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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

ANTIQUE VINTAGE HALLOWEEN CARDBOARD CREPE PAPER ACCORDION BAT HANGING DECORATION

I’ve been away for nearly a week on vacation and have taken few opportunities to wallow in eBay’s listings. Imagine my surprise when amongst all of the crapola, I see this exceedingly rare item in nice shape! This sinister devil bat diecut was produced by Beistle during the interval of 1925-1931. I haven’t seen one in this condition for many years. (Typically, one of the horns and at least one foot are long gone.) The orange honeycomb wings look essentially unused. Beistle also made this item with black honeycomb wings. This deserves to bring a very strong price, indeed.

03/05 Update: And it sure did bring a strong price - $970 - perhaps a record.

1925 SET OF 3 Beistle Nut Cups Honeycomb Favors Baskets RARE VTG Halloween

I feel $1200 is an enormous sum to pay for this trio of favor baskets. Beistle produced four designs of this size from 1927 through 1931. The best design, the witch wearing a dress decorated with skulls, is not amongst this trio. Even at $300 each, the envelope isn’t worth the remaining $300. It might be if it was something to look at, but being a plain glassine envelope limits its appeal and brings the “wow” factor down to nothing.

Vintage Beistle Company Halloween Honeycomb Die Cut Decoration, 1925

Wow, people were asleep at the switch here, including me. This is one of those increasingly rare, true bargains for a great piece of truly vintage Halloween memorabilia. This is one of four favor basket designs Beistle produced from 1927-1931. (I think it is the least interesting of the four designs. The best is the witch wearing a skull-festooned dress.) You can see them all on page 225.

Vintage Rare Halloween Beistle Sunflower Tally Card

It is great to see one of the very elusive Beistle tutu tallies being offered, especially by this fine seller. Beistle produced two tutu tally designs in 1930-1931 and sold them as a set. Oddly, this is the one that surfaces more regularly than the other. You can see both designs by turning to page 223. 

Vintage HALLOWEEN 4 STACKED PUMPKIN JOL w/ CREPE PAPER HONEYCOMB HAYSTACK - USA

Beistle produced at least two table decoration designs that incorporated their signature honeycomb onto a diecut backdrop. They produced these only during the 1957-58 seasons. I don't feel they were big sellers. Not only did Beistle cut off production rather abruptly but you simply never see them. This is only the second time I've seen this in nearly 30 years of avid collecting. A friend of mine snagged this by floating a BIN offer to the seller. Although the offer was a generous one in that it exceeded SGV, I have to wonder what this item would have brought if the auction would have proceeded from the original starting price of $19.99. Refer to page 228 for the other Beistle design from 1957-1958. 

Antique Beistle Die-Cut & Tissue Halloween Goblin Spook Pumpkin Witch Decoration

Beistle produced what I call their ugly elf roly-poly for a single season, 1930. There were at least three designs comprising a full set of this honeycomb-based roly-poly table decoration size. Two are shown on pages 226 and 227. The third known design is of a sinister clown, which recently entered the collection. This is my least favorite of the three, as it is an acquired taste. SGV is $475 for one in much better condition than this one. 

03/23 Update: The seller has an interesting strategy here. The original listing offered this at $129.99 and received zero bids, no doubt to this example's poor condition. Undaunted, the seller has nearly literally doubled down by relisting it for $229.99. I find the stratagem almost quaintly cute. If you do too, resist the temptation to pay anything more than $100 for this staple-ridden ugly-elf. 

04/01 Update: There was definitely method to this seller's madness as this item fetched a BIN offer of $195 which was accepted. 

Vintage 1920s Beistle Halloween Favor Basket, Ghoul, Jack-O-Lantern, Cauldron

Beistle produced four different honeycomb favor basket designs. Although the four designs surface with roughly the same level of frequency, this particular design is the hardest to locate in collectible condition. (Why, I don't know...) What I do know is that the condition on this one, by a fabulous seller, is the best I've seen in some time. SGV is $325. With over five days to go as of this writing, the price is on-track to attain that pricing level. This design is, without doubt, the most eye-catching one Beistle produced.

03/07 Update: This desirable Beistle favor basket ended up fetching a very strong price of $425. The second underbidder stopped at SGV, while the ending price was as a result of two determined bidders. 

03/21 Update: To illustrate the importance of condition, another one of these sold on eBay on 03/20. It was in fair to good condition and fetched only $73. 

(2) Early Halloween 7 3/4" Jointed Crepe Figures WITCH & SCARECROW. c1930s NR

The seller is off by up to three decades as to when these were made. Both the scarecrow and witch "whimsies" were made by Beistle during the 1950s. (An owl was the third design of the set.) Only later, almost certainly under license, were these designs made in Japan. The designs marked as being made in the United States have sustained collector interest. When the ones marked "Japan" do sell, they bring half or less of what the older ones made in the USA bring. 

Beistle Halloween bat diecut and tissue

Man, I haven't seen one of these offered for quite some time. This rare devil bat diecut was made by Beistle for a few seasons bracketed by the years 1925-1931. It was sold in two variations: with either orange or black crepe paper wings. This diecut is impossible to find in truly mint condition given the way it was designed. Knowing this, the one being offered here is darn nice. The imperfections the seller has endeavored to highlight are all minor. Sustainable guide value is $400, but early and rare Beistle items have routinely been bringing well in excess of guide during the past year. It will be fun to see what this listing fetches. If you don't own this yet, don't let this slip through your fingers. 

01/17 Update: This great item brought $485. 

3 Vintage halloween Beistle Party Favor Baskets Original Package Owl Cat Witch

This nice little grouping is interesting. Beistle produced and sold these from 1927 through 1931. There were four designs overall. This listing is missing the one I like best, which shows a witch wearing a skull laden robe stirring a cauldron. The honeycomb sections that have separated from the main bodies, ostensibly due to dried glue, should be easily re-attachable. The extant glassine envelope is dull and shouldn't be much of a factor in what you may wish to bid on this lot. 

Antique 1920's Beistle Flaming Halloween Fortunes

This Flaming Hallowe'en Fortune game was manufactured by Beistle during the early 1930s, available in two versions. The first iteration had six "flaming fortunes" while the second and final version had twelve. The perceived rarity of this game took a real tumble about ten years ago as more and more of them surfaced on on-line venues. The price tumbled, too. Today, complete versions in perfect condition and with their glassine envelope bring in the low $300s. Most collectors dislike this game, saying it is too boring and seems like an after-thought for Beistle due to its uninspired design. 

Halloween Decoration Dated 1925 Fan-Out Tissue On Cardboard Witch//Pumpkin

Beistle produced these small honeycombed favor baskets in four designs from 1927 through 1931. Although they are seldom seen, this design is arguably the best and most coveted of the four. The seller describes it as having a lot of wear, but I would say the condition is average for one of these delicate objects. The entire set is shown at the bottom of page 225. 

06/11 Update: This sold for $138.50.