You’ve seen him everywhere: Skelly. He’s that viral, 12-foot animatronic skeleton from Home Depot that celebs like Kourtney Kardashian can’t seem to get enough of. Not only does he have spooky LED eyes with creepy sound effects, but his gargantuan size is guaranteed to send (more than a few) trick or treaters running for the hills. That said, this guy quite literally sells like hot-cakes—and the skeleton is already out of stock this season. The upside, however, is that last year’s release of Skelly incited an entire army of animatronic alternatives—with some starting at $30 (a steal compared to the OG’s $299 price tag). So, in an effort to remedy the Skelly shortage, we’ve rounded up five of the best animatronic skeletons that are still in stock for 2023.
The 5 Best Animatronic Skeletons (That are Still in Stock for 2023)
Because Skelly’s Already Sold Out
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The Best Animatronic Skeletons of 2023
- 8-foot height
- motion-activated LED eyes and jaw movements
- creepy sounds
- adjustable volume
- posable limbs
- sturdy metal base and poles
- box says outdoor with covered porch use only
After hours of scouring the best possible alternative to Skelly, this alternative hits the mark. First and foremost, he’s the largest alt on the market, standing 8 feet tall and supported by a sturdy metal base and poles (so he won’t tip over in the wind). Beyond that, however, he boasts all of the same effects as the original: Motion-activated LED eyes, jaw movements when he speaks and high-quality plastic bones that offer a life-like effect. To that end, the limbs are also posable, so you can position him in any-which-way without worrying about them snapping.
One reviewer even says this one’s quality rivals its 12-foot counterpart: “I own this skeleton and [the viral] 12-foot skeleton. This one is by far the better skeleton in quality and function…It is built much better, stands sturdier, and has continued working perfectly through rain, snow, and hail. Can’t say the same about the other one. He sets up easily—I’m a 5’3” woman and I put him up myself in 20 minutes. The volume is adjustable, which is nice, his phrases are family-friendly, and he can be [set on static] or sensor-triggered.”
Best for $30
- 5-feet tall
- red LED eyes
- posable joints
- designed for outdoor use
- lightweight and easy to move
- no sound effects or motions
Built by the same company as Skelly, Home Accents Holiday created another life-size animatronic skeleton (at a fraction of the price). While its five-foot height gives it the same, can’t-miss effect, it also includes red LED eyes that can be seen all the way down the street. Not only are the limbs lightweight and easy to move as well, but the weatherproof, battery-operated design means that you can place it anywhere in the yard without worrying about cords or power failures.
And if its 4.7 out of 5-star rating with over 1,600 reviews tells us anything, it’s that the quality is just as good: “This was an excellent value for the price. Durable enough to survive highway speeds in a motorcycle sidecar, where it's going to live.” Plus, another reviewer writes, “The joints including wrists and ankles bend, so you are able to position in more life-like poses. We did have a storm with 30 MPH winds and they blew out of my yard, but no damage. I used zip ties to their ribs to tie them to our chaise lounge. The neighborhood kids love to see the new sets we design with our skeletons. It's like elf on a shelf. We try to do something new each week. The red eyes are a nice touch…durable and will be used year after year.”
- 5.6-feet tall
- head, jaw, arms and torso lift and rotate
- four different phrases with music in the background
- green glowing eyes
- included stand prevents it from tipping over
- high-quality materials
- difficult to assemble
- can only be used indoors
- not battery operated
Disclaimer: You’ll need to watch a video of how this guy moves to truly grasp how cool he is. The skeleton’s head, jaw, arms and torso are fully animated, where they lift and rotate in conjunction with sound effects like, “Finally, you’re here…I’ve been waiting so long!” Add to that, the fact that the eyes glow an eerie green when plugged in and the joints are crafted with high-quality metal and plastic, so it won’t tip over when it’s doing its thing. The only downside? Electronic-backed motions mean you can only display him inside (though, this could be a plus for anyone hosting a Halloween bash).
One reviewer writes, “Easy to put together and he actually says four different phrases all with music in the background. Play around with the volume to get his voice the clearest. Motion sensor works well too. Glad I snatched him up early.” However, it’s also worth noting another reviewer’s warning: “The only issue I had when putting it together was the legs and metal rods were mislabeled. Took me an additional half hour to realize it was mislabeled and I had the legs on the wrong rods. After figuring it out, it was amazing!”
- mini 3-foot height
- plays funky music in the background
- sound sensors activate mouth, arms and head movements
- LED eyes
- affordable and long-lasting
- indoor only
Yet another option from Home Accents Holiday, this Skelly alternative amps things up with a mini-version that dances to funky music. When the sound sensor is activated, the skeleton's mouth, arms and head move with the rhythm of the background music. Plus, it has LED eyes that light up like the OG and the battery pack lets you place it anywhere without worrying about outlets or cords. Not to mention that the three-foot height is adorable, and you can snag a few to place around the house, thanks to its $40 price tag.
“Plays a catchy tune and moves its arms. The eyes glow and its jaw moves as well. Has some weight to it, can honestly say it's totally worth the price,” says one reviewer. Oh, and did we mention that his tiny size means you can dress him up? “He is fun, cute, and adorable! He sings and moves his arms. His eyes glow too. I dressed him up in Jammies to give him some extra cuteness,” another person adds.
- 6-feet tall
- pumpkin head is hyper-realistic
- LCD eyes move and blink
- posable limbs (including finger joints)
- high-quality materials
- can be used indoors our outdoors
- batteries not included
- no timer for the lights
Last but not least, the brand offers a unique take on the typical skeleton. Naturally, what sets this one apart is the pumpkin head, which has nightmarish horse teeth and LCD eyes that move and blink. The six-foot size is also part of its draw, where the postable bones make it easy to position anywhere in your yard. The real kicker, however, is that it has super realistic detailing from head to toe, so even when it’s not on, it still doubles as an ultra-creepy prop.
“This is a great twist on the typical skeleton you normally see at Halloween, since it has a scary pumpkin face with battery operated LED eyes that move, blink and stare at you. [It] has [movable] joints, so you can pose him in any way you need to. His fingers and toe joints are also [movable] and his skeleton has a muddy green decay to the bones for even more creepy look. His head is a pumpkin face straight out of a nightmare movie with big horse sized teeth and twisted hair by means of the pumpkin stem—and when his eyes are not lit by the LEDs, his blank dark soulless eyes look even more scary,” writes one reviewer. That said, they also note, “You need to insert 3 ‘C’ batteries into the back of his head and manually turn on the LED eyes… it would have been nice for them to turn on/off automatically or on a timer.”