(Close Window)
Topic: I'm new, so go easy on me...
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 3, 2012 08:02AM)
...but does anyone here make dummies by order? If I'm not allowed to ask that sort of thing, I apologize. I've just been looking for a place that makes them, and they all want way too much money and seem to only offer templates. Anyway, if nobody here builds for pay, then I apologize for wasting time and looking foolish.

Thanks for reading. :)
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Nov 3, 2012 09:20AM)
There are a few. Here's a list for you..

Mike Brose http://www.puppetsandprops.com/

Dan Lavender http://www.dlavender.com/gallery.html

Ken Croes http://www.kennycroes.com/index.htm

Montana Dan http://montanadan.blogspot.com

Tim Cowles http://www.timcowles.com

Mike Palma http://ventriloquistworkshop.com/

Tim Selberg http://www.selbergstudios.com/index.shtml

Albert Alfaro http://www.imaginariumgalleries.com/figure-gallery/
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 3, 2012 09:30AM)
Oh, awesome! Thanks a ton!!
Message: Posted by: manal (Nov 3, 2012 10:18AM)
There are others as well.
As far as cost ,one of a kind custom made figures are very labor intense.
You may want to consider building one yourself from a Brose kit the link to which Aussie provided in his post above.
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 3, 2012 10:29AM)
Man, those guys are super talented, buy WAAAAY outta my pay grade. Maybe one of them will cut me a deal. :)
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 3, 2012 10:31AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-03 11:18, manal wrote:
There are others as well.
As far as cost ,one of a kind custom made figures are very labor intense.
You may want to consider building one yourself from a Brose kit the link to which Aussie provided in his post above.
[/quote]

If I trusted that I could do that, I would consider it again. But I'm not a very handy/crafty kinda guy. :\ I don't need anything in the way of special tricks or features, and I don't need it before, like...June? I just need a certain look, really.
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Nov 3, 2012 11:09AM)
Welcome, Finsettler. No need to apologize for your question. As you probably know by the replies already, it was appropriate. This place is very welcoming, and the folks here helpful. Ask any question that you have about vent, and one of us here will have an answer.

As far as cost, you'll need to know your budget. Generally speaking a custom-made hard figure (i.e., dummy) can cost anywhere from the high hundreds to $5000 and above, depending on the maker and what you're looking for. I'd say the average cost is around $1500-2500. You may be able to get something less expensive if you decide on a soft puppet. A custom made soft puppet can be around $450-750, again depending on the maker. There are number of excellent makers of soft puppets around.

Anyway, good luck in your search!
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 3, 2012 11:16AM)
Oh, wow. It would take me ages to get that kind of money.

This is most distressing. :\
Message: Posted by: manal (Nov 3, 2012 01:40PM)
Here are more great makers to Google. Dan Payes, Lovick , Layne , Detweiller and Kem Poyner. There are almost too many to remember .
There are also books you could buy to learn how to do it yourself. Figure making can be fun by Mike Brose and Ventriloquist Central has a figure making course. There are others as well.
Or take a look at several threads here that show pictures of figures in the process of being built.
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Nov 3, 2012 01:58PM)
EBay and Ventriloquist Central Marketplace are places you should also look. Bargains have been often from there. It's important to know the retail prices of figures so that you don't over pay.

If you're not to handy/crafty, make friends with someone who is, and make it a joint project.
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Nov 3, 2012 02:06PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-03 12:16, Finsettler wrote:
Oh, wow. It would take me ages to get that kind of money.

This is most distressing. :\
[/quote]

I can relate, but don't get too discouraged. Keep in mind, the prices I quoted are for custom-made pieces. Similar to professional-grade musical instruments, custom-made vent puppets can be expensive. But, one of the great things about ventriloquism is that you do not need to spend a heck a lot of money to practice and perform. Not sure what you're looking for, but there are puppets out there to fit any budget. The fish puppet in my avatar is a very inexpensive foam puppet from Argentina that my mother-in-law picked up for me. I never even considered or really wanted a fish character, but I adapted and he has become somewhat of a local celebrity. While he is now looking pretty beat up, I got almost 8 years of regular use out of him. Even some pros, like Nina Conti, use inexpensive puppets with much success.

Keep looking and I'm sure you'll find the right piece for you.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Nov 3, 2012 11:08PM)
As a puppet builder and performer myself.. I know that puppets seem expensive (and they are!).. But for instance, when I build a puppet, it usually takes me about 250 hours (or more!).. When you consider the materials, workshop space, training/expertise/experience, time, etc - it's going to cost.
Think about this - based on 250 hours spent on a custom made puppet, a $2500 puppet is being made for about 5 - 7 dollars an hour after expenses... Less than minimum wage.
I got into puppet building because I did want to make
My own puppets.. It took years and literally hundreds of
Thousands of dollars to do so.. And it is indeed a specialized skill.
There are deals to be had for off the shelf puppets -'but if you want a custom made puppet;'it's not going to be cheap!
Damien
http://www.puppetsandgore.com
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 4, 2012 12:48AM)
I don't mean to demean the work of any puppet makers; I'm fully aware it's a decent task. I'm just poor, so it's frustrating on my end. :P

Really, I have nothing but respect for the people who make such quality things. I had seen one on ebay I wanted to get, but before I had gathered enough donations, it was sold for $300. Reall, all I truly need is the basic mouth and self-centering eyes. Other features can wait until I can afford them -- I just need a puppet that looks effectively creepy without being some !@#$-%^&, trying-too-hard stuff like in "Dead Silence".

And there's no real time table on when I need it, so would that kind of thing lower the cost of production? Or does that not tend to matter?
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Nov 4, 2012 02:18AM)
Have you been keeping an eye on eBay? There's this little guy on there http://www.ebay.com/itm/130795538142?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 4, 2012 02:52AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-04 03:18, Aussie wrote:
Have you been keeping an eye on eBay? There's this little guy on there http://www.ebay.com/itm/130795538142?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
[/quote]

I did see him. Looks pretty great, but I'd call him more "cute" than "the stuff of childhood nightmares".
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Nov 4, 2012 03:51AM)
Well then here's a couple of others that may be closer to your price range...

http://www.ventriloquistmarketplace.com/selling/120916a/index.htm

http://www.ventriloquistmarketplace.com/selling/120114b/index.htm

http://www.ventriloquistmarketplace.com/selling/120114d/index.htm
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 4, 2012 04:09AM)
Sounds like he's looking for creepy - those three certainly qualify, and there's this Payes one on ebay;

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professional-Ventriloquist-Figure-Dummy-Older-Dan-Payes-/251178429043?pt=Pretend_Play_Preschool_US&hash=item3a7b66aa73
Message: Posted by: Finsettler (Nov 4, 2012 05:20AM)
I like that Payes piece, but I fear it's almost too menacing and not just "gah, look at that weird effing thing!"

Also, I'm not trying to come off as a picky little so-and-so, I really do appreciate all the help you guys are offering me.
Message: Posted by: ctpuppet (Nov 10, 2012 08:42PM)
Hey finsettler I know you said you weren't crafty but If you can handle the detail part of the paint I can handle the rest of the building for you. You would just have to find a base head to start with.