Ax and Suzie, you both raise great points. I guess my thought on why this would be a fairly simple (but good) idea is that, yes, the sock and paper bag have their own built in novelty as they are just about universally understood. However, from a performer's vantage, the actual manipulation of either is much much less than ideal for mouth movement. And ultimately, the mouth is the heart of the illusion- the mouth. So, to be able to bring out the standard paper bag, and have the audience begin to chuckle politely, but turn him with a much more detailed and appealing face, and have the mouth move as the performer vents in a much less distracting manner than a crinkling bag, I think is gold.
The same goes for the sock. Anyone can slip their hand into a sock and begin manipulating their own hand as a mouth. Howevefr, from the audience, the opening and closing for each syllable is often lost because the mouth is the same color as the rest of the foor of the sock. Where as with the same aforementioned chuckle, the sock turns to reveal a detailed face and clearly defined mouth ... the opportunities for fun are endless. You could put an ordinary sock on the other hand and have them discuss diversity or how we are all different or facelifts, etc.
I honestly don't understand the depths and complexities of development. But I've seen enough goes on ebay who have made their own molds for hard figures that I'm just thinking this mold couldn't be that hard. About the size of a fist ... I'm guessing the talent at Axtell could create one of them before I eat my next meal.
(please read: compliment)
I would predict similar (perhaps not as much?) enthusiasm as when we at the Convention all saw Mic mouth for the first time. "Whoa! Wow! What's that? I've never seen anything like that before! What an inexpensive idea! I've got to have one!"
Am I out in left field? I don't think so.