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Topic: Custom made hard figures...
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 12:41PM)
‎...finally ordered two custom figures from two of the best ventriloquist figure makers in the world and both are named TIM. Timothy Cowles and Timothy Selberg. :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 12:57PM)
As a newbie vent...I wanted to get a hold of all the hard figures I can possibly acquire. :) So far I have owned a couple of Selbergs, a couple of Hartz ,a couple of McRays, a couple of Alfaros, a few Payes, a few Poyners, Leder, Detweiler, Lovik, Jackson, Schrum and a Mack. It was a pleasant experience using all those figures. :)

Now... after four years, I have decided to keep just a few which will include the new custom figures from Tim Cowles and Tim Selberg. :) The other two would be the old man from Dan Payes and the kid from Kem Poyner... and my Axtells :). and hopefully a Hartz :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 12, 2011 12:59PM)
I have had a number of different figures pass through my hands over the years, and while it is fun to check out/use different figures, it is good to focus on just a few.
(and hopefully, this thread won't get twisted the way you're last one did) :bg:
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 01:04PM)
I agree!!! :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 01:06PM)
Will we ever be cured from the buymorefigures syndrome???
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 01:12PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 12:59, blueshawk1 wrote:
I have had a number of different figures pass through my hands over the years, and while it is fun to check out/use different figures, it is good to focus on just a few.
:bg:
[/quote]

I agree :)

But what's an ideal number?

Jeff Dunham has at least 7... Edgar Bergen had at least 3... Paul Winchell had at least 4... Jimmy Nelson has at least 3 and Terry Fator has how many?
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Sep 12, 2011 01:35PM)
Congratulations, Wanlu. I just hope you're not as old as Dom Dominator when the Selberg arrives!

Bob
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 12, 2011 01:43PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 13:06, Wanlu wrote:
Will we ever be cured from the buymorefigures syndrome???
[/quote]
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, the only time I'm truly safe is when I don't have money to buy a figure.
As for the syndrome - in the guitar forums, we refer to it as "G.A.S." - Guitar (or Gear) Acquisition Syndrome. It's a disease you never recover from if you love guitars, and I fear it may be the same for vent figures.
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 13:12, Wanlu wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 12:59, blueshawk1 wrote:
I have had a number of different figures pass through my hands over the years, and while it is fun to check out/use different figures, it is good to focus on just a few.
:bg:
[/quote]
But what's an ideal number?
Jeff Dunham has at least 7... Edgar Bergen had at least 3... Paul Winchell had at least 4... Jimmy Nelson has at least 3 and Terry Fator has how many?
[/quote]
I don't think there is an ideal number, it's a personal thing, depending on a lot of factors.
Although, the first question is: are we talking the ideal number of figures one uses, or the ideal number of figures one has around in a "collection" - not that it matters I suppose, the answer is still the same - it's a personal thing.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 01:59PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 13:43, blueshawk1 wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 13:06, Wanlu wrote:
Will we ever be cured from the buymorefigures syndrome???
[/quote]
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, the only time I'm truly safe is when I don't have money to buy a figure.
As for the syndrome - in the guitar forums, we refer to it as "G.A.S." - Guitar (or Gear) Acquisition Syndrome. It's a disease you never recover from if you love guitars, and I fear it may be the same for vent figures.
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 13:12, Wanlu wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 12:59, blueshawk1 wrote:
I have had a number of different figures pass through my hands over the years, and while it is fun to check out/use different figures, it is good to focus on just a few.
:bg:
[/quote]
But what's an ideal number?
Jeff Dunham has at least 7... Edgar Bergen had at least 3... Paul Winchell had at least 4... Jimmy Nelson has at least 3 and Terry Fator has how many?
[/quote]
I don't think there is an ideal number, it's a personal thing, depending on a lot of factors.
Although, the first question is: are we talking the ideal number of figures one uses, or the ideal number of figures one has around in a "collection" - not that it matters I suppose, the answer is still the same - it's a personal thing.
[/quote]

...and again I agree!!! Thanks :)
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Sep 12, 2011 02:00PM)
That's great Wanlu. Both Tims are excellent builders. Please post some pics when you receive your figures.

Speaking of hard figures, I have not had many at all:

- A Charlie conversion from Maher that I had for a few months in the late '70's
- A Howard Olsen "Little Andy" figure that I used for many years as a young adult
- A custom-made Scott Bryte figure that I had for only a short time, which is now part of the Ventriloquist Central collection

However, I am extremely happy to report that Alan Semok is currently building me a custom-made figure. I've admired his work since I was around 14. He is certainly among the best of the best (and a heck of a nice guy). I plan on having this figure as my main character for quite a long time.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 02:03PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 13:35, Bob Baker wrote:
Congratulations, Wanlu. I just hope you're not as old as Dom Dominator when the Selberg arrives!

Bob
[/quote]

I know what you mean Bob :)

Tim Cowles has a new way of accepting orders so the figure from him is what I am actually excited about. A custom basswood figure, hopefully I will have by the end of the year. :)

As for the Selberg... well, something to be excited about nest year. :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 02:08PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 14:00, KeithS wrote:
That's great Wanlu. Both Tims are excellent builders. Please post some pics when you receive your figures.

Speaking of hard figures, I have not had many at all:

- A Charlie conversion from Maher that I had for a few months in the late '70's
- A Howard Olsen "Little Andy" figure that I used for many years as a young adult
- A custom-made Scott Bryte figure that I had for only a short time, which is now part of the Ventriloquist Central collection

However, I am extremely happy to report that Alan Semok is currently building me a custom-made figure. I've admired his work since I was around 14. He is certainly among the best of the best (and a heck of a nice guy). I plan on having this figure as my main character for quite a long time.
[/quote]

Wow!!! Now that's something to be excited about. Mr Semok's figures are rare amd I've heard his work is really fantastic. Congratulations! :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 12, 2011 03:03PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 14:03, Wanlu wrote:
As for the Selberg... well, something to be excited about nest year. :)
[/quote]
From comments I've heard, I think nest year is hopeful thinking. :)

[quote]
On 2011-09-12 14:00, KeithS wrote:
- A custom-made Scott Bryte figure that I had for only a short time, which is now part of the Ventriloquist Central collection

However, I am extremely happy to report that Alan Semok is currently building me a custom-made figure. I've admired his work since I was around 14. He is certainly among the best of the best (and a heck of a nice guy). I plan on having this figure as my main character for quite a long time.
[/quote]
I love Alan's figures - I don't see myself ever being able to get one - but I love their look.
(and I still can't believe you parted with that figure Scott Bryte made)
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Sep 12, 2011 03:14PM)
[quote]
Wow!!! Now that's something to be excited about. Mr Semok's figures are rare amd I've heard his work is really fantastic. Congratulations! :)
[/quote]

Thank you, Wanlu. Yeah, I'm pretty excited!
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Sep 12, 2011 03:17PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 15:03, blueshawk1 wrote:
[quote]I love Alan's figures - I don't see myself ever being able to get one - but I love their look.
(and I still can't believe you parted with that figure Scott Bryte made)
[/quote]

I actually never thought I'd be able to ever have one myself until recently. Alan is a great guy to work with. As far as the Bryte figure, Scott is another excellent guy to work with, and his carving is beautiful and unique. But, in the end, not every figure works for everybody.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 12, 2011 03:28PM)
True. I guess I should know better, I've had to part with a few figures I didn't think I ever would, but I just couldn't use them at all.
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Sep 12, 2011 05:38PM)
I receive my Custom Basswood from Tim Cowles tomorrow!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 12, 2011 06:13PM)
Cool! We'll be looking forward to hearing how you like him.

And Wanlu, remember the same goes for you when the day comes - it's a commitment - you can not announce a new figure without telling everyone about it when you get it.
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Sep 12, 2011 06:46PM)
CONGRATS, Wanlu!! 3 of the 4 figures in my vent family are Alfaros and the 4th is Poyner's little boy "Bobby". LOVE those traditional hard figures!!!
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 12, 2011 07:36PM)
Well I have over a hundred fifty figures and it still isn't enough. LOL
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 12, 2011 07:48PM)
That would probably very easily be me if I had the room and the money - probably one time when it's good I don't have either.
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Sep 12, 2011 08:17PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 12:57, Wanlu wrote:

Now... after four years, I have decided to keep just a few which will include the new custom figures from Tim Cowles and Tim Selberg. :) The other two would be the old man from Dan Payes and the kid from Kem Poyner... and my Axtells :). and hopefully a Hartz :)
[/quote]

Wanlu, my friend... I know you and I predict that your two new custom figures will just be the start of another series of new figure acquisitions hahaha!


As for me there was a time I owned about 30 puppets/figures... but I've sold most of them (many to Wanlu) and decided a couple of years ago just to focus on a very few--my own made "Mr. Parley," my 1980s Hartz boy, my 1960s Ken Spencer boy, and my soft piglet puppet. They have been my only main partners in recent years.

I still have a few figures lying here around that are making guest appearances from time to time in my act--my 1960s Bill Boley bird hard figure, DNA Big Head, a Frank Marshall Rickie Tik replica, a Craig Lovik Knee Pal, and a Marshall Tommy Knots I got from Dan W.

I think--and hope--I will live with this cast for a very long time...
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 09:35PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 20:17, Ony Carcamo wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 12:57, Wanlu wrote:

Now... after four years, I have decided to keep just a few which will include the new custom figures from Tim Cowles and Tim Selberg. :) The other two would be the old man from Dan Payes and the kid from Kem Poyner... and my Axtells :). and hopefully a Hartz :)
[/quote]

Wanlu, my friend... I know you and I predict that your two new custom figures will just be the start of another series of new figure acquisitions hahaha!...


[/quote]

You know me too well Ony... :bigsmile:

The truth is I feel a guilty spending more money on figures which is why I am commiting myself to sell the figures I don't use regulalrly.... :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 09:36PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 18:46, CaptKirk wrote:
CONGRATS, Wanlu!! 3 of the 4 figures in my vent family are Alfaros and the 4th is Poyner's little boy "Bobby". LOVE those traditional hard figures!!!
[/quote]

I love Kem' Bobby figure... :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 09:39PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 17:38, ventriloguy wrote:
I receive my Custom Basswood from Tim Cowles tomorrow!
[/quote]

I have seen it and it looks so cool!!! :) Congratulations
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 09:45PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 19:36, marshalldoll wrote:
Well I have over a hundred fifty figures and it still isn't enough. LOL
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
[/quote]

Yours is an entirely different case Dan :)

You will never stop buying figures, specially Marshalls...

...for starters, you have the money, next you have the perfect place to keep them and your passion in collecting figures is awesome. :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 12, 2011 09:52PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 20:17, Ony Carcamo wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-09-12 12:57, Wanlu wrote:

Now... after four years, I have decided to keep just a few which will include the new custom figures from Tim Cowles and Tim Selberg. :) The other two would be the old man from Dan Payes and the kid from Kem Poyner... and my Axtells :). and hopefully a Hartz :)
[/quote]




....As for me there was a time I owned about 30 puppets/figures... but I've sold most of them (many to Wanlu) and decided a couple of years ago just to focus on a very few--my own made "Mr. Parley," my 1980s Hartz boy, my 1960s Ken Spencer boy, and my soft piglet puppet. They have been my only main partners in recent years.

I still have a few figures lying here around that are making guest appearances from time to time in my act--my 1960s Bill Boley bird hard figure, DNA Big Head, a Frank Marshall Rickie Tik replica, a Craig Lovik Knee Pal, and a Marshall Tommy Knots I got from Dan W.

I think--and hope--I will live with this cast for a very long time...
[/quote]

You have the best cast of figures Ony...

As for me, I did make some money selling some of the figures...some I sold for much less than what I got them for. My only regret is selling the Hartz old lady. :( I should have kept it.

I will need a miracle to have Mr Hartz make a new one for me....
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 13, 2011 03:47AM)
Probably most of us who have had a variety of figures come and go have one they wish they had never let go.
Some of the figures I've had, I can't even remember unless I'm looking at pictures, and some of those, I might even think when I see those pictures, "I kind of wish I had kept that one", but there's only one I truly regret having parted with - my first carved pro figure. Oh well, that was long ago and far away, nothing I can do about it now.
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 13, 2011 09:15AM)
Even with a collection like mine I regret some that I have sold. This is true of anyone that collects anything. You buy and sell to fill that want and later down the road you always think about what you had and wished you had kept. Unfortunately for most of us you just can't keep everything.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 13, 2011 10:11AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-13 09:15, marshalldoll wrote:
...Unfortunately for most of us you just can't keep everything.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
[/quote]

So true!!!
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Sep 13, 2011 12:23PM)
Or as comedian Steven Wright put it:

You can't have everything...Where would you put it?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 13, 2011 01:37PM)
But it's fun trying.
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Sep 13, 2011 08:39PM)
My next sign, "Welcome, unwanted figures."
Send them this way.
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Sep 13, 2011 08:41PM)
Duane,
Is he there yet?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 13, 2011 08:46PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-13 20:39, creativemac wrote:
My next sign, "Welcome, unwanted figures."
Send them this way.
[/quote]
That must be the sign you're sending me.
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 13, 2011 09:45PM)
Hey wait a minute that's MY SIGN !! LOL
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Sep 13, 2011 10:23PM)
Dave & Dan,
you can fight over the second and third sign, after the first one I make for myself.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 13, 2011 10:37PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-13 20:39, creativemac wrote:
My next sign, "Welcome, unwanted figures."
Send them this way.
[/quote]

This is cool...

...just make sure you use the term "unwanted figures" and not "unwanted dummies," trust me, you wouldn't want my mother in law in your house. :)
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Sep 13, 2011 11:26PM)
He has arrived!!!
Message: Posted by: Servante (Sep 13, 2011 11:37PM)
Cool! How's he look? Whaddya think?

-Philip
Message: Posted by: ChrisJ (Sep 13, 2011 11:42PM)
[quote]
we refer to it as "G.A.S." - Guitar (or Gear) Acquisition Syndrome. It's a disease you never recover from if you love guitars, and I fear it may be the same for vent figures.
[quote]
[/quote]

Oh NO that's what I have...G.A.S.!

Now if I just the money to cure it..I think if I bought one of everyting I would be ok..maybe..
Message: Posted by: Servante (Sep 14, 2011 12:03AM)
But only maybe.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Sep 14, 2011 02:05AM)
Duane,
He is simply the BEST.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 14, 2011 04:49AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-13 22:23, creativemac wrote:
Dave & Dan,
you can fight over the second and third sign, after the first one I make for myself.
[/quote]
Oh, you mean the one you're making for yourself that says, "Send any unwanted figures to Dave".

[quote]
On 2011-09-13 23:42, ChrisJ wrote:
[quote]
Oh NO that's what I have...G.A.S.!
Now if I just the money to cure it..I think if I bought one of everyting I would be ok..maybe..
[/quote]
Bad news, that doesn't cure it. There's always one more.

[quote]
On 2011-09-13 23:26, ventriloguy wrote:
He has arrived!!!
[/quote]
Cool! So what do you think? Do you have character planned for him?
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Sep 14, 2011 07:33AM)
Congrats! Can you post a pic of the two of you together??
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 14, 2011 09:44AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-13 23:26, ventriloguy wrote:
He has arrived!!!
[/quote]

Saw him and he looks really cool...nice suit too. :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 14, 2011 10:21AM)
Where's the picture with a suit, I only saw the picture of just the head.
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Sep 14, 2011 10:45AM)
Yes, Duane, pics would be great!
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Sep 14, 2011 12:59PM)
Duane,
they were ALL clamoring to see your new figure, so I hope you don't mind that I posted it.

[img]http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/2968/duanecowles6.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 14, 2011 01:03PM)
Very Nice!
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Sep 14, 2011 01:41PM)
Thanks Donald.

Beautiful figure, Duane!
Message: Posted by: Servante (Sep 14, 2011 01:44PM)
Excellent figure! All KINDS of character!

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Sep 14, 2011 08:10PM)
Fantastic work!
Message: Posted by: Dash & Me (Sep 14, 2011 08:36PM)
Great face on that one.
Congrats.

Troy
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Sep 14, 2011 09:12PM)
Love him!
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Sep 15, 2011 11:16AM)
Great Figure!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 15, 2011 02:14PM)
Tim Cowles is a fantastic figure maker... :)

He said mine will be ready in about 3-4 weeks... COOL!!! :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 15, 2011 03:39PM)
Cool. He's got one on ebay too.
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 15, 2011 08:11PM)
IMHO the one on ebay misses the mark but Duane you have a real prize.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 15, 2011 08:35PM)
Glad you said it, I'm not real impressed with the one on ebay either.
(When I wrote "cool" in my previous post, that was supposed to be a response to Wanlu's post - I should have hit "enter" to take it to another line before I posted about the ebay figure.)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 16, 2011 12:22AM)
The one I am asking Tim Cowles to make for me is a custom wood figure similar to Duane's. It is a replica of my existing figure but with added animations. I had to pay Kem Poyner so we can do this project. :)

I asked several figure makers about this project and Tim Cowles gave the most reasonable price. Still expensive, but very reasonable compared to Selberg, Bryte and Gilmer. The best part of this project is the waiting period. Others will take months even years while Tim Cowles estimates the completion date in 3-4 weeks only.

I followed Duane's figure from the time it was being carved til it was completed, shipped and now dressed, it looks fantastic!!! No doubt about it, Tim Cowles does great custom wood figures.
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Sep 16, 2011 01:10AM)
Thanks to everyone for the comments on "CJ". I've owned many figures in my 50 years of being a Vent. I've never had a figure-maker quote a price on a Carved figure, and then deliver said figure exactly as designated. All in less than six weeks! I know that Timothy does not have to handle the volume of orders of a Tim Selberg. If you are considering having a Custom figure made, consider Tim Cowles before he gets busier! I am seriously looking forward to seeing his rendition of Wanlu's "Niccolo".
Dan, I am curious. How long did it take Master-Carver Frank Marshall to knock out a figure for one of his customers?
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Sep 16, 2011 01:44AM)
A few other snapshots.(sorry about the camera-phone blur)

[img]http://i375.photobucket.com/albums/oo200/bellytalker/IMAG0324-1-1-1.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i375.photobucket.com/albums/oo200/bellytalker/IMAG0323-1-1.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i375.photobucket.com/albums/oo200/bellytalker/IMAG0328.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i375.photobucket.com/albums/oo200/bellytalker/IMAG0326-1.jpg[/img]
[img]http://i375.photobucket.com/albums/oo200/bellytalker/IMAG0331-1-1.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 16, 2011 07:39AM)
Duane it has been reported that Frank could knock out a figure in just a week. I really find that hard to believe. Bob Isaacson told me that he did in fact complete a figure in just one month. That sounds reasonable to me.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 16, 2011 08:02AM)
I'd kind of find it hard to believe a week myself from start to finish - a month, I could believe easily. Especially if the person has patterns already, and/or a duplicarver, etc., and is just plain good at it - a month is easily believable.
For myself, it would be months - just how many, let's not get into that. :)
Message: Posted by: Servante (Sep 16, 2011 12:21PM)
I've been working on this Lovik re-do for well over a year. 'Course...I don't work at it constantly.
A week? No way.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 16, 2011 07:40PM)
I did a blog back a few years ago about Frank Marshall and his output of figures. Back in the 1980's John Arvites wrote an article for Dialogue and stated that in one year Mr Marshall did over 2000 figures. I just found that number to be so out of whack that I did a calculation that if Frank made a complete figure from start to finish and did this every week for his entire building career with no time off, meaning 52 figures every year, the total output would have been around 2200 figures.

In reality I think Frank may have done somewhere around 500 figures which is still a very prolific career in ventriloquist building.
Message: Posted by: Steve at The Dummy Shoppe (Sep 16, 2011 10:29PM)
Dan,

At the rate you are going, it is going to take you another 12.25 years to have all 500 of them. Keep going. :)

Steve

http://www.thedummyshoppe.com
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Sep 16, 2011 11:28PM)
Steve, like that one!!!

Dan, you have my well wishes to achieve that goal.

:)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 17, 2011 05:17AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-16 22:29, Steve at The Dummy Shoppe wrote:
At the rate you are going, it is going to take you another 12.25 years to have all 500 of them.
[/quote]
Sorry, that won't be possible. Vent Haven has a number of them, and unlike figures in a private collection, they can never be sold (which is the no. 1 reason why my main figure is going there when my time comes).
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Sep 17, 2011 09:33AM)
As much as I would love to get them ALL I know that will never happen. When I counted the Marshall figures at Vent Haven there were 38. There may be more not on display but that was the Marshall count. They have Mack figures mixed in with the Marshall figures so the number looks greater.

By the way Dave, figures that are donated to the Ventriloquist Central Collection will never be sold and there have been a few donated.

The Ventriloquist Central Collection keeps growing and even though I do sell figures the core collection will never be for sale.

WS Berger was a wheeler dealer and sold and traded many figures while building the Vent Haven Collection and he was doing it when the figures were not rare and still available from all the great figure builders. I wish I was able to do that. LOL

Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 17, 2011 10:39AM)
Yes, Berger was doing it in their heydey, (don't we all wish we could have been there for that), and while he did sell and trade figures back then, the museum can not sell off any figures now (or anything else that is donated).
That's why my main figure is going there. They may have to rotate the figures in and out due to lack of space, so he won't always be on display, but I know he will never get sold. And that's my primary concern - I can't stand the thought of someone else using him, and even worse, "modifying" him, deciding they need to re-sculpt something, etc.
The ones that are donated to your collection you say will never be for sale, and that may be your sincerest intent, but it is a private collection, there is nothing to keep you from selling one if you decide for whatever reason you should, or your heirs from selling them when you're no longer around.
As I was told recently by someone who definitely knows, "Vent Haven absolutely, positively canNOT sell *anything* in its collection.... It's part of the original charter." That charter allows me to not worry, there's no "what-ifs", it protects him and protects my concern for him.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Sep 17, 2011 12:50PM)
I may take all mine with me. There are vent figures in heaven, right? Assuming of course that...

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Sep 17, 2011 03:15PM)
Actually, I planned to be one of those vents that had his figure buried with him, until I decided to be cremated.....guess I could have the figure cremated with me, where I'm going it would get burned up anyway.... :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 22, 2011 01:02AM)
So far Tim Cowles has emailed a few progress pictures. THE FIGURE LOOKS COOL so far... :bigsmile:

He's also adding a few more animations as well as some improvements like glass eyes and detailed carved teeth which the original Poyner does not have. :)

Just 3 more weeks :)

Its begining to look a lot like New Year :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 2, 2011 03:52PM)
My new custom made figure is almost done... Tim Cowles is just waiting for the wig to be delivered. :)

I would like to post some pictures here... can anybody help me? :)

Wanlu
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 2, 2011 04:16PM)
If you want, you can email them to me, and I'll post them, I'll pm you my email address.

But for anyone wanting to know how to do it themselves, here's some quick easy instruction;
First of course, is getting the pictures from your camera to your computer. I'm going to assume everyone knows how to do that (and how to shrink them to a decent size for posting).
Next, open up an account at a free picture hosting site, there's a ton of them, I personally use;
http://photobucket.com/
You upload your pictures there.
Once you've uploaded your pictures, there will be four different codes depending on where and how you want to post your pictures.
For the forum, copy the IMG code and paste it in your post - a wah-la - you will have a picture in your post.

OH! And cool news on your figure being almost ready!
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Oct 2, 2011 08:41PM)
I saw a picture of Wanlu's new Cowles Carved Bobby figure over on Facebook. It is VERY nice.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Oct 2, 2011 10:10PM)
Tim Cowles, did an outstanding job on it. Four stars.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 2, 2011 10:23PM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-02 16:16, blueshawk1 wrote:
If you want, you can email them to me, and I'll post them...
[/quote]

Thanks :bigsmile:

You've got mail :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 2, 2011 10:34PM)
I have yet to see it personally before I give my thoughts on Tim Cowles' work... but by the looks of it, I will be very pleased and so will my local audience. :)

I learned a lot from my Dummy Shoppe experience with the boxer puppet (which I am starting to use by the way) so I managed to ask Tim to change some stuff I did not like during the photo updates process. He was able to change the eyebrows to exactly what I wanted and he ordered a new wig too. I also asked for a longer arms length which I have yet to see if request is granted. :)

Need to pay my balance including $400 for UPS before he is shipped...

...anyone wants to buy a kidney? :)

Kidney aside, I am very excited to see the new Nicolo soon. :)
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 2, 2011 11:13PM)
How much y'askin' for the kidney?

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 2, 2011 11:36PM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-02 23:13, Servante wrote:
How much y'askin' for the kidney?

-Philip
[/quote]

$400 shipping included plus a free tee shirt and an Edgar Bergen poster.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 3, 2011 12:36AM)
Hmmmm.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 01:05AM)
Ok because you are a dear pal...$355 shipped with a carry bag, but you can forget about the t-shirt and poster...
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 3, 2011 01:36AM)
Got the pictures, he's lookin' good!

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/ventriloquism/photo1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/ventriloquism/photo2.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/ventriloquism/photo.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 02:06AM)
Thanks for posting them :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 02:07AM)
Wig will still be changed :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Oct 3, 2011 06:42AM)
Absolutely great! I've been waiting 2 years for another figure maker to create a clone of my old Finis figure. I'm not sure he's even started. I may just give Tim a try. What's his contact info?

Bob
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 08:51AM)
Timothy Cowles
timothycowles@yahoo.com

Sending him lots of pictures will help but best if you send him the actual head to copy...
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 3, 2011 09:51AM)
He certainly did a great job of copying your Poyner figure.
So which did you do Wanlu, send lots of pictures or the head?
I've often thought I'd like a clone of my main figure with a few more animations, but I really don't want to ship the head anywhere.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 3, 2011 10:27AM)
Never mind about the kidney thing. I was only gonna do it for the tee-shirt. Once that was no longer in the deal, I lost interest. :)

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 11:47AM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-03 10:27, Servante wrote:
Never mind about the kidney thing. I was only gonna do it for the tee-shirt. Once that was no longer in the deal, I lost interest. :)

-Philip
[/quote]

Ha ha :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 11:51AM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-03 09:51, blueshawk1 wrote:
He certainly did a great job of copying your Poyner figure.
So which did you do Wanlu, send lots of pictures or the head?
I've often thought I'd like a clone of my main figure with a few more animations, but I really don't want to ship the head anywhere.
[/quote]

I sent lots of pictures and Kem Poyner sent a cast head :)
Message: Posted by: manal (Oct 3, 2011 12:26PM)
Great looking figure.
Congratulations Wanlu!
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 3, 2011 12:43PM)
Thanks :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 13, 2011 05:26AM)
He's here ;)

First things first... I am very happy with the figure. Thanks to Tim Cowles and Kem Poyner.

Just a few things I regret to report...he suffered a small paint scratch on his cheek...and oh yes, the hair is brown. I asked for black hair.

Controls are very quiet and smooth except when eyebrows are raised, just a little clicking sound made by the spring on the lever. No big deal! :) I just need to study the new set of controls...

Let me buy him a new wig...and then he's our Nicolo... :)

Again...thanks to Tim Cowles and Kem Poyner :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 13, 2011 05:30AM)
Give me a year or so to report about the custom Selberg... :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 13, 2011 05:50AM)
Oh, so he's arrived - cool!
I thought Tim had a new wig coming for the figure.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 13, 2011 08:49AM)
That's what he said...but NO WORRIES, it's just a small thing. He did tell me a few minutes ago via email that he tried to match the wig. He also gave me $50 to buy a new matching wig... :)

COOL! :)
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Oct 13, 2011 08:53AM)
Wanlu, some hair color can be changed my having the color changed by a hair stylist,
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 13, 2011 09:45AM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-13 08:49, Wanlu wrote:
That's what he said...but NO WORRIES, it's just a small thing. He did tell me a few minutes ago via email that he tried to match the wig. He also gave me $50 to buy a new matching wig... :)

COOL! :)
[/quote]
Well that was a decent and cool thing for him to do!
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 14, 2011 09:29AM)
Now THAT'S customer service!

Gary
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 14, 2011 10:24AM)
Re changing the color of an existing wig: I wouldn't try that. You can change the color of a human hair wig because it will absorb the color...but most wigs these days are plastic of one kind or another and have no pores or inner core and will only take the color as a layer that will not stick permanently.
Wanted to say that before you tried it!

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 14, 2011 10:35AM)
I just went to the Poyner site and popped up the "Bobby" picture and compared it side-by-side with your new figure, Wanlu. It's a good likeness copy...but I think it actually improves on the physiognomy as well...The head seems a bit wider. The upper lip is definitely wider. The ear pitch is slightly different, and the nose is broader. The custom figure looks "wiser." Excellent job! You must be thrilled!

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 14, 2011 12:08PM)
I am... :)

I think making an exact copy is very difficult. I have two Bobby figures both made by Kem Poyner and they don't look exactly the same.

I wonder what A Selberg version will look like? :)

Oh by the way... I plan to get a new black wig for the figure...
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 14, 2011 04:06PM)
The Selberg is going to be another Bobby too?
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 14, 2011 05:04PM)
Maybe :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 14, 2011 05:51PM)
Too late, I think you already gave it away (and that evil smiley doesn't help). :)
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 14, 2011 11:33PM)
I just re-read what I wrote. I did NOT mean to suggest the original Poyner wasn't good. I just noticed that there's a slyness to the copy. Just sayin'.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Dec 14, 2011 01:14AM)
I ordered my 2nd custom made hand carved wood figure from Tim Cowles :)


Another fun project... :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Dec 14, 2011 01:16AM)
Selberg update... let's hope and pray it will be ready before my 3 year old son reaches puberty. :)
Message: Posted by: TheDummyDoctor (Feb 22, 2012 10:11PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-16 07:39, marshalldoll wrote:
Duane it has been reported that Frank could knock out a figure in just a week. I really find that hard to believe. Bob Isaacson told me that he did in fact complete a figure in just one month. That sounds reasonable to me.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
[/quote]

Responding to an old post (I'm just catching up...I've been busy making dummies, and making an actual living on the side...LOL)

In any case, with regard to Marshall being able to complete figures in a week (when properly motivated), all I can say is ===Believe it!===
Definitely.
I know that this is true, from a firsthand account.

Roughly 20 years ago, I had contact with and brokered some items for a retired vent in NY who, in 1951, flew from NY to Chicago on a Sunday, met with Marshall the next morning (Monday) and flew home with her brand new vent figure on Saturday. The figure was a "Nosey" model and was equipped with side to side and crossing eyes, raising eyebrows, closing eyelids, upper lip sneer, and standard drop-jaw.
The price was $750 (factoring in the inflation rate that's the equivalent of roughly $6000 in today's money!)

Now, it should be remembered that the _vast_ majority of Marshall's figures were in fact duplicarved heads. That, coupled with the fact that even custom carved wood heads do not require the drying and cure times of various composite heads and the simple fact that someone of Marshall's experience could even bang out a custom carving in a few days (as well as the fact that Marshall used a pretty high proportion of accelerants to dry his paints)... I find that the one week turnaround is entirely possible, and I don't doubt it for a moment.
Not that I've ever been able to match that timeframe. LOL. But I've come close. We figuremakers just don't like to admit it. And that admission will probably bring some "what the hell...?" e-mails. But, what the hell.

As a defense, let me say this: For the most part, figuremakers (myself included) tend to sell their work at a price that doesn't nearly reflect a real world working wage let alone the sale of a work of original art (if you don't believe me, try building one sometime from something other than a kit).

Also, I feel fairly safe in saying that most of us work on new figures as time allows, during downtime from other occupational pursuits. At the risk of p---ing some people off, I will admit that when a reasonable fulltime wage has been agreed upon (for example, the deal I had 12 years ago with the producers of the feature film "DUMMY" to build a custom figure (while at the same time I was also busy as per my contract spending a few hours a day giving Adrien Brody his vent lessons), it is really _entirely possible_ to finish up a new custom figure in a few weeks. It's a matter of economics for the artist.

To that end, I mentioned Marshall's being able to do it when 'motivated'. That selling price (especially for 1951, when he was routinely selling figures for $100-200) was a ***ed good motivation, and to be fair, was honestly and mutually arrived at taking the customer's required turnaround time into due consideration.

So yes...the one week Marshall legend is not mere legend. At least this particular instance I was privy to, I can verify that it is historical fact.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Feb 22, 2012 10:42PM)
[quote]
On 2012-02-22 22:11, TheDummyDoctor wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-09-16 07:39, marshalldoll wrote:
Duane it has been reported that Frank could knock out a figure in just a week. I really find that hard to believe. Bob Isaacson told me that he did in fact complete a figure in just one month. That sounds reasonable to me.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
[/quote]

Responding to an old post (I'm just catching up...I've been busy making dummies, and making an actual living on the side...LOL)

In any case, with regard to Marshall being able to complete figures in a week (when properly motivated), all I can say is ===Believe it!===
Definitely.
I know that this is true, from a firsthand account.

Roughly 20 years ago, I had contact with and brokered some items for a retired vent in NY who, in 1951, flew from NY to Chicago on a Sunday, met with Marshall the next morning (Monday) and flew home with her brand new vent figure on Saturday. The figure was a "Nosey" model and was equipped with side to side and crossing eyes, raising eyebrows, closing eyelids, upper lip sneer, and standard drop-jaw.
The price was $750 (factoring in the inflation rate that's the equivalent of roughly $6000 in today's money!)

Now, it should be remembered that the _vast_ majority of Marshall's figures were in fact duplicarved heads. That, coupled with the fact that even custom carved wood heads do not require the drying and cure times of various composite heads and the simple fact that someone of Marshall's experience could even bang out a custom carving in a few days (as well as the fact that Marshall used a pretty high proportion of accelerants to dry his paints)... I find that the one week turnaround is entirely possible, and I don't doubt it for a moment.
Not that I've ever been able to match that timeframe. LOL. But I've come close. We figuremakers just don't like to admit it. And that admission will probably bring some "what the hell...?" e-mails. But, what the hell.

As a defense, let me say this: For the most part, figuremakers (myself included) tend to sell their work at a price that doesn't nearly reflect a real world working wage let alone the sale of a work of original art (if you don't believe me, try building one sometime from something other than a kit).

Also, I feel fairly safe in saying that most of us work on new figures as time allows, during downtime from other occupational pursuits. At the risk of p---ing some people off, I will admit that when a reasonable fulltime wage has been agreed upon (for example, the deal I had 12 years ago with the producers of the feature film "DUMMY" to build a custom figure (while at the same time I was also busy as per my contract spending a few hours a day giving Adrien Brody his vent lessons), it is really _entirely possible_ to finish up a new custom figure in a few weeks. It's a matter of economics for the artist.

To that end, I mentioned Marshall's being able to do it when 'motivated'. That selling price (especially for 1951, when he was routinely selling figures for $100-200) was a ***ed good motivation, and to be fair, was honestly and mutually arrived at taking the customer's required turnaround time into due consideration.

So yes...the one week Marshall legend is not mere legend. At least this particular instance I was privy to, I can verify that it is historical fact.
[/quote]

Thanks for sharing Doc... I love reading Marshall stories :)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Feb 22, 2012 11:52PM)
I love reading Semok stories.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Feb 23, 2012 12:29AM)
Thank you for the story, 750. in 51 was a lot of money. So who was the retired vent?
Message: Posted by: Servante (Feb 23, 2012 09:45AM)
That was a really good read!

-Philip
Message: Posted by: manal (Feb 23, 2012 11:32AM)
Marshall was a professional builder. It was what he did and all he did for a living. He had years of experience and a shop set up with all the tools , materials , etc. that
he needed so I believe it is entirely possible he could build a figure in a week. Also back then Basswood was readily available in any lumberyard at a reasonable price.
As for pricing, if I could get actuall real world wages as Mr. Semok mentioned in his post above , I could quit my "real" job. :)
Thanks for your post Mr. Semok, I really enjoyed it.
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Feb 23, 2012 01:19PM)
Thank you, Alan. Very interesting. You're always welcome to tell us more!
Message: Posted by: robholland (Feb 25, 2012 02:21PM)
Does anyone know how long it takes for Selberg Studios to complete a figure?
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Feb 25, 2012 06:07PM)
It has been interesting to follow this thread because I have owned a Poyner Bobby but currently use a Tim Cowles figure. The Bobby I had was a great character, but he was heavy and the controls didn't feel quite right for me. My Cowles figure has excellent controls, and is light enough to manipulate for a show, but is not as endearing a character as Kem's Bobbie. I give a lot of credit to Kem for his skill at character creation. That is a separate skill from creating the mechanics of a figure. Wanlu, it looks like you found a way to have both.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Apr 23, 2012 01:01PM)
[quote]
On 2012-02-25 18:07, olivertwist wrote:
It has been interesting to follow this thread because I have owned a Poyner Bobby but currently use a Tim Cowles figure. The Bobby I had was a great character, but he was heavy and the controls didn't feel quite right for me. My Cowles figure has excellent controls, and is light enough to manipulate for a show, but is not as endearing a character as Kem's Bobbie. I give a lot of credit to Kem for his skill at character creation. That is a separate skill from creating the mechanics of a figure. Wanlu, it looks like you found a way to have both.
[/quote]


Yup... but quite an expensive way because I had to pay Kem for the rights and the sample cast and of course Tim to make the figure... but it was worth every centavo :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Apr 23, 2012 01:02PM)
I have asked Tim Cowles to make a new character for me... just waiting for the final design and quote. :)
Message: Posted by: MagicalArtist (Apr 23, 2012 09:32PM)
I've owned a figure by the late Howie Olson, son of The Great Chesterfield, since 1978. Never gave me a lick of trouble (except for a bit of sass)! Olson once wrote that the typical hand-molded figure takes 40 hours to complete and a carved figure takes three times that long! It really is a labor of love.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jun 16, 2012 01:32PM)
My new Selberg Rupert will be ready in 3-4 weeks as promised by Tim :)

It was originally planned last year to be a bum Rupert but due to lack of funds, it will just be a regular Rupert. :)

This is why I am selling my Bum Payes figure for a really reasonable price... PM me if you are interested.:)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jun 16, 2012 01:34PM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-03 01:36, Dickens & Dave wrote:
Got the pictures, he's lookin' good!

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/ventriloquism/photo1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/ventriloquism/photo2.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/blueshawk1/ventriloquism/photo.jpg[/img]
[/quote]

I was also planning to sell this Cowles figure but realized this one is for keeps... :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jun 16, 2012 10:11PM)
[quote]
On 2012-04-23 21:32, MagicalArtist wrote:
I've owned a figure by the late Howie Olson, son of The Great Chesterfield, since 1978. Never gave me a lick of trouble (except for a bit of sass)! Olson once wrote that the typical hand-molded figure takes 40 hours to complete and a carved figure takes three times that long! It really is a labor of love.
[/quote]
Yes it is often a matter of being a labor of love. A couple figuremakers I've talked to in the past said if you figure the time with what they sell for, often they were making less than minimum wage. It's definitely not a living for most, especially these days with the cost of living and the market not being the greatest for figures, especially what used to be high dollar ones. I've made a number of vent novelties over the years and sold them, I don't even want to think about the time invested compared to what they sold for, but then I do it just because I enjoy making stuff and enjoy having the stuff I made "out there" to live on past me.