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Cost of Building a Puppet

MoguiViper9

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Hey there,
I have never built a puppet or anything like it (well sock puppets, do they count?) and I'm sure not just anybody can pick up the skills needed right away. I was wondering, on average, how much does it cost to make a nice puppet. When I read in the FAQ section of this website under "Where can I get a REAL Muppet" I read that they burn the Muppets when they're done with them. I couldn't help but wonder how much that would cost a company because the Muppets look pretty spendy. Anyway, all I want to know is how much it costs all you very telented puppet builders to build a new character from scratch.
Thanks,

--Matt
 

Buck-Beaver

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Asking how much it costs to build a puppet is kind of like asking how much it costs to buy a new car - it really depends on what you need, what you are looking for and what you've got to spend.

When we build custom professional puppets the cost is anywhere from $600 to thousands, depending on size, materials, etc. Now before you run screaming for the exits, remember that most of that money is labour. The nice thing about building your own puppet is you don't have to pay for labour! I'd venture to say that the average, hand and rod, Muppet-style puppet needs about $100 - $200 worth of material, depending on whether you are using fur or fleece (and the quality of the fur or fleece) and depending on what foam you use.

You can build puppets on the cheap, or go totally pro and use Antron (Muppet) fleece and scott foam. I don't recommend going this route if you are just starting out, but many of the first-time builders here seem to. Spend what you can afford, and be creative!

Be sure to read "The Foam Book" (if you haven't already). It's written by two puppeteers/builders named Drew Allison and Don Devet and it's fantastic if you are just starting out. They also have a video version now (I haven't seen it but I imagine it is pretty good). You can get ordering info through the Grey Seal Puppets website or amazon .

It always good to check out The Puppetry Homepage and Puppet Odyssey sells a very good pattern for "Muppet style" puppets from Puppets For Goodness Sake.

I hope this helps! Good luck!
 

MoguiViper9

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Yeah, it does help, alot

Thanks alot Buck,
The information on materials, cost and especially the recomendations on books and vidoes were very helpful. I think building puppets sounds like alot of fun and I'm gonna try one here pretty soon (Using really cheap stuff, just to get the patterns and what not down and learn from the books). I'll post some pictures when I'm finished (Don't expect too much) and once again, thanks alot.

--Matt
 

Buck-Beaver

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Re: Yeah, it does help, alot

No problem, btw - I'm slowly (very slowly) getting a series of short puppet building "how-tos" from our old site up on our new site. Only one is up so far, but there should be one more by the end of the week and I'll adding more as time allows.

Go to OMCS and click on the "Puppet Bin" link. It might be worth checking out.

P.S. - No, you're not the only one who would like to see Steve Irwin take down Animal! :stick_out_tongue:
 

MoguiViper9

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Hey Buck,
I checked out OMCS and "The Puppet Bin" and all I have to say is... WOW, I bet if I knew the first thing about puppet building that site would be very, very helpful (That wolf looks great). You can bet your farm that after I learn the basic principles I'll be using "The Puppet Bin" more than anybody else.
 
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