The Character Shop

The Character Shop
Rick Lazzarini’s Character Shop (TCS) brings 25+ years quality experience to each project. We’ve created hundreds of extraordinary creatures for movies and commercials, earning a stellar reputation for excellent work at fair prices. TCS is a leader in the field of animatronics and puppetry. TCS is committed to give you every ounce of your money’s worth in every creation. Our technicians and artists bring together the skills of prosthetics, animatronics and precise, creative puppetry to produce a world of fantastic beings.

With an appreciation for designs in nature, Lazzarini and our team use synthetic materials & mechanical components to substitute for fur, hair, flesh, bones and muscle, or alien tissue. We custom make characters to satisfy client needs and keep them updated via a personalized website. We do everything from large scale creatures, puppets and art installations to delicate & realistic animatronic creations for film & commercial work.

TCS services include character & concept design, sculpting, fabrication & mechanizing - to bring our characters to life with the “BEST IN THE BUSINESS” puppeteering and performances on set. Rick Lazzarini, head of The Character Shop, has built and puppeteered creations from the miniature six inch replica of Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell for “Hook,” to life-sized elephants for “Operation Dumbo Drop”, all the way up to a beautiful 20 foot tall marionette for Mayflower Moving. Fun Fact: Rick was "Pizza the Hut" in Mel Brook's "Spaceballs"!

The menagerie of animatronic animals we’ve created at The Character Shop include an animatronic salmon, a wild boar, gigantic raven, slithery snakes from a “Snakes on a Plane”, a realistic puma, a saber-toothed cat, a trio of hyenas, 40 singing white chickens, Emperor Penguins, a sheep, turtles, apes, rats, a chipmunk, cows, water buffalo, a loon, dolphins, dogs, chimps, tortoises, a capuchin monkey, the most sophisticated groundhog you've ever seen, and many, many more! We’ve got a customizable Military Grade Bomb-Retrieval Robot and a Mars Rover, too!

TCS has created characters that are recognized the world over for clients such as AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, Budweiser, Burger King, Coca Cola, Ford, Foster Farms, HBO & "Game of Thrones", Mayflower Moving, Nintendo, Old Spice, Sony, Time Warner, and VISA. Our notable feature work includes the 2016 "Ghostbusters", “Five Year Engagement”, “Willard”, "Ghostbusters 2", "Hook", “Snakes on a Plane”, “Operation Dumbo Drop”, and “Mimic” - to name just a few.

We make Characters & Creatures for Commercials, Features, Activations, Live Events, Artist & Museum Installations, Museums & Restaurants. Whether you're a Producer, Art Director, Prop Master or Production Designer, you can have incredible animatronic creations for your Production.

Choose Amazing. Choose a Leader. Choose The Character Shop!

IMDB listing for Rick Lazzarini/The Character Shop:


4735 Industrial St., Ste. 4-B
Simi Valley, California 93063
Phone Numbers
(805) 306-9441 main
(805) 306-9444 fax

The Character Shop can be found in the following category: