EAST VILLAGE — A children's performer is offering a $300 reward for a blue puppet he lost in the East Village last week.
Tim Kubart, 29, believes he accidentally dropped Nestor, a baseball-cap-wearing alien, while carrying the puppet in a blue plastic bag on Avenue B between East Eighth and Ninth streets about 5 p.m. on Aug. 6.
Kubart, who lives in Greenpoint, was house-sitting for a friend in the East Village when he lost his beloved puppet, which he uses when he performs with his kids' band Tim and the Space Cadets.
"I do feel like I have a relationship with the puppet because I am the one controlling him," Kubart said. "I have spoken with him so many times and I feel like he has a personality and now that is gone."
Kubart has been papering the East Village with fliers offering a $300 reward to whoever returns Nestor, "no questions asked."
The felt puppet led dances and recalled memories from his alien childhood for the Tim and Space Cadets performances, said Kubart, who has performed at Brooklyn Bowl and Symphony Space in New York City, as well as Lollapalooza in Chicago.
The character of Nestor — which Kubart described as "a bit hyperactive, but [with] a huge heart"— has existed for 10 years, but the puppet that was lost was only a year old.
"The new puppet was made especially for us," Kubart said. "It took about two weeks to make and it cost me $1,500."
Frankie Cordero, who has been a puppeteer on Sesame Street commercials and Comedy Central, made the most recent Nestor, a process that involved illustrators drawing markups for how the puppet needed to look.
Kubart believes he dropped the puppet as he moved his performance equipment into his friend's East Village apartment last week.
"I realized it about five to 10 minutes after and came back out and he was gone," Kubart said.
Kubart said it didn't occur to him to report the missing puppet to police.
He initially posted fliers offering a $100 reward, but he bumped it up to $300 a few days later.
"I think if you have him, you see the sign, you would want the $300," he said.
The posters were first reported by the website EV Grieve.
No one has responded with tips about Nestor, but Kubart has received some emailed words of encouragement, he said. Others have tweeted photos of the fliers, adding the hashtag #bringnestorhome.
"Some people are making fun of it, which is understandable," Kubart said. "How often do you see a poster for a lost puppet?"
Kubart is still hopeful of Nestor's return, though he worries some well-meaning super might have seen the bag as trash and sent Nestor to the landfill.
He is already saving to have a new Nestor created, which he hopes will happen in about four weeks.
"If he is taken and not given back," he said, "I hope he is at least making a kid happy."
Those with information on the lost puppet can email firstname.lastname@example.org.