Each of these two piece molds were mechanically married to produce an (increasingly rare) motorized blow mold. As a result of the manufacturing and assembly overhead, as well as their typically larger size, these blow molds were far more expensive than their stationary counterparts. Beco Products’ 42" Mechanical Santa Claus #976 sold for $20 in 1964, costing over $160 by 2020 standards.
After Beco Products’ 1968 closure, Poloron Products was among the last to produce new motorized blow mold designs until their discontinuation in the 1970s. Poloron Products’ subsequent closure lead to a 1988 purchase of their molds by Holiday Innovations. The next year, 1989, saw the reproduction of these blow molds with myriad of quality issues: namely flaking paint and poorly built mechanical parts.
(Quietly tucked in Holiday Innovations’ 1989 catalog was their new Animated Santa in Sled with 2 Reindeer #30-1260. It would disappear as quietly as it arrived the next year.)
After Holiday Innovations’ closure, the once Poloron Products designs were purchased by Empire, and saw a brief window of production in 1994. These Empire versions are distinct in that, besides their less detailed paint schemes and the snowman losing his shovel, they were never motorized. Empire instead opted to simply bolt the two halves together to produce a seemingly singular blow mold. This makes the previous 1989 Holiday Innovations production the last time these blow molds would be sold in their original (motorized) form.
Time has seen many of these motors become noisy, unreliable or seized altogether. While they may likely be mechanically repairable, the weight of upper half of the blow mold often causes the motor’s mount to sink. This deforms the bottom half of the blow mold: creating friction and preventing the upper half from rotating.
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