Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Haunted Book Review Thursday

First of all, sorry that I missed last week's review; I was doing the birthday thing. I'll make it up with a Saturday edition....

Affordable Animatronics: A Visual Overview

Robert Van Deest & Harry Lapping, authors

I think that I paid about 35.00 for this book on Ebay a couple of years ago and it's just about taken that long for me to cool down to look at this book with an unbiased critical eye.
Simply put, this book is a glorified user's manual for an electronic animations hardware system by a company called Wizard distributed by Blue Point Engineering. Nothing much more. I do not know anything about these companies and their relation to the haunt industry or the quality of their hardware. If you have used or will think about using Prop 1 from, this will probably will be useless to you.
To market the book as it is currently marketed is misleading. The book is lavishly illustrated with easy to follow directions and diagrams along with pictures of projects...using solely their electronics which for the most part is useless if you do not use the Wizard systems.
Now for some good things that I found by REALLY digging...if you would like to get into animatronic animation, then this book has some VERY good information on servos and their applications pertaining to character movements as in eyes and mouths. There's some LED information and DC motor switching diagrams and a pretty informative reference section on wire sizes, measurements, resistor codes and mechanical gearing.

Now, do you need to buy this book? I just looked at the price on Amazon and it was about $40.00. I will have to sadly say buy some Froggy's Fog Fluid for your fog machine instead and buy the Halloween Animatronics Video that I reviewed here a few weeks ago. Much more information, easier to follow, and less expensive. I have watched the video again a couple of times and each time the techniques and concepts are becoming clearer and clearer.

If you have or are planning to use Wizard electronics, buy this book. If you don't...leave it be.


halloween spirit said...

Helpful review. Unfortunately, whenever I see phrases like ". . . motor switching diagrams . . ." my eyes begin to glaze over and I fall into a stupor :)

Peter Varvel said...

Omg, you should totally build your own "Post-mortem Moments with Mr. Lincoln" attraction like they have at Disneyland!

Mr.Macabre said...

Ohhh, tempting, very very tempting...:)