Vintage Mechanical Window Displays

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  • Vintage Mechanical Window Displays

    Hello All,
    I have been collecting vintage mechanical store window figures for about 15 years and have over 90 of these in my collection currently. These were figures used between the 60's through early 80's and I'm looking to see if anyone else has a collection. I like to see the variations in clothing, hairstyles, and motions since I have had no luck finding a catalog from this era that would show the variations. I displayed them in the window of an antique store that I partnered in and now have the pleasure of setting them up in another store window of a friend and fellow shopowner. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any of these types of dolls as I'd like to compare notes.

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  • #2
    VERY COOL pictures frogkid11!!....It's great to have a member who is into collecting something as unique as these mechanical
    figures that you have.- Every store window should still have one of these!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Reminds me of when I was a kid and just about every store decorated their windows. I think it's really hard to tell, but you maybe like Christmas? LOL!
      Last edited by Falasben; 11-18-2012, 01:11 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Falasben View Post
        Reminds me of when I was a kid and just about every store decorated their windows. I think it's really hard to tell, but you maybe like Christmas? LOL!
        That was part of the fun in having these set up at the store I was a partial owner in....I loved hearing everyone recount the memories of going downtown to see the department store windows. Lots of customers would come to bring their children or grandchildren and watch for long periods of time as the figures moved quietly in the window. I, too, remember staring at them in the displays and taking in all the details during my childhood days of Christmas.

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        • #5
          Yep--brings back many memories of my childhood, going downtown to do your shopping at the old five & dime stores. Sure miss those.
          Please stop by Facebook or our website for a visit.

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/RazlD...60872887351038

          www.RazlDazlChristmas.weebly.com

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          • #6
            Yup times were simpler back then. I too enjoyed looking at the store windows at the mechanized marvels that they had set up.

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            • #7
              WOW awesome collection those are so cool!
              Now if I could just get one more... right there... what the...

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              • #8
                Totally cool collection and pics Frogkid11!
                There is beauty in a winter's full moon. Glittering off the snow between the shadows of barren branches.

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                • #9
                  Oh man are those cool! My favorite set up whether it be Halloween or Christmas are displays. These absolutely rock!
                  People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?

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                  • #10
                    Thank you all for the comments and compliments on the collection. I need to add an album here of the various characters as I try to keep a pictorial library of the entire collection so I can reference what I have without opening the tons of boxes.

                    I believe there was a post last year by Just Whisper (who I think I remember from halloweenforum.com) where she found a pair at an estate sale. Hoping if anyone else has any of these that they, too, will share pictures.

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                    • #11
                      Hi Frogkid11!

                      Very nice displays and very nice that you collect these! Even better that you are displaying them and showing them off for future generations to see and create new memories!!!! Thanks for sharing!

                      I have seen them on ebay, but I could never afford them.

                      Do you build the backdrops for these? (storefronts, etc) or did they come with them?

                      So many places and towns are trying to re-create these store front windows these days as everyone likes "Vintage". By having a couple of stores display this in your town, it will bring back memories to those that choose to remember. I hope that you can and are willing to share your collection in years to come with even more stores to create more memories. These things aren't doing anyone any good sitting in boxes!!!!

                      Again, THANKS for SHARING!!
                      World's Best Manager

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                      • #12
                        Hi Theedwin!! Thanks for taking a look and providing the comments. These are getting harder to find locally so Ebay is becoming one of the main sources to continue adding to my collection. I agree with you that some of the asking prices are quite unrealistic - but I have found that with so many vintage items on Ebay. It's also been interesting watching the market prices on these over the past 15+ years of collecting.

                        I do build most of the backdrops that are used in the displays. I continue to look for the original props that were used along with the scenes but most of the original backdrops were long destroyed or tossed out. I have learned the valuable flexibility in using sheets of foam...they ain't just for tombstones anymore. LOL Each year, I love planning and building the different scenes that will occupy the shop windows here locally. I'm glad that folks still trying to recreate the magic from Christmas of yesteryears as this will keep the demand for folks who want to see the displays each season.

                        I also meant to ask in my original post that if anyone has photographs of this era that captures the animated window displays, please post those as I would love some reference points for creating various scenes.

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                        • #13
                          Have you seen this vid with this person's collection? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=030HksZCnuo

                          This is a more vintage one of animated window figures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmVcT04Au78
                          Last edited by Sickie Ickie; 11-19-2012, 10:12 AM.
                          People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            those are amazing to see.... and to know someone is actually collecting them... and the fact that you are actually showing them to the public, that is true Magic!! do you have any youtube videos of them in action.. I would love to see it,,


                            I saw a couple years ago In Brasov Romania, a small town square on the north side of the city.. they had all the shop windows with these figures up, it was early Christmas season, so i didnt get to see the whole display, but I hear that they redecorate the whole town square with old decorations, everything is hand made... someday i plan on going back to see it..

                            decorations that are handmade are just amazing to me.. and when they stand the test of time for others to see i am totally blown away.. it is awesome!!!
                            \
                            Thanks FOR SHaRING!!! and welcome to the CFC
                            Visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/WalterHeussmannPhotography

                            if you like what you see give me a like!!

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                            • #15
                              Hey Sickie...actually the first youtube link you provided is the first movie made by my friend who owns Crown Marketing and lives one state away in West Virginia. We met as a result of bidding against each other on these years and years ago. He and his wife have a wonderful collection of these same animatronics as well a few other styles from back in the day. Yearly, his collection appears in all of those wonderful windows of a bank in downtown Marietta, Ohio. He sets up displays in the front windows, side windows, and even in the lobby areas. If you do a search on google or yahoo for crown marketing animated christmas you will see displays from several years. He will be setting up the display very shortly given that we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday this week. We often compare notes on the clothes, hair, and movements of the dolls and have quite a few that are the same.

                              Goofy, thanks for the welcome and the comment. I don't have any videos of my previously displayed scenes but I will start taking video with the scene that is up this year (the first picture in my original post with the three shops and carolers around the town monument). I, too, like the handmade and vintage charm of these older pieces. The details that were included in the embelishments and ornamentation of these outfits is nothing like you find today. Many of the Victorian styled outfits are vintage velvet and the characters that are dressed in Renaissance era fashions are quite elaborate. Thanks again for the comments.

                              Comment

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