30 Years of Axtell Expressions!

Thank YOU for 30 years of amazing work! We are so grateful to you! 

Axtell 30 Years

 As part of our 30th Anniversary we are looking for fun and happy memories from YOU…our loved customers!

Perhaps a special reaction from a kid, a visit to our shop, funny story about a product mix up, a surprise, whatever you want to share.

Please leave a comment and tell us some of your fond memories of Axtell Expressions over the years, thanks!  Ax



98 Comments to 30 Years of Axtell Expressions!
  1. by Ax

    On May 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    These are precious memories… THANK YOU for posting them! Please keep them coming all year!

  2. by Ruther Urquia

    On June 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    30 years! Whoah! You people in Axtell Studios rock! Thank you so much! To Sensei Grand Master Puppetman Steve Axtell, my sincerest gratitude to you! God bless you with more decades of Puppetry! Yey! 🙂

    Ruther Urquia
    Pilipinas Got Talent Grand Finalist
    Avid Axtell Fan
    1st Filipino to Visit Axtell Studios LIVE! (May30, 2012) 🙂

  3. by Mark Edson

    On June 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Well, I first seen Axtell products including the Axtell Drawing board back in the late 1980’s or so.I purchased my 1st Axtell figure which was The Vulture from Clinton Detweiler, after already having my first pro figure from Maher Studios, making my vulture the 2nd pro figure I owned. Carpel tunnel syndrome affected me after years of working full time on computers causing me to eventully sell the vulture to another entertainer giving it a good home. After being friends/colleagues with other Axtell users over the years and quiting my job on computers I purchased an Axtell Diva which I utilized recently in an independent film I made here in Florida. Everything I’ve done has somehow been linked with the Axtell line I’m sure that fact has been the same with other performers (there are many!)pro and semi-pro alike. There are more projects for me as well as all the Axtell utilizers whose number grows every day. I recently visited Steve and met The Axtell crew of artists and techs at the Ventura site. They are all great! I am looking forward to many more years of Axtell products. Congrats again on the Big 30! All the best, Mark Edson.

  4. by mark truman

    On June 6, 2012 at 6:19 am

    i learned the power of the white board first hand. i used it for the close of vacation bible school. when the eyes moved the first time, a few kids saw it and squealed. the second time, about half the kids spoted it and the place exploded in screams and laughter, the third time,… well i had kids almost climbing out of the pews, all yelling, pointing, screaming with laughter. the excitement continued when i ‘spotted’ the eyes, but when the board then spoke, the place exploded! the next night, many parents were there early, to see the close, i did not use it that night, but used it the next night. by the end of the week, between the kids, tachers and parents, we had over 150 in the room, just to see the board. I have been a fan of axtell creations ever since. they always get the same crowd pleasing result. thanks ax,

  5. by Raif & Liz Kahraman

    On June 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Steve, it is unbelivable that it has been 30 years…but then when we think that we have 21 puppets and a talking board from you…it is so easy to believe…We love all our grandma,grandpa, boys,girls and animals…They are so real…We have such a great relationship with them…Thanks to you and your crew for everything you have done for us and for all the others who have Ax puppets…Thanks for creating great figures…Especially the Willie the Kid (Capkin is his name here)…he is the favorite among kids…Liz just loves him..:O))…We hope to get together and have long chats all together some day soon…All our best wishes for the future…Good luck …R.K. and Liz…

  6. by Stephanie Beach

    On June 8, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Congrats on 30 Years.

    Your products are great and bring such magic and Magical moments to the kids.
    I love using your Axtell Meter with the birthday child.

    In one party I brought the child up on ‘stage’. He was very excited.
    Then I asked the crowd to call out “Magic Words”.
    They did and the meter displayed various measurements from 1 to 5.

    So I asked the birthday boy to tell me his magic word.
    It was “pizza” which brought a laugh and the meter jumped to 7.
    “Wow you have found today’s Magic word.” I said.

    He was beaming thinking it was over.
    Then I said to the kids.
    “OK so now let’s all say ‘Michael Pizza’ and see what happens.”
    Of course the kids shouted and laughed then the meter went to 10, popped open
    and out came the internals along with a little confetti.

    Michael just stood there, wide eyed and then said
    “My…my name is MAGIC!”
    The smile on his face was a treasure.

    Thanks for helping to bring these magic moments to life.

  7. by Clinton Detweiler

    On June 8, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I remember well the day about 30 years ago when you were sitting at our dining table visiting. And you shared with me that someone had offered you a significant sum of money for rights to your newly created Magic Drawing Board. Tempting. But I advised you should not sell, but discover the potential of the product yourself. I’m glad you listened – look where your amazing creativity and marketing ability as led! And the best is yet to come! Glad I could help…(that’s joke, folks!)

  8. by Tony Borders

    On June 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Clinton, I knew you were joking when you said that Steve Axtell was sitting! He’s always on the go! Steve, your puppets have given me a career! Their photo helps sell my shows. This helped me go full-time into something I thought I could only do on the side! I am in my 20th year of full-time. Thank you!

  9. by Thomas Sorensen

    On June 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Greetings Happy 30 years I still have screaming baby hes great i am not perfect yet but happy for each laugh i get your sitekharizma has caused me to build my 1st dummy fine tuning his eyes and his neck carage bought him a 3T tuxedo w tail wee hoo! all the best Thomas Sorensen

  10. by Jim Adams

    On June 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Any one of Steve’s creations could be a major star on stage or television. Until Steve came along, there was no way to get a good quality professional puppet for a reasonable price. All of Steve’s characters look like they came from Disney or a major television production. You could make a career with any one of his creations. To be able to choose from hundreds of such creations, is phenomenal!
    Thanks, Steve. You have increased ventriloquism and puppetry far beyond what it was!
    Your friend,
    Jim Adams
    “James & the Professor”

  11. by Tamika Rivel

    On June 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm

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  12. by Bob Hamill

    On June 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I first saw Steve Axtell sometime around 1985. It was at a small magic convention in Southern California. I was looking for an old man puppet that I could practice with to get the voice and mannerisms of an old man. I was then going to take that knowledge and apply it to a hard figure I was having built with robotics.
    Once I started using the Storyteller, I found I didn’t even have to say anything for a full 30 seconds. The audience absolutely loved him. It wasn’t long before he became a regular part of my act and I cancelled the hard figure order. In an amazing amount of time almost everybody had a Storyteller. I wanted something that was a bit different than all the rest so Steve worked up a couple sketches, I picked one and now “Horace” is my own. I must have gone through at least six figures over the years. When they wear out, I sign them and give them to friends. He is a main staple in my act.
    I’ve used other AX puppets over the years. They are so darn good, you almost want to have a collection of them. I’m currently breaking the duck into the act. Steve, you and Suzy are the best.

  13. by Caleb Kendrick

    On June 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    puppets have always been my passion, ever since i was 3, but i knew my puppet show was lacking something. at the age of 13 i found this site and quickly put in the order for wild thing. that was what my act was missing… great character. these puppets have style and humor and reality built in. after my performance at spring baptist church a parent ran up to me and gave wild thing a big hug and asked me and her to come again whenever we wanted to. wild thing stole the show and gave the church a little more humor. everyone found us funny.

  14. by Terry Tidwell

    On June 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing and using Axtell creations for many, many years. Steve and his family (which includes the staff at the shop) are the best–you can NOT find better service, quality, or professionalism anywhere else. Here’s to hoping that Steve and his legacy of puppets, magic, props, and educational materials continue to brighten the world, one at a time. God Bless Steve and the Gang–you rock!

    Prof. Piper (otherwise known as Terry)

  15. by Ron Nance at Puppet Atelier

    On June 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Steve you have been a blessing and an inspiration to all of us. We are extremely proud of everything that you and your team of wonderful people have accomplished over the past 30 years. I can hardly wait to see what all of you do at Axtell Expressions in the next 30 years! Congadulations on a job well done.

  16. by Jon B.

    On June 13, 2012 at 4:32 am

    This is a great puppetry company. Everything that I’ve seen Axtell produce is great and I wish the best for the next 30 years. Great work. 🙂

  17. by Jean-Michel AUBERT

    On June 13, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Axtell EXPRESSIONS today is the essential reference for professionals and enthusiasts ventriloquist puppets from around the world. I am seduced by such passion, creativity and human spirit that emanates from Steve and the team, that’s where I think the reason for this success today.
    Jean Michel Aubert

  18. by Fern Parks

    On June 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I have read through all your letters on Facebook. Congratulations to you for
    all the joy you have brought to children as well as adults.
    Your Kathrine told me the story of how you started making puppets. I
    think you are phenomenomal.

    Blessings on you.

  19. by Matt Grant

    On June 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I remember making a trip to a Japan Toy fair and then down to HK/China in the early 90’s. (1991 I think). Steve was a great guy to travel with. Always on time and seemed to never speak an unkind word no matter what the situation was. We were working on the Burds project and the factory people were amazed at his talents and also his ability to explain why certain things need to be done certain ways.

    He has always been a guy of the utmost integrity and character. He is just a great guy to be associated with.

  20. by Danny Huff

    On June 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Hey Steve,
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using the Old Story Teller for the last few years.I call him Uncle Luther. Senior adults love him. I use a “Mr. Haney” (from Green Acres) type voice with him and it goes over well. The laughs start as soon as I take him out of the case. I love your products. Keep em coming!

  21. by Anna Pridgen

    On July 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I love your puppets and so do all the children! One summer I actually had a boy make a bird house for Vern to live in (Vern was always complaining about his suitcase being to small. ) Thank you for all your Amazing puppets! They make my life and the lives of countless people brighter!

  22. by Bart Boullart

    On July 12, 2012 at 8:32 am

    D.ear Steve,

    My brother Gert and myself are very greatfull to you! Thx to your amazing puppets we ‘conquered’ Flanders (Belgium) and a part of Holland as ventriquilists. If you view our website you will find lots of your splendid ideas in our productions as for children as for adults.
    Keep up the good works and I hope later once to cross the Atlantic and visit your ‘dream’-factory.

    Bart Boullart
    East-Flanders, Belgium

  23. by Jilly

    On July 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I bought the Minature Magic Drawing Board, and I LOVE it!

  24. by Daryl "VENTdarylQUIST" Trowbridge

    On July 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    It’s so difficult to pinpoint a single memory (or even two) with my Axtell puppet friends. They have been an integral part of my life for more than a decade now. One favorite moment was an interaction with a one-year-old girl at a Special Olympics event. She watched in wonder as Oreo (the skunk) and I interacted with some Special Olympic Athletes, but she was absolutely mesmerized as we came over and talked with her. Her reaching out to touch Oreo’s nose (one of my friends snapped a picture as it took place) is an amazing moment I will cherish.

  25. by WANLU

    On July 29, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Hi Steve,

    My very first Axtell product was an Axtell Special FX drawing board which I ordered via snail mail back in 1989. It was a really long wait, no internet yet back then. 🙂

    My very first Axtell puppet was an Axtell Wild Thing, after trying it out twice in a couple of gigs, I told myself, I can never be a ventriloquist so I stopped doing ventriloquism and continued doing magic. BUT it was an Axtell Orangutan and an Axtell Pelican that made me become interested in ventriloquism again and those two characters made me try harder the 2nd time around.

    I eventually did become a ventriloquist thanks to your fantastic and lovable creations! I love all my Axtells, some I sold and some I kept and became a regular part of my act. Though the years I had Vern, Bongo, orangutan, chimp, gorilla, pelican, parrot, cockatoo, seal, turtle, bulldog, shark, Dinostar, Old Storyteller, Granny, donut, HF Monkey, talking plant, skunk,cry baby, off the meter, magic drawing board, Big Baby, special fx drawing board, mic mouth, remote drawing board and hopefully I can try other products in the future.

    I can’t imagine my journey into the wonderful world of ventriloquism without Axtell Expressions!

    Thanks Ax!!! 🙂


  26. by Ax

    On July 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Wow these are so special thanks! I want you to know we are reading each one! Ax

  27. by james loshbaugh

    On August 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I am having great fun with the big mouth prop. I use it for mc bits, walkaround and most recently in my caricature booth. I say I am a look a like of a famous person and if they can guess who I look alike the drawing will be free. Sometimes I give them a choice Mick Jagger or steven tyler, angelina jolie or hot lips hoolihan. They get only one try and of course they are never correct but it certainly gets big laughs form every body waiting in line. It wasn’t available for my first 18,000 shows but I now incorporate into all the different things I do.

  28. by Jimmy Scorpio

    On September 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Dear Dear Axtell Expressions Team:

    I would like to define your creative effort in just a simple sentence: Thanks for your creative mind putting the puppet’s magic in our hands!

    Really a good job! (and affordable)

    Jimmy Scorpio, Bogotá DC, Colombia

  29. by Tom Rennen

    On September 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I have know Steve for many years. At our first meeting in the 90’s, Steve left an indelible impression. Aside from being an outstanding professional, he is one of the finest people I have ever met. All my best Steve and continued success!


  30. by christopher

    On November 23, 2012 at 11:41 am

    my puppets

  31. by Daniel McMillon

    On December 26, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Hi Steve I love in the U.K yesterday for Christmas I got the worlds oldest manmpuppetnwhich I really wanted I showed him to my family and used some adlib material and his expretions and gestures he could do got instant laughs. Even the young chilldren I thought might be scared of him loved him and laughdso thank you for making him so detailed!!!! Merry Christmas by the way!!!!

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  33. by Chris Wintter

    On January 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I found Axtell Expressions totally by accident 4 years ago, while surfing the internet. What caught my eye was their line of Hands Free Puppets, especially the Toucan. Having the opportunity to own something that looked like it came from Disney World, really excited me. I was most interested in the vent Hands Free Toucan even though I did not do ventriloquism. On their site I discovered their learning center, where I learned ventriloquism. That is when I bought my first Axtell puppet, Taco, my vent Hands Free Toucan.
    He has really made my magic shows special, and different from other magicians.
    Now I own the Axtell Gator, Hang on Monster, Hands on Toucan, and Parrot, and looking to eventually getting the Jazz Man, and a crow puppet, along with a Hands Free Lite System.
    Keep up the great work Axtell.

  34. by Colton Sosbe

    On May 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    The second I stuck my hand in my first puppet [Hang On Monster] , I felt so happy that I could have such an incredible piece! Thank you Axtell!!!

  35. by Frank Sacca

    On June 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    This is like the movie ‘Sunset Boulevard’ when the protagonist figures out that she will not be able to exist with the pain of future heartbreak.

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  37. by christopher

    On September 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    hi ax I love your puppets I cant afford one yet im going to get papa when I can afford him
    whats your latest puppet I really want to know well im pretty much your #1 fan. I really like
    your website

    my name is Christopher
    im 10 and keep up THE GOOD WORK.

  38. by Adam Thornton

    On October 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I bought an Axtell Magic Drawing Board 2.0 in the late 80’s as a kid…its the greatest classic ever! I bought Vern the Bird with my first real job money in the 90’s…still got him! I already have my next 3 professional puppets picked out! Please keep doing what you do: Dreaming & Creating & Providing the BEST!

  39. by kaleena the ventriliquist

    On November 2, 2013 at 4:23 am

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