|The Beatles Collectors' Reference Center|
|The Vari-Vue Bankruptcy & The Tale Of the Flicker Rings
Sold for a few pennies in
vending machines, the Beatles Flicker Rings were
never expected to become great collectibles 30 years later. New information
about the company that produced them (Vari-Vue) is bringing a new light to the tale of the
Around 1985, Vari-Vue held an auction at their factory in Mt. Vernon NJ. The auction involved huge quantities ot items in all states of manufacture. Given this, ringbases of different color and flickers with different characters (Looney Tunes characters, Buster Brown...) could be bought from auction-goers. In the 1980's up to the 1990's some Beatles Flicker Rings were sold from different vendors and were long thought to be fakes, but new evidence shows that the flickers themselves might just be originals from the 60's and the ringbases in which they were set could also have been made by Vari-Vue -- but at a much later time in the 80's or even in the 70's.
The theory is that the ringbases and flickers are thought
to have been bought separately and glued together.There are very few makers of lenticular
plastic in the US today; the die-cut machines to cut sheets into individual flickers are
outrageously expensive to make. So if a manufacturer could afford to make fake flickers it
would be a very expensive business project. For that reason, it is unlikely that the
flickers sold up to this day are fakes.
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