2013 has started off splendidly, bringing us a great project for Chevrolet’s new Traverse SUV, with us designing and creating four original Toy Doll Characters in both large costume versions and small doll versions. As with many commercial productions these days, there was not much time in the schedule and four completely new and original characters needed to be designed quickly.
The four designs we came up with were perfect for the character of the spot, giving it great charm and appeal - the giant Cat character, the fuzzy blue Wildman creature, the Raggedy Ann doll, and Baby Turtle. We were able to give the costumes a good range of sizes by hiring some of the great stunt actors we work with, from six foot, to five, four, and even a three feet tall actor, and they all did a fantastic job of bringing our character suits to life.
For a Volkswagen commercial, we created a new Yeti Costume - also known as the Abominable Snowman- for a wild spot where our Yeti jet skis around with his gal pal in a giant lake in the middle of winter. We shot this up in Lake Tahoe in the middle of winter. Our suit performer turned in a great performance, performing stunts on the jet ski. The actress on the back of the jet ski was amazing too, performing on the back of the jet ski in a bikini in the dead of winter on a lake so cold there were icicles hanging from the pier. No sooner did we create him, but our Yeti Costume was already rented again, for an Old Spice photo shoot, along with our popular animatronic Grizzly Bear costume.
For StubHub’s new campaign featuring our gigantic Ticket Oak puppet, this year we shot the third series of commercials and ads in the campaign. Our Ticket Oak has become wildly popular as Stub Hub’s spokes tree- to give you a good idea of just how popular the Ticket Oak has become, it has racked up well over 32 million Google hits so far. For one of the new commercials, the Ticket Oak plays Couples Counselor by reviving an alienated couple’s love by giving them tickets to their favorite indie band’s reunion. In the other spot, we dilated one of the Ticket Oak’s giant eyes to show the effects of too much caffeine, and produced an exploding FX belch of empty coffee cups. For the print ad campaign, to create an effect that the Ticket Oak had lost all of its ticket leaves, we created lots of giant bare tree limbs and giant fake piles of tickets.
Our Squirrel Puppet ‘Walter’ is also back in action again for his second series of Pepto Bismol commercials. Consistent with the style of the previous spots, more medicine cabinets were created, this time, in the back of an airline seat and in a speaker cabinet in a ballroom.
For a hilarious Skittles commercial, we created a Tapeworm Puppet, ‘Benny’ who a guy loans to his overweight friend to help him lose weight. We also created an extra long mid-section of the puppet, for a seemingly endless shot where Benny the Tapeworm Puppet exits the one guy’s mouth and dives into the other guy’s mouth.
For Elephant Insurance, we created an Elephant Body Costume wearing a stylish pinstripe suit, and we created a Tire Puppet spokesman character for Summit General Insurance.
Our versatile, highly realistic Alligator Puppets have been very popular this year. In her latest -number one- music video, ‘Roar’ one of our Alligator puppetsmenace Kay Perry, then she rides it and brushes its teeth. For the FX Network’s ‘American Horror Story Coven’, our Alligator Puppet is strung up as dead, but it suddenly comes to life to attack a villain, and then to chomp down on another bad guy’s head and drag him into the lake.
We have been keeping busy working with other television shows too, creating the puppet Dog Paws for Disney’s ‘Dog with a Blog’, transforming our Walrus costume into a Manatee for Disney’s ‘Austin and Ally’ show, renting some of our critters to Nickelodeon’s ’Sam & Cat’, and creating a Frozen head effect for one of the characters on Nickelodeon’s ‘Marvin Marvin’.
We have always been proud of our ability to respond quickly to help clients with little time in their schedules, and we topped even ourselves for a Honda commercial, creating a life size classical portrait bust of Michael Bolton in only three days
We rebuilt one of our Turkey puppets into a new Turkey spokesperson to represent Del Taco's new turkey tacos in a series of new commercials..