Product Review: Retractable Vampire Fangs
May 27, 2010 by Cory Brin
As fans of True Blood, and vampires in general, we sometimes feel the desire to join the ranks of the undead. We all get a little jealous when we watch Eric’s fangs descend in a moment of anger. We wish that we could protect our telepathic girlfriends simply by showing some fang.
Finding special effects fangs is not difficult. A plethora of online sites and Halloween stores make them available. But it is hard to find quality fangs, unless you dish out the big bucks. Most fangs look fake, or wear out quickly.
Additionally, most fangs are static. You don’t have that extra creepy effect of having them actually descend or retract.
I was made aware of a new set of special effects fangs that claim to be retractable. They are available at for the low low sale price of $12.95. Initially I was just going to write a post letting you all know that such a product exists. I figured we’d all be biting at the neck for legitimate retractableVampFangs.com fangs. But I thought, “Hey…you work in a haunted house. These are probably something you should own.” So I bought them, tested them, and now present my findings to you.
In theory these fangs are awesome. By being retractable, they allow you to shock others, just like the vampires from True Blood. You have the ability to chose when they are visible and when they are hidden. When they work, they work beautifully.
When they work.
The fangs are made out of a very flimsy plastic, which means they are bendable. When I opened the package, the right fang was lower than the left one. Despite my efforts, I could not get the fangs to even out. Imagine a pair of glasses that wobble on your face. That’s exactly what it’s like.
Next comes the issue of how the device actually works. The fangs themselves are on an axle that extends across the width of your mouth, kind of like if you ever had a spacer. This axle is actually the mechanism you use to control the fangs. With one flick of your tongue, the fangs appear. If you want the fangs to retract, push up on the axle with your tongue and the fangs will slide up and be hidden between your gum and your upper lip.
Although this design is neat, it still presents a host of issues. The first is that it is impossible to talk like a normal human being. Yes, I know, by wearing fangs I’m not trying to be a human, but still. It’s really hard to pretend to be Eric when you sound like your mouth is full. If you want to know what it’s like talking with these things, put the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and try to have an intelligent conversation. Or even just indulge me and try saying Bill’s classic line, “I’m here for Sookie.”
The next issue is that it is hard to wear these fangs for an extended period of time. In comparison to your gum line, the plastic is sharp. This past weekend I wore the fangs for about a half hour, in which I moved them up and down at a steady rate. I still have a cut on my upper gum. The apparatus is very abrasive. Additionally, you have to bite into a dental mold so that the fangs are custom fitted for your mouth. When you wear the fangs, you slide your back teeth into the mold so that the whole apparatus stays in place. After a while it kind of felt like the whole device was pulling my teeth toward the center of my mouth. Things started to get uncomfortable. And saliva-y.
Additionally, because the plastic was bent you could see the plastic strip that connected the axle to the actual fang. Therefore, when I let the fangs descend, I looked like a vampire wearing a retainer. But this was only on the one side. Also, because the plastic was bent, the fang on that same side had a hard time moving. Sometimes I’d only have one fang out and I promise I haven’t been to see the Magister.
All in all, I found a lot of problems with these Special FX fangs. They have the ability to look great and I’m assuming I wouldn’t have had as many complaints if mine were made properly. But I bought them with the idea of using them in a haunted house to torment guests. If all you want is to be able to walk around and spook people, then they still might work for you. But if you wanted to try to use these fangs and talk at the same time, I promise you, you’d have an easier time getting rid of a Maenad.
Has anyone else tried them and have different results? Make sure to leave comments to let us know!
Here is a video of how they look from VampFangs.com:
Photo Credit: HBO Inc., Screencap by James