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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. Just remember that if anyone purchases European figures that they take 230 volts by default. That's only 10 volts less than the supply line coming into your house. You would have to add a 120 volt light kit.
  2. Church is for sale again. PM me if interested.
  3. Absolutely, any blow-molded figure can be reverse engineered. A new mold could easily be pressed from one. The issue is the cost, blow-molds are very expensive to have made. Your best option would be to import the ones you want, it will be costly but not as costly as making your own.
  4. Kevin Provost

    new editions

    It's the Drainage 36" Dual Face Pumpkin, #80107. It has a happy face on the other side. It's still in production.
  5. I know I still owe you a video of my friend Carl's. I just haven't had time and I need to dig out my camera. You can easily motorize the Santa, if you want any help with doing it let me know. You actually can do it with any stepper motor, you don't need one that has auto reverse. I motorized my Poloron sleigh, here are the pictures of it-
  6. Matt, that is excellent! Thank you. That is what I was looking for, yes. I wanted to see if any modifications were made to the mold and there were. This is definitely the Empire version which was never motorized. Here are pictures of the original Poloron one- as everyone can see the indents were removed for the brackets. Here is a picture of the top of Santa's original bottom half, if you can get the bottom of the Empire version I would love to see the top of that part as well to see if any changes were made.
  7. Look forward to the progress, Matt. The Santa is either Holiday Innovations or Empire, Poloron didn't paint it that way. Judging by the plate, I am guessing it was Empire. Odd that they would make a 5" plate for it though, on the other Poloron pieces they just cut the smaller hole and used their standard 3 7/8" plate on them. The light set is odd as well, Empire did begin using those but not until late in the 90's, as we know GF now uses them. Looks like it was a later replacement to me. Would it be possible to get a photo of Santa looking up from the bottom? I want to see if the waist mounting is the same as the original.
  8. It would be well into the thousands, but there's no way to know how many definitively. Everyone here is always discovering new items we never new existed.
  9. Any information you can find stamped on the plastic itself, since you can see the old Made In Canada stamp, we now know that it is indeed the TPI snowman. If there is anything else visible feel free to post it. Mel, I did realize the snowman was 42", hence why I put 48" in quotes. I did that since everyone calls it the 48" snowman even though none of them are actually that height.
  10. Yes, I have the links straightened out, I apologize about that. If anyone is having trouble, just replace the _-_ with ___. Forgot to add that the light sets I have will work with these. The brackets can be modified in any way needed. I am sold out of them though and would need X amount of orders before I can do another order. Anyone who is interested, let me know and I'll keep a list. I would order more now, but I have to order in bulk so for it to be worth it cost-wise I need to have enough orders ahead of time.
  11. Unless the white paint is brushed on, it is unlikely that someone added it later. It looks to be original to me. The candles are red inside because it is the actual plastic that is colored, it isn't painted. In order to have areas white, the only option is to use white paint.
  12. Airbrushing is also an excellent option. I prefer this since it allows full control with little to no masking. It does require some skill though, so it isn't for everyone. Carrie can assist you in this as well. Paints that can be used are Createx transparent, Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch and Krylon Color Creations. I have also used mixed paints from the store which work just as well. Either oil base or latex gloss enamels can be used.
  13. That would be excellent, I look forward to it. I remember seeing this somewhere, but I can't remember if it was on here or in person.
  14. Steve, thanks for providing the information. I was aware of the 48" Poloron Whispering Santa being produced by Empire, my friend Dom owns it. I believe Mel is aware of this. There was one on eBay recently as well. I look forward to what markings are on it. The Holiday Innovations version of the Drummer Boy does have the holly sprig, I just acquired this recently. He also retains all the original markings on him. The sprig was either removed by GF or there were two version of this blow-mold made. Empire bought some of the other nativity items from Poloron as well, the small nativity they made had the small donkey and ox animals from Poloron's small nativity set added to it. I am sure the Wisemen were purchased at the same time. I imagine the Poloron inventory of blow-molds was put up to auction and different bidders got different items. Obviously HI acquired several molds. Empire got those when HI went out of business. I have the 1988 and 1989 HI catalogs and I can verify that the Poloron molds that Empire was making are not in them. HI never produced the large size Poloron set, the set that Empire was using the wisemen from. In the small size set, both the ox and donkey are missing, as would be expected since Empire was making them. It is clear that initially Empire got some of the molds and HI got the others, at least most of them. But mold modding isn't a terribly rare thing. If you look at the Empire/GF edition of the Poloron sitting wiseman, he is missing his foot. The area is flat. My opinion on this is that that part of the mold was damaged and they hammered it out, or there was possibly a hole and it needed a patch. You are correct that the TPI version of the Poloron snowman is a copy, it is not made from the original Poloron mold. Does anyone have the Grand Venture version of this snowman? I have information from a person who worked at Empire that someone there stole some of the molds when they left and brought them to GV when they went to work for them. I would love to know if the GV version has the Poloron information on it. I would imagine though GF still has a Poloron mold for theirs though, since we all know there was more than one mold for most of the figures. Is 1979 the actual year Poloron ceased production? I would like to know for certain for Blow-Molded. There are others who state 1977 or 1981 as the final production year.
  15. These are either Beco or GF editions, Beco originally made them before selling the blow-molds to GF. Empire did not ever manufacture these or own the blow-molds for them.
  16. She purchased it through Seasons LA, GF's retail partner.
  17. Jim, You're more than welcome, glad we can help!
  18. No, they never reversed it that way. They did make a red tender car, but that was an exclusive limited run that Clint Babc0ck personally had made. There are only 30 of them. The original paint scheme went like this; green tender, red engine, green funnel. That was how Empire painted it until 1994. It then changed in 1995 to all green; green tender, green engine, green funnel. I can verify this since my friend Dom bought one. Then from 1996 until its discontinuation around '98 or so, it was; green tender, green engine, red funnel. That is the paint theme that GF continues today, the only difference being they don't put the gold trim on the funnel. There was/is no primer used with the paint. As for adhesion, sources from both Empire and GV have said that the plastic is preheated before painting which causes it to bond on a molecular level. The temperature is unknown though. Carrie and I have both tried this process and it makes no difference in the adhesion, at least at the temperature we did it at.
  19. The train is actually supposed to have three full size light kits in it, one in the funnel, one in the boiler and one in Santa's waist. I believe GF only put one in, right? In all the pictures I've seen of theirs there is only one on a light plate mounted just below Santa. Here's the original instruction sheet that shows how the lighting is supposed to be- Blow-Molded - Santa Choo Choo Manual Unless the paint is applied lighter on your train, no matter how many lights are in there it still won't illuminate well I'm sorry to say.
  20. You're welcome Jim, they do use full size guns, but they still refer to them as an airbrush in the industry because they function the same, that's what I meant. Here's one of the sprayers, same as what GV would have been using and GF uses- http://www.iwata-medea.com/index.php/products/w200/ Note how under "Application" they note plastic The green engine has been around since 1995, when Empire switched to it. When GF got the mold and began producing it themselves, they just continued the same color. It would be nice if they switched back to the red for the engine. All they need to do is single coat at greater distance. Whoever is painting is holding the airbrush too close to the surface which is causing the paint to run and go on too thick. To me it looks like regular oil base enamel, I believe that's all they're using. It will stick to the plastic, so will latex enamel.
  21. It's all based on the individual ACE, they're franchised, so if the manager decides not to stock light-ups, they won't. Our ACE hasn't carried any in years.
  22. That's what I paid retail for him in the mid '90's.
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