Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Lava Lite Timeline - The 1980s

L E G E N D:

Years
General Information
Model Names and Numbers
Catalog tidbits
Descriptions
Colors - Lava / Liquid
Variations known or reported

<< Early 1980s >>

As times changed, the 1980s ushered in new trends. The Lava Lite slowly faded from popularity, but Lava-Simplex Internationale hung onto the edges of the market. One way of hanging on was to be bought and merged: Lava-Simplex and Creators' became divisions of Haggerty Enterprises. Another way was to pare down the product line. From 1978 until between 1982-84, Lava discontinued the Enchantress Planter, Carlisle, Mystique and Continental, Capri, Mediterranean, and Astro, as well as many of the non-Lava products such as the Silver Spinner, the Liqua-Lite, the Starburst Fiber Optic Lite, and the Infinite Motion Lite.
 
Creators' Lamp Co. simplified their line of Shower Lites, making both table and hanging lamps in a few simple but pretty styles. All models by now were the 29" by 11" and 31" by 14" models, but later production moved to only the smaller of the two sizes. The models available by the late 1980s were: Diana, Dancing in the Rain, Water Lady, Old Country Mill.

Haggerty took on another company - Hobby Hill. Hobby Hill manufactured Picture Lites. These are the horizontal metal lamps that are usually mounted above framed pictures to illuminate them. Though it may seem to be a boring product, they offered many sizes, styles, colors and such, including lights for use in china cabinets and under counters.

The product line of Lava Lites was pared down to five models. As colors went, 02 now meant red lava in yellow liquid, and 03 meant white lava in blue liquid. 02 was really a change in name only, having been red, not orange, for many years previous. Only a slight darkening of the blue liquid turned 03 into white/blue. Save for the Coach Lantern, still carrying the 06 red/clear, these became the two and only two 80s colors.

The Century, model 100
All info from the 1970s section applies. The edge of the top of the base was lowered slightly.
#102 Red / Yellow
#103 White / Blue


The Aristocrat, model 1120
All info from the 1970s section applies. The edge of the top of the base was lowered slightly.
#1122 Red / Yellow
#1123 White / Blue


The Enchantress, model 8100
All info from the 1970s section applies.
#8102 Red / Yellow
#8103 White / Blue


The Coach Lantern, model 6000
Most 1970s info applies. For the 80s, this model was the simplified style in a subtle coppery brass color. It was offered in one color combination, the only 1970s color left in production:
#6006 Red / Clear
Somewhere between 1989-90, this model was given a second color option:
#6003 White / Blue

The Rainbow, series 200:
"The 'New For The 80s' Fashion Co-ordinated colors!"
This model was an Enchantress shape. This series did not appear to have lasted for very long - perhaps as little as two years - in the very early 80s. It was 16 1/2" tall and 4 1/2" dia. and was offered in four base/cap colors, but only one is known today by the author: 
The Aztec, model 205
With "new" Sun Gold Lava, an orangey amber-yellow. The base and cap of The Aztec were a metallic painted orangey-brown bronze color.
#205 Sun Gold / Clear
Other colors in the 200 series may have included a red/clear, and a lime green/clear. Another base color may have been metallic red.

The Midnight, model 8400
"Dark as night, this sleek lite with its black metal base and black cap holds onto the mystery of Lava Lite"
This model was in The Enchantress shape. An 80s idea that DID catch on, this was considered by many to be the model that brought the popularity back - perhaps in part to its base and cap being in the 80s unofficial standard color-of-everything: black. In a dark room, the base and cap could hide in the background and let the lamp's color and action stand out. It was 16 1/2" tall and 4 1/2" dia.
#8402 Red / Yellow
#8403 White / Blue
 (The 80s "popular model")
 
Confetti GemLite - GemLamp
From around 1979 until the early 80s, a rare GemLite variant, the GemLamp, consisted of a 650 Confetti GemLite attached to a circular chrome base. A chrome pipe rose up behind the GemLite, bent slightly forward over it, and held a socket for a bulb and a conical, pleated, cream-colored lampshade.
 
The Wave Machine
Models 16 and 18 were kept, but to fit in better with the times, the silver finish was changed to black. A pair of new models were added.

The SoundWave, model 1800
"See and hear the ocean in motion!"
This was essentially a model 18 attached to a 3/4" tall platform beneath the base that contained a solid state circuit board and a speaker, to produce an artificial sound of ocean waves. It was NOT synchronized with the motion of the wave vessel. On the side of this platform under the flared base were two thumbwheels: one was an on/off switch and volume control, the other controlled tone. At the highest tone setting, the sound took on a decidedly electronic gritty quality. The liquid within the vessel was said to be blacklight-responsive, but this may have been done away with later in production. 

The Handheld Wave, model 7
This 7" wave vessel with black end caps was an executive desktop toy, made to be tilted by hand.

<< Late 1980s >>

All through the 80s, the list of models stayed virtually the same. The 80s was a sudden downfall and a very gradual climb back up, but Haggerty and Lava-Simplex managed to make it through.

Got questions, additions, changes, suggestions? Email me at KitDaKat@aol.com!
 

 

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