Monday, March 31, 2014

Doll-A-Day 90: Kermit the Frog by Palisades

  As I said yesterday, the girls and I went to see The Muppets Most Wanted on Saturday night.While I didn't think it was quite as funny, or quite as accurate to the old Muppets as the last movie, it was still good. I would recommend it for all ages. The Muppets have always been for everybody, and that's still true.The humour works on different levels for different ages.
  The voices, now done mostly by performers new to the characters, were better than ever this time.(During the last Muppet movie Fozzie seemed to frequently forget which voice to use.) I also liked that the movie relied less on human lead actors, allowing The Muppets to be the stars of their own movie again. (The tendency to believe comic characters can't carry a movie on their own brings to mind the unnecessary romantic leads in Marx Brothers movies, or the later,non-Hal Roach Laurel and Hardy movies. They're not needed, and not really what you came to see.)The human lead characters in the last movie actually worked well, but then, they weren't exactly like regular people anyway. (He really was a "Muppet of a man"!)
  One of only two 'complaints', (If you can call them that.), that I had with Muppets Most Wanted was that during Miss Piggy's big solo number, she was repeatedly  'bested' by Celine Dion. Miss Piggy would never have stood for that! (Hey Celine! Can you say "HIIII YAH!") Also, I was expecting Miss Piggy to whack herself in the chest Celine Dion style, and it never happened. My other 'complaint' was that new character Walter took over some of the lines and action that would normally have gone to Gonzo or Scooter. Walter is ok, and I don't dislike him. But he's just there. He's not funny. I know kids who were introduced to the Muppets with the last movie will think of Walter as a lead character, but really, I don't think he has it in him.(What he has 'in him' is an arm, but you know what I mean.)
  There were still plenty of references to past Muppet adventures and habits, so lots of inside jokes for us old Muppet fans. Younger kids may not be familiar with the older Muppets shows and movies, but if yours aren't, GET BUSY! Get those kids watching some Muppet stuff! You might find you enjoy it as much (or more!) than they do!   
  It may seem old fashioned to use actual Muppets instead of CGI these days, but I think it's still better to have 'real' Muppets. Star Wars started using a CGI Yoda instead of an actual puppet, and you can tell. It's just not the same. Sure, he can do a lot more stuff, and move better, but he looks like an animation.Real Muppets look like real Muppets.There's still something to be said for living, walking, talking TOYS. It's still cool!
  Today's doll is a 'real' Muppet. It's the 25 Years of The Muppet Show Kermit action figure by Palisades.

Technically, this Kermit is an action figure.Kermit is about 4 and 1/2" tall. He came with his 'Kermit' coffee mug, a Muppet Show TV camera, and a Muppet Show base.

He has limited poseability. His head turns,his left arm can move more than his right (you may not know this, but if you watch you'll see that all Muppets are left handed. This has something to do with how it looks to the muppeteer in performance.), and his right leg moves.He can stand on his own though, even if somewhat precariously.
I HAD to include this picture. If you read this blog at all, you'll know that I always have trouble with what I have come to call "the one hair". That one hair that's always out of place.I should have been safe with Kermit, right? He has no hair! But after I took this I noticed that at the base of the camera: the one hair! It's mine!

The accuracy to each character in the Palisades toys was great. (They even textured the figures to look like the felt or fur of the particular Muppet, rather than just making them of smooth plastic.) To someone who isn't a Muppet fan, it may seem that it wouldn't be difficult to make the toys look like the real Muppets. It's harder than you think though.There's real personality in those felt and furry faces.
Kermit's collar is a soft rubber.

They also had loads of really cool little accessories. Kermit has the TV Camera, Beauregard came with a great mop bucket,(The kind where you pull the handle to squeeze the mop.), Scooter with a popcorn cart,etc.

I started collecting Muppets when I was a kid. I bought the Bert and Oscar Sesame Street puppets, (They must have been out of Ernie.) with my birthday money one year, when I was far too old for Sesame Street.(Is anybody ever completely too old for Sesame Street though? I enjoyed watching it with my kids!You have to love the old Grover and Bert and Ernie sketches!)I also amassed quite a collection of little rubber Sesame Street finger puppets when I was even older. I still have all of them. Emma played with the finger puppets quite a lot when she was tiny, and started a collection of her own.I always say I had to have all three of my kids so I had somebody to enjoy all of my interests with me. Fuzzy was my partner for Johnny Quest, dinosaurs,pirates, and knights. Ivy was my Shirley Temple kid. Emma was always my Muppets kid, and she still is. (She spent most of the winter wearing her Kermit hat, until she  got her Regular Show hat.)
  I also have one somewhat embarrassing but funny Muppet story which I'll relate someday...
   And yes, I eat my cereal out of my Kermit bowl every morning!

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