In the late 1960s Judy Folkmanis began creating puppets at home out of patterns she discovered in a women’s magazine and selling them to parents of her sons’ preschool classmates. Parents sought out Judy’s homemade puppets because they desired toys that provided endless hours of fun and had infinite play value for their children. The demand for Judy’s handmade creations grew over the early years until she and Ph.D. husband Atis decided to make her stay-at-home-mom hobby into a business in 1976.
Today, millions of Folkmanis puppets are sold around the world and on the internet for the same reason – down-home good play value for kids of all ages. As the United States inducts a new president and enters a new era of hope, families will be spending more time at home and getting back to traditional values. Playing, reading, and laughing together with good, old-fashioned toys – such as Folkmanis Puppets – will enhance those precious moments.
“Spending time with your children is a tradition that will never change,” says Judy Folkmanis. “Folkmanis puppets are heartwarming and delightful whether it’s a quiet evening at home by the fire, a family outing to a local zoo, or playing make-believe in the backyard. Puppets are fun and portable, soft and cuddly. They are cherished friends that will stay with a child for years.”
“The raccoon is a family heirloom. I always remember playing with it growing up,” says Margie DiGeorgio of Antioch, California, mother of seven-year-old Khayla. “I keep it because it brings back memories of time with my family I can share with my daughter.”
“Everyday we get phone calls and receive emails from people about how they grew up with a Folkmanis puppet and how they are thrilled to be able to have their favorite toy for their own children,” says Elaine Kollias, Folkmanis marketing director.
It is easy to see why Folkmanis has become the most award-winning specialty puppet maker in the world. The quality of the menagerie of puppets is tremendously high. For years, Folkmanis has safety-tested their puppets according to the more-stringent European standards. Folkmanis puppets are amazingly detailed enhancing their play value by teaching children about nature. Each puppet comes with a customized hangtag with facts and/or a fun traditional fable or story. The company was bringing attention to the wonders of the environment long before it was “in.” It has teamed up with organizations including Sierra Club and GLOBIO, and even Folkmanis’ headquarters are “green” as it is 100-percent solar-powered.
These snuggly versions of favorite pets and wildlife are all designed to be used as fun puppets and cuddly stuffed toys, presenting an endless amount of play value. Folkmanis puppets are timeless, just like family values.