Last year on the day after Halloween I picked up a Home Accents 6 Ft. Animated Lab Monster animated prop for under $20. The creature sat in my garage for 11 months until I finally broke him out a few weeks ago to get him ready for Halloween 2017. For $20 I really couldn’t complain. The animatronic wasn’t bad and I knew I could make him look a little better if tinkered with him and put a mask on him.
The first thing I did was find a mask on Amazon. They have a lot of different Frankenstein masks to choose from and after searching for a few minutes I came across the Universal Silver Screen Frankenstein mask. Knowing that the masks on Amazon can differ slightly from what you actually get I went to my local Halloween store and checked the mask out in person. My local store wanted $50 for it but it was only $32 on Amazon so I decided to pick it up online instead.
The mask is pretty high quality and is worth money. When it arrived I did have a little trouble getting it over the head. The face on the prop and the mask differ slightly. The main difference is that the bolts on the temples of the prop are actually located on the mask’s neck. To remedy this I took a saw and cut the bolts off and moved the lights inside the bolt behind the eyes. This way when you hear the electricity popping you can see a slight blue tint behind Frankenstein’s eyes. At night this effect will be really cool and add a little something to the prop. I also plan to put some of those electric wires that move around and buzz from Spirit Halloween behind Frankenstein to really add to the scene I’m creating.
Another thing I did to make the animated Frankenstein look more realistic was add some bubble wrap around his arms. The arms are made of poles and they look very skinny when you look at him. All I had to do was tape some bubble wrap around the poles then put the sleeves back down to cover the poles and bubble wrap. I hate having a really cool prop but losing some credibility by having scrawny legs or arms.
I added some of those electric wires from Spirit Halloween to give the effect that Frankenstein had just come alive.
For all the purists out there I am aware that it’s really Frankenstein’s monster but most identify the monster as being called Frankenstein, so I went with that
This prop could’ve easily been turned into a zombie. With the clothes he has on I could’ve got a zombie mask for him and added the prop to my zombie ensemble I will have in the yard. Frankenstein would’ve fit right in and all it would’ve taken was a zombie mask I could’ve picked up on Amazon for $20 or $30.
A bad prop can be made into a great one by using your imagination. A good mask is a quick way to turn a mediocre Halloween prop into something really cool all your friends and family can enjoy in late October.