The Strangest Controls for a Ventriloquist Figure

As we all know the head stick is the usual way controls are mounted to control a ventriloquist figure’s functions. There are all kinds of configurations and usually involves levers and in some cases such as those makers like Selberg and Alfaro small side to side rockers on the post but still lever for controlling the mouth. The McElroys also had levers to control the mouth and upper lip then the typewriter style keys for the other functions.

I just wanted to show everyone a completely different set up of controls which were utilized on a figure back in the 1920’s. I am not exactly sure of the maker of this figure but I think it could be made by Klingel. I have yet to find or see another set up like this.

The levers for the control are set up like four piano keys. Picture, if you will, you place your fingers palm down onto the control keys, each finger on a key. First finger presses down key one and it works the mouth, key two works side to side self centering eyes, third key makes the eyes blink and the fourth key make one eye wink.

There is a hinge on the front which allows the head to actually look down. The head stick has a hole in the bottom which rests on a peg in the bottom of the body. This gives the head stick 360 degree rotation. All in all a very different set up from anything else I have seen in the controls of a ventriloquist figure.

I hope you enjoy seeing this unique set up and if you know who for sure built this style please let me know.















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 2009 by Dan Willinger

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5 Responses to The Strangest Controls for a Ventriloquist Figure

  1. Curtis Jones says:

    Looks interesting, maybe it was for a special vent, maybe with arthritis.
    Looks almost like something from a carnival.

    Of topic, I belive I see Miss Klinker in the background…. in picture #6
    Are you going to be posting pics of this figure soon ?

    As always,
    Thanks for sharing!
    Curtis Jones

  2. Nick Ortiz says:

    Dosent seem to be like the Klingel.If by Klingel you mean the magic shop Zauberklingel wich made figures in Austria? I have seen a figure from Sweden with exact same style it went for $1100 on Live Auctioneers.

  3. Nick Ortiz says:

    Sorry its not the same exact style now that i have some pictures in front of me but pretty close maybe the same maker in diffrent periods of time.

  4. LeeDean says:

    This is probably the French figure maker that did the purported Archie Andrews as an early Insull model for that character. I do not know the name of maker.

  5. Tonya says:

    Love the post and the figure.
    The 4 finger piano style control theory actually sounds like a good one.
    How did it feel?

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