All About Pubbets
Hello, I'm James! I'm the Papa of Pubbets and started this business in 2018 after a successful Indiegogo campaign to manufacture my first puppet design, imaginatively named Pubbet 1.
Since then I've designed and sold three more Pubbet characters, along with many custom one-off puppet characters.
My childhood nickname Pubba and I chose the name 'Pubbets' because it's based on that nickname plus the word puppets.
It's also reminiscent of the word 'Muppets' - which have been a huge inspiration for me for as long as I can remember.
A Brief History of Pubbets
Pubbet 1: September 2018
Pubbet 1 was my first character. He was orange with a blue nose and a bright plume of purple imitation ostrich feathers on top of his head. I wanted to make him a little stylised and unique, and spent many hours revising his design till I was happy with him.
I wanted to create a large sized professional style puppet at an affordable price. This has always been my goal with Pubbets because I was a teacher for many years and could never find large sized hand puppets at retail stores.
Only 100 Pubbet 1's were made and quickly sold out in early 2019. They were manufactured in a small workshop in Danang, Vietnam. I spent 3 months there and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process!
Then I started work on a pair of Pubbet characters that would be Pubbet 2 and 3.
Pubbet 2 & 3: December 2019
These two characters were released in December 2019 after a 2nd successful Indiegogo campaign. The response to these two characters was mostly positive, but I was unhappy with the quality of the finished puppets.
This led me on a mission to upgrade the manufacturing and improve the business on every level - from customer service to order fulfilment. I started work on the design of Pubbet 4 at the end of 2019 and decided to find a professional toy manufacturing factory to produce it. I also decided to make him a full-body puppet, due to customer feedback.
Pubbets went into hiatus in 2020 due to the covid pandemic. The workshop in Vietnam was closed and I worked 7 days a week teaching online and saving every dollar that I could.
I had a very clear goal for Pubbets and it would take a lot of money to get it started! I was determined to find a factory that could produce Pubbets to a high standard, while still retaining some of the original hand-made charm of Pubbet 1, 2 and 3.
I've lost count of how many factories were considered. I paid at least 7 different places to create a sample based on my drawings and a physical sample of the Pubbet 1 puppet. Months went by but I wasn't happy with any of the samples. Was this the end of Pubbets?
Finally after a lot of searching I was referred to a small factory that had just opened a few years earlier. I contacted the manager and they immediately saw my vision for Pubbets and offered me an agreement to bring Pubbet 4 to life!
Pubbet 4: June 2021
I had saved a nice amount of money throughout 2020 but still needed another $6-7k to cover the manufacturing and freight fulfilment costs. The Indiegogo campaign for Pubbet 4 really took off once people started sharing the link, and I was able to raise 244% of the funding goal in just 3 weeks!
As soon as I saw the 100% funding goal was reached, I went back to the factory manager and design team and we started work right away on improving the materials and pattern for Pubbet 4. I was inspired by the positive response to the campaign and really wanted to blow people away with the quality of Pubbet 4!
We revamped the puppet head design to make the mouth line cleaner and the mouth bigger and easier to use. I'm so happy with the end result and will be using this pattern for a few characters in the future. It's such a fun puppet to use!
Pubbet 5 is a girl character codenamed Rosey and has a few improvements on the Pubbet 4 design. Most noticably is the detachable legs, which are held in place by a strip of velcro inside the puppet body. She also has 'elbows' in the slimmer arms and toes on her feet.
Due to the fantastic response to my Pubbet 4 design, I decided to create two girl Pubbet characters to be release at the same time. Pubbet 6 is codenamed Josie and has the same base pattern as Pubbet 5, but darker coloured hair and skin. She also has a different outfit and shoes.
Both Pubbet 5 and 6 will be released in October 2021 and limited to 750 pcs each. They will both get an upgraded adoption certificate that will include a gold seal and be individually numbered.
In addition, the drawstring carry bag will be a backpack design and include a full colour all-over print with a unique design for Pubbet 5 and Pubbet 6.