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The Randimals to Teach About Diversity and Inclusivity at Free Children’s Extravaganza
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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

A gorilla in an elephant’s body, a Zangeroo created from the pairing of a zebra and kangaroo and a Hamlion, which features the face of a hamster on a lion’s body, are among the Randimals designed to teach children about how differences can make us stronger.

Now the Randimals are set to take part in the world premiere stage production of The Randimals based on “The Randimals” children’s book, which will be released Dec. 5 in hardback.

Children—and adults—are invited to the Randimals Christmas Story Extravaganza at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at The Argyros in Ketchum. The event is free, but tickets are required and can be reserved online at https://theargyros.org/calendar/a-randimals-christmas-story-extravaganza/ or by contacting the Argyros box office at 208-726-7872.

“We’ll be launching three new Randimals at this event,” said Nick Harman, a Ketchum resident who created the Randimals with his Hailey friend Casey Finegan.

The Randimals started off as a line of hard and plush toys featuring combinations of animals that were inspired by Harman’s late Bassett lab named Ollie.

Earlier this year Harman introduced a book to go with the toy line that described how a little girl combines torn animal toys together after her dog chews them apart. When her father throws them in the trash not realizing how special Hork—the shark/horse—and his counterparts have become, the Randimals come alive and find their way to a toy store.

There the manufactured toys make fun of them but Elarilla the Gorilla tells them not to hang their heads: “What makes us different makes all the difference in the world.”

Soon the son of the toy store’s owner falls in love with the unique toys. “It’s their differences that make them special,” he tells his mother.

“The gorilla teaches that what makes us different is our super power,” said Harman. “It’s a timely message of inclusivity and diversity.”

Seven-year-old Maite Finegan, a student at Alturas Elementary School, will play the part of the little girl as the story’s illustrations show on the screen behind her. Hemingway student Raley Gill will play the part of the boy, and Moneo Irvine will play Ollie.

There will be interactive games for children, and children will be able to create their own Randimal drawings on stage. Three new Randimals will be unboxed. There’ll be Randimal giveaways, and a Randimals book signing.

Santa has even requested a ticket—he’s coming down from the North Pole to see what the toy-making elves in Ketchum have wrought.

“I’ve got nervous excitement, for sure,” said Harman. “But I believe in this so much—I have obviously a passion for it. I’d like to take this on the road to schools around Idaho to teach its message. Then, of course, it’d be nice to see ‘Randimals on Broadway.’ They did it for ‘The Lion King,’ and I can imagine the fun they’d have designing Randimal costumes.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Copies of Randimals will be available at the Randimals Christmas Story Extravaganza. They’re also available locally at Iconoclast Books, Chapter One Bookstore and Madeline + Oliver. They’re available online at https://randimals.com, Barnes and Noble and Target.com.

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