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Using Toy Guns and Weapons for your portable photo booth props.
This will create some controversy (sorry NRA) but as a general rule I do not include any sort of weapons (toy guns, knives and so forth) amongst my props.
The following story didn't happen to me directly but for one company I was working for and I can assure you it was a true story. There were a couple of dollar store toy guns in amongst the props at a school formal. Well, they were well used but a few days later we get a call from the school board.
It appears that one of the parents was very upset that these toy guns were in the props. They went so far as to try to call the police and tried to get us arrested. Well, the police said since they were toys they really couldn't do anything but suggested they call the school board. So of course the school board was called, as was the principal of the school and a few others as well.
In the end, nothing really happened. We continued doing photobooths for this particular school board but they did ask us to remove any and all weapons which we did.
We quietly removed all toy weapons from all the systems and I understand to this day they still have a box of “confiscated toy weapons” in the back corner, saved just in case anyone does want them in the props.
Was this an over-reaction? Maybe, but I will tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to possibly upsetting people. With all the violence that goes on in the world, maybe it would be better to leave the weapons out of the prop box.
On the flip-side, my policy is that if a client insists on using guns and weapons I will allow them but I generally will make a note on the contract that they had asked for them to be included, and where possible I will make them initial it.
On a similar note I also tend to be careful when it comes to the signs used. I love the party signs at Party City (and especially the $2.99 price) but I generally remove the “Hoe” and “Tool Box” signs. I have never gotten in trouble for using them on the couple of occasions I did, but why take chances.
Buy Props Off Season
Right after July 4th (or your nation's holiday) is the best time to buy patriotic props.
Right after October 31st is the best time to buy Halloween props. Right after Christmas is the best time to buy Christmas props.
This past Halloween (Nov 3 I think) I bought a ton of props both at Walmart and Target. At Walmart I got 90 percent off, at Target it was 75 percent, but at both stores I scored some great deals.
If you are looking for some cool props that will last you longer than what Party City can offer, then buy from RBA Photobooths. We do have a selection to choose from and since the beginning our focus have always been for you "the photo booth industry".