1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Help Muppet Central Radio
    We need your help to continue Muppet Central Radio. Show your support and listen regularly and often via Radionomy's website and apps. We're also on iTunes and Apple TV. Learn More

  3. "Muppet Guys Talking" Debuts On-line
    Watch the inspiring documentary "Muppet Guys Talking", read fan reactions and let us know your thoughts on the Muppet release of the year.

  4. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Saturday November 18 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

Count Von Count Sesame Street puppet

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Louis Kazagger, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger New Member

  2. solo409

    solo409 New Member

    That is really cool!!
    I have been looking for replica Henson puppets for a long time. To bad this one is a little bit out of my price range.
    It will be interesting to see if this thing gets pulled off of ebay for copyright infringement....
  3. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger New Member

    Yeah, definitely out of my price range too. I did a search on ebay for "Muppet" and organized the list to have the most expensive item first, and that topped the list. I'll be surprised if they get $250 for it, but to each his/her own.
  4. radionate

    radionate New Member

    Did you also notice the "Disney Muppets" listed a few lines down? Two are characters that I don't even know who they are.
  5. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger New Member

    Yeah, I did see those as well. Talk about scary. Mickey, Pluto, the Big Bad Wolf and Brer Rabbit I get, but who are some of those characters anyway? "Pinnochio fully turned into a donkey"? "Sourpuss Mary Poppins"? ;)
  6. solo409

    solo409 New Member

    I emailed the seller, and he/she said that this was their 3rd version of this character, each version being a little different. She also said that she had other characters as well. I asked her which other characters she had done, but she did'nt write me back yet. I really wish I could afford that thing... :(
  7. Niall

    Niall New Member

    You mean this is the third time (s)he has done this with the Count? Did you ask him/her how many other Muppets (s)he has done this with and then sold them on ebay? Is (s)he aware that they are violating copyright laws by doing this and could find herself forking over huge sums of money to the Henson company should they decide to sue? It's one thing to make duplicates of other people's work for your own use or enjoyment, it's quite another to be selling them:(
  8. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Interestingly enough, just as this thread popped up we got an email from someone asking us to copy Miss Piggy for them.

    Silly rabbits, tricks (and fake Muppets) are for kids! :p
  9. Ryan

    Ryan New Member

    I like this Count, but his upper lip is way too big...:rolleyes:
  10. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt New Member

    I like him too.

    I hope this puppet builder can make some more!

    - Billy :cool:
  11. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger New Member

    Well, if you look at the seller's feedback history, they've only gotten one feedback comment for selling anything (Knight Rider 14" rims?), and I also checked their auctions in the past thirty days (this is the only one), so they haven't been pumping out the Muppets on ebay.

    Yeah, any potential money is definitely not worth the trouble over copyright violations. I know a guy who used to make custom packaging and he would make custom Star Wars packaging and then card Hasbro figures that were never sold in carded format (like the Star Wars guys who only came packed with vehicles). He used to sell these carded figs on ebay, until George Lucas sent some lawyers over to his house and they shoved a cease and desist letter under his nose. Needless to say he stopped then and there. I got him to give me a copy of the C&D letter and I still pull it out and read it for laughs.
  12. solo409

    solo409 New Member

    She did not tell me what other characters she had created. I asked her, but never got a reply. I would think that anybody smart enough to sell something on ebay would understand basic copyright laws...
    But to be honest, it really doesn't bother me that much, and it obviously does not worry her. I would most certainly buy this puppet if it weren't so expensive. I figure that some collector is going to pick this up for his/her private collection, and it won't hurt Henson...but you never know.
    II can say that the puppet IS a good piece of craftmanship and I wish that I had the time and the resources to create a puppet that looked that good. If I did, I certainly would want to create replicas of all my favourite characters.
  13. ButchCat

    ButchCat Active Member


    I know that 10 to 1 should not be commenting on this thread but I lost my brains years ago.

    1. The price is very fair for this puppet. infact it should be away lot more as these guys cost that much to make in parts and LABOR. It's a lot to make them.

    Do I gree with the Count being made and thus sold? No.

    2. For those of you who think breaking copywrite laws is ok let me put it to you this way. If you had created your own character and people knew of it. Then suddenly a copy of that character appears and someone else is making money off of it and you don't see anything from it how would you feel about that?

    Sorry for my brief moment of Insanity.

    take care all
  14. solo409

    solo409 New Member

  15. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I'm not specically picking on you Matt, but you guys really should not encourage this sort of thing. Irregardless of how well made the puppet is, as Louis, Butchcat and others have pointed out this person is doing something illegal and ripping off the JHC to boot!

    Bootlegging - it's not a good thing. :mad:
  16. CaptCrouton

    CaptCrouton New Member

    Just curious,

    At what point would it be considered legal for someone to do this? I mean, I see in costume catalogs Mickey Mouse clones that are called, "Mr Mouse."

    So would it mean changing the color? Making a less quality work? Even using a different costume? Seems like the line is pretty fuzzy and the fact that I've seen so many exceptions, wouldn't that have to be settled in court?

    What if you made it for someone as a gift and they decided to sell it on ebay instead. It seems like there are so many loopholes I don't know.

  17. solo409

    solo409 New Member

    Yeah, coppyright laws can get kinda wierd. You can blatantly rip something off, making a bundle from it and never get nailed. Yet at other times you can be sued for having a character that was not even intended to look like the popular version. I guess it all depends on who owns the character and if they figure its really worth it to pursue someone who is making money off it. Lucas (in my opinion) is a too little to sue-happy and will throw a lawer on anybody who is making money of of his stuff. That ordeal that Kazagger wans talking about sounds a little nuts.
    From what I've been told (and I'm sure quite a few of you out there can confirm this) Henson is VERY strict about their copyrighted characters and does not put up w/ any B.S. But I don't blame them. If you had characters that were that totally awsome, I'd be too!

  18. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger New Member

    Yeah, Lucas is definitely top dog in the "sick my lawyers on them" department. Disney is up there too. Then you have franchises that are more lax, like Star Trek. They used to let their fans get away with murder, but I think that has to do with the fact that the fans were such diehards that they banded together and demanded the resurrection of the Trek franchise, years after the three year run in the sixties.
  19. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    To answer CaptCrouton 's question, at no point would it be considered legal to do this. If you are taking advtange of a characters distinct likeness, even if you slightly alter size, colour, etc. you can still be sued or prosecuted.

    It is technically illegal to even make a fan item for your own purposes or as a gift for someone. The main difference is that if you are not selling or profiting from the copyright infringement it is much less likely someone will come after you.

    The only exception to this is when you can argue that you are using the character's likeness as part of genuine work of artistic expression (that is protected by the 1st Ammendment in the US and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada).

    Andy Warhol's famous paintings of Campbell Soup cans do not infringe of Campbell Soup's trademark, however prints or copies of those paintings probably would (prints sold to make money would be classified as commercial in nature I believe). I should point out that what is considered acceptable as "art" with copyrighted characters is a VERY grey area in copyright law and lots of cases have gone to court over it (and the artists lost).

    For example, my wife is a painter a did a large still-life pianting of a Barbie doll. She can sell the painting because it would be recognized as a legitimate work of artistic expression, but if she made copies or duplicated the painting Mattel could sue her. In fact, Mattel could try to sue her anyway - although they would probably lose.

    Fan-made Muppets will never cut it as an artistic work under the law, so fan creations should be kept in your bedroom and off ebay.

    Henson is very strict about their characters. Our shop created a puppet called "Ned" for something on the Comedy Network in Canada two years ago and the JHC sent a polite but firm letter to our clients asking them to get the design changed because they felt it was too "Ernie-like." JHC also successfully sued the producers of "Whimsy's House" here in Canada over the characters designs on that show (and they didn't really infringe in my opinion!).
  20. Louis Kazagger

    Louis Kazagger New Member

    What they heck are you people doing with these puppets??? ;)

    Wow, I can't believe they won a lawsuit against Whimsy's House. I really don't see the comparison to character design there.

Share This Page