I, for the most part, collect wood carved ventriloquist figures but when I saw this figure made by Rene Zendejas I knew I had to have him for the Ventriloquist Central Collection.
This figure has a very nice history. It was made in the 1970’s and was used by a performer at the time named S. Earl Statler, and he used this figure which he named Phillip Buster the Senator in a political routine in which this dummy was running for president. See the enclosed poster showing this.
This figure is rather large and heavy. He stands 43″ tall and came to me still dressed in his original attire. He is made of wood, plastic wood and neoprene. He has solid cast lower legs and simply wonderful hands. His head is a combination of plastic wood and neoprene with wood head stick. He has side to side moving eyes, non self centering, and slot jaw. When I received him his eyes were frozen in place but after some use of penetrating oil I finally freed them up so that they again move. Rene made his mechanics with brass and welding rods. The welding rods rust and eventually stop working. You can still see the rust on the pictures of the head stick controls.
I have determined that this head had to come from the mold of Brooklyn Birch and then was modified to make the Senator. I also learned that this particular head was reproduced once to make a marionette which is in the collection of Jay Johnson. No other renditions were made.
So as I said this is an extremely rare Rene figure and I am very excited he is in the collection.
Dan Willinger 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. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger
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