It would almost seem that no collector is immune to the draw of puppets, as I’m the third writer here to express an affinity. My own attraction probably comes from some kind of genetic disposition towards giving inanimate things personalities while sticking your hand up their nethers.
The inherent awesomeness of puppets was instilled in me at a young age, and one of the first puppets that I ever had was a finger puppet. It was a yellow rabbit, crocheted by a volunteer at a hospital, and it was given to me as I emerged from getting a dozen or so stitches in my forehead after a fall. One might think that the very sight of finger puppets would cause me to clutch my head and fall to my knees after that, but the effect was just the opposite. Later, I would terrorize one of my girlfriends with a California Raisins ‘Fingertronic’ puppet and a creepy soul brotha’ voice. My, that Raisin was amorous.
Just this past summer, I was innately attracted to an alligator marionette at a street fair in Stone Harbor, NJ. I didn’t know why, but it was just one of those things that I was meant to have for no particular reason.
Well, it was this past weekend that I found the best finger puppets ever, and I found them at a Dollar Tree in New York. My dollar store toy collection is another blog entry entirely, but once again, I discovered that I had no choice but to purchase a handful and make them talk to my niece in the car on the way home.
The puppets, distributed by Greenbrier International (which owns the Dollar Tree chain), cover a small range of fairy tale stories – Little Red Riding Hood, The Wizard of Oz, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. But wait… if you really wanted to tell the whole, deliciously uncensored tale of The Emperor and his New Clothes, wouldn’t you need… a naked Emperor?
Yes, you would. And yes, you do. Thankfully, the Emperor’s nude frame isn’t very detailed, and curiously, there’s no alternative, clothed Emperor to tell the tale with, but a little finger puppet of a naked guy wearing nothing but a crown and a slightly concerned (and somewhat proud) expression was enough to win me over. That probably sounds exceptionally creepy, and I can assure you that this does not translate into any real-life situations.
Needless to say, they exude more than their dollar’s worth of personality, and there’ll come a time when the puppet melee will take over my small town, or at least a small corner of YouTube.
In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to make my Samus Aran vs. the Metroid finger puppet set, and Dwight Shrute would already be having tiny battles of willpower against a tiny Jim Halpert. The Cloverfield monster could be a perfect arm-sized, in-scale terror. Namor could abscond with the lovely Invisible Woman into the safe Atlantis in the palm of your hand. Clearly, the medium of fingerpuppets is being severely underexplored.
Grab a few and entertain your friends. Or at least yourself. Or at least me. I’ll giggle like a schoolgirl for you.