In 1983 Pelham Puppets introduced a special Limited Edition series of puppets that they called "The Collectors Series".
They were all sold in a dark blue classy looking box.
The first introduced were Henry the VIII and his wives. The sales leaflet produced at the time said "A limited world wide edition of 1000 sets of collectors marionettes produced only in 1983".
All 1000 set were never produced and from production records only 424 sets were every produced. Each box came with a signed certificate and each one was numbered on a label sewn into the under garments.
Complete sets all of the same number are difficult to find as some sets may have been mixed during dispatch or at sales outlets
It was proposed that they only produce these sets in 1983 and it was the companies hope that in that year all would be sold, however sets were in production from July of 1983 until March of 1986. The Queens heads changed over the time they were made and the later ones are not so finely dressed as the low numbered sets. Also for some strange reason not all were sold as sets of the same number.
Collectors Series Production Records
The graph below shows the numbers of Henry VIII sets produced by Pelham Puppets each month from their introduction in July 1983 to the final batch in March 1986.
Production records show 424 sets were produced with a lot of the higher number not being sold in sets. Set number 326 is the highest I have ever seen. "Unless you have a higher set......"
In 1984 Pelham produced 2 more in the series, this time they were Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.
Each puppet featured a hardwood base with a metal rod that bent above the puppet. A small hardwood control was connected to the rod and the puppet hung on short black strings.
The Pinocchio was interesting as its head was almost a copy of the 1961 version of the puppet. Although the collectors series were a great idea, and in today's collecting mad world these type of things sell well, Pelham Puppets were ahead of their time. The market was not ready for puppets that were just for show.
These puppets often appear for sale on ebay.
Known characters include:
- King Henry the VIII
- Catherine of Aragon
- Catherine Parr
- Jane Seymore
- Anne of Cleeves
- Catherine Howard
- Anne Boleyn
- Jiminy Cricket
- Pinocchio (Highest certificate we have confirmed is 476)
- Rupert Bear (White faced)
- Micky Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- Donald Duck
- Daisy Duck
- Scott (Thunderbirds)
- Virgil (Thunderbirds)
- Brains (Thunderbirds)