The Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer story idea was initially rejected, as in the 1930s red noses were associated with alcoholism and drunkards. The author asked an illustrator friend to draw “cute reindeer,” and these drawings convinced management to support the idea.
Since those involved in the Rudolph TV special had no idea of the future value of the stop motion puppet figures, many were not preserved. In 2005, the remaining two puppets of Rudolph and Santa appeared on Antiques Roadshow, damaged from years of rough handling by children and attic storage. On the show, their appraised value was between $8,000 and $10,000. Sadly, the other puppets in the hot attic “melted.” These are the only remaining puppets left.
The figures have been shown at conventions since then, after being restored in 2006. They were successfully sold at auction on November 13 of 2020, netting a $368,000 sale price, doubling the expected return.