Got a Spare Head Lying Around? Put it to Good Use! (The Great Detachable-Head Website Showdown!)

Talking Heads

Green and yellow, orange and blue! We like popsicles, yes we do!

The fantastic flavors, the clever riddles on the stick, the menagerie of colors (and how they turn your tongue red/green/purple too)… IOHO, popsicles are the best.

Plus, we always use the popsicle sticks after all is said and done to make nifty stick people with our photographs. Cut head out of photo, paste onto popsicle stick. Easy, see?

Well folks, you now have one more thing to thank the Information Superhighway for. No longer is licking, cutting, and pasting required to get your friends’ fine faces on something with which you can perform Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.”

We’ve gathered of bucketload of shiny websites that let you use your photos to create talking avatars, dancing digital puppets, and singing telegrams — technology at its finest, yessir. Just don’t stop eating popsicles because of this — we’d hate that.

p.s. We’re very happy to have Kari, a Mom with a Camera, join the Photojojo team. Don’t be shy — Stop by and say hello!

The Great Detachable-Head Website Showdown!

Let’s start with what all of these websites have in common. With each, you follow a four-step process:

  1. Upload a photo of either yourself or friends.
  2. Use fancy tools to cut out the heads(s) from the rest of the photo.
  3. Do something awesome: create a video, make a game, etc.
  4. Share it with friends, by email/MySpace/Facebook/blog/whatever.

Easy! Now find out what makes each site unique (and stick around to hear who our grand prize Winner of Awesomenessâ„¢ is!) – Feeling Mushy? Send a Gushy!

Mushy GushyVisiting is a bit like getting smothered with hugs by a bunch of kindly yet rascally grandmothers in a nursing home. Emailable e-cards and greetings (“granny hugs in digital form!”) have been around since forever, but MushyGushy raises the art of the e-card to a whole new level; you can’t help but feel bathed in ooey gooey granny huggy wuggy-ness after sending or getting one.

With pre-made animated greeting messages, you just have to use a photo and cut out the head to complete the picture. MushyGushy even encourages you to use two heads – yours, and your recipient’s – for a super-personal greeting message that you can e-mail to anyone.

We think it’s safe to say that e-cards will never be the same, after you’ve used MushyGushy to stick your own and your friend’s heads in them. Sweet gravy, I’m gonna send one to my grandma. – Blabberize your photos!

BlabberizeWe raved about Blabberize in the newsletter a while ago, and we still think it’s the llama’s tail. Upload a picture, use some crafty tools to outline the mouth, record some witty audio – then, voilà, like magic the mouth moves to your recorded voice. Plus, Blabberize has a public gallery of other people’s blabbered creations – check out Mike Arrington and this rapping polar bear.

We love sticking words in other people’s mouths with Blabberize. Plus, it has llamas – and who doesn’t like llamas? – Starring You!

Jib JabJibJab has decided to cut off your head for an entirely different purpose – to make fancy schmancy videos that’ll have you laughing your pants off. When we first stopped by, we were rolling in the aisles for 4 hours and 23 minutes after one of the videos.

“Cast” your friend’s heads in different roles, hit play, and off you go! JibJab was put together by two guys who made it big a few years back by sticking presidential candidates’ heads into funny little videos. (You might’ve seen them on Leno.) Now they’re letting you do it! The quality is top-notch and, while JibJab doesn’t give you much control aside from putting your head in the action, after laughing so hard, we don’t think you’ll care. – Create your own games!

PictogamesDo you ever get that irresistible urge to play Whack-a-Mole, but with a younger sibling (or coworker, or boss, or mother-in-law or…) instead of the mole? With Pictogames, you can do it! Using nothing but some photos and a few minutes of your time, Pictogames will cook up a bunch of great parlor games for your amusement.

From Whack-A-Mole to Rugby to Brick, Pictogames knows how to keep you busy.

We just made one with our cousin Fred’s head, and we’re currently pummeling him with a whacking stick. (Sorry Fred.) We can only imagine what would happen if we took this out at the next family reunion. Awesome. – Animate yourself! kind of scared us the first time we visited. First upload a picture of your face – then you’re supposed to allow Gizmoz to take your photo and use some spiffy space-age technology to recreate a 3-dimensional avatar version of, well, you.

From there customize yourself, record your voice to make your virtual self talk, or put yourself on your blog to talk to people and act as an answering machine. We were really thinking it’d be neat to stick our Gizmoz self into “The Sims” game and start our virtual lives, but no luck there. (Yet.)

And the winners are…
Our “Makes Us Want to Call Grandma” Winner!
Our “Does a Bunch of Things with Cool Games” Winner!

And… – Starring You!
Our “All Around Awesomenessâ„¢” Winner!

That wraps it all up, folks! Never has the Internet been fancier, so get out there and start detaching your friends’ heads!

Oh, and just for good measure…

While we’re on the subject, we thought we’d mention these worthy contenders – they don’t quite do the same thing, but they’re really nifty anyway.

  • – We loved this last year, and are eagerly awaiting its yuletide return. (They say it’ll be back in time for the holidays, in a totally update 2.0 version!)
  • – The King (of Burgers, that is) has cooked up this fun little moustachy delight.

Know of any others? Let us know!