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$109,069 pledged of $40,000 goal
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By Museum of the Moving Image
$109,069 pledged of $40,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Final Stretch Goal: $125,000 for interactive experiences

Once again, the generosity of the community of Jim Henson fans has surpassed our wildest expectations! Thanks to all of you who helped us reach our stretch goal of $100,000 to support the conservation of puppets in the Museum’s Jim Henson Collection.  

For the remainder of our Kickstarter campaign, we invite you to help support the production of the two interactive experiences in The Jim Henson Exhibition as we strive for a second and final stretch goal of $125,000. These interactive experiences are key ingredients in the exhibition, and with additional funding, we can build them as imagined. They demonstrate two of Henson’s most significant innovations: puppetry for the television screen and puppet character design.  

“Perform a Puppet on Screen” gives visitors an opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to watch themselves perform a puppet on a television monitor. When they’re finished, they will be able to email a video of their performance to themselves. 

The “Design an Anything Muppet Character” experience begins with a short video featuring Henson puppet-builder Rollie Krewson demonstrating how she designs “Anything Muppet” characters for Sesame Street. Visitors will be able to select facial features and accessories for an “Anything Muppet” form, and see what their character looks like on screen.  

These two interactive experiences will allow visitors to get creative and discover their inner character designer and puppeteer!

Stretch Goal: $100,000 to restore more puppets!

We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community of Jim Henson fans! Your generosity has enabled us to meet our goal of $40,000 to preserve and install the puppets in The Jim Henson Exhibition in just two days!

We hope you will continue to support us and help us spread the word about this campaign, as we extend our efforts to preserve Jim’s legacy: we are setting a new goal of $100,000, which will help us restore more puppets in the Museum’s Jim Henson collection. The Jim Henson Exhibition at MoMI and its traveling version, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, will feature many of Jim’s unique puppets, but there are many more “waiting in the wings” for their turn! As The Jim Henson Exhibition is a permanent exhibition at the Museum, the puppets in the original installation will rotate off at times for routine conservation, and it is imperative that other puppets be ready to take their place!

The Museum’s Jim Henson collection includes puppets from all of Jim’s work for film and television. To name just a few: 

  • Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Scooter, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rowlf, Beaker, Gonzo, Zoot, the Swedish Chef, the Koozebanians, and Camilla from The Muppet Show; 
  • Big Bird, Elmo, Count von Count, Grover, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street; 
  • Junior Gorg, Doozers, and all the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock; 
  • Jen, Kira, Aughra, Pod people and a Skeksis and Mystic from The Dark Crystal; 
  • Rare puppets from Jim’s television commercials and other early work in the 1950s and 1960s, including Yorick from Sam and Friends, the LaChoy Dragon, Wilkins and Wontkins, Sir Linit, Taminella Grinderfall, the “Java” puppets, and the Tastee Freeze Boss; 
  • Puppets from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, Faffner Hall, and much more! 

We cannot thank you enough for your overwhelming support. We are thrilled to be working with you all to preserve this unique and important collection for generations to come.

With a generous gift of hundreds of puppets and artifacts from the Henson family, Museum of the Moving Image in New York City plans to open a brand new, permanent exhibition dedicated to the work of legendary puppeteer and director Jim Henson. Over the course of a singular career, Henson created stories and characters for television and film that have delighted and inspired generations of fans around the world — from the glamorous Miss Piggy and the gentle Grover, to the mystical creatures of The Dark Crystal. The Jim Henson Exhibition will share the full story of Henson’s unique talent, and the deeply collaborative creative process behind his work.

What will the exhibition include?

The exhibition will feature more than 40 original puppets — including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Fraggles, and a Skeksis from The Dark Crystal — as well as puppet prototypes, original character sketches, rare behind-the-scenes footage and photographs, and interactive puppetry design and performance experiences.

Sections of the exhibition will be devoted to:

  • Henson’s early work for television and film in the 1950s and 60s, in which his unbridled imagination, wit, and capacity for creative innovation were clearly established 
  • Sesame Street, where his remarkably expressive puppets have delighted children for generations 
  • The Muppet Show and Muppet feature films, which have had an indelible impact on popular culture 
  • and the imaginary worlds of Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth

Preserving the puppets for future generations

The Jim Henson Collection at Museum of the Moving Image includes approximately 175 historic puppets, such as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Elmo, the Fraggles, Jen and Kira from The Dark Crystal, and many, many more. The restoration of this important collection is an ongoing collaboration between the Museum and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, with input from fine art conservators. The Museum is honored to be working with the designers and builders at the legendary Creature Shop to restore and preserve the puppets for future generations.

About the traveling exhibition

The Museum is excited to launch a traveling version of the exhibition, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, which will tour around the country and the world! The tour kicks off at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture on May 20, 2017. We are thrilled that the flagship and traveling versions of the exhibition will reach such a large, diverse audience.

About the screenings and public programs 

The Museum is already a busy hub of Henson-related activity and programming: we host monthly screenings of Henson’s work that draw a large, enthusiastic audience, and we have piloted an engaging slate of education and family programs related to the exhibition, which will serve school groups and families all year long.

Why Kickstarter? 

The lasting, universal appeal of Henson’s work is unprecedented. People of all ages continue to be delighted and inspired by Jim Henson’s stories and characters. We’re excited to use Kickstarter to connect with Henson fans around the world, and bring this global community together to support a permanent exhibition honoring his creative legacy.

What will your contributions support? 

The City of New York awarded the Museum a generous grant that has enabled us to build the gallery in which this important and inspiring exhibition will be housed. Construction of the gallery space is complete and plans for the exhibition have been finalized.

But we need your support to bring the rest of this incredible exhibition to life, in time for the 2017 school year. Your pledges will help us complete the important work of restoring the puppets in the Museum’s Henson Collection and fabricating and installing the display cases for the puppets and other artifacts. 

Your contributions will ensure that hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world will be inspired by the creative process behind Jim Henson’s work, and be able to get up close and personal with such beloved puppet characters as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Big Bird, the Fraggles, and many more.

Rewards

Video credits  

Video production by Slam! Media Group 

 Producer: Glen Hoffman 

 Camera: Peter Trilling, Stas Bilyavskiy 

 Audio: Evan Manners, Jordan Moser 

 Editing: Neil Miller, Thomas Dexter 

 Music: Elias

Special thanks to the estate of Jack L. Hiller for permission to use his photographs.

Risks and challenges

If our funding goal is not met, it is likely that The Jim Henson Exhibition will not open in summer 2017, which is our target date. Once we have the necessary funds in hand, there is nothing that stands in our way of bringing The Jim Henson Exhibition to life!

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    Acknowledgment

    Show your support as a fan of Jim Henson and the Museum of the Moving Image and we’ll proudly list your name on the exhibition website. You’ll also receive exclusive, behind-the-scenes updates from our team as we prepare to open the exhibition to the public.

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    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
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    Limited-edition MAST chocolate

    Jim Henson’s work is full of sweet moments, so it seemed fitting to create a limited-edition chocolate bar with Brooklyn-based chocolate makers Mast Brothers to celebrate the opening of The Jim Henson Exhibition.

    Includes:
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Admission to exhibition and a screening

    Visit The Jim Henson Exhibition when it opens to the public and attend a special screening of Henson’s film and television work at MoMI (a $30 value). We’ll also invite you to the opening reception!

    Includes:
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
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    Exhibition and screening admission for 2

    Visit The Jim Henson Exhibition when it opens to the public and attend a special screening of Henson’s film and television work at MoMI (tickets for two, a $60 value). We’ll also invite you to the opening reception!

    Includes:
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Four packs of Farscape in motion cards

    Only true Jim Henson fans know that The Jim Henson Company co-produced Farscape, a sci-fi television series that ran from 1999 to 2003. The Jim Henson Company was responsible for the various alien make-up designs and prostheses, and two regular characters (the animatronic puppets Rygel and Pilot) are Creature Shop creations. This reward includes four 4-packs of Farscape in motion lenticular cards (16 cards total). Some card packs include a “from the archives” costume card, a sound in motion audio card, or a hand-numbered archive collection cards.

    Includes:
    • Four 4-packs of Farscape in motion lenticular cards
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    One-year individual membership

    Receive a complimentary, one-year individual membership to MoMI and enjoy free Museum admission, one complimentary ticket to all film screenings ($12 value), a 25% discount on special screenings and events, and other exclusive offerings.

    Includes:
    • One-year individual membership to MoMI
    • Curator-led tour of The Jim Henson Exhibition
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    One-year premium Museum membership

    Receive a complimentary MoMI Kids Premium ($175 value) or Dual Film Lover membership ($150 value). MoMI Kids Premium membership perks include unlimited Museum admission for up to two adults and up to four children, advance ticket purchase privileges for family programs, discounts on Summer Media Camps, family workshops and children’s birthday parties at the Museum, unlimited complimentary tickets to all screenings, and more. Dual Film Lover membership perks include unlimited Museum admission for two, two complimentary ticket to all film screenings ($12 value), 25% discount on special screenings and events, and complimentary admission for two to Cinema Circle events and receptions, and more.

    Includes:
    • One-year MoMI membership of your choice
    • Curator-led tour of The Jim Henson Exhibition
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    It’s Not Easy Being Green

    Do not miss out on this rare opportunity to own a copy of It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider (by Jim Henson, published in 2005) ‒ signed by Cheryl Henson! And, you’ll receive a limited-edition The Jim Henson Exhibition t-shirt, along with other perks!

    Includes:
    • Signed copy of It's Not East Being Green
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • One t-shirt in the size of your choice
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Sealed box of Farscape trading cards

    Only true Jim Henson fans know that The Jim Henson Company co-produced Farscape, a sci-fi television series that ran from 1999 to 2003. The Jim Henson Company was responsible for the various alien make-up designs and prostheses, and two regular characters (the animatronic puppets Rygel and Pilot) are Creature Shop creations. This reward includes a sealed box of Farscape trading cards. Boxes will be selected on a first-backed, first-served basis.

    Available boxes:
    — Season 1 trading cards with one costume card “from the archives” and randomly inserted autograph cards
    — Season 2 trading cards with two costume cards and randomly inserted autograph cards
    — Season 4 trading cards with two autograph cards and one costume card

    Includes:
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Henson mega-fan Collector’s Items

    This collector’s items bundle includes a truly rare Jim Henson Special Edition Action Figure from Palisades Toys ‒ signed by Bonnie Erickson, designer/builder of the Jim Henson puppet on which the figure is based!

    Includes:
    • Jim Henson Special Edition Action Figure
    • One t-shirt in the size of your choice
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Build a "home" for a puppet!

    For the puppet that holds a special place in your heart, sponsor a pedestal that will be his or her home in The Jim Henson Exhibition! Choose which puppet you’d like to build a home for. Your name will be credited on the label of the puppet you are sponsoring. And you will receive a special invitation to the VIP opening reception and guided tour!

    Includes:
    • Exclusive naming rights to a Jim Henson puppet pedestal
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • Curator-led tour of The Jim Henson Exhibition
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Sponsor the restoration of a puppet!

    Help ensure that the puppets in the Museum’s collection will delight audiences for years to come! Your contribution will support the ongoing, crucial work of restoring and maintaining the puppets in the Museum’s collection: a collaborative process between the Museum’s staff and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. You can choose which puppet you’d like your contribution to support, and receive credit in the exhibition.

    Includes:
    • Credit for restoring a puppet of your choice
    • Curator-led tour of The Jim Henson Exhibition
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • An invitation for two to the VIP opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    JetBlue will fly you in!

    JetBlue will fly you in for the opening of The Jim Henson Exhibition. Two round-trip tickets on JetBlue. Limited to JetBlue domestic destinations only (www.jetblue.com/wherewejet). Vouchers not valid for JetBlue Mint.

    Includes:
    • Flights on JetBlue (see details above)
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • An invitation for two to the VIP opening reception
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • Curator-led tour of The Jim Henson Exhibition
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • One t-shirt in the size of your choice
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Tour Jim Henson's Creature Shop

    You and up to five friends will get an exclusive, unforgettable, behind-the-scenes tour of Jim Henson's Creature Shop in New York City with the Creature Shop designers and the Museum’s curator.

    Includes:
    • Private group tour of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop (date TBD)
    • One ticket to the exhibition
    • One ticket to a Jim Henson film screening
    • An invitation for two to the VIP opening reception
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
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    Set of three Jim Henson prints

    Own a limited-edition set of prints hand-replicated from Jim Henson’s striking 1957-59 silkscreen prints, entitled “Hilarity,” Melancholy,” and “Conceit.” Henson gave the originals to family and close friends, and very few survive.

    Each set, available in editions of 100, is numbered and embossed with the Jim Henson Archives seal, and will come in a portfolio with a personal letter from Brian Henson and documentation from Jim Henson archivist Karen Falk.

    The dimensions of the three pieces in the set are as follows:
    Hilarity: Image 7" x 15.2", Paper 13.1" x 21.4"
    Melancholy: Image 17” x 6.9”, Paper 23” x 13.1”
    Conceit: Image 14.3” x 9.2”, Paper 20.3” x 15.5”

    Includes:
    • Set of three Jim Henson prints
    • One-year individual or group membership
    • Private tour of the exhibition and Creature Shop
    • An invitation for two to the VIP opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Sponsor a puppet

    After years of entertaining audiences, many of our puppets are in need of a little TLC! Help the Museum preserve the puppets for generations to come by being the sole sponsor of a puppet's conservation: a collaborative process between the Museum’s staff and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Simply choose a puppet from the Museum’s collection to “adopt” and receive credit in the exhibition.

    Includes:
    • Credited on the label of the puppet you are sponsoring
    • One-year individual membership to MoMI
    • Private tour of the exhibition and Creature Shop
    • An invitation for two to the VIP opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Limited-edition exhibition t-shirt

    Wear this limited-edition The Jim Henson Exhibition t-shirt when you come visit the exhibition, or when you’re simply having a Henson-inspired day!

    Includes:
    • One t-shirt in the size of your choice
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
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    Signed copy of I Am Jim Henson

    Enjoy this New York Times bestselling picture book with your family for generations to come! Your copy will be signed by author and historian Brad Meltzer.

    Includes:
    • Signed copy of I Am Jim Henson
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
    • Invitation to the opening reception
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    Dog City cast and crew baseball hat

    This reward includes a Dog City (1992) cast and crew black baseball hat.

    Includes:
    • Dog City cast and crew baseball hat
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Limited-edition exhibition t-shirt

    Wear this limited-edition The Jim Henson Exhibition t-shirt when you come visit the exhibition, or when you’re simply having a Henson-inspired day!

    Includes:
    • One t-shirt in the size of your choice
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    The Muppets Character Encyclopedia

    The Muppets Character Encyclopedia is the definitive, whimsical guide to the Muppets, with entries on more than 150 characters, as well as locations and familiar elements from Muppet history. Author Craig Shemin, Trustee of the Jim Henson Legacy, will autograph the 200-page book, which features more than 600 full-color photographs from the Henson Archives.

    Includes:
    • A signed copy of The Muppets Character Encyclopedia
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Photo autographed by Dave Goelz

    Receive a personalized signed photo of Gonzo, Zoot, Boober, or Uncle Traveling Matt by legendary puppeteer Dave Goelz!

    Includes:
    • Personalized signed photo of character performed by Dave Goelz
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Muppet Quilt Notecards

    Send a little bit of the Muppets to friends and family with these out-of-print notecards. Each set has 16 cards and accompanying envelopes with photos of Muppet quilts.

    Includes:
    • One set of Muppet quilt notecards
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Kermit Collection Mugs- set of 2

    This set of Kermit collection mugs is sure to brighten up any morning cup of coffee!

    Includes:
    • Kermit Collection mugs - set of 2
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Muppet Monopoly game

    Bring the fun of the Muppets to your friends or family game night with this Muppet Monopoly game!

    Includes:
    • Muppet Monopoly game
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    One limited-edition t-shirt

    Wear this limited-edition The Jim Henson Exhibition t-shirt when you come visit the exhibition, or when you’re simply having a Henson-inspired day!

    Includes:
    • One t-shirt in the size of your choice
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Limited-edition exhibition tote

    Bring a little bit of Henson with you everywhere you go with this limited-edition The Jim Henson Exhibition tote!

    Includes:
    • The Jim Henson Exhibition limited-edition tote
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Vintage Sesame Street Christmas ornament

    This reward includes a single vintage Sesame Street Christmas ornament. Ornament selection will be decided on a first-backed first-served basis.
    Available ornaments:

    Herry Monster (1993)
    Sherlock Hemlock (1993)
    Barkley (1993)
    Elmo (1992)
    Zoe (1998)
    Bert (1992)

    Includes:
    • Vintage Sesame Street Christmas ornament
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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    Vintage Rowlf mug

    This reward includes a rare, ceramic Rowlf the Dog Mug from the Muppet Show. Made by Sigma Tastesetter in the 1980s and hand painted.

    Includes:
    • Vintage Rowlf mug
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Signed copy, Jim Henson: The Biography

    This reward includes a copy of Jim Henson: The Biography, signed by author Brian Jay Jones!

    Includes:
    • Signed copy of Jim Henson: The Biography
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Sesame Street 25th anniversary watch

    This reward includes a Sesame Street 25th anniversary watch in its original box.

    Includes:
    • Sesame Street 25th Anniversary watch
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Bert the plumber figurine

    If you are a Bert fan or love Sesame Street oddities, then this is the reward for you. Included is a 1993 Enesco figurine of Bert as a plumber, complete with wrenches and a plunger!

    Includes:
    • Bert as a plumber figurine
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    1979 Muppet Show die-cast toy car

    These Muppet Show die cast toy cars were made in 1979 by Corgi in Great Britain. One features Kermit waving from a yellow roadster and the other is Miss Piggy waving from a pink convertible. Both are not in their original packaging but in very good condition. Car selection will be based on a first-backed, first-served basis.

    Available die cast cars:
    -Kermit in a yellow roadster
    -Miss Piggy in a pink convertible

    Includes:
    • Die cast vintage toy car, out of packaging
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Farscape baseball cap and keychain

    Only true Jim Henson fans know that The Jim Henson Company co-produced Farscape, a sci-fi television series that ran from 1999 to 2003. The Jim Henson Company was responsible for the various alien make-up designs and prostheses, and two regular characters (the animatronic puppets Rygel and Pilot) are Creature Shop creations. This reward includes a Farscape baseball cap and keychain.

    Includes:
    • Farscape baseball cap and keychain
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    The Muppets Character Encyclopedia

    The Muppets Character Encyclopedia is the definitive, whimsical guide to the Muppets, with entries on more than 150 characters, as well as locations and familiar elements from Muppet history. Author Craig Shemin, Trustee of the Jim Henson Legacy, will autograph the 200-page book, which features more than 600 full-color photographs from the Henson Archives.

    Includes:
    • A signed copy of The Muppets Character Encyclopedia
    • One limited-edition Mast chocolate bar
    • Invitation to the opening reception
    • Exclusive behind-the-scenes updates
    • Your name on the Museum’s Website
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    Reward no longer available 25 backers