MEDINA, Ohio (WJW)– Medina’s Castle Noel is back open.
“Even this year, Christmas is not canceled,” said owner Mark Klaus. “This has become so much more than the wood and the glitter and the paint. It’s just become a mission for us.”
The countless artifacts from Christmas classics have made the museum the largest collection of Christmas movie props in the world, according to Klaus. There’s an item on his wish list this year; an opportunity he never expected.
“What we’re looking for is some help to save the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus puppets that were used in the original 1964 Rankin and Bass Special so that they don’t end up in some collectors glass case.”
The classic television special has been a holiday staple for generations.
“My mom was baking cookies and my dad was putting stuff up and we were watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I share that exact memory with millions of people,” Klaus said.
The small figures, standing at 11 and 6 inches, will go up for auction to the highest bidder on Nov. 13 through a Los Angeles auction house. Klaus is hoping to house the gift that would keep on giving.
“They’re like the holy grail of Christmas movie props. What if we could give them a home for tens if not hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy.”
He is also a fan of the stop-motion technology used to bring Rudolph and Santa to life on screen.
“Once Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer happened, Christmas entertainment changed. It was never the same.”
But that significance comes with a price tag as the Japanese-made puppets are expected in total to go for $150,000 to $250,000. COVID-19 hasn’t helped the museum’s financials and the pandemic recently hit close to home with the death of his father.
“But he wouldn’t want, he would it want it to be joyous. This place is about the joy,” Klaus said.
In the spirit of Christmas, Claus is hoping for a little help to achieve this dream. He plans to thank everyone with a commemorative wall with their names on it and a special Christmas video.
“Everybody whose part of this dream will become a part of the Castle Noel dream.”
Castle Noel set up a GoFundMe to try and “save” Rudolph and Santa.