"Happy"

 

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I can announce to vent world that Cy Leonard's McElroy figure “Happy" has now become part of the Dan Willinger Collection.

Back in November of 2005 Mr. Leonard put him up for sale and even though I had put in an offer, his figure sold to Mr. Ray Guyll. Ray and Barbara Guyll, as the vent community knows, are one of the finest teams in the world for both making fantastic ventriloquist figures and also restoring them.

When Ray received Happy he was in deplorable condition. He had been poorly repaired for Mr. Leonard by someone who didn't really know how to do it and so the broken head was put back together incorrectly causing the eye mechanics not to work right as well as the wiggling nose which had to be sealed in place.

This is why Mr. Leonard always said he had changed the controls. HE HAD TOO to make the figure usable. Ray proceeded to disassemble this entire figure which included all the mechanics, every nut, bolt, spring, lever and also took apart the incorrectly repaired head and over a six month period restored Happy to the way he looked and functioned when originally purchased from the McElroy brothers.

It’s actually better!!!! He is an absolute work of art. If Mr. Leonard was to see him today he would fall over himself because he now looks like he did when he first purchased him. I had the great fortune to be able to work out the purchase of this figure from Mr. Guyll. I just can't say enough about the workmanship that Mr. Guyll and Barbara Guyll have done for me.

They have restored many Marshall Figures for my collection and those also look like they came right from Frank's shop. Happy is no exception. He is even better than he would have been from George & Glen McElroy.

If you are willing to wait (as the saying goes “Good things come to those who wait”) the end is always a treat. Every time I open a package from Ray and Barbara it is like Christmas and I just want to thank them for preserving the old school of ventriloquist figure making.