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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Best vent figures (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Matt_24
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Brant's email is brangilm@adelphia.net. He does not have a website.

Conrad is VERY reasonably priced, and a true gentleman. I can't wait to see what he comes up with for me. I'm guessing I should get it in another few weeks.

I'm using a Tim Cowles figure right now that I LOVE. His mechanics are top knotch, and the entire figure is extremely HIGH quality. It's lightweight and really fun to use. You can't beat the price on his figures either. Go to http://www.dummyworks.com to see more.

As far as Selberg's go, I think I would like to own a Selberg "Max" living puppet someday. I really like the "McElroyish" look of that figure. I was close to ordering one, but I found Brant's info and contacted him and found that I could order a loaded figure for not MUCH more than I would have paid for a loaded Max, so I went for the one of a kind in stead. I saw a Charlie and Mortimer Snerd replica that Selberg carved that were two of the most beautiful figures I've ever seen. Not sure what he charged for them, but they were just beautiful and worth every penny I'm sure.

Everyone I know who has a Bighead figure LOVES them, and Robert McRay stands behind his work. A truely talented artist, and I don't think anyone would be disappointed with one of his figures.

I'm also a big fan of Ray Guyll. Anyone own a Ray Guyll figure? What do you think? I would like to purchase one someday.

If anyone would like to trade Ventriloquist Figure pics, email me at: Matthew_Kimbro24@yahoo.com. I have a boat load.
BIlly James
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Hi folks,

Dummydude and Jimmy Vee, I have often looked at the Selberg site and entertained the thought of possibly ordering one, however, I'd really like to know why you don't like them and decided to in fact get rid of yours.
Was it that they didn't go over well with the audience or was it because of mechanical problems or something else?
Please feel free to pm me if you'd prefer not to discuss it here.
Thanks so much for your time,
Billy
Jimeuax
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199 Posts

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I think it might be that they look just like a very beautiful "Doll"------I don't know what I would do "character" wise with one-----not my cup of tea--but you have to admire the skill in building them!--cheers!----Jimeuax
dummydude
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Tennessee
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Quote:
On 2004-05-11 02:51, BIlly James wrote:
Hi folks,

Dummydude and Jimmy Vee, I have often looked at the Selberg site and entertained the thought of possibly ordering one, however, I'd really like to know why you don't like them and decided to in fact get rid of yours.
Was it that they didn't go over well with the audience or was it because of mechanical problems or something else?
Please feel free to pm me if you'd prefer not to discuss it here.
Thanks so much for your time,
Billy



Well I'm not disputing that Tim is a talented artist. His mechanics were fine (though not mind-blowing. I own other figures with equally impressive mechanics). It's his style of figure making and the cost-effectiveness of his figures that I have issues with.

If you read my post above, I think I clearly stated why I'm not so crazy about Tim's figure making style. His figures LITERALLY have no flaws. Now what I mean is that if you study any individual long enough, you will be able to pick out the flaws in them. This is the "human" quality that is missing from Tim's figures. They look more like china dolls than figures. I believe figures need to have a sort of rough around the edges quality because it makes them look more human and less like dolls.

As far as cost-effectiveness goes, well there's no other way to say it. The asking price for his figures are ridiculous. For example, there is absolutely no way a figure maker should charge over a thousand bucks for a STOCK figure that is poured from a mold with absolutely NO extras. But that is exactly what Tim charges. If you want to add blinkers or raising eyebrows your talking another 2-500 bucks! You want a custom figure? hehe, be prepared to spend between 5000-7000 dollars.

It's hard to argue with success and Tim certainly is regarded as THE premiere figuremaker in biz. I mean he IS the Frank Marshall of our era. All I'm saying is that before you spend the kind of money that Tim is asking you might want to research a bit more.

I say if you want a traditional irish-type boy character then go with Conrad Hartz. If you want something a bit more characature looking then go with a Robert McRay bighead or one of Albert's figures at http://www.imaginariumgalleries.com
Rick Fisher
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Rick Fisher
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Check out Monster puppets at http://www.fabmagic.com
Rick Fisher, President FAB Magic

"One of the largest magic shops in the world!"

www.fabmagic.com
olivertwist
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Nashua, NH
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My two latest acquisitions are soft figures made by Verna Finlay. They have lots of character. I also have a shaggy dog soft figure by Maryanne Taylor MAT which is very nice.
My only hard figure is a large-headed boy by Kem Poyner. Kem make very attractive figures with good controls and is still reasonably priced.
talkingfor2
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Texas
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Does anyone know where I can find a website on Verna Finly? I would like to see some of her people puppets.
Thanks so much
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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I don't know if Verna has a web site. However, my address book shows the following contact information for her:
Verna Finly, 1750 Jamaica Way #113, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, (941) 639-0464, email: afcol@Peganet.com
She makes exquisite soft foam puppets to your specifications. She also sells a four hour video tape on how to make your own puppets. The tape is well done and easy to follow.

Another soft figure maker that deserves your attention is Mary Ann Taylor of MAT Puppets in Salem, Virginia. I use a duck that she made for me. My duck can be seen Here!

It is A 31 in animals gallery 4

or just start with her home page at:
http://www.matpuppets.com/home.htm
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
alson
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I know you are wanting to get a figure ,but do you know what you who your shows is going to be for?? Kids like soft puppets and are not afraid of them as much as a hard puppet.Another thing to remember is the cost of a hard puppet,you better be sure of a character ,because it takes a lot of shows to pay for one.All the makers above are great. But be sure of the kind of character you want.I have had the same hard figure for 25 years ,but have use many soft puppets along the way.My hard figure cost a lot but I did an artist drawing of just how I wanted made and had his character all ready pick out ,name ,how old he is,ect.Just some thoughts on the subject of figures.
Altson
ChrisJ
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Lapeer, MI
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According to Carole Greenes Vent Directory Verna has a new address. I recall hearing she had moved. Following is the information:

VERNA FINLY
7416 Spring Village Drive T18
Springfield, VA 22150-4927
(703) 569-0351

HOpe this helps.

Chris
axtell
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Steve Axtell
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For those of you wanting to use a puppet in your act but are not skilled as a ventriloquist, Axtell has pre-recorded routines on CD you can interract with. We've just added a bunch of new titles for your consideration! http://www.axtell.com/axtrax.html

Ax
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
Jimmy Vee
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Jimmy Vee
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And high quality, soft puppets too that are guaranteed to wow any audience.
Matthew Kimbro
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D.C.
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For the most "realistic" figures, nobody tops Ray Guyll.

Have you seen the Elvis, Al Gore, Frank Sinatra, or Nat King Cole figures he did for Gary Wilner.

One word: Unsurpassed!
rickmorse
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Flushing, MI
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As a huge fan of the late Frank Marshall's figures, I love the look Conrad Hartz achieves. While the Marshall influence is clear, Conrad's personal touch is still evident in all his figures. GREAT value!
Mind_Magic
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The Sunshine State USA
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Found a guy at ebay with seller id "tinkdini" he is making very nice and cheap puppets, maybe is not the best one but he build high quality figures and he never build the same puppet twice.

I bought one from him and really I was surprise with the quality, also he customizes my bird with short foot without any extra change, wow!

I'm ready with this puppet and axtel pre-recorded routines.
axtell
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Steve Axtell
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Make sure to check out Axtell Expressions for amazing puppets with lots of character and magic. We've built the Madagascar puppets for Dreamworks, 30 foot trees, squirting elephants, smoke blowing Dragons and lots more.....

http://www.axtell.com
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
ChrisJ
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Lapeer, MI
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/nod

Steve Axtells' puppets are fantastic. The characters available and quality are excellent. Steve has done a great job of keeping the prices affordable allowing for the developement of various characters without having to spend thousands of dollars. Highly recommended.

Chris Johnson
reese
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of Hell
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After watching my partner rehearse with her Axtell Alley Cat for a birthday party tomorrow, I am in stitches...what a great character! And very expressive. The brow moves, the nose moves... True, it's the voice she's come up with and the way she animates it, but the puppet itself is remarkable. She's fallen in love with the response it gets.

Tim
rickmorse
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Flushing, MI
131 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-01-07 23:39, Bob Sanders wrote:
Try George Schindler at Show Biz Services in New York.

showbiz10@aol.com


With respect to Bob, I've never been crazy for the figures at Show Biz Services.

There is no "best figure." Any figure you enjoy working with is the best. For me, it's always Conrad Hartz's figures.
Matthew Kimbro
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Hmm...best figure.

Best quality? Best character? Best looking? Best mechanics?

I know many working professionals who buy highly affordable and high quality Axtell puppets. He also gives you 10 million different puppets to choose from, which is a lot of fun. The characters you could create could last you an entire career.

There are other successful vents/comedians who don't pay much at all for a figure but are quite successful? Who? Well..I think Jeff Dunham spent about 50 bucks in materials to build Walter. He also built the original Jose Jalapeno, and his new characters Sweet Daddy D, and Bubba D. The most expensive figure he uses is Peanut, originally made by Verna, now made by Mary Ann Taylor.

Otto of "Otto and George" fame uses a very affordable (and crude) Anderson figure from way-back-when. Value? Probably $300 if that.

It isn't HOW much you pay for the figure, or necessarily how "cool" it looks. It is the life you bring to the character, snappy dialogue, comic timing, technique, and proper manipulation. With these things you can get laughs building a puppet from two pieces of toast. Edgar Bergen wrapped a handkerchief around his hand, and painted on crude lips and eyes, and had people dieing in the aisles with laughter. Something to think about.

I must agree with Rick Morse. You get the most BANG for your BUCK when buying a Conrad Hartz figure.
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