Looming Phantom – The Review

Here comes the giant animated Looming Phantom , I found this guy on the Costco website in 2018. The Looming Phantom lives up to his name, standing at around 193cm or 6ft 4in he towered over my 5ft 10 in. The height adds to the fear factor, making you feel small.

I found the assembly instructions to not be as intuitive as other props I’ve used in the past, but I was able to follow along easily enough.
The construction uses the same frame design techniques as the Cauldron Creeper, metal poles with the sprung loaded locking pins. I did, however, feel the quality of the frame to be a lesser standard compared to the cauldron creep.
One of my poles had an undersized hole which meant the locking pin didn’t work, but being an engineer by trade I was able to get round it easily enough (bit of light drilling cleared it right up).

The design of the head is really good. By using the hood and a fine black mesh over the skull, the face was completely invisible when not activated. Stood lifeless once complete, it reminded me of the ghost of Christmas future from the muppet’s Christmas carol. A tall dark robed figure with a face hidden in the pitch black shadow of the hood.

When assembling the head, it was frustrating trying to get the mesh over properly as it’s designed to be pulled tight, which does give the great effect but is a real pain to put on.
The robe is made from the same cotton fabric as the Cauldron Creeper and the quality was decent (although clothing quality isn’t a specialty of mine). Personally it could have been longer, I struggled to get it to cover the base frame properly. In the end I added some cloth netting to help hide it. The base cloth that came with the cauldron creeper allowed for better coverage compared to the looming phantom.

The two arms are connected to the frame in the same manor as the Cauldron Creeper, using the drop in pins into hollow shafts. This had the same problem as the Cauldron Creeper when loan building, you end up working blind to align them.

Don’t make the same mistake as me! The arm with the pointing hand is NOT meant to be pointed straight out in front, but down to the lower right hand side (when facing him). I tried to force it more up and central, as if he were pointing at the person in front of him. I ended up snapping the two hollow shafts for the arm pins off the main frame.

I found they were only attached by a pair of spot welds, so not very strong at all. I ended up having to make a botch job fitting using a block of wood, glue and lots of cable ties. Don’t laugh! It worked and was surprisingly secure. Amazing what you can do with some cable ties!

So what does this thing actually do? Well I’ve said it is animated, but its animation is rather simplistic. It simply rotates at the waist about 90 degrees (maybe a bit less) back and forth, and that’s it for animated motion.

As I said before the face lights up blue to reveal the skull hiding in the darkness of the hood, which I have to admit was pretty creepy when I first triggered it.

The only other lighting effect is the lantern he holds in his right hand, this glows with a firey orange with the flickering motion you’d come to expect with fire lighting effects. I will say that the lantern doesn’t cast much light so I wouldn’t rely on it to light him up properly. I had mine setup with some led garden flickering torches which gave the Looming Phantom just enough light to see him but still remain shaded.

The best part of the Looming phantom in my opinion is certainly the sound box. The booming voice comes across crystal clear and has none of that cheap tinny effect to it. The ringing bell I’m the background adds to the effects and can send shivers down the most jaded of spines.

Unlike the Cauldron Creeper the Looming phantom doesn’t come with a step here pad for activation, but it does have the motion sensor and “constant on” setting. I set mine up on motion sensor and this is where I ran into a problem, the motion sensor is mounted into the robe, which means it wasn’t held firmly in place. The Cauldron Creeper had its sensor in the cauldron and so was held in place really well. I kept finding that after activation the rotating movement would change where the sensor was sitting when it ended. This meant my activation window was all over the place, making it very difficult to get a consistent activation. With some testing on my girlfriend (no surprises this time, she knew he was there) we found that it struggled to see her for the triggering. I will admit she was at close proximity but a good 80% of the time it failed to see her either entirely or until she had completely walked past him. In a later post I will talk about the haunted house I had set up in my outbuilding for 2018, in that you will see how I had him setup to catch people off guard. Unfortunately he ended his short life in the fire the same as the Cauldron Creeper, but more on that in a future post. 

Conclusion

Overall I would say the Looming Phantom was a good piece and definitely had the fright factor and would be a good addition to any haunted house, assuming he fits the theme.

Will I be replacing him like the Cauldron Creeper? You know what, I’m not sure. Currently I have no plans, but I don’t think he would fit with the designs for my next haunted house. 

My ratings:

Build quality

3 *. I think more time could have been spent on designing and longer robe to help hide the frame work better.

Appearance

4 *. Great appearance, but not overly scarey when stationary.

Animation

2 *. Pretty basic only one movement.

Sound

5 *. Superb sound box.

Fright factor

3 *. More of a creepy atmosphere creating than fear.

2 thoughts on “Looming Phantom – The Review”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.