The Rudolph and Santa Claus figures used in the stop-motion animation Christmas special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer are going up for auction. Auction house Profiles in History announced Thursday that a 6-inch-tall Rudolph and 11-inch-tall Santa used to animate the 1964 TV special are being sold together in the auction that starts November 13 and are expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
… Collector Peter Lutrario of Staten Island, New York, currently owns them. The figures were made by Japanese puppet maker Ichiro Komuro and used for the filming of the show in Tokyo. They’re made of wood, wire, cloth and leather. Rudolph’s nose, after some minimal maintenance through the years, still lights up. The realistic bristles of Santa’s beard are made from yak hair.
… Lutrario, who bought them about 15 years ago after seeing them appraised on Antiques Roadshow on PBS, says that even after well over five decades you can manipulate them as the original animators did.