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Puppet Patterns: What's A Fair Price?

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Buck-Beaver, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    For these I am leaning towards $20-25 dollars just because as you say that makes them accessible to not just puppet builders, but more of general craft audience as well.

    Thanks for the input.
  2. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Puppet Patterns

    B-B

    Personally, I can't wait to see what you are selling!

    I looked around and came across this: http://www.biblepuppet.com/welcome.htm

    I paid $10.00 it was also a download, but not worth even the "postage" if you understand my meaning. The guy did send back my money after I sent him links to the free patterns. His suggested materials: "Felt squares from Walmart"! Not my idea of professional quality puppets or patterns.

    Not that I think anything you create will compare to this stuff! Just wanted to let you know what you have to compete with. Be sure to build a site that lets people know you are a Professional, not someone drawing freehand circles that require felt squares.

    As a Newcomer, the only reason I'm unwilling to shell out the big bucks $50.00-56.00 for the PP patterns, is because there just wasn't enough detail information about what to expect on the web site. I had to come here for opinions. My experience is, people tell you what you want to hear sometimes, just to get your $. (I've been burnt! and it shows!). PP doesn't say what size puppet you can expect to make. That lack of infomation made me suspect what they were selling wouldn't be worth the extra $. It was great to get opinions from those already familiar with the patterns. Opinions from people who had nothing to gain or lose from giving me the info is worth so much more!

    Again, as a Newcomer, (not sure if I am different or the same as the rest of the Newcomers) I don't want to make a puppet for the sake of making something that resembles one! I want to make it the way the rest of you make them. I thought long and hard, did lots of reading, watched valuable videos on YouTube and ExpertVillage, before deciding this is something I wanted to do. I may be new to Puppet Building, but I consider myself an Artist not a crafter!

    An aside, make some tutorial videos on YouTube or ExpertVillage, and advertise your website. Either show making (parts) of a puppet using your patterns. Or do a skit using puppets made with your patterns. Always leave your web address in the bi-line, on your profile and on the video itself, for advertising.

    Please put me at the top of your e-mail list when you decide to release your patterns! Any idea when that will be?

    Patience


  3. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    not sure about price myself, but what do patterns that you buy ata fabric store run?i know i have seen many crfat patterns from compnaies like Butterick, and Mcalls,over the years, i would say that since it is being done on a smaller scale that your price could be higher than those since it is a niche market , and those whol really want or need something like that will be willing to spend more for a quality product from an independent source.
  4. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Puppet Patterns

    B-B

    Personally, I can't wait to see what you are selling!

    I looked around and came across this: http://www.biblepuppet.com/welcome.htm

    I paid $10.00 it was also a download, but not worth even the "postage" if you understand my meaning. The guy did send back my money after I sent him links to the free patterns. His suggested materials: "Felt squares from Walmart"! Not my idea of professional quality puppets or patterns.

    Not that I think anything you create will compare to this stuff! Just wanted to let you know what you have to compete with. Be sure to build a site that lets people know you are a Professional, not someone drawing freehand circles that require felt squares.

    As a Newcomer, the only reason I'm unwilling to shell out the big bucks $50.00-56.00 for the PP patterns, is because there just wasn't enough detail information about what to expect on the web site. I had to come here for opinions. My experience is, people tell you what you want to hear sometimes, just to get your $. (I've been burnt! and it shows!). PP doesn't say what size puppet you can expect to make. That lack of infomation made me suspect what they were selling wouldn't be worth the extra $. It was great to get opinions from those already familiar with the patterns. Opinions from people who had nothing to gain or lose from giving me the info is worth so much more!

    Again, as a Newcomer, (not sure if I am different or the same as the rest of the Newcomers) I don't want to make a puppet for the sake of making something that resembles one! I want to make it the way the rest of you make them. I thought long and hard, did lots of reading, watched valuable videos on YouTube and ExpertVillage, before deciding this is something I wanted to do. I may be new to Puppet Building, but I consider myself an Artist not a crafter!

    An aside, make some tutorial videos on YouTube or ExpertVillage, and advertise your website. Either show making (parts) of a puppet using your patterns. Or do a skit using puppets made with your patterns. Always leave your web address in the bi-line, on your profile and on the video itself, for advertising.

    Please put me at the top of your e-mail list when you decide to release your patterns! Any idea when that will be?

    Patience


  5. Bear Man

    Bear Man Member

    That is one problem I have with the Project Puppet patterns, and that's that you can't really see what the pattern creates. It would be nice to see what the canvass looks like before it is painted on.
  6. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    This is actually an old thread; a couple years ago I was thinking about doing this, but it wasn't practical to ship stuff from Mexico (where I was living at the time). I have a lot of puppet building patterns and information I plan to put up for free on PuppetBuilding.com when I have the time to get them properly scanned and traced...it's just hard to find the time to do it these days. :o

    Besides, since this thread was created Project Puppet has done a wonderful job of releasing patterns I don't really see the need for someone else to be doing it unless they have something totally different.
  7. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Patterns

    B-B,

    I would still like to see what you are planning to offer. I'm sure I am not alone when I say I'd be willing to pay for it too! Because I believe there is room for an alternative to PP. I've heard great things about them, but I am still reluctant to buy without seeing what I'm going to get. If you go to the fabric store, you can look at the cutting layouts and even read the directions if you want to take the time. I want something more than a simple description for the $XX.xx

    This statement makes me think it may not be worth the money "enjoy the simplicity of our one-piece patterns" If this is a professional pattern, it has to have more than one piece to it! Or maybe I haven't learned as much as I thought!

    When I first started my journey into puttetery, I spoke to someone who made puppets a long time ago. He told me 2 things, which I consider the most valuable info I've received so far. 1. attach the neck to the waist for greater natural movement.
    2. design the puppet with an open mouth for less resistance.

    The first I makes perfect sense, and something I would have figured out while making the first puppet. The second makes sense, when you realize that it is not your fingers doing the talking it is your thumb.

    Hope you haven't given up the idea of selling. I guess I need to look at the date of the Post before I reply. I just got so excited to find an alternative, especially from someone who everybody here considers to be an authority!

    Thanks

    P
  8. Whispers

    Whispers New Member

    I am one of the people that find the PP patterns to be expensive, I have a collection of patterns and not one of them is over 20$ and from those few patterns I've been able to adapt them to suit my needs.

    I think you should price them based on what you desire is.
    Is it to make an enormous profit? Or is it to share the information you've learned and help others grow while still gaining some profit?

    I think patterns over 25$ can already be in the range of too pricey, especially if they aren't offering too much.

    Remember that you will DEFINITELY sell more than one pattern and if they are affordable and as great as you think they are, your peers and people here will have no problem with recommending your patterns to others. After the first few sales you will gain back the time you spent and everything after will be profit.

    Compromise between yourself and your customers. Remember that both of them should be happy.
  9. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Member

    Out of curiosity, what did you end up selling them for, where did you make them available, & are they still?
  10. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I have to say that the Project Puppet Patterns are very reasonable for what you get. If you sell one puppet made from them for as little as $100 you've made back the cost of the pattern, your materials and have a few bucks to spare. That's pretty good.

    Price does not necessarily determine quality, but I suspect that there's a good reason people on MC rave about Project Puppet and not the cheaper patterns...and that difference is reflected in the price. I do realize that they might be more than some people have to spend, but to put this in some perspective, ten years ago those types of quality patterns with clear, easy-to-follow instructions were almost unavailable at any price. The few "professional" (I hate that word) patterns and kits out there cost twice as much as PP and they wouldn't allow you to sell puppets made from them.

    I didn't end up selling them; I have plans to put several of them online at PuppetBuilding.com, but just haven't gotten to it. I work 60-70 hours a week right now so it's difficult to find the time to put in to projects like that unfortunately.

    If somebody is handy with Adobe Illustrator and/or Corel Draw and wants to volunteer to help me put them together properly I'm happy to make them available for free under Creative Commons licenses.
  11. bezalel

    bezalel New Member

    Hey, thanks for the support Buck!

    I'd be happy to help you put together the patterns to make available on PuppetBuilding.com. I use Illustrator to layout the Project Puppet patterns, so it would be no trouble at all. Just shoot me an email.

    And as for the other recent comments, everybody is entitled to their opinion. Project Puppet certainly doesn't force anyone to purchase the patterns it makes available. Personally, I think the patterns are very reasonably priced (considering the work that goes into them and the freedom to use puppets made with the patterns in any way you wish). No one is making an "enormous profit"...I can assure you that.

    Patience, maybe this post will help you see the benefit of a one-piece head pattern. You may want to take a look at the full March 2006 archive for more insight. It's not such a far-fetched idea. One piece - less seams - easier to see how the pattern goes together - easier to make effective adjustments to the pattern (even for beginners). The effectiveness of the patterns should be apparent from the puppet pictures sent in and posted in the Gallery.

    Maybe not as impressive as what BiblePuppet.com has to offer, but, hey, we try. :o
  12. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Bezalel,

    Thanks for the links I will look as soon as I finish this. I have looked at the Gallery, just finished looking at Burg (again) and I still can't see any seams from the pictures.

    I was looking at the "Forma Series" not the "Simple Series". I guess when the cost of the "Forma Series" is so much more, I expected it to be more of a professional pattern. Maybe it is just my past (Fashion Design) that continues to haunt me. It just seems to me to be "too simple" to have only one pattern piece. But I am new to puppets so as I said maybe I have more to learn than I thought.:confused: I'm sure you've read the past posts, so you know I've heard good things about your patterns. I just want/need more specific info.

    If you want to improve the web site, group the pictures the same way you do the patterns. ex: Pinhead --and have all his pictures available on one page, separate from the pictures of Punto and his pictures. Or have the name of the pattern viewable when I put my mouse over the picture. The main Gallery page has pictures smaller than most postage stamps, which makes it hard for me (at least) to determine which pattern the character came from. (e-mail is a tough media, I mean no disrespect).

    Patience,
  13. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Thank you for the links. When it said "one-piece" pattern I envisioned something totally different. Hope this works! O.K. it didn't work, but it was crudely drawn anyway. (I don't have my tablet/stylus set up right now). From the picture of the pattern I can now see what you mean, and it looks way better than I was expecting! The picture really helps! A LOT!

    And another Great Big Thank You, for the article. I was on the phone (spent all of today's NapTime and a little extra, "No it's not time to get up yet"!) trying to find better quality materials. Wish I had had the right words to describe what I was looking for. I called foam places and aviation places and even places that sell aquariums, because the heating/air conditioning guys didn't want to help. My explanation of what I'm looking for is (and yes this is exactly what I told them)"the same consistency as the scrubbie thing I use to scrub my pots with, only I need it to be 1/2" thick". I'm sure they all had a good laugh, every time I got put me on hold!

    I'll go back at it again tomorrow! and hope to find someone willing to sell me some. Hoping that will be easier with the right words! No one seemed to know what I was talking about when I said "Scott Foam"!

    Gotta get to bed, before someone gets up!

    Patience
  14. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Scott Foam is a brand name. Tell them you are looking for reticulated foam. I am not aware of anyone in the GTA who sells it in small quantities, although you can buy small pieces at Canadian Tire (they are sold as filters for humidifiers). There is at least one company that sells in bulk, but they have a $300 minimum order.

    Best bet for a small quantity is probably to order online through Project Puppet.
  15. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Foam

    B-B,

    Thanks for the info. I found one place that has it, but I would have to buy $100.00 worth. It is not the cost holding me back, it's where to store it!

    How long would it take to go through that much :search: (4 foot wide by 100 feet long). I may have worked with the carpet foam and the junk foam (I understand why they call it that) but I already want the better stuff. I will continue to use the junk for my trial/error or mock up (as your industry calls it, I still think of it as a "Muslin" because that's what we do in Fashion Design).

    Another question, when I was in fashion, I used what we refer to as a "Judy" (a cloth covered manequin) to fit things to. We had to have it fit the Judy before we did fittings with the models (it was suppose to save time and $ with the models). Anyway, am I nuts or would it be a good idea to make something out of Paper Mache to use as a base? Just like fashion (and the different sizes), I'd have to make one for each head shape.

    I have a date today with (can't remember right now what the company is, but her name is Eilane and it isn't far from my house) she has a small piece she wants to give me to try. If it works, (or is the right stuff, she wasn't sure) she said she would put me in touch with her supplier. Failing that, I'll either resort to CT (as you suggested, the Pet Stores have it too! for fish tanks) or start looking again. I haven't been to Queen St. yet either, Benny ought to know where to find it, if I can catch him in a good mood!:excited:

    Gotta go break up a fight!
    Have a great day, I'll let you know if I find the right stuff!

    Patience
  16. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Who sells it with the $100 minimum order?
  17. Patience

    Patience New Member

    I found another place today that actually has the right fabric (their's is 30 ppi instead of 35 ppi) and will cut it to whatever size I want. They get it in 40" Square, (I think that's what the woman said, screaming kids you know!) she offered me a piece 24" x 36" (or was it 40" ?) for about $20.00. But it was not in Toronto, so I'd have to pay shipping, which is another $5.00. Is that reasonable? I'm also waiting for a call back from a different company. I'll let you know what I find.

    As for the place I went to today (with 2 of the 3 Wee Ones) she didn't have the right stuff (it was more like quilt batt). However, when I showed her the scrubbie thing I use for pots, she made a call and said she would let me know when she hears back. I just knew so close to home was too good to be true!

    After that I went to Canadian Tire (no luck there) and then the PetSmart (no luck there either).

    Then I went to the $ store, and saw the package my scrubbie comes in. I called the manufacturer, waiting for a call back from them as well.

    I haven't had time (I don't really wonder why) to actually attack the skin. Now I'm looking at the "naked" puppet thinking he/she (can you believe all 3 kids agree it should be a girl?) should have knees and elbows! I'll just bet naming the things won't be so easy!

    Question: Do you make the arms and legs in one piece or do you make it in pieces with elbows, wrists, knees and ankles?

    P
  18. SesameKermie

    SesameKermie Member

    Patience, I know it gets frustrating hearing this, but it really depends on what the puppet is designed to do and it's size. For the 'Glorified Sock Puppet' creations, I don't think elbows and knees are necessary. For larger puppets with foam bodies and such, I would use the method that Patrick Johnson detailed in his "Ratchet" Tutorial: Make a tube, sew across roughly in half, and then stuff each half. Once you've got that, you might want to make a 'skin to go over the tube that disguises the seam. It all really depends on how you want the puppet to do.
  19. Patience

    Patience New Member

    Thanks for the reply and the info. Hope this gives the right visual. This is what I ended up doing.

    I cut the arm in half at the elbow. Then joined it at the back of the elbow and placed a small piece of elastic between the 2 "bones" or pieces on the inside of the elbow. Does that make sense? Doing so prevents the arm from moving the wrong way at the joint.

    For the knees I am planning to put a small ball (haven't found one the right size yet) in the leg tube where the patella (knee bone) should be. This way when he sits, his/her knees will stick out a little rathern than go flat.

    I had to attach the wrists because that's where the arm rod/s will go. I intend to make an elastic wrist band and cover it with a tube of the "skin" or just make a small loop in the skin for the arm rod to slip into.

    My Puppets are for Church (approximately 600+/- ) and my own children, so I would like to make them as versatile as possible. Like the dolls I made (as a teenager) I am making wigs, instead of attaching the hair directly onto the head. With 3 children, and a Sunday School full, I'll have lots of clothes. I made the foot fit into a child's size 3 shoe (the youngest if finished with), so shoes shouldn't be a problem either. I may have to alter the pants, but that's better than making something from scratch.

    My Puppet (or my first attempt) will be about 28" tall with shoes and a head. His/her arms are about 12-14" (can't remember exactly) the body is about 10-11" tall. I made the body fit nicely into a discarded boy's T-shirt size 24 months. Used the hand of the youngest child to make a mitt pattern for size. Then used the mitt to design a more cartoon like hand with 3 fingers and a thumb of sorts.

    Question:
    Anyone here make Puppets for Church? I have no idea how many I'll need etc.

    Question:
    Is it somehow considered wrong to use Muppet style characters for Church? All the Church puppets I've seen so far (on the web) are cartoon style people!

    As usual, any/all advice is much appreciated. Can't tell you how much I've gotten from your board. Hope to give back soon! Maybe tomorrow if I get any call backs!

    Oophs! I have another question:
    Since I have experience sewing and pattern drafting, will I be disappointed with the "Simple Series" from PP? I really want a Professional pattern of some sort. Here are my options: One from the forma series or all three from the simple series.

    Which do you have? and/or which do you suggest?

    P.
  20. SesameKermie

    SesameKermie Member

    That actually makes a lot of sense, Patience. I may try making some of my puppet limbs like that. There are really no right or wrong ways of puppet building, for whatever purpose. It's more a matter of which method works best to achieve the result you want.

    As far as using puppets in church, I'd check with resources like One Way Street, and Puppetminister.com. They have some good resources for the 'ministry' side of puppet ministry. I don't think it's "wrong" to use muppet style puppets, for church. It's just that many churches buy patterns that anyone can fabricate, and don't really get into character design and such.

    I don't think you'll be disappointed with the 'Simple Series' from PP. You can make some great professional looking puppets from that base. Take a look at Nojoy's site (I forget the link at the moment--it's late/early) He used the Simple Series bases and was able to recreate recognizable characters like smurfs and Yakko Warner. The simple series shows you how to make the basic head. You create a character from that by adding features and animating it. There was an early Sesame sketch (it's on one of the DVD sets, Old School 1, I think) that has featureless anything muppets that get eyes, noses, etc added to make them into characters--people in the neighborhood. The Simple Series provides the same kind of effect. You start with a blank head, and gradually you see a character as you add features. I haven't tried any of the 'Forma' series or the Mostro, but I do own the Pinhead and the Glorified Sock puppet, and I've created several characters based on those patterns. I'll post them later.


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