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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. uppitymuppity

    uppitymuppity Well-Known Member

    Us Californians must think alike? That is exactly what I was trying to say - that the fleece look would have been more muppety. My preliminary search was inconclusive but, never fear there is miles of fabric left for me to look at on Monday. You could have a professional "re-cover" that nose & etc. It's just the right fabric that you need - preferably not bulky as you don't won't to add very much in terms of the size of the overall nose. I'll keep looking and keep you informed but, the "fleece" similar to kermit or animals nose would have been better.
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Is there any chance for those of us shelling out big bucks for Gonzo that Master Replicas will include replacement felt pupil dots with their order? He really needs them and it would be a nice gesture from Master Replicas. Any Muppet fan (your prime customer) can see that the placement, unlike Animal, is quite off. One of the biggest selling features of having a living, breathing Muppet is sorely lacking because of the eyes.

    I get the nose thing, but I just can't help but feel frustrated about the poor quality control for Gonzo's eye focus because the limited number Mega Gonzos beautifully nailed it. Was pupil placement not a priority or did that important issue slip through the cracks somehow? I do know that this sort of thing won't happen under your management. I know you are playing clean-up with a lot of this and appreciate it. I do get that answering this stuff can be frustrating. Thanks again for that!

    Have you considered the possibility of developing a generic rat with Rizzo parts to accompany his release? It could be a way of getting more from that investment.

    And finally...killing you, I know:
    I hope you aren't taking many of these comments (by others and me) personally. Ken usually could compartmentalize the criticisms and make it work for the product. Answering the forum and fan questions does help Master Replicas. Also remember that fan is short for fanatic! :crazy:
  3. uppitymuppity

    uppitymuppity Well-Known Member

    All criticisms aside...

    Everyone should support this line and purchase Gonzo straight away as the snub of any one of them could result in the end of the venture. It's an investment in the future of the line and Travis' much welcomed aesthetic and dedication.

    I, for one, almost cried when I saw the Fozzy prototype. AMAZING! shudders!:o
  4. MrTheFrog

    MrTheFrog Well-Known Member

    Hey Travis,
    What kind of foam is under the netting?

    For everyone else, if it would work, you might try removing the netting, roughing up the foam with some sandpaper, and then sponge painting it. That might be an option. In fact, I bet someone here with puppet building experience could make a little extra cash sprucing up Gonzo noses if they wanted. Just some ideas. Honestly the white eyelids showing under the foam disturbs me more than the nose, though the nose, as Travis put it, is less than ideal.
  5. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    I know, and believe me, no one has offended me in any way, shape or form. It's just hard to keep up with the barrage of questions, coupled with the fact that everyone thinks their solution is the right one! Ya know? But no, not taking it personally at all. (You'll know when that happens :))And believe me, as the grown man with the most Muppet swag of anyone that I know, I am certainly among the fanatics.

    As for Ken, you never had to be in his office to see his reactions. ;) But I agree, he always handled it very gracefully. Usually, anyway.
  6. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    Actually, I don't agree with this fundamentally. I didn't with Palisades, either. Yes it is true that the future of the line will be contingent upon current sales. But I don't think that anyone should ever buy anything -- especially a $300 item -- if they don't want it.

    And DEFINITELY don't do it because of me. Remember, despite long absences, I am one of you -- a Muppet fan. I was here pre-Palisades, and I will be here in the future, no matter what. (In fact, if you don't know the story, it was here on MC that I first met Ken Lilly, which led to our friendship, which led to my job at Palisades, which led me to be introduced to MR, which brings me to where I am now... If it weren't for my Muppet fandom, my life would be DRASTICALLY different...)

    That said, I appreciate the sentiment.
  7. uppitymuppity

    uppitymuppity Well-Known Member

    We appreciate the humbleness Travis - you wear it well! But, here in Los Angeles, the city of industry, everything revolves around the bottom line. If the studios see a falter in profit the venture is gone. I simply don't want to see that happen.

    This glass of wine is the best - many best wishes and very nice to meet you!:D
  8. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Well-Known Member

    I really want Fozzie to make it through is all. I don't really want to be worried about it though. I REALLY REALLY want Fozzie. :o
  9. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    One last Q&A before I go enjoy my weekend. Thank you guys for your support; it's truly fun to be back!

    Let me get back to you on the wish list... we had, a few years ago, an offer on the table to do Labyrinth & Dark Crystal... but we passed on it. Don't get me started on that. But as for anything else, I will have to think about it.

    LOST... was... awesome. Can't wait for next week!

    Poop. I thought just as much. Although, I still want to do more research, as that would appear to be a vintage head, and the newer ones are quite different. (Some, of course, would argue that they are not as good!) But, it's the material I am interested in. The foam in the provided Miss Piggy bible was very thick, non-porous, and appeared to be pre-flocked on the outside. As I said, when Terry and I get into it, there will be extensive research!

    Um. Idunno. I would have to look into that. i think Terry trimmed it, but we would source something shorter in China.

    Sadly, we're not there yet... but see my answer above for my best guess at this juncture. Just because Terry could not find 2.5 fur to make the prototype, it has no bearing (ha! pun!) on what we find in China!

    Feet, yes. Toes, I don't think so. Kermit and Gonzo don't but I would have to check on the others. How much toe articulation do you need? ;)

    Probably not. The reason is, we're working from patterns and blueprints... and they do not include the mechanism. In fact, I do not know how it would be accomplished on a non-traditional puppet. (Though, admittedly, I am not an engineer!) In a traditional puppet, when the performer's hand is inside, they control the mechanism. No idea how that would work from the outside.

    I thought about it... and would try to do it, if it were in better shape.

    Probably not. The only consumer show on our schedule for 08 (currently) is San Diego Comic Con. Since we're west coast based, that's a tough one for us.

    Eventually yes... but she has not even been started yet. So don't hold your breath! :)

    We've talked about this. In fact, that was part of the idea behind Kermit's "World" Tour. It is something that we would potentially entertain for the future. As it stands, please feel free to post them on our forum!

    And, I think I have addressed everything else... at least, partially. Look forward to more questions! I will talk to y'all soon!
  10. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Well-Known Member

    Oh Artie -- how could I forget you?

    Um, the answer is I have no idea. But it's smooth. Like a nerf-y texture. I will inquire about this next week.
  11. Keeermit

    Keeermit Well-Known Member

    Hi travis, you asked for me to get in contact with you, i think i sent you a pm but i'm not sure now :)
    my email address is jeyebay@hotmail.com which is the best way to get in contact. cheers have a great day.
    I think gonzo is awesome and I can't wait for mine to arrive on my doorstep
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    (Reposted from the Gonzo section)

    Have a good weekend Travis! And thanks again for all you do.

    I know the Muppets are in safe hands with you and that you know Gonzo (hence the all too lengthy explanations you have gracefully taken in stride). Thanks for excusing some of that passion. He he.

    I am still looking forward to meeting my Gonzo. (One way or another he and I will see "eye to eye".)

    I am wondering about the Michael's craft supply letter dots that can stand in as pre-cut Muppet pupils.
  13. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Well-Known Member

    Jamie...look online for "flocked paper". It is used for telescopes and has a sticky backing on it. I will give you the website when I get home. I at work at the moment. It is only about 12 bucks and you get a lot of it. I am going to get some and cut them out myself. ;)
  14. Rowlfharris

    Rowlfharris Member

    Originally Posted by Kermieuk
    With future Replicas, is the eye lids opening and closing something that could be fixed so it didnt need to be pinned?

    There's a couple of really simple ways that this could be achieved during production, still keeping the same mechanism MR uses:

    Option 1. Some of us firmed up the positioning of the moving "eyelid rims" by attaching felt under the rims to tighten up the gap between it and the eyeball surface. This could be done in-factory.

    Option 2. Installing a very small but tight rubber washer or friction "c-clip" at the swivel point that the rims connect to the side of the eyeball would tighten up the mechanism, so the lid rims hold wherever posed. It would need to be small enough to not be conspicuous, maybe white or transparent.

    Finally Travis, I just hope you can convince Disney et. al. to go down the 'greater accuracy regardless of higher cost' route, if custom plastic parts turn out to be the only way to avoid "sock nose" type solutions.

    As you do seem aware, people that are prepared to spring for these high-end muppet replicas are not casual purchasers but die-hard and nit-picking fans like us. If there is such a thing as a "casual buyer" for these, they would probably be the type to whom money is no object!

    Most of us seem like we'll be (drastically?) modifying our high-priced replica Gonzo's to varying degrees to "fix" its nose, and thus voiding our warrantees. That is surely a sign that MR or Disney in this instance has unfortunately got the price/quality/saleability equation very wrong.
  15. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Totally, totally agreed. Infact i was gonna bring up this point after the weekend. If its a question of accuracy, i think the majority of people buying these would be fine going to about $500. The consumers are definitely seeing these as investment type products - and they are a steal at the current price anyway. I honestly would pay $500/$600 for Fozzie. I know Travis has talked about the character selection needing to attract the casual fan (and maybe the plan is to start marketing to them now) but as is, it's been said there is no marketing. People will only be able to see these here, on Master Replicas site, or at a comic collectables store or site. So perhaps some market research of some kind is needed (if not already done) to find out peoples motivation in buying these replicas and work out what they'd like. I know there are the durability issues mentioned that would still exist, but if there was a question of getting a more accurate replica for an extra hundred bucks i would definitely prefer to do that than pay a still fairly hefty sum for one that i might not be totally happy with.
  16. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Thanks so much, Caper! That will be a great help. I know there will be a Gonzo modification suggestion thread when we get him (no matter how he turns out) as members on here seem to like to trick-out their posers anyway. I know little can be done with the nose, but I'd enjoy seeing the attempts. I'll have to learn to accept that part of him, but once the eyes on my Gonzo look right - I'm happy. Thanks again for the Animal collar too. It's not totally accurate, but it's nice enough for me and really makes Animal shine.

    I know there's no question for Travis in this post yet. I already posed the generic customizable rat (out of Rizzo's pattern) and Muppet chair questions, but will iterate them.
  17. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Well-Known Member

  18. Kevin Knight

    Kevin Knight Well-Known Member

    More Questions for bright and early Monday morning! Sorry! :)


    Is it SOP that a final product photo is used on the MR website, once it's available to you? When items require a proto photo for pre-sale orders, is it changed as soon as a final product photo is taken?

    When I asked last week concerning marketing campaigns, I guess what I was asking was what media is used? Is it mainly online, Toy Fare magazine for print, San Diego Comic Con, Disney websites, and distributors? The reason I ask is that other than a Newbury Comics franchise store, and finding out about it here at MC I would have never known about Kermit. Is there a reason that marketing wasn't extended to specialty stores such as Spencer Gifts or Toys R US? Do you think the small bit of advertising that is done attributed to Kermit taking so long to sell out? Will that change for quicker sales numbers? (Working in entertainment/media marketing and promotions I kinda love getting into that mentality.)

    With the loss of the Lucasfilm account, and a majority of MR products therein can you give any insight as to what MR will be adding to (for lack of a better word) make-up for and maintain their international position as a collector's source for high quality replicas? (See parenthesis above!)

  19. Blinky_Fish

    Blinky_Fish Well-Known Member

    Ahem... More jabs, I mean... Questions

    Is Gonzo's head removable? I mean, with out a French Adjustment?

    And, If you are up for it and give me the dimensions of S&W I would hack one out of foam for the office. By the time they get made I should have it perfected.

    Are you makin' any money on the streets of SFO? Saw a lot of other BUM's out there - Thought the competition would be rough.

    I was just wondering, since Gonzo has all of that stocking material - what area of the world is the crime level dropping?

    Is Camilla coming with synthetic feathers? I mean, Would be better for the whole Gonzo thing.

    What are the odds of making a Lucy the **** from Avenue Q? My MR Animal is getting lonley in the glass case I bought at Ikea.

    And, congrats... you are my new abuse-ee (Ken II);)
  20. Keeermit

    Keeermit Well-Known Member

    :o I just have to say it again but i can't wait for Fozzie - he will be awesome!. Oh and Gonzo is awesome too...... I posted in another link about the gonzo replica that I think gonzo will be great once we get him and pose him correctly - his head needs to be on a specific angle for photos or he just looks wrong, I have taken many photos of my gonzo puppet until i finally worked out his good angle - i have included a link to what i think is a good angle for gonzos head to be on. have a great day all


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