Probably the most unique construction feature of this puppet is the mouth which is built with a sliding up and down design, allowing it to be used on a flat surface. No strings. Just a knob on the back side. The knob is mounted directly to the moving piece which is moved up and down manually. The entire face surface and mouth unit is made of lightweight (yet durable) 1/8" foam core board.
1) Turning head
2) Open and close Beak
3) Winking eye
4) Blinking eye
5) Flapping wings
6) Wiggling feet
7) Squirts water from beak!
If it didn't take so much time and hand work, I'd be tempted to hatch out a few more! Sold first through Maher Studios, and then by my brother-in-law, Jay Yoder, through his business, Redoy Puppets.
This plastic skull was actually designed to be used in a serious manner in the science classroom. And probably (in my opinion) too realistic to be used as a puppet for entertainment if you work with kids. But the owner wanted a vent figure to be used with his walk around act at Renaissance fairs, and it that setting, quite appropriate.
Taking a $5.95 (on sale) Fall yard decoration and turning it into a ventriloquist figure with head on post, lever controlled mouth, and hollow body had its unique challenges. The biggest I believe, was installing a mouth in the head which was made of a chuck of styrofoam. But when it was completed, you couldn't beat the price!
This was a left over Halloween clearance item. An animated singing, twisting wolf-man. I purchased him, I removed the head, opened it and removed the mechanics. Then I installed a head post, added side to side moving eyes, built a body (using the original hands), crossed my fingers and offered it for sale. Hoping I could find a buyer. Much to my pleasant surprise, I soon had a list of people wanting to purchase a wolf-man vent figure! So I hurried to the outlet store to see if I could purchase more to rebuild, but - no luck. Sold out. So he ended up "one-of-a-kind"!
Installing an effective moving mouth into a Christmas Tree was a bit of a creative challenge. But I found a method in which I was quite pleased. Several were sold and it is still one of my favorite holiday novelty puppets.
The Styrofoam skull is on a head post with a trigger to control the moving mouth. The cape is a net from another cheap yard decoration being closed out by Wal-Mart. I purchase items after the holidays and save them for puppet-building the following year (or as it often works out - the following years).
Finding a child's 3 -pc. garden set in Wal-Mart (rake, shovel and hoe), I decided they'd make a great set of classroom instruction puppets, especially on the subject of being helpful., eliminating the "weeds" from lives and actions. I sold several of each the rake and shovel puppets. But the Mr. Hoe ended being one of a kind because of an unexpected problem. It seems a couple folk misunderstood "Hoe" for "'Ho" (and there's a huge difference!). So