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Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

HALLOWEEN BEISTLE FLAMING HALLOWE'EN FORTUNE GAME EARLY READ RARE $379.99

This is the first time I’ve seen a cardboard envelope associated with this classic Beistle game. Whenever I’ve seen this game’s envelope, it is made from glassine. As with so many of Beistle’s envelopes, it is beautifully rendered and functional. The game itself was produced no later than 1931 and had two variants - one with six flaming fortunes and the other with twelve flaming fortunes.

Vintage HALLOWEEN Decoration EMBOSSED CREEPY CLOWN DIE CUT

Beistle produced a set of eight of these small form-factor diecuts during the early 1950s. Except for this one, where it seems the designer was really searching for something - anything - to complete the set, the other diecuts are spot-on and worth having. See the entire set on page 157.

10/21 Update: Unbelievably, this brought $202.49. Sustainable value is around $50.

Vintage Halloween Scratch Jointed Black Cat Beistle Original Envelope c1920s

If you ever have a chance to acquire an early Beistle envelope like this one, jump on it. By the ending price, it is evident that at least two people understood just how rare and desirable early envelopes are. This isn’t even one of Beistle’s masterpieces. Take a look at the Hallowe’en Elf envelope on page 125 to see what is arguably the pinnacle of their artistic care of something truly meant to be disposable.

ANTIQUE HALL-O-WEEN PARTY FOR ONE,12 PARTY AIDS COMPLETE MADE IN USA, MINT NR

This is an interesting item. I think it shows how much leeway Beistle gave their wholesaling partners - allowing them to adopt Beistle’s graphical style while placing an assortment of thematically unrelated items together in what is essentially a grab bag. If you look at any of the many wholesalers’ catalogs from the 1930s through the 1950s, the main provider of goods is Beistle. The ending price seems reasonable. The header card is the rarest element.

early vintage Die Cut OWL 9"x14" mechanical USA

These were originally sold in one envelope as “Mechanical Hallowe’en Silhouettes” by Beistle. They were produced in the early 1920s. The owl is in rough condition yet still brought an unsustainably high price. The bat seems to be in significantly better condition yet brought a bit less. These results are a result of two apparently deep-pocketed collectors escalating the price beyond reason.

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Antique, Vintage 1930’s -1940’s Lot of Holiday Halloween Decorations, Mask Games

This seller seemingly put a jumble of items in poor condition together and hoped for the best. Sharp-eyed collectors would have noticed the glint of true gold amidst the mica flakes. Lurking at the very top unheralded is a rare Beistle band hat. It is rare enough that I don’t recall seeing the design before. Whomever bought the lot could burn everything but the band hat and still make out just fine.

VINTAGE RARE HALLOWEEN MYSTERY ANSWER BOARD GAME ~ PRECURSOR TO OUIJA BOARD -HTF

I haven’t seen one of these being offered for some time. Beistle produced two variants of this item’s sibling that were both marketed as Witch’s Mystery Answer Games. The much rarer one of these was produced in 1931 and has a white background. (I have yet to find one to add to the collection.) The more common version was produced beginning in 1933 and has an orange background. (Except for a very slight size difference, these two are otherwise identical.) As an interim item, this noticeably smaller Mystery Answer Board was produced only in 1932. They are rare. The condition of the one offered for auction seems to be quite good, although I wish the seller would have included a full picture of the item’s reverse. This is such an eye-catching and desirable item that I expect bidding to be fierce. If you don’t have this and collect Beistle, this is a “must have” item.

Amazing Old Paper die cut 21" Jointed Halloween Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Man

This Halloween Elf diecut was produced by Beistle sometime between 1923 and 1932. They issued two styles, the male seen here - larger with an extra foliage band - and a female, both sold in one envelope. Non-collectors sometimes ask me why vintage Halloween items are so pricey. My standard response is that back when such treasures as this were being produced few people kept anything after a party. Most everything was tossed. The items not tossed were often used year after year, much as I suspect this elf was. Consequently, on a scale relative to Christmas decorations, few items survived and those that did are generally in crummy condition. When near-mint items surface, sometimes the prices go to lofty levels that may not be seen again in years, if ever. These purchased items disappear into collections perhaps not to see the light of the secondary market again for a long time.

09/10 Update: This brought $207.50.

Vintage Halloween Rare Beistle "Who's a Dumbskull?" Game and Envelop

This is a rare chance for someone to acquire not only the harder-to-find version of this Beistle “I’m A Dumbskull Stunt Game” but the envelope as well. I’ve seen about 10 such envelopes in 32 years and this is one of the best. Yes, there is toning to the front and a small tear, but considering it was used to house a game made in 1930-1931, the condition is super. There were two versions of the game made - the differences are detailed on page 17. The seller is a long-time, knowledgeable collector with whom you should feel very comfortable doing business.

09/03 Update: This brought $212.49.

Rare Antique Beistle “Spook’s Trip” Halloween Party Game

This result is surprising. This Spook’s Trip game, produced by Beistle during the 1950s, is shabby and incomplete, as it is missing the six markers from the lower right corner. These surface from time to time, generally in better condition. A complete example can be found on page 20. I would have expected this to fetch $30.

Vintage Halloween Die-Cut Witch & Honeycomb Cauldron RARE

Beistle produced at least three table decoration designs that incorporated their signature honeycomb onto a diecut backdrop. They produced these only during the 1957-58 seasons. They were apparently not strong sellers. I don’t feel many were produced, and certainly few have survived the 60+ years since they were made. None of the three designs surface often, so this is a rare opportunity to acquire one. I’ve seen this table decoration maybe three times in 31 years of collecting. One has thus far escaped my grasp. It shows a bashful scarecrow near a honeycomb pumpkin. That can be seen on page 7 of Lasansky’s reference. The other to the set can be seen on page 228 of my third and final edition.

08/25 Update: This ended up bringing $182.49. Even though the condition of the honeycomb is problematic, I feel the buyer did well.