I have always been fond of puppets. They are plush toys and a show rolled into one. Every once in a while, I come across a plush puppet (or in this case, a pair of puppets) that is not only well-made but also exudes an air of character that practically tells a story before you even put your hand up its bottom.
Plush Names: Monkey Power Chiba Saru and Shao Lu puppets
Plush Maker: Hyperactive Monkey
Retail: US$30 each
Available at: Hyperactive Monkey's online shop
The first thing I noticed about the puppets of Chiba Saru (in the ninja get-up) and Shao Lu (with the red robe) was the bold colors used in the toys' designs. The two monkey warriors share the same orange hands and face with the remainder of the outfits being a complimentary yet unique palette.
The pair's faces are embroidered with button noses. I noticed that the eyebrows were made of a different, thicker fabric than that of the soft body. I really liked all the detail on the faces of these guys. You can even see the lining in the monkeys' ears!
The detail doesn't stop at the face. That's right; monkey butts! The butt-cheeks are actually embroidered on the puppets' backs with their tails springing out from just above them. And, the tails are something to talk about, too. They are firmly stuffed to give them that bouncy quality one would imagine a monkey's tail would have.
Now, I have experience with puppets whose inside bits are rough and generally difficult to manipulate. I am happy to report that the Monkey Power Puppets are entirely different, with a soft, smooth lining and openings for the arms and head that were large enough for adult hands and fingers to fit into without any problems. I slipped my hand in with ease and in no time had the two simians battling each other.
The hangtags are more than just an afterthought. They are 2 square inches in size and showcase some of Jerome Lu's colorful illustrations on one side, with a character bio on the other. The bios are humorous in tone and match perfectly with the cute depictions of the characters.
I honestly can't tell if these puppets are aimed at children or adults. I can see both age groups falling in love with them. The older set will appreciate the humor in their design and the quality of the toys. I also think kids will go for the characters and enjoy how easy they are to play with.
I completely recommend the Monkey Power Puppets if you are a plush or puppet lover. Even if you think you have grown out of puppets, give these two a shot. They may bring you back again. It's a good thing, trust me.
[A big thank-you to Jerome Lu of Hyperactive Monkey for providing us with these samples!]Photo Gallery: (16 images)
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