|By Sharon Verbeten
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The iconic Captain Kangaroo has been resurrected, in a way, thanks to more than 500 lots of memorabilia from the classic children’s TV show. Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs and Memorabilia in Los Angeles recently sold the iconic items from the comedy show, which ran on CBS from 1955 to 1984.
While Bob Keeshan, who starred in the show, died in 2004, his legacy lived in fans and collectors. And there was no shortage of interest in items from the show at the sale.
Leading the sale was a screen-worn Dancing Bear costume, which drew 38 bids and sold for $207,019. All prices include a 20 percent buyer’s premium. The handcrafted costume included the giant plush head and one-piece body suit. On the show, the character was played by its inventor Cosmo Allegretti.
Even if you never wanted to dress up like a costumed character, plenty of kids may have dreamed of having the keys to Captain Kangaroo’s Treasure House, which was featured in the opening of every episode in the first 10 years of the show. Millions of children eagerly anticipated the Captain unlocking the door to his house and hanging the keys up in their place on the wall. The memorable key ring, which features six different keys, brought $27,971. The minimum bid started at $1,000. The auction house called it “the prized and constant symbol of the show.”
Bidders were also fans of costumes worn by Captain Kangaroo and his sidekick Mr. Green Jeans – the memory of the former’s blue and red jackets and the latter’s emerald-colored overalls emblazoned in their memories.
Captain Kangaroo initially wore a navy blue, front-pocketed jacket. In fact, the jacket is credited with inspiring the Kangaroo moniker due to its oversized pockets. Prior to the red suit jacket, Captain Kangaroo wore navy blue for the first 17 seasons of the series. One example of the suit brought $15,786. Other examples were sold. One of the first of the Captain’s red suits, which he wore in 1971, sold for $4,570. Mr. Green Jeans’ XL green overalls sold for $2,342.
Other highlights from the sale included:
•The Captain’s screen-worn fire captain hat, 1955-1959; $4,570
•Moose puppet resembling the show’s Mister Moose; $4,404
•Plaque from 1976 honoring Bob Keeshan’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; $19,103
•Undated Emmy Award, likely 1978, for Keeshan’s performance as Captain Kangaroo; $13,045
•Bound scripts, nine volumes, from the first-ever Saturday episodes; $880
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