Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


I was sorry to see that a collector wasted $199.99 on this reproduction. Blumchens began importing these reproductions from Germany in the mid-1990s. They are easily discerned from the old lanterns. With the reproductions, the paper lining is too bright and the overall embossing is either not present or is so faint that it does not resemble authentic vintage lanterns. Get your money back from the seller. 


This is a crudely made fake, possessing none of the detailing or character of the real deal. You can see an authentic example on page 64. The verbiage the seller employs is revealing: "Good condition for being as old as it is, I am not sure of that but it looks pretty old." With all of the indubitably great stuff up right now, leave this POS and its seller behind. 

10/19 Update: I was glad to note that this horrifically made fake garnered only $34.01. The seller should be ashamed offering this crap. 

1920 Toy German jol Pumpkin Halloween Jack In Box Antique Big Mache Old Chaplin

I seriously doubt that this item was made as a unit in the 1920s. The box was made around that time but the item inside doesn't appear to be old. It is too bright, and lacks all of the characteristics of an authentic German item. In my judgment, this is a married item with no collectible value. I think the larger collecting community realized this, hence the ending price, a paltry amount if this would have been the real deal. 

tin halloween parade lantern jack o' lantern

This seller has angered a number of collectors who have repeatedly contacted him/her to tell him this was made by Bethany Lowe within the last few years and has zero collectible value. This seller refuses to accurately describe this lantern or list it in the Modern category. The dodge he/she uses is so old...stating that the age is unknown. It isn't. He/she simply refuses to be educated. 

06/17 Update: I feel for the buyer who dropped $632 on what is merely a decorative item. People: Do your research before dropping serious cash on things like this. 

Rare German Vintage Composition Halloween Skeleton Candy Container 3 3/4" Tall

This is not a vintage item, except as with the comment below, you feel a creation date of no earlier than the mid-1990s qualifies a seller to use that word. This item is merely one small part of the avalanche of items made in Germany and imported into the U.S. to take advantage of the significant rise in prices of truly vintage German candy containers and figurals that occurred beginning in the mid-1990s. This is actually part of the second wave that began assaulting our shores in the early 2000s. There are no truly vintage counterparts. There isn't a single instance where these are shown to exist in any printed material prior to 2000. The seller's protestations to the contrary, this isn't old. It is merely a pleasant decorative object that someday may have collectible value. 


This seller, christmaslady51, is precisely the kind of dealer I despise. She has listed (and relisted!) this item as being a vintage one, even though she has been alerted to its lack of age by at least three collectors. She simply responds, "Thanks," and does nothing else. Is she hoping to take advantage of some new collector, wanting to off-load something clearly and sadly made offshore, perhaps as recently as last week? This abomination, with its faux-distress and curly handle, shouldn't fool anyone. Ask yourself, if it was truly old why would it be damaged in the areas the photos show? It makes no sense. To paraphrase a recent US president, Christmaslady51, tear down this listing! 

Vintage GERMAN Halloween Paper Mache Pumpkin Lantern - Paper Eyes, Nose & Mouth

I chuckled reading the description for this newly crafted item. The seller states, "This is unmarked, but obviously German made." Of course, it isn't. In fact, these words in the header don't belong: vintage, German and paper mache. This is a nice decorative item, almost certainly made in China or some other similar off-shore manufacturing center. I'd estimate its seasonal decorative value at $20. 

vintage drummer figurine- handwinding - papermaché head - Germany

Readers of this blog know that I feel next to nothing being offered by dealers based in Germany is authentically vintage. The Germans made everything for export; nothing was retained to be discovered in a "warehouse find" after the Berlin Wall fell. Truly vintage Halloween winding mechanicals are exceedingly rare. I haven't seen one I feel is unquestionably authentic since I personally examined a collection in Los Angeles in 2009. 


It is too bad to see that some poor soul dropped $300 on this fantasy item, made no earlier than circa 2000. The gimmick employed by those who wish to pass these along as authentic is the inclusion of an old box, a tactic employed since at least 2003 when I first saw it occur at the Atlantic City show. If you want old, genuinely authentic items, be sure to check out my auction on this site. The preview begins Sunday morning with the auction formally beginning at 9:00 AM on Sunday, May 3rd. The auction is open only to those who have purchased a copy of my newly published third edition of Vintage Halloween Collectibles


I've written about this seller before. She has long been on my list of those with whom I do not do business, both under her former Ebay handle of shadowtown and under her current handle, trappedintheshadow. A collecting friend was the prevailing bidder and contacted me seeking my input. I said that the seller has long sold Halloween items I question, concerned about their true age. I stated that this foursome was almost certainly not the real deal, specifying that they would probably be on thick paper and have a glossy, shellacked texture. (These traits are characteristic of many Halloween items this seller offers for sale.) Sure enough, my suspicions were validated. The buyer contacted the seller and was immediately offered an apology and a full refund. Is this an M.O.? Is it a calculation that occasional returns are simply the cost of doing business? I certainly don't know. What I do know is that I will continue to do no business with her. 


It is too bad that this seller, who has been offering solid items for too-low BIN prices, is offering this item. This is one of the best known fantasy pieces that began washing ashore in the mid-1990s as truly vintage Halloween candy containers and other composition items were rapidly escalating in price. These typically are offered without a bottom, but the presence or absence of a bottom indicates nothing. There are no vintage counterparts to this well-done fake, making it, more precisely, a fantasy piece. As such, it possesses modest decorative value, about one-tenth of what this seller hopes to get. 

Halloween Pumpkin Jack O Lantern Lot Vegetable People

The seller writes rather oddly about this set, "Have no idea on his age." Let me help. These items have little age - they are proverbial newborns relative to the age of authentically vintage items. These blobby, Schmoo-like forgettables are just the thing to have if you want targets to test out that new hunting rifle. The seller further writes, "A must for your Halloween collection." Um, I think not.