Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Halloween 2006 BROKEN TOYS

From the Nightmare Playgrounds we bring you Broken Toys, the 2006 theme. As you can see we have a good cast again. I think this haunt could have been a lot better if I had controlled the groups coming in. We had a bit rowdier crowd this year and the haunt was set up for more of a slow experience than "run in for the candy." You will see what I mean as we go on. All in all this haunt was a learning experience and this year we are not going to allow large groups to go in together or linger in the haunt, it caused bottleneck issues and a lot of folks missed the cool effects we had set up.

In the carport I had made a couple of abandoned Jack In The Boxes out of wardrobe boxes. Painted them up and set them on each side of the port. This visually and physically funnelled the TOT (trick or treaters) into the middle. On the right side of the garage was this faux wall with twisted kids drawings. Since this haunt is not for profit I used images off the internet and then destroyed them after.

This crib is a two sided plywood front with 2x4 legs. I bought some foam from a fabric store, cut a hole in it, and covered it with a baby crib sheet with a slice down the middle. The sheet was anchored to the foam with spray adhesive. The crib bars are the cheap wood with plastic strip garden fencing you can get at hardware stores and spray painted black. The tiger on the front is a thrift store find as is the paper border that runs around the top. I used toddler sized dolls that had a plush body but plastic hands, feet and heads (two total). An actress would carry the baby behind the group that goes in the haunt making cooing and haunting hushing noises. She would say "excuse me" to the group to make sure she was noticed as she walked in their midst and put the baby lovingly into the crib. The baby would then be grabbed through the hole by the actor under the bed, shaken violently as if struggling and ripped through the hole downwards which chomping and growing noises were made. The actress would then walk outside oblivious and pick up the second baby that a go between actor had picked up from the guy under the bed (I have a side yard and door that allowed this.

Another thrift store find, about 20 bucks. Took off the back and removed the drawers. Took off the front of the drawers of the bottom three and glued them to the dresser. The top drawer had the back cut off and some blocks attached to the sides so it couldn't come all the way out. We put this against the dyed canvas drop cloth and cut a slit in back so an actor could be behind it. The actor could reach through the top drawer or throw some cheap plastic skulls I had picked up at the TOTs.

The Candy Dresser. This prop I loved. I took off the back, painted the inside black, and stapled black fabric on the back of it. I then put a slit in the middle for an actors head, a slit on each side for their arms and a candy bowl right on the bottom of the cabinet. The actor had black long sleeves, gloves and a black "ring wraith hood." This is one of those inexpensive hoods that you can see out of but people can't see in to. A plastic mask (cheap) with fixed red LED lights attached to a clicker switch (to make it blink) completes the prop. The tot sees the sign...thinks a bit to see if it is safe, decides the candy is worth it and opens the cabinet. They get closer, the actor turns on the eyes and starts reaching out while growling. Then when it is over two canvas straps on the inside of the door allow the actor to reclose the doors for the next TOT.

Seating area for a "guard actor." It is important to protect your people. I am going to make sure that this is more of a priority this year.

I love the lamp, my wife REALLY disliked it. I had kept it for years because it is so gothic. To her relief it got cracked and I had to throw it away. It was plaster and 5 bucks at a thrift store so I am not as sad as I could be....but I am still sad.


I can't figure out how to fix this picture. It smooshed him shorter and made him look really wide. I love the picture but it is not a true representation of his dimensions. The cigarette rocks, too, and that is from a guy who doesn't smoke.

"I love children...with ketchup," was the line he used I believe.

Again a smooshed photo and she is not these dimensions. She was our resident trick or treater. An actress who wandered around acting quite disturbed. She was asking kids for their candy. The cool thing is they were giving it to her. She had a blast.

The play pen....or maybe murder pen. You may notice a few new babies....I got the bug again. These ones are some of my favorites so far.

Notice the teddy bear trying to escape with most of its stuffing and the doll head that Jack is holding. I love children.

This is Stab. Real knives inserted into his hands and one through his mouth. My wife is a very strong supporter of our Halloween but she said that these new ones gave her the willies.

Hate is such a strong word. He has been working out.

Meet Stitch. Somehow I don't think Lilo would be as fond of this one. I had a lot of fun with this him. His needle is a nail with the head cut off. The thread from his foot through his hand and to the needle were laced through and acrylic paints were used to make it pretty. I have to admit I giggled as I made this one.

Say "Hello" to Burn. Wire armature made from the stuff you get near the rebar and concrete at Home Depot and Lowes. I sliced the parts didn't want with my x-acto knife and then used those long butane lighters for fireplaces and grills to char him slightly. I found holding the flame away from it and letting the smoke hit had a really nice effect. I sprayed it with the Minwax sealant I mentioned earlier to keep the soot in when handling him. It worked out nice because he got a bit more shiny and that is what happens to plastic when exposed to high heat.

Meet Eyeclops Barbie. Pop off one Barbie head, paint one racket ball, cut ball for neck stem, and epoxy to body. Electrical tape for modesty (and so Ken doesn't get turned on and revolted at the same time). TAH-DAH!

Somehow I don't think Ken has Barbie on his mind right now. I had an old rabbit cage that was given to me. This is what was inside. Sharp pruning shears, acrylic paint and x-acto knife. Idle hands and all that....

Not sure why I don't have a picture of my other Ken. If you look in the tree on the right you will see another suspended in a wooden frame. He has hooks spreading his face, arms severed and reconnected with wire and in general is having a great time just hanging out. I also have a smattering of body parts and my Devil Baby perched in his usual.

My lovely and highly supportive wife on the left. She is in her belly dance garb and helps out with the kids too scared to come in for candy. She also spins fire poi (hot and hot) to our group's amusement. I was a Jack out of the Box (right picture). The mask I have on is a leather one. If you ever want to own a gorgeous leather mask by a true artist go to http://www.mansourdesigns.com/ I look at that site frequently and drool. The one I have on is the "rapscallion." The artist is cool, unpretentious and his wife is awesome with the customer service. They are getting a lot of interest from conventions and he sculpted the mask used by Kane in WWE. I don't normally gush about artists...I gush about him. As a guy I am comfortable with that. Browse the site, buy something and you will see why.

I also had bondage cuffs on ankles and wrists with heavy metal chain on them. I would skip at people letting the chain spark off the ground or just sway with me and they would go a runnin'. Added to very puppet like mannerisms, inhuman head jerks, and sing songing the verses to "Pop Goes the Weasel" (including one about Lucifer I made up) I got some reactions I am proud of.
Again I want to thank all of our friends who helped out this past year. We had a blast and are looking forward to doing it again this year.

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