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Twinkle Toes Ostrich

December 23 2008 at 4:59 AM

Lou Hilario 
from IP address

I am planning to get the Ostrich puppet for my new shows in 2009. It is very attractive and visible on a stage. I want to do a magic trick with it.

Do any of you own one of these? And how do you use it in your shows?

I asked Steve if the fantastic Blinking Eyes were available and he said not yet. I hope they will be soon.


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Ribbons The Clown

Wilma has one

December 23 2008, 7:25 AM 

My friend Wilma Swartz has one. I was thinking of getting one at tax time but I think I am gona get the bear. I have been thinking about getting the bear for 2 years. I am still thinking about the ostrich too, though haven't eliminated it yet. Contact me and I 'll give you her e-mail.
Ribbons the clown

Ribbons the clown
Robin Bremer


Steve Axtell

Blinking Eyes

December 23 2008, 12:15 PM 

The Ostrich has been out for a while and there are hundreds of them performing in shows all over the world, but the blinking eyelids have been a bit of a secret while we develop them. We made the first prototype for a performer in Vegas and are working on the production model now. When I approve the final sample, we will list the price. Meanwhile here is the video...

This message has been edited by axtell from IP address on Dec 23, 2008 12:17 PM

Terry Wild

Our Twinkle Toes Ostrich

December 23 2008, 12:32 PM 

We have a brand "newie" and haven't used him yet in a show. We had ideas for him before he arrived, but when we saw him and operated him all our ideas have been revised! He is much better than we thought he would be, comfortable to work and there is no doubt he will be the feature our shows. We like his cheeky happy face! He is crafted with the usual Axtell attention to detail in lots of small ways. It's good to know Axtell's products are made and tested by experienced vents who know what we want and need.
best always,
Terry Wild


Lou Hilario

Always the First

December 23 2008, 2:47 PM 

Steve, please notify me as soon as you have the Blinking Eyes available. Will it be soon?

You know me, I am always one of the first to order any new Axtell product from your ancient Magic Drawing Board, Old Storyteller, etc. to the high tech Hands Free Puppets.

I also want to know if this is operated by the puppet hand at the same time or with the other free hand which also operates the flapping wing movements. Is it cable or finger operated? They are sooooo beatiful and realistic!


Steve Axtell


December 23 2008, 6:06 PM 

Thanks for your loyalty Lou! The first one we made with servos. We are experimenting with cables now. In any event the control hand is the one holding the wings not the one in the head.



Lou Hilario

Left or Right Controls

December 30 2008, 6:07 AM 

I was wondering why it is needed to specify when ordering whether the puppet hand should be either left or right. Can this not be used on either hand? Or could the flapping controls be re-adjusted?

I am about to order this soon.

Tony Borders


December 30 2008, 9:12 AM 

The Ostrich should come with a warning.

WARNING: Axtell products will draw a crowd whenever used. Use with caution as complete strangers are likely to come up and begin talking to you through the product. Research has shown that strangers also lose normal inhibitions and are likely to laugh at you as well.




December 30 2008, 9:05 PM 

The ostrich looks great...


Steve Axtell

Left Right

December 30 2008, 9:13 PM 

Here is a drawing of the hand control for the ostrich. It is offset to one side or the other, so you can stand to one side. If it were centered you would have to stand directly behind it, and even then it would be very awkward.

[linked image]

It may be a month or so before we start offering the animated eyelids with a production version ready to go. Ron is still working on it.


Lou Hilario

Blinkers Estimated Cost

December 31 2008, 6:20 AM 

Any idea on the estimated cost of the blinkers? I assume that it will be using 2 cables to operate each eye separately. Or only one cable to operate both at the same time?
Can I have a peek at it please?



Lou Hilario

My Ostrich is Here!

February 9 2009, 10:49 PM 

Finally, my Twinkle Toes Ostrich arrived yesterday (after 3 weeks of waiting for it).

This thing is HUGE. I never thought it would be that big. The idea of the legs with hinges is brilliant. It helps to keep the puppet on its feet and bend perfectly. It also helps in minimizing the weight of this puppet. Before getting this, I thought the legs were just made of stuffed material. I guess I need to go back to my dumbell excercises so I can practise longer.

The beauty of this puppet is more appreciated the farther you are from it. You can see the whole body and it is in between realistic and cartoon. This also goes with the fur which is well chosen and perfect for it. This puppet is well thought out, well computed and purely genius. I really wonder where Steve gets his ideas. This guy must have an alien guiding him.

I had specifically ordered that the eyes on my Ostrich be brown instead of the usual green eyes and I am happy I did. Ostriches in my area have brown eyes.

I feel "bigtime" using this compared to the standard sized puppets. It's so visual on stage. I showed it the kids outside my house and they were magnetized to it. They just kept on staring at it but they would not go near because I said it might bite. I could imagine the same would go with it in my shows. I think this Ostrich will even grab more attention than my Animatronic Chimp due to its size and uniqueness.

I think I can use a giant balloon instead of the beach ball provided. This would help to keep the weight even lower. Also faster to inflate. But it won't last long as compared to the beachball.

Now I will need to search for the ideal slip on slippers to attach to the claws, just like Terry mentioned.

I am planning to attach a pair of long false eyelashes to the eyelids. I am still thinking what material to use. Black fishing line nylon or something thicker than that?

Also, I am deciding whether I can use a cloth drawstring bag or a case for it. Steve said the hinges are metal and are strong enough.

There are so many things you could do with this Ostrich. The big space in the belly itself opens a wide door for ideas.

I just love this puppet and it is well worth it. Steve, you should sell this at a much higher price.

More later.


This message has been edited by louhilario from IP address on Feb 9, 2009 11:16 PM


Great prop

February 10 2009, 3:49 AM 


The Ostrich is a wonderful prop.

Mine is called Ozzy and you can see him with his owner here

He comes out & leaves to music, is always wanting a balloon, goes ballistic with the change bag because he thinks its his food bag and does a magic trick with a special message to finsh.

Hoping to get another made so I look as if I am riding on him.

Idea is to let Ozzy do his show first then later I come out riding on him around the room/venue.



Steve Axtell


February 10 2009, 10:26 AM 

Sounds like great ideas folks! One issue with the riding one is that the legs will have to be very fat to allow your legs to go down into them. Would you change both ostriches to match, or just ignore the difference?



Lou Hilario

Fat Legs

February 10 2009, 3:31 PM 

The legs could be made to look the same if the "fat" parts are shaded well with an airbrush. I don't think the audience will notice the difference if you are just performing this for a short time. Walk arounds is a different story.
Is there a plan to include this as an option?


Re: Twinkle Toes Ostrich

February 11 2009, 3:17 AM 


I am looking at using leggings on the puppet and a matching pair on my legs.

This is easily explained as it is colder here than back home.

Also trying to find a show maker that can make a pair of shoes same as the feet.




February 11 2009, 8:35 AM 

Steve...I also want one happy.gif


Tony Borders

Note to Fuzzy

February 11 2009, 10:05 AM 

Dear Mr. Fuzzy:

I clicked on your website link. I really enjoyed the way the testimonials popped out. I plan to change my site to do something similar. Right now my testimonials are rather hidden.

However, I quote the following from your site:

"Mr Fuzzy was very
flexible with the
surroundings and entertainment. Would defiantly recommend
him to brighten up your event"
Joe Ballard (Key Theatre)

You may wish to change the word "defiantly" to definitely. LOL


Re: Twinkle Toes Ostrich

February 11 2009, 11:29 AM 

Thanks for pointing that out Tony.


Wilma Swartz

Sandy Twinkletoes

February 11 2009, 1:37 PM 

I'm the person that my friend, Ribbons The Clown, told you about that I have the ostrich. Sandy Twinkletoes is one of the most requested characters I have and she always leads the show in a way that most figures don't. When we're announced, Sandy and I come through the audience saying "HI!" to everyone and stopping occassionally to cool down someone that looks hot by flapping Sandy's wings. Once up front Sandy does our version of the warmup by getting everyone on their feet to dance "The Ostrich Dance". Other dances for different times of the year and whether religious or not are: The Mister Six Dance (The old man in the Great Adventure ads), The Holy Bible, YMCA, The Hora, The Mummers' Strut and the Zorba The Greek Dance. Sandy even came through the audience once playing a saxophone with real sax music coming from it which gave me a challenge but it fooled everyone. The strangest thing is that she gets honorary gifts from organizations for her dancing and I get nothing and I taught her to dance. People are so surprised when the show starts because they have no clue what's going to happen. They think a puppet will pop up from behind the stage but when she walks through the auditorium doors with me, mouths drop. One thing you should be aware if you purchase an ostrich. Occassionally her belly needs to have more air. You can't blow it up yourself no matter how much of a windbag you are. I use my car's tire inflator with the adaptor. However you could cause an automobile accident when you inflate her. I open my hatchback and have Sandy lean into the car while her feet are firmly on the ground behind the car. The tire inflator hose runs between her legs to keep her standing and up into her back while I keep unloading the car for the show. People driving by seeing a hose stuck up the ostrich stares and there has been some very near misses with the car in front. I'd love to hear them explain that to their insurance company.

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