You Can Buy These Screen-Used Puppets From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—But Bring Your Checkbook

The original puppets used in 1964's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special are up for sale.
The original puppets used in 1964's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special are up for sale.
Courtesy of Profiles in History

If you ever have trouble getting into the holiday spirit, settling in to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer usually takes care of the problem. The 1964 Rankin/Bass stop-motion animation special has become a perennial holiday classic, with its tale of bench-warming reindeer Rudolph finally gaining the respect of both his peers and Santa Claus himself.

The original screen-used Rudolph and Santa puppets were believed to have been lost for decades before they materialized on a 2006 episode of the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Now, they’re being offered for public sale for the very first time at an upcoming Profiles in History memorabilia auction on November 13 in Los Angeles.

But that newfound holiday spirit might put a dent in your wallet. The auction of the puppets—offered as a pair—is expected to fetch between $150,000 to $250,000.

Rudolph.Courtesy of Profiles in History

Santa Claus.Courtesy of Profiles in History

The puppets were made by Japanese puppet maker Ichiro Komuro [PDF] and then posed in a process dubbed “Animagic” at Tadahito Mochinaga’s MOM Productions facility in Tokyo. When work was completed, the puppets were sent on to NBC and then to Rankin/Bass Productions, the company owned by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. In the early 1970s, Rankin gave them to his secretary, Barbara Adams, who in turn gave them to her nephew. They remained in his possession until he appeared on Antiques Roadshow in 2006 and subsequently sold them to collector Peter Lutrario.

Both puppets are made of wood, wire, cloth, leather, and yak hair. Santa stands 11 inches tall, while Rudolph comes in at 6 inches. The duo underwent some light restoration work in 2006, with Rudolph getting a new nose and Santa getting some mustache repair and a new ball on his hat.

And yes—Rudolph’s nose still lights up.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Larry David Shared His Favorite Episode of Seinfeld

Larry David at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.
Larry David at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.
David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Last week, Seth Meyers hosted a virtual Seinfeld reunion with Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander to benefit Texas Democrats. Amid all the other reminiscing, the sitcom veterans got to talking about their favorite episodes of the show.

Louis-Dreyfus answered with “The Soup Nazi,” in which her character Elaine inadvertently causes the greatest (and most high-strung) soup chef in town to shut down his shop. For Alexander, it was “The Marine Biologist,” where his character George masquerades as a marine biologist on a date and ends up rescuing a beached whale.

Larry David’s response, “The Contest,” generated almost as much conversation as the episode itself did when it aired during season 4. In it, the show’s four main characters compete to see who can abstain from self-pleasure the longest, proving themselves to be the “master of their domain.” Though the actors managed to skirt around the word masturbation for the entire episode, the concept was still pretty provocative for network television.

“This one, I didn’t even put on the board because I didn’t want them asking. I just wanted them to come and see the read-through,” David said, as InsideHook reports. “[When they did] I had worked myself up into a lather because the read-through really went great. I was watching [the network executives] and I couldn’t tell how much they liked it. But I was ready to pack the whole thing in if they didn’t let us do this show: ‘I’m quitting. I’m quitting. I’m gonna quit.’ Fortunately, they didn’t say a word. I was shocked.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Louis-Dreyfus’s trepidation about the episode lasted through the shoot. “When we were making this episode, I was convinced we were going to be shut down. I was convinced that the network was going to come in and say, ‘This is not going to work out,’” she said. Needless to say, they never did, and Louis-Dreyfus now looks back on Elaine’s participation in the contest as “a very important cultural moment for women.”

David went on to explain that “The Contest” not only helped popularize Seinfeld among viewers, but it also helped its creators carry more clout in the industry. “That show changed something about how we were perceived in television land,” he said. “It really catapulted us to another place. It moved us to another level, I think.”

[h/t InsideHook]