Formerly the vacuum forming division of Star Band, purchased by Harold Bereson during their liquidation in September 1976, Artform Industries continued production of many of Star Band’s designs as well as adding their own unique designs. To mitigate financial risk, the owner of Artform Industries would strike a distribution deal with Empire. Empire would guarantee minimum order sizes and early payment, in return for exclusive distribution rights. This deal was presumed to last one to two years, but the exact duration is unclear. Artform Industries products can be seen in at least the 1978 Judith Novelty Sales catalogs. Empire would later distribute vacuum formed products imported from overseas whilst Artform Industries would strike a new exclusivity deal with Grand Award.
Originally produced entirely in the United States, Artform Industries would later begin importing smaller vacuum formed products to compete with the low cost (and rapid influx) of imported goods. Artform Industries would continue to manufacturer their larger holiday products in the United States until 1995, when they exited the holiday products business completely, instead focusing on plastic packaging until their 2001 closure.
Artform Industries primary product line was low cost, decorative plastics sold at retailers such as Kmart and Walmart. A low cost enabled consumers to throw away the decorations at the end of the season, and purchase new decor in the following season. This mixture of distributors, retailers and brands can make it difficult to correctly identify Artform Industries products. Furthermore, many Artform Industries products are unmarked. Other products may bear stickers with the Artform Industries name, or include a Artform Industries logo in the printed design directly.
Information courtesy of Steve Wasserman via phone interview.
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