I’m not a big phone case guy. With the exception of Pong’s anti-radiation cases (seriously), I’ve always preferred the thinner profile of an unprotected cell phone to the bulkier if safer feel of an iPhone or Droid ensconced in a protective sleeve of some sort. Since Atennagate I’ve been using the free Belkin Sheild Micra that Apple sent me as part of their apology to consumers for the whole Death Grip fiasco. I like the Belkin well enough, mainly because it’s the closest thing to not having a case at all that Apple was offering at the time.

When I went to MacWorld last week I decided to look for a case for my iPhone 4. Having largely ignored cases for so long, I figured I was bound to find something I’d never seen before that might just find a permanent home on the back of my smartphone. In fact, I did! But I never would have guessed what I’d wind up falling in love with.

PDP’s Animal case for iPhone 4 is awesome. It’s relatively thin and sleek, has a nice soft-grip feel to it, and it has freakin’ Animal from The Muppets on the back. ANIMAL! I actually first received PDP’s Kermit case as part of a reviewer’s bag given out by accessory distributor Dr Bott, and liked it so much I posted a pic to twitter. One of my followers quickly replied with:

All power to you, ***. I headed back to the PDP booth the next day, told them about your tweet, mentioned that I’m a drummer (and thus have a karmic link to the Muppet Master of Rhythm), and asked if there was any way they could trade or hook me up with an Animal case. Lucky for me the folks I talked to were nice and I work for a media outlet with enough reach to make it worth PDP’s while to hunt for an Animal in their stockpiles. A few hours later I returned to the booth and Boom!, as they say, goes the dynamite.

PDP has a pretty sweet line of cases if you’re into officially licensed characters and logos done up in bold graphic designs. They’ve got Disney stuff like Muppets and Tron, sports stuff like NBA team logos both current and throwback, and gaming accessories for consoles and handheld systems. And PDP is one of the rare case makers to support Android phones, too (though the number of handsets they support is pretty small right now).

Lots of folks dig their iPhone cases. It took an Animal for me to understand why. Now if only PDP would team up with Pong Research to make an Anti-Radiation Animal case …