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Igel started out as a small company that made rather crafty-looking finger puppets and "stick puppets"; puppets on a stick that were attached to a cone. By pulling the stick downwards, the puppet sticks its head inside the cone. The stick puppets were released in various different sizes, from miniature to extra large.
The following characters were featured as large and small stick puppets, finger puppets and hand puppets:
Sesame Street Characters:
- Big Bird
- Cookie Monster
- Count von Count
- Oscar (Oscar could hide inside his trash can)
Igel also produced large hand puppets. Among others, Bert, Ernie, Count von Count and Grover were a part of this series. The puppet heads were made of wood, covered with fabric: they could be manipulated by putting your index finger in the heads and your thumb and middle finger in the hands.
These crafty puppets would be the start of an extensive line of Sesame Street and Muppet dolls and puppets.