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Puppet Passports...

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Fozzie Bear, May 6, 2002.

  1. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    I am going to Cancun, Mexico, and am wanting to take Muley the Mule along with me to photograph him in prime spots around the landscapes and what-not; but in the recent news some guy tried to board a plane with an ALF doll full of something, and there was even news where Elmo was practically molested in Kevin Clash's carry-on bag by some security guard who was just chunking him around.

    Anybody got an idea for some safe measures I can take in taking my mule with me, or do you think he should just stay at home?

  2. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

    I was sort of wondering the same thing. Since I used skewers for the arm rods, I'm sure that my puppets would never make it on a plane anymore... and I'm not 100% sure that putting him in a regular suitcase would be the safest place either (just see what happened in Toy Story II).

    I know this post is of no help to anyone, but I'm awfully interested in whatever anyone has to say on the subject.

  3. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    Hey, Steve! Hope all is well there!

    Well, I called American Airlines, who connected me with Memphis Airport Police and Security, and I explained to them all about Kevin Clash's deal with Elmo, and explained that puppets aren't to be handled so roughly, they they are very delicate creatures. That, besides the buckles or buttons on their clothes, they have metal involved in their ears or arm rods.

    I told them I just wanted to get a head's up on the fact that Muley would be travelling onboard WITH me and he's listed on my information when they pull up my ticket info at check-in. I also am supposed to be asking that a GSR escort me to the security table after they read the reservation info on my ticket info at check-info...I mean, check in.

    So, all-in-all, the word is this: Call the corporate number (usually an 800 number), then the local desk of the airlines you're using; then the airport security, and always ask that your puppet is listed on the screen with your name, and ask for a GSR to escort you to the security desk to be scanned.


    Oh, by the way, Steve...skewers?? OUCH! I just used the THICK metal wire, looped at both ends, and covered with electrical tape method for mine. How did you manage anything with skewers? aren't they kinda thin and fragile? Then again, they may be something useful to me, too! What'd u do?
  4. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

    I found these great 1/8 diameter skewers at Smart and Final, though I've seen them at Savon and other drug and grocery stores too. They're made of metal and are used to roast hot dogs or marshmellows on campfires.

    They come with a loop at one end and are about 18 inches long. I add a 1/2 inch dowel to the pointy end and use the looped end to form the palm of the hand. I make the fingers out of copper wire and cover the whole palm with foam rubber. Each finger is a loop that I connect to the skewer in one continuous piece with thin wire and epoxy.

    I painted the last version flat black, but that all flaked off, so I think I'll try black shrink tubing the next time around. My arms seem to be a little heavy for most wire, but the skewers tend to be just right.

  5. scarylarrywolf

    scarylarrywolf Well-Known Member

    hey Foz,

    When I went to Great Britain, "Scary" Larry had no problems at all getting through customs. He even got through easier than I did. Instead of letting the bagage loaders take him, I feel safer (but stupider) carrying him onboard. After we got off the plane I put him in a backpack which I had made sure had enough room for him beforehand. He didn't get battered or lost on the entire 2-week trip. So I advise you to do all of the above, and also attach a bagage claim ticket around Muley's tail, for extra security. Have an excellent time in Mexico!

    -"Scary" Larry Wolf
  6. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    I just remembered that when i went to the States and Spain i took my puppet... WITH ARM ROD !

    And i didnt even think about it being a problem, He was hand luggage. They didnt say nothing about the arm rod, It is a metal rod that is turned back on one end and has plastic at the bottom (for grip).

    Well, i had no problems ! Hope all goes well !

    See ya
  7. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Melonpooly Steve--

    Hey, sounds great, man! Never thought of that. Are the dowel handles really good and permanent? I can see how that could help you to get better hand movement, too! Does the permanent rods not cause problems later when you can't take them out or off though, like for photographs or other special needs (sometimes, I have Muley's right hand taped to his belly or chest and just let him talk using his left hand)?

    Scary Larry--
    No, YOU put a tag on Muley's tail...I'm just NOT that brave! LOL! I was thinking about putting a tag on his over-alls strap, which would make him feel somewhat important, and give him something to brag about, "Hey, I got a tag and YOU don't! I feel like I'm on National Geographic!"

    I am going to let him keep his arm rods, though they are steel, covered in black electrical tape.

    I don't foresee any problems on this trip, as long as Muley behaves himself...which I doubt. I am actually going to carry him in and keep him close to me in full view of everyone. Then, when someone asks, "Who is this little fella?" Muley will (of course) say, "Little? Lady, I'm a MULE!!" and I'll hand whoever a business card and say, "Sorry."

    FOZ de Kev le Mule
  8. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

    I drill a hole in the end of the dowls (which are about 6 inches long) and I epoxy the dowels in place. The other thing I didn't mention is that I attached the arms to the body with the "pin" end of a doll joint. Inserted into a hole in the body, I cap off the other end with a friction-fit piece of neoprene gasket rubber. The hole's a little smaller than the size of the pin. It keeps it in place, and I can remove the whole arm and replace it with an unrodded one. This also makes it easier to put different clothes on the puppets so I don;t have to thread the arm rod down the sleeve.

    this is all stuff I came up with on the fly, so it may not be the best way. I'm always learning.

  9. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    We'll be like Statler and Waldorf one day, still dealing in puppetry, and still learning something new all the time.

    Interesting concept here though on the hand rods.

    I'm currently looking at different ideas for a way to rebuild Muley and the gang. I don't feel that there is enough potential visible in the past puppets; so rebuilds are certain.

    In doing the rebuilds, I'm trying to consider how I plan on doing the heads this time around. I'm thinking I want some kind of firm but soft rubber that is hollow for the "skulls" of the puppets, that way Buford the Dog can cock his ears up when I want him to, like in the comic strips.

    Oh well, lotsa work to be done; just need time to do it all now.


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