September 2014 | PlanetChristmas 47 Beco produced the first Christmas blow molds in Chicago, Illinois in 1962 and started the blow mold craze that’s still alive today. The first blow mold pictures were published in the 1962 Sears Christmas catalog shown on the next four pages. In November of 1965 Beco sold out to MSL Industries which continued to use the Beco name till July 1968 when they changed to MSL Industries and creating new boxes. In 1970 MSL sold out to General Foam that started the dominance of the General Foam Company. In 1963 Poloron started Manufacturing Blow Mold characters in New Rochelle, New York and by 1988 they had sold out to Holiday Innovations which continued manufacturing Poloron Characters. Holiday Innovations never produced any new molds of their own and by 1991 the quality control at Holiday Innovations had become so bad they ended up selling out to Empire - Carolina Enterprises the next year. Empire produced molds and characters from 1992 till 2000 when once again another manu-facturer sold out to General Foam. NOMA International manufactured blow molds in Glenview, Illinois starting in the early 1960’s and is still selling Christmas blow molds under the NOMA name but is no longer man-ufacturing them. Union blow mold products were manufac-tured in Leominster, Massachusetts from 1967 through 2006 when they sold out to Faster Forms which never went into production with any characters. In a letter Faster Forms stated they destroyed most of the Union molds due to the boom in the inflatable market and low demand for blow mold characters. In 2012 Union CADO started up manufacturing some characters under their own name. Dapol Co. manufactured blow molds in Worchester, Massachusetts from 1963 to 1977 when they shut down manufacturing. Some of the molds again went to General Foam. Empire-Carolina Enterprises Inc. manufac-tured blow molds in Tarboro, NC from the mid 1960s to 2000, went bankrupt and the molds again were sold to General Foam. General Foam manufactured blow molds in Norfolk, Virginia from 1992 to the present. It’s unknown how many of the other manufactur-er’s molds they still have but they have acquired molds from Beco, Poloron, Empire, Santa’s Best and some of the Dapol molds. Drainage manufactured blow molds in Appleton, Wisconsin from 1973 to 2012 and it’s unknown where the old molds ended up. Sun Hill manufactured blow molds in Hong Kong and Sanford, Connecticut from 1981 to 1999. The current mold location is unknown. TPI – Tucker Plastics Inc. manufactured blow Molds in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada from 1987 to 2004 when they sold out to Farley Technologies. In 2005 Farley Technologies filed for bankruptcy and in 2007 Farley International Technologies Inc. recovered the molds from the bank. Farley International Technologies sold the molds to Nu-Del Manufacturing in May, 2008. Neither Farley nor Nu-del has ever pro-duced any of the TPI characters. Grand Venture manufactured blow molds in Washington, Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2005 and sold out to Prime Plastics, which is cur-rently manufacturing a few of the Christmas, Halloween and Easter Characters. Santa’s Best manufactured blow molds in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Mexico from 1987 to 2003 when they closed. Most of the molds were sold to General Foam except for the Warner Brothers molds. It’s thought that General Foam has the Warner Brother molds also but they won’t confirm that. Holiday Innovations manufactured charac-ters in Edison, New York from 1988 to 1991 when they closed due to poor quality. Again, the molds were sold to General Foam. Mac Plastics and Falcon Plastics were both known to have manufactured blow mold char-acters for Sun Hill, TPI and Grand Venture. 1962 Sears Christmas Catalog On the next four pages are images of the 1962 Sears Christmas catalog. Look carefully at the images as well as the pricing. Back then we called it the Christmas Wish Book.
PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014
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