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Folkmanis® Puppets Celebrates 40 Years of Fun
Specialty puppet creators debut wildly creative new designs

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the induction of the "puppet" into the National Toy Hall of Fame, Folkmanis® Puppets launches its 40th year with extraordinary new designs to an increasingly expansive menagerie, marking four successful decades of puppet innovation that has catapulted the boutique brand to premier status in the toy industry. Preview the new collection and play with the entire award-winning line at all major gift and toy shows this season.  Find Folkmanis in booth #2735 at Toy Fair 2016 in New York at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center February 13-16.

"For forty years we have taken great pride in providing classic, evergreen toys that are a mainstay in toy collections around the globe," says Elaine Kollias, Marketing Director. "We endeavor to keep pushing the boundaries in plush puppets as we uncover new sources for inspiration."

Low-tech mechanisms and creative ingenuity enhance the newest Folkmanis designs: Blazing the way is a creature of mythic proportions, the formidable Black Dragon with draw-string animation which expands an impressive wingspan! Elaborately detailed with hypnotic eyes, serpentine skin and reptilian accents, this legendary creature comes to life with movement in the mouth, forked tongue and arms. Pull the cord at the base of the tail to spread the wings and give flight to your fantastic imagination! Ages 3+. MSRP $69.99

A magnificent mollusk, the Giant Clam puppet is a deep sea diver's dream come true! Inside the lovely and textural shell, behold the bounty of the sea. With four fingers, operate the clam shell and eyes to uncover a rare pearl tucked away safely inside. This extraordinary puppet is the most fun you'll ever have with shellfish! Ages 3+. MSRP 23.99

Reminiscent of vintage cartoon magpies, the whimsical Yellow Beaked Crow puppet will evoke feelings of nostalgia. A wonderful performance piece, this rare bird has two handed movement to animate the mouth as well as both wings! Enjoy hours of interactive fun with this puppet that will have your friends crowing with raucous laughter! Ages 3+. MSRP $33.99

Hop to it and get your hands in the Sniffing Rabbit puppet! The newest cuddle bunny in the burrow is adorably soft with tan and cream colored plush and movement in the mouth and forelegs. Additionally, sniff out the pocket inside the nose for extra twitching fun. Ages 3+. MSRP $27.99

Bring the joy wherever you go! With soft plush the color of sunshine, the Mini Duckling finger puppet chirps happily with a little shake. Entertain the little ones for hours with this darling ducky! Ages 3+. MSRP $9.99

Experience the beauty of life and the magic of metamorphosis with the Monarch Life Cycle puppet. A wonderful teaching tool with extraordinary design, this unique toy changes from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult monarch butterfly. Utilize the zippers to tuck and reveal one stage to the next and watch life unfold before your eyes! Once the transformation is complete, insert your hands into the monarch wings to cause a flutter with your friends. Ages 3+. MSRP $39.99

Folkmanis combines heirloom quality and timeless design with the new Brown Bear Cub puppet. This cuddly North American creature comes to life with movable head and mouth. With impressive size and weighted paws to add to the realism, delight your friends with bear hugs and kisses from your plump puppet friend.  Ages 3+. MSRP $69.99

New to the pride and bounding with playful energy is the African Lion Cub puppet.  Soulful eyes and big ears highlight a sweet expressive face that comes to life magically with your imagination. Whether pretending to roam the savanna or hiding in the bush, you'll have an uproariously fun time with this big cat baby! Ages 3+. MSRP $43.99

Bird lovers will go crazy over the Loon puppet! This North American aquatic bird has soft, black and white plumage with movable head and wings. Give your imagination flight as you pretend to soar and swim with your new fine feathered friend.  Ages 3+. MSRP 29.99

Mysterious and exotic, the Slow Loris is an undeniably adorable creature with large, soulful eyes and a shy nature. Animate the mouth, arms and hands of this puppet to tell the story of these extraordinary animals. Ages 3+. MSRP $37.99

A playful pooch whose raison d'être is to be adored, the French Bulldog puppet is the epitome of cuteness! Distinctively featured with bat shaped ears and wrinkly face, you'll carry this canine companion everywhere and fool your friends with your newly well-trained lapdog.  Ages 3+. MSRP $29.99

Experimenting with the thought of getting a new pet? The Guinea Pig puppet is the best starter pet ever! Also known as a cavi, this furry friend has movable mouth and legs. Happiest when cage-free and cradled in your hands, share the puppet antics with your animal loving pals. Ages 3+. MSRP $28.99

The Mini Opossum finger puppet is the perfect size for on-the-go fun. Fool your friends with this cute, little critter. Ages 3+. MSRP $10.99

Toy trends come and go, but one thing remains true about traditional play: the best toys are those that actively engage a child mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. Play that is imaginative and unstructured, open-ended and versatile, care-free and fun, not only empowers children through their developmental stages but also creates long-lasting memories.

Folkmanis believes imagination is the key to a healthy childhood, encouraging play and discovery to develop the skills necessary in life. The company has been making the most innovative and engaging specialty puppets in the world since 1976, delighting imaginations and winning nearly every industry, child development, and kid-tested award – many repeatedly. The induction of the "puppet" into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2015 demonstrates the leadership of Folkmanis in puppet innovation as the brand that transformed this ancient art form into a modern plaything.  Folkmanis® Puppets are prominently featured as the gold standard for the category in the Strong Museum of Play that houses the NTHF winners in Rochester, NY.

Folkmanis® Puppets are available at specialty toy and gift stores, including: science/nature museums, zoo and aquarium gift shops, thousands of independent toy and gift stores, and specialty retailers nationwide and in more than 15 countries around the world. See all Folkmanis® Puppets online at