The Hartland folks are touting this as a chance to go back in time, and given the description of the Casey Stengel Hartland Statue prototype, it’s hard to take issue with their assessment.
Hartland of Ohio President Fay Halliwell recently announced that the company would be producing a Hartland Statue of Casey Stengel, which is newsworthy enough, but gets a second bump by virtue of the fact that the “new” statue will be made from a near half-century old prototype.
The metal prototype of Casey was already done in 1963 when Hartland Plastics was sold to Revlon, and company owner Charlie Revlon showed up at the production facility in Hartland, Wis., and shut everything down. “When Revlon came in and told them to destroy all the molds, Frank Fulop saved the Stengel prototype,” said Craig Blakenship, Hartland’s official historian and a recent addition to the Hartland Ohio group that will produce the 19th statue.
Fulop, who died in 2002, is a legendary figure in the hobby, having been the principal name attached to the collectible that has been a hobby mainstay virtually from the earliest days. The full-color Stengel prototype has been in the possession of Fulop’s son, who lives in Colorado.
Blankenship, a Hartland fan for decades, purchased the www.Hartlands.com website from Kevin Cloutier. “I love Hartlands and I bought the website as a way to communicate with collectors,” he said.
Conceived at the time when Stengel was managing the Mets, the statue prototype portrays him in a Mets uniform. Halliwell said the negotiations about use of logos are still underway; the statue already has licensing from CMG Worldwide, which markets the rights to some of the biggest names in the baseball galaxy, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb, to name a handful.
It’s that licensing that contributes to a suggested retail price that Halliwell figures will be around $100 for a figure that will be manufactured in the United States (a Washington state artist who works under the company name L’il Monsters) and limited to perhaps 200 pieces. Hartland officials also noted that the Stengel statues, expected to be available later this year, will be manufactured to the same weight as the originals and will replicate the off-white color in the originals as well.