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Topic: Willie Talk circa 1925...?
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Oct 3, 2011 04:21PM)
Hi there

I have just purchased a little guy from a antique shop that I would like to get some background on.
I have looked into his past and on some sites, they have a pic of a similar dummy called a 'Willie Talk'.
This type of Dummy was popular from around 1925 to 1970.

My question is, does anyone have any real background on this type of doll?
What company made him, or person? What year he might be?

Here is a link to a pic of the doll https://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/photo.php?fbid=10150861422660151&set=a.10150240264875151.486707.610575150&type=1&theater

He is stuffed with straw, his eyes are painted on and a light brown, he has a pull string in the back of his neck and he seems to be made from a mache type compound.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. :)

Thank you in advance,
Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo Productions
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 3, 2011 04:25PM)
The link isn't bringing up the picture.
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Oct 3, 2011 04:40PM)
I am sorry, here is the 'Public' link.

Let me know if this works :)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 3, 2011 04:54PM)
That link works.
I don't have any specifics for you as to the company that produced them or when. They are basically an early Wilie talk, or early basic vent doll, I've sometimes seen them referred to as a Dummy Dan. You can find them on ebay all the time, so hopefully, you didn't pay too much for it at the antique shop.
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Oct 3, 2011 05:01PM)
I purchased him for $90.00, he is in great condition and stands about 20 inches high.
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Oct 3, 2011 06:22PM)
He is a Dummy Dan mader by the Ralph Freundlich Co of New York. This figure is made of composition and came in 3 sizes. The smallest was 15" middle was 20" and the largest was 30". They were made to compete with the Effanbee dolls which were officially liscenced to do the Charlie McCarthy doll. Only the Effanbee was a Charlie all others at the time rode on the popularity. The figure you have was made in the late 1930's not in the 1920's. I am sorry to tell you that you overpaid at $90.00 in the condition yours is in. That would be a good price if it were mint condition.
Hope this helps you.
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Oct 3, 2011 07:02PM)
Hi Dan

Thank you for the info :)

I am glad to know its true history... and I have to say, I don't mind having paid what I did... because they were asking $150 to begin with and I talked them down to $90. And, I also see potential in him for a Seance act I do in my show. Because he is not THAT valuable, I will not feel too bad when I rig his interior to shake remotely.

Now I am free to create a real little monster :) he he he
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Oct 3, 2011 07:23PM)
I think, upon closer inspection, he is a Willie Talk.
Here is a link to a pic of a Willie Talk... and it is a perfect match. The shape of his mouth and nose are exact to a Willie Talk and his hairline matches perfectly. He has been repainted, although the paint job looks over 50 years old.

Check it out http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/281565
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Oct 4, 2011 03:01AM)
I thought this was a puppet that allegedly came to life and killed it's several ventriloquist partners..
I saw a sideshow trailer once that had a puppet with such a claim ;)
(along with a mermaid and other legitimate historical anomalies)..
Good luck with the Seance but - it sounds like it could be fun!
A carnival Diablo fan,
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 4, 2011 06:05AM)
On 2011-10-03 20:23, doctorrigormorto wrote:
Basically what I said before, early willie talk, and the dummy dan dolls were pretty much the same, that's why they are referred to by both names, they both basically look the same.
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Oct 4, 2011 11:38AM)
Sorry blueshawk1, I was talking to marshalldoll. He could be one or the other... but I am leaning towards Willie Talk. The similarities match up, where as the Dummy Dan dolls have the part on the other side of their hair and the noses are different.

I do appreciate all of the input from both you and Dan :) Thank you.