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I'd like to own a Fraggle

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by lotusoftheleaf, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Hello, everyone. This is my first post here. Ever since Fraggle Rock starting airing on the Hub, I've been watching and loving every episode I see. Lately, I've had an urge to have my own fraggle. I've searched Google (probably not the best option, I admit), but no custom-built puppet stores I've seen so far offer fraggle puppet options. I'd like to attempt building one myself, but before I do I'd like to ask a few questions. I didn't search the forum, so if these have already been answered somewhere here you may throw pies at me before linking me to the proper thread. ;)

    1. On average, how much does it cost to build a fraggle?
    2. About how many hours go into the construction?
    3. Is a fraggle something difficult for a puppet building n00b to take on as a very first project, and if so, would I be better off finding someone I could pay to build it for me?
  2. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    You're not likely to find a Fraggle offered for sale as it is a copyrighted property. There have been some less than legit puppet makers out there that have trafficked in knock-offs of Muppets and Fraggles, but you're probably well advised to steer clear of these shady operators.

    As to making your own Fraggle, that's a completely different propostion! I doubt that I'm the best qualified to answer your questions but I'll take a stab anyway.

    1.) Cost - While I haven't ever attempted to build a Fraggle myself I can give a ball park estimate of what the materials would cost. Of course it depends on which Fraggle you're building, but if you're going to be using Antron fleece, possibly some fur and ostrich feathers on top of your foam and other materials I would say your looking at a minimum of $100-$150 in materials. If you're on a tight budget you could try and make due with regular polar fleece, and cut a few other corners, but I doubt the cost would dip much below $50 doing it on the cheap.

    2.) Time - How many hours go into construction? Well, that is going to depend an awful lot on your experience and what methods and materials you use. Since you indicated you're a "noob" I would say to plan on about 50-80 hours of time. Most of my puppets still take me a good 30-40 hours to make, though I've only made about 11 or so thus far.

    3.) Is a Fraggle a difficult choice for a puppet building noob and should you hire someone to make it for you? Well, I don't know that a Fraggle is by design a more difficult puppet. I think you could find a Project Puppet pattern to get you moving in the right direction and as puppets go most of the Fraggles aren't terribly complex. That being said if this is to be your first puppet it almost certainly won't end up looking quite as snazzy as you'd like. But you would have the pride and joy of knowing that this creation while imperfect was a product of your hard work and dedication. Also as Fraggles are copyrighted you're not likely to find a reputable puppet maker who will violate that copyright.

    As to resources for building I would as mentioned earlier check out www.projectpuppet.com. They are a TERRIFIC resource for any budding puppet maker! As for materials you can find most of what you need through the excellent thread dedicated to just that: http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=21416
    Hope that helps you out a bit!
  3. Thanks for all the info!

    I'm not sure if it would make any difference when it comes to the copyrights, but I was looking to own an original fraggle and not one of the characters from the show. Maybe in time, I'll attempt to buy/make replicas of the main characters, though. I first wanted one when I saw an original fraggle puppet for sale on eBay. I can't remember the name of the user who was selling it and since the auction ended earlier this month I can't look up the item anymore to send that user a message. (S)He may even be a member on this site.

    If that person does come to this site and happens to see this post, I wonder if they build puppets on request and would be willing to make a fraggle for me?
  4. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    Not sure of the legalities there. I suppose that a puppet made in the style of the Fraggles but not an actual copy of a specific character would probably be okay. I have no doubt there are members here at the forum fully capable of just such a task. I probably could do something like that but I'd sooner pass the task along to someone with more experience.

    You could try Jarrod Boutcher Puppets. He's got a puppet for sale right now that isn't so much a Fraggle, but does share some similarities in design and materials. I'm sure he'd be up to the task. http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=51155
    Best of luck!
  5. SesameKermie

    SesameKermie Member

    As far as building your own fraggle-style character, I saw someone used the Project Puppet "Glorified Sock Puppet" and "alternate body" patterns to make a boober style replica. Project puppet also has a tutorial about modifying the head shapes by adding facial features that might help you make a Wembley-style snout.
  6. Knucklehead

    Knucklehead Member

  7. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

    Any idea how they attached the arms and legs? It doesn't look like a doll joint, the key chain or velcro. It almost looks like a post that snaps into place. I think all the Fraggles had removable arms (I had heard velcro), but I'm unfamiliar with the way they did it here.
  8. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    Thanks Knucklehead! I knew that JB had done more "Fraggle like" puppets but I didn't have the link to the gallery. I'd say he could truly handle the task!
  9. Animal31

    Animal31 Active Member

    Can't say for sure, but to me it looked like snaps?
  10. bezalel

    bezalel New Member

    Definitely snaps. Which is very ingenious, in part because they swivel. :)
  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Snaps are cool, although in my experience you want good ones and don't want to use the really cheap ones. They will sometimes come apart at the worst possible moment!
  12. That video was awesome!

    I'm still debating whether I should have someone build a puppet for me or not. I guess you could say that I'm wembling. :coy: I think this is something I'd like to learn how to do, but I don't even know how to sew so I'm probably less skilled than most new builders here.

    I was looking around on eBay for Fraggle Rock inspired puppets and thought this was pretty neat. If only I had that kind of spending money...

  13. Animal31

    Animal31 Active Member

    I can understand your frustration, but that's just an outragious price for a puppet, and not even a screen used or an original studio puppet at that. If purchasing is the route you wish to go, there are people just as talented out there that I can guarantee can do something similar for alot less.....don't give up!
  14. CoOKiE

    CoOKiE Member

    If you want my vote, try making one. I suggest projectpuppet.com for patterns if you're new. I find puppet making to be really fun, and i believe you may get hooked on having different colored characters.

    I'm not positive if having your own Fraggle (not any used on the screen) built is legal... but you could just make your own.

    I'm actually in the middle of redoing my first hand-rod, puppet. The first time i made him, it was felt. So, performing this character was ALWAYS a pain. Hes a fun character, but not comfortable to perform. Felt doesn't stretch, so movement didn't look good. Also, i didnt use another sheet of fabric for the inside of the mouth, so the cardboard would tear up when my hand got sweaty.

    I'm only mentioning this because you can learn from my story and so you know that the first time you make a puppet, it may not be the best. BUt everytime i build another character i'm trying different things. Some i learned and some i made up on my own. Have fun with it though and DO NOT quit if the first comes out bad. Some people feel that they can't do better after seeing their first and I've experienced that they get better!
  15. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    And while I can't say for certain that ebay puppet looks VERY much like the work of a shady seller who has frequently sold knock offs of various licensed characters for similar amounts. I'd steer clear. Jarrod Boutcher or any number of other outstanding puppet-crafters could hook you up with an awesome Fraggle-like puppet for far less, and you wouldn't have to worry violating copyrights.
  16. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    Andrew Agee who is puppetmancan here on these boards has made some original fraggle characters as well. Get with him.
  17. kdking

    kdking Member

  18. Wembleyfan

    Wembleyfan New Member

    Then again, you can make your own. I have made dozens of puppets, so with a little practice, make perfect.
  19. beakerfan76

    beakerfan76 Member

    My first puppet (And so far, only puppet) is a Fraggle styled one (Kinda based off Boober, but with some differences like hair and skin color and the type of hat). He's not the greatest piece of work, but hey, you can't get any worse.

    If you do plan on making your own, I suggest doing a little homework first (Look for patterns, supply lists, suggestions from puppet makers, et cetera), and if it doesn't turn out like you planned at first, no biggie! Just learn from your mistakes or experiment.

    Most of all, if you can, be resourceful. The aforementioned puppet was made using a pink Snuggie, if that can give you any indication. It works, and it's nice and toasty during the winter, but most muppet makers will use antron fleece, or if you can't find any, non pilling fleece works. Foam may be used for making the head and body, while ping-pong balls work well as eyes and ostrich feathers do wonders for hair. But like I said, use what you can and if you absolutely must buy something, go ahead and do it.
  20. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    I agree with beakerfan. But I want to see some photos of the puppet you made beakerfan! I especially like your note about materials. I love working with Antron and do when I can, but I've used a number of different materials including an old magenta robe that my daughter gave me. Here's 2 puppets that came from that robe, and I have enough to make at least 1 more!
    Not the highest quality photos but you get the idea. Just have fun!

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