Jack Benny Memorial Award - 1982
On the 25th of May 1982 Jim Henson received the March of the Dimes Jack Benny Memorial award in honour of his contributions to children's television and his work for charity. The award was presented to Jim at a lavish dinner at the Beverly Hilton in front of selected audience of Hollywood's most famous faces. Guest speakers included Milton Berle, Rich Little, Shari Lewis, Linda Ronstadt and Mac Davis, with Paul Williams taking on the role of master of ceremonies.
A large program was produced for the event the cover and first page can be seen above (top left and right) - this particular program is very desirable as it was signed by Jim Henson on the night.
Inside the program were tributes from celebrities and VIP's who had contact with Jim either professionally or on a personal basis throughout his career. These included tributes from Bob Hope, John Denver, Bernie Brillstein, Brooke Shields, Milton Berle, Lucasfilm and non other than the then President of the United States - Ronald Reagan.
Henson Associates even did their own tribute to Jim in the form of the drawing (left) created by Michael Frith featured on the inside back page.
A few items were made specifically for the Muppet store itself. Bags, obviously, but also stickers and Pins like the one above. Catalogues were also sent out periodically to people on the mailing list. This one (left) was from christmas 1985
The Crazy Harry head on the left is a prototype for an unproduced doll that was going to be made for Ted Turner employees at the time that Turner Entertainment were showing The Muppet Show. The head is 7 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide and the doll was due to be roughly 15 inches tall.
White House Easter Egg Hunt - 1984
Since as far back as 1878 the White House has had an easter egg hunt on their lawns and these usually have a theme. In 1984 the Muppet's were the theme and a couple of items were produced in conjunction with the event. The design on the right was featured on the official bag and programme. Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie and Robin are all featured as well as Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock in the tree.
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The Muppet Workshop in New York worked on this prototype, but the idea was eventually dropped for various reasons. Apart from a few sketches depicting how the doll would eventually look this head is the only item that exists connected to the doll. Crazy Harry was not a universally popular character and no items were made based on him until the Action Figure line in 2002.
Muppet Vision 3D Concept Art - 1989
This wonderful painting was produced by artist Nina Rae Vaughn as a concept for the Muppet Vision 3D film at MGM Studios Florida and California Adventure parks. The painting perfectly captures the excitement - and chaos - that reigns throughout the whole of the show, even though the full content of the film had not yet been developed. A few prints were made of this painting and they reside with either The Walt Disney Company or The Jim Henson Company - a couple however have been offered for sale, and despite there high price tags they are a beautiful reminder of Jim Henson's last Muppet project.
Muppet Stuff Store - 1980
The first Muppet Stuff store opened in 1980 on Lextington Avenue in New York. A haven for Muppet fans it featured everything from books to plush items based upon the Muppet's, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and the Muppet Babies. The shop itself was also very Muppety the outside sported a huge Muppet Clock with a different character representing each number.
The stores gradually spread across America and Canada. The last store eventually closed down in the early 1990's.
Muppet Meeting Films - 1965 onwards
Jim first began making Muppet Meeting films in 1965. These first films were made for IBM. Although they are probably some of the most successful and popular areas of the Muppet's they are not usually seen by the general public. Each film is fairly short and provides lessons in salesmanship or corporate creativity with the sort of humour and craziness that only the Muppet's can do. The films are very expensive to buy for most fans but are well worth looking at as they can be very funny. Proof being that many of the original films that were made are still used today.
Muppet Show Performers Promo Still 1977
Many promotional stills were produced for each guest star who appeared on The Muppet Show, often more than one for each. However not many were produced featuring the puppeteers apart from this one on the right featuring the five main male performers each with a character.
Stills for the guests stars can be seen in our episode guide.
Amphibia and Moi Cologne - 1995 / 98
In Christmas 1995 the Jim Henson Company released their first cologne, "Amphibia" which featured Kermit on the front and the slogan "Pour homme, femme et frog". It was only available through Bloomingdales and could be bought either individually or as part of a Limited edition set with a T shirt sporting a Picture of Kermit relaxing on a beach.
Not to be out done 3 years later Miss Piggy released her own perfume simply called "Moi" Each bottle featured Miss Piggy's profile and a string of pearls. "moi" was also only available via Bloomingdales. For more information on "Amphibia" and "Moi" please click here.
Jim Henson Bust G Force Models - 2000
This very detailed sculpture of Jim Henson with a base full of different characters was created by artist Anthony Veilleux in the year 2000. It measures 10 inches in height.
The sculpture was available either painted or unpainted and could be bought direct from G-forces website. Unpainted it retailed at $60.00.
Different sides of the sculpture can be seen below, some of the characters that were included were Kermit. Yorik, Ludo, Wontkin, Ernie, Rowlf , Link, Bunsen Honeydew, Fozzie, Earl Sinclair, various Doozers, the Chamberlain Skeksis, the Giant from the Storyteller and many more.
Sesame Street Auction 1998 / 99
'Sesame Street Art from the Fuzzy and Famous', was an exhibition that began in July 1998 and toured America for nine months before being sold off in a Charity auction held by Sothebys in New York on March 14th 1999.
The auction included original artwork by many famous people who have appeared on the show including Tony Bennet, Julia Roberts, Rosie O'Donnell and former first lady Barbara Bush, as well as performers such as Carroll Spinney, Steve Whitmire and Bob McGrath.
Muppet Haunted House Pin ball - 2002
This pin ball machine was based upon the much talked about project Muppet Haunted House in which the Playstation game Muppet Monster Adventure was loosely based upon. The play area features cutouts of various Muppet characters including some that didn't feature in the playstation game.
It was never released.
In celebration of the 21st Anniversary of The Muppet Show British Telecom in the UK produced 8 limited edition phonecards depicting a different Muppet character. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo & Camilla, Rizzo, Animal, Fozzie and Bunsen and Beaker as well as a card featuring the main Muppet cast. The phonecards could be bought individually for £1 and £2 each or in the special presentation foldout pack featuring each card and a biography of the character it depicted.
Phonecards such as these were very popular before the influx of cell phones and were meant to be used and thrown away, to that degree they are difficult to come by and can command fairly high prices.
Jim Henson Muppet Press Tote Bag - 1989
This tote bag was available at a New York licensing event in 1989 it is particularly unusual due to the fact that on one side (seen here) it has the Muppet Press logo with Kermit's head, while on the reverse is the logo for the Walt Disney Company's publishing division along with Mickey Mouse. This was due to the fact that a takeover was on the horizon.