November 30, 2005, Pittsburgh PA: After presumed discarded for several decades, Rudolph and Santa, the original puppet characters from the classic 1964 television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, have been discovered and will be revealed to the public this weekend in Pittsburgh. The stop motion puppets, stars of the longest running holiday special in television history, brought instant fame to production team Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass and became icons of American pop culture.
Stored casually among the household holiday décor of a former Rankin / Bass employee, the Rudolph and Santa puppets came out every December to take their place under the family Christmas tree. With last year's 40th anniversary celebration of the television special, and the recent multi-million dollar merchandising of everyone's favorite holiday characters, the owner realized there might be some public interest in revealing these lost treasures.
TimeandSpaceToys.com, online retailer of Rudolph dolls, figurines, and Christmas décor as well as a plethora of other pop culture icons, has purchased the pair for an undisclosed amount. The puppets will make their first public appearance at the Pittsburgh Toy, Comic and Collectibles Show (www.pittsburghtoyshow.com) this weekend at the Pittsburgh Expo Mart in Monroeville, PA. The TimeandSpaceToys.com staff will be available at the event to discuss the discovery of the puppets and their significance in pop culture history.
TimeandSpaceToys.com has plans to restore the puppets to their original condition by bringing aboard the original Rankin / Bass puppet production team for assistance and accuracy. The detailed story of how these puppets survived the last four decades, along with a continuing progress report with photos of the restoration project, will be available on the TimeandSpaceToys.com website.
“We are excited to be involved in such a special project and present these cherished pieces to Rudolph fans everywhere” says Time and Space Toys president Kevin Kriess. “These characters have completely redefined the traditional Santa Claus mythology and have had a profound impact on American culture.”