Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.


The prevailing bidder made a smart purchase of this rare enveloped set, although the price ended higher than I would have forecast. Beistle made three iterations of the smallest of their Johnny Pumpkin family of diecuts. The ones sold in this lot represent the third and rarest of the iterations. As I write on page 123, "This is the final variant of this size. These are smaller, brighter and have no easels. Instead, there is a prop that unfolds from the side enabling the item to stand." These were made during the span 1923-1925. The set shown in the reference was made later during that range, while this one was made earlier during that range. How is this determined? Beistle's first inclination was to issue things in somewhat plain envelopes, with envelopes getting more ornate during the production run. Check out the differences. 

Lot of 10 Vintage Gummed Witch Face Stickers Halloween Reflective

The RSIN of this enveloped set of 10 gummed silhouettes is 2, meaning "rare."This set was produced in 1925 by Hall Brothers and sold for a single season. Hall Brothers changed their business name in 1928 to something much more familiar today, Hallmark. 

03/30 Update: Prices for many items have been soft on eBay. Tax season? This fetched only $60 when they routinely fetch $85. 

Original Dennison Cat Head Seals Screaming Cat Face Halloween

Most Beistle packaging is coveted and hard to come by. The earliest packaging is less interesting as Beistle hadn't yet added the detailed artwork that festooned the most sought after variety. This is an early enveloped set as there is nothing to it except the simplest of descriptions and an example of the contents glued to the front. Even so, the seller would have garnered far more than the $20 that was obtained if they had run this as an auction rather than an ill-advised BIN event. 

HTF Beistle Mechanical Bat & Hoot Owl Diecut Decorations in Original Envelope

If this is an example of the delights that await us all in late 2015 when this seller begins to sell in earnest, them I am chomping at the bit! What makes this exceptional, of course, is its condition. Just look at it! I have two envelopes in the collection, one shown on page 145 and one on page 219. Neither one is identical to the one being sold here. (It is interesting that there were at least three variations.) In any event, these sellers are top-notch. I wish many other Ebay sellers would take a page out of this seller's playbook in that they supply many high-quality photos, have razor-sharp descriptions and stand by their merchandise. I have been one of their customers and can personally attest that they'll treat you right. Significantly better than the set in the collection, I may very well be a bidder!