Handy Manny

Playhouse Disney has always been a firm favourite in our house, with Mickey and pals and Tigger and Pooh helping Mummy to get five minutes of peace in the day for a cup of tea and a biscuit.

No sooner had Handy Manny popped up on the channel he became Jacob’s best friend.

For the uninitiated Handy Manny is a friendly Mexican handyman who lives in the idyllic neighbourhood of Shetrock Hills. Helping Manny with his various daily call outs are his box of talking tools.

Turner a Flathead screwdriver and Phillipe the Phillips head screwdriver have  lots of ongoing banter about who’s the best, Squeeze the young pair of pliers, Stretch the tape measure, Rusty the paranoid wrench, Dusty the saw and Pat the accident prone hammer and occasionally Flicker the flashlight each help Manny in there own special way.

For anyone really taking too much notice, Felipe is not in the above picture because when I found him in the toy box and went to take the picture he was covered in chocolate and had his eyes hanging by a thin thread (don’t ask me what he’d been doing) so I took the photo without him.

Regular characters in the show amongst others are Mrs Portio, Abuelito (Manny’s Granddad), Mayor Rosa and Coach Johnson. They regularly ring Manny needing help with their various DIY problems. Manny always answers the phone with his trademark greeting “Hello Handy Manny’s repair shop, You break it, We fix it, this is Manny”.

Two other prominent regular characters are Mr Lopart who runs the Sweetshop next door to Manny and Kelly who owns the Hardware store. Mr Lopart is the hapless neighbour who always thinks he can do everything himself, and always comes in cropper in one way or the other. Together with his Cat Fluffy they provide a lot of the comic relief in the show.

Kelly’s hardware store is a regular haunt of Manny’s as he always has to pop in to get supplies on the way to a job. The running joke with Kelly’s is that she always has what Manny and the tools need for the job, no matter how bizarre. She just always seems to have a light canopy in her handbag or a 100 year old pipe valve in a box somewhere.

My son Jacob’s favourite part of the show is the special song which Manny and the tools sing while jumping into their toolbox before heading out for a job. The word of the song go like this

“Hop up, jump in – come on let’s go!,

Hop up, jump in – si vamonos, (translation: let’s go)

Hop up, jump in – don’t move too slow (keep up!),

Let’s get to work, muy rapido!” (translation: Very quickly)

Jacob also loves the the fix it song which the tools always sing once there ready to finish the repair which goes

“Let’s get going and fix it right

Twist and turn, make it tight

Trabajamos juntos (translated: We work together)

we work together now

Cut it, measure it, tap it flat

Bend and twist, just like that

Each of us has a special job

We work together – todos juntos  (translation: all together)

We can fix it right!”

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Last Christmas when Jacob was going to be one, there wasn’t very much Handy Manny merchandise out there. I did manage to find a lovely plush toolbox, it was really great for his age as it’s soft and he loves carrying it around when the show is on.

This year however seems to be a bit different, Handy Manny is big business and the stores seem to have started stocking Manny toys big time. Looking round the stores today I found a Handy Manny dress up costume, talking toolbox (which sings the hop up, jump in song and the tool’s dance) party hats and plates, books, jigsaws, even a new V-Smile game for the V-Tech system. Whatever you can think of, it’s out there.

Manny is now big business and I fully expect him to be a huge, huge seller this Christmas, and now he’s going to feature highly on my boy’s lists to Santa.

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