For the child in us all






As a collector you may eventually want to resell certain puppets probably because you have found a better example for yourself. To get the best price possible it is likely you will list it on ebay where buyers can bid for your treasure.

You really will need to be open and honest about the condition of the puppet, its box and any other extras that come with it.

Put the puppet into as good order as possible. Make sure the strings are not tangled and the puppet works correctly as this alone will attract buyers.

You must list it with a comprehensive description and pictures that are as honest as possible.The more pictures the better. The description should include the name of the puppet, its age, any history that you know about it, if it’s complete, what is missing, what has been replaced and any faults. The pictures should include the control, the box and instructions. Of course the better the condition of the puppet the better it will sell.





Don’t be tempted to mislead by omission of facts.  People are buying expensive items without the chance to look at them first hand so this can lead to disappointment.  You then have all the wrangles of a failed sale, which will cost you more money in the long run.


Example of a description that should be put in a listing:


This is Gretel a Pelham Puppet that was manufactured between 1962-1969.  She comes in her original box with her original instructions.  She is complete in every way, having her original control, which has Pelham Puppets England printed on the top.  All the coloured buffers and original strings are present.

She is in played with condition and has been well used.  She is in good working order and her strings have not been tangled cut or knotted.  Her clothes are clean and nothing is missing. Her black feet are pretty worn around the edges but apart from that her paintwork is excellent and I can see no marks or cracks anywhere.

Her box is a solid yellow snake charmer box, which is marked with a sticker of her name on one end saying SL Gretel.  The box has faded somewhat and there is a tear on one corner.

Her original instructions are also complete and the application to the Pelham Puppet club has not been used.  They say 15p for a year’s membership.  She still has the original tissue paper.


Buying Pelham Puppets

If you are just starting out collecting puppets, it can all seem pretty confusing. Their manufacture spanned over fifty years and Bob Pelham was always looking to improve them so there were definite changes from their early beginnings to the mass produced ones when the company folded. This and the fact they were mainly hand made means many differences become apparent, even between like puppets. 

There is no doubt the most valuable Pelham Puppets are those that are completely original and in mint condition. These I think will be the ones that will go up in value in the coming years, so you should try and collect them if possible.  Of course this is becoming increasingly difficult as more and more people are collecting them. Unfortunately if they are sold on Ebay then it is those buyers with the funds that usually manage to procure them.

When you are collecting Pelham Puppets I can tell you now it is not as easy as you might think to find one in excellent condition. You must not forget Pelham Puppets were toys were made for children.  Puppets got broken and boxes got scribbled on, but this of course is all part and parcel of collecting these wonderful little string characters and may give you an insight into what the previous owner might have been like. Don’t forget puppets often spent time deteriorating in damp lofts or under dusty stairs.  This being the case, its best go for as much originality as possible.

 Try to collect puppets in their original boxes with their original instructions.  Having a complete puppet in excellent condition is very satisfying but not always possible. Because they are made of parts that can be interchanged, Pelham puppets are easily meddled with and its not always easy to see that all is not as it should be..

Do not believe all you read from sellers and always be very wary.  There are those who will go as far as to make fakes  but this is rare and doesn’t happen very often. It is usually the smaller details that are changed.  The puppets can be put into the wrong boxes and given the wrong instructions and their parts and clothes can be interchanged or replaced very easily.

My advice when you find a puppet you would like to purchase is to ASK QUESTIONS.  Ask for pictures and ask about the condition of the puppet, as photographs can also be very deceiving. They can show a puppet to be in much better condition than it really is.  Be wary if the seller hides parts of the puppet in any photographs; it usually means something is wrong or something is missing, so ask about it.  Ask for photographs of the control.  Many people purchase puppets only to find they have been homemade.  Ask if there have been any repairs.  Many sellers will omit the fact they have repaired a cracked neck or such.  This is the sort of damage that can happen to the Pelham SL heads and is quite a common occurrence, though a repair is difficult to hide unless its been done professionally.

 Ask the seller as much as possible about the history of the puppet.  Knowing who owned it and for how long and where it came from are useful bits of knowledge to have.  It will probably be completely original if bought from a private seller who does not deal in Pelham Puppets. 

 Puppets from America do generally seem to be in better condition than those from the UK, and often they are cheaper to buy and it’s well worth paying the extra shipping to get an original item.