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Save the Fozzie Replica

Discussion in 'Muppet Replicas' started by muppetperson, Sep 26, 2008.

?

Would you buy a full-size Fozzie Bear Photo Puppet Replica?

  1. Yes. money is no object

    123 vote(s)
    45.2%
  2. Yes. if he is $400-$600

    40 vote(s)
    14.7%
  3. Yes. if he is less than $400

    92 vote(s)
    33.8%
  4. No

    17 vote(s)
    6.3%

  1. Kevin Knight

    Kevin Knight New Member

    Agee, he's one of those widget-fundamentalists. Nothing came before or after the widget. Weird bunch of cultists they are. :o Nothing more than just widgets.

    KK
     
  2. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Active Member

    What the heck is a widget? :confused:
     
  3. Nick22

    Nick22 Active Member

    i was very upset to hear that fozzie bear is being held up till 2009.:( i was hoping for him to be out sometime within the next month or two but i guess not. when/where is the next ComicCon that the MR muppets will be at? also if anyone finds out more information on fozzie bear or other future releases, please send me a message.
     
  4. Nick22

    Nick22 Active Member

    and what the heck is a widget?
     
  5. MRTom

    MRTom New Member

    [FONT=&quot]Its lovely to read stories about ME, we like to hear stories and the level of creative talent used in their crafting is noteworthy. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Now we would like to tell a story, a story about YOU. In this story YOU is a fictional group of well meaning people who banded together to share their love of Doodads, one day a company, lets call them THEM announced that they would produce some replicas of the Doodads and invited YOU to buy those replicas and encouraged comment and feedback on those replicas. THEM produced their first Doodad and it was very warmly received by YOU, and enjoyed relatively good sales. However in any other commercial business production of Doodads would have stopped at that point, as the risk versus reward factor was relatively high and people who sold to Doodads in their stores, lets call them THE OTHERS did not consider the Doodads to be hugely important to their overall business. However THEM were in the risk business and understood that passionate and valuable groups like YOU could help support and grow brands, and that THE OTHERS might be pleasantly surprised by the results. THEM then proceeded to make other Doodads, however sales of these Doodads were very disappointing, and got progressively worse, however the vast majority of YOU continued to enjoy the Doodads. Some of YOU rightfully pointed out issues with the Doodads that they were not 100% happy with and these suggestions were warmly received by THEM as part of an ongoing refinement process. After all the Doodads were quite complicated and expensive and THEM always juggled a difficult balance between trying to replicate hand made bespoke pieces as commercially produced products. Then the villain of the piece enters…. Economically the world in which YOU, THEM, and THE OTHERS lived in got a little shaky (this is a family story so we will be a little rose tinted about the whole mess so as not to scare the youngsters, but be under no illusions this is scary) Because of this and quite understandably YOU became a little less likely to commit large sums of money to Doodads, and equally understandably THE OTHERS became even less likely to want to invest large sums of money in Doodads that may sit in their shops unsold. Now a short sub-plot THEM had always had problems getting Doodads made, sadly there were not very many Doodad makers out there and finding reliable ones was tough. There is not a lot of money in Doodads, so Doodad factory owners were far happier to convert to Whatsamacallits or Whogiemaflips than make Doodads and the economic problems only made this even worse. So, to cut a long story short Doodas were a tricky issue so THEM decided to take a close look at Doodads and their potential future, should they continue? Should they be cancelled? Should they go on hiatus until better times? Who better to answer these questions than YOU, nobody. So THEM reached out to YOU trying to be as honest as possible, and attempted to accurately gauge the true market for Doodads. Now the King of THEM said to the internet elves at THEM HQ, ‘Don’t bother it will be a total waste of time, they will do nothing but complain about what should have been and will make up mean and nasty stories about us.’ But the elves were naughty and did it anyway as they wanted to stay in communication with YOU… and how did the story end? Well the last chapter has yet to be written, but having seen the early drafts here, we hope the King of THEM was not right. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and yes, we could have done things differently or perhaps better, but we cannot change that now. What is important is the future and how we go forward. Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad tidings or give bad news, but honestly folks its tough out there. Its brutal. We do this for a living, it puts food on our tables and pays our bills. Its not a game, or a joke. So lets have some FACTS[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]1)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Gonzo and Animal have been very disappointing. We have attempted to push sales by drastically reducing the prices and they are still very slow.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]We showed Fozzie at all major trade and public events in 2007 and early 2008 such as SDCC and got absolutely ZERO interest from potential buyers. It was too big, too expensive and too risky were the common complaints. We did not even get a glimmer of interest, sure lots of people loved him, as we do, but were not willing to translate that love into an order, which in the cold light of day is what matters. The few retailers who did choose to speculatively list Fozzie as a pre-order had similar lacklustre results.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]3)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Believe us we have tried and tried and tried to get our Muppets posers in with every possible stockist, all the ones that have been suggested on this thread, turned the range down flat. They see it as simply too specialist.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]4)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]We cannot find a factory who is able to produce Fozzie to the standard and quality that you and we both require. We want to meet or exceed expectations, and do not want to face similar complaints to those we faced with Gonzo and Animal on accuracy and authenticity. We will not simply throw out a sub-standard Fozzie out there, or any product for that matter.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]5)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Its not just a quality problem, it is simply an availability problem. A total of 3,631 toy exporters in China or 52.7 percent of the entire industry's businesses shut down in the first seven months of 2008. It is a bloodbath out there. Many of our long term partners are no longer in business.[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7670351.stm[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]6)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]If you do not pay your bills you do not get product. Its quite simple, we won’t bore you with the details of how the toy trade works. Just look in Wikipedia under Letter Of Credit or LC if you are interested. In most cases we have to effectively pay up-front to have items produced and this is why we always try to avoid producing anything before we have a firm number of orders or a definite idea of demand. Expensive unsold products sitting in warehouses means you go out of business quite rapidly. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]7)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Marketing toys is a catch 22, economically you cannot afford to spend marketing $ promoting a product that will have limited results , there simply is not the margin to pay the costs. However without marketing results will be limited. Sadly with specialty products this is even more the case. We only have limited resource and would rather put that into products and packaging than potentially waste it. So we rely heavily on viral and direct marketing for these products. We think that we have effectively reached the vast majority of the target market for our Muppets products. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]8)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]This is also born out by the response to the Fozzie polls if we are hugely optimistic and combine all results from various forums into one it would lead us to believe there are less than 200 globally who want Fozzie. So lets be hugely generous and double that. We are still 100 away from even a semi viable edition size of 500 pieces, let alone an edition of 2000+. Producing 500 pieces if we could find a factory would mean that any costs on packaging, shipping, tooling, moulding or any production whatsoever are then divided across 500 rather than 2000 and this means a higher $ unit price out the factory. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]9)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]We are investigating the potential of producing Fozzie and other posers in a semi bespoke method, having them effectively hand made to order, perhaps even in the USA or other locations for individual domestic markets. We are talking to all the right people. HOWEVER and read this carefully, firstly the prices that have been proposed so far would shock you, and that’s just the cost to us. This is a specialist craftsman-led business that takes many, many hours and sadly that means $. Additionally we are restricted by the terms of our license and cannot simply do what we want, everything has to be approved. The practicalities of retaining consistent quality through this method are haphazard to say the least and it is highly likely that we will be prevented from being able to do this, but we are looking at it. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Our feeling is that the Posers line is a dead end in its current form. It simply does not have the ability to support itself economically. Prove us wrong or suggest other ideas. We know the Muppets is great, we love it too, and we know that demand will grow over coming years. But are posers the right way to service that audience? [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Let us know directly, you can call or email, and if anybody thinks they might know somebody who can get batches of these things produced in say 50’s lets hear from you. [/FONT]
     
  6. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    wow, sad that it took so much negatism to get a representative to speak up. How nice would have been to have this info first off?

    Posers may u rest in peace .
     
  7. Was Once Ernie

    Was Once Ernie New Member

    MRTom,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write that very long and brutally honest post. I can't speak for anyone else, but I would rather hear that kind of direct talk than be strung along with false hopes.

    Thank you also for the replicas that you did make. It was a solid effort, even if it didn't succeed 100%. I hate to say this, and will probably be chastised for it, but it does seem that there just isn't as much interest in the Muppets as there once was, although Disney is still making valiant efforts to revive them. Without the vision and genius of Jim Henson behind them, though, I don't know that they can ever again be what they once were.

    :p
     
  8. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    I really like the idea of a made to order fozzie and or really any muppet character! Get ready Terry!
     
  9. Nick22

    Nick22 Active Member

    i am really upset to hear that. i was extremely excited for the release of fozzie bear and other muppets characters. i really hope that MR can keep it up!
     
  10. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    Even if the prices are higher I think being able to pick and choose which characters u want would be cool. I know terry could do it! Jarrod could help out.
     
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    :) Hey MRTom!

    I'm sitting here with my three posers looking forlorn over the complications with Fozzie, but beautifully so!

    For all the minor tweaks and critiques I have stated in the past (the Animal one is up in the official MC and on MR reviews) I still think these were the best Muppet products ever produced. :super:

    Your much appreciated post didn't mention the promotional photos. All the effort in the world was put into making these quality pieces and then these poor representational photographs were taken and used to promote the posers all over the internet. I believe those snapshots really did more harm than good and would have gladly ridden the BART or the train down to you guys on my own dime and armed with my digital camera. I still think sales of Animal and Gonzo could improve if someone took some better photos. Maybe a fan contest on the MR site for them? There would certainly be a few takers.

    Thanks for your candor. We're still used to Palisades Ken giving us the play by play as far as high-end Muppet product. It was rare and I thank you for stopping by to talk with us when you didn't have to do so. I never thought this sort of product was possible, but you guys did it three times! That's a win in my book.

    One more question - figurines? Will you guys transition to any figural Muppet moments? The quality of the Mayhem prototypes didn't meet expectations, but I still have hopes for something from you guys. Your Disney stuff is excellent. :cool:
     
  12. Telly

    Telly Active Member

    MRTom ~ I agree with WOE. Thank you for giving us an honest answer. I think that the posers are fantastic, but I think they're more for the die hard fans (such as us on this forum). I have a lot of friends that are casual Muppet fans and while they marvel at the awesomeness of Kermit and Gonzo (saving up for Animal), I know they'd never spend $200 on one for themselves.
    I think a lot of us feel disappointed because Having only Kermit and Gonzo without Fozzie is like having Yoda, Leia, and R2D2figures to the Star Wars fans. We need that one character to bring them together. Fozzie is our Luke Skywalker! Ok, that might be taking it a tad too far, but you catch my drift! Fozzie would've been a nice way to end the line.

    I remember this was brought up in another thread, but I think it'd be cool to get replicas of Fozzie's Studebaker (from the Muppet Movie), the Electric Mayhem bus (again from the Muppet Movie), and the Swine Trek (Pigs In Space).
     
  13. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yeah but i think Tom is talking in terms of thousands of dollars, not hundreds. I might go for that just to get Fozzie, not sure i would carry on into further characters though. I'm sure they would have already tried Terry for this but if he could do something it would rock.

    I like hearing these stories, and having to guess all these codewords .. it's nice to hear things directly so we know how things stand and not have false hope.

    I wonder if the Doodahs had little bendy arms and a plaque? ;)
     
  14. Telly

    Telly Active Member

    I don't think they'd be able to do a "Pick and Choose" thing. If that's what it came down to, I think it would only be Fozzie and then they'd be done.

    Although in my own little fantasy world, I would seriously save up for Fozzie, Rizzo, Pepe, Rowlf, Scooter, and Piggy. And then mayhaps Sam. :attitude:
     
  15. Davina

    Davina Member

    i would love to do that (special order characters) but a lot of it would come down to timing and finances. with bills to pay and kids to feed, I just can't be that free with my budget. I'm just happy that I got lucky this month and had some extra cash show up (along with the MR price reduction) that I was finally able to order Gonzo and Animal.. last time I had the money set aside we had a last minute emergency vet bill that ate the whole thing up last year. Didn't think i'd be able to get both of them anytime soon. I'm very sad that it doesn't look like the line will be going any further, I'd really have liked to get Fozzie, Piggy, Rizzo and Pepe, and hubby would really really love an Uncle Deadly (though we both knew that was extremely unlikely to ever happen..)
    I was really looking forward to one day having enough of these posers to do a life sized muppet nativity display :)
    I do agree that we are very lucky to have been able to get the ones we have, and I just adore having Kermit (the other two should be arriving later this week..)
    If the line is able to continue un some manner, I certainly plan on doing my best to continue supporting and purchasing them.
     
  16. Kevin Knight

    Kevin Knight New Member

    MRCSTOM,

    That was just about the best post I have ever read in this forum. Mine are pretty good re-reads too! Thank you, Thank You, thank you. As I have shown, my support over THEM (are we still playing this game?) has never faltered. I am for one very very surprised that a mere 9 months (not even) after Gonzo's release that his price has dropped from MR. Because of what we called lackluster promoting of the products, I think there are still people out there that, if they knew about the Gonzo AND Animal posers being available, they would pay full price. I definetely understand the economy thing. With trade disputes from the Asian market and England, etc. And the US dollar not being worth its paper globally.

    I for one would be more than willing to attend any conventions as a FREE-lance MR representative just to get the word out and interact with MR's public. Having OWE as a former muppeteer, or Terry Angus as the original prototype designer. I'd be stoked as **** to meet them while looking at a product that I could purchase. But back to what I was trying to say. USE US. If we want this product bad enough, use us. It has sounded like at least 10-15% of us work in professions that are very business like, or in creative fields lending itself to common sense customer service skills. How many of you would be willing to put in 20 hours over a few days to attend a con, trade show, or in a marketing aspect with local vendors to get these products out of a slump? Would MR be interested in something of this nature? Creating a group of us "Muppet show stage hands" to go out there for MR. All I see is free help and us all wearing scooter's jackets.

    I have to tell you I'm blown away at the mere thought that these are not sold at the Disney parks. The quality is there, and while on vaca there people spend ridiculous amounts on limited edition things thinking they can't get it anywhere else.

    So maybe a question to MRCSTOM, what would the KING suggest we do for the kingdom? I think there's very little we would not do to help this cause. Even thought we're talking about selling a product, but in our hearts we believe we're keeping Jim's dream alive.

    Once again thank you so much for your post. It was the "best" news actually we've ever had.

    Kevin Knight
    Waiting in Hartford CT.
     
  17. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    to add some hope, I noticed the poll jumped from 42 to 65, which was a surprise from the usual jump of 1.
     
  18. mickeymouse18

    mickeymouse18 New Member

    Why don't we put fozzie on hold and concentrate on products which will help promote whats been made already, and perhaps sell whats left. This may not be possible, and it may be crazy, but one of the problems people found with gonzo was his eye focus, would you be able to perfect these on the ones you have left, perhaps people would be convinced to buy them then, or buy a second. At the minute you say retailers find fozzie a risk because of his size, why not go for the smaller rizzo, this may help sell more gonzos as well.

    For animal, in an ideal world producing replicas of the electric mayhem band would be amazing, but I understand at the minute, them not being the most famous of the muppets, they would not sell well. So how about some really great figures, that can you could pose with the animal replica, or the electric mayhem bus?

    For the replicas we have at the minute, why not produce some accessory packs that have been mentioned before, this could be really great fun, and not too expensive, and may tempt people into buying the posers too.

    I would really like a muppet show sign too.

    Also correct me if I'm wrong, but were animal and gonzo bigger edition sizes then kermit, perhaps this is why so many are left too. I say fozzie is too big a risk of killing the licence once and for all at the minute. Lets go perhaps for some of the ideas above here, and an edition size of say 500 for the rizzo poser?
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Treelo

    Treelo Member

    "Let us know directly, you can call or email, and if anybody thinks they might know somebody who can get batches of these things produced in say 50’s lets hear from you."

    Have you considered doing the replicas in 1/2 scale? It would save on cost and might still result in a really cool product.
     
  20. ButchCat

    ButchCat Active Member

    Hi all,

    mickeymouse18 the posers that were made were Gonzo's and Animal's actual size. hint: replicas at least the ones I built were. Sadly there's not much else I can say about the Master Replicas stuff for now.

    Take care all,

    Terry Angus
     


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