Archives for : Muppet Crap

The World of Muppet Crap: The Beaker Bra

The World of Muppet Crap is a feature article series on ToughPigs, your ultimate fan site for all things related to Jim Henson, the Muppets, Sesame Street, and more!

Welcome to the wonderful World of Muppet Crap!  Through my Web surfing, I have discovered that some of the best Muppet crap is made by crafters with a bandoleer of crochet hooks and a glue gun holstered to their waist.  Some of these crafters make a product Miss Piggy would call “très magnifique,” while others concoct an item so “original” that it instills this type of reaction in people:

Kermit scrunch sheesh

Frog-lets and piggies, I present to you the Beaker bra!

Beaker Bra
Yes, dear readers, someone took a women’s supportive undergarment and decided to spice it up with felt eyes and a foam nose (it probably chafes too).

The Beaker Bra is a handmade item sold on Etsy.  When I first saw it, I didn’t realize it was a brassiere and my thoughts were, “What an astonishing Beaker likeness.”  Then I clicked on the link and I practiced my best Snowth impression (the metaphor being my mouth rounded and my eyes were caught in that surprised, confused expression).  Do-do-de-do-doo!

Snowths
It’s not hard to make a Beaker replica.  All you need to do is stick a tuft of red fur, an orange foam nose, and eyes on practically anything, and ta-da!  Instant Beaker.

After my initial astonishment, I imagined wearing the bra.  It would create a disproportional third lump and make people raise an eyebrow.

Deanna_Troi_2365Have any of you ever watched Star Trek: The Next Generation?  When Gene Roddenberry created the character of Deanna Troi, the Enterprise’s empathic and half-human counselor, he conceptualized her with three breasts.

This quote by Dorothy Fontana, an original series write and associate producer on TNG, to Entertainment Weekly sums up my feelings about Beaker’s nose:

“I objected to Troi having three breasts. I felt women have enough trouble with two. And how are you going to line them up? Vertically, horizontally, or what? I was like, please, don’t go there. And they didn’t, fortunately.”

I won’t go any further than that.  All other questions can be routed to Miss Piggy, who we know wears a girdle to control her…um…on second thought, I don’t know anything about that.  (Secretly, I am fearful the pig is going to come after me with a pork chop [pun intended]).  Here is a hint of advice: it is always wise to fear and love the pig.  Fear first, though.

Mind you, it has become a popular trend for geek girls to express their fandom with lingerie that bears (pun not intended) motifs from their part of the fandom.  My thoughts are if a grown man can wear Spider-Man underwear, a woman can show her geek pride with her own set of Web crawler under drawers.

Many companies have specialized geek underwear lines, including ThinkGeekBunny JumpJinx, and the Fashionably Geek blog has a compiled a decent list of sellers.

Disney even licensed their trademark Princess line for women who want to feel like a Disney heroine underneath their T-shirt or business suit.

disney-princess-lingerie
Some have questioned the appropriateness of lingerie based on the Disney princesses, but they’re printed already on children’s underclothes.  The argument is that it sexualizes children’s characters, promotes the seduction of the innocent, etc.  These people clearly have never hopped on Deviantart or 4chan (if you haven’t either, be aware that Deviantart has a filter, 4chan doesn’t).

What does that say about the Muppets, then?  Muppets are not children’s characters.  All Muppet fans know this, so why are we even bringing it up in conversation?  I guess this as good as spot as any to insert the Muppet history bit.

Title.sexThe original pilot for The Muppet Showwas called Sex and Violence.  Sex is even mentioned in the title!  It was a half-hour program for primetime television following the popular variety show format.  The Muppet Show, in fact, was a quality evening program that appealed to both adults and children, but Jim Henson strove to create entertainment for a mature audience and not just offspring.  He got irrevocably tied to children’s programming with Sesame Street and the rest is history.

The Muppets, in fact, have appeared on unmentionables for years.

Don’t believe me?

Exhibit A:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B:

Exhibit B

Exhibit C:

Exhibit C

Exhibit D:

Exhibit D

Exhibit E:

Funpals briefs ad

Some of these images make me cringe.  Imagine taking off your pants and there’s Animal saying, “Hello!” to you.  It would scare me to think that a Muppet had been with me all day and, knowing myself, I would have forgotten about what I was wearing.  All day the Muppet would be spying on me.  The thought makes me shudder.

I also can’t help but imagine sound boxes being sewed into the lining of some of the underwear so the Muppets’ voices speak to you when you change clothes.  Kermit’s “Hi ho!,”  Miss Piggy’s laugh, Fozzie’s “wocka-wocka,” and Animal’s “Woman!” yell take on an entirely new meaning.

The psychological damage would be devastating!

What is even scarier is the alarming rate of Animal on underpants.  Why do people like sporting this crazed individual on their under things?

This brings up another interesting topic: Animal’s treatment of women.  Whenever he sees a female he likes, he chases after her, and shouts “Woman!  Woman!” at the top of his lungs.  Has Animal ever been sued by one of these harassed women?  In today’s politically correct world, he would need to attend sensitivity training.  If we want to talk about sexualizing, that is exactly what Animal is doing and he is being a bad role model for children.  We should petition Disney to stop mass-producing plushies of one of the most popular Muppet characters.

Back to the bra… I honestly don’t think any woman would dare to wear it, unless it was a joke.  It makes things too complicated.  The seller does makes cute and * ahem* less noticeable geek underwear.  Probably stick with some of those.

The World of Muppet Crap: Skeksis Fashion

This is a repost of an article Whitney originally wrote for the awesome Muppet fan site Tough Pigs.

‘Tis the start of a blessed New Year, where all Muppet fans alike can start afresh and work on their New Year’s resolutions. Instead of the usual getting into shape or writing a novel, I have decided that Muppet fans need to take on the tried and true mission of cleaning out their closets. The goal is to get rid of some of that really weird and shameful Muppet merchandise that has been burning a hole in your closet since the Swedish Chef blew the first hole in Muppet Vision 3D.

What is the point of cleaning out the closet? You get a feeling of accomplishment, a sense of less clutter in your life, and lots of more room for BIGGER AND BETTER Muppet stuff. As Kermit would say, “Yeeaahh!”

Since Jim Henson was swayed to license his characters for mass merchandising, there has been a plethora of Muppet goodies. Some fit the requirements of A+ standards like the Muppet Master Replicas dolls, but a lot of it also crap best exemplified by Tough Pigs’ annual Ugly Muppet Toys Pageant. This is where I come in. Hi ho! My name is Whitney Grace and I am a Muppet crap addict, meaning I spend a little bit of my precious time each week scouring the Internet for Muppet stuff. I am on the hunt for rare, quality merchandise that I can add to my museum instead of paying my mortgage.

During the recent holiday mania, I cornered the Tough Pigs boys, hog tied them (using a method taught to me personally by Miss Piggy), sat back in one of their recliners with a mug of eggnog, and basked in the light of their bedecked Muppet ornament Christmas tree. I explained to Joe and Ryan about my idea to write a column about Muppet crap I find on the Internet, and through some hefty threatening, I mean persuasion, I got my way. After I left, I forgot to release them. Whoops! Hopefully, they have gnawed through the industrial grade iron cables by now and will not hold me responsible for their dental bills. Send an invoice to Disney instead — Bob Iger can spare a few thousand to buy each of you some high-grade dentures, or I can find some on eBay (partially used of course).

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first incarnation of The World of Muppet Crap! And yes, I am using italics, because it is an official thing and italics makes titles sound more important. Whenever I find an amazing piece of Muppet crap or something so truly outrageous that it must be shared to the world, I will be writing about it. This first installment must make a big impression on you, so I present The Dark Crystal dress!

full model
Cue the trumpet fanfare!

Gorgeous isn’t it? It looks like it was stolen right off the emperor’s corpse when he disintegrated into Skesis dust, except this ensemble was handmade to be worn by a 1980s fashion model or whoever felt like purchasing it from the Jim Henson Company.

It is time for the historical context part of the article, where I explain how the item came to be and place it on the Muppet timeline. Usually I will do that myself with research conducted on the Muppet Wiki, but this time I will leave to this lovely video from he Jim Henson Company:

Many movies have inspired fashion lines, Cruella de Vil’s clothing in the live action 101 Dalmatians movies comes to mind, and so The Dark Crystal is hardly alone. The creative team behind the fashion line had everything going for them: Brian Froud to lend inspiration, they worked on the original movie, and it sounds like they had some really kickin’ resumes. But this particular fashion line was not available at any fancy French designers’ boutique. Most likely due to the movie’s less than happy earnings, and it does sound more like a labor of love. Maybe the designers were plagued by Landstriders dressed in their garments and went into hiding. Did you notice that the six designers’ names are not revealed?

Suspicious!

Face it folks! The eighties were not the high point of fashion, with leg warmers, shoulder pads, and more shades of fluorescent pink than Miss Piggy deemed to wear. We only made it into the nineties with Aqua Net holding us together and a streak of neon shoelaces tied together to grasp onto. As the video states, this haute couture fashion line has the best qualities of the present and the future. Ixnay on the last part of that quote, people.

I also love how this video details the fashion line as something people would wear everyday. All right, you can dress as a Podling and not be able to fit into your car! If there is one thing I know from watching The Devil Wears Prada and all four seasons of Ugly Betty, it’s that fashion is about art first and practicality second.

acupuncture model
At 3:28 you can see our lovely dress in question. It is apparently made from an antique wedding veil with seed pearls on the frilly collar. In the background you can see there is more than one, so how many antique wedding veils did they buy? Also the model looks like she has acupuncture needles sticking out of her neck as she sways the gauzy maroon robe back and forth. Take off the robe and it actually looks like a dress that might have withstood the age of time, flounces and all, but then the eBay auction portrays it differently.

Dress Front
In the harsh fluorescent lights of modern photography, this dress does not hold up well. I have been searching the Internet for years for an actual piece of the Dark Crystal fashion line to whip out at conventions and say, “Yes, people I am this cool!” I was hoping for the Jen-inspired tunic or maybe a swanky jacket, but not this number. I bet if I wore this, people would think I was cosplaying as a female version of Ron Weasley at the Yule Ball.

It probably does not smell like Ron’s Great-Aunt Tessy.

The seller is asking a steep $1500 or “best offer.” I was thinking of putting in an offer for five bucks, but then again this really is a rare item and the first time I have ever seen a piece of The Dark Crystal fashion on eBay in the ten years I have looked. I’ll make an offer of ten dollars instead and wear it to the Labyrinth Masquerade this year.

The seller is also peddling an official crystal shard replica cast from the movie prop. It looks nice and shiny, made of glass, and it comes with a pretty white box. I have never seen this item before and there is a name “Elfra Haad” on the back. Google failed in returning any relevant results, so maybe this was a prototype or maybe a fan made crystal plucked from a gelfing’s hand with love.

Shard Box FrontShard Box Back

Muppet fans, take note of the dress and its handmade stitching. Most other Muppet merchandise is mass-produced in a factory in China or Taiwan, unless you go the Etsy route. If you feel like shelling out the dough for this fantastic dress, you will probably be spending your entire Muppet merchandise budget for the year. Think about it though, it really is a rare part of Muppet history and it probably be another ten years before another part of the fashion line appears on eBay.

What other wonders will the Internet yield of Muppet crap?
Dress Tag