Before I started making my own puppets I went to the local store and bought a few of the smaller kid-sized hand and rod puppets from Melissa & Doug. They were neat and since they were only like $15-20 a piece it gave me a little time to think about what I was getting myself into before jumping into my first custom made puppet. A week later I’m on the internet looking for puppets. Still no creation of my own has been done and I really just wanted something a little larger scale and more adult usable to see if I really was going to get into and learn this craft. After a little research I found a company called Silly Puppets and they had exactly what I wanted; a full sized puppet with removable legs. The home puppet market was still pretty thin (this was 2006 when I bought him) so I ordered the old man from Silly Puppets they called Pops in the 30″ variety, basically their top of the line puppet they consider/sell as semi-professional.
Maybe a week later Pops arrives. Great quality for the $70 or so I spent at the time (it’s been a while don’t quote me exactly but you can get him cheaper here on Amazon in the $50 range now since being discontinued). They had a few color choices including: Peach, Orange, Black, and Hispanic. I wanted something a little more fantasy and went with the Orange version. He has a seamless face, individual fingers, nylon lycra lining, sewn elbows, a lightweight foam covered construction, and a mouth plate that is easy to manipulate. He also came with one detachable arm rod.
My opinion on Silly Puppets
If you have zero plans on building your own puppets this is a pretty solid brand to go with. The clothing he came with is a little sub-par but you can go to the local kids department at any discount clothing store and for 5-10 bucks dress him up in anything you can find. I have bought clearance shirts and jackets for him since so give Pops a better look. The fingers are not posable. This is a detail thing and honestly on a $70 puppet I am not complaining. It’s just a feature I love since it gives them the ability to grip objects easier. I gladly would have paid an up-charge for posable hands.
Lower half snaps on really easy and was done with good quality snaps so you should never have an issue connecting the legs quickly. Especially great if you have a mixed show where characters are both behind a stage (half body) and then maybe travel out from behind the stage (full body) to interact with the audience.
Final Grade – A+
For $70 you can’t go wrong. Silly Puppets being on Amazon now in the $50’s with shipping bringing them just around $60 is a fantastic deal. Make sure they come with the removable legs. The arm rods if not there are easy enough to replace or make on your own, but the legs you will likely never find if you buy somewhere like eBay where it may be used or incomplete. The Amazon link I provided above will serve you well and you get the benefits of dealing with Amazon.
To build something just as good as this with the screen printed tongue, well made eyes, good quality hair and mustache fur, etc. would cost you a bundle more than you are spending. Not to mention you would need the tools and skills to build them! Pops is awesome for anyone looking for a realistic-type of puppet. I liked him so much, I bought a second a week later!
Give Silly Puppets a try for your next online puppet purchase.