The Real Rudolph Shines Again After 40 Years!
The original Rankin/Bass Animagic puppets!

November 30, 2005, Pittsburgh PA: After presumed discarded for several decades, Rudolph and Santa, the original puppet characters from the classic 1964 television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, have been discovered and will be revealed to the public this weekend in Pittsburgh. The stop motion puppets, stars of the longest running holiday special in television history, brought instant fame to production team Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass and became icons of American pop culture.

Stored casually among the household holiday décor of a former Rankin / Bass employee, the Rudolph and Santa puppets came out every December to take their place under the family Christmas tree. With last year's 40th anniversary celebration of the television special, and the recent multi-million dollar merchandising of everyone's favorite holiday characters, the owner realized there might be some public interest in revealing these lost treasures.

The original Rankin/Bass Animagic puppets!, online retailer of Rudolph dolls, figurines, and Christmas décor as well as a plethora of other pop culture icons, has purchased the pair for an undisclosed amount. The puppets will make their first public appearance at the Pittsburgh Toy, Comic and Collectibles Show ( this weekend at the Pittsburgh Expo Mart in Monroeville, PA. The staff will be available at the event to discuss the discovery of the puppets and their significance in pop culture history. has plans to restore the puppets to their original condition by bringing aboard the original Rankin / Bass puppet production team for assistance and accuracy. The detailed story of how these puppets survived the last four decades, along with a continuing progress report with photos of the restoration project, will be available on the website.

“We are excited to be involved in such a special project and present these cherished pieces to Rudolph fans everywhere” says Time and Space Toys president Kevin Kriess. “These characters have completely redefined the traditional Santa Claus mythology and have had a profound impact on American culture.”

Time and Space Toys, in business since 1997, is an online retailer of high-quality, licensed toys and collectibles based on entertainment properties. Time & Space Toys has established itself as one of the major retailers of licensed holiday characters.

Rudolph and Santa promotional photo


Time & Space Toys

The Happy Elf With Harry Connick, Jr. on DVD!

It's not from Rankin/Bass, but here's a holiday special we're proud to promote! (Rick offered his assistance with this project, but by the time we learned about it, it was already in postproduction.) Click on the banner to visit the official website!

Make this Christmas your most memorable ever by celebrating the holiday season with legendary performer Harry Connick, Jr., as Anchor Bay Entertainment, an IDT Entertainment company, releases the 3D CG animated direct-to-DVD family holiday special, “The Happy Elf.” In stores, December 6 (pre-book November 8), the 45 minute “Happy Elf” is available on DVD only with a suggested retail price of $19.98.

Featuring narration and music by Harry Connick, Jr. and based on the original song from his platinum smash hit Christmas album, “Harry for the Holidays,” “The Happy Elf” will air as a prime time NBC special Friday, December 2 at 8:00 pm (ET). This destined-to-be holiday classic, produced by IDT Entertainment in association with HC Productions, stars the talented voice cast of Carol Kane, Lewis Black, Mickey Rooney and Rob Paulsen and includes all new original holiday songs written and composed by Connick.

With Harry Connick as the animated narrator, “The Happy Elf” tells the adventurous story of Eubie the Elf, one of Santa’s helpers, whose overly enthusiastic, rose-colored view of the holiday season is put to the test when he sets out to save Christmas for an entire town of naughty children in a sad little place called Bluesville.

The DVD comes in a fun push-button activated package that lights up with blinking lights and plays a short snippet of the “Happy Elf” song. Jam-packed with fun-filled activities that kids can enjoy for hours, the DVD includes the following bonus features:

• “Making of” The Happy Elf: An Interview with Harry Connick Jr.
• Elf Games: 1) Eubie’s Gift Grab 2) North Pole Puzzle Fun 3) Build An Elf
• Bluesville Coloring Book
• Printable Holiday Cards
• Santa’s Gallery
• The “Reel” Storyboard
• Eubie’s Holiday Treat
• Original Trailer
• Full-Frame & Widescreen (Enhanced for 16x9 TVs) Presentations

Frosty & Friends Now Available At
Build-A-Bear Workshop!

LEFT TO RIGHT: Professor Hinkle, Hocus Pocus, Karen,
 & Frosty from Build-A-Bear Workshop

The good folks at Build-A-Bear Workshop recently added a new line to their selection: characters from Rankin/Bass' original holiday special Frosty the Snowman! Check out the new items now available for purchase:

16" Frosty the Snowman
16" Frosty the Snowman with accessories (scarf, broom & pipe)
16" Bundled Up Frosty the Snowman
11" Karen
11" Professor Hinkle
11" Hocus Pocus

All of the Frostys have cheeks that light up! Also, for a small extra charge, a Frosty the Snowman music sound chip is available! (The train pictured above is also available.)

CLICK HERE for more details or to purchase online at Build-A-Bear's website!

King Kong Escapes Available on DVD!

King Kong Escapes DVD - Click Here to order at! UNIVERSAL has finally released the first RANKIN/BASS Live-Action film KING KONG ESCAPES (1968). It is the first Live-Action feature that ARTHUR RANKIN, JR. Directed and was released here on November 29th in Wide-Screen format! It is affordably priced and packaged with a seperate DVD release of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA. The King Kong animated Rankin/Bass series. The film was Produced as part of a deal with RKO to Produce the famous cartoon series as well. Obviously this release was prompted by the new PETER JACKSON film, BUT we are happy to see it finally available to the RANKIN/BASS fans!

An Interview With Phyllis Diller!

Phyllis! Check out this interview with the legendary Phyllis Diller! Phyllis was interviewed about Mad Monster Party by Scott Michael Bosco who was kind enough to post it on his site The Digital Cinema! The Monster's Mate from Mad Monster Party
This interview was recorded and originally intended to be included on the DVD! Unfortunately, it didn't make it onto the disc, but now you can read the transcript of this short interview where Phyllis reflects on her role of The Monster's Mate and the making of Rankin/Bass' feature film Mad Monster Party!

Click here to read the interview!

The Most Requested DVD This Year!

This year we have received an extraordinary amount of emails either requesting info on where to find this DVD or simply voicing their dissatifaction about the fact that it has not been released on disc. The title of this highly sought after Rankin/Bass special?

OK, we'll give you a hint:

It was the last Animagic holiday special Rankin/Bass produced for network television....

Nothing? OK, how about this:

It's based on a book by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum....

Still no clue? OK, one more:

This special is not the usual happy fanfare that Rankin/Bass has been associated with in years past. It is less colorful and more somber in tone.

Give up?'s none other than 1985's

The Life and Advenures of Santa Claus!

Well, we can't deliver the news of when its inevitable DVD release will instead we'd like to announce that another puppet has been located (or at least the puppet head)! And, yes, it is Young Santa from The Life and Advenures of Santa Claus! Our friend from Japan, Kazuhiko Ito, is the proud owner of this piece of Rankin/Bass history, and was kind enough to share these photos with us.

Thank you so much, Kazuhiko!

....and now we present Young Santa!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER! Order your Rudolph Book In Time For Christmas!

With the many book orders we have received this season so far, we are happy to say we usually ship the very next day PRIORITY MAIL. To be sure to receive your items in time for Christmas, PLEASE place your order before December 19th for Holiday delivery. THANKS again for all your orders! Rick

Nicole Kidman To Produce Film of
Jules Bass Book!

Nicole Kidman
According to Variety, Nicole Kidman is to produce and star in a film adaptation of Jules Bass' novel Headhunters for Fox 2000 and Regency Enterprises! No word when production is to begin, but the script is being written and Nicole has recently finished workng on an independent film titled Fur, so hopefully we'll hear more in the near future. We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Click here to read the article at!

HEADHUNTERS - A Novel by Jules Bass - Click Here to purchase at

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Rick has been super busy this season being interviewed by many radio sations and newspapers! Some of the stations/papers that are scheduled for interviews are:

The Denver Post
WFAD (Friday, December 9th 8:40-9am ET)
Wireless Flash News Service
1010 KSIR (download it off on Thursday, December 22nd.)
WIKZ (MIX95.1 & Rick and Lisa morning show
WHAM Morning News (Rochester, NY)
WANB Radio
Wild 104-FM (Morning Show)
WGN Mornig News (Chicago TV, Tuesday, December 20th)

...among others!

Rick Goldxchmidt caricature by Jack Davis

Letters That Warmed Our Hearts!

Here's a sample of a few letters we received that make us happy to do what we do!


Please except my holiday wishes to you and yours. My name is Jamie Mitchell. I am a fire fighter on Brunswick Fire Department in the stae of Maine. I am contacting you, both as a father and a consumer fire fighter. As a father having grown up on Rankin/Bass holiday specials I am looking to introdue my children to them as well as develop a library for my unborn daughter. Could you please provide my a list of the Rankin/Bass features their original release dates and when the projected DVD release may be?

As a fire fighter It is important to note that one of the reasons for my being in the profession is greatly in part due to the Ballad of Smokey the Bear. I watch that show as a child over 35 years ago, atleast. Since I wanted nothing else but to be a fire fighter. Now here I am in the fire service and teaching kids about fire safety through education and prevention. Could you please point me in the direction of getting The Ballad of Smokey the Bear so that I may use it in my fire education class.

Fighting Fire, Saving Lives
Fraternally, Hiram
Jamie M. Mitchell


I recently ordered from you the book “The Making of Rudolph & the Island of Misfit Toys” and the GE ad for the show and have received them both. I ordered these for my fiancé for Christmas. I was unable to wait to give him the book so gave it to him for Thanksgiving (he had been requesting it for the last two Christmas’ but I had been unable to find it in stock anywhere.) I was so excited upon receiving the autographed copy that I had to give it to him right away. From his reaction, it was the best present I have ever given him.

Win (that’s his name) is a fanatic about Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys. He collects everything he can find. Our home is decorated at Christmas with all things Rudolph. All of his friends know and kid him about his obsession. I even have my office decorated with “extra duplicate” figures this year. So of course (as annually) we watched the show on Wednesday evening this week (the new digitally re-mastered version) - while he had your book in hand.

Happy Holidays,


Dear Mr. Goldschmidt,

My name is Matthew Gonzalez, I am 12 years old and I have some questions for you. How do S.D. Kluger, Kris Kringle, Rudolph, Hermey, Clarice etc., blink? How do people like S.D. Kluger's mouth move?

I borrowed your books, The Making Of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and The Enchanted World Of Rankin/Bass from my library and I really like them!!!

Who are your favorite Rankin/Bass characters? The book I borrowed from my library called The Making Of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer had your autograph in it!!!!!! Which is your favorite book you have written?

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Matthew Gonzalez

Shopping For Rankin/Bass on VHS and DVD?

Many of you have been writing us asking which R/B specials and features are available to purchase either on vhs or dvd. Well, we've supplied an alphabetical list below with hyperlinks where you can easily browse through all of your Rankin/Bass favorites currently available for convenient home viewing!

Click on the pictures below to purchase through!


Bushido Blade, The

Christmas 3 DVD Gift Set

Daydreamer, The

Easter Bunny Is Comin' To Town, The

Emperor's New Clothes, The

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty's Winter Wonderland

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Hobbit, The

Jack Frost

King Kong Escapes

King Kong Show, The
Volume One

King Kong Show, The
Volume Two

Last Unicorn, The

Little Drummer Boy, The

Mad Monster Party


Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

Return Of The King, The

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas In July

Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town

Season One Volume One

Season One Volume Two

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Wacky World of Mother Goose, The

Year Without a Santa Claus, The


Bushido Blade, The

Coneheads, The
(Animated TV Special)

Cricket on the Hearth

Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town, The

Emperor's New Clothes, The

Festival of Family Classics:
Yankee Doodle

First Christmas, The

First Easter Rabbit, The

Flight of Dragons, The

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty's Winter Wonderland

Jack Frost

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Hobbit, The

The Last Dinosaur, The

Last Unicorn, The

Leprechaun's Christmas Gold

Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, The

Little Drummer Boy, The

Little Drummer Boy: Book 2, The

Mad Mad Mad Monsters

Mad Monster Party

Mouse on the Mayflower

Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

Pinocchio's Christmas

Return of the King, The

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Sins of Dorian Gray, The

Stingiest Man in Town, The

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Wacky World of Mother Goose, The

Wind In The Willows, The

Year Without a Santa Claus, The

A Couple Of Coker Holiday Cartoons!
...And finally, to wrap up our December News, here's a couple of cartoons for your enjoyment that we dug out of the vaults which poke some fun at the holiday by Rankin/Bass Charater Desighner Paul Coker!

Art by Paul Coker

Art by Paul Coker

Merry Christmas!
- Rick and Mark