The Art of Making a Collection

When it comes to collecting you must remember to set limits to where you want your collection to go. This is why I decided that for the most part I wanted just wood carved figures. You see there is such an array of different styles and types of materials that were used to make figures that I had to choose for myself what direction I wanted to go.

Now I have purchased many figures made of other materials besides wood and usually those figures I have bought and sold. There are a couple exceptions to my rule for myself , the McElroy figures are one and also the Insull figures. They are great figures which were made from wood dough and paper mache.

I decided to limit myself on my direction because the variety was so vast that I would have had to purchase everything and I just could not do that. Just because a figure is an antique it does not mean I am going to buy it. There have been many that I have said to myself “Boy that is a good buy for that figure” but passed because it would just not fit my collection.

I have also stayed away from the toy figures because I decided I wanted my collection to be made up of professional ventriloquist figures. Although some of the older toys are great, I again saw that if I started purchasing the toys to collect it would get out of hand. Room for me is also now at a premium. I made an exception for toy figures with the original 1930’s Effanbee Charlie McCarthy figures. They were produced with Charlies exact likeness and with working slot jaw and I just love those so I do have a number of them in different size and attire.

Just make sure your direction is in a straight line and you will make a fine collection. Also remember it takes a lot of time and patience for a great collection to happen.



Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 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 2009 by Dan Willinger

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