Clockwork Critters™ FAQ

1) What are Clockwork Critters™?

They are animated Steampunk-themed animal sculptures.

2) No, really, what are they?

They are interactive artwork based on old children's toys which we have repurposed by disassembling and modifying.  Depending on the piece, they may chirp, squeal, roar, meow, bark, flap, and squawk. Several also walk.

3)  Are they meant for children?

Emphatically NO! Think sculpture, not toy. There may be sharp bits, pointy bits, or break-off-and-swallow-able bits. They need to be handled with care by adult-type people.

4)  What are they made of?

The base toys are mostly plastic, with assorted metal and electronic elements.

5) But they look like metal.

That’s not a question.

6) Sorry. Are the outsides metal?

No. They’re hand-painted to look like metal using a variety of faux-finishing techniques. Many of the accessories and decorative accents are indeed metal, or glass, or leather, or other materials. Most clothing is hand-sewn and most hats are handmade and decorated.

7) How long do they take to make?

It varies, based on the size & complexity of the underlying toy, and the level of accessory and ornamentation detail. A good average would be 4-6 hours each. When drying time for paint and glue is figured in, the simplest takes a minimum of five days start to finish, and some of the larger ones can take several weeks overall.

8) What does -this- switch do?

All Clockwork Critters™ come with a card explaining their specific switch and other functions..

9) What kind of batteries do they use?

Mostly AAA, with some AA and the larger Critters taking C batteries. They all come with an initial set, and the batteries are easily replaceable.

10) Where can I buy them?

We are no longer taking them to every event, so check the Show Schedule page to see where we'll have them. They can also be purchased directly from this web site.

 11 ) Hey! Can you make a….?

We can do some customization of the standard toys we use, if they are available. Note that any custom work will take a while.

12 ) I saw an older Critter on Facebook/Instagram that I like. Can you make another one just like it?

Because they’re hand-painted and hand-accessorized, we are unable to make exact duplicates. We can certainly make every effort to match most of the major design elements, but be aware we can’t always find the base animals.

13) Help! My toddler/dog/pygmy marmoset got hold of my Critter!

Ooo…sorry about that. Any bits that might have fallen/been ripped off can be glued back on – we recommend Gorilla or Loctite Superglue. Scratches can be touched up using regular artist acrylics. If something is REALLY badly mangled, contact us about repainting or repairing – we never charge for touchups or cosmetic repairs .

14) Hey! Didn’t I see you at <some event we’ve never attended>?

There are other artists who base their creative works on some of the same types of toys we use, and certainly MANY people who repurpose toys in general.

15) There was this mechanical owl in this movie I saw once….

Bubo the owl from “Clash of the Titans”.  While we have the technical and artistic know-how to construct a screen-accurate animatronic owl entirely from scratch, it would take several months and the price would be prohibitive. However, if you’re just looking for an owl Critter, we sometimes (very rarely) have them available.

16) That giant horse (and/or triceratops) is new….

Our original copper horse Anya suffered an accident on the way to an event a while back. Her place has been taken by Willow (who is rusty steel, but just as cute). Depending on the show, you might see Mortimer (copper/brass) the triceratops instead - he's amassed quite a fan base.

We do not offer either style for sale as a stock item.  People are welcome to photograph the large Critters – and they love having their pictures taken – but would (politely) ask that if you post them on social media that you tag Dark Rain Design. 


“Clockwork Critters” and the Clockwork Critters logo are trademarks of Dark Rain Design, LLC.