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Thread: First commercially available animatronic?

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  1. Default First commercially available animatronic? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    394
    What was the first commercially available animatronic to the haunt industry? Was Distortions electric chair the one that really kicked off the market? I know people were doing pop ups like "trash can traumas" way back so I'm thinking what was the first one sold?

    Jake
     

  2. Default Yes 
    #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mexico, Missouri, United States
    Posts
    3,276
    As far as im aware. And trust me there is always someone on here to prove you wrong! LOL! But I would think most people would agree the Distortions Electric Chair was the very first animatronic sold to the haunted house industry. I heard that it shook so violently that they had many problems with the actual latex head getting thrown off the body! I guess you can call that an added scare to one lucky group! Ha ha!
    Damon
    www.frightmasters.weebly.com
    Damon Carson
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,590
    I know that I started seeing that Distortions electric chair before Scarefactory was even around. I wouldn't be surprised if that piece was close to its 25th anniversary since hitting the market.


    DA
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    175
    Our haunt bought one of the first electric chairs and Alien Queens offered by Distortions. Yes, the chair ripped it's own head off and we then we added a harness to hold it on.
     

  5. Default Electric Chair 
    #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    360
    I helped the Jaycees buy the first electric chair that distortions offered. Washing machine motor on the back. It almost seems primative now a days but it would still work. They did have to replace the body because it ripped the neck. It was one of the best things I had ever seen... I believe it was about $13000 back then.. That was over 20 years ago..
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Abcynthiana
    Posts
    1,200
    I think this is a great thread.

    I have rebuilt a couple of the electric chair bodies for customers.
    The ones I rebuild are still in operation.
    very strong motor animation. and not direct drive but pulleys. That is a sign of proper engineering. If the body gets stuck it doesn't burn up the motor.

    I am surprised Larry hasn't gotten in on this thread yet. I know he has done his research as far as this topic goes.

    I would really like to know more.
    We have been in business for 15 years so we have some serious history in haunting, and I know that I was looking at Distortions animations for almost a decade before I started a business.
    We regularly invested in distortions masks for the haunt.
     

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