The home of Dino

Puppets, Zoltar and The Great Adverto

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Every year at the Engine Group, we down tools for a day and visit each of the companies on the various floors to reacquaint ourselves with what they’ve been up to (and or ned starters, what they do).

Each year is themed and this year was “circus” so we invented “The Great Adverto” – a nod to the Zoltar fortune telling machine from Big. The idea what to put none other than Robin Wight (the W out of WCRS) in the box as The Great Adverto and have a down-on-his-luck circus master ask for help to turn his failing circus around. Sounded plausible…

As you’d expect, you can’t buy one of these from the shops (or the internet) so it was on with the roof rack and off to B&Q. Here’s an inside look at what it took to make it happen.

Step 1: The trips to B&Q… Thank god we have a staff discount card I could borrow.

Step 2: The frame…

Step 3: The panels…

Step 4: Hand cutting and stencilling the lettering with gold paint…

Step 5: Perspex glazing and pink silk backing…

Step 6: The finished box, reduced to panels, transported to WCRS in the wee small hours and reconstructed…

Step 7: The full setup. With Robin in place straw bails to hide the puppeteer…

Step 8: Now for the bonkers bit… the puppet supplied by the amazing Dave Chapman. Dave’s puppety arm has appeared in the Muppets Most Wanted movie, CBBC as Otis the Aardvark, Dick and Dom In da Bungalow as cat and, wait for it, Star Wars: The Force Awakens as BB-8). Needless to say, he was the icing on the cake and brought it all together. Properly funny guy.

So there you have it. From garage to ad-land prop in 1 week, 5 trips to B&Q and 23 cups of tea.

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