Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


Beistle sure made some “out-there” designs. This demon frog hat from 1931 certainly fits the bill. The eccentric and memorable design reminds me of the coveted art done by arguably the finest folk artist working in the Halloween medium, Matthew Kirscht. The condition issues of the hat, detailed no nicely by this stellar seller, really weren’t material. I wish I had seen this listing. I would have been a player for more than the reasonable ending price.


This listing contained an item produced by a firm I’d never heard of before. One of the many joys of collecting vintage Halloween is that so much remains unrevealed. A plethora of small local and regional firms produced loads of small paper items for various holidays. Most of these aren’t marked, causing those of us who care about such things consternation when trying to attribute an item to a particular manufacturer. I saw this listing’s photos and realized I had never seen the rightmost item. Surprisingly, it is marked, but the company’s name wasn’t familiar to me. Now I have another design point of reference when evaluating small paper items. (By the way, the buyer received a rare bargain in acquiring this lot for $40.)

Vintage Saxony Halloween Die Cut Pumpkin Head Tuxedo Running Jack-O-Lantern

There were at least three diecut designs released in sets of four in glassine envelopes, produced by manufacturers in Saxony. You can see them at the top of page 170. This price of $205.50 for a single diecut is folly. If someone with deep pockets wants the trio of complete sets shown in the book, they can be yours for the bubblicious price of $3000, shipping not included.


The stars of this lot are the two nut cups at the bottom made by Dennison. The complete set has four pieces, all of which can be seen at the bottom of page 260. These first appeared in their 1929 Price List pamphlet.

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.