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Rob Klein Interview

This interview with Vice President of Creative Development at Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures, Rob Klein was conducted by Nathan Despenas on 1/10/23. Lots of exciting info on the whereabouts of LOTL props and also future plans from the Kroffts that are currently in development, such as a prop museum for fans and a streaming network for all things Krofft to be in one place, in the highest quality possible!

Thank you, Nate for persmission to post this at PopApostle!

 

--Clayton Barr

 



Q: What happened to Enik?

A: Enik was auctioned at the official Krofft auction in the late 90s, purchased, and has been restored since the sale, he looks great nowadays. However, only the bodysuit and mask were auctioned by Krofft. I know where Enik's original feet are, the ones on the original Enik suit now, are recreations made by my good friend Tom Spina.

Q: You said one of the three sleestak suits was never seen again after A-Team. Do you happen to know the specific episode of A-Team that features the sleestak?

A: Not off the top of my head but I have a picture somewhere.

I now have updated information since I posted that, it was in fact returned to Krofft after the episode and did suffer damage from use in the A-Team episode. I can't confirm if the mask was returned or not. It's my theory the suit was tossed after the A-Team use due to the damage as Krofft had only two suits when I saw the warehouse. There were only three suits made for the LOTL, and 1 Enik suit.

A fun note one original Sleestak mask was altered for use on Bigfoot and Wildboy, and that mask has not surfaced either. No original Sleestak heads are known to still exist, the ones on the two surviving original Sleestak suits I made. They are near perfect in appearance as I used Marty's original Sleestak Elder skull as a reference.

Q: Your Big Alice puppet is amazing. I am aware a private collector owns the Grumpy puppet, as Iíve seen it online. Do you know who this collector is/ have you ever seen the original Grumpy puppet for yourself?

A: I am proud to be the protector of the one and only Big Alice hand puppet. I am not one who likes to see pieces restored, and if they must go through a restoration process, it has to be done very carefully. Big Alice is missing a hand which I never repaired as her missing hand is part of her history.

Grumpy was auctioned by Krofft at the same official Krofft auction #1 where Enik was also offered, there were two official Krofft auctions by the way. Grumpy was very damaged and was repaired after he was sold, and I have seen a picture a while of him back after the restoration.

Q: Have you seen the episode of American Pickers where they go into Gene Warren's house and visit his kids, and show the original stop motion props for Grumpy, Emily, and Dopey? As well as the original mold used to cast Emily? This episode was released almost exactly 1 year ago, and Iím curious if there has been any change in the status of these legendary props currently sitting in the Warren Brotherís garage.

A: Yes, Marty and I met with one of Gene's sons. He came to our office on the old Republic/CBS studio lot. The place where Gilligan's Island was filmed along with where so much American classic television was filmed. He mentioned the episode to us in our meeting. I need to make a deal with them to either buy back or borrow the dinosaurs as Krofft has plans for a project where we want to display all the original artifacts that survive to share with the loyal Krofft fan base.

We still have a warehouse filled with Krofft treasures, though many of the puppets were long gone as the materials they were made out of rotted away years and years ago. Sid told me Sigmund fell apart in the late 70s. So many of the great Krofft assets were sold off in the auctions, like the costume worn by Charles Nelson Rielly as Hoodoo from Lidsville. But there still are a few mind-blowing pieces of Krofft history that are safe and sound in the Krofft warehouse.

Q: I am aware of a Krofft auction that took place some time in the past. How long ago was this and what objects sold? Also have there been any more auctions since the first one?

A: There was a second auction as I mentioned, we could do a separate get-together and we can discuss all that was offered and sold.

Q: You said you are in charge of the Kroffts' social media, does that mean it is you that commented "a historic day for Land of the Lost and Krofft. Details coming soon."

And

ďYes, you are correct!!!!Ē When asked if a new LOTL movie was being produced.

A: Yes, I am aware of that post.

My "yes correct" was answering the comment that was something like: LOTL needs to have heart and be like the original series etc... I should have answered, "I Agree." But if it captures one's imagination, so be it.

Well, I never said it was a LOTL movie or TV series but there is exciting stuff that we are working on with the property. Deanna Krofft Pope, Marty's oldest daughter, is the EVP at the company, she has had some Beware of Sleestak socks made, and she has a great eye. She is a Krofft after all. She used to live with Jack Wild when he was living at their house while Jack was making H.R. Pufnstuf.

Deanna and I commissioned new LOTL artwork from a Disney artist pal of mine that I got to know when I used to work at Disney. I was Manager, Collections and Preservation of their historic archive. This new LOTL art is so cool and we are developing a few new collectible pieces using this art.

Q: Can you tell me any more about this extremely exciting news? If it is still too secret however, I understand.

A: Yes, very under wraps at the moment, I can't say anything yet, but I can say there is a lot of Krofft entertainment in development. We will see a Krofft channel that will FINALLY get all the Krofft shows in one place to enjoy once again. It takes time because there is so much work that has to be done to do it right. I have had to find all the masters, review them and get them up to modern-day quality. It's expensive and time-consuming, but worth it.

Minds will be blown when they see what H.R. Pufnstuf looks like in 4k, scanned off the original 35mm master negs. Marty's assistant Bill Tracy who has been with Krofft for nearly 40 years and I had to locate all the 35mm negs and 35mm soundtrack and I am excited to say we located everything.

One thing I can say is that we are missing one master tape or yet to be located, and I would like to put the word out to everyone to please contact me if anyone has a copy of a Krofft preview special that features the Brady Kids walking through the Pufnstuf haunted forest. I found one clip and released it on the launch of the Krofft Archives website. But so far that is all I have located for this now officially "lost" Krofft Saturday Moring Preview Special.

Sid and Marty Krofft Pictures is a family-owned and run company. Other similar production companies have either sold out or disappeared all together. Sid and Marty knew them all: Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, etc... Sid and Marty are the last of their kind, they knew Walt Disney, and he gave them advice Marty reminds me of weekly. Walt told them to 'never sell anything that they created.' They still own everything they created, and that wasn't an easy thing to do in the cutthroat world of the entertainment industry. Sid and Marty are creative geniuses and it's an absolute privilege to be able to know them both and be able to see firsthand them in action.