Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

eBay, eBay, eBay!!

eBay is trying to make it harder for interested parties to see details of finished listings. Thankfully, one of my readers figured out a work-around and was kind enough to share it. 

eBay's latest trick is to show you a completely different item than the finished item you clicked on. If you want details of finished listings or if you have clicked on a finished listing directly from my site, follow these instructions when the completely different active item pops up:  

At the top left of the different active item you will see, "The listing you’re looking for is no longer available. Check out this similar item we found for you."

Click on the hyper-linked word, listing.

Click on "See original listing" found at the end of the title. 

You've done it! 

Thanks for sharing PK!


Vintage RARE Halloween Carboard I'm A Dumbskull Stunt Game Original USA

This is the rarer of the two versions of this game produced by Beistle in 1930 and 1931. The other has a hat-wearing cat at the top, no clock dial or metal spinner and an easel. Although it is easier to display than the version up for auction, the auction version is visually more interesting and typically commands a 30-50% premium to the other version. Interestingly, this particular item was a salesman sample. I have other Beistle items in the collection with the same handwriting. 

VINTAGE 1930's The Abingdon Party Book By Ethel Owen HALLOWEEN & Other Holidays

I purchased this for the collection. I was surprised to see so many Gibson items so prominently featured in the pages shown. Gibson reference material is scarce. I've only ever seen one catalog issued by Gibson. Undated, it is chock-full of their products - invaluable when I was doing research for the third edition. It will be fun to discover the commercial connection between The Abingdon Press and Gibson. 



This great seller is correct - this is one of a complete set of four mechanical nut cups that I know are exceedingly rare. Beistle issued the set for one season only in 1938. They slightly adapted already existing artwork to produce the set. (So many firms were hurting then due to the lingering Great Depression that cost reductions were more important than ever. Beistle wasn't immune, hence this set.) I had the good fortune of buying several complete and unused sets and then several singles out of an estate in Massachusetts in April 2015. I kept the best one, auctioned the next best one for ~$1800 and sold everything else over the next few years. (I am never in a hurry to sell anything.) Beistle printed these on surprisingly thin paper stock considering their intended use. Few survived unscathed. Few exist overall - so when an opportunity presents itself to get one, especially from such a wonderful seller, don't let it slip by. 

06/14 Update: This sold for a modest $119.50. 

Vintage Halloween Party Decoration Box 1930's

Whitman is like Rodney Dangerfield in that it doesn't get much respect. Their products were cheaply made and looked it. That said, elements of this set are not bad - especially the 6 nut cups. (I have the cat nut cup and until reviewing this listing I didn't know which manufacturer produced it.) The Zingo game, the crepe paper and some other minor bits weren't part of the original boxed set. 

Vintage Halloween Invitation Box Only Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Orange Black

This is a really great box. I've not seen it before. The JOLs along the edges and the use of the fat font are reminiscent of Dennison. However, Dennison was disciplined about marking their goods, so I tend to think it wasn't produced by them. (By the way, Dennison wasn't perfect about marking their items. A few, like the "Whoopee" diecut on page 144, escaped the factory unmarked.) This box has super graphics and would have made a splendid addition to my collection. I wish I had seen it in time! 


Beistle made the 12 diecuts from this series for many years beginning in 1932. One of the ways to tell if a diecut from this series is an earlier pressing is from the depth of the embossing. This diecut's embossing appears deep and prominent indicating it was made early in the run. Does this affect value? I think in a general sense, yes, but not dramatically so. 


Some boxed Gibson seals have recently sold for significantly more than SGV. Owls have never commanded the highest prices in seemingly any of the vintage Halloween genres, and this was no exception. The hammer came down almost precisely at the SGV. Although complete Gibson boxed sets are significantly harder to find than many of the Dennison boxed sets, the latter typically command high dollars. Gibson's production was more limited as was their distribution. Not helping the secondary market for Gibson's boxed sets is that their art was, by and large, pedestrian and uninspired. 


Beistle issued four roly-poly designs in this size during the 1930-31 seasons only. None surface often, and when they do they are in terrible condition like this one. Given the condition, I feel this was an excessive amount to pay. The four designs are a witch, a JOL-headed scarecrow, a seated black cat and an academic owl. (All can be seen on pages 226-227.) In terms of great imagery, that would be the same order I rank them. So, although I can understand why someone would want a compelling piece like the roly witch, the tattered condition should have acted as a brake on price.