Wednesday, September 13th, 2006
Top Ten Unusual Folkmanis Puppets
Who could possibly need a yak puppet? Teachers? Yak lovers? Kids in south central Asia? Folkmanis creates pricey, but high-quality puppets of every shape and size animal. Some make sense, some are cool and some are real head scratchers. All three types sell at independent toy stores in my town.
Update: Read the end of this article for an answer to the Yak question.
10) Skunkâ€”This stinker has a working mouth and tail to simulate "attack position." Too bad it’s not a squirt gun. Folkmanis would make millions selling scent refill cartridges.
9) Eating Whaleâ€”This puppet combo is intended for babies. Your kid wears a squid finger puppet. You come along with your baby beluga whale and eat your child’s finger.
8) Black Bear in Garbage Canâ€”Relive the excitement of camping at a national park.
7) Snailâ€”Use the workable horns and mouth to hunt down and eat snail poison in your garden. When I was a kid, my dad managed his garden by paying me 5 cents per snail murder. This puppet would be great for sneaking up on your intended victims.
6) Octopusâ€”How could you possibly play with an octopus puppet? I actually bought one at a garage sale and gave it to a marine biologist friend who just had a baby. Being a new parent, I’m sure he really thinks it will somehow come in handy.
5) Crocodile Hunter Postmortemâ€”Consider the availability of a cuddly alligator, a docile stingray and a human mother puppet who wears a naturalist’s outfit. See also: Stingray bath puppet. Oh, don’t flame me. Go read the Discovery Channel memorial web site for Steve Irwin. I liked him too. (There is a human father puppet, but he is a chef or firefighter.)
3) Mini Piranhaâ€”If you ignore the teeth on this finger puppet, it’s still one damned ugly fish. Where do you play with this thing? In the swimming pool?
2) Phoenixâ€”A mythical bird kills itself with burning cinnamon twigs and is then reborn, rising out of its own ashes. But it’s a pretty bird, so it is a fun toy for kids. That’s assuming an orange bird with long stringy hair shooting out its chest counts as pretty.
1) Scallopâ€”This bivalve mollusk is just a clam to you and me, but your child will enjoy manipulating its moveable eye stalks. I guess.
Update: Kevin Brown e-mailed me with the following yak confession. If you are a yak lover too, e-mail me and I’ll connect the two of you so that your kids can swap yak stories.
Who could possibly need a yak puppet? I could, that’s who. Believe it or not, my two-year old loves yaks. In Toronto, where we live, one of the major parks, High Park, has a small zoo that features various critters, including several yaks. She loves to see them and talk about them.
Unlikely as it may seem, I scoured the Internet for yak-related gift items when her second birthday rolled around. And I settled on … the Folkmanis yak puppet. It’s actually pretty cute and she likes it a lot.
I’m not sold on the skunk, but it’s good to know there’s a source for toys of obscure animals out there. Anyhow, the post still made me laugh — even if it made me feel like a freak…
I should stop posing questions I think can’t be answered
because they always get answered. I suppose yaks aren’t that strange. My daughter has a thing for panda bears.