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If You Can Handle A Little More Akro


Steph
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Another salesman's sample case.

This one has later era Akros and was modified to reflect a simpler line.

It was 'found' in New Zealand, of all places! As far as I am aware, no others are known. Why haven't they been found in the USA?

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Guest FeelingMarbleous

Looks like it was modified recently IMHO the box is surrounded by what looks like a craft table LOL

Not to mention the white on the labels is still bright, that would have some sort of stain or off white

look to it by now, but of course im just speculating so..................

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Looks like it was modified recently IMHO the box is surrounded by what looks like a craft table LOL

Not to mention the white on the labels is still bright, that would have some sort of stain or off white

look to it by now, but of course im just speculating so..................

no.

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Do you have a time frame for this box. I have a exact match for every marble in that box. This was the main marbles that i dug in the last big dig at Akro near the dance class building.

No. no documentation to help date the box.

I have a personal guess -- a theory I'm mullling over -- related to why sample cases like that wouldn't be found in the U.S.

When would Akro have been selling in New Zealand? Before the war Akro sold a lot to Canada and England. After the war the "tightened economy" in those countries (and in Belgium and Holland?) made Akro turn to other markets, including India, Iran, other parts of Asia, South America, Africa, and continental Europe via Belgium. This is from a PR-sounding news report in 1948. Also discussed is a drop-off in playground use in America, but an expansion of industrial marble sales in the US and abroad.

So my theory is that the later cases wouldn't have been needed in America. Akro was well enough known here that mostly what would be needed to ensure a healthy share of the American market would be updated price lists in the hands of merchants. My guess is that department store buyers already knew enough about what marbles they would be getting.

But to break into new markets, Akro may have needed something more tangible to make the sales. Ergo, updated sample cases.

So the question then might be, when was New Zealand a new market for Akro?

(I realize I'm making an assumption about the case being in NZ for commercial reasons. it could be a coincidence that it ended up there -- someone could have taken it there when it was no longer needed wherever it was first employed)

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This box is quite odd. I am familiar with a number of the Salesman's Sample cases and have never seen anything that looked even remotely like this. The doubling-up of types within the box seems difficult to understand the purpose of.

I find the labels to be quite odd as well. While I obviously don't know their origin - it seems reasonable to look at them carefully as no other case has ever had anything like them.

What is most puzzling perhaps is why Akro would intentionally omit their best sellers from a Salesman's case.

The fact that this turned up in NZ is not too surprising. A Salesman's case turned up in Australia roughly 10+ years ago.

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What best sellers do you have in mind?

My interpretation of the doubling up was that the line had been significantly reduced at this time. That, in particular, corkscrews had been discontinued. My assumption is that Akro didn't want the case to look empty, and didn't want to make a completely new case, so they designated more areas for the more interesting remaining types.

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