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Jonton
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Okay, so I just recently purchased some more Dave Williamson material, and I've been considering trying this Rocky Raccoon thing to see if I like it or not. I've read countless threads on whether to go with Penguin's Roxy Raccoon (which is apparently less realistic, but it doesn't shed as much), or to go with the more expensive investment of the the Rocky Raccoon (which is more realistic looking, but sheds much more because it's real rabbit fur).

Now, I see Penguin has a Robbie Raccoon. I think Robbie looks much more like the original Rocky, but a few dollars cheaper.

Has anyone had experience with the Robbie version of this classic puppet? What makes it different from Rocky other than the price and the reputation of the dealer?
Any help would be nice...
Thanks a bunch!
~Jonton
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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Smoke & Mirrors
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Hey Jonton,
Rocky is my favorite. I don't get much shedding at all. He did poop on me once, though. Hey, Daytona has him on sale right now for $30. Get him.

http://daytonamagic.net/customer/index.c......Id=13804

-aaron
Michael J. Douglas
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Get a real Rocky. I've never had a shedding problem.
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
Neznarf
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When they get old, they shed.

Get a NEW one.

I also use Robert the Rabbit, also from Magic Masters.

He is so funny looking when you work his spring and his feet jiggle.

Thanx,

Nez
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
magicgeorge
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As far as I can tell from the blurb on Penguin, although Robbie looks like Rocky, he's wearing artificial fur. I think I'll definitely try him out. I don't like Roxie at all because of the feel of him more than the look of him. If Robbie is as workable as Rocky, then I'd go for him merely for rabbit preservation reasons, never mind the price.

I'll let you know what he's like when I get him.

George
Jonton
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Hey Smoke & Mirrors...thanks for that link. That seems to be a pretty good deal, so I think I'll spring for Rocky (yes, pun intended).

George, I would greatly appreciate the input on Robbie if you do decide to purchase him.

Thanks for everything, guys!
~Jonton
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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Jonton
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Okay, so I took the plunge. I bought both Robbie AND Rocky from http://www.mjmmagic.com for $33 each. I'll resell the one that I don't like as much, but I'll be sure to fill you guys in on the details of both.
Thanks!
~Jonathan
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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Potty the Pirate
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My friend Wizzo uses Rocky all the time, and has to replace him regularly when he starts to get old and tired. My version of this routine is Chance Wolf's "Wacky Weasel", which isn't as easy to work as the spring raccoon, but with practise, you can do pretty much all the moves Rocky can do (though there are limitations). The bonus is you get a whole magic routine with the animal once you've gone through the regular moves. A bit pricier though, being nearly $1000!
:)
Jonton
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Okay, so I went ahead and bought both. I thought originally that I would like Rocky better, but I've actually fallen in love with Robbie. Rocky's head was absolutely huge, and you had to control his head movements from almost halfway down his body, where as Robbie has a smaller head (made of hollow plasic, rather than thick toilet paper), which made controling him much easier.

I use the word "was" when refering to Rocky's head size because last night, I did a little open-raccoon surgery to remove some of the stuffing from around the spring in his head, making him easier to manipulate.

Rocky's spring is a considerable amount thicker than Robbie's, which is good quality-wise, but bad for speed of manipulation. I don't exactly have the strongest hands in the world, so Robbie's spring is perfect for me.

Judging by comparison of feel, both Rocky and Robbie are real rabbit fur, but I wouldnt put money on it. I think Robbie looks a bit more realistic. Rocky has more noticable stitches, especially along the tail, whereas Robbie has no noticable seams.

This is just a basic review, and if anyone desires more info on either, I'll be happy to give more.
Thanks for everything!
~Jonathan
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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mrunge
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Hmmm...thanks for your review Jonathan. I have Rocky and have had no problems with the original raccoon.

I guess there's always room for improvement with everything. If it works for you, well...

Mark.
Strangelittleman
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I just picked up Rocky last night and he is shedding more than my cat.....any suggestions lol...

Jonton - I noticed the same issue - being the size of the head stuffing.....im yet to figure out a way to fix this (im no tailor lol). I must say though that the spring isn't much of an issue (metal bending fingers here).

Oh - and on the fur thing, mines not real fur - its definetly synthetic lol.

Tez
Jonton
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Tez...
I took a blow dryer to both critters as soon as I took them out of their packages to get rid of any excess fur, and to fluff up the fur that had been matted down from shipping conditions. I don't have any huge shedding problems anymore, just a few hairs here and there from rough handling.

To fix the head problem, I just cut a few of the stitches in the butt of the animal, stuffed a finger or two in, and scraped around to push the stuffing where I needed it, and to pull out some of the extra. A few quick stitches (or even a staple) are enough to hold him shut.

Best Wishes...
~Jonathan
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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MrGreggy
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I have been using Rocky Raccoon since 1986 when I worked for Magic Masters in Atlanta. It's true, he does shed more, but only at the beginning. It's recommended to shake him a lot, or use a hair dryer (good idea, Jonton) when you first get him.

The spring is stiff, which takes a bit of getting used to at first. I have not tried any of the other brands, but I will look into them when my present Rocky wears out (I usually get about a year and a half use from a new puppet). Thanks to all on this board for your reviews and comments.

One of the biggest problems I've seen with people using Rocky is movement. As with any puppet, in order to appear alive, it needs to be constantly moving. Even if it' small and almost imperceptible, there needs to be constant movement. Also, be aware of where Rocky is looking. The eyes are the key to a puppet. That's why I added glasses to mine... it's much easier to see the eyes (the glasses "become" the eyes).

I have lots of other hints, tips & routines about Rocky in my book "Kids Think It's Funny", available on my website. http://www.MrGreggy.com

I look forward to learning more from this forum as I get closer to buying a new Rocky. Without a doubt, adding Rocky Raccoon to my show has been the best move ever... the kids LOVE him! I highly recommend anybody thinking about adding Rocky to take the plunge, practice with him, then add it to your show.

Greg McMahan - The Wizard of Odd, MrGreggy
David Boyd
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As everyone else is sayng Rocky.. whould be the best way to go!





David
Peace
David Boyd

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Strangelittleman
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Out of cuiosity - who uses rocky for things other than Kids parties - Im actually putting together some stuff for adults and I see a lot of potential for him in standup work......I'll post some of my ideas later on if people are interested (some of it could work for kids....i think lol)

Tez
Jonton
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Being a senior in high school, I'm around teenagers all day (very stuck up ones, at that...the ones that think they are they coolest things since sliced bread). We had a holiday band/chorus concert today to mark the end of 2006, and the kids were extremely disrespectful and talked all through the concert, whereas at a normal evening concert, everyone there is extremely quiet, they pay attention, they applaud and cheer when appropriate, and they make the event much more enjoyable. This is just one example of how rude and incepting people my age can be.

I first got Rocky last week, and with about 2 days of work, I was rather impressed with just how alive this little creature appeared to be. I brought him to school last Friday and kept him in my locker throughout the day, but when school let out and there was a rush to get to lockers and busses, I whipped him out to see how people would react. I held him rather discreetly, as though he were hiding from all the commotion (even though it was really because of a lack of confidence, being as it was the first time I had brought him out in public), so only a few people noticed. I walked and talked with my friends as I usually do, but I gave Robbie a mind of his own. He was acting very interested in the people I interacted with, constantly trying to get a look, or even a sniff, of the person I was talking to. After a few minutes, my friends began to notice, and soon, much attention was drawn to me as I simply walked through the halls.

After almost a week, people were expecting to see their new little friend at the end of the day. Since today wasn’t based much on class time, and more of giving gifts and having mini parties in class, then I carried Robbie around with me in my bag for most of the day. As soon as the action came to it's peak, I would bring him out for just a few people. Not one person didn’t love it.

There was a thread I read a while back, and Williamson himself explained the history of HIS involvement with Rocky, and he said that the best manipulator of spring puppets he had ever met was a magic demonstrator. He said that this man gave Rocky a complete mind of his own. This man could apparently hold a conversation with someone, while letting Rocky be completely unaware of the conversation and be paying attention to everything else in the room, and if something fell down the hall, the man would pay no attention, but Rocky would go nuts and try to find out what it was, and be completely separate from his handler. This is what I do.

I don’t usually incorporate Rocky in my conversation, but rather in my surroundings. He's very spastic and possibly a little Attention Deficit. He will go from watching someone do something very delicately, to chasing his tail, to wanting to see what's over my shoulder or behind him.

Even with such little Spring Puppet experience, my biggest suggestion to think about is: People aren’t accustomed to seeing a Raccoon in their surroundings, so why should the Raccoon be accustomed to seeing people in ITS surroundings. Think about what an actual Raccoon would do if it was domesticated, but it never left the house until the day of your performance. It would most likely be VERY shy, but equally curious.

I’ve gone on so much, I think I’m out of words right now. I’m sure something very intellectual will come to me in a few hours/days, so I’ll keep this thread updated. I would love to hear more from MrGreggy, as he sounds very educated on this subject.
Thanks for everything, and I’m glad I can help you guys!
~Jonathan


PS: Tez...I'm very interested in hearing your ideas. I would be even more honored if good ol' Dave Williamson would stop by and throw in his 2 cents.
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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Snidini
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I have just started to add Rocky again in my shows and I actually forgot just how much reaction this little guy gets. Kids love 'im. Adults love 'im and I too love 'im for making everyone smile. Just think up a great routine for him and you'll have yourself a winner.

Snidini
harris
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Spring animals are also used by this nearly normal puppeteer.
Last year a great shot of me surrounded by kids and "Bob", made it into our local paper. Like other puppets Spring Animals connect across culture and age.

In the U.S. I am working to teach that puppets are not just for kids.

Enjoy,

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Jonton
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Harris...

Just what kind of creature is Bob? Is he a relative of Rocky?
~Jonathan
I Came, I Saw, I Conjured
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harris
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Jonathan,

Bob is a spring raccoon and one of several that I have purchased over the years.

He loves to drink coffee from a Starbucks Cup....

That's why he is so active....

Actually I just use water in the cup.....Bob looks very interesting with a wet face...Probably not good on the life of the puppet,, but great visually.


Myself, I make Harrichino's...made with 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, an expresso amount of water and as much milk.

Thanks for the suggestion about the silver fox.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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