Animatronic Puppets just became more affordable!
Introducing the Talk-Tech Stand
Have you always wanted an animatronic puppet but been put off by the cost?
Well – animatronic puppets just got more affordable!
I’ve worked with an animatronic puppet for over 10 years but when I came to upgrade mine I was shocked by the huge increase in price. So I did a bit of searching and found Brian, a film and TV prop maker with over 30 years of experience in animatronics, and because he is based right here in the UK, you don’t have to pay hundreds of pounds import duty on top of the inflated prices from abroad.
Brian uses the best equipment available – namely commercial grade, high output servos with metal gears which treated properly will give you many years of service without any need for repairs. The servos are way more powerful than are needed for the puppet stand and can take pretty rough handling, but you can be assured that we have a 2 working day replacement service when needed. Many professionals have been impressed with the build quality. Not only of the animatronics but also the stand itself. You wouldn’t think it, but the pole incorporated in the stand is made from 4 components – wood, aluminium, Teflon and a plastic covering. This gives a very smooth operation.
Price – We have priced it to make ours more affordable.
Puppet – We include a choice of bird puppet at no extra cost so you can get started straight away.
Shipping and Import Duty – Avoid the hidden cost of ordering goods from abroad. £447 on top of £1900! Plus the cost of a puppet (£160+).
Batteries – The batteries for the puppet will last over an hour and many hours in the transmitter. We decided to use standard AA (or LR6) ones as rechargeable batteries can let you down when you need them most. You never know when they will just stop dead. Standard AA’s will just work the servos a little slower giving you a chance to change them when convenient. Having said that, if you want to use good quality rechargables you can do, the choice is yours! The transmitter also has a handy battery charge indicator light giving you peace of mind when performing. There is space in the Talk-Tech base for spares.
Movements – We wanted more than head left & right and mouth movement, so our standard Talk-Tech stand also has a head up and down action. This means the puppet can nod yes in agreement to questions and also move their head in a complete circle when used in conjunction with the left & right movement. The Deluxe version includes a head tilt. All in all, we are approaching the movements a fully automated Axtell puppet costing £9500 makes!
Programmable – Our puppet stands are not programmable, and this is reflected in the price. But please bear in mind the Axtell one is only programmable to do the left and right head turn and mouth. Ours has much more movement. Also bear in mind, during a pre-recorded programmed script there is no room for change should something unexpected happen.
Operation – Because of the extra movement we’ve had to use a standard remote-control transmitter and therefore it’s not suitable for use onstage to control the puppet. It is ideal for where the operator is hidden – either in the wings or at the back of the crowd when working outdoors. When I got my first animatronic puppet I also bought small wireless cameras which linked to a monitor. My plan was to be hidden away in a separate room. However, this isn’t a great idea. If a child grabs the puppet or there is another emergency, you cannot get there quick enough! Nevertheless, if working with an assistant, this can easily be done by you if you like. Most of my work is at events where I am at the back of the crowd watching – hidden in plain sight! Even though I am talking into a head mic I am very rarely spotted. And when I am it is usually by a parent who will approach me and tell me their child is at the front and could the puppet please say hello to them – they get a shock when the puppet knows their name! I’ve had such fun over the years bantering with children and adults and often the parents in the know look at you when the children make funny comments to see MY reaction! On the odd occasion an older child spots me I just put my finger to my lips and they keep the secret for the younger ones. Of course, with a partner hidden offstage you can do your own double act with the puppet.
There is no speaker or microphone included.
Here is a suitable one at a good price https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/QTX-QR10PA-Portable-Active-PA-Speaker/PYH
Ordering – You can order your own Magical Puppet with only a £500 deposit with the balance due when your order is ready to post. The price of a standard Talk-Tech Stand is £1500 and the Deluxe is £1800. This includes your choice of 6 bird puppets (See photo at the top). These are designed to be interchangeable and you can also use your own suitable (bottom entry) puppet. We can also supply a choice of the most amazing beautiful puppets which are full of character. (See photos of Dragon above) These range in price from £200 to £400. These can be fitted to a Talk-Tech Stand but are not meant to be interchangeable or removed.
Warranty - The servos come with a 3-month warranty and the transmitter has 12 months. We offer a 2 working day turnaround on servos should it be needed.