This is representative of the kind of crap one commonly sees on eBay these days. What happened to this once-mighty sales forum?
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.
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.
I have trouble wrapping my head around this result - especially given the condition.
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.
This diecut regularly surfaces and typically trades in a narrow range of $80-100, so this result makes little sense. If you look at the bidding history, as in nearly all such cases, there was one determined bidder driving all of the action, with another bidder swooping in at the last minute to create an unsustainable result.
This is an exceedingly rare Dennison bob bob box that was first advertised in their 1919 Bogie Book. They issued two designs with the same stock number, H49. (Both can be seen on page 262.) Although I now have the other design, this box featuring sprites has eluded my avaricious grasp. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be satisfied with the condition of the one on offer.
After long resisting the siren song of collecting postcards, I recently decided to collect a narrow niche of cards with art by Bernhardt Wall and published by Valentine and Sons. Although this is not a card published by Valentine, it does show off to good effect the artistic sensibilities of Bernhardt Wall. Let me tell you, finding any Halloween cards published by Valentine is tough going. Thanks to my long-time friend, artist-extraordinaire and evil genius, Matthew Kirscht, I have now embarked on a tough quest to the postcard equivalent of Mount Doom in Mordor.
I've been looking for this diecut for many years with no luck. It was produced by Gibson during the 1920s. They also made a place card using the identical imagery. The one I covet is in the collection of close friends and is shown on page 167.
The same seller has listed a good number of exceptionally rare diecuts - none of which are in great condition. (Alas!) This JOL-headed traffic cop diecut was produced by Dennison and first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. Issued on the thin yellow-stock paper Dennison used often at the time, this one almost never surfaces. SGV is $325 for one in much better condition. It makes a good companion piece to the Hallo' Inn diecut shown on page 142.
I have never seen this interesting garland before. I like the simplicity of the design, especially the skulls. This was surely made by a small regional manufacturer with limited distribution. This didn't come from any of the big houses like Beistle, Dennison or Gibson. I wish the seller had listed the length of the garland. It'll be fun to see where this ends up.
This huge heavily embossed German diecut was one of two designs made in such a large form factor. I have yet to see one without bends or creases to the legs. Because they all had easels, they will all have a staple to the face. My feeling is that these were made as store displays to call attention to the no-doubt many German diecuts the retailer had in stock during the later 1920s. Although both designs bring strong dollars, the female cat example typically brings stronger dollars. Both can be seen on page 187.
05/09 Update: This sold for $530, significantly lower than I would have forecast.
This Moon Pop mechanical was produced by Rosen during the 1950s. It was sold as part of an omnibus Moon Pops boxed set comprised of 45 Trix or Treats cards, 9 suckers and 9 of these mechanicals. (What makes it a mechanical is that part of the witch's cape can be moved up and down.) The graphics are interesting. Because it was meant to stand, it can be part of en eye-catching display.
05/09 Update: This sold for $403.50 with a number of bidders going FAR beyond SGV of $50. This is a result that I don't understand. These Rosen items come up with some regularity. The seller was quite fortunate.