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September 5, 2015

Rudolph and Santa are restored and on display in Atlanta

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 24th 2006 6:02PM
Santa and Rudolph puppetsThe New York Times has an interesting story about the fate of two of the puppets from the revered TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which first aired in 1964. Apparently, out of the thousands of puppets created for the stop-action animation used in the Rankin-Bass special, only two currently exist: one of Rudolph and one of Santa.

The article tells the story of how the puppets, given to an R-B employee after the show was made, were found in an attic, appraised on Antiques Roadshow, and sold for a nice chunk of change to the president of TimeAndSpaceToys.com/ He then painstakingly restored the heavily-damaged puppets to their original form (details of that restoration are here). Santa and Rudolph are currently on display at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, where they will be until Jan. 13.

How did Santa and Rudolph get to be in such poor shape? Kids. The person who took the puppets home gave them to her kids, who crammed poor Rudy's mouth with crayons and Play-Doh. Jeez. Those buggers had no sense of history, did they?

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