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The Year In Review

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by beaker, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    As we look toward the new face of things to come in 2003,
    I wanted to take some time to reflect upon 2002 in Muppetdom:

    This year marked the busiest whirlwind for JHC and the Muppets in over a decade. Never before had we seen the Muppets literally everywhere...from countless commercials, to the first real new merchandise in years, various promotions, public relation appearences, and even a new Muppet movie.

    We saw the Muppets doing commercials for Long John Silvers,
    Dennys, Mastercard(by far the best one), UPS, Virgin Airlines UK, etc.

    We saw the Muppety takeover of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(Kermit, Piggy, Kermit baloon, International Sesame, etc)

    We saw Kermit finally get his walk of fame star in Hollywood.
    2002 also saw:

    *a new Season of Bear in the Big Blue House, as well as another
    *new direction format wise for Sesame Street.
    *A new JHC Muppet show in Australia called Bambala(err...ok I forget what it was called...but it has Joe the Armadillo!)
    *The continuing success of The Hoobs and Mopatop in the UK
    *The I Love The Muppets BBC special
    *A renewed focus on International sesame street, including revamping old shows and creating new ones.

    Of course 2002 wasnt without its share of controversy, media snafus, and confusion.

    first and foremost was the last year EM.TV deal to sell 49.9% of JHC...hopefully this somehow has a way of working out, as we need a miracle at this point.

    2002 also saw a rather nasty media backlash against the first ever 'Muppet with HIV', as well as a bungled deal with NASCAR that left the Muppets out of the (race)loop.

    The direct to video dvd feature Kermit Swamp Years was released to many a fan jeer, though no doubt the dvd special features outshadowed this with some really great material.

    A Very Muppet Xmas NBC movie proved the Muppets are back...and while it was about as cohesive as jello in a turbine engine, it no doubt showed a renewed sense of commitment to the brand. With a new Muppet Show announced for next Summer on Fox, 2002 also marked the full return of the 'theatre' setting...

    also featured on the Weezer video, and behind the scenes feature...further showing the Muppets are back and quite hip...while reintroducing them to a whole new young audience weened on MTV and modern rock radio.

    Finally, a few odds and ends...
    Palisades released some of the best Muppet merchandise in ages, something which will really take off in 2003.

    NYC boasted one of the coolest animatronic Muppet displays ever, ripe with every range of characters from Kermit and Pepe to Penguins and Frackle Scoffs.

    As to the big questions left at the end of the year...

    What will happen with this EM.TV/Valentine deal?

    What will the upcoming new Muppet show be like?

    Is Scooter...well...um...you know?

    Indeed folks, all shall be revealed in the brave new year...

    where finally, I believe in the first time in over a decade the Muppets will truly be back.

    A brave new world looms ahead. To 2003, the lovers, the dreamers, and you.
  2. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Active Member

    Very nice Muppet year review! I actualy tried to tackle this but it came out too messy so i srapped it. i went into every single item that i have seen this year from the kermit and piggy bobble heads, muppet checks,tooth brushes, underwear, watches,air freshners and shoelaces to the re-release of the muppet corgi cars, new Muppet Busts, pens, note books, rings,lugage tags, mirro's,Uk Mc Donalds plushes, keychains, t-shirts, stickers and more! plus all the game shows before the year started and with Muppet Fest at the end of 2001.

    Zack)Rowlf the Dog
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Thanks man. Oh forgot to give props(whoops, do we still use that in 2003...or does it go into the diss, dont go there, bling bling pile?) to Hollywood Squares! This year they have featured Muppets from all three major franchises: Classic Muppet/Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Bear in the Big Blue House...cant beat that!
  4. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Well-Known Member

    great job beaker,

    i hope 2003 can continue to where 2002 left off which is in a good note. hopefully we'll see the muppets do some more commercials like more mastercards and stuff like that. i think having the muppets in commercials is a positive direction for them. they help to promote the muppets to people who may have forgotten about them. hopefully we'll see a new made for tv movie for the muppets in 2003 as well.....and as for the valentine deal, i hope thats a good thing and that valentine can help the muppets, but it's way to early to tell so i'll keep my mouth shut for the time being!..

  5. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Active Member


    Lets not forget the Muppets on UK radio, In the Summer and on Christmas Day !

    And The Muppets and Bear at McDonalds, And 'The Very Best Of The Muppet Show DVD' !

    See ya
  6. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Inded, I think 2002 was just the beginning...and my, what a jump start it was! 2003, this year, I think is going to be insane...and most likely will eclipse last year. I wouldnt be surprised if we will hear the official declaration of the Muppets being back full on by summer time. (What with the new show, best figure series ever, and who knows what else is in store)

    And aw yes...forgot the UK Mcdonalds stuff. Man you guys are so lucky...first Muppet Show plush, now Bear!?!? WOW!

    Anyways...for all the fans and those to rediscover...no better tiem to be a fan than right now!
  7. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    Great year-end wrap-up, Cory! I remember Luke did a similar one last year. I wanted to do one myself, but ya beat me to it. :) It's just as well -- when do I have the time for more writing projects?

    2002 was a complete turnaround from the dismal 2001. From MuppetFest at the end of last year, through the action figures, commercials, and a new video project and finally a new Christmas TV-movie...this year was FULL of great things to talk about. Yes, there was some rotten news behind the scenes, but at least we weren't asking "where are the Muppets?" like we were in 2001. There were lots of reasons to celebrate being a Muppet fan in 2002...and 2003 may be even better!

    There. That's my short version. ;) Thanks for sharing, Cory!
  8. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    No problem!

    Unfortunately 2003 isnt off to a good start. War is circling around, and Ive realized life is an endless series of breakdowns and frustrations. But the war isnt completely literal...

    Speaking of frustrations...

    how will this EMTV/valentine deal pan out?
  9. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    [laughs] Everyone, including BlueFrackle, is forgetting that a petition was written and a campaign started to get Fraggle Rock released on DVD earlier this year. April to be specific.
  10. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I didn't forget it!
    I remembered it!!

    Ssuuurrreee I diiid!
  11. skankin-frackle

    skankin-frackle New Member

    I guess the closing of the "New York Muppet Workshop "did not warrant any kind of special recognition.Seems to me with out there tireless efforts in the last year , we wouldn't have had half as many of these events as there were.

    but thats just a angry former puppet builders opinion.

    down with Charlie Rivkin ,Paula Spooner and the rest of the corporate morons!!!!!!
  12. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh my...I had completely forgotten abou this. Indeed, I thought this was quite an aggregious thing to do(in regards to the closing of the ny jhc workshop)

    I was hoping they would reopen it or something...I mean that is the backbone of everythign they do.

    Well, any hush hush secrets you can indulge us with that we might not know for the coming year?
  13. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    Frackle, of course the closing of the NY workshop is a terrible thing. I just chose to focus on things that made me happy in the past year rather than the things that angered me that I can do nothing about. I figured saying "rotten news behind the scenes" was enough to cover just about everything.

    It sounds like you're one of the puppet builders that got let go, and if that's the case I'm very sorry to hear it. To end this post on a positive note, the tireless work of the puppet builders was one of the *best* things about last year.
  14. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Active Member

    Sorry, I've read things about the "NY workshop" closing down, but haven't completely understood it. What exactly happened?
  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I've always thought the closing of the workshop was horrible. I think someone might remember my comparing that decision to the "Corporate America" decisions Disney usually makes regarding its own company. I thought it was very un-Henson and thoroughly Disney-esque.

    :( :mad: :(
  16. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Active Member

    So the whole "Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop" in NY closed?
  17. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    It was my understanding that the main workshop closed and they reopened a smaller version back at the main offices or something.
  18. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Active Member

    Hold on, is this the same workshop featured in "Secrets of the Muppets" from "The Jim Henson Hour?"
  19. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yeah they gave up the space and laid off the majority of people, then moved into the main offices with a smaller staff. In my book thats more a relocation than a closure, um i guess.

    Although this is gonna sound real bad, i think they needed to get rid of some people and give up some facilities. In fact, when Valentine or whoever buys the company comes in, i think they'll cull the main staff back even more and maybe even give up the Henson studios too and move everything to New York and rent studio space when they need it like in the UK - all they ever do in Hollywood is rent their own space to rock bands rather than do anything Muppety. The general public see staff cuts as a bad thing, but really in media terms it's way better in the long run for Henson if they are more streamlined and cost effective - that way if they go through periods without much in production they can afford to survive rather than getting into money trouble.

    I'm guessing these comments are gonna come back to haunt me and i'm going to be fried like a chicken steak by puppet builders at some point or another.
  20. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Man, at this rate, JHC will be nothing but an employee breakroom at a Downtown Chuck E Cheese and some broken animatronic parts from Creature Shop^_^

    As for comments coming back to bite ya in the butt, well apparently Ive thrown so much 'venomous rhetoric' according to people...why stop now? hehe

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