For those of you that love seasonal blow molds you may be unaware that General Foam closed their doors in December 2017 and auctioned all of their assets in March 2018. General Foam’s closing was significant in that they owned 350 aluminum molds used to produce holiday blow molds, by far the largest manufacturer of these products in the U.S. Following the auction the overwhelming majority of the aluminum molds that existed for decades have sadly been destroyed and the availability of products has become severely limited.
Dating to the 1960’s there was a strong U.S. and Canadian manufacturing base producing these beloved products, but all of them have closed. At present, Cado Products and Christmas Lights Creations are the only U.S. companies currently manufacturing Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s Day blow molds. Cado currently produces the Union Products line, and they own a few Grand Venture and TPI aluminum molds. We have purchased several Grand Venture aluminum molds, and we are aware of other aluminum molds that are available and may pursue those at some point in the future.
Point in fact, Cado has more aluminum blow molds and paint masks sitting on racks collecting dust in their warehouse than the number of products they produce. They have a limited amount of production and warehouse space, and until they decide to expand or figure out a way to increase capacity the same blow molds they’ve been producing for several years will continue to be the only products that enter the market.
In 2015 we had nearly 100 blow mold products available for purchase on our website, but today that number has dwindled to 36. It’s unfortunate because a strong market still exists for these products, but the U.S. blow mold manufacturer’s we’ve spoken to aren’t interested in producing these products because of the painting that’s required. Cado knows this and likely has taken the position that they don’t need to increase their overhead when they have virtually no competition in the U.S.
Unlike General Foam, a properly managed company with a solid financial position could succeed as a manufacturer in this market, and we’re hopeful one will emerge. But the likelihood of that happening appears to be remote. Manufacturer’s in China and Mexico have produced blow molds over the past two years, and the amount of products they put into production may increase in the future unless U.S. manufacturer’s begin to notice their losing market share by not producing holiday blow molds.
These realities have brought the laws of supply and demand to the forefront, and as such the days of cheap blow molds are over. Other factors play a role in rising prices, but the primary driver is the limited product availability. Until that reality is reversed, expect to pay a lot more for these iconic products.
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