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We live in a modern world where electronic devices are taking over every single aspect of our lives at a languid pace.
This ongoing trend is also present in the means of entertainment of our kids. A tablet or a smartphone seems to be the favorite “toy” that most adults favor these days to keep them busy.
Today we are going to talk about an alternative that can help your kids expand their imaginations while they have fun.
We are going to discuss hand puppets and all the great things you can do with them. Our focus will be on Melissa & Doug Puppets, one of the most popular brands on the web.
You will learn in the next few lines everything you need to know about this brand as well as their most popular products.
What Are They All About?
Back in 1988 Melissa and Doug Bernstein were concerned about the decline of traditional educative toys in the market.
Especially with the rise of action-oriented toys based on TV shows.
This was their calling from the very beginning: to fill that void by offering toys based on traditional offerings that helped to develop the imagination of kids all over the world.
They followed the bylines and regulations that made it easier to promote toys using animation. They created three short films to back the sales of popular products such as wooden puzzles, microphones, and bell ring toys.
These days they Melissa and Doug are still behind the brand, with an offering of almost 5,000 educational toys.
They also have an assembly line that employs nearly 1,000 people and works both in the USA and China as well.
Their company is a well-positioned business worth $400 million and a pretty significant share of the market of educational toys.
Not bad for a couple of corporate employees that dared to dream of better alternatives for kids.
Melissa & Doug Puppets is often considered a powerful contender among the toys industry of the United States.
With the muscle to challenge heavy hitters such as Mattel and Hasbro while offering old-school, traditional offerings that still hold up well.
The brand has been featured in the New York Times as one of the fastest-growing toys companies in the USA.
They were also profiled by the Show Good Morning America where they had the chance to share concerns about the lack of imaginative toys and how they have it covered.
Melissa & Doug Most Popular Puppets
We already mentioned that the company handles a lot of educational toys, with a broad offering of products that we would love to cover right now. But your time, as well as ours, is limited.
We will focus the following reviews on the most popular Melissa and Doug hand puppets offered at their cyberstore in Amazon.com, mainly because these are their most popular products.
Let’s take a look at their listings. Feel free to click on them to go directly to the store and take a better look at them.
This is probably the most popular product sold by Melissa & Doug Puppets. The little chef puppet bears a full name, he’s called Alfredo “Al” Dente, but he’s commonly known to kids as “Noodles.” He can be a pal to any kid aged 3 or more.
Al is wearing the whole get-up of a chef puppet and comes with a special detachable wooden rod that can be placed in his right or left hand. That way, kids can help him mimic hand movement as they play and act with it.
Pros: entertaining to both kids and adults.
Cons: it can be difficult to handle by full-sized adults.
If you ever wanted to teach some sensitivity toward animals to your kid, this set of farm animal puppets is right up your alley. The line-up of Melissa and Doug farm puppets include a cow, a sheep a pig, and a horse.
All of these little fellas can be handled with a single-handily, so your kids can play with two at once if they want to. Their frame is lined with plush materials so they can hug them as much as they want without fear of getting them damaged.
They are easy to wash, and they are best suited for kids between three and six years old.
Pros: an easy fix on the hand of kids.
Cons: they don’t have a mouth like larger models
If you are a fan of fantasy worlds, you might want to share your passion with your kids. There is nothing better to get them introduced to the magical world of Dungeons and Dragons than using this friendly-looking Dragon Puppet.
Smoulder is entirely made of polyester, and like other full-sized puppets, he comes with a wooden rod that allows the kid playing with him to emulate hand movement and gestures. It can be placed on both hands and used at your convenience.
Pros: great design of a friendly dragon.
Cons: It can be difficult to manipulate due to its size.
Melissa & Doug are proud to offer one of the best licenses they managed to score to make puppets out of the Disney icons. Measuring 10 inches apiece, this family of puppets bears the likeness of some of the most famous faces of the magical kingdom.
Melissa and Doug Disney puppets bear the likenesses of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald Duck to offer your kids the chance to make their adventures with some of the most timeless characters in popular culture.
Lined with plush material, these puppets are meant to last for a long time no matter how much you play with them.
Pros: the best way to introduce Disney characters to a kid.
Cons: they are only meant for small kids
Following the same premise of Smoulder the Dragon, these palace pals are designed to introduce your kid to a whole new world of fantasies. Watch as he plays up his take on the royalty, the dragon, and the adventurer.
These four plush puppets are lined with the same quality materials that make most of Melissa and Doug puppet sets some of the most durable products for kids out there. They are also pretty easy to wash, so you don’t have to worry that much about this.
They are colorful and comfortable to wear one on each hand.
Pros: affordable fantasy pieces.
Cons: the role of the puppets could be a little more classic (king, hero, princess, and dragon).
Have you noticed if your kid loves to play the doctor way too often? This puppet right here is the perfect opportunity to help him reenact whatever scenarios he has on his head. Either by having the puppets assist your kid with her expertise or by any other idea in their heads.
Although the listing has her under as a surgeon puppet, our little fella here has an actual name. She is Dr. Susan Chartwell, and she is a full-time surgeon capable of saving anyone’s life. As it happens with most Melissa & Doug Puppets this one has a wooden rod to play hand gestures.
Designed for 2-6 years old.
Pros: great representation of an empowered feminine professional.
Cons: adults will have a difficult time fitting their hands on this puppet if they want to play with it.
One of the best things that can be achieved with puppets is the chance to allow shy kids to express their natural feelings. Especially at activities that could be of their liking. A lot of them can’t manage to gather the courage to express their love for these activities, and puppets are a great venue to channel them.
Megan Pompovich is another member of the extensive catalog of Melissa & Doug Puppets. She is specially tailored to express support as a cheerleader for the favorite team of your kid. This hand and rod puppet has a wide range of expression on her face and hands with minimal effort.
Pros: the neutral look of the puppet can be customized to support any sports team.
Cons: manipulating the pompons of the puppet can get a little tricky.
This is a hot item after the announcement of the new Little Mermaid movie. I know there are a lot of kids out there waiting to reenact this classic story on their terms.
This is another product in the long catalog of Melissa and Doug hand puppets.
This beautiful mermaid coming straight out of the workshop of Melissa and Doug is named Shelly Seashore.
She is a beautiful mermaid with a blue and purple tail as well as long gold-colored locks of hair. As other offerings of the company, she has a wide range of facial expressions.
You can also control her hand gestures using a detachable wooden rod that can be used either on her right or left hand.
Pros: features a full design of a mermaid including the tail.
Cons: It’s too small for adult hands.
If your kid is one with a very active imagination that loves to play roles in different professions, this puppets set is right up your alley. These Melissa and Doug puppet set offers four different models, each one with a separate line of work.
Your kid can play as a construction worker, a doctor, a police officer, or a firefighter. Unlike other modeled puppets these guys don’t have a name assigned to them so you can call them as you see fit.
Pros: great representation of diverse professions.
Cons: they are meant for children only and they have no mouthpieces to move.
In a time where first responders are getting a lot of attention from many media outlets, your kid will probably get a glimpse of these events. Even if they don’t, they are bound to have questions about two of the noblest professions in the world.
You can use these marvelous hand puppets as tools to explain to your kids the importance of the work done by firefighters and cops. You can also explain the reason why they are always the first ones in disaster zones.
Officer Cyrus” CY” Wren and Fire Chief Walter Blaze are ready to work their shifts. They can help your kid reenact or play any scenarios they have on their mind about the work done in these fields.
Pros: both puppets are instantly recognizable in their field of work.
Cons: they should come with additional accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is Melissa and Doug headquarters?
A: Melissa and Doug have their main headquarters located in Wilton, Connecticut, in the United States of America.
Q: Where can I buy their puppets?
A: The whole line of products offered by Melissa & Doug can be found in their web store, as well as any large retailer online and selected toy shops. They also have an Amazon store with all their listings at great prices.
Q: Where are their toys made?
A: Most of the assembly line of Melissa & Doug puppets is located in the United States of America. A little fraction of them is manufactured overseas.
Q: Who owns Melissa and Doug?
A: The Company is a family-owned business since it was created by Melissa and Doug Bernstein back in 1988.
We hope you have a clear idea about the products offered by Melissa & Doug Puppets. They are one of the best toy companies with traditional values found across the internet and their products are of top quality.
If you have any questions or suggestions, you may leave a comment below!