Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Beistle Die-Cut Halloween Skull

The seller is spot-on. This small diecut was made by Beistle. During the early 1950s, Beistle issued a set of eight small diecuts with some unusual imagery. This is one of the eight. (All are shown on page 157.) Items from this set once surfaced more regularly than is the case today. The smoking JOL, the JOL witch and the hooded witch are more avidly sought than the others. Each typically fetches $50-60. 


This diecut, produced by Beistle during the 1940s, doesn't surface as much as it once did. Part of a set that was middling in inspiration, this is a fun, memorable image. The condition of it makes me surprised that it brought as much as it did. As this poor JOL may have discovered, "Be true to your teeth or they'll be false to you." 

Vintage W German Hobgoblin(?) Pumpkin Head Halloween Candy Container

I think the buyer got a solid bargain in acquiring this item. The more expensive department stores of the day, during the 1920s, carried imported holiday goods that were made with greater care, and therefore would command higher retail prices. One of the tip-offs that this remarkable candy would have been carried by The Emporium rather than, say, Kress, is the paint job. I have seen other candy containers with similar variegation. A high percentage of them still have their store tags, as having an item from such a place carried some social value at that time. So, collectors, buy candy containers that you love. If they still have their original price tags, by all means - leave them on! 


Be very careful in purchasing items purported to be vintage Halloween items from this seller. They have long been on my list of sellers with whom I don't do business. The sheen from the envelope is suspicious. I find it interesting there is no photo of the reverse shown and that they have not used eBay's zoom feature for this and other of their listings. If you are inclined to buy, ask lots of questions and ask for additional photos. 


Although this candy container is uncommon, I have seen a number of them and all have a spring tail. I suspect the chenille tail is something added to it sometime after its purchase from a store.  

The seller of this pleasing candy container contacted me, saying that photos of another such container show a red chenille tail. She asked if it was possible the container was made both with chenille and spring tails. Here was my reply: "Thank you so much for your email. (By the way, I very much enjoy the quality of your listings!) It is absolutely possible that the Germans made two versions, one with a chenille tail and one with a spring tail. Existing documentation on when such things were made and what original materials were used is quite incomplete. Production of goods back then was idiosyncratic, something not really true today. My guess is that if the Germans actually used chenille when completing this whimsical candy container, they used it when the supply of metal springs for such decorative purposes was low to non-existent. (This would have been the case ~1935.) A plausible unifying theory is that the earlier candy containers had spring tails and a few produced very late in the run may have been made with chenille. A discordant note about the use of chenille is the color. I would have guessed black or orange would have been used, not green and red. In the end, we’ll never really know why such decisions were made. Thanks again for your email!"

Pre 1920's German Halloween Veggie Child Candy Container Carrot Arms & JOL Head

This is a great little candy container being sold by an outstanding and knowledgeable collector. I appreciate the many excellent photos, the no-holds-barred description and the chance to acquire such a solid piece at a potential bargain price point!

08/25 Update: I sure was glad to see this wonderful item brought such a strong price, fetching $351. Congrats KL!


For many years I mistakenly believed this was produced by Beistle due to the imagery. It was only when I couldn't find any reference to Beistle actually producing such products that I looked closely at the artwork and noticed many differences between the art in such things as their Party Books and hats and this horn. It finally dawned on me that this horn was almost surely an authorized adaptation of Beistle imagery. There is a likelihood the horn was made in Japan, but I don't know this for certain. In any event, it is a nice item, and still has a SGV of $125, but it wasn't made by Beistle. 

Set of 10 vintage Halloween die cuts.

This is an interesting assemblage of diecuts. Although the condition of each is poor, the star of the lot is the hobo clown made by Hallmark. These were made as mirror images, so one may face right while another faces left. The effect on value is nil. The four others going clockwise from the clown were also produced by Hallmark. The cat face was not made by Dennison, but was almost surely an unauthorized item made in Japan. (The colors are wrong, the eyes differ and there is no "Dennison" craftily woven into the design at one ear.) 

08/15 Update: This lot sold for $78.77, about what I would have guessed. 

Vintage Halloween Party Hat made In Germany Orange Pumpkins

I've noticed a sustained uptick in the prices of these thin-tissue paper hats produced by the Germans in the 1920s in a wide variety of designs. Just ~18 months ago these typically wouldn't bring more than $10-15. Now they seem to be settling in around the $25-30 mark. This example is actually one of the milder designs. 

WHY EBAY EXISTS...VINTAGE 1940/50's ERA PUMPKIN with CLOWNS Halloween decoration

The once mighty marketplace of eBay has been so boring lately with virtually nothing worth mentioning when, like manna from above, this thing gets listed by a seller who states that it is for pieces like this one that eBay exists! (I kid you not...) If I was into abbreviated communications I would type LMAO, OMG and ROFL, but since I am not a teenager, and don't even try to pass myself off as one, I will simply say that I found the entirety of this listing amusing. The seller goes on to grandly state that he/she sells "...the rarest/coolest Halloween items ever made." If this garish trinket is an example of such items, his/her additional statement that " doesn't get any better than this," (emphasis thankfully removed) makes me marvel at the wonders of hyperbole. If you like decor that Marie Antoinette would have had stuffed into Le Petit Trianon, pick this priceless gem up for the asking price of $3,500.

08/31 Update: This has been relisted with a new, reduced price of $1,900.