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Mike Lisa: No puppet after 11 years

Discussion in 'Puppets For Sale' started by spencer, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Hi, Has anyone else waited over 11 years for a puppet from replica puppet builder Mike Lisa? He is Currently working under the name of MJL puppets (previously Creature Clones). Michael took over a $1000 from me in the summer of 2006 and I have seen nothing. He is now unresponsive after years of false promises and even trying to sell me more puppets while I wait.

    I see he is still advertising his puppets through social media so presume he is still in business? I hope no other Muppet fans go through the same experience I have with MJL puppets. An expensive lesson learned! But I would be interested to hear other people's stories. Becareful folks.
    Zappetman and Pig's Laundry like this.
  2. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

    I mate I've no personal experience but I've came across a thread on here when I first joined but the man is a con he will take your money but won't give you your product unless you sue him
    Zappetman and spencer like this.
  3. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Hi, I really appreciate your reply. Thank you for taking the time. I also hope by posting my experience it may make others think twice before handing over any money to Mike Lisa.
    Zappetman and BlakeConor14 like this.
  4. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Aw man, that's a shame. I follow the guy on Instagram and his puppets look AMAZING! I was really hoping to save up enough money to buy something from him. Oh well, I guess it's time to unfollow him. Perhaps if enough of us on here have Instagram accounts, we can spread the word by commenting on his posts, and replying to people who want to buy one of his puppets.
    Zappetman and spencer like this.
  5. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Thank you for your reply. It's such a shame and I wish there was a happy ending to this.

    I have since been directed to reports filed on a website called rip off report from other unhappy Mike Lisa customers who have paid for puppets through his companies including one known as 'Creature Clones'

    MJL Puppet Design also have quite a following on Facebook.

    Unfortunately Mike refuses to respond to my messages so I am in process of taking this further. I just want it resolved. I Will update you.

    On a positive I know there are plenty of other honest and talented puppet designers out there and have been put in contact with some thanks to the forum
  6. ashkent

    ashkent Well-Known Member

    When I first started building puppets, I think it was Creature Clones that pushed me into making it a business for one reason - his prices. Fair enough there are TV companies who have money to throw at exclusive rights to characters and such, but I know I would never be able to justify paying $5000 upward for what is essentially $100-200 of materials at most and time. I love puppets and probably my one regret is that I spent about 10 years in that doldrums area of not believing I could build and or perform to any reasonable degree - dozens of builds later and thousands of videos, music videos and a tv series later I know that was just a stupid lack of confidence and self belief - but it is because I love puppets that I don't regard building them as work or a cashcow to be milked for all it's worth. I know my material costs, and as this is currently a second income for me, I know what my time is worth. I've also believed in being fully transparent with my pricing which is why I have a page of my website that let's people total up a base cost for their puppet ideas themselves based on puppet type, add ons etc. I don't think it's beneficial to anyone to just say "Contact me for a price" because if your prices are out of the buyers' range then it is wasting both their time and mine.
    However good Mike's puppets look, they are still massively overpriced for what is in essence a very good copy of a well known brand; no different to picking up a Rolex watch for a fiver in China except he is selling very good copies at probably more than I would expect to pay for a fully licenced replica if Disney ever made them. You can buy a full animatronic screen used and fully rigged Gremlin puppet for the same price as some of the puppets he sells. If you break it down, even for something as basic as a Kermit replica the hourly wage he is charging is around £40 plus. There are people saving lives and risking their lives out their and they have to fight to get their wage to just a fraction of that. And they deliver what they are paid to do.
    There is a market for replicas, my second reason for getting into building was that I wanted to own replica muppets and thought it better to challenge myself to build them for myself rather than being ripped off to buy someone else's copies, but there are also many very talented puppet builders out there who can build something that you imagine and envision yourself for a much more reasonable cost. And while it can be cool to say look at my Fozzie or have you seen my Gonzo, there is nothing can competing with seeing a character you imagined or created coming to life in the same way as those famous puppets.

    I hope you get sorted in the end whether it is your money back or the puppet. I had a bad phase of around six months when for various family and health reasons I had to pretty much shut down what I was doing, but even then I managed to update the customers I had waiting to explain the situation, so at the very least there is no excuse for you to have been completely blanked out in trying to get information.
    spencer and Froggy Fool like this.
  7. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Thank you so much. Still no response from Mike but I know I'm not the only one who has had a bad experience and lost large sums of money.

    Unfortunately when he was being responsive he refused to refund the $1000 which I did offer as a solution.

    He admitted he took on far too many orders but then asked if I would like to buy another character to speed up the order of the first!

    Mike would always say the puppet was almost ready for shipping then in other emails say I'm on a waiting list and it's not even started.

    It would be nice to have a happy ending to this. You never know. Mike if you read this. Let's sort this out
  8. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

    I remember reading an old thread when I joined three years ago and many people slagged him off. He came on his to say his piece and I highly doubt you'll get any response from him
    spencer likes this.
  9. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    I shall look for that thread. Thank you for that :)
  10. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

  11. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    That's really kind of you. Thank you for the link.

    Well I still live in hope he will either return the money or send the puppet. Even after 11 years waiting. :search:
    BlakeConor14 likes this.
  12. HunterPeeples

    HunterPeeples Active Member

    Which character did you order?
    spencer likes this.
  13. MuppetPainter

    MuppetPainter Active Member

    What was it that you wanted him to build? My Avatar is a Kermit that I just finished and is for sale.
    spencer likes this.
  14. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Hi, It was a Kermit :)
  15. MuppetPainter

    MuppetPainter Active Member

    Well if you are still interested let me know and I can email you more pictures of him and let you know everything that I did.
  16. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Still nothing from Mike Lisa of MJL puppets / creature clones. I e-mailed him to ask for a refund of the $1000 but not even a reply unfortunately.
  17. MuppetPainter

    MuppetPainter Active Member

    If you’re still interested in getting one I have one that can be shipped out immediately?
  18. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

    Take him to court.

    That's the only way you'll get anything from him.
    Froggy Fool, spencer and gavry3 like this.
  19. spencer

    spencer Active Member

    Thank you for advice. Much appreciated
  20. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

    No worries mate. The man should be ashamed of what he does and the way he treats people.

    He's a con artist and if I were you I'd be wanting my money back as well as the final product.

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