Collecting and Jealousy Even in Ventriloquism

One of the worst parts of being a collector is that there are some that just do not get what a collector’s passion is. When one collects it is because he finds that the item makes his life more complete and makes him happy. Those that have never collected really don’t understand.

I was an antique dealer for many years and never had a problem with selling an item I purchased and as matter of fact I tried to sell items I purchased the same day. I was looking for profit. I had a plan which I followed very close and that was put a profit on the item and sell it. I usually went with a 15 to 20% profit on anything I purchased. This worked well for me for the better part of 25 years. The realization that I was a collector was when I purchased a ventriloquist figure. I just could not sell it. As matter of fact I wanted another.

I equate this with a drug addiction. I love the hunt for a figure and the fabulous gratification I get when I find a figure but I realized that it was a fix just like a drug addict. Very quickly, within minutes, I am again in hunt mode. Now the comparison is just to give you an idea as to how a true collector feels. This is true of any collector be it stamps, coins or beany babies. For me it is ventriloquist figures.

Once my collection started to take on some size I had to share and hence the Ventriloquist Central Website. This gave me the perfect venue to allow everyone to see the collection. But recently I have been told, and I will not mention any names, that it is a crime that I have purchased all these great figures and have kept them from others to purchase. Well boy that statement bothered me because I am not stopping anyone from purchasing figures. As a matter of fact there have been many figures that I would love to have purchased but had lack of funds.

Also I was told someone said they would not go to my website because all I do is say lookie see what I have today!! Well isn’t that small thinking on their part. I do believe that today the website Ventriloquist Central totally lives up to its name of being a central place for viewing everything from new to old relating to the art of ventriloquism. And of course every so often I show a new addition to the Ventriloquist Central Collection. I want to share.

I know I am not the first in the ventriloquist world to suffer this jealousy because W.S. Berger also had to deal with this. Also many may not know but WS also did a lot of selling. He sold both books and ventriloquist figures. As matter of fact he sold most of the Insull pocket figures because he imported them. I too sell but I only sell when I have purchased something and have upgraded.

Anyway I just wanted all to know I truly enjoy being able to share what I have put together and I hope you enjoy seeing the figures as I ad them to the website.

Also make sure you register for the Ventriloquist Central Birthday Bash because then you will get to see the collection in person

Click here for more about the Ventriloquist Central Birthday Bash




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:

Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger

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This entry was posted in Dummy Collecting, Personal, Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figure Building, Ventriloquist Figures. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Collecting and Jealousy Even in Ventriloquism

  1. bob abdou says:

    Hey Dan, when you make your list of true friends, make sure my name is on that list, I have 9 vintage dummies that I bought from you and it only made my collection better, you can have the marshall’s, I like collecting other figure makers, I am jealous of you but in a good way, there is a bad jealousy and a good one, the Bible even states that. I am proud to know you and be a part of your history.

  2. Keith Suranna says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Dan. Many of us appreciate your collection and your sharing it with the community. The next time I find myself in my old home town of Boston, I’d love to pay you a visit.

  3. M.D.Garrett says:

    If your sharing of the collection with all of us is criminal, then count me as a convict. By sharing these figures with us, we all have an opportunity to examine and discover these wonderful things. Without your website, these figures would probably never see the light of day, let alone help those of us interested in the history of ventriloquism, and figure making. In my opinion, you are not “depriving” anyone. Your generosity and time to present the collection should be applauded.
    To the person that made such an idiotic comment…..would he make such a comment about the Smithsonian?

  4. Philip Grecian says:

    Oh, Dan…I’m jealous but, as Bob says, in a good way! The way I look at it, you’ve brought these classic figures to a place where they will be restored (in some cases) and preserved (in all cases). And, let’s be clear…you haven’t “kept them from others,” you have protected them and watched over them for all of us.

  5. Eddie Garland says:

    Long Live Ventriloquist Central and it’s marvelous collection!
    Thank you for all that you do Dan!

  6. Ventfly says:

    HI Dan,

    I truly enjoy your website and your AWESOME collection of figures. Its a shame that you would have to come out to justify your “addiction”/ or I mean collecting passion. This is a passion of yours that you own as we all have passions that we own. (For those of us that do not have passions…you need to get one!) I have seen figures put up for sale by you many times over, so you do throw some of them back lol! Your website is so much more than just “showing off” your figures! Oh and by the way dont we “ALL” do a little showing off of our figures when we perform?? A “wink” here a “stick out tongue there”! I mean it is “showbusiness” and its inevitable! Right? When a Vent demonstrates his or her skill an illusion is created made possible by a dummy (most of the time) Imagine us…grown men and women showing off our dolls…what fun we have as Vents, we never grow up! Thats the best part about it. Whenever a Vent gets on stage or on camera with their prize dummy…I guess its just good old “showing off!” Actually I think its called entertaining using an instrument of our liking that an audience can watch or not watch. In your case as a collector, it has already been mentioned that you bring figures otherwise that would go unseen forever out for us to see. Who else does this? And you invite US, some of the weirdest people on earth to come visit you at your house to look at them! Ventriloquist Central has brought figures out of suitcases (just like Ebay) that I would never have seen or had an opportunity to purchase or trade. I want to thank you for playing an instrumental part in the brokering (classifieds pages) of at least a couple different Vent figures. You get my vote for being a truly great asset for Ventriloquists worldwide! God Bless Brian Hagelgans

  7. Leigh Basthemer says:

    Keep doing what you are doing. I can tell in your heart you have great respect for all you do. I love Vent. Central and I enjoy seeing all you give to everyone who enjoys the Art of Ventriloquism. Carry on.

  8. Nick says:

    I think Dan is a wonderful guy and is not “showing off” his collection but letting all of us enjoy it with him, by with steve’s help creating this wonderful web site, I love to look at the collection and if i ever could see it in person is would be a wonderful treat. Dan you have done no wrong in fact you have done alot for the ventriloquist community (performers, collectors, and figure makers). I know when I wanted to build a figure I could go to the collection annd look at figures i like and would like to imulate their “look”
    THREE CHEERS FOR DAN! keep on collecting

  9. Jim Miller says:

    There are so many of these figures I, and most others , would have never SEEN, if not for your Website!! Rock on with your Bad Self!—Cheers! JIMO

  10. Jerry Goodspeed says:

    Dan, I (and I’m sure many others) get such a vicarious kick out of looking at your collection. Thank you for sharing it! Your generosity is clearly based on your love and appreciation of the art of ventriloquism.

  11. Steve Barry says:


    I’m jelous too! I wish I could find ONE Marshall figure for my collection.
    The amount of work that went in to garthering your collection and the information you share with us is tedious, time consuming and hard work. The only people who would go through all that are people with a passion for what they do. I admire your passion, not addiction, as do all of us who visit Keep up the good work.

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