This uninspired jointed scarecrow diecut was produced by Beistle from 1960-1962 when that company's time in the sun had long passed.
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.
This overly large scarecrow diecut was made by Beistle from 1960-1962 and illustrates the plunge in derring-do the company experienced in wanting to roll with the times. Silly and benign displaced challenging and memorable design by this time in Beistle's history. Their Golden Age for Halloween was 1918-1940, followed by a period punctuated with some creativity from 1941-1955 then followed by a long decline in artistic vision exemplified by this doofus.
This common and forgettably cute small diecut is one that was typically packed in the box I show on page 164, upper right. If these designs sell at all, they typically fetch $5, so this is an aberrant result.
This listing presents a minor mystery. This scarecrow roly-poly was one of four designs Beistle issued in 1930. (You can see all four on pages 226-227.) Beistle's own marketing material says this: "Assorted four designs, printed on cardboard both sides, in full Halloween colors. Stands 8" high and with heavy weighted honeycomb tissue ball bottom, 5" in diameter." Beistle issued all four of the designs with the same stock number of 692. My theory is that this one-sided item was a salesman sample. The handwritten notation references the stock number, a price and a price per gross. My theory is simply that. If someone has another insight, I'd definitely love to hear it.
10/18 Update: This item only brought $105.50, much less than I would have thought.
Although creatively Beistle was in a downswing at the time this was produced in the mid-1950s, there were still glimmers of their imaginative prowess, as evidenced by this 3-D fold out decoration, one of a set of three. (The complete set is shown on page 231.) The other two, a haunted house scene and a graveyard scene, tend to fetch more money when they come up for sale, but all are cleverly designed and make great display items. Because each needs to be expanded to stand, wear is evident on the items in even above average condition. This seems to be in near-mint condition, so should command strong dollars at the auction's conclusion.
03/15 Update: And strong dollars were, indeed, obtained. This item in such great condition pulled in $172.50!
This is one of a set of three 3-D fold-out decorations Beistle made in the mid-1950s. (The other two can be seen on page 231.) These surface on a somewhat regular basis, but typically bring $150-225. This is a great example of how condition affects value. Instead of $150, due to someone carelessly ripping the one side, this only brought $32.99.
This assortment consists of designs originally conceived by Beistle but later copied by the Japanese. Whether this copying was done with Beistle's cooperation, or even knowledge, is not known. These copies were done in the latter half of the 1960s and have very modest value as the ending price for this lot was $49.95. The older originals, clearly marked "Made in USA," have greater value.
A large quantity of these Beistle "scarecrow hanging decorations" were found in a warehouse on the east coast around 2003. There are two different designs, and most will come with an original envelope. All the ones I have seen are mint and unused. These typically trade for ~$70.