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From Mr. D: The you refer to (now sold) is one of the older rigid latex Knee Pal bodies. While being more contoured, bodies molded from rigid latex are heavier and they do weaken when used over a period of time. That's why they were discontinued (primarily due to their weight).
The handshaker is a fun feature. However, it has its drawbacks. The arm/hand has to be one rigid unit. And since the hand extends a bit below the base of the body, it always seems to be in the way if you set the figure on a stand or table. You can learn to adjust in the way the figure is lowered but it's one more thing to deal with.
I had a handshaker on my first figure but quit using it as such when I discovered I did not want to encourage people to shake his hand. Kids up that close then wanted to stick their fingers into his mouth, poke his eyes, etc. And I would see that flash of surprise on their face when they touched the hard, hard and cold. Adults had the same reaction. In that instant, they were jerked from illusion and fantasy back into reality, if only for a second.. The purpose of ventriloquism is to create a lifelike illusion from an inanimate object, so unless you have very good reason to do so, why break the "spell"?
As for the nudger...that's the arm next to you. I say just take the figure's hand in your free hand and move it so he will nudge" you. Better still, have an arm control rod installed 0n that arm so you can manipulate the hand and arm from the elbow. That's the popular method many of today's vents employee.
Both the Nudger and Handhaker, when built as mechanics within the body, require the vent to release the headpost in order to activate either of the arm levers. In other words, it is not possible to have him talk and look around simultaneously as the arm raises, etc.
There's a difference between "rigid latex" and "flexible latex". And it's pretty much self-described. All the hands I have available are rigid, whatever material was used for their manufacturer. I'm told Axtell has some flexible latex hands available.We can check that out.