As you may have read earlier on the Motion Elves page,  I
found these Motion Dolls at a  locally run discount store
called Marc’s.  A big portion of the store is devoted to close-
outs so every walk through that department is like visiting a
garage sale or flea market.  Over the years I have found some
incredible things there at pretty incredible prices.  It used to
be that Christmas was their very best time.  Every year when
my friend Carolyn and I are setting up my tree we bemoan all
the things we found there once but never found or saw
again.  You’ll hear me mention them often because most of
the neat stuff I have came from there.  

So one day I found three of the Santas on this page, the ones
with the sculpted beards.  Then I spent the next year or two
scouring closeout departments everywhere and could only
find a similar Santa that either came from a different
manufacturer, or it could have been a different model I
suppose.  I have never seen the Santas I bought from Marc’s
again anywhere.  I did find the weird bearded Santa once
back in 2005 on E-Bay and discovered it was made by a
company called Eluceo.  I could find nothing about such a
company on the web.  Below is a picture of what the Santa
beards looked liked when purchased.  You can see why I
called them weird beards.  I guess they are more like “Fright
Beards”.  
At last I found one Weird Santa at Tuesday Morning and one
at Gales, a garden center with an extensive gift department
at Christmas.  The third and last was given to me by my
good friend John.  Knowing that I was trying to increase my
collection, he brought me one he found in a Connecticut gift
shop.  Of the last three, two were identically dressed and all
had the dark fur trim.
 
The first thing I wanted to do was to change the look of the
fright beards so I gave them a perm.  First I cut a small
section from underneath the beard to use as a mustache,
which as you can see was part of his plastic face rather
than the hair.  

I used a ½ inch flat paint brush with a very sharp end to the
handle for this project.  Working from left to right, I used the
pointy end-tip of the paint brush to part out one section of
the fright beard and brushed on some slightly diluted fabric
stiffener until it was thoroughly wet.  Then I rolled the wet
section of hair around the end of the paint brush just as
though it was a tiny hair roller.  I used a blow dryer on each
section for about 30 seconds to set the curl and then slid
the handle out laying the curl gently in place.  I repeated the
process making approximately 30 curls.  As you can see I
rolled each curl in a different direction, some to the right,
some under, some to the left and some in ringlet curls.  After
I finished the entire beard I shaped the mustache using
much the same process.  First I laid the section I had cut
from the beard earlier on to a flat surface.  I wet the section
with the stiffening solution and fashioned the ends into
handle bars.  After I set it with the blow dryer I glued it on
top of his existing plastic mustache.  I think it made a vast
improvement
So then it was on with the tinkering.  Of the six Santas in my
collection only one is performing the same activity as when
he came to me.  After 15 plus years I can’t remember what
the rest were doing when they came out of the box but,
remembering the motion figures in the department store
windows of yore, I wanted each to be acting out his own
little story.  

Our first Santa is Ho Ho Yo Yo the cellist.  He is taking a
moment away from the Christmas preparations to relax with
his music.  I gave him the cello and bow and when in motion
you’d swear he was getting ready to play.  

The Santa with the toy bag is trying to match his list with the
appropriate toy and get it packed and ready.  I made a toy
soldier for his left hand and added the little teddy in his right
as well as the list he is reading.  

Santa is trying to decorate a small tree and is having his
problems.  Other than his beard perm I did nothing to this
figure.  The tree moves along with the tangle of garland.  
There was nothing I could do to help or improve upon his
predictment.  

Our next Santa has quit work for the evening and is
spending some quality time reading to his Siamese.  What
could he be reading to the cat in his lap?  Why, The Night
Before Christmas of course.   I made the book, which has
actual pages and the actual poem printed on those pages.  I
also made the cat and gave him the comfortable green felt
blanket.  When in motion Santa brings his glasses to his
head and turns his head to read and then takes his glasses
away from the book and appears to be looking down at his
friend to see if kitty understands or is still awake and
listening.  

Santa is trying to make a bow for the green box and he
doesn’t seem to be very good at it.   I covered the box and
added the toy and ribbon.  The light in his hand is under the
box lid and illuminates the toy dramatically.  In motion he
raises the lid and the box moves as he struggles with the
chore.     

This Santa has decided to give a cat a new home for
Christmas.  Like anyone who owns cats knows, there is
always plenty of “help” when you set out to do anything.  
The gray tiger won’t let go of the ribbon and is being lifted
up and down and the white cat has jumped on Santa’s
turning head and hangs on for a ride of his own.  Meanwhile
the calico is not so sure about any of it and is set to
escape.  I made all cats that appear with this Santa.

I love all my motion Santas but some move very slowly and I
hesitate to tinker with things I may not be able to fix and
know I can’t replace.