Difference between Puppet, Doll and Toy

Key Difference: A puppet is basically a movable model of a person or animal. The actions of the puppet are generally controlled by strings or hands. A doll is a model of a person, which is also a favorite toy among children. Typically, it resembles a baby or a girl. Toy is an umbrella term which is used to refer to an item that is used and intended for play and fun. Puppet and dolls are also types of toys.

Childhood is altogether a different world of fantasies. It is associated with the fun period of one’s life. The most important thing that can be associated with the childhood is a toy. One may also be well acquainted with the term ‘doll’ and ‘puppet’. They all seem to be in the same category with some features overlapping in their definitions. A puppet refers to a model or an artificial figure resembling a human being or an animal. The movements of a puppet are controlled or manipulated by hands, rods or strings. A puppet show is generally performed on a miniature stage. Therefore, a puppet is usually associated with a theatrical show.

Puppets are of different types – Marionettes, hand or glove puppets and rod puppets. Marionettes possess articulated limbs and are manipulated using strings. Hand or glove puppets consist of a hollow strip of material, and a puppeteer places his hand inside this hollow strip to control the puppet figure, which appears on the outer part. Rod puppets are controlled from rods below. The definition can also be extended to people who dress in some costumes. History of puppets is very interesting; it can be traced back to Daadelus, the Ancient Greek inventor, who constructed a doll made of wood. Some people relate that the invention of puppets took place in India and China. Puppets can also be referred to as a small doll as it also represent a human being.

A doll is a small toy or model which resembles a human. Typically,  it resembles a baby or a girl. It is one of the favorite toys of children. The term may also be used in context to a child’s toy, puppet, etc. which resembles a human being. They are also associated with mankind since prehistoric times.

Earlier, wooden dolls were constructed, but later during the 17th and 18th century, wax dolls gained a lot of popularity. In the beginning of the 19th century, porcelain was used for making dolls. Rag Dolls are made up of any fabric. After World War II, doll makers started using plastics for dolls. Thus, dolls makers have used a variety of materials to make dolls.

Toy refers to any of the items that are designed for use in play. Generally, it is used by children of less than 14 years of age. Toys are made in different ways. There are numerous types of toys like stuffed toys, dolls, etc. Toys have always been associated with fun and entertainment. It is important to note that any item can amuse a child, and might be considered a toy. However, this definition is restricted by the notion that the playing value must exist as an intended way by the manufacturer.

The origin of toys is also prehistoric. From the definition of toys, it is clear that dolls and puppets also fall in the category of toys. Earlier, toys were made by natural ingredients like rocks, sticks and clay. According to Wikipedia, the oldest known mechanical puzzle comes from Greece and appeared in the 3rd century.

The definitions of toy, doll and puppet seems to be the same in many contexts. However, one can consider toy as an umbrella term that comprises items intended and designed for play. It also covers puppets and dolls. However, the term puppet is generally associated with the models of persons or animals which are controlled using hands, gloves, sticks and strings. Dolls are generally used in context to a representational model of a baby or a girl.

Comparison between Puppet, Doll and Toy:

 

Puppet

Doll

Toy

Definition

A puppet refers to a model or an artificial figure resembling a human being or an animal. The movements of a puppet are controlled or manipulated by hands, rods or strings.

A doll is a small toy or model which resembles a human. Typically, it resembles a baby or a girl.

Toy refers to any of the items that are designed for use in play. Generally, it is used by children of less than 14 years of age.

Example

Howdy Doody

Barbie doll

Hot Wheels Toy Cars

Types

  • Black light Puppet
  • Bunraku Puppet
  • Carnival or body Puppet
  • Finger Puppet
  • Sock Puppet
  • Hand or Glove
  • Human arm Puppet
  • Light curtain Puppet
  • Merionette Puppet
  • Marotte Puppet
  • Pull string Puppet
  • Push Puppet
  • Rod Puppet

 

Dolls by material –

  • Bisque Dolls
  • Celluloid Dolls
  • China Dolls
  • Composition Dolls
  • Hard Plastic Dolls
  • Paper Dolls
  • Paper Mache Dolls
  • Vinyl Dolls
  • Wax Dolls
  • Wood Dolls
  • Action figures
  • Cars and radio controlled Toys
  • Construction Toys
  • Creative Toys
  • Dolls Toys
  • Educational Toys
  • Executive Toys
  • Food related Toys
  • Games
  • Model Building Toys
  • Puzzle
  • Sound Toys
  • Spinning Toys
  • Stuffed Animals Toys

Main Feature

They are under an operator's control. They are used for dramatic presentations.

They are toys of children which represents a person.

 

Any article constructed for the amusement of children.

 

Usage

  • Puppets are used for telling stories
  • They are included in ceremonies and rituals in some cultures
  • For entertainment
  • A popular toy for children
  • Traditionally used in magic and religious rituals
  • Some cornhusk dolls are used in sacred healing ceremonies
  • For decoration purpose
  • For entertainment
  • For learning and education related
  • Encourages children to imagine and explore

 

Image Courtesy: 1888toys.com, fashion-doll-guide.com, carpproductions.com

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