The puppets were in bad shape, having been used as Christmas decorations/playthings for the last 30-odd years in the home of a former Rankin/Bass employee. Santa’s legs were both broken, as was Rudolph’s neck(!). Rudolph’s nose bulb was torn out and the cavity had been stuffed with red candle wax. All of the lead armature wires inside the puppets were corroding and half of Santa’s mustache was missing. We even heard tales of a photo of Rudolph sticking his head out of a bowl of Christmas candy. There was a lot of cleanup and restoration to be done.
One wonders at a world in which these cultural icons could be found sitting in someone’s house, serving candy canes, but that was then. Many photos of the restoration process in the blog.