1 The Muppet Mindset: April 2010

Apr 30, 2010

The ToughPigs Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant 2010: My Comments

A yearly tradition in the Muppet fan community is the always-awesome ToughPigs Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant. It is here that ugly Muppet toys from all over the world come together to be ridiculed by we, the obsessed fans. Yesterday our good friends at ToughPigs posted the results of the contest, complete with comments from the hilarious tough piggies themselves. So, in the spirit of harmony, cross-promotion, and a lack of a post for today, I present my comments and ratings for the Ugly Toys of 2010! (Yes, I do have permission from ToughPigs to be doing this.)

Remember that the toys are ranked on an ugliness scale from 1-5, with 1 being "Not very ugly at all" and 5 being "Good lord, someone get some kerosene and matches."

Barkley beanbag, Kellog's cereal giveaway. Submitted by Evan G.

"Hey, kids! Now you too can own everyone's favorite TV superstar: Space-Simulator Barkley! (Vomit not included.)" 2

Clown Cookie Monster. Submitted by Joe H.

Good lord. Does this scream, "Me no WANT to be clown! Multicolored jumpsuit WAY too tight!" to anyone else? 1

Red Fraggle puppet, Dr. Doozer line, 2009.

So THAT's what Muppets look like right after someone shoves a hand up there. 5
Miss Piggy bank, Sigma - late 70s. Submitted by Lara F.

I think the money-in-the-cleavage jokes insinuating Miss Piggy is employed as a voyeur are too easy... So instead I'll just say that the pig needs a tanning bed. 3
Zoe doll. Found on eBay.

They made merchandise of the Zoe puppet from Season 40! The horror! The HORROR!! 5
Knockoff Big Bird doll. Found on the web.

Alright, Bird, where'd ya get the meth from? Abby told you it was fairy dust, didn't she? 4

Mokey doll, Tomy, 1983. Submitted by Justin P.

So THIS is why Mokey has been excluded from DVD packaging!
 Magic Light Ernie, Tyco. Found on eBay.

Does his shirt say, "I <3 Dookie"? 2

Gonzo and Fozzie Pook-a-looz, 2010. Submitted by Mini Skunk.

Who would've ever thought we'd see the day when we could buy Muppet chokers? 1

Bert as a witch. Found on eBay.

Quick! Someone pour water on it! 3

Toccata doll from 1 Rue Sesame. Submitted by Scott H.

Is he a firefighter or an old lady on Easter? Bob, have you been mixing and matching items in the "People in Your Neighborhood" box again? 5
Piggy doll. Submitted by Joel S.

The only way this is distinguishable as Miss Piggy is that it has a dress on and a pig snout. 4
Elmo ornament, Kurt S. Adler, 2008. Submitted by Jes E.

Elmo loves crack! Does baby want to have some crack? Baby wants to ask Dorothy what crack is? Baby can't, Elmo sold Dorothy for more crack. 2

Red Fraggle figure. Submitted by Jog J.

See, kids, eat your bananas or your feet will swell larger then your head just like Red here! 4

Vinylmation Kermit pin. Submitted by Lara F.

It's cute in a cross-promotional, synergy-laden, corporate-icon promoting kind of way. 1

Rosita beanbag. Submitted by Nick H.

Rosita thought her wings could act as a parachute when she jumped from the plane... obviously not. 3

And there you have it, folks! The ToughPigs Ugly Toy Pageant 2010 entrants and my comments and ratings on them. Be sure to check by ToughPigs for the real Ugly Toy Pageant and read even more hysterical comments!

Special thanks to Ryan Roe and the rest of ToughPigs for letting me do this!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 29, 2010

News Update: April 29, 2010

NEWS UPDATE: April 29, 2010
In case you missed it a few days ago, the Muppets appeared on The Nerdist Podcast with Chris Hardwick. Hardwick interviewed our funny, furry friends about "Bohemian Rhapsody," their two Webby nominations, what they do on their off time, and more! Hardwick is obviously a huge Muppet fan, so getting to hear someone as excited as we would be interview the Muppets is a real treat. Also, it's nice to have an interview with the whole gang at once, not just a few.

The Muppets have been very busy lately, after their turn podcasting, they released a new video on their YouTube account. It features Kermit and the rest of the Muppets as they provide actual commentary on "Bohemian Rhapsody" as it plays. It's hilarious, classic Muppet humor and I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard. This is a can't miss Muppet video, so... don't miss it!

Huge Disney fan Jim Hill has posted an update about what the Muppets have been up to lately and delves a little bit into what they'll be up to in the near future. Not much of the information is news to us obsessed Muppet fans, but it's still an interesting read.

Our friends at ToughPigs have posted the winners (losers?) of the Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant 2010, complete with comments from the hilarious tough piggies themselves! The entries are both hilarious and disturbing... but luckily, it's mostly just hilarious.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 28, 2010

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Muppets Comment Back

If you live under a rock (and I'm sure at least one of you does), and you've missed, or somehow ignored, my shilling for you (and everyone else) to vote for The Muppets in their two nominations for "Bohemian Rhapsody" in The Webby Awards, then maybe you'll listen to the Muppets!

Those hard working furry people have taken the time out of their (apparently) very busy schedules to comment directly on the Bohemian Rhapsody video as it plays. Yes, it is indeed as hilarious as it sounds:

So... once you get up off of the floor from laughing, head on over to The Webby Awards and cast your vote for the Muppets in both the Music and Viral categories. Remember, tomorrow (April 29th) is the last day to vote, so do it quick!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 27, 2010

Muppets on Your iPhone: Elmo's Monster Maker

The Muppets appeared on The Nerdist Podcast yesterday to be interviewed by very big nerd Chris Hardwick. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Pepe, Swedish Chef, Bunsen, and Beaker all appeared for the occasion. They discuss "Bohemian Rhapsody," The Webby Awards, what they do in their spare time, and so much more. This is a can't miss Muppet appearance, so click the link and give it a listen for free!

Elmo's Monster Maker
$3.99 on iTunes

Ryan Dosier - Today I sat down and played with Elmo, and I'm not ashamed to say it! (Okay, so I wouldn't do it in public, but I'm not ashamed to say I did it in private!) Yes, today I played Elmo's Monster Maker, an iPhone Application that allows you or your preschooler to design a monster Muppet who then dances and plays with Elmo.

The premise is very simple and the game is very easy to control. You simply touch the monster's face to add or change the eyes, nose, or headgear for your monster. The game doesn't need to be complicated or strategic, it's just a lot of innocent fun. Isn't that what Elmo is all about?

The monsters featured in the game vary in size, shape, and color. After you've selected a monster body, you have to pick a pair of eyes, a nose, and a hat for your monster by touching its face and the top of its head. The options for eyes, noses, and hats change depending on the monster body as well, so there are literally hundreds of combinations that can be made.

After you make your monster there are three different options: dance, play with Elmo, and take a picture. And they are all pretty straight-forward options, so I won't go into too much description of them. It's fun to see your creation play with Elmo for a little bit and dancing Muppets are always fun. When Elmo takes a picture of your monster, the picture is saved to your iPhone or iPod Touch's Photos section where you can view it at any time.

This app really is a lot of fun. Even yours truly, a 19 year old Muppet fan, had fun playing with Elmo and making monsters. However the initial appeal did dissipate fairly quickly for me. There are so many times you can watch a monster dance with Elmo in a day.

However, I'm sure this app is a huge hit with preschoolers and parents of preschoolers. They must get a kick out of seeing something they actually made play with their friend Elmo. I'm sure their parents also get a kick out of checking their Photos on their iPhone and finding 350 new monsters.

So, in conclusion, I can't recommend this app enough to parents of preschoolers who love Elmo (and what preschooler doesn't?). But if you're an older fan, you might want to save your $3.99 for "Grover's Number Special," which is a lot more fun for older fans (and which will be reviewed sometime next week).

And, with that... it's time to BOOGIE!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 26, 2010

Muppet Comic Mondays: Muppet Peter Pan Trade Paperback Review

Muppet Peter Pan
Trade Paperback Review
Written by Grace Randolph
Illustrated by Amy Mebberson

Ryan Dosier
- If you haven't read Muppet Peter Pan yet, you absolutely must. As I've raved about many times before, it remains the most beautifully drawn and wonderfully written series of Muppet comics yet released. The trade paperback that collects all four issues in one place is just as wonderful as the series itself.

Being able to have all four issues in one convenient package is awesome and makes sitting down to read it all the more easier. I love the idea that someone who wasn't able to get the single issues of the series when they were initially released can now easily pick up this one book for a low price and have all he or she needs.

I won't spend to much time rehashing my thoughts on the whole story (but you can read our reviews here, here, here, and here) but I do have to say that the story here is fun and twisted and Muppety in a way that the previous Muppet Tales outing (Muppet Robin Hood) did not. There's even a fresh twist to the well-known Peter Pan story to add a little fun to this already great story.

The Muppets are all written wonderfully and they play their characters very well. Of course the highlight of this series is Amy Mebberson's wonderful artwork. On-model and just plain gorgeous, Amy still remains my favorite of the artists to tackle the Muppets so far.

Of course, the main reason I bought this trade is because The Muppet Mindset was quoted on the back, but there are so many more reasons you should buy it if you have yet to collect the Peter Pan comics. It's gorgeous, hilarious, and good old Muppety fun. This book is highly recommended!

So what are you waiting for? Buy your copy of Muppet Peter Pan today!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 25, 2010

The Diary of an Obsessed Muppet Fan - The Great Muppet Caper

The Diary of an Obsessed Muppet Fan - Entry 6, April 25, 2010

Dear Diary,
Don't say a word. I am not in the mood to deal with your incessant nagging, diary. I had a long night with--my mother. Yes, she took me out... sewing.

Thankfully I recovered pretty well by watching The Great Muppet Caper. Yes, often regarded as the Muppets magnum opus, the film is probably the greatest example of the Muppets at their best. Granted, it isn't my personal favorite, but darn if I don't absolutely love every second of it. Jim Henson's directorial debut had everything a good Muppet movie, and a good movie in general, needs: comedy, suspense, intrigue, danger, romance, over the top drama, a snappy song and dance number (or two), and rat bellhops. What more could you honestly ask for?

One of my favorite aspects of this film is how we see Kermit step out into more of a leadership role. As I wrote in my entry on The Muppet Movie, we saw Kermit become a hero. Here in The Great Muppet Caper, we see him retain that role of hero, but also develop a strong leadership role.

In the first film, the Muppets needed Kermit to propel them to their dreams of stardom and making people happy, in this one, Kermit needs them to stop the jewel thieves, save the day, and win the girl. Animal eats through the bars, Rowlf saves them from ravenous dogs (I guess they don't like pep-per-oni), and Beaker sacrifices himself to disable the alarm system. See? Kermit needed them! (Sure, he could've just taken the back door like Nicky and the girls, but that a great Muppet caper does not make.)

Speaking of Nicky, I would indeed call him the most enjoyable Muppet villain so far. He was hilarious and just... odd, yet still a great villain in his own right. How can you not love a villain who orders a gross of flowered socks? Or who left his wallet in college? Or whose office door reads "Nicky Holiday: Irresponsible Parasite"? I love the way Nicky plays off of Lady Holiday and Miss Piggy. He's so goofy around Lady Holiday, and completely head-over-heels around Miss Piggy. I just love his over the top, "Forgive me Miss Piggy," line just before he frames her. Brilliant!

But my favorite aspect of The Great Muppet Caper is just that, the caper. When the whole gang is sitting on the Murphy bed checking supplies and then attempting to foil the heist on the Mallory Gallery... well if that just isn't the most Muppety moment ever, I don't know what is. I can't really write anything that would make these scenes better than they already are... so instead, enjoy some random quotes!

"I said, look mother, it's my life, o-kay? And if I want to live on a beach and walk around naked--" ~ Janice

"What color are their hands now?" ~ Beauregard

"I don't got no other pants!" ~ Zoot

"I got some hot mustard, maybe it'll eat through the bars." ~ Floyd

"Well we better do it quick, those dogs have almost finished the pizza!" ~ Scooter

"What color are their hands now?" ~ Beauregard

"I've got the paper towels!" ~ Lew Zealand

"Pitcher, you couldn't hit the broadside of a barn!" ~ Pops

"Popcorn, chicken?" ~ Scooter

"Pitcy-witchy, Beaker." ~ Bunsen

I think that's good enough. If that doesn't make you want to go back and watch this scene right this minute, I don't know what will! And really, isn't that the greatest part of The Great Muppet Caper? The fact that just quoting it can make you want to pop in your DVD and enjoy the film again is what makes this movie so much fun. Just try to watch the "Happiness Hotel" scene and not sing along or smile, or Kermit and Miss Piggy's duck pond exchange without laughing, or being in awe of Piggy's underwater ballet. All the way through, The Great Muppet Caper is awesome. Now I'll let you go so you can go watch it. Not you, diary. You need to make me dinner.

Sincerely and Insanely Yours,
Ryan Dosier

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 24, 2010

The Muppets - Webby Nominations: Official Press Release

Greetings, Muppet fans! Are you tired of me telling you to go vote for the Muppets in The Webby Awards yet? Well, you'll have to sit through one more post of it today. Today I have the official press release for The Muppets run at The Webbys directly from The Muppets Studio. So enjoy, and get out there and vote!


The Muppets' YouTube sensation “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been nominated for a People’s Voice Webby Award in both the Viral and Music Categories! The Muppets' version of Queen’s classic rock-opera song begins as a simple video conference that swiftly escalates into an all-singing, all-squawking frog-pig-&-bear-filled symphony of inspired Muppet foolishness. These Webby nominations come on the heels of "Bohemian Rhapsody" vying with X Factor and Rage Against the Machine for the Christmas No.1 spot in the UK.
Please vote for the Muppets’ "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the "Music Video" category at http://www.youtube.com/webby?x=music and in the "Viral Video" category at http://www.youtube.com/webby?x=viralvideo.   Voting ends April 29th.

“TWO WEBBY NOMINATIONS! Animal Spreads The Word!” on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/muppetsstudio

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 23, 2010

News Update: April 23, 2010

NEWS UPDATE: April 23, 2010
Disney Parks is coming out out with some neat new Star Wars pins of the Muppets to coincide with the Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World this summer. Rumor has it, the pins could be turned into another toy set. Somehow, Star Wars and Muppets are just a great combination.

The Muppet Pook-a-Looz, consisting of Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Animal, are now available at Disneystore.com. For a limited time, two of these disfigured cuties are available for only $20, so pick out a couple (or more than a couple) and do some shopping.

If you happen to be in LA on May 1st, make sure to stop by Meltdown Comics to see Red Fraggle and Karen Prell LIVE (why is "live" always in capslock?) starting at 11 am PST. Fraggle Rock comic book writer Sam Humphries and artist Jeremy Love will also be there. More information is available at the Archaia Comics website!

If you're NOT in LA, but you are in New York... or, if you're really lucky and are in New York now and going to LA later... Anyway, if you're in New York any time from now until May 2nd, you should really go see the The Jim Henson Company's "Stuffed and Unstrung." Why? Two words: Bill Barretta. Oh, and during the second week, five words: Bill Barretta and Brian Henson. What more could you want?

The new Muppet movie got another announcement, this one in Associate Press and alongside the announcement of a sequel to "Monsters, Inc," which ain't bad company for our fine felt friends. No word yet on any affiliation between the Muppet monsters and Monsters, Inc.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 22, 2010

The Race for The Webbys Gets Sick! Erm... Viral, that is.

Have you heard? No, not that the Bird is the Word (Big Bird, of course), but that the greatest thing on the Internet ever, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by The Muppets, has been nominated for two Webby Awards? I'm sure you have, since I've been shilling votes for them for a week and a half now.

Anyway, The Muppets Studio has also received the news that they've been nominated, so in order to steal votes away from their competition, they've turned to the medium that garnered them the nomination in the first place: viral videos.

If you are still holding out your vote for The Muppets after that, I don't know what's wrong with you and I think you should get to a doctor, stat. C'mon, don't you want to make Animal's Mama proud? You probably should... because she might eat you if you don't.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Apr 21, 2010

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Sal Minella

Written by Ryan Dosier.


Performed by...
Brian Henson

First appearance...
Muppet Treasure Island (as a generic monkey)
Muppets Tonight Episode 103: Billy Crystal (as Sal)

Most recent appearance...
"Bohemian Rhapsody" video (2009)

Best known role...
Johnny Fiama's gentleman's monkey, bodyguard, butler, and general flunky.

Famous quote...
"Johnny Fiama didn't make no money on them albums!"

Sal is, first and foremost, the first (and last) line of defense between Johnny Fiama and whoever's tryin' to hurt him or his Ma! Sal serves Johnny and worships him like a prince. He has been involved in many of Johnny's musical  numbers, even appearing to act as Johnny's manager and promoter at times. He and Johnny also appear to be very close friends, despite the unbalance of power between them.

Sal first appeared in the form we know him in today on the Billy Crystal episode of Muppets Tonight. In the episode, he argues with Bobo about Johnny's name not being on the guest list for tonight's episode, only to be beaten and hurled into a moving taxi by Bobo. Eventually Johnny checks his calendar and realizes that he isn't even scheduled to be on the show that night. Thus, Johnny and Sal's relationship was born.

In later episodes this relationship would be tested by the likes of Tony Bennett, auditors, unforgiving audiences, boneology, and more. But through it all Johnny and Sal remain close friends and, for some reason, Sal remains in Johnny's employment.

Sal also appeared alongside Johnny in Muppets From Space, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. In the films, he cut Gonzo's cake for Johnny, sold his moped to buy Johnny a solid-gold record player, and drove Johnny around on a flying motorcycle, respectively. Johnny and Sal also performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the MDA Telethon. 13 million people have not seen that performance.

The most recent appearance of both Johnny and Sal was in 2009's "Bohemian Rhapsody" viral video.

Along with Dr. Phil van Neuter, Sal is one of the few main Muppet characters performed by Brian Henson. At MuppetFest, Brian "explained that the performers got together with a bunch of random puppets to start working out characters for Muppets Tonight. Bill picked up a puppet and started singing, as Johnny Fiama, but everybody else was fooling around with their own puppets and not paying attention. So Brian picked up a monkey and shouted, "Would you all quiet down and listen to Johnny Fiama!" and Sal was born." (via Muppet Wiki)

I wouldn't say that the Muppets as a whole need Sal, but Johnny Fiama sure does. No one can replace Sal in Johnny's life and the two of them need each other (although Johnny sure needs Sal a lot more, but don't tell Sal that). Without Sal, Johnny wouldn't really be able to function, nor would he be as down-right hilarious.

Here's hoping we see more of Johnny and Sal soon!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com
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