The Rootie Kazootie Collection
There are 11 original Rootie Kazootie Puppets in this collection. They were designed and buit by Paul Ashley and a team of craftsmen for the Rootie Kazootie Club TV Show in the late 1940's. The show starred Todd Russell and first aired in October of 1950. Its final broadcast was in May of 1954.
Steve Carlin, the show's creator and producer owned the Rootie Kazootie puppets. They dropped out of sight until 1996 when they were purchased by Ira Gallen, a collector in New York. Watch this YouTube video of Gallen and Carlin unpacking the puppets in a warehouse where they had been stored: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1izppY8NS80. They can be heard discussing the condition, which was not good.
A number of years later, Doug Preis, an avid puppet collector, purchased the puppets from Gallen. They had not been stored properly and were in rough shape.
Fortunately, Mr Preis is a master craftsman and puppet restorer. You can read more about his extraordinary talents on the Restoration page of this website.
He painstakingly restored 9 of the puppets—repairing the controls, restringing, painting, sanding, fashioning hair, making new hands, bodies and recreating the costumes. Other than repairing the controls for the 2 Galapoochie Pup puppets, they were not touched, as the "fur" was not something he was prepared to tackle.
There was only 1 Poison Zoomack puppet in the original group but Doug made an exact duplicate. It is part of this collection but it is identified as a replica, not an original.
In the fall of 2019, Paul's daughter Vicki purchased the Rootie Kazootie Puppets from Doug and they joined the rest of the Paul Ashley Puppet family.