Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Mimics Productions Ltd?
Mimics is the trading name of Sally Preisig. I have no staff so everything is entirely made by me.
What do Mimics Productions do?
I produce unique character costumes, puppets & soft sculpture/soft props for you from your design or ideas, or I can carry out the whole design process for you. In addition I also offer characterisation advice, puppeteering and voice over services.
What are the benefits of a character costume or promotional puppet?
Compared to any other form of advertising a character costume/ or puppet is surprisingly cost effective. A character costume, mascot costume, or puppet is an effective and versatile promotional product. It can create immediate impact and reinforce your identity. Character costumes are popular with press and create public interest in both children and adults alike. It can often be more effective than a celebrity whilst some even become celebrities! Character costumes and puppets are cost effective, strong, versatile, and mobile and can be worn by a number of wearers at numerous events over several years.
How much will my costume/ mascot/puppet/soft Prop cost?
All costumes, puppets and props are carefully produced by hand and are individual to your requirements. Call or contact me and I will give you an idea of costs, lead times and feasibility. Your individual needs will be discussed.
Is there a discount for multiple costumes?
YES! I offer a sliding scale of discounts: • Discounts are offered for multiple identical costumes / puppets / props, IF commissioned at the same time as the first version. • And a further discount is offered for multiple identical costumes/ puppets/ props IF commissioned AND produced in the workshop at the same time as the first version.
How long will it take to make my costume?
Projects normally take 2 – 6 weeks after a deposit has been received. Timescales vary depending on current workload, complexity and quantity. If specialist fabrics have to be sourced from abroad, especially dyed or woven for a commission, this can add to the lead time. Having said this I have been known to work miracles, as you never know what materials I already hold in stock! Complicated or larger quantities may take longer. Multiples may be ordered in batches for immediate or staggered delivery. I do not start work on a commission until confirmation has been received by the deposit payment. I will talk you through the fastest way of securing quick delivery and discuss any key dates that you may need the costume/ puppet for when you order. Occasionally I can deliver more quickly, please contact me. If I can possibly help, I will!
What are the costumes/ puppets made from?
I use a wide variety of different materials depending on the project, including: High density foam, Plastazote, Varraform, polystyrene, PVC, rubber, synthetic fur, wood, latex, Lycra, fibreglass and plastic to name a few.
Is the costume fire proof?
No. As costumes are worn next to the skin, one cannot fire retard them as some people react very badly to the current available fire retardants, so I do not advise fire retarding anything that may come into close contact with skin.
How much does a costume or puppet weigh?
Costumes and puppets vary considerably in weight and size, depending upon your specification. I will do my best to keep weight to a minimum for the performer/ puppeteer, whilst not losing functionality. An average furred costume head weighs around 2kg.
What size are the costumes?
A costume can be made to any size specification, however please bear in mind that generally one size cannot fit all. When a costume will be worn by several people it can usually be constructed with around a 3″ or 4″ height difference either way * (i.e. a 6′ 0″ costume can usually easily be worn by a 5’8″/5’9″ performer and also a 6’3″ / 6’4″ performer too) *One important thing to bear in mind is: ones’ height is exactly the same length as ones’ arm span (from hand to hand). So if the sleeves and hands of your costume need to be exactly sized and/or tightly stretched to your performer, then we have to make the costume to fit your performers’ height exactly too.
How do I keep cool?
I use only high quality fabrics and materials when creating your costume. Costumes can vary in weight and thickness depending on the design brief and therefore will vary in warmth. I aim to design the costume to be as lightweight and comfortable for the wearer as possible. Visibility, ventilation, manoeuvrability and durability are all considerations in the design process. If a costume is fur covered and also has clothing on top, I usually fur only the parts of the costume that the fur needs to be seen, to keep the heat down. A large smiling gauzed mouth, eyes, or other areas on the face or costume are a really good idea to be incorporated into the design for extra ventilation and visibility, which will aid performance considerably.
How long should a performer be in a costume?
A rule of thumb for mascot and promotional walkabout costumes is that if the user is getting too hot, they should take a break, especially in the summer months. 20 minutes is the advised maximum time for a performer to be in a costume with a 10 minute break before recommencing their performance.
Do you supply people to wear the costumes, or puppeteers for the puppets?
I can supply professional, Equity registered costume performers and puppeteers for operating puppets and voicing them too. I strongly recommend employing professional actors whenever possible. Performing a puppet or as a Character in a costume is an art. Costume characters with full heads work best as silent performers. Having a great performer inside the costume will add a huge amount to the promotional success of your Character.
Who should perform your costume?
Be aware that a costume can add a lot of height and ‘scaling up’ of the average person, for this reason I may suggest the size and gender of your ideal performer as having a small performer may keep your character smaller and therefore more approachable. Rugby & football mascots may be better suited with an athletic taller performer inside. We would always help you with your decision and build your costume accordingly.
Do you hire out your costumes/ puppets/ props?
I do not hire out any costumes, puppets or props as I do not have the space to keep any stock for immediate sale. I only make bespoke creations, to your specific requirements and measurements.
Can you provide spare parts, shoes, accessories for my costume/ puppet?
Yes definitely. If you require anything else for your costume e.g. change of clothing, hats, bags, shoes, or replacement parts, I will be only too happy to provide you with a competitive price. If you want to order additional (Duplicate) items when ordering your costume, I’ll be able to provide a much better price. For further information about accessories contact me.
Can the costume be washed?
Each costume or puppet will be supplied with a guide to its’ care. I suggest Vinyl and foam/latex parts may be wiped down with warm soapy water, but do not use harsh solvents that may damage the prints or paint finish. Baby Wet wipes are VERY good for spot cleaning of a costume, so carry some with your costume every time it is out being performed. Fabric items such as T-shirts and Lycra leggings may be gently hand washed in soapy water or machine washed on a cool or hand wash cycle. Large fur costumes should be dry-cleaned only as washing the fur can make it very matted and this is next to impossible to comb out again. Fur heads may be brushed and any marks removed with spot dry cleaning fluid (test on an inconspicuous area first.) Every piece of my costumes have the individual washing or care instructions attached.
How long will the costume / puppet last?
With careful attention to my ‘wear & care’ instructions provided with each costume, a Mimics costume or puppet should last many years. If a costume is in constant (every week) use or incorrectly used or badly maintained it won’t survive as long. Each outfit comes with a guide to its use and this should be passed on and adhered to by every performer. I stitch and/or glue and fully line most of our 3D bodies for added strength and this prolongs the life of my costumes considerably. Also I can design and create specific costumes for unusual purposes (pop video/dances/marathons, etc) but the end use MUST be known to me before construction, so I can give you the best costume that is fit for purpose.
Do you offer a refurbishment/ repair & /or cleaning Service?
Yes, I provide ongoing support to our customers to ensure the longevity of their costumes and puppets. I offer a full service for costume refurbishment including pick up and return. I can carefully clean the costume and make major or minor repairs to ensure continued use. I also provide a repair and cleaning service for costumes or puppets that I have not originally made. Please contact me to discuss your requirements.
How do your character costumes and mascot costume prices compare with costumes selling for under £500 online?
I specialise in creating unique, handmade character costumes, puppets and props, for TV, Stage & Theatre, advertising and PR. My creations are handmade in the UK, to individual specifications from the highest quality materials, and from years of experience. They are built to last and can be updated, cleaned and easily repaired should the need arise. As I keep all patterns and moulds, I can make a new version of the same costume for you many years later. I understand that I operate in an increasingly global competitive market, and that there are solutions of varying quality and price on offer. Where do you start to differentiate between the suppliers and quotes received? We can offer you help. Firstly, we can discuss the quotes you have received impartially. I can try and help you understand why you are being quoted varying prices. Secondly, I have a large and loyal client base (see my testimonials) that would be happy to talk to you about their experience with us – and in some cases – experiences they have had with other suppliers. If you are looking for the cheapest off-the-shelf character costume possible, I am not the right maker for you. If you are looking for a uniquely designed, eye-catching, high quality, durable and effective costume or puppet, call me now to discuss your project! I offer a truly personal service.
How are costumes. Puppets/ props delivered? Is delivery included in the price?
Delivery is not included in the price and is quoted on application and depends entirely on the weight and size of the cardboard carton your job will be sent out in. I offer personal delivery on occasions, if this is practical, if not I either use a local courier (with enhanced insurance cover) for a direct delivery to you, or I also have an account with FEDEX.
I am not located in the UK, can you deliver overseas?
Yes I can, many of our clients are from overseas. Obviously shipping can be more complicated & expensive and can take longer, but I do offer our services outside the UK. The price of shipping is quoted on application and depends entirely on the weight and dimensions of the cardboard carton your job will be sent out in. I usually cannot quote for shipping until the job is completed, as the dimensions and weight of the carton(s) have to be given to the shipping agent first for an accurate quotation.
Can you make us a copy of one of the costumes / puppets shown on this site?
The costumes and puppets shown on this website are examples of some of the many costumes / puppets and props I have created over the years. Some of these designs are specific to the organisation I made them for and / or they are copyrighted, in which case I cannot reproduce these for legal reasons.
Can you design a character or puppet for our organisation from scratch?
Most Definitely YES. Many of my most successful Characters have been designed “In house”. I hopefully have all the experience necessary to create a character for your company which can be used on promotional material as well as becoming a 3D Character Costume / puppet Personality.
Can I have a well known character made? Mickey, Mouse, Paddington Bear, Tigger, etc
IF and ONLY IF, YOU own the rights to the licensed character I can produce the character for you. If you do not, or cannot provide proof of ownership to me, I cannot make the character for you under any circumstances.
Any other tips I can give before you contact me?
• Before you waste money on expensive character artwork – Always tell your designers to take into account that if the costume is going to be worn/performed – try to incorporate into the costume as many human proportions as you can at the start. This makes the end costume look so much nearer your artwork! Especially if the costume is part of a larger campaign with other expensive art work and flyers / leaflets, etc to produce too, design the costume and get that in (human) proportion first, then get all the other artwork for your campaign altered and then printed. It saves so much money & time! • Think where you will store the costume when it is not being used (character costumes can be pretty large and bulky to store) • Think how you will get a costume to a performance – Van, car, bus, tube? (Again these can be large and bulky to transport, you may have to hire a van to get the costume to every performance) • Think who will perform your character (size, height, male, female?) and they will definitely need a minder with them at all times – so you will need 2 persons for each character at all times when the character is being performed. • Think who will take care of the washing and cleaning of the costume between uses and keep an eye on its’ maintenance, safe storage and transport to performances. • Your budget – you really do “get what you pay for” – Mimics Productions Ltd offer a great personal service at very competitive rates. I very much look forward to receiving your enquiries, please call +44(0)1329 661161 or email me - firstname.lastname@example.org today.