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Topic: Lifespan of soft puppets
Message: Posted by: robholland (Oct 10, 2010 01:49PM)
Hi guys,

My name is Robert and I am from Holland. I am a new member.
I have a lot of softpuppets from Pavlov / Wanlu / Axtell and I was wondering what the lifespan of these puppets is. And is the lifespan of foam puppets like Pavlovs longer than Latex puppets?

Does anyone here has experience using softpuppets for many years?

Thanks for your answers!

(and sorry for my bad english :)
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 10, 2010 04:04PM)
Hi Robert..

I have used soft puppets for the span of my performing career (about 32 years) and they really are pretty durable. After about 7-8 years I send my soft puppets back to Mary Ann Taylor (MAT puppets) and she opens up the head and repacks new foam rubber in the head area as this material seems to break down after a while. I also recommend keeping the puppets out of the sunlight and heat when you are not using them as that will speed up the deterioration. I also use Axtell puppets and would you believe I am using a turkey puppet this year that I used about 20-25 years ago? I keep it stored correctly and the mouth didn't crack (it's latex so you have to put some conditioning material on the mouth to keep it pliable) but they should last for a dozen years with care.

The secret is in taking care of your soft sculptered friends. They'll last!

Mark Wade
Message: Posted by: robholland (Oct 11, 2010 10:46AM)
Hi Mark,

Thanks for your answer!
Do you know if the Pavlov puppets are from the same material as the MAT puppets?
And do you think the latex material has a longer lifespan than the foam material?


Message: Posted by: ColinDymond (Oct 11, 2010 05:46PM)
The life of a latex puppet really depends on how you use it. I have had some of my Axtell's for over 10 years and they are fine some that I use more often have broken down. Also if you make lots of exaggerated movements you will wear out the puppet faster. Steve Axtell can supply you with a new head if you ever need one.
I hope my new custom soft dragon will last 10 years before I have to have him reworked.
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 12, 2010 05:12PM)
Hi Robert,

I'm not all that familiar with Pavlov puppets (although I know I'd like to get one at some point..), but from what I have gathered they are very similiar , material-wise, to MAT puppets. So I guess the rule of thumb would be the same for them as for MAT puppets.

I have had latex puppets last a long time, like Colin. I have a turkey puppet that is probably 20 plus years old. I stored him in a cool, dark place (that sounds sinister!) and th material has held up pretty well.

Good care makes a huge difference!


Mark Wade