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    Drummer Soldier Identification?


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    Notice the photo used on the TPI box was of a different mold than what they produced. 

    Wonder if that was an original Poloron one they used for the photo.  Would make sense they took one and repainted it and painted over the holly just to show what theirs would look like in their colors.  Their copy they had made by MAC may have been still in development, so this would be a cheap early way to get a image.

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    Notice the photo used on the TPI box was of a different mold than what they produced. 

     

    Bill,  They used that same picture on the boxes our drummer boys are in and as you can see in my picture, our drummer boys are painted different.  I don't recall seeing any other TPI drummer boys with the same colors as ours, have you?  They do not show those colors In the TPI catalogs.

     

    The only difference I have been able to find between the TPI and Sun Hill drummer boy is the way the eyes are painted.

     

    Mel

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    Bill,  They used that same picture on the boxes our drummer boys are in and as you can see in my picture, our drummer boys are painted different.  I don't recall seeing any other TPI drummer boys with the same colors as ours, have you?  They do not show those colors In the TPI catalogs.

     

    The only difference I have been able to find between the TPI and Sun Hill drummer boy is the way the eyes are painted.

     

    Mel

    Mel, I haven't seen another TPI drummer boy like yours.  I have some photos saved from ebay, but I believe those are the auction you won.

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    Bill, thanks for the reply and info, There must be at least a few more the color of ours out there somewhere, maybe more will show up someday.

     

    Mel

     

    Mel,

     

    While looking for some other photos, I found these pics on my computer.  The light kit is in a different place than my TPI drummer.  Is this the same placement as your light kit?

     

    Bill.

    post-35-0-96306800-1370783728_thumb.jpg

    post-35-0-91508900-1370783735_thumb.jpg

    post-35-0-21549400-1370783785_thumb.jpg

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    Bill, I went out and checked our TPI drummer boys and yes, the light kit is in the same place on both of them.  To keep things interesting in trying to identify the TPI drummer boys, we have another drummer boy that is painted like the one in the picture on the TPI box with the same "beady" eyes that has the light kit between the belt and the bottom of the coat.  There are no markings on him so I have left him in my unidentified files at this time, I do think that it is probably a TPI though.

     

    Mel

     

    EDIT: Ok, I just reread this thread and saw your first pictures and that drummer boy with the black hat looks like the one I described above, including the location of the light kit so that confirms ours is a TPI.  Another unknown now identified, if only the paint condition on ours was better so that I could take a picture of him for blow-molded.com.

     

    Mel

    Edited by Mel Fischer
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    Wonder if that was an original Poloron one they used for the photo.  Would make sense they took one and repainted it and painted over the holly just to show what theirs would look like in their colors.  Their copy they had made by MAC may have been still in development, so this would be a cheap early way to get a image.

     

    I really believe there is more to this than meets the eye.   I think were missing something.   Are we positive this is a "copy"?  This isn't the only style of former Poloron molds produced by multiple manufacturers at the same time (1990's).  Could a possible scenario be that when the Poloron molds were sold (by Holiday Innovations I assume it would be), that due to there being multiple molds of the same design (again, I assume), they were divided up, for example part going to Empire, the other part going to MAC Plastics?  Or maybe Empire sold off dup molds, requiring the removal of the holly design on the hat, as not to compete with the (original) version they were selling.   The fact that TPI used a photo that includes the holly really opens the door to what we don't know.  I just don't believe TPI searched for an old one to repaint for a photo, (this is before ebay). That is extremely unlikely.   Quite bush league actually and I don't believe a company would do that.  Maybe the one used in the photo was new old stock, purchased along with the molds.  I will say I have four of the Empire, Poloron remakes.  The soldier (with the holly), the similar height Santa and Snowman, as well as the 48" Snowman.  All still have some Poloron markings on them.  For example the UL logo.  In fact, on the 48" snowman, you can see the Poloron name on it.  What's also interesting is that General Foam sells the soldier version without the holly.  What's up with that?  (Do they own the former MAC/Grand Venture molds and I'm not aware of it?)  The molds they own should have the holly on them.  But this issue leaves me very intrigued.  Like I said, I think were missing something. 

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    One problem with your scenario is that for the TPI and Sun Hill drummer boys made by MAC Plastics and the Grand Venture one to have been made from former Poloron molds, Poloron would have had to have made two different sizes of the drummer boy and there is no evidence that they ever did that.  The TPI, Sun Hill and Grand Venture drummer boys are all approximately 1" shorter then the Poloron, HI, Empire and General Foam ones.

     

    Also, TPI sold the drummer boy for two years, in 1992 & 1993, they listed it in their catalogs as 34", but it is actually 33" high.  Empire introduced their drummer boy with the holly on the hat as new in 1993 and they list it as 36" high, the same measurement that Holiday Innovations used in their catalog, but they are actually about 34 ½" high.  TPI was selling their drummer boy a year before Empire introduced theirs.

     

    And no, the General Foam drummer boy is not made from the Grand Venture molds, they introduced their drummer boy as new in their 2002 catalog and price list.  Grand Venture was still making their drummer boy that year, they made him from 1999-2005.

     

    As a small trivia side note; The Grand Venture drummer boy had a yellow drum from 1999-2001.  From 2002-2005 the drum was blue.  All of the General Foam catalogs show theirs with a yellow drum.

     

    Mel

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    Mel, since GF purchased the Empire molds, who had the original Poloron molds and sold the Soldier as produced by Poloron, it's just odd that when GF reintroduced it, there was no holly. Why change the mold.  None of the other molds were changed that I'm aware of.    It just does not make sense to me. 

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    Steve, I agree that it doesn't make much sense and I don't know why they changed it.  I am thinking that they probably do use the Poloron molds because they introduced the drummer boy as new the year after they purchased the molds from Empire and I do not know of any 34" drummer boys without the holly other then GenFoam's.   There were rumors and speculations in the forum back around 2004, 2005 or so, that Poloron made both versions of the drummer boy, both with and without the holly.  Personally I do not think that they did, if they had I do believe that at least one of the version without the holly would have shown up by now.

     

    We do not have the GenFoam drummer boy in our collection, so I can not compare it to the Poloron/Empire ones to see if there are any differences other then the holly leaves.  It is sad that GenFoam will not share any information about their molds so we could ask them about the missing holly.

     

    Mel

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    • 2 weeks later...

    Mel, since GF purchased the Empire molds, who had the original Poloron molds and sold the Soldier as produced by Poloron, it's just odd that when GF reintroduced it, there was no holly. Why change the mold.  None of the other molds were changed that I'm aware of.    It just does not make sense to me. 

    The Poloron molds went to Holiday Innovations, then Empire, then General Foam.  The jump from Holiday innovations to Empire is quite obvious, the Poloron items began showing up in Empire's catalogs the year after Holiday Innovations folded, which was 1991.  Poloron items are listed as new in the 1992 Empire catalog.

     

    Empire did acquire  some of the Poloron mold stock when Poloron folded however, their "Deluxe Three-Piece Wisemen Set", #1369 is the Poloron "Large Wise Men" set, #W83-3.  They also acquired the Camel, #C83-1 as well.  Clearly there was open bidding on the molds when Poloron folded and Plastic Toy & Novelty (PTN Industries got most of them.  There are some though that are unaccounted for, such as the Poloron Illuminated Fawn, #C101.  There may have been a third (or more) bidder(s) at the time.  It's possible the "missing" molds were obtained by a bidder(s) that never put them into production.  This would explain Empire making new heads for the 48" Choir singers, the three original head molds may have gone to someone else.  A crazy mix-up, but certainly possible.  I'm sure things got pretty confusing while Poloron was selling off their inventory.

     

    That is not to say Holiday Innovations didn't end up with all of the inventory, Mel and I only have the 1988 and 1989 catalogs.  It's possible some of the other items are in the 1990 and 1991 catalogs but were not picked up by retailers.

     

    Mold modifying isn't new, Empire modified one of the Poloron wisemen out of the set listed above.  The african american bending wiseman no longer has his sandled foot poking from beneath his robe, it's just a flat area on the robe now.  That was probably due to someone dropping the mold on a concrete floor and damaging the foot.  He is shown in the 1983 Empire catalog with his foot intact.  By the 1989 catalog it's been modified.

     

    Empire also modified two other Poloron molds, minor modifications but modified nonetheless.  They removed the molded shovel and broom support from the mittens of the "Giant Illuminated Snowman" (with Merry Christmas shovel), #C84-1 and the "Illuminated Standing Snowman"(With broom), #C91-1.

     

    It is possible the Drummer Boy was damaged in some way that necessitated the removal of the holly.  I am sure these molds aren't too hard to damage if they get knocked over.  It's just a theory, but I am guessing that may be why some of these features get changed, excluding the shovel and broom of course, those were removed because they were not putting a shovel and broom on them anymore.

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    You're welcome Elaine!  I just noticed I made a mistake on the Poloron choir heads though, since Holiday Innovations did use the original Poloron head molds for their edition of the choir singers.  So those may have been lost in the transition from HI to Empire.  But a third or more bidders may still have aquired the other missing molds.

     

    General Foam will not reveal what they have for their steel mold inventory, it is known however they do have a master list with every mold they own on it.  I would LOVE to have a copy of that.  They did reveal they do have the Poloron 48" choir singer molds.  I believe it was Clint Babcock that inquired about whether they would make them and they replied they had the molds but did not have enough interest.

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    You're welcome Elaine!  I just noticed I made a mistake on the Poloron choir heads though, since Holiday Innovations did use the original Poloron head molds for their edition of the choir singers.  So those may have been lost in the transition from HI to Empire.  But a third or more bidders may still have aquired the other missing molds.

     

    General Foam will not reveal what they have for their steel mold inventory, it is known however they do have a master list with every mold they own on it.  I would LOVE to have a copy of that.  They did reveal they do have the Poloron 48" choir singer molds.  I believe it was Clint Babcock that inquired about whether they would make them and they replied they had the molds but did not have enough interest.

     Kev I sent u a message on yahoo about the blow moled . com

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    Mel and Kev-

     

    I too appreciate the history and knowledge you have about blow molds! It is amazing what the two of you know. I have a mystery Santa that I will be posting a pic of soon!  Just have to wait for my dad to send me the pic.  It's one we had when I was growing up and I don't see it anywhere on blow-molded.com or other sites.

     

    Thanks again for all of your hard work in keeping the blow mold hobby alive and well!

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    Empire did acquire  some of the Poloron mold stock when Poloron folded however, their "Deluxe Three-Piece Wisemen Set", #1369 is the Poloron "Large Wise Men" set, #W83-3.  They also acquired the Camel, #C83-1 as well.  Clearly there was open bidding on the molds when Poloron folded and Plastic Toy & Novelty (PTN Industries got most of them.

     

    I haven't heard of "PTN Industires".  What did they do with all the molds that they bought?  Did they ever produce any of the items?

     

    TED

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    I noticed that some of you referred to these drummer boys as "infantry".  I think he looks like a marching band drummer.  I have never thought of him as infantry.  What do you think?

     

    I wish there were several different drummer boys available.  I'd like to see one with a bass drum, one with cymbols and one with the set of 3 drums that are used in marching bands!

     

    TED

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    I haven't heard of "PTN Industires".  What did they do with all the molds that they bought?  Did they ever produce any of the items?

     

    TED

    PTN Industries is the company that produced the Holiday Innovations line.  The Holiday Innovations name is just the brand name PTN used.  Empire ended up with them and then General Foam, who currently owns them.

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    • 4 weeks later...

    The Poloron molds went to Holiday Innovations, then Empire, then General Foam.  The jump from Holiday innovations to Empire is quite obvious, the Poloron items began showing up in Empire's catalogs the year after Holiday Innovations folded, which was 1991.  Poloron items are listed as new in the 1992 Empire catalog.

     

    Empire did acquire  some of the Poloron mold stock when Poloron folded however, their "Deluxe Three-Piece Wisemen Set", #1369 is the Poloron "Large Wise Men" set, #W83-3.  They also acquired the Camel, #C83-1 as well.  Clearly there was open bidding on the molds when Poloron folded and Plastic Toy & Novelty (PTN Industries got most of them.  There are some though that are unaccounted for, such as the Poloron Illuminated Fawn, #C101.  There may have been a third (or more) bidder(s) at the time.  It's possible the "missing" molds were obtained by a bidder(s) that never put them into production.  This would explain Empire making new heads for the 48" Choir singers, the three original head molds may have gone to someone else.  A crazy mix-up, but certainly possible.  I'm sure things got pretty confusing while Poloron was selling off their inventory.

     

    That is not to say Holiday Innovations didn't end up with all of the inventory, Mel and I only have the 1988 and 1989 catalogs.  It's possible some of the other items are in the 1990 and 1991 catalogs but were not picked up by retailers.

     

    Mold modifying isn't new, Empire modified one of the Poloron wisemen out of the set listed above.  The african american bending wiseman no longer has his sandled foot poking from beneath his robe, it's just a flat area on the robe now.  That was probably due to someone dropping the mold on a concrete floor and damaging the foot.  He is shown in the 1983 Empire catalog with his foot intact.  By the 1989 catalog it's been modified.

     

    Empire also modified two other Poloron molds, minor modifications but modified nonetheless.  They removed the molded shovel and broom support from the mittens of the "Giant Illuminated Snowman" (with Merry Christmas shovel), #C84-1 and the "Illuminated Standing Snowman"(With broom), #C91-1.

     

    It is possible the Drummer Boy was damaged in some way that necessitated the removal of the holly.  I am sure these molds aren't too hard to damage if they get knocked over.  It's just a theory, but I am guessing that may be why some of these features get changed, excluding the shovel and broom of course, those were removed because they were not putting a shovel and broom on them anymore.

     

    Kev, I noticed another modification is the "Illuminated Santa Claus", C67-1.  Empire changed the base, I'm sure for better stability.    One thing I found interesting is the 1988 Holiday Innovations catalog is basically a reprint of most of the old Poloron catalog.    

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