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Bradford "Celestial Lights" Christmas Tree Topper

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    Posted 13 years ago

    (1 item)

    Bill Nelson had "collected" one of these and remarked that they were in high demand. I owned one in the 1970s and used to use it in my bedroom to create a "light show" when I was listening to the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, etc. A plastic cylinder with a "stained glass" star pattern would rotate when the heat of the "night light" bulb radiated through fins on the top of the cylinder, like the angel chimes of old. Dozens of "lenses" on the product's surface projected many different-colored images of the light bulb's filament on the walls, in a sort of trippy mirror-ball effect, rotating faster as the bulb warmed up. When they marketed this as a Christmas tree topper, they may have missed their best target audience. "So it was later, as the miller told his tale. . . . " Merry Christmas, from the contributors and friends of

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    1. brian johnson, 13 years ago
      I just found one in my attic. In the original box. I was going to throw it out but I decided to check it out on line.
    2. Ben, 12 years ago
      Hi Brian,
      I grew up with this topper and would love to have my kids have the same one. Would you be interested in selling it to me?
    3. Sean Humphrey, 12 years ago
      i have that exact same tree topper but star pattern broke on me. Do you know if there is a store i could get that part?, i live in Toronto Canada.
    4. PaulRace, 12 years ago
      Sean, Sorry, but these have been out of production for something close to 40 years. Unless you can figure out how to fix yours, your best bet is probably to watch for one on eBay or some place. Best of luck - Paul
    5. Lash, 12 years ago
      I bought one of these when I was about 16--around 1971, in a Shoppers Drug Mart in Burlington, ON. Original price about $17. Unfortunately, in an effort to fit more stuff on the shelf I trashed the box a few years later, but I still have the topper, and it works (and I am 55 now). The bulb which it uses is 15 watts, and I replace it with a 'signal' bulb from my hardware store. (If yours is turning too slow or not very bright, check the wattage). Ten years ago, I saw these fetch $350 or more on eBay, but in the last few years it has been reproduced, though an original still seems to get at least $150, and will probably rise again once the new product becomes scarce (I have not checked prices in a couple of years). Sean, if you still have the cylinder, and it is simply cracked, I think clear packing tape would hold it together. You might need to 'blackout' any wide cracks with a black marker. If it is no longer attached at the top to the metal wheel, I think silicone would help there. The main thing in the repair is to try to keep the revolving unit in balance, so that it spins evenly. If you at least have the metal vented top, which spins on the 'needle' and are missing the coloured filter, I would suggest looking for a plastic tube the right size (sometimes candy is packed in that sort of thing) and cut a piece out of that, then reproduce the mask on your computer or cut one out of black craft paper and use an exacto knife to cutout the star pattern and fill in the stars with coloured pieces of plastic and fix it to the tube. Pretty complicated--hope you are crafty! Good Luck. Lash
    6. John T, 12 years ago
      Does any company make copies of these stars currently. My grand kids love them.
    7. PaulRace, 12 years ago
      I just did an ebay search for "Bradford Star tree topper" and came up with about eight in the $40-$45 range. Some are "reproductions," but the original was not exactly solid gold, so I would expect the reproductions to work about the same.
    8. arline boyles, 12 years ago
      please tell me were i can purchase one of these toppers.
      thank you
    9. PaulRace, 12 years ago
      Nobody makes these any more, but a few reproductions are available, and a few antiques. Do an ebay search for "Bradford tree topper."
    10. Elizabeth LaChapelle, 12 years ago
      Oh my, I am so outdone this Christmas. We have one also, the globes have been cracked and glued together as long as I can remember. It was bought for my brothers first Christmas over 40 years ago. It was almost lost forever after a sudden move in my childhood. Many years later, the apartments still abandoned, my husband and I stopped by, and in a very deep laid closet shelf, sat the star; Right where it had been left, untouched. I took it to my mother who worked nights at the time, and lit it upon her kitchen table (in a plant). When she came up the back steps that night she said her heart sunk, she couldn't believe I had found it. It has now sat upon my tree the rest of years. Fond memories of falling asleep on the couch as a little girl Christmas night, watching as the colors cascaded across the ceiling and walls. (my bother is military, so I have it for safe keeping. He was afraid all the moving would damage it worse). So it has seen many births along the way, and this year, I am afraid will see the death of our beloved mother. I have sadly taped the globes and aimed it towards the corner, as not to see the tape. My mother would have just been devastated had I packed it back up. She is in the hospital now, but we are holding faith she will come home and get to see it lit one last time. So if anyone has a globe that they would sell at a decent price, that I can afford i would appreciate it. I am hoping someone somewhere has just one piece thats not broken, and is wondering just what to do with it.
      I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and thank you for listening.
      The LaChapelle Family NC
    11. Mary, 12 years ago has them for $36.00.
    12. Laurinda, 11 years ago
      I just found replicas of these at VermontCountryStore.c0m!! I'm very excited because my mother's star broke a few years ago & I haven't had any luck finding them, or replacement parts, either.
      Btw, an earlier model that my mom had, had circles on the cellulioid, not stars.
    13. Maltamary Maltamary, 11 years ago
      Found this online:
    14. Deb, 11 years ago
      Just an FYI, the "YonderStar" or "Retro Color Changing Star Tree Topper" DO NOT project the color on to the walls of a room like the Bradford does. I bid on one on eBay and paid much more than 44.95 It was a rip-off because the seller said it was like the original and it is nothing like it. Don't be fooled!
      Also, the spinner with dots was the first one and the star spinner came out much later. You must use a XXGE15T7C120V (ORDERING CODE: 0008241) or 15T7/CL/CAN/130V E12 BASE for the spinner to work properly. Best wishes
    15. Miriam, 11 years ago
      I have fond memories of lying on the floor under our Christmas tree looking up through the branches packed with so many ornaments and lights you could barely tell it was a tree anymore. Atop this wonderfully grotesque mountain of home made Christmas ornaments from years of collections of 5 children's grade school painted glued, glittered and ribboned menagerie of styrefoam balls, picture cut outs, school milk carton lanterns, pop-cycle sticks figurines and the like was the ever present mystifying star. It magically projected wiggly colorful lines all around the room. I would drift off to sleep listening to the Mormon tabernacle choir sing Christmas carols and dream of what Santa might bring me. Right now this very vintage Christmas star is for sale on ebay. My heart aches that I don't have 250 + dollars to get it. I would LOVE for it to go back into production again. It was such a wonderful tree topper! ~ fond memories ~
    16. junkmanjoe junkmanjoe, 11 years ago
      I Have So many memories of that Star Growing up watching The Colors reflect On the Ceiling. I Was lying On the Vinyal green Sleeper Sofa Staring At The ceiling Watching The Colors Dance together letting My Imagination Run Wild! Would Love to Have Another one. My grandma And My Aunt had One on There Christmas Tree Too!
    17. mcu2574, 11 years ago
      I have one on my tree right was in my family for as long as i remember.It was given to me when my mother passed away and l will pass it on to my kids as well. Every one who sees it asks me where they can get one.You cant tell how nice it looks in the picture.
    18. lawolf, 11 years ago
      As I sit here watching my original Bradford tree toppers light display I finally decided to do a search to find out more about it. To my wonderful surprise I finally found out all about it. It was passed to me from my parents and I never learned anything about it, but was thrilled when they offered it to me. They married in 1958 and I suspect they purchased it not long after. I know it's in my 1st Christmas pic in 1965. Thanks for the great info!
    19. CCRIDER, 11 years ago
      Everyone, I found out recently that Bradford is making reproductions of these. The last one I saw was only $40. Look for Bradford online.

      I have a vintage one myself that I bought many years ago on EBay. A good friend had one and I wanted one too. I've never regretted it!
    20. CCRIDER, 11 years ago
      The best search for a vintage model is to type in Bradford motion light tree topper.
    21. Cherivbye, 9 years ago
      I am trying to find an original one of these. I grew up with this on my tree and my favorite thing to do is lay on the couch with all the lights off and watch the wonderful display in the room. My parents still have theirs but the globe is cracked. It is heartbreaking to look on ebay and see them going for the prices they are going for. I can not afford that much for them. I did buy a replica and it is just not the same. So if anyone knows of a reasonable price tree topper I would really appreciate the heads up!
    22. gingerbr123, 8 years ago
      Oh wow didn't know they had a topic about this wonderful tree topper..My Aunt had one in the late 60's I got married in 1974 and had to have one..i bought mine from Christmas city in NJ..had mine for 30 yrs before we lost everything in a 2004 fire right after Christmas...I did buy a reproduction one from Kurt Adler but not the same..colors do not revolve around the room..I will look up Bradford...cant afford the original right now!
    23. Caves45, 7 years ago
      Funny thing my wife and i were doing some shopping with the kids about 10 years ago in Wayne NJ we went into a newly open Christmas store on rt 23 and there they were 6 Bradford stars sitting on a shelf .I/we purchased all they had and gave them to my niece and nephew for their trees kept 1 for us now all my brothers kids want one . I grew up with the star back in the 60's and was pleased when i found ours . Would love to manufacture them again . Everyone loves it . Merry Christmas everyone
    24. Caves45, 7 years ago
      P.S they were half price on sale so i believe i got them for like $18 bucks each . what a deal
    25. lmos, 7 years ago
      I live in Arizona but use to live in NY when I was little. This was like the Christmas tree topper I had when I was little but the only difference is that the round plastic piece that would spin in the center on a pin was not only a stained glass pattern but it had a nativity scene. My mom got it at a hardware store back then and we had it for a while till someone did not pack it well and the plastic stained glass piece broke so my mom threw it out. I have been trying to find this again for years with no luck. Does anyone know how or where to find this star? When I find it (hopefully) I want to pass it down to my son. I have asked and looked everywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    26. lisainaz, 7 years ago
      I want to buy one of these on eBay for my vintage christmas tree. They are pricing between $275-500. Can someone explain to me what I should be looking regarding wear and tear, etc? Is there a difference between the original moon wheel and the later released star wheel as far as projection quality?
    27. K_Wilferling, 6 years ago
      Oh my gosh, people are such rip offs. I know we didn't pay more than 10 dollar in seventies. Because my husband and I were very poor. I think from dime store. I bought three after that at garage sale. I love them but,they were cheaply made. Even in box the wire that holds circular star maker bends . Then bulb hits and melts it. Or it just melts from age cause bulb.just melts ii. I still loved them but they were cheap. If someone still has one, they didn't use it much because I did take care of it. They just wear out easy . But now they are selling anywhere from 150 to 300. Talk about rip off! Because you spend that much money and they don't last. And that wire might be slightly bent and melt. They are beautiful but if you buy at 150 ,it might last only a week. Thats,why people selling part but not the middle part. It melted. Sellers are ripping people off!!
    28. K_Wilferling, 6 years ago
      They are beautiful but cheaply made. Not worth 150 dollars. They don't last. The part that melt isnt being sold cause that is what wears out fast. And with out it no stars. At tops I pay 30 for vintage but not 150 to 300. People are just wasting money!!!
    29. K_Wilferling, 6 years ago
      I'll keep looking at auctions or garage sales at old. That why I've had old . Ten years ago they were only about 20 on line. Now it because people want them
    30. K_Wilferling, 6 years ago
      I mean I had four!
    31. K_Wilferling, 6 years ago
      That why alot of people only remember. Either they don't have them or parents don't have. Parents have some old ornaments but not them. They were cheap and broke easy. Especially middle! Wire bent then stars didn't turn and could catch on fire. I know! One of my started smoking cause bulb hit the piece that turned around with stares on it. And i just bought that off of someone else. Believe me I took care of mine. I loved those stars. Many happy memories during those years. Only if I was rich would I waste that much money. Taking chance of buying one with slightly bent wire that holds middle. Oh it works ,not for long
    32. gingerbr123, 6 years ago
      I am so happy to say that my children and husband all chipped in and surprised me with this tree topper for christmas..we had ours for 30 yrs before losing it in a see this on our tree spinning around brought tears may not be my original but its mine happy
    33. Moondoggymrl, 5 years ago
      I know not alot of people get on here much anymore but I am in search of 1 of these toppers my grandparents had one when I was growing up and my parents have one I am the only male of a 4 kid family and I won't feel right if I got my parents star and my grandparents star got lost when they past a couple years back. I just can't seem to find them anywhere. I just had a daughter that I would love to lay on the floor with her and her mom and just watch the lights for her first Christmas just the same way my grandma told me I used to do when I was young. She told me no matter how mad I was she would lay me on the floor and let the lights just take my worries away... she told me I would just lay there all happy for hours and I would love to have the opportunity to provide a memory like this for my daughter .... any help would be greatly appreciated thank you for your time reading this and I hope you have a wonderful day
    34. justsomeone, 3 years ago
      My parents bought this tree topper in 1969 or 1970. (Realy wish I knew!). we still have it. the base is taped w/ green duct tape, the plastic covering is cracked at least 6 times and taped w/ scotch tape and the cup is a little melted from using a high wattage bulb (not me.. prob. dad lol). But it still works! I'm looking at it as I type. the original cup has stars on it. I've seen them with dots. stars produce dancing "N"s all over the room. It instantly brings me back to my childhood.
      the only thing I don't like about this is how long it takes to get it balanced just right on the tree so the cup spins smooth and fast. I hope to pass this to my son and he uses it. If he doesn't want it, I'll save it for my grandkids.

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