When you get emails titled "Mechanized Attack Alligator for the Masses," you pretty much know you've got a winner. Dug North has spotted this animatronic alligator designed for haunted houses and fright shops, available for just shy of $9,000. It's from FrightCatalog.com, an online Halloween-themed store that obviously goes beyond just the traditional fake blood and skeleton masks.
Fright Catalog has a whole section dedicated to animated props, including...actually, let's take a look.
"Dead Fred Zombie Chaser" travels along the floor powered by four DC motors, screaming and groaning from his built-in speaker, pulling his entrails behind him. He's $2,650 but comes with a battery charger—and Fright Catalog's "Best Price Guarantee," their promise to beat any animated zombie retailer's price out there.
"Dead and Deader" is a coffin. It won't erupt with a cackling foam latex corpse until you give it AC power and a 100 PSI air compressor. Ask about their optional timer or motion sensor!
This little lady is almost $7k, which is cheaper than a real dead woman in most states.
"Acid Spitter" blasts guests with a air or water vapor while a variable bubble creates a boiling acid effect in the barrel itself. Throw a couple in your basement to recreate the contamination scene from Return of the Living Dead.
Three grand, air compressor and motion sensor not included.
"Gortraits" aren't nearly as expensive as some of the other animated props—around $30 on average—because they're just the simple two-frame holograms, the likes of which haven't been seen since Cracker Jack and Egg Laying Machine prizes. I wish they were more expensive—it's very difficult for me to resist buying them all. (As it stands I may have to get Admiral Howl.
The "Giant Troll" is seven feet tall, opens and closes his eyes, and belches fog if you've woken him from his snoring sleep. He's $11,225.
He'd go great with the $15,675 "Sleeping Giant," who also saws logs while you walk by, but springs to his full 11.6-foot height when you step on a pressure pad. Oh, how the children will cry such delicious tears.
"Stone Master Gargoyle" moves his head, unfurls his wings, and coughs smoke from his mouth. The modeling on the muscles is genuinely terrifying, too. I'd love to see him in action, but unlike some of the other items, Fright Catalog does not have a "BooTube" video. He's $8,700. All he ever wanted was a nice girl who would scrape the lichen from that spot he can't quite reach between his wings.
The crown jewel of the Fright Catalog selection, the "UFO Spaceship" is twelve-feet wide and rises on its pedestal over fourteen feet. A bass amp is included to "give the effect of great weight descending." She's $29,000, so if you're going to lay out that kind of cash, toss in a couple of "UFO Shooting Saucermen" and "Alien Ambush barrels" for good measure.
Now that my cart has six figures worth of stuff in it I should probably move on to other things. There are a fair amount of reasonably priced goods even in the animated section, like the "Anarchy Back Talker," so if you can't take out a loan on your children's souls to get the big stuff, you could still dabble. And that's before getting into all the other props, costumes, and makeup.
Oh, screw it. One more: The "Beast in a Box," which starts out with a slow twitch and begins to hop around, straining at its chains. Wasn't there a Twilight Zone movie segment about this? I vaguely remember a story—maybe it was just a comic, or a comic that was later adapted—and a box delivered to a museum or research facility that a guy just couldn't help but put his hand inside? And inside there was some sort of monster? And it ate him? Thinking back that sounds like a really weak story but it scared me to pieces as a child, making opening my toy chest a real nailbiter.