Robot Costume
October 26, 2004 7:35 AM   Subscribe

My little boy wants to be a robot for Halloween, and I'd like to include a 60's style bank of randomly blinking lights on his robot chest. Cardboard and spraypaint I know and can work with; electronics, not so much. Is there a fairly easy and cheap way to do such a thing?

Also, does anyone know of a cheap toy that includes some kind of voice modulator? Something small enough that I could put the requisite parts inside his helmet for that extra bit of robot flavor.
posted by crumbly to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can buy blinking LEDs, switches, and battery holders at Radio Shack, and just tape them together. That's how I made a fake car alarm.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2004

I've seen battery-powered blinking Christmas lights that have been used for this effect before, but it may too early in the season for them. Just take the lights and stick them through holes in the costume and you're good to go!

You can find'em online, tho:

As for the voice modulator, I've seen hand held modulator/rap/music gadgets at Toys R Us before. They're about ten bucks and the size of a hockey puck.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:50 AM on October 26, 2004

You can buy short strings of battery operated christmas lights, or just take a few individual lights and hook them up to batteries. Slashdot, as always, has advice. Have all the battery junk in the inside, poke holes through the cardboard for the lights to go through. This guy uses some LEDs and plexiglass for a cool robot effect. The secret to a good kid robot costume is lots and lots of tin foil and duct tape. I'm sure you could kludge something together Mr. Microphone style with a wireless fm transmitter, tiny radio and some messed up old microphone. Or, alternately, you could buy a robot voice kit from a hobby shop which seems fairly straightforward, even if you're not super electronically inclined. Don't forget dryer vent arms!
posted by jessamyn at 8:15 AM on October 26, 2004

Response by poster: Ah, battery powered Christmas lights. Great idea!

The power of Google is strong in you jessamyn. I have a feeling that, thanks to your links, I'll be dremeling plexiglass into the wee hours.

Thanks all.
posted by crumbly at 10:46 AM on October 26, 2004

Hasbro just came out with a Darth Vader voice box... you can find it at Toys r Us
posted by quibx at 12:30 PM on October 26, 2004

Also, home depot or almost everyone sells $2.00 led flashers to stick on kids for Halloween to increase visibility. Take five of those, put them behind cardboard with differently colored cellophane and you're done.

I want the Darth Vader voice box.
posted by mecran01 at 1:58 PM on October 26, 2004

I guess your kid is too young to find cds for eyes and angry eyebrows funny, but a robotfrank is cheap to make.
posted by holloway at 6:56 PM on October 26, 2004

My favorite halloween costumes when I was young were the ones I helped make ... in fact, I remember them clearly. Just make sure this is more his effort than yours and he'll love it however it turns out.

(You can of course gather the supplies and put together the difficult bits, just make sure he has the chance to carry out his vision.)
posted by Sfving at 7:47 PM on October 26, 2004

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