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Make your own Muppet

#1 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 11:03 AM

"Last month, F. A. O. Schwarz (In New York) opened a make-your-own Muppet service in its flagship store on Fifth Avenue, the “only place in the world” where you can get a customized Muppet, though it will be soon joined by an online shop. For $130 plus tax, you can walk out with a Muppet of your very own — not the Miss Piggys, Kermits and Gonzos of the Muppet world, but Whatnots, the generic everyman Muppet."

For those of you who don't know what whatnots are, heres Kermit the Frog with a Special Report on the subject.

"....the decades-old Muppets may be one of the brightest points (in the retail market) this holiday season. Sales have been twice what had been projected, said William Butler, the store manager. Waits on Friday were as long as 40 minutes. The pink and purple round noses have long been sold out, as has the Whatnot red hoodie. The store has expedited shipments of Muppet body parts to meet demand. Muppet blogs have stoked the fan base.

Sales took off after Muppets took over the “Today” show — and Muppet lookalikes for Meredith Veira, Matt Lauer and Al Roker claimed hosting duties for half an hour. Overnight, the workshop went from a soft opening to a global phenomenon, the workshop manager observed.

The Muppet rollout is part of Disney’s marketing push behind a brand that has largely been stagnant since it took control in 2004. The idea of bringing the Muppets under the umbrella of Disney was first agreed upon in 1989, but then fell through after Jim Henson’s death.... The heirs sold the family business to the German media company EM.TV and Merchandising for about $680 million. But the German conglomerate slumped under crushing debt and an insider-trading and fraud investigation, and the Henson children later bought back the classic Muppets and the characters from the HBO series “Fraggle Rock” for $78 million. The “Sesame Street” Muppets were sold to Children’s Television Workshop, and the classic characters were sold to Disney in 2004 for $75 million.

Which is how we get to the workshop, a part of Disney’s attempt (along with a movie) to revive the franchise.

...72,576 different Muppets can be created. Of course, if you find choices stressful... you can choose one from a wall of already-made Whatnots.

The Muppet-making experience starts with an extensive booklet with sheets of vinyl eyes, noses, hair styles and outfits, which can be mixed and matched on the different bodies...The booklets are yours to keep. When the mock-up is done, it is converted to a checklist. (Than) The workers whip up the order...

There has been some consternation among Disney executives that a whole generation has grown up essentially Muppetless. But Muppets have managed to bridge the gap in this case...”

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#2 User is offline   Eric 

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 05:15 PM

Okay, that is too cool. I want one! Now, I just need the $130.
Eric
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#3 User is offline   COH#1fan 

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 06:27 PM

$130 is RIDICULOUS! Why so much for a fancy puppet? You can go to a Build A Bear Workshop and get a stuffed animal for a fraction of the cost. *sigh* This is just another way of Disney ripping us off by charging stupid amounts of money for merchandise. I'll bet the so-called Whatnots will fall apart the moment you get home. :P :D
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#4 User is offline   Eric 

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:41 PM

Have you ever looked into the materials, time and effort it would take to make a nice looking puppet/Muppet? It is nothing like Build-a-Bear; there is a lot more involved. $130 for the time alone is worth it, IMHO.
Eric
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"Universal is like Wal-Mart with roller coasters."
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#5 User is offline   HDLady 

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:59 PM

I think the pricing is in line with most brand merchandise. It's just like Harley-Davidson stuff. I can buy esentially the same T-shirt at any discount department store for maybe $10 or $12 but add an H-D design and the price jumps to at least $25. Since people are flocking to FAO Schwartz to get their owm Whatnot, it's obvious that many people think it's worth the price. Heck the "customize the colors" sneakers at Nike go for $130 and up. I would much rather have a Whatnot I designed than a pair of custom $130 sneakers in the colors I select.
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#6 User is offline   darthstich 

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:14 PM

Actually, $130 is a decent price for any quality Puppet, not to mention one with the FAO Schwartz and Muppet Names attached to it
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