What is a Blow Mold?
Blow molds have been a very popular Christmas decoration in times past. Blow molds might have become a prominent Christmas decoration sometimes in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but their popularity didn’t peak there. In fact, they’re very sought-after as collectibles now. If you want to learn more about blow molds and what they are, take a look.
What is a blow mold?
Do you not know what a blow mold is? Think back to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Do you remember the scene when Clark gets the family outside to turn on the lights and the lights don’t work? Then he throws a tantrum that involves shaking the cord, jiggling lights, and then he escalates to shaking and kicking his lawn decoration of Santa and the reindeer. Later in the film, Santa and the reindeer make another appearance when the fumes from the methane gas explode, and this lawn ornament fly through the air, flames trailing behind. Santa and these reindeer are an excellent example of a blow mold because these decorations speak to the traditional Christmas that Clark is trying to master in his home for the holiday.
What is the history of blow molding?
Blow molds are known as traditional Christmas decorations because they started becoming popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Blow molds are started by a company casting a mold with a cavity in it. From there, the hard plastic liquid is poured into the cavity, and concentrated air pressure blows the hard plastic into all of the crevices of the cavity. Once the plastic hardens, the air pressure is turned off and the plastic is removed from the mold. Sometimes the plastic liquid is colored for certain intentionally-colored pieces, and sometimes the plastic is painted after the blow mold has hardened and dried. This process was invented by Enoch Ferngren and William Kopitke, inventors that were working on a more finite version of glass blowing. When they discovered the blow molding process, they created a blow molding machine to make production more consistent, and in 1938, they sold the blow molding machine and patent to the Hartford Empire Company. From there, the Hartford Empire Company began producing limited molds. Since then, more companies joined in on production, and now many of the companies that participate in making blow molds include Harrill Company, Heller Industries, Hamilton Skotch Company, Niagra Plastic Company, Faster-Forms, Farley Technologies, Artline, Blinky Products, Bel Air, Holiday Innovations, Borse Plastics Products, Judith Novelity Sales, Empire Plastics, Beco Products, Poloron Products, Santa’s Best, Union Products, TPI/Canada, Drainage Industries, Sun Hill Industries, Dapol, Noma Lites, Mold-Craft, Falcon, Grand Venture, and many more.
While blow molding decorations isn’t as common as it used to be, blow molding something else has taken over in blow mold production: water bottles are a form of blow molding, something that blow mold companies focus a lot of time and money on.
Why are blow molds so collectable?
Some blow molds go for hundreds of dollars, which seems surprising for small to medium sized items made of plastic. Part of the reason they’re so collectable is because they’re so rare. The older, more vintage blow molds are rare because several blow mold owners didn’t realize they couldn’t store blow molds in their attic. With degrees flocculating between 130-200 degrees, most blow molds melt in the attic and the risk of someone not taking proper care of a vintage blow mold is very high. It’s also rare to get a blow mold that is made from one of the original companies: several of the companies that used to make blow molds have gone out of business, sold the company into new hands, or the molds themselves have become lost or broken. If you find a blow mold that is produced by a vintage company with a vintage mold, these blow molds are worth quite a bit of money, whether the decoration itself is vintage or not.
Are reproductions made?
Collecting blow molds has been trending for the last few years, with collectors spending hundreds of dollars and many years devoted to the task. Considering the new focus, many companies have returned to blow molding, and particularly to reproductions. General Foam is the largest company reproducing these molds, and their most favored blow molds include the Nativity scene, Santa with sleigh and reindeer (like the one featured in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), toy soldiers, candle sticks, and candy canes.
Where can you get a blow mold?
Our store www.thejollychristmasshop.com/christmas-blow-molds/ sells a lot of the current Christmas and Halloween blow molds produced today. For rare or vintage blow molds, Blow Molds R Us provide an inventory list with pictures so that you can see what products are being made, even if you can’t order them from the company. Ways to access the blow molds seem inconsistent at best, doing searches online and chatting with communities such as these to see if anyone is selling a used product or if anyone in that community knows where you would get a hard to find product. Several collectors will say that this is part of the joy of collecting: the hunt is what keeps them challenged and interested.
How many different blow molds are available?
While several of the most popular blow molds include the Nativity scene, Santa with sleigh and reindeer (like the one featured in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), toy soldiers, candle sticks, and candy canes, blow molds are made in nearly every figure. Disney characters have blow molds. A variety of animals are cast in blow molds, and, in fact, several of these companies are the same that produce pink lawn flamingos. Perhaps some of the most common blow molds include orange pumpkins with black faces for Halloween, turkeys for Thanksgiving, and other caricatures for every day purposes, such as ducks, deer, and cats. Nearly everything is available for nearly every holiday –you just need to know where to look.
If you know where to look, blow molds can be just the thing for you to decorate with. You can use blow molds to decorate for any holiday, but if you find some of the rare or collectible Christmas blow molds, you can have collectable, vintage items. Just make sure you don’t store them in the attic, or else blow molds will become even more rare.