Although we all love the expressive animated heads Steve and his staff create for us, I never hear much about their puppet bodies. Obviously there is a stack of work put into the design and the choice of fabrics etc. to make the figure comfortable to work with, and of course, they look good too! I have found with all my Axtell figures, (I have nine) all of them are very well constructed from the head to the tail, functional and eye-catching! The fabrics haven't faded and they wear well. The folks on the sewing machines do a great job as well. We haven't had one failure! Thanks Steve for ensuring we have the very best to work with when we gig! The audience laughs and oohs as soon as we bring them out! Maybe they're trying to work out which one's the puppet?
Thanks Terry! It has been an effort indeed to keep the bodies up to standard. In the beginning we needed more work on them and we put that work in. Still we make little modifications to them as we go along year to year. I'm happy you noticed!
Re: The puppet bodies!
August 22 2011, 11:03 AM
Any plans for making some with a poseable option (bendy arms like the rabbit ears, etc)?
Or some with size options? I love the rabbit dearly, but at my 5'5" size, he's a tad bulky. Almost like carrying around my daughter. I realize multiple patterns potentially mean more headaches for Axtell and that larger puppets mean better audience visibility.
Keep up the top-notch work though!
August 22 2011, 3:32 PM
For the rabbit you might have a seamstress remove the upper portion of the legs. It gives it a more cartoony look. (Same for the rat). You would probably need to shorten the arms as well, but you lose a lot of life-like characteristics if the arms can't reach the face.
For those who fly a lot you can ask about getting the beachball insert option for puppets that might not normally have it. It is an upgrade cost, but allows you to pack more in the same amount of space. If my kangaroo ever wears out I'm going to ask about having that done for her. Either that or a slit inside the pocket with space for a LOT of items to be pulled out. That would be funny.
August 22 2011, 4:24 PM
I envision a rabbit with a slit either in the stomache or the back. I've always wanted to pull a hat out of a rabbit...
Hat out of a Rabbit
August 22 2011, 6:10 PM
Now that's funny! Love it.
I'd like to experiment with the Rodney Rabbit in a dwarf body. We could do that rather quickly, but really would like a new face as well.
decisions....Decisions.... Dwarf Rodney for now, or New Smaller Rabbit later, or both?
August 22 2011, 6:59 PM
Loved your joke, MJ. (I'm from California so I hear MJ a lot. It just seemed to fit.)
I vote for the quality rabbit in a hat. Many magicians use a rabbit in a hat, but can't say much for the quality.
Leave well enough alone
August 24 2011, 1:47 PM
I've written Steve and told him about a curious experience with the world's oldest Indian. This past year I lengthened his legs so he was anatomically proportioned and used him in library shows, fund-raisers and museum tours (there's an interesting field for a vent). He was always well received, but not as popular as I thought he'd be.
A month ago I returned him to the proportions Steve designed for him. Almost immediately the children were more receptive. In fact, they began coming up after the shows to "meet" him and, if they've been at previous shows and he's not in a current one, they will come up and ask, "Where's the little old man?"
For some reason he's more approachable with dwarf proportions than natural proportions, go figure...
August 24 2011, 2:13 PM
Before the kids thought you were just "pulling their legs" based on what they noticed you had done to him. Be careful or the world's oldest Indian will become just another flatfoot!
re: old Indian
August 24 2011, 9:32 PM
Actually, he is pigeon toed and a little bow legged (my great grandfather Iron Bear was. He wears mocassins so arch support is out of the question.
Re: The puppet bodies!
August 27 2011, 1:20 AM
"decisions....Decisions.... Dwarf Rodney for now, or New Smaller Rabbit later, or both?"
User Friendly Bodies
March 26 2012, 6:05 PM
I was catching up on some reading again here in Axtell World. I love the idea of different size choices. Of course we all know Ax will Custom for us as well. Most times I need someone to do my thinking for me. So it would be great to see the different sizes and have all kinds of mix match choices. Or at least a choice, straight off the rack per say.
Oh, and I would also like to add to a different area I had read early. I will give two thumbs up for the bodies as well as the faces, too. Axtell Expressions does a fantastic job. I am so tickled with my new playmates when they arrive. And I just can't begin to say enough good things about how well they have been put together. Huge Pat on the Back to your Crew Ax.
March 26 2012, 8:05 PM
Merv Griffin purposely picked Vanna White for Wheel of Fortune because her head was larger than normal for her body size. I guess I should say, her body was petite for her hairstyle. She might like that better.
March 29 2012, 1:04 PM
Thanks for the "huge Pat" Susie... And speaking of "Huge Pat".... Tony, I've heard the same about Pat Sajak... Merv picked him for the same reason...a big head.
Re: The puppet bodies!
March 29 2012, 1:21 PM
i am totally amazed by the quality of these puppets!!! great post!!