Hey Big J,
I just had to share some information after reading your post. You are 100% correct about the paint and Quality Control issues. The last 2 "Red Lamp Posts" I bought from GFP 3 years ago had problems. The red base of the "Lamp Posts" started losing their red pigment color, after only two Christmas seasons. The red color pigment in the plastic started to fade out. The plastic was turning back into a milk jug looking color. I can't understand why the sun was destroying the "Red Lamp Post Base". My thoughts are that some sort of Government Environmental Regulation has changed the chemicals/processes in the manufacturing. I had to get a can of red spray paint for plastic and fix them. You shouldn't have to paint over colored plastic like that. Just look at all the old "Red Lamp Posts", that Empire made 40 plus years ago, on Ebay. You don't see the red pigment completely faded out of them. This same issue is happening to one of my Large Street Pole (Municipal) Red Lanterns I bought about 5 years ago from GP Designs. Since this is happening at both company's, then everything points to some kind of change to the process. I had often wondered, if some sort of Government EPA regulations had caused GFP to change their paint too. The new type of paints may not hold as well as the old style did. This would explain why the new paint was so thick on the plastic. Either way, the quality was going down for several years. I wish another company would buy the molds and bring them back with better quality. Although I'm trying to stay optimistic, in my heart I feel this is the end of our beloved vintage blow molds.