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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Remote Control Animatronic Puppets by Axtell (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Tom, that's in Colorado. In your local city you could approach locals as a ventriloquist rather than an operator and sell them on your Hands-Free show. I think it will be a few years before you start seeing these populating the local stops, unless you've sold them on it.

The first folks to use these in any community will be you stage entertainers. Let's hope it grows so we can afford to keep making them. It's an expensive set up as you can imagine.

Something else about being an "operator" using the LIVE (or live mode of the MAGIC) remote operation. Not everyone can do it. You need to be quick witted for impromptu joking with crowds, a good puppeteer with skills using the joysticks and switches on the transmitter (magic version) and to sell yourself in the role, you need to be professional and reliable and sales oriented. Most of all you entertainers are on the top of those qualifications. The local gas station attendant or cashier cannot do this stuff. It takes a qualified entertainer.

It takes Hands-Free imagination and skill.

Ax
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Several updates on the Remote Site. Enjoy! Check all the pages....even the new one.

MAIN PAGE (New Overview with pictures at bottom)
http://www.axtell.com/remote.html

MAGIC PAGE (new information & photo)
http://www.axtell.com/remotemagic.html

VENT PAGE (new info and photos)
http://www.axtell.com/remotevent.html

LIVE PAGE (all new)
http://www.axtell.com/remotelive.html


Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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For those of you that are VENTS we have updated photos from a VENT get together showing the VENT Toucan. http://www.axtell.com/remotevent.html
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Two new features added to the MAGIC VERSION!

VENT MODE!

Now you can flip a switch on the Control System and use the same fob to control the puppet in the VENT MODE. (The moves in this mode are just like the VENT version). Those of you who have asked for the features to be combined will be thrilled! We will still offer the less expensive VENT version for those who do not want the extra program & play features.

PANIC BUTTON!

For those situations where you need to have a panic button. Press this button and your puppet will turn to you even in the middle of a MagicTrax routine) and says "Pssst....come here....then he whispers something to you). This will save you on stage in many situations where a kid may ask the puppet something, or the crowd is too noisy to hear the pre-recorded routine. You can basically use this panic button to interrupt your show, and walk over to the puppet - let them whisper something to you - then you can tell the audience what he just said! For example: A kid at a birthday party says "Hey Toucan...today is my birthday and I'm 8. How old are you?" (Hit the Panic button.) The MagicTrax or MotorMouth routine stops, he turns to you and says "Pssst....come here, I need to talk to you". You walk over and put your head near his mouth and he begins whispering..."pppsssss slsssss psussssst" You then tell your audience, "sometimes he is a little shy. He was asked how old he is, and he wanted you to know that he is also 8 years old! Isn't that cool?! Okay now sit back and enjoy the rest of the show." There will be hundreds of uses for this - it's a real life saver. We will program 3 different whisper routines, so it doesn't sound the same each time you hit the panic button.

This adjusted the price a tiny bit on the Magic...but gives you both the VENT and the MAGIC in one for less than $100 with the Introductory offer, and the Panic Button is like a free insurance policy for any situation!

I'm so excited about this! We are on the downhill side of the development and will soon be testing the features in real stage situations. We anticipate the VENT will go on sale before the MAGIC version.

Also don't miss the photo of the Toucan placing an order at McDonalds! http://www.axtell.com/remote.html

Stay tuned!

Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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I might have mentioned that the optional Mic & Portable PA system we have is good for 100 feet, but I was wrong....it's 200.

Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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How will you market this in your show? How will you use these characters to build your business?
Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Gary Hunter (A top cruise show vent) who told me he bought two houses using Axtell products came up from performing at the Magic Castle to see the characters. Blown away....photos soon.

Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Photos of Gary Hunter with the Toucan, the new PowerSeat for the Chimp...and some new optional prices are now on the site. http://www.axtell.com/remote.html

Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Lou asked me a Vent related question in another thread. He asked why the Vent Chimp doesn't have the optional animated arm like the Magic Chimp does. I'm trying to be true to the thread subjects and this is the VENT related thread so I wanted to post my answer here also....

Lou - With the Vent fob control, you have head left / Right presets (and in between...new development!) Mouth open and closed and Auto-Alive. It is in the Auto-Alive mode that the extra movements will be able to happen. The random wing movements of the Toucan, the head up and down, the head tilting left and right, the body leaning left and right. From a performance standpoint...I have wanted the auto-alive to be passive, like you can set it, and forget it while you do something else on stage, and so you wouldn't want the chimp to raise his arm during passive action because it would be distracting, so I didn't offer it. However...(new development, Ron and his tech team have made a way for the auto-alive to have multiple set ups that you can choose. You can now have passive (like in my first videos just watching you work)...you could have more excited (for a character that might always be kind of nervous)...you could also have it be set to bop to a song! Say you don't want the passive feature during your vent act because he's not going to be up during the whole show. Say you want to do VENT fob control only and then after the routine, the music comes on (from your sound man) and you hit the auto-alive and the Toucan or Chimp start swaying left and right wings flappin' / chimp hand tapping his leg, and you fob control the mouth to the song he's singing while you vent the voice. You can do this now. Gary Hunter requested to do this and we discovered it could be done with Auto-Alive because the techs gave me (multiple auto-alive options) in the puppets! So, I may rethink this and offer the optional arm on the Chimp to a vent who understands the feature is auto-alive only. No direct control over the arm, body lean, head up/down, head tilt with the fob.

Now it is important to realize that you can leave the puppet on auto-alive and still operate the mouth during your entire routine, but you might want more control over the head left and right for vent dialog (left to you, right to the audience to deliver the lines back and forth) however for a song, you could turn on auto-alive and he could be set to sway and then you could still operate the mouth for the big song at the finish of the routine. However, realize this is only an approximation of movement, it isn't really synced up to the beat of the song, it's not MagicTrax programming, it's just set up to be moving to a similar beat of music you have and it's looping...no hard ending (only turning off auto alive to end the motion)...or carry the character off stage while he's still moving to the music. Either way it will sell and your audience will love it. This just shows how flexible all this stuff can be.

Further (sorry these answers are not simple ones) the Vent is also included in the MAGIC system. After a Vent routine, an assistant off stage could switch over to Live mode and they could control any of the movements including the optional moving arm on the Chimp, or could switch over to MAGICTRAX and you could use the same fob on stage to activate the mp3 playlist for MagicTrax (true programmed action) or MotorMouth (audio activated mouth movements, and auto-alive body).

NOTE - if you are ventriloquist and you buy the MAGIC, you can still provide the voice of the character during a magicTrax...just don't have the voice on the mp3. You can program all the movements (or we can for you) for a MagicTrax synched up to the sound track with professional real time programming and you can still vent the voice. You just have to switch over from vent to MagicTrax modes on the transmitter or have an assistant do it.

Now.....Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

Ax
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creativemac
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Steve,
has anyone else reported that the pixs with Gary Hunter are not showing up on the web page?

I've tried two different computers and get the same result. A box with the dreaded x in it.

Donald Woodford
Donald Woodford

"Invite a Dummy, to your next function."
http://www.woodynfriends.com
axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Wow thanks for the post Donald, I didn't realize that. This place has been quiet. I feel like I'm talking to myself.

I fixed the photos... http://www.axtell.com/remotevent.html


Ax
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Send me an email or post here to let me know how many of you vents on this page are considering the Toucan or Chimp. Will you also be at Vent Haven? Do you think you will wait to buy there or buy as soon as they become available?

Ax
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Bumble
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I will buy a Remote Magic Toucan with animated wings and programmable as soon as one is avaliable.without hesitation....
I am based in the UK so my workload may not permit me to be at Vent Haven although I will be trying to keep the dates open.
axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Thanks for the note. I'm just putting feelers out. No orders yet.
Ax
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tacrowl
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Steve -
I am considering a toucan, although I may wait until customized puppets are offered. I'll look forward to seeing them at Vent Haven and may place an order then.
Tom
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Got it Tom thanks. Thanks to all of you who are emailing me about this too. steve@axtell.com

Ax
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Steve Axtell
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Lots more updates on the webpage!
http://www.axtell.com/remote.html

Ax
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Lou Hilario
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Steve, I am considering whether I should get the programmable magic version or just have it programmed by you.
I am wondering why it is US$1000 more. What is the advantage of getting the programmable version? Can I get your advice on this matter?
How much will you be charging for the customized programming if I don't get the programmable version?
It would be cool if you could post a picture of the programmable version so we have an idea of what it looks like. Also, a picture of the animatronics without the skins on those puppets.
Thanks!
Anxiously waiting for your great new product.
Lou
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Lou, the programmable upgrade for the MAGIC PUPPETS (not Vent or Live) has electronics built inside the Hands-Free Control Center for capturing your own servo motions from the operated joysticks and recording them into an mp3 that you can playback at a later time. This wasn't going to be released at all, but I'm glad we can offer it. There isn't a photo of this to show because it doesn't look any different than the normal control center. In addition to the programming electronics that get installed inside, there will be an extra jack on the side and an extra cable.

Our in-house programming services will probably be $75 - $100 per hour to create "MagicTrax" for the Magic Puppets so it depends on how many things you want us to record and program and want to play with it. There will probably be a big workload and lead time for some programs because of how busy our studio is, so I personally think you will love it and want to have it. There is nothing like laying in bed the night before a big show and getting and idea....and then jumping up and creating new programming yourself. Especially when you want to have the mp3 control the puppet.

If you want to get it later, you will have to return your control system / transmitter to us to install...but it is possible.

We won't be posting photos of the mechanics at this time because we have way too much invested in their development to show it this point. It is truly a work of engineering art as you will see when you get yours. I hope you can understand and appreciate that. Many trade secrets are used in the making of these guys.

We have a new video of the LIVE Chimp in action here... (this is also an example of the live mode of the MAGIC system. http://www.axtell.com/remotelive.html

As ventriloquists in this forum... you will want to be aware that the Hands-Free VENT PUPPETS do not have the Control Center / Transmitter and cannot be upgraded for programming. You use a small fob to operate the character. It does however come with MotorMouth.

Ventriloquists can also purchase the MAGIC PUPPETS because it comes with VENT mode and LIVE mode built in, as well as being able to play MagicTrax, MotorMouth and can be upgraded to Programmable.

The LIVE version like the above video, or the Live Mode in the MAGIC Version... uses the control center / transmitter to control all the movements of the character. So, it's not the ideal choice for a ventriloquist who does not want to be seen operating the big transmitter.

If a Ventriolquist purchased the MAGIC system you would have the ULTIMATE system because it can do everything. To perform in Vent Mode with the MAGIC system, you would select VENT MODE on the Magic system and use the small fob to control the puppet on stage!

Ax
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Lou Hilario
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Thanks for your answer Steve. Ok, I will be getting the fully loaded version with everything on it.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
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