Rudolph & Santa Characters, ca. 1964

Value (2013) | $30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction

My aunt worked at Rankin/Bass Productions for about ten or 15 years in the '70s and early '80s, and she acquired all of them. And they were the production puppets from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, including Rudolph and Santa. We had Yukon Cornelius, Herbie the Misfit Dentist, and a few others, including a sort of reindeer that got melted in our attic, thanks to my mom. We used to have them around the Christmas tree growing up, and we're just used to having them around.

So what we have here are the actual original puppets?

As far as I know.

And we can see here they have the articulated legs, the articulated neck. This is the young Rudolph, and here's Santa. When you opened the box and took these fellows out, it was like I was seeing old friends.

Yeah, exactly.

As I'm sure it is the case with millions of our viewers, this is a Christmas tradition. 1964 is when the film was made, and it definitely has a warm spot in all of our hearts. So to actually meet them in person is really exciting. This is iconic, and it's on a very different level.

It's not a toy, and everyone who's seen it has gotten a kick and recognized it instantly.

So you're dealing with something magnificent here. It's too bad that Burl Ives melted away, but you know, that's the problem when he's in a hot attic. They're made out of cloth and wood, and I think some plastics and things like that. They're not in perfect condition. The nose has been replaced. I guess the bulb broke. Santa's whiskers are missing there. But what an amazing, amazing piece. If I were to estimate it at an auction, I wouldn't estimate it less than $8,000 to $10,000 for the pair. What it would go for at auction, that's anyone's guess.

Okay. My mom's going to love that.

Appraisal Details

Update (2013)
$30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction
Appraised value (2005)
$8,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Providence, RI (June 18, 2005)
November 18, 2013: We contacted appraiser Simeon Lipman for an updated appraisal in today's market. At the time of the appraisal, it was unclear whether the objects were the only surviving examples. Since then, however, it has been verified that they are the only examples, and therefore according to Lipman the value would increase substantially.

Current Appraised Value: $30,000 - $50,000 (Increased)

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