Friday, March 15, 2013


The Puppet Gift Shop

The Great Arizona Puppet theater has the best puppet retail outlet in Phoenix. From marionettes to hand puppets and just about everything in between, we are sure you will find a puppet to delight a child (or a child at heart) of any age. We also have videos, puppetry journals, books, and how-to guides. The gift shop is open for all performances and by appointment. Please check us out when you come to the theater, or call (602) 262-2050 to set up a time to visit on your own.

We Proudly Stock Product From These Vendors and MORE:

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild

About The Unemployed Philosophers Guild:They came into being in the last decades of the 20th century, when two brothers found their inner creativity in the midst of a dwindling academic job market. It turned out that fulfilling gift-giving needs proved to be almost as satisfying as probing eternal questions. (maybe not quite) Although they still contemplate truth and justice, it is their enduring goal to fulfill the materialistic desires of the funny and sophisticated everywhere!


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.
Picture of puppet
Picture of puppet
Picture of puppet
Picture of puppet
Picture of puppet


Sunny & Company can trace it's modest beginnings in 1993 to a flea market booth in Orlando, Florida where owner Eddie Zhu designed and marketed a furry wrap-around puppet called "Cool Cat." Today, still located in Orlando, Florida, Sunny & Company Toys, Inc. is a world-wide distributor of deluxe puppets and plush animal toys.
Picture of puppet

Wednesday, August 1, 2012



Animatronics Mailing List - a mailing list devoted to animatronics

Audio-Animatronics - The following two articles are just a small portion of the 100-page article "A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow: Walt Disney and World's Fairs". From Persistance of Vision - The Historical Journal Devoted to Preserving The Creative Legacy of Walt Disney

Beginner's information on how to animate a Halloween skeleton - This project details how to built an animantronic using a common (around Halloween) skeleton, Hobbie Servos and and a Servo Controller Chip

The Character Shop - The Character Shop is an award-winning special effects company that excels in animatronics, makeup effects, puppets, and robotics.

Student Club Realistic Effects, Animatronics and Makeup - SCREAM - Dedicated to helping people interested in special effects...

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

The Karakuri or Japanese Mechanical Puppets - images and explaniation of Japanese clockwork puppets

Julie S. Porter, Automata - Included is a translation of a short sequence from the work Le monde des automates, with origional french text and a modern mecanical doll, constructed with lessons leaned from the Jaquet-Droz.

Bunraku (one of the traditional theatrical arts in Japan using puppets)
A Brief Introduction to the History of Bunraku by Matthew Johnson

Kabuki for Everyone - videos, music, information about make-up, history and more

National Bunraku Theater, Osaka - Located on the cradle of Bunraku, the national theater of Bunraku forms a comprehensive complex of related facilities including the main theater, training institution and archives for historiographical materials.
Whitman College Sheehan Gallery Bunraku exhibition - selected images from The Doll Theater Bunraku Puppets in the Whitman College Collections - a catalog is also available for purchase

Tonda Traditional Japanese Bunraku - Information on college credit university summer programs for training in Japanese puppets, as well as language and culture.

Computer Animation & Motion Capture

Ascension Technology Corporation - Ascension Technology Corporation makes magnetic, optical, inertial and hybrid motion-tracking devices for 3D computer graphics interaction, animation and medical imaging.

Animation World Network - is the largest animation-related publishing group on the Internet.

CGI Wayang Kulit - Wayang Kulit is traditional Indonsian shadow play, particularly popular in Java and Bali.

Creating Interactive 3D actors

Kinetic Impulse - Motion Capture - Tonbridge, Kent, England - Motion capture consultants and developer of PECS Tools Suite.

Motion Analysis - 3-D Motion Capture for Performance Animation and Biomechanics

Pixar Animation Studios - is an Academy Award®-winning computer animation studio.

Point Happy Interactive - 3D Worlds, Animation, Web Graphics

Protozoa - animation, visual effects & title design

Puppetology: Science or Cult? - by Brad deGraf and Emre Yilmaz

QuantumWorks - using 3D game engine technology for non-gaming applications

Real-time Computer Animation from The Truly Dangerous Company - two folks who have a hard time saying what they do for a living.

SimGraphics - animates virtual characters from the motion-captured performance of a human actor in real-time.

Polhemus - real-time 3D motion capture

Vicon Peak - offers an integrated solution for both digital optical and video-based motion tracking.

The Virtual Theater Project - studies the creation of intelligent, automated characters that can act either in well-defined stories or in improvisational environments.

Giant Puppets 
The Puppeteers' Cooperative - List of people who are interested in making giant puppets, pageants, and parades.

Wise Fool Handbook - a 100 page booklet with instructions on making masks, building giant puppets, walking on stilts and more! 

Object Manipulation

Wikipedia Search on Marionette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Movie Creature FX

Rod Puppets

Shadow Puppetry


Stop Motion 

Toy Theater


Video Puppets

Vintage Puppets
Thanks to ANDREA for putting together this list of vintage puppet sites.
Gasoline Alley Puppets: vintage hand puppets for those who wish to purchase or use as reference
Gasoline Alley Marionettes selection of vintage Marionettes, with great variety of name brands represented.
Steiff Price Database : enter "PUPPET" in search engine

Thursday, July 19, 2012



    • 1
      Use a pencil to draw the puppet pattern onto a piece of stiff paper or light- to medium-weight cardboard. Draw and redraw as often as needed to get the desired shape.
    • 2
      Draw the head and the neck, then make arm shapes that stretch outward. The arms can be angled upward, downward or drawn at a 90-degree angle to the body.
    • 3
      Make sure that the distance between the underarm points of the pattern is narrow enough to allow the wearer to insert a thumb into one arm and the little finger into the other. Position the head so that the wearer's other fingers will be able to extend into the head portion of the puppet.
    • 4
      Draw a straight line on each side of the shape that extends from the underarm to the desired length. The total length of the puppet should be no longer than the distance from the wearer's fingertips to his or her elbow.
    • 5
      Add 1/2 inch to the completed puppet outline for a seam allowance, and cut out the pattern along the outline.
    • 6
      Place the pattern onto the wrong side of the fabric, and pin it into place if necessary. Cut around the outline of the pattern piece. Unpin the pattern and cut out a second piece of fabric as you did the first.
    • 7
      Do any machine stitching of features or surface decoration before the puppet pieces are stitched together. Just make sure that any decoration is placed so that it will not be caught in the seam of the puppet (unless you've planned it that way).
    • 8
      Use glued or sewn-on felt and/or fabric cutouts to create the puppet's features. Other items such as buttons, beads, ribbon, yarn and embroidery stitching can also be used to create features and decorate the puppet's surface.
    • 9
      Position the two fabric pieces so that the right sides are together and all edges line up evenly.
    • 10
      Stitch the pieces together along all edges except the bottom edge. Clip, notch and trim the seams as needed.
    • 11
      Turn the puppet right side out. You may need to use the eraser end of a pencil to push out any pointed ear portions of the puppet.
    • 12
      Turn the bottom edge under 1/2 inch and stitch into place.