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Topic: "Stunning Charlie McCarthy Ventriloquist Figure. 100% handmade"
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Jan 22, 2013 03:47AM)
"Stunning Charlie McCarthy Ventriloquist Figure. 100% handmade"

A guy from Pennsylvania has made and is selling this replica
of Charlie McCarthy on the auction-site.

Does anyone know the maker?
Message: Posted by: manal (Jan 22, 2013 07:52AM)
I know someone in Pennsylvannia who is not the maker :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jan 22, 2013 08:11AM)
I'm not an expert but I am guessing the original Charlie has a flat neck...
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jan 22, 2013 08:12AM)
In any case... that is a stunning figure. :)
Message: Posted by: TheDummyDoctor (Jan 22, 2013 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-22 09:11, Wanlu wrote:
I'm not an expert but I am guessing the original Charlie has a flat neck...
[/quote]

Actually, the smithsonian Charlie (which may or may not be the actual 'original' Charlie). has a rounded neck bottom (which looks like an add-on piece held in place with screws). The Smithsonian figure has moving eyes as well.

I've attached a picture of the Smithsonian Charlie's head (pic was taken before the head was repainted by someone, for display at the Smith)

I have also seen and handled another genuine 'vintage' Charlie which has the identical rounded neck bottom, constructed the same way (it doesn't have moving eyes).
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jan 22, 2013 12:26PM)
I've read things before regarding just how many Charlies there actually were, and how many there still are. The count always seems to be slightly different...and I don't remember that Charlie's eyes ever moved, though it's been awhile since I've seen some of the films.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Jan 22, 2013 02:49PM)
Back in November I did a blog with pictures of this fellow doing his work up of Charlie Mccarthy. Here is the link
http://ventriloquistcentralblog.com/charlie-mccarthy-reproduction/#more-5101
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Jan 22, 2013 07:44PM)
What is the auction site?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jan 22, 2013 07:45PM)
We're not allowed to say the name here, but it's that large auction site everyone knows, do a search for;
Stunning Charlie McCarthy Ventriloquist Figure
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Jan 22, 2013 08:11PM)
Thanks, Dave. It is a very beautiful piece and probably worth the price to a collector.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jan 22, 2013 08:13PM)
There was some discission on facebook as to how accurate a copy it was, but that aside, it does look like a fine figure in it's own right.
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Jan 23, 2013 12:22PM)
It is not a flawless replica, but superbly executed. Definitely a talented artist with a wonderful attention for detail. I even like that he has an "original" leg on there. How cool is that? He mentioned that he sculpted every aspect of this figure except for the leg. The attention to detail in the costuming, monacle, etc are exceptional. Love the work this man put into his creation -- and an absolute give-away price considering the quality of the wig and all of the labor he put into this creation.

Yes, as Mr. Semok stated, Bergen had the rounded neck added on at a later point in time. The Smithsonian Charlie also had all-direction eyes! I was fortunate enough to receive a neat poster from Dennis Alwood a number of years ago. It has Dennis in the middle holding the Charlie head as he was packing it up. There are other shots in the poster showing Charlie's mechanics, and various angles. I'm not sure how many he made, but mine is framed and I love looking at it. A cool piece of history, and a great figure on ebay.
Message: Posted by: manal (Jan 23, 2013 01:09PM)
Very nice reproduction.

He is very talented however I do wonder how the Bergen Estate would view the sale.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jan 23, 2013 03:25PM)
That is a good question Jim, I've always heard they were very diligent about pursuing such matters.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jan 23, 2013 05:23PM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-22 12:42, TheDummyDoctor wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-01-22 09:11, Wanlu wrote:
I'm not an expert but I am guessing the original Charlie has a flat neck...
[/quote]

Actually, the smithsonian Charlie (which may or may not be the actual 'original' Charlie). has a rounded neck bottom (which looks like an add-on piece held in place with screws). The Smithsonian figure has moving eyes as well.

I've attached a picture of the Smithsonian Charlie's head (pic was taken before the head was repainted by someone, for display at the Smith)

I have also seen and handled another genuine 'vintage' Charlie which has the identical rounded neck bottom, constructed the same way (it doesn't have moving eyes).
[/quote]

Very interesting... thanks for letting us know...
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Jan 23, 2013 08:33PM)
Thanks, Dave. It is a very beautiful piece and probably worth the price to a collector.
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Jan 23, 2013 08:33PM)
Thanks, Dave. It is a very beautiful piece and probably worth the price to a collector.
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Jan 26, 2013 09:11AM)
Three hours left and NO bids.
Interesting.

B
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jan 26, 2013 10:55AM)
Some may feel it's too pricey, considering the fact that the family, in protecting the trademark, could easily keep someone from using it in performance.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Jan 26, 2013 11:11AM)
I think there are a few factors influencing this, Bob.

The economy has been so tough - and extra spending money is at a low for many, except for Donald (wink). A collector would probably prefer to invest that kind of money in a known quantity, such as a Semok, or a Hartz (etc, etc, etc).

This gentleman certainly did a great job in his initial effort, but just like anyone else, he will have to build up his reputation in order to increase the value of his work. While doing a beautiful job, there are still too many fundamental imperfections in his work to warrant that kind of price. The jaw placement is wrong (you can notice that from the photo of the open mouth). The flesh is a bit pail. The lip shade he selected is not complimentary either. (Those observations are my own, of course) Fortunately, these are extremely easy fixes. I think he needs to look at old color photos of Charlie and reference those for the paint. No sense in attempting to re-invent the wheel when the hard work is already done.

Someone mentioned the Bergen Foundation earlier. Yes, the Bergen foundation could certainly contact ebay to have this taken down if they wanted.
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Jan 26, 2013 12:11PM)
[quote]
The economy has been so tough - and extra spending money is at a low for many, except for Donald (wink).
[/quote]

Matt, I haven't been effected as so many of you have because, I've given up those things you people insist are important like, food, clothing and shelter. You would be surprised at how much extra money you have, when you don't waste it on such things. Try it for a few months, you'll never look back.

:)
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jan 26, 2013 03:36PM)
Oh! So that's the secret!
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Jan 26, 2013 07:33PM)
I can attest to Donald's statement. I too go without and have never regretted it for a moment. Donald and I know what is most important!!
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jan 26, 2013 08:49PM)
Good point Donald...

However...I simply can't sacrifice food for vent figures...

..maybe I can sacrifice my children's education... no more school kids!!! :)
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Jan 26, 2013 09:42PM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-26 13:11, creativemac wrote:
[quote]
The economy has been so tough - and extra spending money is at a low for many, except for Donald (wink).
[/quote]

Matt, I haven't been effected as so many of you have because, I've given up those things you people insist are important like, food, clothing and shelter. You would be surprised at how much extra money you have, when you don't waste it on such things. Try it for a few months, you'll never look back.

:)
[/quote]

Food is overrated, anyhow. ;)
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Jan 26, 2013 09:56PM)
........Food is overrated, anyhow. ;)

NOW, you got it!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 15, 2013 10:15PM)
He's back!
And the seller has lowered the price.

Unfortunately, the price is still to high for me.
Drats!

FONSY
http://fonsy.weebly.com/
dummies for sale / free ebooks


#
Message: Posted by: James Arnott (Apr 19, 2013 03:17AM)
He looks good, but still missing...something. I don't know what, but it's not exactly right. It's very difficult to accurately copy a puppet, it's difficult enough to reproduce your own work in an exact copy, let alone someone else's style. It usually misses the original makers flair, because the copier has spent hours deliberating on brush marks and the like, whilst the original artist did it so quickly.

Still, a very impressive puppet, and a reasonable price.
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 19, 2013 09:11PM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-19 04:17, James Arnott wrote:
He looks good, but still missing...something. ...
[/quote]

Well, one thing he is missing is Edgar Bergen.
I think most figures look a little sad and lifeless
when they are just sitting on a shelf.

I do wish I had two grand sitting around.
Then I'd buy it.
No, wait, I'd have to pay off my credit card bills first.


FONSY
http://fonsy.weebly.com/


#
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 20, 2013 05:19PM)
The auction just ended. Nobody bought it.

I guess people with money did not admire it as much as I.

I wonder if the guy who made it will be discouraged from
making any more figures in the future.
That would be a shame.


FONSY
http://fonsy.weebly.com/


#
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 20, 2013 06:19PM)
I think there are two problems he is running into;
1. It is a replica of Charlie McCarthy, we can go back and forth on details, if they are right or not, but for most, it's close enough, and no one is going to buy it to use because it is Charlie McCarthy. Of course someone could buy it and change his clothes, then he would just look like another Marshall clone like others make all the time, but either no one has thought of that, or don't want to think of it that because it is a nice, well done, close enough replica.
2. Nobody knows the maker. Figuremaking is something that requires a long time of building a reputation for most before they can start demanding the top dollars for their figures.
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Apr 21, 2013 02:47AM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-20 19:19, Dickens & Dave wrote:
I think there are two problems he is running into;
1. It is a replica of Charlie McCarthy, we can go back and forth on details, if they are right or not, but for most, it's close enough, and no one is going to buy it to use because it is Charlie McCarthy. Of course someone could buy it and change his clothes, then he would just look like another Marshall clone like others make all the time, but either no one has thought of that, or don't want to think of it that because it is a nice, well done, close enough replica.
2. Nobody knows the maker. Figuremaking is something that requires a long time of building a reputation for most before they can start demanding the top dollars for their figures.
[/quote]


Absolutely. My thoughts as well.
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 21, 2013 04:33AM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-20 19:19, Dickens & Dave wrote:
I think there are two problems he is running into;
1. It is a replica of Charlie McCarthy, we can go back and forth on details, if they are right or not, but for most, it's close enough, and no one is going to buy it to use because it is Charlie McCarthy. Of course someone could buy it and change his clothes, then he would just look like another Marshall clone like others make all the time, but either no one has thought of that, or don't want to think of it that because it is a nice, well done, close enough replica.
2. Nobody knows the maker. Figuremaking is something that requires a long time of building a reputation for most before they can start demanding the top dollars for their figures.
[/quote]

Probably more #2 than #1.
Not all figures are purchased for the purpose of using it professionally.
All kinds of replicas out there do sell.

Has anyone in Pennsylvania (and on this forum) considered paying the maker a visit?
I wonder how a pro-vent or another figure-maker would rate this Charlie after
seeing it up close.


FONSY
http://fonsy.weebly.com/

#
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 25, 2013 07:52PM)
I agree, it probably is more 2 than 1 - btw, it didn't sell and has been re-listed for 995. - I'm thinking for that, it might sell. I'd probably buy it if I had unlimited funds and were still gathering figures like I used to.
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 25, 2013 08:23PM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-25 20:52, Dickens & Dave wrote:
I'd probably buy it if I had unlimited funds ...
[/quote]

Ditto!

I would not hesitate -- IF I WERE A RICH MAN.

I like seeing all of the replicas out there.
I am even tempted by the copy of Fats.
But I will need a little Magic in my life before I can buy one.

.
Message: Posted by: manal (Apr 25, 2013 09:18PM)
[/quote]



Has anyone in Pennsylvania (and on this forum) considered paying the maker a visit?
I wonder how a pro-vent or another figure-maker would rate this Charlie after
seeing it up close.


FONSY
http://fonsy.weebly.com/

#
[/quote]

I had considered it but decided against it as folk in these here parts don't take too kindly of strange body just a stoppin by .
Message: Posted by: Walden (Apr 26, 2013 03:51AM)
Not too hospitable, eh? :)
Message: Posted by: manal (Apr 26, 2013 02:24PM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-26 04:51, Walden wrote:
Not too hospitable, eh? :)
[/quote]

Some folks is, some folks ain't. :)
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Apr 26, 2013 03:08PM)
Well the seller has dropped the price on him. I'd buy him, but I wouldn't want a figure to sit on a shelf and owning a Charlie McCarthy look-a-like would be a hinderance for performing IMO.
Message: Posted by: Jaginator (Apr 26, 2013 10:39PM)
Hi everyone. I'm actually the person who made the Charlie you're discussing. I appreciate the kind remarks. I actually created him as more of a museum piece, rather than a performance piece. In my opinion, only Edgar Bergen should perform with Charlie. Now, if someone were to do a show AS Edgar (kind of like the Elvis impersonators, etc), I think that would be pretty cool. The reason I can sell this Charlie is because I am not claiming it to be an original Charlie, but rather a Charlie inspired figure. I have been in contact with the Bergen Foundation and, as long as I do not misrepresent the figure, they're okay with it. Not sure why this one is having a problem selling... maybe I need to retake the pics, but the others I sold went pretty fast. I wish I could get the richness of the paint to show up better in the pics. The pics tend to make him look a bit washed out and he's really not. I was very careful to get the right, warm skin tone shades, with a slightly lighter shade, just under the eyes and a greyish tone above the eyes and on the ears.

I think I mention, in the listing, that I'm a portraiture artist, but have always had a love of Charlie, and couldn't find a reasonably priced replica that I was happy with, so decided to make one myself. Having an original leg was a huge help and, I think, adds a little something extra. I've decided to create some 22" kid-sized figures, just for fun. I have some sketches of what I'd like to do and, who knows, maybe this will turn into a little side job for me. I'll attach a funny, practice dummy I made of Anderson Cooper... I named this dummy "Mini Cooper" (lol). He's a 22" figure and I'm pretty happy with the way he turned out. Hope you enjoy! Again, thanks so much for the nice comments!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 26, 2013 11:41PM)
Hi Jaginator, I'm glad you either found this thread or someone told you about it and you joined in.
Thank you for answering the question in regard to the Bergen Foundation.
I think the pictures of the figure are pretty good, as you can tell from some of the comments, most can tell the figure is really well done.
You say you sold some others, I'm curious, other Charlie replicas? I don't recall seeing any others like this one come up for sale. I've seen other replicas for sale, but usually knew who the maker was.
Anyway, like I said, very nice work on this figure, wish I was in a position to buy him myself, he'd be taking the place of the figure currently in my display case for sure. I look forward to seeing the 22" figures you're planning.
Message: Posted by: Walden (Apr 27, 2013 12:35AM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-26 23:39, Jaginator wrote:
Hi everyone. I'm actually the person who made the Charlie you're discussing. I appreciate the kind remarks. [/quote]
I hope you stay around and keep posting. The interaction of makers and performers here is a valuable thing for us.
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 27, 2013 04:12AM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-26 23:39, Jaginator wrote:
Not sure why this one is having a problem selling...
[/quote]

The market fluctuates often. A Selberg figure in excellent condition also failed to get sold this past week.

I've noticed that one month a figure on auction may get no bids, and a month or so later the exact same figure
will get numerous bids. The number of figure buyers is not all that high, and a degree of luck is needed
to offer a figure at the best time.

You did a beautiful job on your Charlie, but it just may be that too many people at this time are
a little low on cash.

Do you have a website? If you do not sell it, keep it posted somewhere.
Eventually the buyers will find you, and I think many of us would like to see
your other figures.

Best wishes!
Message: Posted by: Jaginator (Apr 27, 2013 10:02AM)
Thanks again! Currently, I do not have a website. When I build up my figure base, I'll certainly create one and will post a link in here. The others I sold were Charlies as well. I sold one on ebay and two outside of ebay (people who contacted me, after a listing ended). Obviously, I'd prefer to sell outside of ebay, since ebay takes a pretty large cut. The current Charlie now has a bid... I'm half-sick to sell him for so little, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices, I suppose! I have a beautiful Selberg figure myself that I was so lucky to get at an auction house, about two years ago, for a steal. I lucked out, because the auction house had no idea what they had and simply listed him advertised him as "a rubber or hard plastic ventriloquist figure". Honestly, I didn't even know what he was, or that he was a Selberg, until after I won the auction. I could tell he was a beautiful figure. I ended up getting him, with a large, metal trunk, for $375! When the auction house was packing him in his trunk, I saw "Selberg Studios", branded on the headstick and, as soon as I got home, started researching him. The closest thing I could find to mine was an "Old Coot" figure, but he wasn't offered with the upper lip sneer mine had. Eventually, I sent pics to Tim, to see if he could tell me more. Turns out, my figure is a hand-carved, custom figure that, if I were to have made today, would cost close to $8000, with a two-year wait time. The trunk alone was $400. So, needless to say, I was a very happy camper. I'm not at all a ventriloquist, but rather, I love the artistry of the figures. Hopefully, you'll see more from me, in the future!
Message: Posted by: Servante (Apr 27, 2013 01:41PM)
That price is ridiculously low, if that's what he goes for. Awfully tempting...but I don't perform as often anymore. Got five vent figures now! :) Initially I was bothered by this one, because something seemed odd to me. I think it's got nothing to do with the carving, which is exquisite. I think the monocle just sits a little oddly...or it could just be me! :) But, holy mackerel, he's lovely.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 27, 2013 09:36PM)
Well good news for Jaginator, the auction is getting a little more action, up to almost 1400. now, hope it keeps going for you.

I'm going to stray a bit from the topic here while we're waiting to see how things turn out for Charlie;

Earlier, we were talking about how it is difficult for a new maker to get top dollar for a figure until they've built up a name.
There is another factor I think hurts figuremakers, I'm sure it affects the "known" makers, and it can really affect the new makers even worse I think - and that's the fact that there are so many people making figures these days, for what really is a limited market.

It's not like it was back in the days I started, it was actually a process of tracking down what seemed to be a limited number of figuremakers. Probably why so many of us started out with figures from Maher Studios or the Maher Workshop, they were the easiest to find.
And forget trying to get any information on how to do it from people making figures then, no one was sharing, it was all a secret.
Then along came the internet, and info started "leaking" out slowly, then of course the biggest thing was Mike Brose's book and kits, and overnite, almost everyone it seemed started making figures, for a while, there were SO many Brose kit figures for sale all the time, and they still pop up fairly regularly, not to mention all the people who started converting dolls, etc.

In some ways it was good to have all the info readily available, but there were some downsides to it. The least of which, we've seen people producing some really horrible looking figures and putting them up for sale for prices of a decent looking figure, but that's not a big deal, they just don't sell.
Probably the biggest downside, with so many people making figures, was the market being flooded with figures for sale. So unless the figure was a high dollar figure from a known maker, or a vintage figure, it's harder to get a decent price for a figure. Now a new maker who wants to make quality figures not only has to deal with the business of building a name, they have to battle a flooded market.

Am I saying it's a bad thing the info became so readily available? No, I don't know where I want to stand on the subject, this is just some thoughts I've had on the topic over the years.
Message: Posted by: Jaginator (Apr 27, 2013 10:30PM)
Interesting post, Dickens & Dave. As someone who's new, I enjoyed the read. I have to say, however, I look at a figure maker the same way I look at an artist. If I like a particular painting and love the artist's work. I don't care how long they've been painting, if the quality is good and I like the piece. I've seen figure makers, who have been creating figures for years, yet I still do not like their work... Maher is one of them. Maybe I won't be popular for saying it, but I just never liked his figures. I'm certain he was an amazing figure maker but, like art, I had different taste. Yes, I've seen plenty of bad figures on ebay, etc... But that's just my opinion. Maybe someone else really liked them. I feel like, as long as I produce a quality product, people will come to me. As far as Charlie goes... since Charlie is the epitome of figures, I think people are willing to pay more for a quality reproduction. I know, from personal experience, I searched and search for one I'd like to display in my home, but couldn't locate one that wasn't either astronomically priced (Selberg version) or just not well-made, so I decided to use my artistic ability to create one myself. Servante, the monocle was carefully placed, based on the monocle placement on the Smithsonian Charlie. I agree with you, that the placement looks weird, but that's how theirs was, so I went with it.
Message: Posted by: Walden (Apr 28, 2013 12:19AM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-27 23:30, Jaginator wrote:
I've seen figure makers, who have been creating figures for years, yet I still do not like their work... Maher is one of them. Maybe I won't be popular for saying it, but I just never liked his figures. I'm certain he was an amazing figure maker but, like art, I had different taste. [/quote]
Do you mean the late Clinton Detweiler's figures, or just figures sold by Maher Studios, in general?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 28, 2013 12:31AM)
Oh, I definitely know what you're saying Jaginator, I was talking generally speaking about the maker having to build up a name to get the high dollars for the figures they make. And for some, as in all things, that actually affects if they like the figure or not, if it's made by a "name" and has a high price on it, then it's got to be good and everyone has to sing their praises.
I'm like you, I don't fall into that, for you, it's Maher figures, for me, it's always been Selbergs, never had any interest in one at any price. The only way I'd own one is if I tripped on a deal like you found, and then I'd only be buying it to resell and make some money on it, I would have no interest in keeping it.
Right now, one of my favorite figures I own is one made by someone who has been woodcarving for a lot of years, but has only been making figures for a couple years now, in fact mine was only his third figure. Over the years, I've also owned other figures that were not made by people well known in the field, I go by what I like.
But again, getting back to the way things are generally.....it's a different story, though I believe that may be a good effect of so many people making figures now, it may not be the rule so much any more, more people may be interested in figures by "unknowns", but they still aren't willing to pay the same price as a "known".
Message: Posted by: Servante (Apr 28, 2013 01:12AM)
On the other hand, as well made as Charlie seems to be, I'd've bid on him (though I have way too many figures, dang it) except he was a Charlie. For the same reason, I wouldn't care to own a Jerry Mahoney or a Danny O'Day.
Good work will always be welcome. If you can do as well with other characters that you've designed yourself, and if the inner works are as smooth as I think they must be, and if you can deliver on time (a lot of makers have trouble with THAT!), you'll be well-known in a very short time.
As for the monocle, it's clear to me that you've done your due diligence and likely know more than most of us here (and certainly more than I), so if you say the monocle's right...it's right.
I hope you keep up the good work. I, for one, really want to see it.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Apr 30, 2013 04:17AM)
Charlie is back on the auction block.
I guess the winning bidder was a loser.

Good luck, Jaginator, this time around.

As for the placement of Charlie's monocle,
it looks just like the original
(see http://andygrosslive.com/news/charlie-mccarthy-at-the-smithsonian/).

Fonsy



#
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Apr 30, 2013 03:37PM)
Might be the winning bidder didn't follow through, or he may have another one just like it up for sale, he said he's done other Charlies.
So which is it jaginator?
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Oct 24, 2013 11:09PM)
Another Charlie is on the big site. Anyone have contact with someone who has won one on previous auctions. Look great, would like to know how they handle.