Stewart Callner wrote:
The only thing left out of the discussion of these interesting pieces is that they epitomise Art Deco design with the geometric shape of their elements and overall construction. The Art Deco period generally ran from the 1910's through about 1940, so the 1930's was right in there.
If I were to sell these on Ebay, I would certainly emphasize the Art Deco aspect, as Art Deco is VERY collectible.
So true Stewart!
For 20 years, from 1984 to 2005, I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the only city that has hosted the National Art Deco Conference more than once. In the United States, only New York and Miami have more art deco buildings and structures than Tulsa.
Art deco had its heyday in the 1930s, but it also saw a resurgence in popularity in the late 1960s and again in the 1990s.
I love art deco and the style that evolved from art deco called "streamline moderne" or "art moderne" -- which were used in early plastic CJ prizes. With the advent of the screw injection molding process for thermoplastics, invented in 1946 by James Watson Hendry, the first plastic prizes appeared in packages of Cracker Jack in 1948.
Some of these first plastic sets -- I am thinking about the heavy hollow back animal prizes (some are marked C.J.Co.) and the two-sided animal stand-ups marked CRACKER JACK (on the bottom of the base) -- were influenced by art deco, which, while waning in popularity, was still fairly common in everyday design. From personal observation, these are some of the favorite plastic sets for non-CJ collectors.
Another thing that added to the popularity of these art deco influenced sets was another design aspect where the manufacturer mixed two or more colors of plastic to make a marblized (or "mottled" as some collectors call it) effect. This was an effective way to add elegance to a cheaply made piece of plastic. (And it was an efficient way to recycle plastic left over from previous runs.)