Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding the Right Stuffed Puppy

When I first started blogging about the stuffed toy puppet to marionette conversion, I was in love with the big-eyed toys put out by Russ.  They no longer make them and have not for a long time.
So I've taken to haunting Goodwill looking for any toys I could use instead. Luckily there are hundreds to choose from at Goodwills all over the city.  Next to Teddy Bears, plushy dogs are the most common stuffed toy available.
But how to choose?
Here is a picture of my finds for the workshop I'm giving at the Mini-Festival this Sunday:
Workshop Dogs Front 

 Nice looking doggies and except for the brown one...pretty brightly colored. Notice that they are all Miniature dog size...not Teacup. You are looking for a 15" to 18" dog. Two of them are Build a Bear dogs...perfect size! Most of them have five bean bags, one in each foot and one in the butt. This is great because I won't need to weight them. Now...for the most important feature... See the side view: 
Workshop Dogs Side 

Notice that each of these dogs have full-sized straight-down back legs. Many dog toys are made with the dog sitting or relaxed on its side--those styles will short you in the fabric you need for your marionette to walk. Also, be wary of the human-style standing-up-on-back-legs kind...Snoopy is often done like that. This type is better suited to stringing as you would a human.


Laura Huey said...

I rework plush animals into puppets, too! So cool to see someone else taking this "shortcut". I'm glad I found your blog :)

Allpro puppets said...

cute! amazing how you can stuff such little puppets with so many expressions and there is so much you can do with them in an act.
Great effort!