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The BEST in Animatronic Animals, Puppets, Robots, Creatures and Characters!

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Recent Updates:

TCS creates amazing Exoskeletal Legs for Netflix' "Yes Day."

TCS scores TOUCHDOWNS for Super Bowl 2020 Reese's Take 5 Ad for McGarry/Bowen and Dummy

TCS makes turtle tortoise turtles tortoises! Are we not turtle-y enough for you?

TCS Turtle

TCS creates Star Wars Porgs…for charity org Magic Wheelchair!

TCS pranks passersby with an Animatronic Gnomeo for a Paramount Promotion!

The Character Shop creates Animatronic Donkeys for a popular Chicago Restaurant Chain! 

The Character Shop created an adolescent Dragon trio from "Game of Thrones" for SD Comic-Con '17

TCS keeps things moving with our MRI Medical Robot...

Things are going swimmingly for TCS and our Travel Oregon Salmon...

TCS makes the Holidays Happy for Best Buy! Check out the cool Puppets we created!...

AGAIN with the Green Sliming!!? TCS makes a creature for Geico that kind of...grows on you!...

WHO YOU GONNA CALL? The Character Shop! We created a Slimer (or two!) for the new "Ghostbusters"...

Slimer's Head

TCS creates an incredible, 10 foot tall, friendly Interactive Robot for SXSW...

10 foot tall                   robot

TCS crafted a strangely beautiful animatronic head for Steven Spielberg and CBS...

TCS designs and installs an insanely awesome Rube Goldberg Machine for MTV's Fantasy Factory!


TCS creates an incredible Kinetic Display at the Washington Nationals Park in D.C.! 

TCS kicks some BOT!  As in authentic bomb retrieval robot! Recently used on NBC's "State of Afairs"!


Diddly Dad-gum Doggone it! TCS done it again! They created a pair of realistic dog tails for anXfinity spot!



Did someone call for a Robotic Overlord? How about a Robot Butler, instead?

Something fishy is going on in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. And TCS is to blame!

The Foster Imposters have been making you laugh, buy chicken for 20 years, now!

Add one cup of 'Shrooms to the Stuffing Recipe for a Trippy Thanksgiving!

One Cougar iss Sexay. TWO Cougars iss verry, VERRAY Sexay!!


Your friend is fo' realz! He ain't no Dummy!

Does a Full Moon drive a person crazy? Maybe!

Mind your Momigus if you know what's good for you!

A Blast from the Past! Rick Lazzarini and his work on "Spaceballs"

Yes, we also do some Rentals. Check out what we have to Rent!

The traffic getting to work? Ecch... but once in the building, not bad!

How many Surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Yep, you guessed it:

"Dream..." TCS supplies a Sleepy Speaking Sheep for Corona Light:

TCS teams up with Mark Rappaport to bring a Possum to life for Geico!:

TCS creates a crazy, cheesy animatronic goat for Capital One!:

TCS creates an AWESOME thrashing Animatronic Alligator:

TCS' "stuffed" poodle "Buttons" makes an appearance in a Capital One Ad!

Hey, do you guys remember that time there was this viral video that was totally NSFW and had a Newlywed couple and the hungry bride eating candy on their honeymoon? We just recently worked with those guys (Cousins!) on *another* viral spot. It was so emotional!

So much boviolence on TV. Won't someone think of the calves?!<

You've heard of Cow Tipping. Can Rob Dyrdek do a Bull Flipping?

Recent work for Corona Light, Verizon, Discovery Carda "Visigoths" spot for Capital One, and Animal Planet. Some work we can't show yet. But we'll put it up when it's released!

Meet the latest addition to the TCS Menagerie: a (fake!) Stuffed Poodle!


Must we always hurt the one we love? If it means tacos tonight, then yes.

He's Sassy. He's Orange. He's the official Spokespuppet for the 2012 Ford Focus!

(and he's gone MISSING!)

"Napoleon Dynamite" Director Jared Hess chooses TCS and our Puma for Toyota spot!

Rick Lazzarini and The Character Shop create a kick-ass, giant, animatronic Raven for a new Old Spice ad featuring Ray Lewis!

Have a look at what it takes to create a gigantic, ridable Raven!



TCS triumphs with another breathtaking, huge project...

TCS creates a beautiful 20 foot tall marionette for Mayflower Moving

See more of our incredible large scale and overscale work!:

TCS Clucks up...we admit it...we made some CRAZY CHICKENS FOR DENNY'S!

We've made a special page dedicated to the different ways of making Hand Puppets!

Check out a silly Renuzit Ad featuring a little TCS magic!

What? Chickens again? Well, they can be quite delicious...

Feel free to browse through our movies files directory!

17 feet of smoke-breathing, eyelash-batting, goo-goo eyed goodness...

TCS creates Giant Dragon for Broadway Smash Hit "Shrek The Musical"!

TCS also creates a Menagerie of Puppets for "Shrek The Musical"

TCS' Gus the Groundhog gets an upgrade, celebrates his 40th PA Lottery spot!

A recent Art Commission: Big Baby:

Got a big set of shoes to fill? Call TCS!

Is there an Herbal Supplement to cure bad planning? Doubt it!

TCS helps create another Giant work of Art:

Rick Lazzarini and TCS create the first Animatronics Study Program of its kind! See the Animatronics Institute website at: http://www.animatronicsinstitute.com for the latest info.

Animated, puppeteered, walking, hopping, "Annoying Fees" for a Time Warner Cable ad...

Gus the Groundhog gets a 2.0 makeover, shoots his 28th Commercial spot, and helps the PA Lottery break records by helping contribute to over $1 BILLION in increased lottery ticket sales over the past 3 years! (updates coming soon!)

Dancing Chimps for an Arby's spot ( update coming soon!)

A unique "Steampunk" action prop for Barry Sonnenfelds' new Warner Bros. TV Series "Pushing Up Daisies"...

TCS creates a set of Grim Reaper hands for a hilarious Time Warner Cable spot...

Have you seen the Arby's ad with the cat stuck in the wallpaper? Yep, we did it! Click the link to see just how much is involved in creating such a seemingly simple effect. Oh, the details, the details!<

A realistic catfish for a Visa Print Ad!

A Water Buffalo battering ram for Bud Lite...

A devious rattesnake gag for the Jimmy Kimmel show. Rick plays the snake's "handler":

Played as a joke during the show, it's taken off on the Intertoobz and become a bona-fide urban legend!: http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/kimmelsnake.asp

A cute chipmunk for a ComCast spot:

Realistic animatronic slithering reptiles SNAKES ON A PLANE! (more updates coming soon!)

We created the incredibly popular "Foster Imposters" 13 years ago. After a 2 year hiatus, The Foster Farms Chickens are BACK!

And a strange little marionette named "Fash" for Old Navy:

... Goofy animatronic chicken puppets for Perdue Chicken...A Pinocchio suit and animatronic head for DiGiorno Pizza......a wisecracking Ventriloquist Dummy for Sprint...A Chimp hand and Tiger tail for an Aussie Bank ad...More Gus the Groundhog Pennsylvania Lottery spots (we just shot the 19th one!)...Did you know that TCS did the character design for the pesky flies "Buzz" and "Scuzz" for the movie "Racing Stripes"?...A rare look at a Robot Dog that never made it to air...A retrospective page, looking at the work Rick did on Jim Cameron's "ALIENS"...We've also updated our Feature Films and Commercials pages!


Here is some of our other recent work; to see more details, click on a pic or visit the archives at the "What's New!" page.

ben1.jpg orbitz.jpg barondone25.jpg mohawktrio50.jpg 

      imacwndo33.jpg stantoad40.jpg platodone.jpg budtrtndx.jpg

So, what have you got for us?

The Character Shop is an award-winning special effects company that excels in animatronic animals, puppets, robotics, and makeup effects,. We are well-known for our innovative, believable, dependable, and high quality work. We have worked on many feature films, including 5 Year Engagement, Pirates of the Caribbean IV, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Snakes on a Plane, Aliens vs Predator, Willard, Sweet Home Alabama, Dr. Dolittle 2, Dude, Where's my Car?, Mimic, Escape from L.A., Operation Dumbo Drop, Outbreak, Hook, and The Santa Clause. We've been profiled on national T.V. many times, making appearances on Letterman, Movie Magic, Entertainment Tonight, American Journal, Inside Edition, E!, and others.

25botfrgwds.JPG 50budanteatwds.jpg We do quite a bit of commercial work, too! We have created many characters for major clients' campaigns, including Ford, Honda, Texaco, Hostess, Sprint, DiGiorno, Foster Farms, Duracell, Miller Beer, AT&T, Coca-Cola, TV Guide, Heineken, and Budweiser.

You've probably seen our work many times, and may have been curious as to who created some of those characters and creatures. Maybe you're simply interested in how those darn special effects work.

Hopefully, you're a producer who has a decent budget for your upcoming project, yet still wants the highest value possible while looking for that secret weapon: a facility that gives the same or better quality as the high-priced shops, but with faster delivery, better service, and a dramatic cost difference.

Well, you've come to the right place. Enjoy!

The Character Shop    Simi Valley, CA 93065   
(805) 306-9441     (805) 306-9444 FAX   email:lazzwaldo (at) mac.com

Point's 5                                                           percent Award  NBNSOFT                                                           Content Award

A note about rentals and "off the shelf" items:

We get many calls per day asking if we have a certain animal or creature "already existing". TCS is primarily geared toward custom character design, development, and construction. Most of the characters we create are one-of-a-kind designs and their imagery is proprietary to the Clients who commissioned them; some are corporate mascots whose re-use would dilute their impact. Also, the functions in our pre-existing puppets are specific to the spot they were built for; the sheep that sits on a chair isn't likely to work for the shaved sheep that goes running into the pasture! If we've got a picture on this site or in one of our ads, it's representing the work we've done in the past, and the range we're capable of; it doesn't necessarily mean we've got that item "in stock", and ready to go. However, some of the animals we create are more generic, so hopefully there's a chance that we can help out your project, whether it's a custom build or otherwise!


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