5 Ways To Tell If You Have An Old Blow Mold - MY WEATHERED HOME (2024)

Do you enjoy that nostalgic feeling that blow molds add around the holidays? I’m sharing tips on how to help identify the age of these cuties!

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I love a good blow mold, and each and every time I am our ‘pickin’ I always have my eyes peeled for them. There is nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline that washes over me when I happen to stumble upon a great Santa or Witch when I am out ‘in the wild’ – it is simply the purest sense of joy for me! I enjoy adding my charming finds to my personal collection, and I also like to make them available customers who shop in my little antique booth! In my opinion, these charming blow molds add the perfect nostalgic feeling to both of these spaces.

The popularity of holiday blow molds began in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and even well into the 1970’s blow molds were still a prominent Christmas decoration for many American households. I feel that blow molds have been making a ‘come back’ in popularity of sorts, and now they are very collectable, and the older vintage ones are very sought-after.

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Like many vintage and antique lovers I prefer older blow molds, but over the last several years I have discovered that many people are reselling NEWER blow molds. As you may have noticed, there are many box stores that now sell blow molds during the holidays, and many have a ‘vintage look.’ So sometimes it can be hard to tell a true vintage blow mold from a newer one made within just the last decade or two. Sometimes, especially upon first glance, it can be hard for me to tell an authentic old one from a newer one. There are some really great reproductions out there that can cause me to second guess myself because they look so authentic.

With that, I am sharing a few strategies that I use to try to determine if a blow mold is actually old or not. And I promise, after a little practice, it does become easier!

Do Look For Markings

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Be sure to turn your blow mold over to look for any markings. Many times these markings will be embossed, and if they are there, they can be usually seen easily. In addition, sometimes there will be a date listed as well, and that is an instant way to determine if your blow mold is old.

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If you ever see a blow mold marked “Made In China,” you know you have a newer one. Above, you can see the embossed “Made In China” markings. In addition, as with most reproductions, this blow mold is very light and doesn’t feel as sturdy as the older ones that I have. The plastic seems ‘thinner’ than many of my older ones.

Do Look For A Barcode

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5 Ways To Tell If You Have An Old Blow Mold - MY WEATHERED HOME (8)

If you ever see a barcode sticker on your blow mold, then you know it can not be older than the 1970s. Companies began using UPC barcodes in 1974. However, remember that anything over 30 years old IS considered vintage … so even if there is a barcode, it may still be a vintage find.

Do Look For Wear

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Remember, blow molds, unless they were never used outside, will almost certainly have some wear and tear. These plastic figures were made to sit outside in the elements. You would expect to see some signs of wear like dirt and scratches on the bottom. Many times, people would also try to weigh down their blow molds by filling the bottoms with rocks and other objects. So you may find an old blow mold with ‘debris’ knocking around at the bottom … I have bought many that way! I have found things like rocks and even ziplock bags filled with sand! You may also see blow molds that are sun bleached as well. Lastly, cracks, dents, chips and holes are also signs of age. Depending on the subject matter of the blow mold, I will still bring home ones that are dinged up and even cracked! Those still have value – in my opinion.

Do Look At The Plug

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I recently found a blow mold that had an older electric plug. That is a quick and easy way to help determine if you have an older blow mold. But beware… old and worn out electrical plugs can easily be replaced with new ones (I have done just that with some of my favorite older blow molds over the years). These new plugs will fit into the vintage blow molds perfectly and can look almost like they were original to a piece. While it can sometimes be confusing, just remember that if you see a plug similar to the one below, then you can be almost certain that you have an older piece.

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*If you have a blow mold that is missing a plug or if you need a replacement, I like to use these.

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Do Your Homework

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Before you spend big bucks on blow molds that you hope are old, do a little research. You can search online and easily find pictures of OLD blow molds, and once you study them enough, you should then be better able to tell them apart from newer ones. Unless the reproductions that are being made are identical to the older blow molds, you should begin to notice subtle characteristics of the older ones.

Wrap Up

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I love old blow molds, and one day I would enjoy expanding on this subject and chatting more about their history and which ones are my favorites. My hope today is that this quick little post will be a helpful reference for you to glance at when you are out “in the field” hunting blow molds. But, always remember my ‘junkin’ golden rule – if you like it then just get it. I don’t always buy things just because they are old – I buy things when I feel drawn to the item – including blow molds!

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Some Of My Favs

Because I truly enjoy the thrill of the hunt, I usually prefer to find my blow molds myself at estate sales, flea markets, yard sales, and antique stores! However, I realize that not everyone has the time or opportunity to shop that way. With that in mind, I am sharing a few of my very favorite older blow molds from around the web. For more information on each of these, simply click the picture below!

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Where To Find New Blow Molds

If you are not concerned with the age of your blow molds, then you are in luck! There are a few places that I bet you are familiar with that sell brand new Holiday Blow Molds. You can shop at:

Amazon

Click here to shop.

Home Depot

Click Here to shop.

Wayfair

Click here to shop.

Walmart

Click Here to shop.

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*this post contains affiliate links

5 Ways To Tell If You Have An Old Blow Mold - MY WEATHERED HOME (2024)

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