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December 3, 2022

Jim Henson Posing With the Cast of ‘The Christmas Toy’ (1986)

When the children leave the playroom, the toys come alive. They discuss the meaning of Christmas and how they will welcome the new toys to their community. Nope, we are not talking about Toy Story. The Muppets did it first way back in 1986 in The Christmas Toy!

Jim Henson posing with muppet characters from The Christmas Toy, 1986. Sitting next to Henson is Muppet character Kermit the Frog in a Santa Claus outfit.

Jim Henson posing with Zachary Bennett and Marsha Moreau.

The Christmas Toy is a 1986 television film directed by Eric Till and produced by The Jim Henson Company, featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets, including Rugby the Tiger who remembers how he was the Christmas Toy last year, and thinks he is going to be unwrapped again this year. The film, which originally aired on December 6, 1986 on ABC, was sponsored by Kraft Foods.

The characters of this special are memorable and fun. Some were based on traditional, timeless toys like baby dolls, stuffed animals, and even Barbie. Other toys were based off toys that were popular at the time like Fisher Price Little People and She-Ra. Jim Henson believed that children responded to puppets because they looked like stuffed animals. By building puppets in the style of toys that children play with and own caused the characters of this special to be even more appealing to the children in all of us and caused a closer relationship and connection between the viewer and these characters.


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