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About Dr. Zombie
With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Zombie has seen it all when it comes to props and animatronics. Whether you need help finding a new adapter or helpful tips if your prop stops swinging, our in-house monster expert is here to help with all of your troubleshooting needs.
  • General Animatronics FAQs
  • Rising Animatronics
  • Pop-Up Animatronics
  • Lunging and Jumping Animatronics
  • Swinging Animatronics
  • Twisting and Turning Animatronics
  • Roaming Animatronics

Q: My animatronic isn’t working at all. What should I do?

  • A large number of problems are power related. Check to see if the AC adapter is plugged into the animatronic as well as a working AC outlet.
  • Check to make sure the AC adapter is working. You may need to use another adapter of the same voltage to test.
  • If your animatronic runs on batteries, check to see if the batteries are installed properly. Sometimes, all you need is a fresh set of batteries to bring your animatronic back to life!
  • Make sure that the battery terminals do not have any corrosion. If you see any residue around the battery terminals, your animatronic may not be receiving a good electrical connection. Clean the terminals gently with sandpaper or a small wire brush.

Q: The motion sensor on my animatronic isn’t working. How can I fix it?

  • Locate the motion sensor on your animatronic and make sure that a part of the costume is not covering the sensor. Wiggle the sensor out of hiding, so it can sense motion again.
  • Are the wires of the motion sensor connected to the control box? Make sure every wire is securely connected to the control box. If they are loose, the motion sensor may not function properly.
  • Set the control box switch to the proper position. Sometimes, if the animatronic is set to step pad, this setting will override the motion sensor.

Q: My animatronic’s eyes are not lighting up, and its head and mouth are not moving. What’s wrong with it?

  • For head movement, you want to make sure that the head is sitting properly on the neck and that there is no part of the costume preventing it from being completely secured. Try to remove the head and then reinstall it.
  • Check the connection between the control box and the inside of the body. You should ensure that every wire is securely connected to the control box to guarantee proper display. If you find broken wires, they can easily be spliced together.

Q: Why isn’t my step pad/try me button working?

  • It’s important that the step pad or try me button is plugged into the correct jack. Some animatronics have more than one jack for external triggers. If your step pad or try me button is plugged into the wrong jack, this could be causing the malfunction.
  • Check the control box to make sure that the switch is set to the correct position. Check your instructions to see which position your switch should be set to in order to use a step pad or try me button.
  • Read through your instructions and make sure that your animatronic is step pad/try me button compatible.

Q: My animatronic is rising, but the arms are not opening and the head is not lifting. What should I do?

A: There is a spring on the back of the frame where the head attaches. If this spring isn’t strong enough, you can shorten the spring by removing the end from the frame and reinstalling using about ½" of the spring coils.

Q: Why is my animatronic clicking but not rising?

A: Locate the head piece on the frame. It has an extension on the back that sits on top of the metal T-shaped part of the frame. This is what makes the head lower and the arms fold. If the extension piece is sitting under the T-shaped part of the frame, it will stop the prop from rising. Move the head extension piece so it sits above the T-shaped piece of the frame, and your animatronic should begin to rise.

Locate the strings around the pulley. These strings may have fallen off, causing your animatronic to stop rising. If this is the case, you’ll need to follow our instructions on how to replace the strings.

Q: Why is my animatronic not popping?

A: Check the connection between the popping mechanism and the control box.

Q: The audio isn’t working on my animatronic. Am I missing something?

A: If your animatronic has a volume control feature, make sure that the volume is not turned all the way down.

A: Ensure that nothing is plugged into the speaker jack by mistake.

Q: My animatronic is not moving. What should I do?

A: Make sure that the control box and the motion box are connected by a wire or a metal rod.

A: Search the animatronic (at the control box end, head end, or arm end) to make sure that the costume is not caught in the motion mechanism.

A: Some motion boxes use a rubber drive belt that connects the motor to the gears. Sometimes, this is hidden under a small plastic cover. Locate this piece (if your motion box has it) and make sure that the belt is installed properly and is not broken or worn.

Q: Why isn’t my prop lunging forward?

A: There are two springs on either side of the mechanism that create the lunging/jumping motion. Locate these springs and make sure that they are attached properly to the prop.

Q: My prop is lunging/jumping, but it’s not returning to its resting position. It just keeps clicking. How can I fix it?

A: Check the costume of the animatronic and make sure that nothing is stuck inside the mechanism, preventing it from returning to rest.

A: Make sure there are no objects obstructing the prop from returning to rest.

A: Ensure that there is no part of the costume stuck in the mechanism preventing it from popping or lowering to rest.

Q: My animatronic isn’t swinging. How can I make it swing?

A: Check the connection between the swinging mechanism and the control box.

A: Check the belt drive in the swinging mechanism. You can see this by removing the piece of black tape on the bottom of the mechanism.

Q: My animatronic is swinging, but not effectively enough. Is there a way to make the swinging more intense?

A: The amount of swing depends on how tightly you can mount the swinging mechanism. If it is hanging loose from a tree branch using the Velcro strap, it won’t swing as strongly. You can use zip ties, duct tape, or something more “heavy-duty” to create a more intense swing. .

Q: Why isn’t my twisting/turning animatronic moving?

A: Locate the wire between the control box and the motion box and make sure that it is connected correctly.

A: Check the actuator rods between the motion box and the moving arm, head, etc. and make sure they are not loose at either end.

A: Make sure the costume is not caught in any of mechanism.

A: Ensure that the belt attached to the motor and the gears is in the correct placement.

Q: My animatronic isn’t roaming properly. What can I do to fix it?

A:Sometimes, roaming animatronics can stop roaming if the drive rollers underneath get caught up with dust, hair, or dirt. Remove the blockage from around the rollers, and your animatronic should roam properly.