Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

RARE RARE RARE German Halloween Match Holder? Candy Container?

I’m not sure what to make of this item. It bears a resemblance to the refined German railroad lantern candy container shown on page 59. This item isn’t gracefully designed and seems clumsily executed. It is smaller than the one that has been in the collection for nearly 30 years. The borders are so thick and claustrophobic that they obscure the central JOL face on each of the four long sides. I wonder if this could be something made in Japan? I know I don’t care for it.

10/16 Update: The broad collecting market must have shared my doubts about this item. It brought $720, much less than half than an indisputably German item would have brought.

RARE Vintage Halloween BEISTLE Pumpkin Head Scary Black Cat Rat Owl Nut Cup HTF

This is the first time I’ve noticed one of these exceedingly rare “nut or candy trays” offered for sale. Beistle sold these in enveloped packets of four for, I believe, one season only around 1930. Sold with a stock number of 760N, you can see the oh-so-rare complete set on page 221. The seller greatly understates the condition. It has been repeatedly folded and is quite faded. Still, outside of when I acquired the complete set in 2007, I’ve never seen even a single example offered for sale.

10/16 Update: This sold for a strong $171.50.


This is a diecut that is almost impossible to find. Made by Dennison, it first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet. This definitely has serious condition issues, most notably the punched hole in the hat area. Still, if you are a Dennison completist, this may be an example of rarity trumping condition. When I bought the one in the collection, I had no idea just how elusive this would prove to be for others. (It was acquired decades ago.) As I’ve covered before, Dennison’s output plummeted in the early 1930s, so items from this period are seldom seen.

10/09 Update: This sold for $372.88!


This is a tough Dennison cut-outs set to acquire. The seller is correct in attributing it to 1923. It took me over 20 years to find a complete set in a condition good enough to join the collection. It’ll be informative to see what this sells for in this bubbly time for the hobby.

10/09 Update: This sold for $274.99.

Vintage Halloween Wheel Witch Fortune Game For Kids

Beistle trademarked this mechanical fortune game in 1936 and released it for sale in 1938. The seller states that it is in excellent condition. There are a few bends scattered throughout, the most serious of which seems to be at the end of the broom. More problematic for those understandably concerned with condition is the missing point at the front of the JOL. I would say the condition is at best “very good.” The header card, something often missing, is a nice supplement to this listing.

10/13 Update: Condition aside, this item sold for a VERY bubbly price of $338.33.


This great seller, stnick22, realized generally very bubblicious prices for their many listings. This game is one that has eluded my grasp for decades. It still eludes my grasp. The cover is where all the value resides as the game’s pieces and interior are ho-hum. I made a valiant effort to acquire it, but the ending price was simply too high. I am a patient man.

HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS Hallo' Inn Door Hanger and Bat 1960

This door hanger was made by Dennison and first appeared in their 1930 Price List pamphlet with a stock number of H6601/2. My reference assigns it an RSIN of “3” but I feel a change to “2” is warranted. The condition is not ideal. Is this one of those instances when rarity trumps condition? See page 143 for the “Come In’ door hanger which should have a changed RSIN of “1”. I’ve seen it once in 30 years.

10/09 Update: This duo sold for $230.94.

Vintage Halloween Siren Horn Screech Owl -Cardboard Noise Maker

This is a horn that doesn’t often come up for sale. Most of these lithoed-paper-over-cardboard horns are pretty forgettable, but whichever firm produced this had a great eye for design. The graphics are fresh and energetic. The metal top seems right for the horn. The overall condition is quite good. This was produced during the 1930s. SGV is $125, but we seem to be in a vintage Halloween bubble market right now, so who knows what it will bring.

10/13 Update: This sold for a bubbly $211.38.


Any of the House of Fate cards are desirable and very rarely surface. It was exciting to see this listing. This card comes from a series manufactured by Whitney in the early 1930s that they called The House of Fate. The cards are superbly designed with pull-away roofs containing the printed fortune. I believe that nine constitute the complete set, although that is just a guess. At first glance, the differing base designs look similar. However, when you closely examine the cards, there are always very minute differences present. I'm puzzled as to why Whitney would have introduced these subtle differences. It doesn’t seem cost effective. Perhaps we'll never know. Whitney went out of business in 1942. (Check out the eight examples on page 278.) This card is in stellar condition and is being offered by a stellar seller.

10/04 Update: This sold for an unbelievable $550, deep into bubble territory. If someone wants to buy the eight shown on page 278 in my book, they can be yours for $4400. Shipping would be free.

Vintage 1940s H.E. Luhrs Black Cats In A Band Paper Decorations

These are not vintage items. Around 2003 for just one, possibly two, seasons Beistle allowed another firm to offer reproductions of the eight-member black cat band. As I point out on page 54, these reproductions can be identified by their white accents, two bottom slots on each for a folded cardboard stand and orange/brown backsides. These reproductions have zero vintage value.