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Into The Woods: Folkmanis Hand Puppets

Wanna Talk Turkey? You can with this Folkmanis hand puppet.

Wanna Talk Turkey? You can with this Folkmanis hand puppet.


This past weekend CBS2 Sunday Morning News in New York featured Toy Insider Mom and Founder Laurie Schacht’s presentation of playthings of note for the 2014 holiday season. To keep Black Friday commandoes fore-warned and fore-armed with information Laurie spotlighted a cross-section of goodies from the electronic and ergonomic to the eco-friendly and economic.

Along with the ubiquitous singing Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen there were fun entries from Crayola, Dora The Explora, the new Flick-n-Stick Bungees game, Paw Patrol, the Nintendo Amiibo toy-based video game and the Kurio Xtreme Tablet especially curated for kids. I was especially happy to see she included some examples from one of my favorite toy producers Folkmanis Puppets.
Lend A Hand…
Puppets are a wonderful method to give the young entertainer in your house a voice for their imagination. Think of them as non-digital avatars. From behind the theater curtains, or more likely the living room couch, your kids can stage any number of creative scenarios.

Just a small sampling of the menagerie of friendly faced Folkmanis puppets.

Just a small sampling of the menagerie of friendly faced Folkmanis puppets.


Folkmanis has an expansive line of puppets that range from finger to dual hand styles with hyper-realistic to fantastic designs. The baby owl puppet featured on the CBS segment reminded me of how much fun it was to peruse the beautiful Folkmanis display booth at Toy Fair with its cornucopia of engaging creatures peering out from every nook and knothole in their fantasy forest setting. I’m always tempting to bring a sleeping bag and just move in. Take a peak at the images below and I think you’ll agree.

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Out on a Limb: Kotobukiya’s Sci-Fi Sidekicks @ Toy Fair 2014

Kotobukiya's Marvelous Depiction of Galaxy Guardians Rocket Raccoon and Groot @ NY Toy Fair 2014

Kotobukiya’s Marvelous Depiction of Galaxy Guardians Rocket Raccoon and Groot @ NY Toy Fair 2014

Ya Gotta Have Friends…
Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy trailer premiered on February 18th, which seems to have lifted the embargo on companies at The 111th Annual American International Toy Fair in New York City showing advances of their film related product. So it was a nice surprise to return to the Kotobukiya company’s booth on the final day at NY Toy Fair to see them previewing this wonderful Rocket Raccoon and Groot figurine prototype.
Guardian Groot in his early Marvel Comics Days.

Guardian Groot in his early Marvel Comics Days.



Rocket is clearly equipped “to shoot off the legs of his rival” as was his near namesake from The Beatles’ White Album. Limb limbed Groot goes all the way back to the Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Don Heck monster stories of Marvel’s Tales To Astonish, and as the trailer notes has been “traveling as the raccoon’s personal houseplant/muscle.”

Oowee Little Chewy, Don’t Know What You’re Doing to Me…
Kotobukiya also displayed the unpainted prototype for their Han Solo and Chewbaca statue as part of their ArtFX Star Wars line. This representation of the iconic partners is slated for November 2014 release.

Kotobukiya's Han Solo and Chewbacca ArtFX statue @ New York Toy Fair 2014.

Kotobukiya’s Han Solo and Chewbacca ArtFX statue @ New York Toy Fair 2014.


SkeletonPete Says…
I’ll be posting many more photos of Kotobukiya’s beautiful product line in the coming weeks.

The company’s roots in the international Toy Industry reach back to its first retail store in Japan in 1947. They moved into manufacturing original model kits in 1983 and produced their first licensed kit, King Godzilla, in 1985. Since then the company has expanded to include collector quality figures for Star Wars, Marvel and DC comics, as well as many anime and game themed kits and statues.