Halloween Down Under
Cool Vintage Finds attracts shoppers from all over the world. We love hearing from people who are thrilled with their purchases and eager to tell us why. It’s especially fun to get the backstory—why something caught their eye, how they plan to use it or why an item is particularly meaningful. A recent transaction with an Australian eBayer (I’ll call him Mr. Halloween) was so special and inspiring, it deserved its own blog post.
It started with a Gemmy animated bookshelf ...
Next to Christmas, Halloween is the most popular holiday with our customers. We snatch up Halloween collectibles whenever we can. So when we saw an animated bookshelf by Gemmy at a local sale, we knew it would be perfect for our store.
Sure enough, Mr. Halloween came across our bookshelf and got in touch. He sent an email to be sure the item would work for his purposes before buying. When I assured him the books were motion-activated (creepily moving in and out as an eerie soundtrack plays), he knew it was something he and his daughter would love to add to their (not so little) Halloween display … down under. Yes, that’s right. Mr. Halloween hails from a small town in New South Wales, a state on the East coast of Australia.
Mr. Halloween was pleased and let us know it!
We received a nice message from the ultimate champ of Halloween haunting after his bookshelf arrived safely.
Thanking you so very much for getting the Haunted Books here to us in Australia … on our door step nice and safe.
I have given you a very good feedback and also all 5-stars rating.
The books are going to look good with some other Animated books on Halloween night in our Front Foyer [Car port] as it is fun and noisy and slightly scary for anyone and everyone will think that everything should be put into a museum.”
When I say this guy goes all out for Halloween, I mean ALL OUT!
Mr. Halloween was kind enough to share photos of his elaborate ensemble, which takes up much of their house, carport and yard! I thanked him for his business and the great photos and asked if I could share them in our blog. He was happy to oblige.
The creepy fun starts with a ghastly graveyard ...
... and a marketplace of monstrosities.
Needless to say, the displays are totally bewitching.
"Bloody good job, bloke!" -- Said some Englishman somewhere.
Make no bones about it, this smorgasbord of specimens is out of this world!
But wait, there's more inside!
Right this way, past the gallery of ghouls ...
... super creepy Dracula finds these ladies dead gorgeous.
Watch out for the wicked wall of weaponry and the possessed bear rug.
Looks like someone's lost their head over Halloween!
Even the dungeon ... I mean basement ... is chock full of horrors!
The mummies are amazeballs, just like in Tales from the Crypt ...
Hats off to the creators of this massively spooky spectacle!
Many thanks to our Australian friends who work so hard to put together this entertaining Halloween Hall-of-Fame-worthy haunted house. We're proud to know that Cool Vintage Finds played a small role in making this October 31 even more spectacular.
Surely it's taken years for Mr. Halloween and his daughter to amass their amazing collection of Halloween props. So better get started, you've got some catching up to do! If you’re in the market for Halloween collectibles, see what we have in store in the Halloween Scene corner of our store.
Whatever you do, be sure to have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN this October 31!
Halloween Collectible Brands
Halloween is a popular holiday that generates all kinds of items that appeal to collectors. Here are some reliable brands for sought-after spooky, quirky and fun Halloween decorations.
Martin Luther Beistle started his paper goods company in 1900. His alliance with the Paper Novelty Company in the 1920s produced the wonderful honeycomb and cardboard cut-out Halloween decorations that are desirable to this day. Authentic vintage Beistle paper goods (those originating decades ago) are in high demand with Halloween collectors year round. Reproductions abound, bringing the company’s classic designs to a wider audience (and making it more difficult to discern the old from the new).
The same company that excels at producing Christmas collectibles has offered a generous array of collectible ceramic and resin Halloween decor. Snow Village Halloween is the company’s haunted equivalent to their Christmas village line. Still actively producing products, Dept. 56 is known for quality and quantity. Popular retired designs can command a high price.
The Empire Company is well known for its plastic blow mold holiday decorations. For Halloween, Empire makes everything from hand-held plastic buckets to hold children’s candies to outdoor lighted decorations to guide costumed characters to your door.
Fitz and Floyd (aka FF or Omnibus)
Since 1960, Fitz and Floyd Fine China has been creating elegant hand painted ceramics for everyday and special occasions. Though their Halloween line is less extensive than their Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter offerings, you can find heirloom quality Halloween pieces for your home.
Gemmy Industries was founded in 1984 and specializes in all kinds of novelties and animation. The company makes a huge variety of Halloween decorations, from outdoor lights and inflatables to costumes and tabletop décor. Animated Halloween decorations by Gemmy Industries are popular on eBay. Look for shuddering skeletons, talking jack-o-lanterns, howling ghosts, cackling witches and more.
Gurley Novelty Co.
Halloween-themed Gurley candles are popular collectibles today. The company was started by Franklin Gurley, a candlemaker based in Buffalo, New York, in 1923. Very early candles by Gurley were sold under the Tavern brand and are rare finds. In addition to candles shaped like Halloween ghosts, witches and other ghouls, Gurley sold Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter themed candles that are also popular with collectors.
Midwest Importers (aka Midwest, or also Midwest of Cannon Falls)
Based out of Cannon Falls, Minnesota, this prolific producer of decorative collectibles has created many desirable Halloween-themed pieces. The company often features works of artists such as Eddie Walker (now retired) whose holiday-themed figures are still popular with collectors. Walker’s chunky figures are easily recognizable by design. Look for whimsical figures in faux wood carved resin. His work is typically marked with his full name or initials on the back or bottom of the figure.
Look for these brands and more as you decorate for Halloween. Check out Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay to add to your collection today.
Learn about our recent discoveries and what captures our imagination in this blog, then peruse the treasures in our Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay.
Brought to you by...
... Susan Buie, writer by day, vintage curator and co-proprietor of the Cool Vintage Finds Store on eBay in all the moments in between.