My Ventriloquist Collecting Mentor, W.S. Berger

ws berger

Over the past few years I have spoken about collecting and how once you get bitten with the collecting bug it does overtake you and nothing will get in your way when in search for the elusive items for your collection.

This again is true, as I have said, about anything which you collect be it coins, stamps, cars or ventriloquist figures.

I also have been challenged quite a number of time by others that say I have taken the ability of any one else from owning an antique figure. Unfortunately those that think that way are totally wrong.

If you want an old ventriloquist figure bad enough you are going to go out there and find one to fill that particular need.

On another venue there was a talk about mentors and I chimed in because even though I do not perform ventriloquism I have taken WS Berger as my mentor posthumously. He also was not a REAL performer but collected and he too was talked about by some as cornering the market on used (the figures were not antique at his time) figures and so no one else could get one.

The Ventriloquist Central Collection has over 160 figures now (and still looking for more) so I guess he really didn’t get them all.

Today I am showing you a great ad that Mr Berger, my mentor, had in the grapevine news back in 1948 and he went a few steps beyond me because he wanted everything , paper, books broadsides and of course figures.

ventriloquist collecting mentor

I think it is great to see that in 1948 he was asking specifically for Frank Marshall figures and McElroy figures. You could call Frank up and order any figure you wanted. Not so with the McElroys in 1948. So he was cornering the market 64 years ago. Man I just love WS Berger and he is my mentor.




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 2012 by Dan Willinger

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This entry was posted in Dummy Collecting, Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figures, W.S. Berger & Vent Haven. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Ventriloquist Collecting Mentor, W.S. Berger

  1. Bill Matthews says:

    Since a mentor is one who personally instructs you and with whom you develop an ongoing relationship, I think saying Mr. Berger is your inspiration and example would be a better description. As much as I admire Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell, Jimmy Nelson, Jeff Dunham, and Terry Fator, I could never say they are my mentors as I have never met them. Even if I did, and they even gave me some pointers, there would not be the ongoing relationship. Just my two cents, for what it’s worth.

  2. Ben Vee says:

    I agree with you Dan. Yes you may be cornering a certain market, but that’s through choice and choice is what we all have (at least I hope we still do). Anyone has the same opportunity as you do to obtain the same figure, it’s just whether they want to exercise their choice to own it that depends if they do.

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