Even Robots Need Love: Folkmanis’ Robot Puppet

This robot puppet is about a foot and a half tall, and has a cute premise, with an attached story about its fictional creator, a boy named Jasper, that explains the little heart on its chest. Its construction is sturdy, although I do not know that the silvery material of which it is primarily made is something I’d describe as durable. On the other hand, a little wear may only add more charm to this robot. I found the appearance of the eyes, which squint out seemingly sideways a bit off-putting; it’s difficult to imagine how the robot would actually see anything through them. On the other hand, the jagged little trash-grinder teeth with which its mouth are lined adds a dark nuance to its overall appearance, so maybe the oddity is intentional. Upon testing, it did not scare my cat.

This is a cute puppet for the “hand-made and has an odd quirkiness” value of cute rather than a Sanrio brand cute. However, I found its operation took a little getting used to and frustrating in that I could choose to either operate the mouth or the arms. If my hands had been a bit smaller, I might have been able to use both, or conversely if I had very large hands, this would have been a bit easier. I was also a little disappointed that the claws at the end of the arms could not be opened and closed, but admittedly that would have added another layer of complexity to its use.

As noted, it’s a whimsically sweet creation, including that little heart on its chest, and an engaging expression, and would make a thoughtful but not particularly useful gift for either an adult or child who likes robots or puppets.

About Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches near a tiny creek in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the first two books of the Tabat Quartet, Beasts of Tabat and Hearts of Tabat. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Among her nonfiction works are a travel guide to Baltimore, a cookbook, highly opinionated essays, and the book Creating an Online Presence for Writers. She once won a hula contest judged by Neil Gaiman. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see here.