Thursday, May 24, 2018

Crazy Muppet Stories - Sesame Street General Store Sign!

Today we begin a new series called "Crazy Muppet Stories" about the lengths Muppet collectors will go to to secure an item. Muppet fan and collector Sebastiano Ricci recently took a road trip to secure a very rare Sesame Street General Store sign, below is his "Crazy Muppet Story." 

Sebastiano Ricci and his Sesame Street store sign

How I got a Sesame Street General Store Sign
By Sebastiano Ricci


Like any avid puppeteer/Muppet fan, I've been collecting Muppet merchandise since I was ​a youngster. Over the years​,​ I've obtained some pretty cool stuff from friends, online shopping, cons, and flea markets. But most recently, while scrolling through eBay, I stumbled across a rarity: an original sign from the Sesame Street General Stores. The General Stores were a short​-lived chain of stores across the US in the 1990s, usually in shopping malls. I've done my fair share of research on the General Stores prior to discovering this sign.  There isn't much information on the stores​... v​ery few pictures, no videos, and very little information on the stores exist. (if you have any pictures or footage, email me: muppetseb@gmail.com)​!​ ​ ​I've always been interested in the history of the stores, but they quietly closed down in the late​ ​1990s before I was born.



My eyes lit up when I found this sign for sale. It was from the store that was located in the South Hill Village Mall.  The seller stated that he found it in the dumpster when the store closed. Thankfully​,​ the seller saw some potential in the sign and saved it from being scrapped like many other General Store fixtures. My excitement deflated when I saw it was a local pickup auction, in Pittsburgh, PA​ - which is seven hours from my home in New York City. I inquired to the seller if shipping could be arranged, but after getting a $700 shipping estimate from UPS, I gave up.

I watched the auction end, without any bids. After messaging the seller, I was informed that the sign would be thrown out since nobody wanted it. It was like I got hit with the "no season 4 & 5 on DVD" all over again!​ I was crushed. I couldn't let the sign get this far just to be trashed. I then remembered that I had plans to go to Hershey, PA with some friends the following week, meaning I would be 3.5 hours closer to Pittsburgh. After talking to the seller, he told me that one other person was also still interested in the sign, and that the sign would be re​-​uploaded as a "buy-it-now". I luckily snagged it before the other guy (sorry to the other potential buyer if you're reading this​ -​ hope you understand).


Fast​-forward to the weekend of Hershey. I enjoyed my time at Hershey Park with my friends, but the whole time I was eagerly awaiting my road trip to Pittsburgh. My friend​,​ Paul​,​ volunteered to join me on my journey. We set off to Pittsburgh, without a map to get this show on the road... well, we did use a GPS​,​ if that counts. We eventually made it to Pittsburgh, and picked up the sign from the seller. Boy​,​ oh boy​ -​ what a sight it was. It was just laying there, gracefully, on a gray tarp.


We shoved as much of the sign as we could in my car, and bungeed the heck out of the trunk door, since the 6ft long sign stuck out.  Driving 7 hours at night with an 80lb slab of metal sticking out of the trunk is the scariest thing I've ever done, and I've watched the Bert & Ernie Pyramid sketch...alone...in the dark.


After ​four failed attempts to find an open coffee shop in order to stay awake, we finally arrived home at 4am. After a much needed sleep-in, we went to my storage unit to deposit the package. Of course with my wonderful luck, the elevator was out of service, so we had to take the stairs. When I put the sign with the rest of my collection, it stuck out like Snuffleupagus on the streets of New York City. But in a good way​...​ it's the centerpiece that compliments my years and years of collecting.  When the sign was on display in the store, it used to light up; hopefully I'll figure out how to rewire it. I'll make sure to keep ya'll updated if I get it working. When the day comes where I have my own man cave, this sign will be sitting front and center, reminding us of what once was.

Do you have a crazy story about obtaining a prized Muppet item? Please send it to us via our Facebook page or by email

The Jim Henson Company and John Tartaglia to Reboot Teddy Ruxpin!

The Jim Henson Company has inked a deal with production group Alchemy to make a new preschool series based on Teddy Ruxpin.


John Tartaglia, of
Splash & Bubbles, Johnny & the Sprites, and my high school, will serve as the showrunner on the project, while Russell Hicks, who was the head illustrator on the original Teddy Ruxpin series, will produce.

The original Teddy Ruxpin
 

The adventure show will be animated using the same using digital performance system as  other Henson series Dinosaur Train, Sid The Science Kid, and the aforementioned Splash & Bubbles, and is aimed at three- to seven-year-olds. 

Wicked Cool Toys relaunched Teddy Ruxpin last year with a new animatronic toy which netted them a Toy of the Year award. Wicked Cool Toys will also be a producing partner on the series, while Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford will serve as executive producers.

The 2017 version
The new series will focus on “important” themes and skills like fostering self-esteem, empathy and individuality.

The original Teddy Ruxpin cartoon consisted of 65 episodes between airing between 1986 and 1987.



No word yet if any other characters like Grubby or Newton Gimmick will be back.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Kermit Gives American Idol a "Rainbow Connection"!

Kermit appeared on the live season finale of American Idol last night where he performed  "Rainbow Connection" with eventual winner Maddie Poppe. 


Monday, May 21, 2018

The Muppets Shill for Barclaycard Entertainment!

You may have heard that The Muppets are performing a set of live shows at London's O2 arena in June.


What you may not know, is that Barclays bank is an official partner of the venue, and now the all three have teamed up to promote the shows. 


Over the weekend Barclay's had a wrap around ad in the UK paper Evening Standard. As you can see below, the ad features Kermit, Floyd, Animal, Beaker, The Swedish Cehf, Camilla, and Gonzo.





Photos courtesy of Ben Piddington

Yes, they're all basic stock images we've seen before, but they work well in the ads. 

That's not all though. To coincide with the ads, Barclays enlisted the actual Muppets for a TV commercial as well. 


The whole things is timed to promote The Muppet Take the O2 July 13 & 14th. Tickets are on sale now

Rachel Reacts to The Happytime Murders Trailer!

The first trailer for The Happytime Murders dropped on Friday. If you haven't already watched it, you can watch it out at the link above. (NOTE: This is a red band trailer and is not suitable for kids or work.)

Now, let's check in with our friend Rachel to see her reaction and thoughts. 



Friday, May 18, 2018

The Happytime Murders Trailer!

The first, and very NSFW red band trailer for The Jim Henson Company's long awaited R-rated puppet comedy The Happytime Murders is finally here!


Hide the kids, and get some headphones - this one's defiantly not for the kids or boss. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

DVR Alert: Kermit to Appear on American Idol Finale!

Our favorite amphibian will make an appearance on the season finale of American Idol Monday night


The show will also feature performances from judges, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, along with Bebe Rexha, Nick Jonas and Mustard, Patti Labelle, Darius Rucker, Gary Clark, Jr. and Yolanda Adams, but we all know the best part will be Kermit.

Set you DVR's for 
American Idol Monday night on ABC.