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MR Gonzo Puppet Replica question...

Discussion in 'Muppet Replicas' started by Mistershow, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Mistershow

    Mistershow Active Member

    I just got my Gonzo last week, love him! But I have a question about the eyelids:

    What's the point in making them movable, if they can't be adjusted?

    These photo puppet replicas aren't meant to be toys, they're meant for display purposes, and as far as the instructions are concerned they're hardly meant to be posed often.

    Was the original intent to make them fully adjustable? The material that makes up the "eyelid" seems flimsy and easily torn. Why make them movable at all?

  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The eyelid material is authentic. The real Gonzo is typically rebuilt every several months because of wear and tear so be very careful. That is also why his nose has the netting over the foam - to prevent damage. Some people have found ways to pin back the eyelids for display (the same with Animal) but I suggest you be very careful with that.

    I don't know if the lids were ever intended to be adjustable without external pins. Maybe the legit photo posers from Henson and Disney have used pins. I did notice this and was disappointed too. I should also direct you to the little informational blurb provided about correcting the eye focus for Gonzo (in case you are a picky fan like some of us). It is listed at the bottom of his MC review.
  3. Mistershow

    Mistershow Active Member

    I don't have a problem with the material, in fact I prefer to have the photo puppets be as authentic as possible, materials and all. I'm fine with the nose too.

    The issue I have is, why make the eyelids movable at ALL, especially if the material is authentic, which could easily tear.

    I'd love to get some different expressions out of Gonzo (and with animal when I get him;)), but I don't want to have to damage the eyelids by pinning them back... It would have been easier if they had made the hinges tighter, or made it so that the eyelids could "click" and lock into different positions.

    There's no way the actual photo puppets didn't have this option. If they were photographing Gonzo for a specific advertisement, it would definitely call for different "expressions" than just the default look.

    I just feel dumb when showing the eyelid movement capability to people when they first see Gonzo, cause it's like, what's the point? right?

    Also, (sorry long post) I'm definitely debating your mod for my Gonzo... The idea of giving him my own little splash of personality is very appealing!
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I wouldn't be surprised if the official posers required pinning as well - especially recent ones. There is this misconception that the Jim Henson company kept pristine puppets and posers of their characters when in fact they didn't. The Muppets (in every form) were and are always in some state of wear and disrepair from use. They are designed to emote rather than endure and that renders their fine forms fleeting. That is exactly why posers were not created for sale until Master Replicas' great attempt at manufacturing these beautiful representations.

    Sure, they are not perfect. I would say each one is at least 90% accurate. It would have been nice for Gonzo's lids to pose without pinning and many have mentioned that. It would also have been nice if Animal's did so too and that his mouth would close and that he came with a collar, but a product of this type is extremely rare and experimental. I don't think you should feel silly showing off Gonzo even if his eye lids have issues. The only point of irritation for me was the eye focus. It goes directly against what made Jim Henson's puppet characters "Muppets" and have that distinct look as if they are focused on something. That, to me, was a massive drop of the ball - - yet, it is an easy peasy fix that is 100% worth it. It's something that should always be hand-placed anyway.

    Still, my Gonzo emotes and I haven't pinned the lids. I'll fuss with them a little bit and I have shaded and tweaked several bits of my poser. Here are just a few shots that I have found of mine.


    Sure, Gonzo's lids make him emote in a great way, but his eye focus and the puppeteering of him are what really bring him to life. I say be proud of your Gonzo. :concern:

    Hope this helped. The fact that these hit the market at all is an amazing feat. They may not have all the bells and whistles, but neither do many official Muppet posers used on product. I've seen plenty of horrific ones used in both the Henson and Disney eras. :eek:
  5. Mistershow

    Mistershow Active Member

    Thanks for the info...

    Is there a preferred method of getting his eyelids to "emote" without ruining the material? I don't really want to pin them back...
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    What I did to my posers eyelids was this -
    -I very carefully painted the edge of the white inner plastic shell with a matching green acrylic paint concoction. It took a few coats over a day's time.
    -I then gently position them back or forward with the few millimeters worth of "give" that they do have. It's not perfect and I would never pin them. It is possible to give them that slight boost.

    Keep in mind that I was part of the team that brought the revised Gonzo action figure sculpt into being so I am perfectly comfortable with such modifications as I have studied the "blue one" very closely. Others might have better suggestions on how to give Gonzo extreme eyelids without compromising his foamy structure, but I just wouldn't chance it.
  7. Mistershow

    Mistershow Active Member

    Bummer. I guess it's not that big of a deal, I love him pretty much the way he is... I've read in another thread that when re-applying the pupils, to lower them a bit to give his eyelids the look of being more open... That's about as far as I plan to go with modding him.

    Though, I was watching muppets from space the other day, and I was noticing that there are some subtle differences, and some big differences in the Gonzo we know and love, and the photo puppet replica... Is the replica supposed to look more like a specific era Gonzo, or just as close as possible to the one they make regularly now?

    Even though I love the replica, there's something just, missing I guess, for lack of a better description. I can't really put my finger on it... Maybe it's the clothes, maybe it's the fact that his "mouth" area (above his mouth, below his eyes) is too thick.

    Not complaining, just sayin... Maybe if/when Disney possibly makes their own replicas we'll get some more accurate reproductions.

    IMO, I really thought the prototype Gonzo (the "naked" version, not the floating head convention version) looked amazing. He really looked closer to the "blue one" than the retail one...

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