunt, and then use the animatronics and costumes from that point forward for more appearances.

I've seen a number of animatronics that could be greatly supported by having additional offerings around them to make them the basis of a story instead of a random prop in a haunt.

I know this is specific to one vendor, but I can use Pale Night Productions as an example. The "licker" prop was on my mind after spending some time with Kip and seeing the licker in use at Netherworld this weekend. (Not trying to pick on Kip either, his props were just an inspiration for the example.)

Currently, two versions of the licker are offered without consulting for custom props. One is a standing version, and one is an overhead hanging version. What if the line was expanded to offer static versions and licker masks, so that actors playing the same part could be added to the animatronics. How about animated licker tounges that could be either worn (as if the toungue had gone through the actor and impaled them) or placed with props or walls like it had come through. What if the asylum door was offered with alternate digital effects with a licker bashing the door instead of a ghoulish inmate? With a few more supporting props around the one already available, a haunt could be completely themed for an alien invasion with lickers playing the parts of the aliens.

I'm sure similar things could be done around many other props out there.