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Ask Travis: A Master Replicas Photo Puppet Q&A Thread

Discussion in 'Muppet Replicas' started by ElecMayhem, Jan 30, 2008.

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  1. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Member

    Hey gang- please post all of your specific questions for me here, and I will try to get in a couple of times a week to give you any and all information that I can. Thanks!

    Travis
  2. Kevin Knight

    Kevin Knight New Member

    Travis,

    First congrats on your bundle of Xander! Second on your more impressive and load more of responsibility position! ;) My question(s) are; does MR have a predetermined wish list of muppets they hope to produce? Or is each one determined by profitability and popularity of the existing line including pre-orders?

    I guess I'm asking, Is MR thinking main 5 and out? Lastly how are they choosing characters to produce. Thanks for your time. We all here really appreciazte your time and you listening to your fellow fans.

    Kevin
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Congradulations from me too, Travis. I know the Muppets are in the best hands they can possibly be with you around. ;)

    I have noted the vast difference between the prototype photographs of Kermit and Animal to the much better actual product. I'm hoping the same holds true for Gonzo. He is my favorite Muppet and I know you guys had quite a task in producing this replica.

    Here's my question, I'll try to be brief. In this Gonzo comparison how much would you say -when viewing in person- the MR posted factory version (depicted right) resembles the initial prototype on the left? I have noted the mouth shape has been quite simplified in the factory prototype. Is the eye focus is also that different? Finally, can the nose texture and colors be seen through the stocking material?

    Thanks. I just hope to be as pleased with my MR Gonzo as I am with Kermit and Animal.

    Also, I'm certain the Fozzie product images will look fantastic as I cannot imagine how anyone could take a bad picture of such a beautiful bear! :o
  4. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Active Member

    I have three questions:


    Is Gonzo's eyes and his upper lip been fixed as well?



    Where does Piggy stand at the moment?



    Finally is Rizzo still after Piggy or did you guys pick a different character?
  5. muppetguy

    muppetguy Member

    Hey Travis, quick question...

    Hi Travis,

    I think this is the first time I am posting to you personally, so, nice to e-meet you.:) I am patiently waiting for my pre-ordered Gonzo and so are my Kermit and Animal. My two questions are about my ULTIMATE favorite character, MISS PIGGY:

    1. There is alot of speculation on her being made. We have been told that Piggy will follow after Fozzie. Will Miss Piggy definitly be made? (Can't have her without Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo....that's the MAIN muppet group.:mad: (I would honestly be very dissapointed to not have this complete group)

    2. What era will her look be (she's changed so much throughout the years) and any thoughts on what she'll be wearing?

    Please make me a HAPPY muppet fan once again by saying Piggy will be put into production...

    Thank you for taking time out to speak with us and answer some questions, Travis. Congrats on Xander! YAY FOR TRAVIS! Have a great week and a great weekend. Try to get some sleep with the newborn and all. Can't wait to hear back from you!:rolleyes:
  6. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Hi Travis,

    Congratulations on your new baby, very exciting! Also nice to see you take the time and effort to interact directly with the collectors.

    Just really a quick question about how far along Fozzie is, and what kinda RRP you expect him to come out at?

    Also wanted to ask if the plan is to still do these Muppet action figure type scenes (i take it thats like what McFarlane did with Simpsons) and if you can go into a bit more detail about them?

    Lastly, if you do still hold the license for replicas beyond Fozzie/Piggy, i'm not sure if you've been keeping up with the forums here but there was a poll for "Next Replica" and mass support for the winner, Scooter. Thought you'd particularly be interested in that one, lol.

    Thats all, take care!
  7. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Member

    Hey everyone - see, I am going to try to keep up with this...

    First of all, thanks to everyone for the kind words about my son. He is a joy, and eventually, I wil post some pics of him with my (or are they now his?) Muppet photo puppets!

    Okay, down to business, Ken Lilly style:

    does MR have a predetermined wish list of muppets they hope to produce? Or is each one determined by profitability and popularity of the existing line including pre-orders?

    As I mentioned, I am still working on the 2009 (and even the 2008) line plans, and so it's difficult to answer. At one point, when I first moved into this new role, I made a list of Muppets that I (and by default, I guess "we," the Company) wanted to do over the next 3 years. I will share this list, but bear in mind, it's sort of a "blue sky" thing... and so take it with a grain of salt. (At this time, Gonzo was still slated to be an 07 release, and therefore he is not on this list...)

    Fozzie (Spring 2008)
    Rizzo (Summer 2008)
    Rowlf (Fall 2008)
    Bunsen & Beaker (Spring 2009)
    Statler & Waldorf (Fall 2009)
    Sam the Eagle (Spring 2010)
    Swedish Chef (Summer 2010)
    Miss Piggy (Fall 2010)

    Notice (a) that Miss Piggy was originally slated to be LAST, and (b) that Scooter is not on the list at all. Why? Well originally, I had wanted to space out the heavy hitters a bit more. And Scooter... well, given his nearly 15 year absence, I wasn't sure if he was popular enough. I see that Scooter is VERY popular in the polls here, but remember -- we have to appeal to die-hard Muppet fans, as well as more casual collectors.

    Anyway, that list is out the window because Miss Piggy will be after Fozzie, and then... nothing else is finalized for 2009. So, while we don't plan to stop after the Fab 5, everything is contingent on sales, too.

    In this Gonzo comparison how much would you say -when viewing in person- the MR posted factory version (depicted right) resembles the initial prototype on the left? I have noted the mouth shape has been quite simplified in the factory prototype. Is the eye focus is also that different? Finally, can the nose texture and colors be seen through the stocking material?

    This one is hard for me, because the products were photographed at such different angles, in such different lighting. But, the final product looks somewhere between the two. I don't think that the mouth has been simplified as much as it appears in the photo -- the lower jaw still slopes down toward his lip, although it looks much flatter in the factory version. (I wish we had the original here to check against the factory one! These photo angles are killing me!) Same with the eye focus... the one I have here is quite good! One the nose, the colors are applied over the stocking... in varying degrees. So in some places, it appears more blue, and in others more purple. (Color wise, I think the nose is closer than the prototype, which as almost solid sky blue!)

    Again I will try to get some pics this week... Or Jamie, if you want, you can come and take some... ;)

    Is Gonzo's eyes and his upper lip been fixed as well?

    I am sorry - can you be more specific? As I said, the photo you see is the product.

    Where does Piggy stand at the moment?

    Piggy is still after Fozzie... but I would not be surprised, given the lack of reference materials (patterns) if she slides to early 09.

    Finally is Rizzo still after Piggy or did you guys pick a different character?

    All up in the air right now.

    1. There is alot of speculation on her being made. We have been told that Piggy will follow after Fozzie. Will Miss Piggy definitly be made? (Can't have her without Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo....that's the MAIN muppet group. (I would honestly be very dissapointed to not have this complete group)

    Nice to meet you too! Today, as of this very moment, yes, Miss Piggy will be made. But again, to borrow from the Ken Lilly playbook, anything is possible. ( I will tell you this -- the factory that made Kermit, Animal, and Gonzo has essentially "quit." They're still doing other projects for us, but they've deemed that the Muppets are too hard, and too time consuming for them to make anymore... They are HUGELY challenging, and despite the various minor faults with all 3 to date, these products are a MIRACLE! So, we're moving Fozzie to another factory. That will be a factor...)

    2. What era will her look be (she's changed so much throughout the years) and any thoughts on what she'll be wearing?

    Working on this now. Not sure. In a perfect world -- for me anyway -- she would come in a late 70s stlye purple dress... and THEN, we would sell additional outfits for her (i.e. Pigs in Space, Vets Hospital, etc.) I will keep you posted as things pan out!

    Just really a quick question about how far along Fozzie is, and what kinda RRP you expect him to come out at?

    Fozzie is at the new factory (see my second-to-last answer) and is in the process of being dissected (gasp!) and quoted, piece by piece. We're hoping to keep that SRP (RRP) at $400 like Animal. To date, I've not heard anything about that changing, but it could happen.

    Also wanted to ask if the plan is to still do these Muppet action figure type scenes (i take it thats like what McFarlane did with Simpsons) and if you can go into a bit more detail about them?

    Yes, but they're (a) not figures, they're resin, and (b) they're not really "scenes" per se. For instance, the first batch is Dr Teeth & the Electric Mayhem Band... and it's not exactly a frozen moment in time EXACTLY from a production. It's 5 figurines -- rocking out, I might add -- that sit nicely together, but that can exist independently, too. Am I making sense? Anymore, more on these after Toy Fair next month!

    Hope I got everyone's questions answered in a suitable manner. Thanks again for your patience... more info, as I receive it! Take care!
  8. Bear Man

    Bear Man Member

    Hey Travis, do you have an updated timeline on Fozzie? (ie expected pre-order date, delivery date, etc)
  9. muppetguy

    muppetguy Member

    Thank you.

    Thank you so much for getting back to us, Travis! I am so happy to hear that Miss Piggy will be made after Fozzie. I can't wait to get her! I feel less anxiety now...LOL!:mad:
  10. Blinky_Fish

    Blinky_Fish Member

    You had me at... Rizzo

    Dear Travis or the MIA buddy that dissapears of the face of the earth ...blah, blah (see rash of crap).. And I was in SFO for MacWorld.

    If MR is making these scenes, Why not specify the movie and add a fun feature like a hidden RAT story like in MTI when while the crew is loading the ship in small form Rizzo is selling Rat Tours Ltd tickets to the Bilge rats - or one of his other ventures. I mean even with the Muppet Show he was a background character that brought side story humor.


    Next - Any progress on props and costumes?


    Does MR have a hospital for Muppets like the Vermont Teddy Bear factory?


    Lastly,
    Fara and I would like to send you some baby junk. Email me fool.:grouchy: Congrats, Welcome to the club.
  11. Ignohippo

    Ignohippo Member

    Man Travis, it is absolutely awesome that you are taking the time to come on here and answer questions! Thanks in advance for stepping up to the plate and taking time out of your busy schedule. Hopefully, you'll be rewarded by many more sales of Muppet-ty goodness!
  12. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Member

    Sorry man, I know. When you called, I was in the hospital withe my new baby. Timing sucked. I will call or e-mail you this week! (Or next...)
  13. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Active Member

    His upper lip (or under his nose) seems to look longer than it should be. Did they look into that? Cause if you see Frogboy's comparison, it is shorter on Terry's prototype than the factory prototype. was that something looked into? :concern:

    I sent Amy a PM last year at MR and gave her an idea. I asked her if it was possible to pass it on - if we can do a SE version of Fozzie. Since there is no more Star Wars and not much for Signature editions, it would be nice to have one for Frank Oz. She said that she would pass it on the the production team. I wanted to ask you what you thought of the idea. Kind of make it a 500 limited edition? I would love to see Frank Oz's signature plaque next to my Fozzie!

    also, about what month will Fozzie go on preorder? I am so ready for him! :o
  14. Kevin Knight

    Kevin Knight New Member

    I guess a new line of questioning for Mr. Ken Lilly.....

    Travis,

    Is there any reason that Terry would not be shipped overseas along with the final prototype to help the production plant with issues like alternatives to alien crooked noses? Leaving his production Bible for problems remaining after production begins. As I can plainly see there are certain angles and facial attributes being left out that just MAKE a muppet the character they are. Mr. Terry would be that man to pinpoint these, and say this is why it cannot be done like that. Especially with a new plant being used and Fozzie being such a big character for their first.

    Quickies: Any reason for not having the satin liner in shipping anymore? (It was a classy touch)

    On future releases; When you mention say Statler & Waldorf (Fall 2009) do you mean the pair packaged as one set? That's a long way off but I was just curious.

    Also I think you might want to re-iterate that the list you posted was "blue sky" and not written in any kind of stone. It may be taken as bible otherwize, even with the disclaimer! LOL

    Kevin

    So how many hour did you get to sleep today? You must love your lunch break!
  15. Kermieuk

    Kermieuk Well-Known Member

    Hi,

    I was speaking to an autograph dealer at a Toy Fair here in the UK. He told me that Frank Oz will not sign anything that has anything to do with The Muppets. Yoda yes, but nothing at all to do with the Muppets, he told me he had witnessed it, someone had a photo of Piggy and he refused to sign it! Dont know how true this is just passing on what I heard. If this is true, I doubt he would sign Fozzie Bear Replicas, nice idea though, maybe one of the other performers would do it?

    Also, quick thanks to Travis for the updates, it really is appreciated, I already have Gonzo on pre-order and cant wait to get him.

    Chris
  16. ElecMayhem

    ElecMayhem Member

    Again, I don't have the original here, and the photos are so drastically different that it's hard to tell. Remember -- Gonzo is one of those characters that has undergone so many changes over the years. Like the Palisades action figure, the Photo Puppet was always intended to be something of an amalgamation of all of the best parts... On the one sitting here, the lip does not look out of place to me.

    Amy and I never discussed, but this is something I am working on. Great mindes think alike! :) But it's along shot. Frank was one of the few people who did NOT sign a Star Wars prop. (We got Harrison Ford for goodness sake!) And I don't think the omission of Frank was from lack of trying (although that was before my time with the company, so I am not certain!) But it would be cool though.

    Not sure don't want to mis-speak, at this early stage in the game.

    No.

    No.

    well, lots of reasons. (1) Terry does not work for this company, and therefore, we can't just ship him off to China away from his family... And (2)We have engineers in China who handle this kind of stuff. None of the prototypers who do any of our products go to China, and I doubt that will change. Besides, Terry hand-making a Photo Puppet is DRASTICALLY different that the factory mass producing them. He probably would not be able to have much of an impact, honestly.

    Agreed, it was nice... but when costs skyrocket, those extras are the first thing to go.

    That was my plan. Anyone got $1000 for a couple of old hecklers?
  17. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Active Member


    No, but I will sure find a way to get the money QUICKLY! :sleep: :boo:
  18. Kevin Knight

    Kevin Knight New Member

    Travis,

    Will the proposed larger replicas also come with the stands? With weight concerns I had mentioned in assumption that's gonna be some heavy duty metal and a huge base.

    Other than online, where is the next largest marketing campaign aimed at?

    What guidlines has Disney made so far and for the future, or is it a case by case scenario?

    off topic
    BTW , how old is the baby now? As a "parent" I can tell you starting at age 1 1/2 - 2 look into the "Signing Times" DVD's. They will help with alot of fundamentals for children including temperment. Plus you may get a kick out of learning ASL too. I barely made it through the alphabet.

    Would love to see a pic of your muppet collection as well. Not just these products. You are truly an invaluable asset to this community of collectors, and I hope that you realize that. Thank you for this Q&A opportunity.

    Kevin
  19. antonydavanzo

    antonydavanzo New Member

    Hey Travis. Thanks for answering our questions. I would like to know how hard a challenge Gonzo was to make and if you think he is 90-100 % accurate? Would there have ben any changes you would have made ie the sock nose or the suit colour? Anyway I cant wait to see a pic, hopfully you may suprise us...
    PS After seeing the list below I nearly died! WOW, that would be an amzing collection to own.......though a bloody expensive one at that! You gotta champion this dream list through!
    Fozzie (Spring 2008)
    Rizzo (Summer 2008)
    Rowlf (Fall 2008)
    Bunsen & Beaker (Spring 2009)
    Statler & Waldorf (Fall 2009)
    Sam the Eagle (Spring 2010)
    Swedish Chef (Summer 2010)
    Miss Piggy (Fall 2010)
    Cheers
    Ant
  20. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Thanks for the answers, this is all very appreciated.

    - There was a lot of debate over whether Animal was supposed to come with collar and whether he should have had a mouth that closed (as it just looks technically wrong on the product - he has a mouth hinge but the tongues too big), and the sales info really seems to infer this was the case. So it may be a given, but just to confirm - Fozzie definitely comes with the neckerchief and the hat?


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