W.S. Berger and Ventriloquist Figure Maker Len Insull

My Idol in ventriloquism is W.S. Berger. I give him credit for having the fore sight to see the value of ventriloquist figures before they were a collectible item in any sense of the word collectible. They were used props which to anyone other than he were valueless.

He was able to purchase figures directly from the great makers of the early 20th century for the asking prices they sold to any one else that was buying a figure. He purchased Jacko from the McElroy Brothers for $125.00 and was able to actually make monthly payments to them for the purchase. How great was that??

But he was a business man too and not only did he buy but he also sold. In the issues of the Oracle magazine in the 1950′s he often put in adds with a list of books and figures for sale. He also made a deal with Len Insull to sell figures from his workshop. I recently acquired an original ad that W.S. Berger put out offering Len Insull Toby Jugs and Pocket Figures for sale. Even though he offered these items for sale it seems that not many were sold because Len Insull only made 50 Toby Jugs and only 16 pocket figures. How many could he have sold??

I have pictured this great ad for you to see and also here are photos of an original Toby Jug and 2 of the Pocket figures.


Here are the links to videos of these unique ventriloquile items.

Click here to see the Insull Toby Jug

Click here to see the Insull Pocket Figures

Click here to see the video of the Insull Toby Jug

Click here to see the video of the Insull Pocket Figures



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: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2012 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, Vent Haven, Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figure (Dummy) Makers, Ventriloquist Figure Building, Ventriloquist Figures, W.S. Berger & Vent Haven. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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