Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Lava Lite Timeline - The 1990s

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

<< 1990 >>
 
The Lava Coach Lantern was discontinued. Its series number 6000 and color number (formerly for Red/Clear) 06 were now up for grabs. They would be put to use the next year with The Princess, which also reused an old model name.

<< 1991 >>

Creators' Inc., maker of "Shower Lites", closes.
This was Lava Lite's 25th anniversary! "Hot New Colors" were introduced! The unit was now known officially as the Lava Lite Lamp.

The Titan
This was a new model, introduced and displayed at the 25th Anniversary party in Chicago. It was essentially a Century shape, minus the pinholes and black tray. It stood approximately two and one-half feet tall. Models offered were:
Gold base - Red/Yellow
Black Base - White/Blue

Problems arose with an effective light bulb to provide heat, and this series was never offered for sale to the public. Lava-Simplex did not, however, dump the idea, for in 1995 a new version of this would be introduced and actually placed on the market as the Giant Lava.

The Midnight, model 8400
Two "Hot New Colors" were added. 
#8402 Red / Yellow
#8403 White / Blue
New! #8404 Pink / Pink
New! #8405 Orange / Orange


The Confetti GemLite
Three "Hot New Colors" were added to the Confetti, too, in addition to the silver 650.
#650 Silver base - Silver / Clear
New! #642 Black base - Silver / Hot Pink
New! #643 Black base - Silver / Blue
New! #700 Gold base - Gold / Clear


<< 1991  >>

More "Hot New Colors" and a new model!

The Midnight, model 8400
One new color here, number 09.
#8402 Red / Yellow
#8403 White / Blue
#8404 Pink / Pink
#8405 Orange / Orange
New! #8409 Purple / Clear


The Princess, model 8000
"Bright, clean, crisp. The white cap and base gives this lite a refined, contemporary look"
This new model used the "90s formula", taking the Enchantress shape and changing the base/cap and inside colors. This one used a matte white finish, and added the new 09 plus two other new colors.
#8006 Coral Red / Clear
#8008 Lemon Yellow / Clear
#8009 Purple / Clear


<< 1992 >>

Two new series was introduced, along with seven new colors! All models except the GemLites, Century and Aristocrat were switched from the standard screw-on cap with rubber seal to a new design which sealed the bottle with a crimped metal bottlecap. These had plastic caps which sat over the bottlecap, imitating the earlier style. The 52oz. Century and Aristocrat switched to bottlecaps around 1997.

The Midnight, model 8400
The Midnight and the Princess both got a new color, number 16.
#8402 Red / Yellow
#8403 White / Blue
#8404 Pink / Pink
#8405 Orange / Orange
#8409 Purple / Clear
New! #8416 Black / Clear


The Princess, model 8000
#8006 Coral Red / Clear
#8008 Golden Yellow / Clear
#8009 Purple / Clear
New! #8016 Black / Clear


New! The Elec-Trick, series 9000
This series in the Enchantress shape, with it's pun name, was indeed "trick", with each of the seven models having neon colored lava in clear liquid and a base in the same neon color as the lava. The bases were, at the beginning, all blacklight-responsive, but later-production bases were not.
#9110 Neon Red base - Red / Clear
#9211 Neon Yellow base - Yellow / Clear
#9312 Neon Green base - Green / Clear
#9413 Neon Blue base - Blue / Clear
#9514 Neon Pink base - Pink / Clear
#9615 Neon Orange base - Orange / Clear
 
New! The Silver Streak, series 8600
Enchantress shape with satin silver finish.
#8603 White / Blue
#8604 Pink / Pink
#8609 Purple / Clear
#8610 Red / Clear
#8613 Blue / Clear
#8616 Black / Clear

A new model of Wave, the Elec-Trick Wave Machine, was test-marketed in a few areas through what would become Haggerty's marketing outlet on a grand scale - Spencer Gifts stores - mainly Illinois locations and the Tukwila, Washington store. It was a model 16 Wave, having reversed color spots i.e. dark color on top: yellow below, and hot pink above. It did not succeed, and was shortly thereafter removed from production.

<< 1995 >>

Haggerty Enterprises adds a new division. In addition to Lava-Simplex Internationale and Hobby Hill, Exotic Sands joins. Exotic Sands mass-produces a product already on the market by others: Sand Pictures. A Sand Picture is a wooden or metal frame holding two glass plates set a few millimeters apart. Between them is a quantity of sand, usually a mixture of black and white. These two sands were often two different weights, so they stayed somewhat separate, forming striated bands. The rest of the space was filled with clear or colored alcohol or water, with a bit of air space. Rotating the frame caused to sand to trap pockets of liquid and form "sandscapes" of mountains, hills and valleys.
Oak Frame Sandpictures
These units had an oak frame with a 1" edge, the frame being approx. 1" thick. They were pivoted along their wider side with two pegs, and attached to vertical supports on a long, narrow oak base. They could be placed on a desk, and swiveled in the frame to flip it and produce a new "sandscape"
Model 11110
Small 8 1/2" by 4 1/2"
Model 12110
Medium 11 1/2" by 7 1/2"
Model 13110
Large 15 1/2" by 8 1/2"
Model 14110
Executive 15 1/2" by 4 1/2"
As wide as the Large size, but short in height like the Small, perfect for placement on a desk.
All of these have liquid available in: 
Blue, Mauve, Orange, Aqua, Clear, Lavendar.

Easel Frame Sandpictures
These used a 1/2" thick black plastic frame, the edge 1/2" wide. This was pivoted at the longer side by two posts, and attached to a bent black tube "easel", again for placement on a shelf, so the picture could be flipped on its stand.
Model 21110
Small 5 5/8" by 4"
Model 23110
Large 8 5/8" by 6"
All of these have liquid available in: 
Blue, Mauve, Orange, Aqua, Clear, Lavendar.

Later in 1995, Exotic Sands introduced Space Sands. This new idea was a one-sided Sandpicture in a wood frame 1" deep with a 1" edge. Behind the back glass was an outer space-themed image. The frame was black, the liquid clear. The sand was, again, a black/white mix, with the white glowing green under blacklight or in the dark. All of these were meant to be displayed horizontally, though they included a special addition: A plug was provided which the user placed into their wall - a hole in the back of the picture allowed it to be snapped on. The picture was then attached to the wall, and could be rotated on this support/pivot to change the sandscape. In a few cases, on photos that have a visible "top" and "bottom", rotating the picture 180 degrees meant the background was now upside-down!
Lunar, model 310365
The background was a photo of a lunar landing complete with astronaut and American flag.
Small 8 1/2" by 4 1/2"
Saturn, model 310364
The background was Saturn with its rings, and a few other planets.
Small 8 1/2" by 4 1/2"
Marscape, model 320363
This background was a scenic shot of the landscape of red Mars, with Earth far off in the background sky.
Small 8 1/2" by 4 1/2"
Eclipse, model 320362
This background showed the moon on the left, and vertically on the right were three stages of a solar eclipse.
Medium 11 1/2" by 7 1/2"
Earthrise, model 330361
The picture here was a huge, panoramic wide shot of the top of Earth from space with the sun rising from over the edge.
Large 15 1/2" by 8 1/2"

Exotic Sands only stayed with Haggerty for two years before going out of business.
Exotic Sands Sandpictures and Space Sands are no longer on the market, though other companies may still manufacture similar products.

New Lava Lite series were introduced, and some old series got more "Hot New Colors"

The Midnight, model 8400
Five new colors were added to this line:
Red / Clear
Yellow / Clear
Blue / Clear
Pink / Clear
Dark Green / Clear


The Silver Streak
This Enchantress shape took on a silver base.
Red / Clear
Blue / Clear
Purple / Clear
Black / Clear
Pink / Pink
White / Blue


The Silver Century
A silver-based Century. 
Red / Clear
Blue / Clear
Purple / Clear
Black / Clear
Pink / Pink
White / Blue
Red / Yellow

Giant Lava
"The ultimate journey into the Lava experience!"
The difficulties with The Titan were resolved, and the shape and size was placed on the market as the Giant Lava. The lamp was offered in a black base, and two colors:
Pink / Pink
White / Blue


Giant Wave Machine
"Now you can hear and see the essence of the moonlit ocean on the new, grand scale"
This was a redesigned Wave. The base was rounded outward on all sides. The vessel was a cylinder, with clear ends. There was a large and a small model offered, and each was available as is, or with the SoundWave's surf sounds plus a light within the base. A horizontal blue plastic band ran around the midpoint of the bases, and this glowed on lighted models. The sound version had two thumbwheels: on/off volume and tone.

The Atlantis model 2000
8" tall, 22" long. 4" dia. vessel.
The Atlantis model 2002
With sound/light option, which used two 7-watt candelabra base bulbs.

The Pacifica model 5000
9" tall, 30" long. 5" dia. vessel.
The Pacifica model 5002
With sound/light option, which used a small fluorescent tube bulb,

Multicolor Wave Machine
Two model 16s, each with "Hot New Colors". 

Model 968
Green below, Purple above
Model 972
Blue below, Red above

Black Light Wave Machine
The model 16 with blacklight-responsive liquid. Essentially a blacklight version of the earlier idea, the Elec-Trick Wave, but with reversed color positions.

Model 16F
Under Natural Light: Hot Pink below, Yellow above
Under Black Light: Violet below, Light Green above

<< 1997 and forward >>

Haggerty moves steadily forward. New lines include:
More colors, a Midnight Century line, etc. The Midnight Century line only lasts a few years, though the Silver Century, new Silver and Midnight Aristocrats, and the originals of both in gold-tone, carry on. Pink/Pink changes to White/Pink, Orange/Orange becomes White/Orange. The GemLite is discontinued, supposedly because it contained Freon, though the current glitter unit (The Wizard) uses an equally nasty mix. The Wizard is a series of glitter lamps having a conical shape on a footed black Century tray, with star and moon cutouts in the base and in the pointed cap. First, only glitter models are produced, but a lava version is soon added. These use the 32 oz. globe. Another lava model of the time is the Starship, a knockoff of Mathmos' Telstar, formed as a three-legged rocketship with a 32 oz. globe. These, too, use a pointed cap - the black ones have a ring of holes cut out of both base and cap, while the silver ones do not.

Other ideas, such as a two-tube Wave with pink/yellow in one and blue/clear in the other, with an optional "crest" holding a wave sound unit and a light, were sold for a time.

Haggerty paired up with a company known as Daniel Marinov and the Slaves of Trend to produce a line of products for Spencer Gifts, their premier retailer since the early 1990s. These included the "Magma Lite" and the "Lava Time Clock", both using revolving discs or cylinders with 'psychedelic' patterns. Also produced were "Cosmic Drops - Magically Musical", really blacklight-responsive plastic drops on wires attached to a plastic base, which could produce no musical sounds whatsoever. They tried, in addition, many blacklight-responsive products equally unrelated to Lava, many of which were marketing flops. The "Magma Lite" lamp form is currently enjoying a slow resurrection, now filled with revolving scenes of underwater life or planets and stars, or with cartoon themes.

Another series was the "Icon", with ceramic bases. There were two different series of Icons produced.
Haggerty has renamed their main product the "Lava brand Motion Lamp", likely in response to the many other brands of wax-bubble "motion lamps", most produced in Taiwan, which are currently flooding the market. Lava-Simplex has been renamed Lava World. 

Lava World produced the 'classic' line including the Century, Aristocrat and Enchantress in goldtone, as well as the Midnight, Princess, Elec-Trick, Silver Century, Midnight Aristocrat, Silver Aristocrat, the lava and glitter Wizard lamps, the black or silver Starships, and lava lamps with animal-print bases such as tortoiseshell, leopard, cheetah and zebra. Other finishes for the bases included "psychedelic swirl", tie-dye painted in blue, red, green, purple, and rare multicolor, and clouded or marble-finished bases. A few limited edition lamps were made for colleges, with custom bases and globes with decals on them - these were very well-designed. Rumors abound regarding a candle-fired lamp in the design and prototype stages, but no concrete evidence has turned up save a photo showing a Century-like lamp with a base having visible vents.

<< 2000 >>

For their 35th Anniversary, two limited-edition models are produced. The first is a Midnight in yellow/purple, with the "35th Anniversary" logo on the base. The second is the Humongo, a giant version of a silver Giant Lava, containing ten gallons of yellow/purple. Also sold at this time is a limited run of Millenium Aristocrats, with a chromed base that has "2000" cut out of the upper cone. The fill is yellow/blue.

<< 2003 >>

Lava World discontinues all but three colors of Midnight and Silver Streak, and discontinues all other models including the original gold Century and other 52 oz. styles. Production centers on 20 oz. "Blip" lamps, conical silver lava or glitter lamps made in China and imported by Lava World. Glitter Midnight and Silver Streaks are now made. Both base colors in both Lava and glitter styles are also made in smaller 20 oz. and 8 oz. sizes. The Midnight "Electra Lamp" is also available - it is a Midnight Lava in all respects of shape, save that the bottle is a "lightning lamp" with gas at low pressure electrified to make moving lightning bolts within. The walls of the glass are coated with pink, blue and green fluorescent phosphors to produce multicolor effects. They add a non-electric option with "End Ups", which are oil-filled devices that drip oil down an internal ramp, use it to spin a tiny wheel or make patterns. They are desk toys, and do not light up or use any power - to activate them, you upend them like an hourglass, hence the name, "End Ups". These have been made overseas and imported for years, and the only difference in the "End Ups" is their being Lava brand. The Lava Candles are silvertone Lava bases holding a bottle shaped like a Lava globe that holds lamp oil, which burns like a candle using a fiberglass wick at the top. The cap serves as a snuffer, and protects the wick from rain. These lamps are intended to be used with insect-repelling Citronella lamp oil. At one point, the Giant Lava is reintroduced as the Grande, available with silver metal in lava or glitter. The first run of Grandes have serious problems with cracking glass during use, but this is debugged soon after. In all cases, quality drops to very poor levels.
 
Color number lists:
 
1960s
01: Red / Fluorescent Green (Century only)
02: Green / Blue
03: Orange / Yellow
04: Yellow / Blue-Green (Century only)
05: Champagne Mist (Cream / Pale Amber "mist")
06: Red / Clear
 
Imperial only:
02: Orange / Clear
03: Green / Clear
      Red / Yellow

Enchantress "Elegant" only:
05: Blue / Blue "mist" (Champagne Mist 05 discontinued by then)
08: Yellow / Orange "mist"
09: Lime / Green "mist"
10: Red / Green "mist"
 
Glitterlite:
01: Golden / gold glitter
02: Clear / silver glitter
03: Emerald / silver glitter
 
Mid-1970s on
02: Orange / Yellow (red lava)
03: Green / Blue ('sage green', later cream, lava)
06: Red / Clear
Unknown: Lime / Green (Enchantress Only)

GemLite:
50: Clear / silver glitter
 
1980s
02: White / Blue
03: Red / Yellow
06: Red / Clear (Lava Coach Lantern only)
 
1991
04: Pink / Pink
05: Orange / Orange
06: Coral Red / Clear (1980s 06 Red / Clear discontinued)
08: Lemon Yellow / Clear
09: Purple / Clear
 
GemLite additional models:
642: Blue / silver glitter (black base)
653: Hot Pink / silver glitter (black base)
700: Clear / gold glitter (satin gold base)
GemLites discontinued in 1993.
 
After bottlecaps replaced screw caps, color numbers were printed on the caps. Here is the accepted full color list from 1993 or 94 onward until production in Chicago ceased, with details:
01: White / Clear (unconfirmed color)
02: White / Blue (huge seller)
03: Red / Yellow
04: White / Pink (used to be pink/pink)
05: White / Orange (used to be orange/orange)
06: Coral Red / Clear (Princess color)
07: Peach / Clear (unconfirmed color)
08: Lemon Yellow / Clear (Princess color)
09: Purple / Clear
10: Red / Clear
11: Yellow / Clear (bright yellow, lighter than 08)
12: Green / Clear (emerald green)
13: Blue / Clear (dark blue)
14: Pink / Clear
15: Orange / Clear (uncommon color)
16: Black / Clear
16(a): Chocolate / Clear (unconfirmed, may not be official, rare color)
17: Teal / Clear (uncommon color)
18: Cranberry / Clear (uncommon color)
19: Lime Green / Clear (uncommon color)
20: White / Purple (uncommon color)
21: Red / Purple (actually pink/purple, called "royal red", was a smash hit seller yet is rare)
22: Purple / Blue (dark blue-purple lava, rare color)
23: Green / Blue (true green/blue, very rare color)
24: Yellow / Blue (approximates green/blue, huge seller)
25: Yellow / Purple (huge seller)
26: White / Red (uncommon color)
27: Red / Blue (very dark, rare color)
28: White / Green (rare color)
29: Lime Green / Yellow (rarest bottlecap color)
 
Wizard glitter colors. Unless otherwise noted, glitter is tiny silver squares:
30: Clear liquid
30WG: Clear liquid, multi-colored dust glitter (very rare, glitter loses color with prolonged use)
31: Blue liquid (dark blue, if you think your lamp might be purple and it isn't ROYAL purple, it's blue)
32: Red liquid
32WG: Red liquid, multi-colored dust glitter (very rare, glitter loses color with prolonged use)
33: Purple liquid
34: Pink liquid
35: Teal liquid
36: Green liquid
37: Yellow liquid
38: Orange liquid

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

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