Here is part two of our two part series on building the puppets for The Ultimate Nerd-ament.  If you missed part one and would like to check it out, you can do so by clicking HERE.  Today’s post is all about the lovable robot on the show, JAX.

When we were developing The Ultimate Nerd-ament, Stanley pretty much came out fully formed.  We knew we wanted a classic ‘nerd’ type character on the show.  We also knew this was going to be a two puppet show so Stanley needed a friend.  In the early concept stages we thought about having, simply, another ‘nerd’ type character.  But then, we thought it might be fun if the second puppet was not human.

For awhile we thought that the second character could be a dog, Stanley’s pet.  Then one day Russ said he should have a ‘sidekick monkey’ which I misheard as, ‘psychic monkey.’  We tossed that around for a bit as well.

Ultimately, we wanted the second character to be Stanley’s best friend and when we stumbled onto the idea of a robot, we all liked it because Stanley MADE his best friend.  Thus the idea of JAX was born.

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From the start Russ wanted JAX to have a a ‘homemade’ look to him.  Can you spot pieces of JAX in the picture above?  The tops of two Wisk bottles became JAX’s ears.  The has springy keychains for arms, a bike reflector on his chest and peanut butter jar lids for shoulders.  Also, though you rarely see it, JAX has a Duplo Block on his back.  In the future we want to fool around with different things attached to those blocks.

When Russ is building away in his Puppet Garage, he often challenges himself to throw a little something extra in the puppet he’s working on.  For JAX he decided to throw in the great ‘eye blink’ that he has.  Below id the first cell phone video Russ sent me of the eye blink in action.

You can see the ears were different and that was a mock head, but the eye blink ws great from the start!

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As I mentioned in the article on building Stanley, Russ came up with the idea to pick three main colors that would be in both puppets. Blue, red and orange. Above you can see he was trying out different reflectors for JAX’s front panel.

The other great thing about JAX is that, being a robot, he can change over time. New bits can be added, although, we kinda like him just the way he is.

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Thanks for checking out this post and for checking out The Ultimate Nerd-ament.  As always, we love hearing your thoughts, so let us know what you think!

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