Hand Puppets Amherst MA

Local resource for hand puppets in Amherst, MA. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to paper hand puppets, character hand puppets, animal hand puppets, glove puppets, sock puppets, rod puppets, finger puppets, and many more.

Hoot Toot 'N Whistle Hobbies
(413) 585-8668
49 Russell Street
Hadley, MA
(508) 832-0807
284 Southbridge St
Auburn, MA
AR Hobby
(781) 519-0286
24 Riverside Avenue
Medford, MA
Hobby Fever
(978) 667-1600
279 Boston Road Unit 1
Billerica, MA
Scale Model Products
(508) 779-5056
63 Hudson Road Post Office Box 72
Bolton, MA
Pioneer Valley Hobbies
(413) 732-5531
54 Myron Street
Springfield, MA
New England Toy & Hobby Hdqtrs
(508) 999-2094
106 State Rd
North Dartmouth, MA
Hobbytown Hanover
(781) 826-5279
Hanover Mall
Hanover, MA
Ed's Boxcar
(508) 822-6563
611 Center Street
Raynham, MA
Hobby World
(413) 743-7223
171 Grove St.
Adams, MA

Puppet Power: Raise Your Hand�Preferably With A Puppet On It

Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 18:42

Yes, I am a sucker for sock puppets, shadow puppets, rod puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist dummies (oooh, I hate that term, very politically incorrect). I adore seeing an object that has been whittled or stitched, painted and varnished, morph into a miniature person with a large, dominating personality.

I first fell for puppets when I saw the film “Lili,” starring Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. It tells the tale of a lost, waiflike girl, portrayed by Caron, who wanders onto a carnival fairgrounds. She is desperate and despondent, and she finds herself brought back to life by her interactionlesliecaroncarrottop with a puppeteer, but, more important, it is actually the puppets that she is captivated by. She becomes besotted with Carrot Top (who bears an uncanny resemblance to CSI’s David Caruso), Reynardo the fox, Golo the Giant, and Marguerite the ballerina. Unable to deal with reality and real-life problems, Lili grows up and becomes a well-adjusted adult due to the nurturing of this motley crew of puppets. She, in turn, helps their puppeteer (a bitter but extremely handsome wounded war veteran) learn to love and trust again. Sappy? Yes. Beautiful and haunting and able to turn a second grader’s head? You betcha!

After this initial introduction to the world of stagecraft, I clamored for puppets of my own, and my obliging parents . . . well, they obliged. I played with bumblebee hand puppets, monkey marionettes, canines and felines, and people representing all ages, genders and costumes. I was a little Shari Lewissharilewisandlambchop in training, and in solidarity with her “Lambchop” puppet, I stopped eating the traditional Easter lamb dishes. (Yes, puppetry was the advent of my becoming politicized as well. More on that later.)

One of the greatest breakthroughs in puppeteering was the broadcasting of Jim Henson and his marvelous Muppets. Initially a local TV performer, Henson and his talents exploded globally throughout the late 1960s, 1970s, into the 1980s. His most famous creations, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, launched feature films, records, TV specials, books, dolls, and, of course, puppets.

A couple weeks back, Henson’s family donated the original Kermit the Frog puppet to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. The capital city, known for its relentless pursuit of greenbacks and empty promises to go more “green,” gave the green amphibian a hero’s welcome. Back in 1955 in Washington, that little frog figure made his TV debut on a local program called “Sam and Friends.” The endeavor ran until 1961, and many of the characters that cavorted on the show became forerunners for “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show.” This old-time crew is now part of our national archive.


I was delighted to read this because I used to live in Washington, DC—some of my happiest memories revolve around that crazy town. And I was fortunate to be a resident there when a slew of pupp...

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