Technology and Toys amaze us on two different levels. On one hand, we are greatly impressed with a toy like the Hot Wheels Video racer – a normal sized hot wheels car that has a video camera, mic, LCD screen, battery and USB jack somehow shoved into it. On the other hand, it is equally impressive that Folkmanis Puppets, a toy that lacks any form of technology and just has a hand shoved into it – can still be incredibly fun for kids today.
New Folkmanis Puppets for 2011, Same Great Fun
At Toy Fair 2011 we saw our share of toys that made us scratch our head and say, “How Does It Do That?“ There is always a “Wow factor” when seeing new technology in toys, but Wow does not always equal fun. When we saw the line of new Folkmanis Puppets, and the FolkMonsters, we couldn’t help but smile, laugh and think of all the ways our kids would play with these puppets.
We finally got our hands on some on the new Folkmanis Puppets, including the new Folk Monsters – and immediately felt like Jim Henson.
Here is our video showing some of the new Folkmanis Puppets -
Fine, we may not have the best puppeteering skills, but we sure had fun!
Folkmanis Puppets Are Fun. Period.
We have always been fans of Folkmanis puppets (they have been making puppets since 1976) and the 20 new puppets they have released for 2011 did not disappoint. The puppets are soft, cute, well made and most importantly, just seem to come to life with a few movements of your hand.
I dare you to pick up Blimey the Pirate and not say “Argh, Matey“. It only took a few minutes with the Eastern Chipmunk and my 7 year old was sure he was alive.
While Blimey, the Chipmunk and Chimpanzee are great fun – I fell in love with Twickety and Blueper – the new FolkMonsters.
FolkMonsters Prove That Two Hands are Better Than One
As the video shows, the FolkMonsters are larger puppets (16″ tall) that can be controlled with two hands. With Blueper you can reach his large arm out and huge your kids – or do the monster high five. Twickety can flap his large wings – and play peek-a-boo with the kids. Simply put, the Folk Monsters are incredibly well done and guaranteed to put a smile on any childs face.
Think You Could Make a Better Puppet? Give It A Try
Want a one of kind Folkmanis Puppet? Make one with the new Folkmanis Puppet Kits. There are three kits available (bunny, frog and cat) that come with a plush body and cut and glue fabric puppet parts. In addition, you get a stage scene that your child can color in and use in his/her own puppet show.
At a later date we will do a full hands-on review of the Folkmanis puppet kit and report back on how it turns out. Given my artistic ability, my bunny will probably look more demented than cute!
Folkmanis Puppets, The Right Tool To Make Fun
There is an old saying that “you need the right tool for the right job“. If your “job” is to have some fun with the kids and put a smile on their face, the 2011 Folkmanis puppets are the right tools for that job. Yes, you still need to make voices and come up with the stories, but it is hard not to be funny when holding a Folkmanis puppet on your hand.
Conclusion: Folkmanis and FolkMonster Puppets
The 2011 line of Folkmanis puppets has something for everyone. If you love animals, they have you covered. Prefer a pirate – no problem. Like the idea of a cute Monster, bring on the FolkMonsters. Folkmanis puppets require no batteries and there is no manual to read, all you need to do is put your hand in the puppet and start having fun. Once you see your kids talking and laughing directly with the puppets, you will understand the magic of Folkmanis puppets.
The 2011 Folkmanis Puppet Line Gets 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
Any Product That Receives 4 or 5 D’s is Dad Does Approved!
Here is our complete rating chart -
Learn More At Folkmanis Puppets
Folkmanis Puppets sell for about $20 and up.
FULL DISCLOSURE: We received Folkmanis Puppets to review. We received no money for doing this review and receive nothing if you do decide to buy any Folkmanis Puppets. If you do buy the Chimpanzee puppet, watch out – he doesn’t believe he is a puppet. This is a real review, by a real Dad (and his kids)!
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