Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Theme Party Noise Maker, early 1950's

Chein produced this hard-to-find noisemaker during the 1920s, patterned directly after their party scene tambourine. There are subtle differences between the two aside from coloration. Because blue and yellow are not colors traditionally associated with Halloween, collectors sometime overlook this little gem. This particular one is in rough condition, so hold off for a better one. The seller may have found it in a box with a 1950s date, but this was produced ~25 years earlier. 

Vintage Halloween Wooden Handle Ratchet Tin Noisemaker Made In USA

This ratchet was produced by Bugle Toy of Providence, Rhode Island. Item for item, Bugle made the most interesting, avant-garde designs of the major manufacturers. The overall number of their tin designs was small but collectors covet them, so prices have been firm, very different from most tin litho noisemakers that have seen sharp price declines. Sometimes Bugle had the wood handle at the witch's hat, as in this example, and sometimes at the base of the JOL. Placement is not material to value. 


Exercise much caution when purchasing these decorated German wood ratchets. The plain ratchets themselves were made in huge quantities, and many remain extant. What some dealers do is marry a plain, vintage wood ratchet with a vintage, but otherwise not connected, Halloween decoration and sell the resulting union as an original. Now, I don't believe that was done for the item shown here that sold for $189, but this marrying frenzy is something to keep in mind when you are shopping for items in this genre. 


Piece for piece, I think Bugle Toy of Providence, Rhode Island made the quirkiest tin litho items around. The firm's design sensibility seems off-kilter, no doubt helping to make their tin litho items as collectibles as they are today. Bugle also produced lithoed paper over cardboard noisemakers, but these seem to have been produced by a wholly different firm as these items are devoid of creativity, bland and eminently forgettable. 

Vintage Tin Metal Noise Maker Toy.....'Witch & Pumpkin'

I think this was a bargain for $12.72. As I write about such items in my third edition: "These scrap items were typically made at the end of a shift using whatever could be salvaged from the leftover tin litho. They were then sold as irregulars, garnering at least a little money for the manufacturer from what otherwise would have simply gone to waste."