Prolific Ventriloquist Figure Builder

dan payes puppetry

I have talked many times about Frank Marshall and his being a prolific builder of figures even though his figures are rare today. He spent a half century doing nothing else for a living except building figures. We have guestimated that his output was around 800 figures but unfortunately exact records are not know so we will never know for sure.

During the three decades of 1970, 1980, and 1990 we had Craig Lovik building figures. His figures were sold through Maher Studios and he produced many figures over the thirty or so years but unfortunately exact numbers again elude us. Maybe Clinton Detweiler could shed some light on numbers since he ran Maher during this time period.

Now we can move into the past fifteen years or so and today the most prolific builder of ventriloquist figures is Dan Payes. Dan has confirmed to me that he has in fact surpassed the number 350 figures and is going strong. Dan has his own unique style of figure that is truly his own. He has pushed the envelope so to speak and created many characters which are way different than any other figure builder’s designs. He has done many custom figures and his figures are being used by many pro ventriloquists today.

Dan is one of the few builders that gives you a time frame for the making of your figure and in most cases completes them before the due date. His mechanics are smooth and his finishes are quite impressive.

In the price range that Dan charges you can’t go wrong. Check him out. His motto is “you dream it we build it” and that is fact. You can check him out at




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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2 Responses to Prolific Ventriloquist Figure Builder

  1. Curtis Jones says:

    I own several of Dan’s figures. I can say they are in every way top notch.
    He is very creative and will work with his customers on a custom design.

    I consider Dan a friend but most of all a craftsman/artist.

    The next time you go to the Vent haven convention , just take a look around a lot of vents are using Dan’s creations.

  2. Evan Hutchinson says:

    And LOOK! There is an awesome Payes figure for sale cheap on the marketplace page!!! Tee hee!

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