I have to take my hat off to Steve Axtell because he has come up with truly remarkable remotely controlled figures. I’ve always marveled at animatronics and thought it is amazing that no one has offered these to the vent community. I am sure that there will be many folks stepping up to the plate to have one of these to use for their shows.
I must let you all know that this is not the first use of remote control with ventriloquist figures. Stanley Burns, who wrote the must have book Other Voices, used a figure named Dr. Lichi. This was a Marshall figure which Stanley had converted to remote control and did a wonderful act using him. Here is a picture of him with this figure.
Another ventriloquist from the past who used remote control figures, which were also Marshall figures, was Billy Davis. His Marshall figure was able to do a complete mind reading act while Billy was walking around in the audience. Also enclosed is a picture of his remote controlled figure.
As they say nothing is new it is just revamped and done in a more modern method. Steve has taken it a step further because they will be readily available and not custom made. If you have not seen Steve’s remote puppet check out the video below.
Click Here for Axtell Expression
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Thanks for the kind words Dan. I just wanted to mention that we will be making custom remote puppets too, not just a stock line of these. Also my collaborator on the technical side, Ron Palmer, has created and brought me this exclusive new technology that is making this possible at what is going to be a revolution in low pricing for animatronics. We’ll have more videos up in the coming weeks….stay tuned!
Enjoyed your piece on the remote controlled figures. I’m sure you probably knew, but thought in case you didn’t:
David Strassman has a remote for his Chuck and at the end of his second DVD, (The Chuck You Tour) he leaves the stage and Chuck comes to life. Shortly thereafter, all his puppets spring up and talk/sing with Chuck. (Not sure if they are remote or pure animatronics.)
Paul Zerdin has his soft figure Sam set up as well – leaving the stage at the end and having Sam come to life.
Both have excellent routines for this – and because they are manually operated before the remote control kicks in, it makes the surprise and audience response that much greater. I too am looking forward to Axtell’s release.
Keep up the great work,
Yes there are several others. Greg Classen also has done some RC, and we had also previously built custom Remote puppets for clients over our 25 years in business.
With these “Hands-Free Puppets” we have built on the past body of work, and added some new magic to the concept. We’ll have more video up soon to demonstrate some of the fully programmed applications too.
Ronn Lucas told me that years ago he also had developed an RC vent figure for his act in the UK that had similar action to our “Hands-Free” Remote Control puppets. He’s going to put a video up too! I can’t wait to see it. With so many pros laying the ground work with RC over the years, it will be great to see where it goes now in the future.
We are still working hard on the development of
these remote control characters and the response
has been overwhelming.
To help us prepare our
production line, please go vote for your favorite
character on the poll we set up here thanks.
Okay folks….a big moment has come! Please go to our Hands-Free web pages to see the new video of the Chimpanzee Puppet!
Prices are now posted at http://www.axtell.com/remote.html
Clinton Detweiler and other ventriloquists witnessed the remote Toucan in person last week. Check out the reaction!!!
Axtell’s “HANDS-FREE PUPPETS”
Friday June 27th!
We will put up buy buttons on the Hands-Free pages at midnight on Thursday. The waiting list will be made as the orders come in to us via the shopping cart system. We anticipate a 4-5 week lead time for the first orders to go out… More news to follow! No advance orders will be accepted.
This date coincides with the release of the long awaited Pixar robot movie “Wall-E”! Opening Friday June 27
Buy a robot…then treat yourself to the movie!
See the Hands-Free Remote Control Puppets here! http://www.axtell.com/remote.html