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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Custom Puppet, Who has one? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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kidshowvent
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Carl,

I did use an artist to help me visualize the puppets, even the duck. I told Alex Howell what I thought the puppets' character would be like, plus made a pencil sketch for him (I'm an amateur cartoonist). He would then make drawings and send them to me and we both made changes until we were both happy with it. He would then ink the final drawings for me. I then would send them to Mary Ann Taylor.

The Jack Coats figure was purchased from a guy who had him made by Jack but only used him one time. I bought this character for the unbelieveable price of $250. ! I've now turned down over $3,000. for him. This figure is what I had pictured in my mind as to what I wanted and I was lucky to actually be able to buy him and the character worked! I don't actively use him any more as he is more of a collector's item now, but it is a beautiful figure.

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
675 Posts

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One thing to bear in mind when you are having a custom puppet made is what rights you have. A basic package might be theatrical rights , these alow you to perform with your character on stage or occasional TV slots.
If you want to recreate the immage of your puppet in books you will need to have thos erights as well.

Expect to pay a percenatge to the designer if you want to make 3D merchandise of your figure.

For most of us, theatrical rights are all we need and getting TV and merchandising right might be prohibitively expensive.
DaveRobison
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Mobile, Alabama
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In 1979, I wrote Finis Robinson a letter and sent him a sketch of a man I doodled on several pieces of paper. The original intent was a variation of Alfred E. Neuman. I found out Finis had made a version of Alfred for a local teacher in Finis' area with MAD magazine's permission and the stipulation it not be used for any profit.

MAD's publisher wrote me back after an inquiry, and said "NO" in no uncertain terms that another Alfred could not be made. I adjusted my drawings and made some changes and Finis agreed to the work. (Finis did lower one eyebrow from the other, in a sneaky homage to my original Alfred drawing)

Over the years, some vents have attempted to burst my "custom Finis bubble", speculating Finis just adjusted a stock figure he had on hand, but after pouring over old Finis catalogs, and re-reading through our numerous correspondence back and forth through the construction process; I believe Finis was true to my drawings and provided me with a one of a kind figure.

In 30 years, I haven't seen a figure quite like Skyler Leglantier. He's an original and he's mine, all rights included.

Dave
I live on Facebook. Come visit me, I get lonely.
Carl Mustaine
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Dave,

What size is your figure? He looks really big, particularly the head size.

Is he holding a copy of " I'm no dummy" too?(!)

Regards

Carl
kidshowvent
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I always try to buy all the rights to my puppets, and my good friend Mary Ann Taylor is very easy to work with. My advise...if you buy a stock puppet, check to see if you can buy the exclusive rights to it. That way you won't meet up with someone using the same character.

Mark

markwade@kidshowvent.com
Carl Mustaine
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Mark,

I had no idea that buying a puppet/figure was so complicated and legally binding!

It would never have occurred to me that you would have to buy the rights to a figure.

One thought, if you bought a puppet from someone like Dan Payes, who seems to make every figure different , would this still apply?

Regards

Carl
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2010-11-12 07:36, kidshowvent wrote:
My advise...if you buy a stock puppet, check to see if you can buy the exclusive rights to it. That way you won't meet up with someone using the same character.

Mark


This is an interesting idea. I have only one stock puppet, a Selberg "Granny," whom I've transformed with wardrobe, cat-eye glasses and attitude into Mrs. Lucille Goldman. I've seen pictures of another vent who uses a "Granny" done up as a madam. Interestingly, although the underlying puppet is the same, the characters look very different, and I hope no one would confuse them. (Of course, what is the chance a member of the public actually seeing performances by both me and the other guy???)

Still, while it would be nice to have an exclusive on Lucille, I don't think I could afford whatever Tim would ask.

Bob
ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
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I think if you are getting a more expensive figure, like a Selberg that you then get to dress the way you want him/her you are not going to bump into another one in your neighbourhood. But if you plan to be a worldwide TV star then maybe you need a custom figure, or at least a personal paint job.
If you are using and Axtell figure, great as they are, you are more likely to have competition. That's why I had the custom dragon built!
IanARalph
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Central Mass, USA
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Carl,

I am currently having a custom figure being made by Dan Payne. I provided the design, and checked with him on the rights. He made it clear that I have full rights to the puppet.


Quote:
On 2010-11-12 13:22, Carl Mustaine wrote:
Mark,

I had no idea that buying a puppet/figure was so complicated and legally binding!

It would never have occurred to me that you would have to buy the rights to a figure.

One thought, if you bought a puppet from someone like Dan Payes, who seems to make every figure different , would this still apply?

Regards

Carl
kidshowvent
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Carl,

If you are having custom work done for a puppet it's good business to talk with the puppet / figure maker about securing the rights. It's good protection from someone who saw you work with the character and then would ask the figure maker to make one almost like it, if not the same thing. The amount you would pay varies with the maker, but it's worth asking. I paid $175. for all rights to a soft puppet, but I'm sure many others are much higher. Some puppet makers will give you the rights...it's not a big deal to some. It is definitely worth asking, especially if you are doing some extensive traveling where other performers may see your characters.

If you want to be original and unique, it's worth having custom puppets made and all rights in your possession. Buying a generic puppet will not provide you the rights as they mass produce them and many may have the exact same character as you. If that doesn't bother you, go for it. If not, go for the rights.

Also, sorry it took so long to reply..I ws out of town doing shows.

Mark

markwade@kidshowvent.com
ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
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I think it depends on what the makers are used to making. If you always make one offs for individuals then maybe they are happy to give the rights away. My builder is used to making things for TV and did alots of work for the muppets and so has seen a lot of money being made from merchandise. So maybe that's why he adds a price for certain rights.

I love having a custom figure.
DaveRobison
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Quote:
On 2010-11-11 20:01, Carl Mustaine wrote:
Dave,

What size is your figure? He looks really big, particularly the head size.

Is he holding a copy of " I'm no dummy" too?(!)

Regards

Carl


Hi Carl,

Skyler is 38 inches. He may look bigger, because I'm hanging from a walking bridge over an alligator creek. He's holding a copy of "I'm No Dummy" because the photo was taken as an "assist" to promote the DVD on Facebook by fellow vents. Vents who purchased the video posted an unique photo of themselves holding the DVD.

I'm not sure if I would consider his head size larger than normal, it's what I'm used to. Although he has carved legs below the knee and he is quite heavy.

Finis equipped him with side-to-eyes, blinkers, winkers,(leather) raising eyebrows, upper lip sneer(leather) and a handshaker. The handshaker is the only feature I regret and Finis warned me at the time. He was right, but I was 17 and couldn't be persuaded not to add it.

Dave
I live on Facebook. Come visit me, I get lonely.
axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Nina Conti just ordered an exclusive custom Granny puppet, she's thrilled with it. I'll post pics as soon as she sends them.

Here is a recent exclusive custom animatronic bear ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EjYQ2BQoAA

We have a page explaining our custom process here http://www.axtell.com/custom.html

Ax
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2010-11-29 11:17, axtell wrote:

Here is a recent exclusive custom animatronic bear ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EjYQ2BQoAA
Ax


Hi, Steve:

Clicking the animatronic bear link gives a message "This video is private." Is there an additional password necessary?

Thanks.

Bob
MrG
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I recently had a custom body made for my Axtell "Vern" bird puppet by a local seamstress. I wasn't interested on using the bird arm illusion and had a different idea for the character and manipulation- so while the head is not custom the body is. I have also been successful in "operating" on a few soft figures so they meet my
needs for the character and my show.
MrG
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72 Posts

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I recently had a custom body made for my Axtell "Vern" bird puppet by a local seamstress. I wasn't interested on using the bird arm illusion and had a different idea for the character and manipulation- so while the head is not custom the body is. I have also been successful in "operating" on a few soft figures so they meet my
needs for the character and my show.
Dickens & Dave
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North Central Florida
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My main figure is for all intents and purposes a custom figure. I had a main figure in mind, how I wanted him to look, and my friend Rick Price made the the perfect figure to fit the part. I don't own the rights, but since Rick has sadly passed away....but even if he hadn't, I know he never would have made a duplicate for someone else.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



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