Fan or Full Moon, which replicas came first?
Did Fans start making their own replicas to satisfy their desires to own a piece of Puppet Master history? Or did Full Moon actually want the general public to have a copy of the original sculptures? Personally I have only heard one story about how the Full Moon replicas came to be, and here to the best of my recollection is that story.
Sometime during the filming of Puppet Masters 4 and 5, David Allen was experiencing some interesting events in his personal life as well as his career with Full Moon. It would seem that Charles Band was not only pursuing films other than Puppet Master, but also directing funding towards these rather than focusing on the success of the existing Puppet Master films. It is my personal opinion that Puppet Master be considered the Flagship of Full Moon and therefore “The One” to uphold. However others did not share that belief.
Getting back to the subject of Replicas VS. Real, the fact is any films produced after PM III were on a very low budget, lower than the already low budget. Fans were not the only ones who suffered from that decision, but first and foremost the crew and everyone involved in production. David Allen for one, the man behind not only the character creation, but also the art of stop motion which brought the puppets to life.
David Allen sold all the PM film items in his possession, which included molds and castings etc. This he did in order to make up for any losses. So where then did these pieces end up? A guy who goes by the name Rolo, claims he had acquired many (if not all) of the remaining items from David Allen. Two being original castings of Jester and Pin Head.
Now David Allen died in 1999, Rolo didn’t start making replicas till after 2006 seven years after David Allen’s death.
Today there are numerous Puppet Master character head castings in circulation, Blade, Tunneler, Pin Head, Six Shooter, etc. But which are “Real” and which are “Fan Made”?
Rolo, who now possessed some authentic items, started mass producing replicas, and not only Jester. Rolo had apparently spent thousands of dollars and made plans to mass produce and sell replicas of Tunneler, Six Shooter, and two different versions of Jester, and Pin Head. He also had plans to reproduce Blade and Torch. Now there has been some misunderstanding on what authentic castings Rolo actually had, and which were improvised. Rolo never had an original Blade head casting, but eventually purchased one from Rusty. Neither did he have Torch, Tunneler, or Six Shooter. Although many fans believe what they have to be copies of Screen used props purchased from Rolo are simply his own sculptures. Still to this day, aside from both the Happy/Evil and Sad expressions of Jester and the Pin Head castings there are NO authentic original reproductions in circulation.
There is however a Blade head in circulation, but it was cast, from a copy of a copy of a copy, of a screen used prop used in Puppet Master 5 and possibly others, but not the early films, and is a somewhat poor likeness.
In either case when Full Moon discovered the extent of Rolo’s Replica Reproduction, he was immediately contacted by Email and asked to stop.
Keep in mind Rolo was reproducing Full replicas, complete with paint, clothes etc. Regarding this sort of activity, I heard from a PM fan, that Charles himself said that if a fan wanted to make a few replicas for the sake of fund raising for fan websites or projects that is ok, but to not go the the extent of what Rolo had done.
The second rumor is based on the creation of Full Moon replicas, which in some cases are clearly not replicas at all, but mere likenesses of the original characters. I hear this story, which may or may not be rumor, but is the way I was told.
Years after the original props were lost, gone, sold etc. Full Moon had decided to produce another PM Film, but there was one major problem. Props. So then Full Moon hired someone new, to make new props, although these new sculpts did not quite bare the likeness of the originals, and therefore Full Moon was hesitant to use them for their next film, but instead borrowed props from personal collections. Note, in the most recent film “Axis of Evil” when the two brothers are talking, and one opens a drawer in Toulon’s trunk, he pulls out one of Six Shooter’s arms, I imagine that was because his arm is all that remained of the original prop.
Again, getting back to the replicas, Full Moon now had a series of substandard sculpts that were seemingly useless as props. Until someone at Full Moon had the idea of offering replicas to the public, this decision was purely based on not letting the expense of creating the new sculpts from going to waste, and why not offer the public a chance to own a replica, make some money and everyone is happy, right?
One last question remains. Does Full Moon actually want the public to have authentic replicas? And who now owns the rights to the original David Allen sculpts.
The following is a revision to the previous Post content:
The official word is, and has been since March 2010, Rolo is no longer producing replicas of any sort either for himself or Full Moon.
I had hopeful thoughts that Full Moon had accepted Rolo’s talents and joined with him to create better replicas, but I was wrong. So I made a decision to revise this post since I do feel a bit foolish for thinking such a wild notion and wish the Best for Rolo as we all appreciate the time and money he spent on researching David Allen’s characters.