Best Halloween Animatronics: What You Should Know


Animatronic zombie girl from The Walking Dead

To find the best Halloween animatronics — that is, animated props that move — there are some things you need to know. There are tons of Halloween animatronics for sale, including inexpensive ones (think Gemmy animatronics) and high-end ones.

You can sometimes find Halloween animatronics on clearance or buy used  animatronics, and if you know exactly what you’re looking for, this a great way to go as it will save you money on what you’ve already decided to purchase.

On the other hand, if you aren’t sure what kind you want or which brands are worth your money, perhaps I can help you navigate through the various options.

Identify Your Specific Needs


That’s Donna the Dead floating in the background. She’s one of my favourite animatronics. She senses when people walk by and then drops down and moans. And yes, that’s me as Ozzy Osbourne a few years ago.

Let’s begin with determining what you need. Here are some questions you might want to consider when determining exactly what sort of animatronic you’re looking for.

  • Type: What exactly are you looking for? A tiny spider that drops down and scares your guests? A candy bowl that makes funny remarks when people reach into it for candy? A realistic, life-size Frankenstein’s monster that lunges at passers-by and scares even the bravest adult? Keep your audience and purpose in mind.
  • Operation: Do you need something that you can set off yourself manually when the right person walks by, something that runs off a sensor, or something that operates continually?
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on the right animatronic prop? $20, $200, or $2000?
  • Timing: How soon do you need it? How urgent is the need? Do you need it by October 31st or do you have a party coming up? Consider where you’re purchasing from and keep shipping times in mind.

Read Honest Reviews

If you want to learn more about a specific product, see what others who have used it have to say about it. For my part, I urge you to be very cautious if you’re planning to buy anything from Gemmy. Most of the things I’ve bought from them have simply not lasted long at all, and in some cases didn’t even work as advertised (see my Gemmy Dropping Spider review for an example).

Feel free to visit the Reviews section for an impartial opinion on animatronics I’ve had the opportunity to experience personally. Sadly, not all are worth the money, but some are so well-made they’ll last for years and quickly become guest favourites. I’ll keep adding more reviews on a regular basis, so check back often if what you’re looking for isn’t there – or better yet, leave a comment below if you’d like to request a specific product review.

Likewise, if you’ve had experience with any animatronics and would like to share your opinion, feel free to leave a comment! It’s all about fellow Halloween fans helping each other cut through the dense fog of products out there and make sense of what’s available. That’s the only way to get the best bang for your buck, after all.

Make an Informed Purchase

Once you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, you’re ready to go shopping. A good place to start is Amazon (or if you’re in Canada). Halloween retailers like Spirit Halloween also have a good selection of animatronics.

Get more helpful Halloween party tips in the Hosting and Ideas sections.

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