With take down of our display completed earlier today, after only 5.5 days due to the great weather we have had since Christmas, I spent all afternoon working on and now just finishing resurrecting Santa.
I completely dismantled him, and noticed there was a creation date of 1983, and a name of the person I assume who assembled him.
Interesting story. I purchased him from a Christmas shop in Wyoming county. He was in the store’s display area. I really wanted him, as I had ideas on reworking him for our display. The store owner wouldn’t sell him, so I went back once each year, and I think it was after the third or fourth visit, she finally agreed to sell him.
I asked where she purchased him, and she related her husband, who worked in Hollywood production, had him designed and built by the same engineer who designed Paul Newman’s car in one of his (racing) movies.
Long story short removing a mouse nest and acorns from inside his head, a rebuild of the motor bracket, a pound of duct tape on his plastic torso (under his suit which was remade by my wife a few years back) and he is back functioning 100%, talking, turning, waving, and blinking his eyes.
It’s amazing to think a motorized audioanimatronic animation can function 36 years! They don’t make them like that anymore.
One repair/rebuild down. A few more to go, to be ready for our 2020 display which will be our 40th year of consecutive decorating! 🙂