Know What You Are Buying


It always surprises me when I hear from someone that they made a purchase and after receiving the item they find out that something is wrong or it is not what they expected it to be. Sometimes it ends up in buyers remorse. This happens so often with ventriloquist figures that I almost can’t believe it.

I have been asked how come this doesn’t happen to me. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have purchased many figures that when they arrived I found out they were not what I thought I was buying. One example that stands out in my mind was that I was contacted by a record store that dealt in old records.

They went to a home to purchase records and when they were there, the owner had an old ventriloquist figure that the record dealer also purchased. He contacted me and sent me pictures and said the original card was inside the head and it said Frank Marshall. I was excited and paid a health price for him and failed to ask any questions. I went totally on the pictures because of my excitement. The package arrived and I got scared because it was about 12″ square.

How could this Marshall figure fit in this box? Well it was a Frank Marshall figure but it was only 25″ tall. I really thought I was purchasing a full size figure from the pictures. My mistake….did not ask questions.

Another time I fell in love with a figure from pictures. I just assumed it was carved basswood. When I received the figure it turned out to be plastic wood. A really great figure but not what, in my mind, I was buying. I still own both of the figures I have just talked about. They remind me all the time. Those are just 2 instances but believe me there are many others that I can talk about. It happens when your collection numbers near 200.

It seems that those that collect or deal in items make the mistakes and take their lumps and just move on but if you are a performer if the figure doesn’t fit the bill you have problems. I see so many performers consistently buying and selling figures and I assume it is because the figure just doesn’t fit the act.

This has been discussed many times in many forums. You must first KNOW the character then find the figure that fits that character. If you do it the other way around and purchase the figure first it seems it is always wrong.

Getting back to the original premise of this blog, make sure you ask every question about an item before you make your purchase. It is hard to do it after the fact.

Give me your thoughts. Make your comments below.


Have you seen the Frank Marshall Tribute DVD, click here


Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2013 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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One Response to Know What You Are Buying

  1. Ben Veenkamp says:

    Good point, but unfortunately in some cases a builder wants to make money and will say anything the secure a sale. I’ve experienced this with a well known builder and after asking many, many questions and watching YouTube videos I made my purchase only to discover the mechanics to be less than satisfactory and after sales support nonexistent.

    You’re right ask questions, but alas there are some unscrupulous sellers out there even the some established builders.

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