Steve Axtell Designed Custom Puppets & Characters
Take your commercial, show, or production to the next level with a custom Axtell character! We can use your designs, or create a character for you. From simple to complex, hand-puppet to animatronic, we can make your dreams come true!
Here’s some other great partners we’ve worked with:
Placing Your Order, Costs, Materials, and Methods
We can build your custom puppet to have our famous latex skin look, or from soft foam and fleece fabrics.. .we can make your character a full body ventriloquist puppet, or half body stage & TV puppet with wrist rods or live hands like a glove, and we can build animations such as blinking eyelids, moving eyes, raising eyebrows, etc. We can also make a matching puppet that is radio controlled or animatronic that you can program and run an automatic performance. Our studio production team can record voices, write music, shoot video, create programmed tracks… There are many ways Axtell Expressions can help you make your dreams come TRUE! We made ours come true…why not yours?
There are 2 basic ways to make your custom puppet:
EXCLUSIVE CUSTOM PUPPET – We can make an incredible custom designed character for you (cost is depending on size, complexity & rush fees) that will include exclusive rights. Animations such as blinking eyelids or animatronics are extra. Exclusive Custom puppet character rights are owned by you, and Axtell retains the rights to the molds to reproduce puppets for you only. We can match your character artwork or design something new for you from your description and sketches.
These range from $5000-$25,000 or more, depending on the complexity, mechanics and rush fees involved.
NON-EXCLUSIVE CUSTOM PUPPET – On a limited basis I might do a Non-Exclusive Puppet and keep the rights, If you don’t need exclusivity and we like the character concept and find it could be a fit for our catalog, we can make the character prototype for you at a price that includes some of the development costs, (cost depends on complexity and rush fees) which include stage and media rights.
While you would have some input on the look, this new character remains the property of Axtell Expressions, Inc. (you would receive the first one but not own the exclusive rights to it) and we would add it to our line of products for others to purchase at lower production pricing.
Many of our catalog products were originated for customers in this creative and affordable way. Non-Exclusive puppets are the sole property of Axtell, but you may use them on stage and in media. Media use of non-exclusive Axtell puppets are explained below. Animations, blinking eyelids or animatronics are extra.
Note: we don’t always take on non-exclusive work. It depends on the availability of our shop and scheduling of many projects.
LOOK-ALIKE PUPPETS – Portrait puppets that look like you must be exclusive and will cost a little more because of the increased amount of time & detail that goes into the likeness.
CUSTOM ANIMATRONICS – Custom Animatronics can be made as well. They can be controlled by remote control or you can program them to perform anything you want! We can match your existing character art or design it for you from a description. Animations such as moving eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, ears, arms, etc are extra.
CUSTOMIZING EXISTING AXTELL PUPPETS – If we customize existing Axtell Expressions characters for you, we retain the rights to the character and any customization. You won’t own the rights to the modified character.
TERMS – Typically a 50% non-refundable deposit to begin your custom character. Progress photos & videos will be sent to you via email for approval.. It’s a very exciting process! The remaining balance plus freight will be payable monthly before delivery. Lead time will be determined at the time of your quote. Custom puppets and especially animatronics take time so plan ahead. Items requiring R&D developments are not guaranteed with a hard completion date. Once we begin your work, we keep it strongly moving forward. Axtell reserves the right to photograph and publicize the process of making all custom puppets.
Custom Orders over $1000 can be paid by ACH, Check or Wire Transfer. A credit card can be used as well with a 2% added convenience fee.