Still Continually Asked About Frank Marshall Figures

I am still continually asked why I like Marshall ventriloquist figures so much. As a dealer of antiques for most of my life this is not hard to explain. When you buy and sell you always strive to purchase better and better items because the value increases.

You can purchase items that cost $10.00 add a 20% profit and sell it for $12.00. Then you purchase and item for $100.00 add the same 20% and sell it for $112.00 and so forth and so on up the price ladder. Of course as you find more expensive and better items the price and profit increases.

Now I decided I wanted to get a ventriloquist figure like the one I first traded for as a youngster (see my biography) and that was the start. I did the same thing I have always done with buying and selling and quickly moved up the ladder as far as price is concerned.

When I finally purchased my first Marshall ventriloquist figure I was thrilled with the quality that he put into his figure so I decided I would keep him and went searching for another to be able to sell. Much to my surprise when I purchased the second Marshall again I loved him and was unable to part with him. This continually happened with each succeeding Marshall purchase. I finally realized that as far as Frank Marshall figures are concerned I am a true collector and not a dealer. I just can’t part with any of the Marshall figures I have purchased.

Plus you have to understand that in his day Frank Marshall was not a cheap way to go for a ventriloquist figure back in the heyday of ventriloquism. Everyone forgets the inflation factor when talking about prices from back in those days. An item that a person would purchase for $25.00 was a very princely sum when you consider that a weekly wage at that time was around $60.00.

His figures were rather expensive and I can now prove this by way of a wonderful Railway Express invoice that I just acquired. This was for the super figure I have listed in my Marshall figures which was made for Jimmy Jedry. His figure was priced at $225.00 and he had a C.O.D. balance of $175.00 upon receipt of his figure. The invoice is dated August 21, 1947.

Just stop and think about how much money that price was for this figure back in 1947 in today’s dollars.

Click Here to see Frank Marshall Invoice



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, Frank Marshall Figure (Dummy), Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figure (Dummy) Makers, Ventriloquist Figure Building, Ventriloquist Figures. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Still Continually Asked About Frank Marshall Figures

  1. Greg Claassen says:

    You got me wondering. So I just ran the $225 price tag through the 1947 inflation calculator. In today’s dollars that would be $2,314.49. I’d definitely purchase a Marshall for that price today. Do you want to sell a few Dan? :o)


  2. Dan Willinger says:

    Greg I think you used the ten times calculator for the inflation cost. That just isn’t correct any longer. Inflation has moved in the last few years way beyound the 10% even though the government will not say it is so. Of course the Solons in charge have no clue what the ordinary folk have to deal with. Oh I am getting off topic and I apologise.

  3. Greg Claassen says:

    I checked several inflation calculator sites and all gave the same answer-$2,314.49. You are most likely right though Dan on the calculator yielding a skewed answer. Most definitely one month’s salary is a goodly sum for a figure. I won’t argue with you on that one.

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