Puppets used in Rankin/Bass' beloved stop-motion animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are available for purchase on eBay — at the buy it now price of $10 million dollars.
The puppets of the famed glowing-nosed reindeer and grizzled ol' Saint Nick are original screen-used props that helped bring the 1964 holiday classic to life.
According to owner Peter Lutrario's listing, the puppets underwent a restoration in 2007 and have since appeared on Hollywood Treasures and CNN. Lutrario describes the one-of-a-kind figures as the last-surviving props from the set.
Rudolph's very shiny nose still glows and the figures include a winter wonderland set advertising the original "TV musical spectacular."
Despite the rarity and nostalgia surrounding the figures, Lutrario is unlikely to fetch his asking price.
“No one’s going to pay $10 million,” Rankin/Bass expert Rick Goldschmidt told Pix11. “Not even a museum or the Smithsonian.”
Goldschmidt said it was "sad" to see the puppets placed on eBay.
“I was just curious to see what the market would bear,” Lutrario told Pix11.
“People love to see them. It’s something that’s a treasured part of Americana,” Lutrario said of the iconic puppets. “I’d like to see it in a museum — not in someone’s briefcase.”0comments
In a 2015 piece from CNN, Goldschmidt said Rudolph producers Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass gave the puppet cast to their secretary in the 1970s, seeing no value in the figures.
Rudolph, Santa, Hermey, Sam the Snowman and others were treated by the family as annual Christmas decorations and improperly stored in an attic — leading to their decay.
Rudolph and Santa were restored by modern stop-animation experts Screen Novelties, and Lutrario purchased the figures in 2008. Lutrario declined to name his purchase price.
A 2013 post-restoration appraisal on Antiques Roadshow put the value of the pair between $30,000 and $50,000.
"I never thought I would get the opportunity to own these dolls," Lutrario said in 2015. "[They] represent what Christmas is to me."