Side To Side Ventriloquist Figure Comparison

brain hamilton jack coats 001

After we I posted the Brian Hamilton figure, which came from Ilene Karnow, I had quite a few who emailed me and even a comment to the blog on how similar the Hamilton Figure was compared to the Jack Coats figure.

I too thought that when Ilene sent me the first pictures of her Hamilton figure but as soon as I unwrapped the figure upon his arrival here at the Ventriloquist Central Collection, I immediately could see that this was without question the work of Brian Hamilton and not Jack Coats.

They are the same size figures standing 40″ tall. That is about the only thing that I can say are the same. I have taken side by side pictures with the Hamilton figure on the left and the Coats figure on the right. Instantly you can see how much more refined the Jack Coats face is done but Brian did a very nice job copying the style of Jack Coats’ face.

He actually made it very cute in my estimation. Next I did a comparison of the hands. The Coats hands are much beefier than Hamilton’s hands The back of the head again show far more finished work on the Coats as compared to the Hamilton. I next show you the back of the heads removed and although done in the same manner you really can see how crude Brian did his compared to Jack.

brain hamilton jack coats 002

brain hamilton jack coats 003

brain hamilton jack coats 004

brain hamilton jack coats 005

brain hamilton jack coats 006

brain hamilton jack coats 007

The best is making the comparison on the head sticks and the mechanics. Although clearly copied by Brian they clearly are not the work of a master like Jack Coats. Inside the head is so cleanly done by the master without the use of added plastic wood because of mistakes.

Brian Hamilton was only around 17 when he made this figure and even though I say it is crude just remember how young he was and also how accomplished a builder he was at this time.

I can only imagine what he would be producing if he were still alive today. I think we would be calling him a Master builder.




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 2011 by Dan Willinger

NOTE: You may use this blog article provided you run it with the bio box intact. Please email a copy of your publication with the blog article in it to:

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

3 Responses to Side To Side Ventriloquist Figure Comparison

  1. bob isaacson says:

    Dan…you are correct…Brian could have been another Frank Marshall or George & Glenn McElroy. He had the talent for all the figure making. I met him when he was 16 & he had already been making marionettes. When came upon a Jack Coates figure, that started Brian on the vent figure road. Shortly after that ( a few months), he discovered Marshall figures and following the Marshall work, he then started making the McElroy type figures. He was 18 at that time. Too bad he died so young.

  2. Donald woodford says:

    Nice pin stripe suit, hope he’s not going to jail.

  3. cheryl coats says:

    Thank you for showing my Dad’s work, It means alot to our family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *