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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.

Kevin Provost

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Everything posted by Kevin Provost

  1. That's true, I didn't even think of the TPI Teddy Bear Drummers. And I bet you're right that he would take offers, I usually have had good luck with haggling myself. Hopefully somebody jumps on these.
  2. It is well known Seasons L.A. is very wonky at best and a very large portion of what they have listed is no longer available. A large list of good retailers has been posted before by others, but I will post it here again. http://christmasligh...mas-blow-molds/ http://www.greenbayw...od&productId=75 http://www.shopko.co.../c/550/1491.uts http://www.bronners....tems.do?nType=2 http://www.americans...73-857758e9692b
  3. Everything there is high except for the Universal Electric Snowman, #215, 182. That guy is pretty rare as far as I know. Mel's is the only other I have seen. http://www.blow-molded.com/Universal_Electric_Products___Archive.html
  4. Jim, That is the correct original light assembly, despite having the light kit hole in the back, it wasn't used by Poloron.
  5. I use wire spool ends. You can get them for free at any electrical supply house. Just go in and ask, in my experience they're happy to get rid of them. They come in all diameters. I bolt them onto the bottom of the molds with toggle bolts which won't pull through. The weight of the base alone holds through most winds and if it doesn't, just toss a brick or block on the back lip of the base. I like them too because it allows me to chain everything easily. I just run the chain through the center hole that is already in the base.
  6. Guys, I am not currently selling these, I apologize. I hope to offer them again in the future. For the time being this seller (not me) carries the General Foam light kits. http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Blow-Mold-Replacement-Cord-Light-Socket-Back-Plate-Free-Shipping-/141145736390?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20dcf104c6 They are priced extremely high, but if you must have one they are available.
  7. I would love to see some photographs of factory painting masks, I wonder if there are any out there. There is only one that I know of from Grand Venture, a pumpkin eye mask, which I attached. The mask is mounted in a hinged sandwich frame so the unit is quickly opened and closed for speedy production. Put the pumpkin in, close it up, quick pass with the spray gun, open it up, pop the pumpkin out, repeat. I am sure it would be doable enough to make a simple mask, just take the item you want a mask for and make a thin mold from it with a material that would be easily cut to allow the painting of each area. Possibly plaster of Paris? You'd have to experiment with different mold making materials and make sure they can be applied properly. I have always wanted to try this, someday I will. I know at one time TPI used wax mold masks, (which would be very easy to make) but they left residue on the plastic that inhibited paint adhesion. I would imagine however that if you're willing to do a little extra work you could clean the wax residue off before moving on to the next area, probably with rubbing alcohol. As for the painting, they use pressure feed paint guns, not airbrushes to paint with. Paint guns are essentially a large airbrush though, they have all the same components an airbrush does. I have one and they are great, but are only controllable to a small degree (mainly paint volume, which in itself is very useful) compared to an airbrush which you can control down to a pencil thin line. I love using an airbrush because with the control you do not need to tape off every area. However, if I had painting masks I would use the paint gun, (has much more control over the paint than a spray paint can) you would be done in minutes with a perfect finish. The picture shows a type they would use in the factory, an HVLP paint gun (other types used are regular air spray and LVMP, which look the same). This same type gun can be seen in the Grand Venture image. The pressurized paint feed in the factory would be from a 55 gallon drum or a paint tank. Paint guns can easily be purchased, they have all different styles and price ranges. To get a look at the commercial painting equipment that the factories use go here- http://www.binks.com/ I forgot to add that the paint the factories use is an industrial coating. I have one quart of original Empire factory fleshtone paint. Unfortunately the ingredients remain a mystery, but they are highly toxic such as toluene, etc. The blow-mold is heated to a specific temperature to ensure a bond and then is painted. The paint will not bond if it is sprayed onto the plastic without it being heated first.
  8. If you're looking for information on what is still made, or what isn't, when it was, etc., check Blow-Molded. That's one of the reasons we created it. Even if you don't see something on there you're looking for, if you e-mail us we usually will have the information on it.
  9. The paint used is highly toxic. I have no problem with less toxic paints being used or the EPA being strict about the toxic paint, there's still way too much polluting going on. But anyway, I have a quart of actual Empire factory paint, and it's nothing like what you can buy at the hardware store, trust me, it's really nasty stuff. I brought it to a Sherwin Williams store to have them try and identify the ingredients and shake the can for me and the guy just about fainted when he popped the lid off, the whole store stank after. Grand Venture (Prime Plastics) successfully made the transition to non-toxic water base paints. Nudell should look into that option, I imagine they'd get approved if they did.
  10. General Foam never produced the animated version of the 72" sleigh, only Empire, from 1990 through 1994. One other one I know of is the Holiday Innovations reissue of the Poloron Giant Sled, #C33-1, they put a motor on the sleigh so Santa would oscillate.
  11. Erin, Would it be possible to get a good photo of the TPI Gory Halloween Tombstone (bottom right corner, first two pictures, one with the black skulls) for Blow-Molded?
  12. Mel, As you may remember that is the motor I replaced the stripped gear in for you. I wouldn't let the noise alarm you, all of the Brevel motors are noisy by design. I do always check to make sure they are not under too much strain however. What I would recommend is applying some good quality grease to the gear assembly. I re-greased the motor before sending it back to you, but I imagine it could use a fresh application. Take a small artist's brush with some grease on it and hold it against the gear teeth while the motor is running to get everything properly lubricated. Also, make sure all of the Santa's moving body parts are lubricated well. To everyone: I have restored several of these Brevel motors and the parts on the models I have encountered, the 'J', 'K', 'S' and SE, are all interchangeable. The motors themselves are also interchangeable with the Poloron Santa and Snowman, and the Beco Santa. I have a large assortment of Brevel parts, but they are at my dad's in the garage attic, three hours from where I currently live, so I cannot assist anyone right now unfortunately. Please note, in order to replace any of the parts, the four rivets holding the housing together must be carefully drilled out (simply drill the heads off on one side and push the rivet pin through) and replaced with small bolts, lock washers and nuts. I posted about these back in 2010, here with a Model 'S' I restored, with pictures:
  13. Here are our guidelines for submitting photographs to our website. 1.) Make sure the lighting is adequate, we cannot emphasize this enough. Be sure to set up in a well lit area and use your camera's flash. Images need to be clear and well lit. 3.) High resolution. Your pictures do not need to be massive desktop-sized files, but they should be of reasonable size. Eight-hundred pixels (Height) by x width would be minimum. We usually work with raw images sized around a thousand pixels (height) by x width, which work very well. 2.) Use a solid background that does not blend with any color around the edges of the item you're taking a picture of. A darker background makes for a good backdrop. Black is excellent, but if, for example, you are taking a photo of a Santa Claus with black boots this will not work. A dark blue sheet is recommended, it being a color not found on many pieces. This step is important, we need to be able to cut the item out of the backdrop easily in Photoshop and place it on ours. 3.) Information. Any and all information on the item is needed when available. Stamped Information: Item number (If available) Steel mold number (If available) Steel mold year (If available) Designer (as with Union Products' Don Featherstone designed pieces) Item manufacturer (If available) Other Information: Item height (Required) Item width (Required only on items of length, such as a sleigh or train) Item manufacturer (If not stamped on piece, but is known) Year introduced (If known) Year discontinued (If known) Barcode Stickers: If your item still has the original barcode sticker, please give us the year listed on it. 4.) Please include your full name with your submissions if you wish to be credited for your photos on Blow-Molded. Although we do have a very good information resource archive, we still need your help. There are many instances where we simply do not have any information for submissions that come in, or are limited on what we have. We may have something come in that is in a catalog we have, but that does not provide things such as steel mold numbers and years that are stamped into the piece. All photo submissions can be sent to [email protected]
  14. 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.
  15. Thanks SFI, much appreciated! We love doing it, so it's great for us too. Do indeed look forward to your picture and assisting you with it.
  16. That's an interesting little study Mel, possibly that would be a good side project for you to do. You can see how many per catalog are not on B-M. I expect you would end up with a good sized total at the end.
  17. He looks hungry Mel, you better feed him. Just so everyone knows, this is indeed the TPI cat mold, which is well know as the TPI "Halloween Cat", #5890, which was made for only one year. The only marking on both versions is "Made In Canada". http://www.blow-molded.com/TPI___Halloween.html But they also made this version of him which was an non-illuminated lawn and garden version, which I didn't know until Mel sent this to me.
  18. 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.
  19. Take pictures, front, back and bottom. The fact that it's a repaint shouldn't be an issue. This may be the infamous missing Poloron Drummer Boy. There is a rumor that Poloron did in fact have two molds, one with the holly and one without, the one without being the one GF uses today. We must have images though, definitely. If it says 1963 it would have to be Poloron providing it is the year. Serial numbers are longer than that anyway. Please post pictures so Mel and I can analyze it.
  20. 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.
  21. Glad to help, that's just my personal view on them. I do wish they would get them up to the standard of an incandescent and I would convert over for my light strings. I am sure by now they could do it. I also hope they begin to widely offer the ceramic look eventually along with the faceted. I got a few ceramic-look LED samples from a commercial Christmas light manufacturer and they blend right in with the old C9 ceramics. Too expensive though, somewhere around 3.00 a bulb. For what you're looking for the LED's would definitely be too dim and if you don't like the hue they give off that would also be a negative.
  22. I won't use them until they fully get rid of the blue/gray color and can accurately match them to an incandescent.
  23. It's on B-M- http://blow-molded.com/TPI___Santa_Claus.html It's a copy of the Poloron 17" Santa Face, #C93. TPI made several Poloron look-a-likes with minor differences on them.
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