Appearances in Christmas specials
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The Spotted Elephant is introduced as a resident of the Island of Misfit Toys, a place where unwanted toys live until they can find a good home. After Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius arrive there, the Spotted Elephant is later seen as the toy footman who brings them to their cabin after their meeting with King Moonracer at his castle. In the special's extended ending, after Santa Claus shows up and picks up the Misfit Toys, the Spotted Elephant is the second toy that he drops from his sleigh as a gift to children on Christmas Eve.
The Spotted Elephant reappeared in the 2001 Goodtimes Entertainment-produced sequel, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys, where he is abducted from his new home by the Toy Taker. Curiously, unlike in the original special, he is depicted as walking on all four feet like an actual elephant, as opposed to standing on two feet.
Other Christmas productions
The Spotted Elephant makes a brief cameo in The Simpsons episode "'Tis the Fifteenth Season". In one scene, Homer sees a fictional stop-motion television special titled The Year Santa Got Lost, in which the Spotted Elephant and a few other Misfit Toys are shown listening to a story told by a mailman voiced by Jimmy Stewart.
In 1998, CVS Pharmacy introduced the popular Beanie stuffed Toys created by Stuffins selling for $5.99. Today, the 6" Spotted Elephant sells for an average of $50 on eBay, while the 12" version sells for as much as $170.
There are many theories as to why the Spotted Elephant is the most popular of all the Misfit Toys, and why it is so highly sought after by collectors. Some say that the Spotted Elephant is the most easily recognizable by small children who watch the special for the very first time, and end up asking for the "white elephant with polka dots" for their second or third Christmas. Whatever the reason may be, its value continues to increase over time.