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Ask Travis: A Master Replicas Photo Puppet Q&A Thread

Discussion in 'Muppet Replicas' started by ElecMayhem, Jan 30, 2008.

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  1. muppetguy

    muppetguy Well-Known Member

    Comment for muppetperson

    We also don't know how it broke down, was it heat, was it stored somewhere where it can be damaged, were things thrown on top of it? The rest of her head seems fine for age...So my speculation is that, it wasn't kept properly or thrown somwhere with things on top of it to do such a thing. I love Piggy. And have 100% faith in Travis that he will accomplish Piggy in all her fabulousness!:mad:
  2. Fozzie6

    Fozzie6 Active Member

    No need to apologize, that's a good answer to me, I can wait a few weeks. Like everyone else has said, I just appreciate you coming on here and answering questions. Thanks!
  3. antonydavanzo

    antonydavanzo Well-Known Member

    Would you consider a fan photo page on the MR site as I think (no offences) that people here have taken a lot better pics than the ones on the site and it could help get people to buy them......

    Thanks man.....and congrats by the way!
  4. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    When puppets (or toys made from foam) break down they do only start to break down in random places. It's just the way they are, nothing has to be stacked on top of it. Unfortunate because as you can see, the rest of them can be fine for years and years - i would bet that Piggy head is 20 years old.

    Thats kinda my point on these, they're put through the QC process like plushies, but the people buying them know they're replicas of professional puppets, they know what they're getting into. They should care enough to look after them and if done so, they should be fine for years. I wish Master Replicas could use reticulated foam (maybe if there was something to treat it with) as i know each one would be 100% "true" replica. I know it can be a bit random though as to when the foam starts to break down so it is probably wise not to. These should be cared for anyway as they're not the same as a 10 buck plush you leave on a bed or shelf - a can of compressed air, a nice clothes brush, not being kept in direct sunglight. It's not something constantly needed, but done occasionally its gonna make a big improvement longterm.
  5. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    Hey all-

    I will get back to addressing questions shortly, but I wanted to address Luke's point about using the real materials. Because there's a part of me that agrees with him. And believe me, we went down this road internally.

    One could assume that if a person is willing and able to shell out $300 (or more) for a replica, said person would recognize that it's not a "toy," and that it's intended ot be treated as such. This means, most likely you put it under glass (or acrylic case) and treat it like a museum quality piece. (i.e. you don't touch it.)

    This creates several issues, from a company's standpoint. First and foremost, we cannot assume that Joe Consumer is going to act a certain way. We can include all the "this is not a toy" documentation that we want, but people are going to do, what people are going to do.

    Say for instance we made Gonzo accurately... the nose was extremely fragile. If you picked him up by the nose -- or say, were recreating the elevator scene from TGMC -- there's a chance (a very good chance) that the nose would tear right off his face. And I guarantee that we would have a minimum of five people do this in the first week! If I've learned anything from MR, it's that I will never stop being shocked at what people do with (and to) their high end collectibles! So in a sense, we need to cater to the lowest common denominator.

    Couple that with the fact that the Photo Puppets -- more than any product this company has ever made -- demand to be played with. They are built with armatures, to be posed, and in a sense, their very nature works contrary to the idea of a museum quality replica. Take a lightsaber hilt. No moving parts; no fun. But these guys cry out to be man-handled. And therefore, they need to be durable.

    Remember Ken's never-ending battle to balance between accurate sculpt and articulation? Well, mine is a battle between accuracy and durability.

    But in terms of protecting the company from a barage of returned noseless Gonzos, it was determined early on that the foam would not work. (Plus, even if Joe Consumer did treat it properly, in two years, if the tip crumbled off, I assure you they would want their money back.)

    Hope this helps some...

  6. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    There is already a mould that can be axcessed.The people involved already know.
  7. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    More evidence

    Here is another Piggy head breaking down
    It doesnt matter how careful you are, it will break down by itself.Latex is a natural rubber organic material that decays.Just light alone will break it down.There is nothing you can do to stop it.You can slow it down by keeping it in the dark, but what is the point of having something and not being able to see it.Simular materials are the way to go rather than the same that doesnt last.Twenty years goes quickly and some latex breaks down even after 7 years or so.:eek:
  8. uppitymuppity

    uppitymuppity Well-Known Member


    Not to beat a dead horse and I'm aware this is a done deal... but, it looks like MR could have found a material, similar to kermits green furry felt that could cover Gonzo's nose & etc. making him look more furry. No?
  9. Muppet Loverr

    Muppet Loverr Well-Known Member

    I might get that Miss Piggy head tho. I am so desperate for one,lol. Anyway will the Miss Piggy MR last FOREVER? or no?
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    A few questions...

    I know you inherited this Gonzo project and he's a done-deal, but could you enlighten me on - why hollowed-out moulded plastic wasn't used for the nose? The current stocking fix isn't authentic either so I'd think the designers would have chosen to at least make the nose likeness *look* better and more accurate. I believe some sort of rotocast textured plastic shell - light hollow plastic Palisades Mega Gonzo nose - should have been the way to go. Was that ever attempted?

    Also, did you see this quick tweak Photoshop alteration I made? It voids the MR warranty, but makes all the difference in the facial focus of what gives a Muppet the *Muppet look*.

    You do know that I'm getting this Gonzo and will be pleased to have him. I know he will grow on me. Yeah, there are some basic things about his construction that I believe weren't exploited. Much of it can be worked around. Still don't know why we felt the suit was incorrect? It's spot-on!

    :attitude: Thanks again for your patience and your activity on the forum! We've missed you! ;)

    (PS, also note the classic Henson Company used Gonzo poser on the far left top corner of the comp I listed above. Now that is one real ugly Gonzo. LOL! Just thought you'd enjoy seeing that in light of all the criticisms coming at you.)
  11. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    Though I don't think a plastic one was ever mocked up, it was considered. But the cost quotes came in too high.

    It goes back to the same issue as Animal's chains, which I addressed somewhere. Plastic items are expensive to make. Palisades was able to make plastic figures, but it was a volume-based business. When the volume went away, so did the Muppets line (and in turn, so did the company...)

    The unit costs on plastic pieces are not terribly high -- the nose, at that size, woudl probably have cost $2-3 per unit BUT the up-front costs of tooling would have been much more. Therefore, it would have been feasible, had we been making 20,000 Gonzos, rather than 2,500. Either that, or we would have had to take Gonzo's SRP up quite a bit.

    And I know, I know gentle reader you might have paid more, but again... we have to think of the more casual Muppet fans, too.

    So, the sock nose is final. Ideal? No, but that's where we are.

    And again, I reiterate... I love him anyway.
  12. uppitymuppity

    uppitymuppity Well-Known Member

    A simple change of fabric covering for the nose would have made all the difference. I work with this everyday at the Pacific Design Center in LA... There are bazillions of fabric choices that would have brought him to life. Whoever approved that final fabric choice was wrong.:sympathy:
  13. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, now I remember why Ken used to get so frustrated, and swear off forums for long periods at a time... Eveyone here is smarter than everyone else. :)

    No, no... I mean that with all due respect and affection. But man, you guys can be tough!

    So, uppitymuppity... can you please recommend a couple of fabrics? Too late to impact the product, but people are going to make changes to him (again, not advocating this for warranty reasons) and will be asking for fabric suggestions -- I figure I can just put the question out there now. Maybe scan a couple of swatches or something...
  14. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    BTW Jamie, I agree with that change. Much better.
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Thank you Travis for answering the question. I still think it was the wrong choice not to the plastic rout as I belive MR might be sitting on Gonzo stock as Palisades did with series one Piggy. In the end it's the question of a higher SRP or a (possibly) slower selling product. Glad you get these decisions rather than me! He he!

    One thing is for certian, MR will be housing one less Gonzo after I get me one! It will be interesting to track the progress of Gonzo. I do hope to be wrong and that he sells well. Thanks again for bringing us crazed fans the closest things to real Muppets.
  16. Bear Man

    Bear Man Well-Known Member

    Hey Travis, just a quick question out of curiosity, are the plastic parts on the posers tooled and molded specifically for the product, or are they "off the shelf" items you purchase pre-made?
  17. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Well-Known Member


    Do you know what week they will be shipping out? I am getting too excited here!

    Thank you! :concern:
  18. uppitymuppity

    uppitymuppity Well-Known Member

    Sorry to ruffle the muppety feathers...

    Travis, yes definitely. I'm a little frazzled at the center today dealing with a whole other world of design issues and can't wait to get out of this madhouse and kick back with a nice glass of cabernet. Come Monday I will definitely pay a visit to my good friends and experts at "Donghia". This is the kind of thing that must be super light, somewhat furry, stretchy and i'm assured you can get it in the appropriate colors. I will get right on that - give me the weekend.

    It's the recovering that I would be scared to attempt - hmm.

  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Totally understood Trav, and thanks for giving some insight on that. Yeah i guess for every fan here who'd treat em like a museum piece with a little light posing there's gonna be someone who takes it windsurfing or something. Obviously the fanboy in us or you wants them exact, but in our case we don't always consider the business aspect for you guys. Same way i can understand when Master Replicas has paid a gazillion for the license you gotta get the main characters out to get as many people buying, even if sometimes its like attempting the impossible replicating foam heads and noses and things that wouldn't be there if you chose a simpler Muppet. It is one heck of a license to have to handle, good luck!

    I don't have any questions, have a great weekend! :zany:
  20. Was Once Ernie

    Was Once Ernie Well-Known Member

    Just off the top of my head, I would have gone with Antron Fleece, like Kermit and Animal. It wouldn't have looked any more like foam, but it at least would have been more "Muppety", if you know what I mean.

    Unless there's some way to flock a plastic head, that's what I would do for any of the foam characters - Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, etc. Animal was originally an all foam character and the fleece version hasn't hurt him. Keeermit's Piggy is fleece covered and it looks peachy.

    Maybe uppitymuppity will come up with a better idea.


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