File puptcrit/puptcrit.0803, message 314


To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2008 19:34:55 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Real Bones


Many years ago I worked for a company which created a walk-through attraction in North Hollywood for the building under the Tokyo Radio Tower in Japan. There were various figures in different scenes. One was a shoot-out in an Old West Saloon, with one cowboy swinging from a chandelier while a shooter popped up from behind a big wood tub of pickles. Another had a Cobra hanging from an overhead tree limb. One scene had a Gypsy fortune teller's face projcted inside a glass globe, speaking in Japanese. Another had a skeleton in a scary scene. 

The purchasing department had planned to get a replica skeleton from an educational/scientific supply company until they found it cost more than the real thing.

So a skeleton from India was sent to California where tiny electric lights were placed in the eye sockets and the jaw was animated, and from California it went to Japan to a tourist attraction. It always struck me as ironic that as a living thing the person had probably not travelled much, but as a skeleton had travelled so very far.

I remember a shop worker slicing off the top of the skull on a bandsaw to provide access for the eye lights and any other mechanics. Then the cap was glued or screwed back on. 

I often wonder what became of those audio-animatronic figures after the attraction closed at the Radio Tower.

And I still have not visited Japan.

ALAN COOK


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