I find it funny that the term head lock is used for ventriloquist figures. When you read this you immediately think the head is locked but how is it locked. What it means is the head is secured to the bottom board of the body in some manner. It really isn’t locked.
Many variations have been used and the most common is that of a rubber band if some sort. On the bottom of the head stick is a hook and on the bottom inside board of the body is another hook. The band is attached to both hooks and holds the head so that it will not fall out of the body.
I have also seen springs attached in the same manner and even the use of string to secure the head stick. I have found that rubberized cord covered in fabric makes a wonderful lock ( so to speak ) for ventriloquist figures.
For a true head lock you can look at two makers. The first is the McElroy brother figures. They used a pin the is about 3″ long that slides into the bottom of the head stick and then on the very bottom of the cradle and head stick are locking washers,that when the head is slid onto the pin at a right angle when you reach the bottom you the turn the head to face front and it locks the head stick in place. The figure can be carried or picked up by the head stick and it will hold the body.
The second true locking device was used by Shaw. The bottom of the head stick had a screw about an inch long with the head at the bottom. Attached to the bottom board is a scissor type device and you place the head of the screw into the slot , slide the scissor arm over and it locks into place. This also allows you to pick up and carry the figure by the head stick.
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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