Looking to buy professionally-made puppets

Brian Kendig

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I'm an amateur puppeteer. I perform for Give Kids The World (Kissimmee, Florida) as well as a few other events. I want to expand my repertoire but I'm tired of trying to make do with mass-produced puppets that never look quite right, so I am looking for recommendations of someone who can build a few well-made puppets for me.

Here are some of the things I'm looking for:

- Muppet-style puppets, because this is what the kids I perform for seem to react best to. What makes them Muppety is, primarily, the eyes, white with black pupils which should be slightly cross-eyed so it looks like the puppet is focusing on something. (Too many store-bought puppets have a dead stare straight ahead.)

- A well-made head with an easy-to-work, durable mouthboard. (ThePuppetStore.com's puppets are a solid block of foam with the mouthboard on the bottom, which results in terrible flip-top head. The Muppet Whatnots have a bent piece of plastic as the mouthboard, which eventually stresses and breaks.) The mouth needs to be comfortable for an adult male hand. (For examine, ThePuppetStore puts too much padding in its heads and then makes the mouth sleeve out of a silky fabric which makes the mouth very difficult to grasp properly.)

- I like the Muppet Whatnot style of the body being a separate barrel of foam, with the neck and head being a sock that comes up through the body. That's not a necessity for me, but I want some padding in the body so that it's not just a sock puppet. The puppet should be able to wear toddler 2T clothing.

- I usually work with full-body puppets because I carry them around as I'm performing, but I am also interested in half-body puppets for video work.

- I've only worked with hand-rod puppets but I'm also interested in live-hand puppets. I would also like movable eyelids or eyebrows.

Overall, I want puppets that make good characters. They should have a friendly appearance, not weird or off-putting (no different-sized pupils, for example). I'm open to people, monsters, or animals; anything general-purpose that I feel I could make a good performance with.

If you can make puppets like this, or if you know of someone who can, please contact me and let's discuss it. Thank you very much!
 

crazy chris

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It really all depends on your budget... there are wonderful puppet makers out there....which meet various levels of budget...

A quick search for "professional puppet" on ebay is always a good start...so many wonderful puppets pop up on there once and a while...

For a smaller budget 100-200 a puppet... theres http://nuttypuppets.com/

or you can also try https://www.etsy.com/shop/banjopuppets?ref=l2-shopheader-name

175 - 400 i reccommend http://jwswickedpuppetfactory.blogspot.com/

also in the 250 -800 range is https://www.lunaspuppets.com/

For 400-600 range i truly recommend http://www.stuffetspuppets.com/main/index.php/puppetbuilding .... CARL IS SUCH A WONDERFUL GUY AND BUILDER!

If youve got about 500 to spend u can find jarrod boutcher puppets on ebay once and a while... you will have to bid...but the bidding usually stays in that range

for 500-800 a puppet there is http://www.pavlovspuppets.com/special_puppets.htm .... i just spent over 5000 dollars ordering a bunch from pavlov and they are amazing characters!!

Godspeed!!

cc
 

ashkent

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Not wanting to self-promote but I also have my own puppet workshop and can give you a quote if you want to have a look at Old Enough To Know Better Puppets.

The only thing is I am in the UK so shipping to the US can sometimes be annoyingly quite brutal.
 

DerpSandwich

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Look up James Kemp. He does really great work. I'll second Crazy Chris that Jarrod Boutcher does great work, and Jonathan Little is awesome as well. Luna's puppets is probably the best for big, full-bodied puppets at affordable prices. Like them on Facebook and you'll even get crazy good holiday deals.
 
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