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Puppet, Wilkins, 1979

Puppet, Wontkins, 1981

Historical note
In 1957, Jim Henson made a series of eight-second commercials for the Washington, D.C.-based Wilkins Coffee Company, featuring Wilkins, an obliging, coffee-loving character, who often cheerfully blows up the obstinate Wontkins. The offbeat humor and the novelty of using puppets in television ads appealed to other companies, and the Wilkins and Wontkins puppets were used to sell more than a dozen other brands across the country.

Accession numbers


Artist(s) / maker(s)
Designed by Jim Henson, built by The Jim Henson Company.

The first Wilkins and Wontkins puppets were built by Jim Henson in 1957.

17.5 x 6 x 10.75 in.

11.25 x 7.25 x 8.25 in.

Fleece fabric, flocked self-adhesive vinyl, duvetyne, ink, and styrene

Donor credit
A gift from the family of Jim Henson

On view in The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited (traveling exhibition)

The cataloging and digitization of the Museum's collection is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York State Council on the Arts.