Kip Rathke (Philip Kevin Rathke) is a puppet, toy and graphic designer who began his career gluing feathers on Big Bird for Kermit Love. He later spent several years with 3/Design Studio, working on Eureeka's Castle (building Moat Twins; designing the Halloween special's monster) and the Howie Mandel film Little Monsters. Freelance projects included Kyle and on The Puzzle Place. Returning to the Muppets, he created puppets and props for Sesame Street, built the original Bear head and Treelo for Bear in the Big Blue House, and the controversial Spa'am for Muppet Treasure Island. He also contributed project designs to The Muppets Big Book of Crafts. Kip won a 96/97 Daytime Emmy Award as part of the Henson team on Elmo Saves Christmas (special).
Additionally, he has created graphic materials, set pieces and merchandise for the New York-based theater company, Circus Amok and a line of greeting cards for the legendary foam-haired diva, Orangeena.
He is currently Creative Director at Sesame Workshop overseeing the design of all Sesame Street licensed toys and themed entertainment. Among these: Palisades' Super Grover Action Figure, Fisher-Price/Mattel's historic line and the ongoing Hasbro line, including TOTY Award-winner Big Hugs Elmo. Excited to be working with Funko on our Sesame Street Pop! Vinyl figures.
In the theme park world, he helped develop Cookie's Monster Land at Sesame Place, Sesame's Forest of Fun and Safari of Fun at Busch Gardens, and Sesame attractions at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore's new Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase.
- The Muppets Take Manhattan: Puppeteer Extra (Droop and the Flower-Eating Monster) at Kermit and Piggy's wedding
- The Secret Life of Toys: Puppet Designer/Builder (Mummy, Young Balthazar, Fish)
- Muppet Treasure Island: Puppet Designer/Builder of Spa'am and the two other wild boars on the poster (including the one that became Howard Tubman)
- Muppets Tonight: Puppet Designer/Builder
- The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: Puppet Designer/Builder of the Cat in the Hat, others; also sculpted character maquettes for product licensing
- Sesame Street: Puppet Designer/Builder
- Elmo Saves Christmas (special): Puppet Designer/Builder
- Bear in the Big Blue House: Workshop Supervisor, Puppet Designer/Builder of Bear's head, Treelo, Grandma Flutter and others
- Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase at Universal Studios Singapore: Creative Director for Sesame Workshop, design for Macaroni the Merciless