If some of you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed something about a “secret project” for the last two weeks. Well, that project can at last be blogged about. It’s about time, as I was nearing the bursting point wanting to share it!
First I need to build this up. See, Steve and I love the old Wilkins Coffee Commercials made by Jim Henson and some very early Muppets back in the ’50’s:
And Steve really loves Wontkins. Plus, like Wontkins, who won’t drink Wilkins Coffee, Steve hates coffee too. So I suppose he felt a kindred spirit in the little two-limbed,triangular red puppet. He lamented that the only toys ever made of the two characters were made in the fifties, are incredibly rare and valuable, and Wontkins is totally the wrong color:
So I began to formulate a plan to get Steve his own Wontkins.
In my research, I studied the old footage and photos of the two characters:
Wontkins(left) and Wilkins in yet another onscreen confrontation.
And I pondered over the museum reproductions.
Wilkins and Wontkins reproductions, unknown exhibit.
Completed replica/tribute Wontkins
After nearly a week of foam wrangling(the simplest designs are often the most difficult), this is the end result. I am particularly tickled that a small beanbag ball that my friend Dava sent me in a box of puppet building odds n’ ends was the absolute perfect size for his nose. Once it was covered in orange fleece, it fit into place as beautifully as if it were made for the job. He ended up as a sort of missing link between the two Wontkins I was researching, and that’s pretty okay with me.
I wish that I could hide seams, and there’s a few lumpy spots, but overall I’m quite pleased with the result and I think Steve had a little freakout over it.
Today was Steve’s early birthday party. Nearly everyone from our close group of friends was there.
First Steve opened his card, which I also made. I also wrapped everything in red–red gift bag, red tissue, and a red envelope for the card. His card looks like this:
Wilkins Tribute Birthday Card ’09
Then he opened the package, and I was too late to catch his mouth drop open when he saw what it was, but he nevertheless has quite a thrilled expression on his face. Friend Annabella(left) looks quite happy too!
Of course we all encouraged him to put Wontkins on and make him talk.
Here he is, a man and his Wontkins.:) Happy Birthday,my love!
Note: Our Wontkins is for our personal collection and enjoyment only. Although I will take almost any kind of puppet commission that is your character idea and not someone else’s copyrighted design, he is not for sale and I will not be making another.