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On the set of the beloved holiday classic, there were three identical versions of the Buddy the Elf Hero costume, two of which have already been auctioned off. Just a few weeks ago, the second Hero costume was sold for a whopping $300,000.
This available costume comes from Elf producer Jon Berg, who came into possession of it after filming wrapped on the production. Following his work on Elf, Berg went on to produce at Warner Bros., working on films such as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Justice League, The Blind Side, Argo and more. While at the company, Berg offered to donate the Elf costume to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Archive, but the studio museum turned him down on the offer.
Since then, Berg has held on to the suit, lending it to friends and family over the years, and even wearing it himself on occasion to spread Christmas cheer (as Buddy himself would do).
“It became the default costume that I would wear when I was handing out presents to the kids, and nieces and nephews,” Berg remembered. The producer even lent the costume to a young family member who was playing Buddy the Elf in a high school musical production of the film. “The entire family has tried this thing on at one point or another,” the producer laughed.
As for getting involved in the upcoming sale, Berg learned of the other recent auction from a fellow Elf creator.
“A week or two ago, my friend, who’s the writer of Elf, David Berenbaum, texted me this link that one of the Hero costumes had sold two weeks ago for $300,000,” Berg recalled. “I guess memorabilia and collectibles are more popular now than ever before. And he’s like, ‘Do you still have your costume?’ And of course, I did. It was just sitting in my closet.”
The costume comes complete with a three-quarter-length tailcoat of green wool with embroidered floral border and faux fur collar and cuffs, with labels such as “MR. FERRELL” inscribed on the inside. The costume also comes with a pair of yellow wool tights with large wooden buttons, oversize green embroidered suspenders, a black leather belt with oversize buckle, a pair of elasticized plain black suspenders; a short-sleeved Calvin Klein cream-colored t-shirt, and a pair of black leather shoes with upturned, curly elf toes.
As listed on the site, the final bid for the costume is expected to fall within the $50,000 to $70,000 range.
The auction will be hosted by Bonhams, a privately owned auction house, as part of their “TCM Presents… Hollywood Cool” lot that features a variety of Hollywood items, including Happy Days’ Arthur “Fonz” Fonzarelli’s Triumph Motorbike and Henry Winkler’s complete Fonzie outfit from the show.
Berg will be donating a portion of the proceeds to charity group Action for Aidan, an organization dedicated to raising money for Hunter Syndrome research, in honor of Berg’s 13-year old nephew Aidan Carter, who was diagnosed with the disorder at just 15 months old. Hunter Syndrome (MPSII) is a rare, progressive genetic disorder in which the body is lacking a critical enzyme that clears cellular waste from their bodies. In the most common, severe form of the disease, death occurs by the second decade of life.
The “TCM Presents… Hollywood Cool” auction goes live via Bonhams’ website tomorrow, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. PT.
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