I first saw the Hugalopes on Kickstarter, and loved the idea! The kicker was over by the time I discovered them, so I had to stalk them until they were available. Since then, they’ve changed their name to Puppet Monsters. I loved the name Hugalopes, so I’m sad to see the name change. Puppet Monsters is rather generic and wasn’t as creative of a name.
Puppet Monsters was designed by Criz and Chazz out of Oakland California. They are modular toys that you can mix and match different parts, to make any number of different monsters. You can wear the monster on your head as a hat – with or without the arms attached. The hands have a little pocket on them for your finger, so you can make it a puppet that sits on your head. You can buy extra parts and then place them into the fabric cube that comes with your monster. The cube then goes inside the monster to make it more of a plush toy or pillow.
They have a video on YouTube that shows you how the Hugalope Attachment System works. In the Kickstarter video, it was mentioned that we would get toggle pieces so that we can make our own parts to put on our monsters. I absolutely loved this idea! As a toy maker myself, I looked forward to making my own custom parts. However, we didn’t see any on the website for purchase and we didn’t get any in the package. Hopefully, this is something they’ll offer later.
Speaking of extra parts… there are pieces in the YouTube/Kickstarter videos that are not on the website. We assume that they are planning to design more pieces in the future. Also, I really want to be able to purchase extra arms without buying another whole character. We already bought Mr. Mustache, Silly Dragon, Furry Octopus, and 3-Eyed Monster which came to a total of $68.70. We hope to see arms , and bodies without the extra parts, sold separately.
The Hugalopes from the videos had a pillow for the inside, but that was obviously changed to a fabric cube that you can put extra parts into. It’s a great idea; however, once I had all the parts in one bag, the other Hugalope didn’t have much for stuffing. There was a plastic piece inside the cube, but it didn’t look or feel good inside the Hugalope. I ended up stuffing it with some poly-fil stuffing. I hope they consider selling the pillows (like from the kickstarter video) as an extra piece.
In that same Kickstarter video, there was talk about packaging them in an egg. The packaging we received was a basic cardboard box and plastic. I wonder if they are still designing the egg or they are sticking with basic packaging?
Now, shipping was not very impressive. We made the order on October 13, 2012. The shipping arrived on December 18th (but since we moved we only just got them this weekend after forwarding). Not including the delays due to our move, it took two months and 1 week to get the delivery. The website says 10 – 15 days for shipping. They are based out of California (if you go by Kickstarter information), so why did it take so long to get the order?
We never received any email correspondence on the order at all – no conformation or notice on delays or back orders. We honestly thought that the order didn’t go through, so it was a surprise when we got a package 3 months later. I was super excited to have them!
My friends and I took them out into the world and played with them all day; including at work and at a restaurant for dinner. We mix and matched parts, made funny faces, posted silly photos to facebook, and had a lot of childish fun. I even named them with androgynous names so they could be boys or girls in whatever monster I made (the green one is Oogle and the orange one is Klar). All in all, we loved the product and plan to buy more parts to play with!