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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars137
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on July 7, 2010
We've now had Smoulder as a part of our family for almost six months, and we could not be more delighted. He was a gift for my three year old daughter, but everyone who comes over (including Mom and Dad) ends up picking him up. He is constructed of a very soft green plush and is very comfortable and cuddly, but what really makes him spectacular are his iridescent wings and stomach, which I did not expect. He really looks terrific, and unlike some of our other career-oriented puppets (police officer, doctor), it is impossible to tell a mundane story about him. I love to see my daughter's creativity sparked by such an engaging toy. It might be important to note that although he is a dragon, he is the least frightening dragon available. My daughter is a bit of a scaredy-cat, but she was never remotely alarmed by Smoulder's appearance, which is friendly and comical. The mouth is simple enough that she can work it, although she does prefer for others to "make him talk" while she orchestrates the story. I expect that will change as she gets older and her hands develop strength. He does include the stick to move one of his hands. It is attached by velcro and makes Smoulder much more expressive, but he has taken quite a bit of abuse in that area (being carried around by the stick, sometimes using the stick to flick him around and make him "fly") and the glue that holds the velcro to the wooden stick is beginning to come loose. I don't think it will be difficult to re-glue when it finally comes off, however. Overall, he is well constructed, beautifully designed, and a fantastic source of imaginative fun for the whole family. Many thanks to Melissa and Doug for providing so many quality toys to encourage creativity!

Update: We've now had Smoulder for about a year and my daughter still loves him. She always introduces him to younger children who she thinks might fear him by saying, "Smoulder is a NICE dragon" while petting him. She's getting better (and more confident) about "making him talk" herself so she can play more independently with Smoulder. She even takes him to friends' houses and to the mall. The only caveat to poor Smoulder is his dowel didn't hold up to my daughter's rough play and it snapped at the handle. I had to remove the dowel for this reason because the edges were jagged and dangerous after it broke. I don't know how she did it (it happened while she was playing in her room) but I might imagine it could break if it was shoved very hard into the toy box (her puppets are not supposed to go in the toy box but I have found them in there) or if it was stepped on. It would be nice if Melissa and Doug sold replacement dowel rods so we could still move his hands as that is one of the things that makes him so cute. Also, if your child is potentially rough with his or her toys, careful with the rods - they are sharp when they break!
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on April 11, 2012
We often do Facetime over the Internet with our daughter and granddaughter (age 3). It has always been fun, with her running off to grab something else to show us or us showing her our own things (which she can't possible consider important).

Then we got this puppet. We were chatting with each other when I slowly slipped the dragon up from behind my wife and onto her shoulder. The granddarling stopped mid sentence and stared. "What's that?!!" "That's an aligator!"

"No," we said, "it's Smokey, our new dragon." In all our conversations with her, we have never seen her laugh so hard or as often as when "Smokey" intrudes into the conversation. Sometimes he moves right up to the camera and talks one-on-one, blocking us out. Sometimes he goes away until the granddarling asks for him. And sometimes he rises slowly until only his big, bulging eyes are visible at the bottom of their screen. He never fails to tickle.

We have moved into an age where we can sit back and have high resolution conversations with our grandchildren half a world away. For the very young ones, having such a wonderful visual entermediatary makes for amazing conversations.

I'm here looking for a companion for Smokey.
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on June 12, 2012
I've purchased, I think, eight or nine of these puppets for my autistic son, plus their kit for making his own puppet. For the first two or three that we received I truly had the thought, "Man, we must have gotten lucky and the person making this one was having a good day!" but have now come to see that every puppet is is made on a good day.

They look really cool, are the perfect size, are made really well. I'm one of those people that believes that you get what you pay for so am still a little queasy when paying so little, but in this case you just simply get much more than you pay for. I swear that that's true.

I think it's important to try and put honest pros and cons in the reviews, but despite trying really hard I can't come up with any cons. They are packaged well, shipped quickly, beautiful, high quality products...man, I can't really find anything to criticize.

I feel really good every time I give them my money and I can't imagine ordering from another company that might compete with Melissa and Doug's on anything comparable.

(Edit: Any time I read such a one sided review I assume that it was probably written by someone from the company selling the product. I'm not associated with this company in any way beyond being a happy customer. Honest.)

Dwayne
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on September 24, 2010
I have two very spirited boys and they love their dragon puppet! Easy for small hands to manipulate. The felt is easy to wipe clean and the stitching is strong and holds up to rough play. The stick to direct the arm is interchangable (left or right handed) and can be completely removed. I have young children so the stick has been put up till they are older. I am confident that we will enjoy many years of fun with Smoulder. I will also be purchasing another puppet so that both boys will have a dragon. Great way to encourage pretend play and imagination! Love it!
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on January 14, 2015
This puppet is so very cute. My husband is an amateur photographer and he does photo shoots with kids. Sometimes its hard to get the kids to sit still and focus on the camera. I bought this so that I can stand behind my husband and wave it around giving the kids something fun and interesting to look at.

I was very impressed with the quality. When he is not in use at a photo shoot he hangs out in my sewing room with me. I occasionally like to play around and put on a mini puppet show for my husband and daughter, just to make them laugh and drive them nuts. Ha.
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on July 23, 2015
Seriously, how can you go wrong with Melissa & Doug. I bought a Melissa & Doug Puppet Theatre for my Grandkids, and so of course, I had to buy the puppets too! I bought the Princess, the Knight, the King, Cheerleader, Mermaid, Dragon, and the Pirate. Wow, have we had fun! Great quality! Great costumes! Great prices!
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on August 12, 2013
Iam a student photographer and purchased a BUNCH of these Puppets Made "By Melissa & Doug", They are Great Quality Puppet's and will be Great to Get Kids to SMILE for My CAMERA!!! I look forward to using these and Really Had FUN Playing with them when I took them Out Of Their Moving(Shipping) BOX,lol. I called the Company "Melissa & Doug", (info on the Tag attached to Puppet) for a small problem on another Puppet & their Customer service staff was really Friendly and wanted to make things right. I was a buyer for Relax the Back Stores & Other Retail, Did Merchandising and was in Upper Management and the customer service rep was happy to take down my feedback on all of the Puppets I received. This Company goes Above & Beyond to make sure their customers are HAPPY, In Todays world this is RARE SO I give the "Melissa & Doug" Company an A+ on Customer Service & an A on Quality Control. I hope this Helps you in your decision. Thanks. Gerard
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on January 13, 2015
I got this, along with three other Melissa & Doug puppets (and the puppet theater) for my niece's kids aged 4 and 6. They LOVE it; it was obviously one of their favorite gifts this Christmas. The puppets are quite spectacular, more detailed than I had expected. Definitely a kid-pleaser!
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on February 29, 2016
My daughter wanted a "real" puppet for Christmas, so i got her this one. She really loves it and the quality is actually very good!
The stick is a little difficult to take out to put on the other hand (which is probably a good thing) but other than that, very nicely done!
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on April 2, 2015
I purchased this puppet for my nephew for Christmas. It is one of the cutest puppets I have ever seen! Well made, bright color and just really cute and easy for him to use. He loves it and so do we!
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