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This holiday special features Jim Henson’s Muppets in a tale of toys with a secret life of their own. The program opens with Kermit the Frog introducing the story. Once Kermit leaves the Jones family’s playroom, the toys come to life, singing “Toys Love to Play.” Afterward, when the Joneses return, the toys scramble to get back into position. If they don’t get back to their original position and are caught by a human, they will be “frozen” forever. Then, children Jesse and Jamie return to the room, wanting to play some more with their beloved toys, such as Rugby the stuffed tiger. Later, Belmont the rocking horse reveals to Balthazar the bear, Bleep the robot, and others that it is Christmas Eve. Rugby make fun of Mew, the mouse toy belonging to Ouija the cat, as he smells of catnip. Next, Rugby sings about being “The Greatest Christmas Toy of All,” recalling Christmas of one year past when he was given to Jamie and became her favorite new toy. Thinking that he needs to get back to the Christmas tree to re-enact the previous year’s glory, Rugby sneaks out of the room and into the dark hallway, putting himself in clear danger. Meanwhile, Balthazar discusses what Christmas means around the playroom, mainly the influx of news toys into their lives. As an example, he tells how Rugby replaced Apple the doll as Jamie’s favorite toy. Balthazar discusses opening their hearts and welcoming the new toys. In the hallway, Rugby is nervous as he tries to make it to the faraway living room. The toys back in the playroom fret that Rugby will get caught and be frozen forever. Ditz the clown follows Rugby into the hall. The mother then walks down the hall and tosses Ditz aside, putting him into a frozen state as the father tries to find Ouija to put him outside. The toys bemoan Ditz’s sad fate. With no one else willing to help, Mew goes searching for Rugby, eventually finding him in a closet and springing him. Rugby discusses with Mew what it’s like to have a special day all for oneself, reprising “The Greatest Christmas Toy of All.” Then Belmont comes up with the “idea” to go rescue Rugby; soon, Apple and the other toys are singing “Try the Impossible.” Meanwhile, Rugby and Mew makes it to the family Christmas tree, with Rugby wanting to get inside a box so he will yet again have the excitement of getting opened as a gift. Eventually, Apple arrives, telling Rugby not to get in the box and that he can’t be Jamie’s favorite present again. Rugby finally pries open a box for Jamie, disheartened to find a new toy already inside. The toy, a doll known as Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids, springs from the box, questioning Mew as to where she is. Apple reveals to Rugby her sadness on the day that Rugby replaced her as Jamie’s newest toy. Rugby now understands that Meteora is Jamie’s new Christmas present, but refuses to give up without a fight. The Joneses hear the rumblings and the father heads for the living room. However, with quick thinking, Mew stops him from entering the room, impressing his toy comrades by mimicking Ouija’s meows. Then, Rugby convinces Meteora to get back in her box by hinting at what’s ahead, singing “Meteora” with her. Afterward, the toys march back to the playroom though Mew gets left behind. Rugby tries to rescue him, but Mew is seen by the mother and frozen. Rugby returns to see his lifeless friend and is distraught. Rugby sings a sad song of love to his departed buddy, “Old Friend, Dear Friend.” Then, Mew miraculously rises, as does Ditz and a formerly frozen stuffed bird. Rugby is curious about what happened, though Mew can’t explain the phenomenon. Rugby says that, for him, Mew coming back to life is the best Christmas present imaginable. After Jamie and Jesse bring their newest toys into the playroom, they hear Jamie say that she loves each of them. All the toys sing “Together at Christmas,” then are joined by Kermit for a final chorus. Includes commercials. Also includes an “ABC News Sports Update” with Dan Lovett.


  • DATE: December 6, 1986 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:58:59
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:08864
  • GENRE: Children's programs
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Children's programs; Christmas; Puppets
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 1986
    • TV - Commercials - Anheuser-Busch Budweiser beer
    • TV - Commercials - Kraft products
    • TV - Commericials - "Jim Henson's The Christmas Toy" poster
    • TV - Promos - "John Grin's Christmas"
    • TV - Promos - "Sidekicks"
    • TV - Promos - "Sledgehammer"
    • TV - Promos - "The Perry Como Christmas Special: Christmas in San Antonio"
    • TV - Promos - "The Wonderful World of Disney: Swiss Family Robinson"


  • Diana Birkenfield … Executive Producer
  • Martin G. Baker … Producer
  • Jim Henson … Producer, Created by
  • Eric Till … Director
  • Laura Phillips … Writer
  • Jeff Moss … Music by
  • Ed Herlihy … Announcer
  • Dave Goelz … Cast, Voice, Rugby
  • Steve Whitmire … Cast, Voice, Mew
  • Kathryn Mullen … Cast, Voice, Apple
  • Jerry Nelson … Cast, Voice, Balthazar
  • Richard Hunt … Cast, Voice, Belmont
  • Camille Bonora … Cast, Voice, Meteora
  • Brian Henson … Cast, Voice, Cruiser
  • Rob Mills … Cast, Voice, Bleep
  • Nikki Tilroe … Cast, Voice, Ding-A-Ling
  • Marsha Moreau … Cast, Jamie Jones
  • Zachary Bennett … Cast, Jesse Jones
  • For "ABC News Sports Update"
  • Dan Lovett … Anchor
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