It's cool just seeing these images of the original Santa and Rudolph puppets from Rankin/Bass' 1964 TV perennial classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They're so iconic, so familiar, even if that Santa was a real jerk.
It's exciting to dream about owning them. I mean, you could own them, as they've been put up for sale on eBay recently. But, what's not cool or exciting is that they are listed for TEN MILLION DOLLARS.
Now before you whip out your checkbook, put down the crack pipe and take note of how small they are. Both of them fit comfortably in a briefcase:
Also keep this 2006 Antiques Roadshow story and estimate in mind:
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The man who brought them in said he got them from his aunt, who worked at Rankin/Bass in the 1970s. She bought these two puppets from the company, as well as other ones from the Rudolph production, including Yukon Cornelius and Hermey, the elf who wants to grow up to be a dentist. (She also had bought the other characters, such as Sam the Snowman, played by Burl Ives, but they "got melted in our attic," the owner explained.)
Judging by what he saw of Rudolph and Santa, Lipman was convinced that these two dolls were the original production puppets, not replicas merchandised later. "You can tell by the way they were constructed," he says, noting that they were built of wood, cloth, and plastic. "These were hand-made. They weren't toys. They had mechanisms to make them move, to make them come alive almost.