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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

The Blow Mold Expert

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About The Blow Mold Expert

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Little Drummer Boy
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    Canada
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    Blow Molds and Animatronics
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    80's
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    Confidential
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    Blowmolds

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  1. I have several pre-blow mold items and all it takes to keep them in good condition is a steady room tempature that isn't too dry. Update: looking at dates on the advertisements, I have come to the following conculsion: Sculptor **** Wiken left around 1954, however they didnt get a new sculptor until around 1957. This was because after Wiken left and took the rights for his designs with him (they stopped selling almost all Wiken pieces), Mold Craft was allowed to continue to sell certain pieces designed by Wiken, at least for a few years. We know this because of figures like the "Santa's Brownies" elves or the 2 Santas in the previously posted advertisement that were Wiken pieces but stayed in the Mold Craft catalog until the Heller buyout, and were subsequently produeced by them afterwards. Apparently, they retained the rights to both the Life Size deer teams and the King Size team. They lost the rights to the two styles of "Junior Size" team and the Santas for all 5 teams. However, they retained the rights to the two Santas in image 6 (they weren't designed to be used with a deer team.) Additionally, it appears they obviously were allowed to sell off any remaining stock of Wiken's designs that was already on the factory floor. Apparently stock of the Santas for both the Life Size teams ran out first (after all they were the 2 most popular styles.) When this happened they instead started selling it with the Santa with the strung fiberglass beard. This ad is dated after the ads for the sleigh teams but before the ad with the 2 Santas (image 6.) When stock of him ran out too, they started selling the teams with the large Santa from image 6 which was the only large Santa they still had the rights to produce new. Eventually, the stock of the Santa from the King Size set ran out too, so they started selling that set with the only large santa they still had the rights to aswell. So the stand alone Santas were never supposed to be displayed with deer teams, but due to a downright brilliant overstock clearing move by Mold Craft, 2 of the 3 of them were (the smaller one from the 6th image was never sold with any deer teams.)
  2. Mold Craft produced 6 reindeer teams between their openeing in 1947 and their factory fire and eventual sell out to Heller in 1963. Heller coincidentally burnt too in late 1965 or early 1966. In the time Mold Craft was around there were really 2 "eras" of the company. In the early days (1947 to mid 50s) D*ck Wiken was head sculptor. 5 of the 6 Mold Craft deer teams were produces in this time. After he left to start his own company Sculptoris Inc. in the mid 50s, Mold Craft stopped selling items produced from his sculpts. This may have been for legal reasons or simply to offer a new catalogue of products. Regardless, after he left the only Mold Craft deer team that was produced is the most commen one (the one stamped 1958 and internally lit.) For that deer team a waving Santa was produced that could be ordered in standing or half body varieties. This deer team was marketed as "Junior Size Deer Team" even though Mold Craft only produced one size of team after Wiken left. There were 2 different "Junior Size" teams created BEFORE Wiken left, and the similar names create confusion. Since this set isn't part of the mystery and only makes things more confusing, we'll leave it out from now on. I want to focus on the 5 sets made before Wiken's departure from the company. They are as follows: White Junior Size Deer Team Brown Junior Size Deer Team No. 42-5 Life Size Deer Team No. 42-8 Life Size Deer Team (more on these in a minute) King Size Deer Team Now we have concrete evidence of the Santa's the two Junior Size teams came with. The white "Junior Size" team came with a small santa with a flat hat (see image 1.) This is the only Santa recorded being sold with this team. The brown Junior Size team came with a 6'3 waving Santa with toy bag, named "Santa Collosis". Unlike the other teams where Santa was in the sleigh, this santa was designed to stand beside the sleigh (which was full of gifts.) See the ad (image 2, sorry for the small pixel size) This is the only Santa recorded being sold with this set. The Life Size teams are where things get choppy. There were two Life Size deer teams. One involved deer with round, short faces. The other featured long faces, with little white dots on their backs. One of these was No. 42-5 and one was No. 42-8, but I havent found any catalog image that puts a certain number with a certain set. For this reason I will call them "Short Faced" and "Long Faced" Life Size sets. These sets both were sold with 3 Santas over the years. At one point, the "Short Faced" set was sold with a santa with his left arm in the air and his right arm accross his stomach (see image 3). The "Long Faced" set was sold with a Santa with his right arm in the air and his left arm off to his side, not molded into his body or accross his stomach (see image 4.) While having a similar hand position as "Santa Collosis", this Santa's left hand isn't accross his stomach, whereas the left hand of "Santa Collosis" was. Now somewhere along the line these sets both started being sold with a full body, over 6 ft. tall santa with real fiberglass beard (see image 5.) This santa is very clearly none of the Santas in images 1-4. So that's it for the Life Size teams right? Nope. Somewhere along the like a THIRD santa was sold with the two life size sets. This is a 6ft Santa with bag and is very clearly different from the other 5 Santa's we've discussed so far (see image 6.) The "King Size" team was sold with either a half body or full body (up to the buyer) "Santa Collosis" (see image 7) that was sold with the brown "Junior Size" team as well. With the large size of the deer in the "King Size" team it made sense and was to scale to have him in the sleigh instead of beside it like with the brown Junior team. But if you looked at the bottom of the ad for the third Santa sold with the "Life Size" sets, you'll see this Santa was sold with the King Size set as well. So it's no mystery how many Santas were made for use in sleigh teams by Mold Craft. Wiken-era Mold Craft made 6 Santas for its 5 sleigh teams and sold 10 combinations. Here they are: White Junior Set (flat hat Santa) Brown Junior Set (Santa Colossis) "Short Faced" Life Size Set (Left Arm Up Santa) "Short Faced" Life Size Set (Strung Fiberglass Beard Santa) "Short Faced" Life Sized Set (6ft Bag Santa) "Long Faced" Life Size set (Right Arm up Santa) "Long Faced" Life Size Set (Strung Fiberglass Beard Santa) "Long Faced" Life Sized Set (6ft Bag Santa) King Sized Set (Santa Collosis) King Sized Set (6ft Bag Santa) The mystery is the timeline. In terms of the Life Sized set, which came first? Each style's unique Santas, the strung fiberglass beard Santa or the 6ft one with the bag? Which came first with the King Size set? Santa Collosis or the 6ft Bag Santa?
  3. Nobody does as far as I know. We can't even pinpoint a manufacturer or year. They made a version with rosy red circles on his cheeks too. Both pop up on ebay from time to time.
  4. Thats awesome way to light them without damaging them, going to take note!
  5. For the last few years I've tried to keep my halloween display "period correct" to a halloween display from the 1980s. Homemade props, those halloween leaf bags, paper decorations, dollar store hanging ghosts and bats, and plenty of blow molds. No animated figures or 20 foot inflatable grim reapers here. The only exception is a small inflatable skull we had on our porch to fill the space, but next year I plan to replace it with one of those giant spider lawn bags. Our pumpkins this year included Gene Simmons of KISS fame, and an evil Gremlin with the clock digits "12:01" on the back (don't feed them after midnight!) Here are some photos both at night and during the day. 20191031_230638.mp4
  6. For that price it would be cheaper to go online and buy an authentic 60s Union or Empire soldier. And that's even with Ebay's scam prices.
  7. I know that many blow mold collectors such as myself collect Poloron's styrofoam "Vaccuel" decorations because of the art style and company realtion, but are there any other Vacuform fans out there? Vacuform deocrations are like a step down from the celluloid molds of the 50s and 60s. They have no back or light, are more brittle, and are not more than a few inches deep. The earliest ones I can find were produced by Star Band Co. in their 1970 halloween catalog listed along with their celluloid blow molds. They exploded in popularity in the 70s and were usually halloween themed, but were unfortunately seldom marked with a manufacturer or date. Empire put their foot in the ring in 1984 with their halloween Vacuforms. Popularity would continue into the early 90s and fizzle out by the early 2000s. Halloween ones from classic pumpkins to the Creature from the Black Lagoon were produced, but christmas ones were seldom seen and were usually simple snowman or santa faces. I'm trying to document these decorations before norw end up in the garbage due to their low presumed value and brittleness. Does anyone have any to show off? None of these are mine, these are examples from around the internet. The first image is the Celluloid blow mold page of the 1970 Star Band Halloween Catalog. The scarecrow is a vacuform, and the rest on the page were available in unlit, no backing, Vacuform versions.
  8. It's so funny that after GF closed and there were no companies left, a ton of new companies popped up. Cado, Pan Asian, Gemmy... Who made these? They look like Gemmy's art style but the wrong type of plastic. Are these Pan Asian or has a fourth company now thrown it's hat in the ring?
  9. Who's making this stuff? Are these by Pan Asian? I picked up all the giant christmas lights as well as the 36 inch santa with bell that Home Depot had last year, I'm hoping to get the 36 inch snowman counterpart this year. The art style of this stuff looks exactly the same, especially the Santa and Snowman. It could be like what Walmart did with Pan Asian last year. My guess is Home Depot had exclusive distribution rights to the oversize light bulbs, so they were reworked with a different base (the ones you see here) for Walmart to legally be a different product. With how similar that Santa and Snowman are to the ones Home Depot had last year, the same thing could have happened with them - making slight changes to legally be able to sell them to another retailer. The nativity, sleigh sign, and bear look entirely new though.
  10. Looking for a commercial that aired during a broadcast of the Rankin Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the early 90s. I had it on a VHS tape (that I still own) that was recorded off TV in southern Ontario. I think it was recorded off of a Canadian channel, not an American signal, as it had many commercials for Canadian only stores (Eaton's, Hudson's Bay, Etc.) I think it was recorded off CBC. The commercial started out with the camera facing out a window, looking onto a set of a snowy field at night full of lit christmas trees. The camera panned over to a table trimmed with garland beside it. On the table was various Rudolph merchandise, mostly animated plush toys of various sizes, the biggest of which was about 15" tall. The camera zoomed in on each item as an off screen narrator described it. The merchandise didn't appear to be legally liscensed by Rankin Bass in any way, but was definitely created in it's likeness. So why do I have the tape still but not the commercial? As a kid I had Automonophobia - a fear of animatronics/simulated life. Mixed with the creepy piano music, old-school narrator, poor camera quality and uncomfortably close camera angles, this was the perfect storm to terrify 2 year old me. Around the time I was 4 I got so freaked out thay my mom was tired of fast forwarding the commercial every time (I watched this tape alot, not just at christmas) and I told her to tape it over. So now the commercial cuts out after 3 seconds (the window scene) and is taped over by a hockey game. About a minute later it comes back to a Lego commercial (more on that later.) As far as I can tell, the first liscensed animated Rudolph wasn't made until 2004. This backs up my theory that it was unliscenesed. The first unliscenesed one made by Gemmy (the manufacturer whose products most resemble those in the ad) wasn't made until 1998. It isn't the 1994 Rudolph plush from Applause Inc either, as that one never moved like the one in the commercial. In fact, I have no idea who made this thing or what year it was made in, which is making research incredibly difficult. I traced a Noma Ornamotion tree ornament commercial to 1992, however I also traced the aforementioned Eaton's commercial to 1993, and a Dristan Cold and Sinus comemrcial to 1994. The Lego commercial seems to only have aired in 1992. Additionally, I found an off-air recording of How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Youtube, recorded from CBC on December 18th, 1992. It has many of the same commercials/bumpers, including the Lego commercial. I think that the Rudolph special on my tape aired during the same block or week as the Grinch special, and that the person who uploaded the Eaton's commercial had it dated 1993 due to that being the year written on their tape, even though the commercial could have aired in both 1992 and 1993. I also beleive the same thing happened with the Dristan commercial, coming out in late 1992 and lasting until early 1994 (commercials used to have longer runs) with the uploader's tape being labeled Jan/Feb 1994. So this brings me to a hypothesized year of 1992. I theorize that the commercial was an infomercial for phone order Rudolph merchandise sold in southern Ontario that was not legally tied to Rankin Bass but made in it's likeness, airing on CBC in December 1992. The fact that the animated figure was phone order only would make it rare, hence why there isn't a figure matching it's description online. If anybody remembers this ad, recorded christmas specials from Canadian TV in the early 90s, or had an animated figure matching this description in the early 90s, please let me know. Thanks, I know it was a long read
  11. Probably Cado like the Nativity. Cado's molds they got from Union are still stamped Union.
  12. They look very similar to the style of the Gemmy molds.
  13. Last month I posted my photos of the ALF.CO choir children I got for a steal. 3 of the 6 full body ones, 2 of the 6 angels, and all 3 of the super rare half bodies. The only known photo of the half bodies is one of the Bronner's showroom in 1961. The person I got these from got them in "rual central Michigan" (near Bronners). They are stamped 1960 (ALF stamped exact years unto their actual individual blow molds), a year before the photo was taken. Given all that and their extremely limited production, chances are they are the half body carolers in the photo, and the other carolers/angels are from Bronners too. They are so elusive I am thinking they may have been Bronners exclusive, even old ALF ads only list the full bodies. In the aforementioned photo, they are attached to a choir box they were presumablely origingally were sold with. After attemps to acquire the original choir box from Bronners (which they still have) were unsuccessful, this christmas a family member was kind enough to follow the photo and build me an exact replica for the choir children! Here it is with the caroler children attached and with the three full body children I have in front of it.
  14. Did Garrison Wagner actually make some of their own products? I was under the impression they were just a distributor. I just always assumed these were early GP because as far as I know, no other company made these large municipals in this style. If these are GW produced or made by another more obscure company, that would be really neat!
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