As purveyors of wow we enjoy the challenge of coming up with props that not only look great but provoke conversation and interaction, whether used as a focal point at events, product launches or placemaking sites. We design, commission and produce bespoke pieces as part of our services to our clients, and we’ve been lucky to create some really weird and wonderful pieces over the years!
Some of our whackiest props come with stories that still raise a wry grin. There was the mercenary client who decided to throw a Vietnam-war-themed party for his son’s 21st. We built a giant decommissioned aircraft fuselage as the feature DJ Booth! It was a great success and we stayed well in budget, not just because the commissioning parent, came to the first budget meeting armed with a large gun. The negotiations were not for the fainthearted. We had the aircraft in our warehouse for years, it was always quite the conversation piece for client meetings!
Then, there was the giant Rollerboot. Only in Ibiza could a prop like that raise the sort of interest that ensured. Not only did we create a giant Rollerboot which went into the “party island’s” cultural history, but also carousel horses and hanging crescent moons as performance props for the live shows. These props were the headline feature at Es Paradis for Hed Kandi and the Rollerboot has now taken up full time residency at Pikes - there’s no better home for it!
Another whacky prop was the giant Pass the Parcel which we designed and manufactured to be passed along Oxford Street as part of a Guiness World Record initiative to drive footfall to the retailers.
And, of course, the oversize Fruit Machine we designed and built for Birchbox, the make-up brand, that caused such a stir at Olympia.
Sometimes props are created in “homage” and for Sternberg Clark’s UAE client we developed and created a life-size equine puppet, working with staff from the War Horse stable (no pun intended).
Looking back through the archives, we are particularly proud of the Point of Service (POS) props that we’ve designed for some of our alcohol brand clients. Working with talented prop makers like Thom at #Studio43 has enabled us to deliver the all-important “WOW” factor in bars where if you don’t see a speed boat carrying a large bottle of Grey Goose coming towards you, perhaps you should look up and see the jeroboam bottle of vintage tequila or top notch champagne making its way to your table on giant golden wings.
One of our favourite prop-makers is Gareth Knowles – and working with him on a giant easter bunny, an enormous Tetley teapot, a unicorn bottle holder, a psychedelic volcano, jewel encrusted life sized peacocks … the list goes on and on … it has always been great fun.
From the selection of materials, design through construction, to operational readiness – props have always been high on our agenda, when it comes to providing a bespoke piece for an event, especially in these days of selfies, and social media spread. It’s what gives our events a real wow factor, a uniqueness like never before!
From tigers to 20 foot gold Buddhas – we’ve seen it all. We count ourselves lucky to be based in London from where we can reach out to prop-makers on our doorstep and across the country. With such a rich heritage because of the amazing creativity in British theatre, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the realisation of our own dreams, and delivery on what our clients hope to see.
Anyone can hire in a flock of plastic flamingos, or a handful of inflatable guitars … but to come up with an event prop that takes a brand and creativity to a whole new level, is something quite different. From using scale to form unexpected perspectives that evoke surprise and delight to creating artistic beauty in props that live on as art installations providing unforgettable Instagramable backdrops.Whether the disco-kaleidoscope that we imagined and created for the Adidas Future House falls under the category of venue/set dressing or an amazing prop, or maybe both … we like to think that we come Top of the Props every time.