Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scratch Built Muppet Theatre Playset

Statler and Waldorf finally have a place for their vaudeville outfits to make sense.
This is one of the coolest things I have ever made!! I am a huge fan of the muppets and I wanted to share this special project with you that was very close to my heart. This is my scratch built Muppet Theatre Miniature Playset. Its is done 1/12th scale or 1"scale (doll house scale). I hand crafted it with a labour of love and I cant wait to show you all the fun things about it! Please enjoy!

All the miniature supplies purchased at Ross's Miniature Treasure House in North Vancouver, British Columbia,Canada

Behind the red drapes!!!
Nine years ago Palisades toy company began releasing the Muppet Show Character figures. I had always been a huge fan of the show and I loved the opportunity to own a piece of this important history . The quality of the characters' construction was top notch, the accuracy of the details were unmatched and the accessories were amazing. They released 4 playsets including Pigs in Space, Sweedish Chef kitchen, Muppet Labs and Electric Mayhem Concert Stage. I have 82 of the Muppet Show Characters and all of the playsets. When the company went bankrupt in 2006, the toy line stopped abruptly and many of the proposed toys never happened.

The Palisades Muppet Toy Line. Image provided by GWGumby.



The most disappointing loss was the Muppet Theatre Backstage Playset.

My custom scratch built Muppet Theatre Playset
This would have held all the playsets inside of it, and created a place to display the characters in their natural environment. Im sure Palisades would have done an amazing job...but I think I have done them justice. I have tried to capture the essence of the Palisades brand, including aesthetics, attention to detail and interactive fun!

Finally Scooter's Muppet Theatre outfit makes sense!

I had to order these online, but they really work!!


Please enjoy these pictures and commentary. I have worked for so long on this project and Im very happy with the results. Remember:

“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” -Walt Disney





These bulbs are replaceable!
Of course I had to create Kermit/Gonzo's Opening Hole. Title board is on a Fly so it can be removed.






Beauregard gets in the way again.....





Its the Muppet Show, with our very special guest star...Lance Cardinal yaaaaaay!
The stage without title board and main drape closed.


Floor boards are maple wood. Trim is custom Dollhouse trim. 1" Scale.


The stage proscenium is show accurate and all the baroque paneling is hand crafted.
Side panel opens to insert sets and access main drape ropes. Door locks with magnets, just for a Palisades touch.


Pull the Rope...
And the curtain opens.
The curtain is a Tab style curtain. The rigging and hardware is based on the actual.


Almost all the way open...




Rope set in place. Here you can also see the door magnet..shhh dont tell.










































Curtain can be pulled all the way out. Classic Black backdrop. This is basic "SHOW MODE"







 Lots of hooks for any curtain height desired. You can see the legs and borders of the theatre through here.


Besides the black backdrop we also have the classic "White cyc wall" that was used in many Muppet segments

Here is a view of the fly rails. I added eyelets and scale rope for authenticity.
All flys and the main drape are adjustable and removable. there are notches in the sides for any position.
Real Trap door in floor that works!!. Great idea Jeff!!
Fozzie, Kermit and Jim Henson with a custom half wall I made.
With black backdrop


Using the cyc wall and dramatic lighting. So cool!! Cant wait to do more scene
Here is the Theatre in "PRODUCTION MODE" with all flys and legs taken out. Back wall is very detailed.


















































































































Great view of the back wall details and prop storage.



Ghost Light really Lights!
View form the left side. Opening lines up with backstage playset.
Overall view of back wall through proscenium.
Backstage playset connected to mainstage playset. I thought it was important to have a seamless transition.
Almost everything here is built from scratch. Some palisades props were added. Notice the extinguisher holder. Lots of places to hang props from the series.
View from the open door stage left.

I added Muppet Movie posters , making sure Jim henson was involved in the ones I chose. The brick was hand made form concrete mix. The sandbags are made form scratch.
This peg rope system is custom made as well as the light switch to match the Palisades originals.
Close up view of stage left corner. Extinguisher box opens and power box handle switches up and down! Ladder was custom built.
Door was custom made, based on the British cities the series was filmed in.
Stencils were hand made and painstakingly cut, then painted on. hardware is purchased.
I gave everything a paint treatment that is reminiscent of a Muppet Movie.
Figures on the set create magic!!
Rizzo tries to approach things from a different angle...

Greta views! Unique points of view not seen in the television series.

Lots of room for figure interaction and custom scenes!!


Statler and Waldorf finally have a place for their vaudeville outfits to make sense.


Photos like these are the reason I wanted to make this playset. SOOOOOO FUUUUN!!

Here is the "Pigs in Space" playset inside the theatre. Ive waited to see this since the series of toys began!

Swedish Chef Kitchen Playset inside the Theatre. Bork Bork!

Fun Backstage View!!!

Lighting can make the figures POP!!
Both Playsets together!!! Finally the series is complete!!










I really believe I captured the look and feel of the muppet theatre, more than i have seen in most movies. I know that many people were sad that this Muppet Theatre was not created. I hope this satisfies that need to see what could have been.

Big Thanks goes out to Mary Bin at Ross' Miniature Treasure House in North Vancouver for supplying me with most of the supplies needed to build this theatre. I suggest using them if you need miniature supplies. They are willing to order and ship worldwide. Check then out at:
Ross' Miniature Treasure House in North Vancouver Canada or by calling at 1-(604)-980-2715

To View the Backstage Playset Click Link: 
http://lancecardinal.blogspot.com/2011/03/custom-palisades-muppet-show-backstage.html 


To See The MAKING OF the Muppet Theatre and backstage Playset, click here:
http://lancecardinal.blogspot.com/2011/04/making-of-muppet-theatrebackstage.html


 I have plans to create:
-Musicians pit for Muppet Theatre
-Box Seats for Statler and Waldorf
-Opening arches for Muppet Theatre
-Muppet Labs (From TV series, not the Palisades Muppet 3D version)
-Fozzie's comedy Backdrop
-Vetrinarians Hospital
-Ballroom Scene
-Planet Koozebaine Set
-Muppet News Room
-Great Gonzo Stunt Set
-Dressing rooms (Piggy/Guest)
-Much More!!!

 
Thanks again everyone!!
Lance

253 comments:

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Marci said...

I am SUPER jealous!

Ellie said...

Wow Lance...you are one extremely talented man...I think I fell out of my chair when I first saw this..I can't stop looking at all your work...you are amazing! Have you ever thought of doing the "Peanuts" gang or Carol Burnett with her mop and bucket? I so love those ones but I have always loved the Muppets also! You are one man I will keep watching for in the furture..I'll keep viewing whatever you share!

Pesciolino said...

Lance, truly beautiful. A wonderful obsession, and a magical result. Amazing.

Tara Monster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara Monster said...

I am a huge Muppet fan. So much so that my best friend nicknamed me Tara Monster, as in Muppet monster. I think of the Muppets as a religion to live by. You sir are amazing! The dedication and detail you put into this project is truly divine. I want one so badly, however I am fairly certain that this is a one of a kind. Truly awesome work. You rock so hard!!

Jarrod said...

Absolutely amazing! Incredible detail.

lynncoughlin said...

I grew up with the Muppets. I think it's why I ended up choosing theatre as my career. In fact, it is one of the reasons I ended up at my current job (I work at University of Maryland, where the Henson's met, and is the childhood home of Mr. Henson).
My mouth was literally agape when I saw the photos of your work. It evoked EMOTION in me. It TOUCHED me.
You are an unbelievably gifted artist!

SewTara said...

This is phenomenal!!! Absolutely beautiful work!
Brings back happy memories! You could even do some stop motion episodes! hehe

die amelie said...

WOW! This is so incredibly amazing and gorgeous! A great job done here! Even better than the real show (shhh...don 't tell!). Pigs in Space is my absolute favourite! And the backstage-scenes are fantastic. I always wondered, how it would be "behind-scenes". Now I know. And won 't miss, what will be coming up next!

Thank you for spreading so much fun and joy by building this!

Greetings from Vienna, Austria,

amelie

Anonymous said...

I am totally crying...your phenomenal work and the great comments by your admirers. I LOVED the Muppets and you've done them proud!

Mi casa es su casa, Cucaracha!

Grainne Hamilton said...

I have tears running down my face from what you've created and the comments people have left. I love theatres and The Muppets and it is so inspiring to see something made with such craftsmanship, detail and beauty. You've also made a lot of people very happy, which must feel good :) Well done!

Grainne

Alwin said...

this is breath-taking! awesome work!

Joe said...

Hey, that was amazing. By the way you were featured on the escapist. Congrats.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109077-Man-Creates-Incredibly-Detailed-Muppet-Show-Theater

thrifty and nifty said...

I am BLOWN away. Excellent job. You should be very proud of yourself.

The Organizer said...

Wow. Thank you for this. It's absolutely beautiful. Your love of Muppets is clear through your amazing attention to detail. You made me feel very inspired!

Ingrid said...

You are my hero.
Congrats on the amazing work! :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing! A-MAZE-ZING!

So many great evenings passed as a kid watching this show and I absolutely love the devotion you had to create this tribute. Jim Henson created a world everyone could escape to, no matter where they grew up. Thanks for sharing it with the interwebz :D

Anonymous said...

I love you. Really. From the depths of my lifetime of loving Muppets heart, thank you for sharing this amazing creation <3

jimm said...

Unbelievably cool

Arinn said...

HOLY FUCK, this is mind-blowingly incredible!! the love and care you put into this really shows. well done!!

Katy England said...

This is wonderful. My fingers are just itching to play!

Thank you for making something so wonderful, commemorating something wonderful.

Ian said...

This set is a bloody work of art. I hope whoever is in charge of Disney's (sure to be forthcoming deluge) Muppet merchandise get you on board sharpish!

Well done :)

Queue said...

Just drop-down beautiful. So well done. Congratulations.

lefseboy said...

Lance,

Your attention to detail is amazing. My highest congratulations go out to you!

Firgs said...

Thank you for bringing this into the world. I am sure Jim himself, were he around to see it, would be very pleased in the way you have honored him with your work. My heart swells with Muppet Love and pride.

Beyond that I am humbled and speechless to see this.

Rebecca Jane said...

This is absolutely, ridiculously amazing! Oh my gosh! Wow wow wow. Some serious congrats for putting this together - it is FANTASTIC.

MeiLin Miranda said...

You are absolutely out of your mind in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY.

Anonymous said...

O my you are really really talented. I love this so much sent the link to my mom. Every time my family would go to Disneyland/California adventure, I have to go to the Muppet show even thought I do not think they have changed it. SO COOL!!!!

Jenn said...

I do believe this is the COOLEST thing I have EVER seen!! I am a huge muppets fan and you have done them proud! So, so awesome. I'm going to send the link to every one I know! Thanks so much for sharing it :)

Daniel said...

I have no idea how you did everything so neat! Amazing work!!!

Edd said...

Jesus... this is absolutely, completely and utterly amazing!! I cannot believe how perfect this is! You've done such a frickin' excellent job man!

So, so so so soooo wonderful :)

Kate said...

Beautiful work! I just love the Muppets and I especially love well made "toys". But this is so much more than a toy - this is my childhood in miniature. I want to shrink way down so I can come and join in all their fun! Thanks for sharing this awesome creation!!

Anonymous said...

WOW. Lance, I am totally overwhelmed! You are so talented. I would have bought this theater at any price! It could have completed the line perfectly.

I am the lucky owner of a couple of customs made by a very gifted sculptor and I have made two myself, so I know about the true passion behind your effort.

Amazing!

Sincerely,

Morten
Denmark

John said...

WOW I LOVE THIS.

I have not one bit of artistic ability in me(unfortunately the gifts given to me by God put me on the business end of things), so maybe I'm overly in awe. But I just cannot fathom the patience and painstaking effort it took to get so many details together.

I have the entire Palisades Muppets line and I wish I had one of this.

I'm envious and have a great deal of respect for your talents. Amazing job.

BTW, if you ever get to Disneyland near LA, there is another Disney park called California Adventure next to it that has a Muppets Theatre that shows a 3D movie and has animatronic Chef, Stadler, and Waldorf. There was talk of taking it out, but I'm guessing with the new Muppet movie, they want to see how things go. Hopefully all the kiddies go see the movie, it does well, and maybe Disney updates the theater/show.

Mike said...

Wow! Simply wow! Found this through stumbleupon and I'm blown away. Fantastic detailing, very well executed.

Kathi Petersen said...

WOW! I am just absolutely mind-boggled by this. So incredibly cool. I am completely inspired. I have made puppet theatres myself in the past but I bow to your absolutely genius!!!

Brian said...

I am beyond blown away by this. When I saw photos on another site, I recognized them as looking like the set models I've seen for some opera productions I've been involved with. Its stunning how you've taken those standards and created such a stunning custom playset. I always want to teach myself how to do this sort of thing and while looking at your works makes me feel horribly unsuited to that task, its inspiring to know that there are such talented people out there using their gifts for the same sorts of geeky things I wish I could do. As much as it pains me to see such a creation and know it can't be mine, I am nothing but thrilled to know that this exists. That this is a thing. Kudos.

Mark said...

I'M JUST.....SPEECHLESS!!!!!! I can tell you now, I would pay an incredibly ridiculous amount of money to own that! ;) An amazing labour of love, thanks for sharing your talent with everyone.

AMAZING!

Mark, UK

Canada said...

Great cameos, funny songs, good story, everything. I laughed, I almost cried. When the first song started up I was a little worried. But then all the songs came through. Especially, "Muppet of a Man"... hilarious.

skywatcher said...

Fantastic model, very inspiring. I love the making of post showing step by step. Wonderful!!

Runescape Gold said...

It is incredible, remarkable and excellent!!! Your own focus on depth is a fantasy.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful, magical piece! thanks for sharing it with the world. can't wait to see more of you work.

fibrelight said...

All the superlatives have already been used, but I'll add my name to the ever-growing list of people who think you've done an absolutely outstanding job. Well done, it's incredible.

Samuel Sirna said...

I love your own Muppet Theater playset. I hope you'll make plans to create an orchestra pit, balcony for Statler and Waldorf, Guest Star/Miss Piggy's Dressing Rooms and Opening arches.

Samuel Sirna said...

I love your own Muppet Theater playset. I hope you'll make plans to create an orchestra pit, balcony for Statler and Waldorf, Guest Star/Miss Piggy's Dressing Rooms and Opening arches. I know you are a Muppets fan.

Samuel Sirna said...

Your Muppet Theater playset is amazing. I hope you'll have plans to create some backdrops.

Jeremy said...

can not wait to see Statler and Waldorf's box.

Buy rs gold said...

beautiful i must say

Monica said...

Simply brilliant. I did not even know about these Muppet figures, much less a custom designed playset. Well done.

Michael Regan said...

Can you show your next plans as soon as possible please?

Κατερίνα Καρδάρη said...

i dont need it i dont need it i dont need it
I NEED IT!!!!
theres isnt really (how strange)
a muppet theater out there
and muppets are the most beloved puppets all over the globe
could u send one muppet theater over my house my good man? ready to pay the cost... :/
my mail grafeioarnaoutioikonomaki@hotmail.gr

Κατερίνα Καρδάρη said...

MAN I NEED THIS!
DO U SELL THEM???
DIMITRIS FROM GREECE
grafeioarnaoutioikonomaki@hotmail.gr

12Create said...

Wow, fabulous.

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