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What Happened to The Muppet Puppets etc?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Muppetsdownunder, May 10, 2003.

  1. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder Well-Known Member

    Hi, I have always wondered what has happened with the original muppet puppets etc and where they are now. Im sure they would have used many different puppets for each character but sureley they wouldnt have thrown them away when the show finished. Are they still using the actual puppets today?

    What happened to all the sets/props/costumes used in the muppet show? Does some lucky collector own a piece of memorabilia like this?
    Do the Henson family own all of the original items like this?

    What happend to the studios used for the muppet show? are they still used?

    I was only wondering about this as its something thats made me very curious. Does anyone know?

    :) :p
  2. WiGgY

    WiGgY Well-Known Member

    Well I don't actually know, but I assume the are put into storage of some kind. I think some go to museums as well.
  3. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    The replace the old puppets when they start to deteriorate. They reuse what they can of the old puppets, and then, I bleieve they scrap the rest.
  4. Movies205

    Movies205 Well-Known Member

    The orignal Kermit Puppet is at the Smithsonian*SP I saw it when the Smithsonian*SP(I spelt this so bad I know) came to RI a couple of years ago.... But like other says most of the puppets are dispose of because they do nto want it to get out to the public....
  5. The Flying Sheep

    The Flying Sheep Well-Known Member

    Actully, I was at the Smith a few weeks ago. Kermit wasn't there, but Oscar was. The frog's on tour.
  6. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    It isn't that they don't want the puppets to get out into the public (although they don't allow that anyway) but as has been said they just detiriorate and get tatty or turn to dust. I think there are ways of keeping them in special storage for the archives but i think they only do that for the most important puppets. I think they get about 2 or 3 years out of each of the main characters that get actively used, and maybe 5 out of background characters.

    The studios for the Muppet Show (Studio D) in Borehamwood are now owned by the BBC and used to film a soap here in the UK called Eastenders. Statler & Waldorfs box is still on the wall there as a display piece and i think the original set is still in a lock-up. The BBC studios are near to the Elstree Film studios where they did Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter etc.
  7. Movies205

    Movies205 Well-Known Member

    Ya the tour sorry:o
  8. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    They film Eastenders at the Muppet Theater? It's like Kermit's worst nightmare about Scooter and his uncle come true!!!
  9. WiGgY

    WiGgY Well-Known Member

    I've found a semi-officiaal answer to the question at hand. While reading the muppet fest articles I read this. "When asked what became of older Muppets, such as the original Kermit, Wilkins and Wontkins, etc. – do they just stuff them in a box, do they keep them in a museum, or do they send them to a Muppet retirement home? – the response was that while some of the puppets are at the Smithsonian, and others are sent out on touring exhibitions, the rest all reside in safe storage with the rest of the Muppets.

    So, they don't throw them out or reuse parts. They lock them all up. I don't see how they would turn to dust though. I bet the fraggles are still somewhere in storage in the same shape they were in when they got put away. Too bad Gobo wasn't at Muppet fest, but as I read, they only sent Floyd for Jerry.
  10. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everyone for helping with that little question. The last one is a much nicer way to think of the muppets rather than believing them to be destroyed, thats a terrible thought true or not.

    So im glad to hear that theres a good possibility that all the muppets and muppet stuff are all in safe storage.

    Much happier!

    Thanks, from Paul!
    :) :D :sing:
  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I hate to take issue with this Wiggy, but that's not entirely correct. Puppets do break down over time. The foam inside the puppets will break down eventually and turn to dust. How fast this happens depends on the type of foam and the storage conditions (puppets can last anywhere from 5 - 15 years, sometimes less with frequent use).

    Past and present employees of the Muppet workshop have cited in the forum the Fraggles, Thog and Sproket as specific examples of puppets that haven broken down over the years because they are not in regular use. Also, Carol Spinney mentions in his new book that Bruno is no longer used on Sesame Street because the costume/puppet eventually fell apart.

    I do know that the Muppet workshop frequently reuses parts of the old puppets when building new versions (again, Carol Spinney mentions this in his book - Oscar still has the same eyebrows as the original 1969 puppet). Some of the puppets (like Piggy) that are made from foam rubber and flocked have to be replaced several times during a shoot because the flocking will wear out.

    Sadly, I'm pretty sure some Muppets are destroyed and thrown out. I think it's pretty safe to say that most of the important ones are retained and repaired/maintained though.
  12. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Yeah i had heard basically what Buck Beaver said although i think the main Muppets get replaced a lot quicker since they have to look in tip top condition and are used so much. The Fraggles as mentioned, we know for a fact are ones that have broken down because Terry who worked on the show saw them recently and said pretty much they were tatty and falling to bits with dust falling out of them. Sprocket i had heard different - i think there is at least one version of him that is sorta ok, i think they had it at Muppetfest but chose not so show him at the last minute (i guess because he's isn't 100% either). Obviously they can't have enough storage space to have kept the entire Muppet cast from the last 25 years (especially not with multiple versions of some puppets) so i would go with Buck Beaver.

    If it's anything to go by though non-Henson - i know that with ALF running for four years (up until 91'ish), they had one main master puppet and 5 other duplicate puppets made due to him being used heavily everyday and needing to change costumes. They were used for the odd appearance until 95/96 when a movie was made and they had a new Puppet built. Since then i think there's been another new puppet built recently
  13. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    Caroll's Big Bird has just been rebuilt, The last rebuild was 1990 !

    I think that Gobo and Sprocket, Maybe Matt too are still ok.

    There were probably around 10 Gobo's, And about 8 Sprockets made, Im not sure who many Matts there were.

    But you gotta remember, There was probably two built for each Co Production.

    The last i saw Red and Matt in working order was '94.
    Sprocket was in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

    see ya
  14. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I know that I always have wondered: Why not just rebuild it when it deteriorates?!

    There will soon be about 4 or 5 new Muley puppets, only because I need the old one for stunts on video (falling, etc), one to be poseable for photos, one as Count DracMula, one as the Soul Mule (Muley as a Blues Brother), and 2 as puppets.

    I'm sure there are just as many of main characters at JHC, if not more.

    This also goes to my question of the many different versions of Mahna Mahna (or Bip Bipadotta on SS) and why they looked so different each time. I'm sure they didn't deteriorate that quickly.
  15. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Well the Muppets are high cost puppets - they can only justify the money to rebuild them if they are actually going to get used. Hence the reason why most of the TMS background characters are gone and there aren't any plans to rebuild the Fraggles.
  16. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I wonder what they look like in their deteriorated states?


    *Imagines what they must look like...*

    :eek: :grouchy: :o

    Not too good.
  17. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Y'know in the film Beetlejuice where the bird pops out of his head, he has holes in his back, looks totally dead? I think it's kinda like that in a crusty dusty sort of way.
  18. WiGgY

    WiGgY Well-Known Member

    Darn. I guess the answer at Muppet Fest was more of a "tell them what they want to hear" kind of answer. It's kinda sad to know the Fraggles are gone forever. It is kinda good to know that if we see a new version of a character, it will be used.

    Link must have been rebuilt lately since he was in MFS. I guess we can expect a come back for Link then, and maybe Dr. Strangepork, though the last time I saw him was in MCC.

    But still, those poor poor fraggles will never be brought back for new appearances.
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    They told us at MFest that the foam rubber they used on Fraggles and others would wear out or deteriorate over time; I think even Karen mentioned that was the reason she didn't have Red Fraggle there, because it gets so brittle and falls apart. Like you put your hand and arm in there and pull out a much of foam dust.
  20. muppet_dk

    muppet_dk Well-Known Member

    Actually Dr. Strangepork were in Muppets Tonight in some of the "Bay of pigs" skits. So there may also be a fairly new version of him.

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