Anyone heard about this?

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  • Dude1234
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2017
    • 272

    Anyone heard about this?

    Pioneer balloon co (who owns qualatex I think) filled for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month.

    I have only just heard about this and am wondering if anyone else heard it and what your thoughts are on it.

    I hope the company doesn't go away because I quite like qualatex balloons because they neck so good for me and I like the smell.

    Let's hope it ends up being just a restructuring and the company survives.
  • darcynader
    Member
    • Nov 2018
    • 90

    #2
    Re: Anyone heard about this?

    No specifics but the current scarcity of BSA and jewel tone Qualatex, as well as the fact that there are old Google index entries for BSA balloons on the Tuftex website, made me think that all was not well. A few people here and elsewhere have commented on declining quality too.

    Update: Just found this: https://partyworldwide.net/pioneer-b...eorganisation/
    Last edited by darcynader; 26-09-2023, 16:02.

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    • LoonerHoax
      Senior Member
      • May 2020
      • 355

      #3
      Re: Anyone heard about this?

      I visited my distributor this morning and asked about the jewel tone Qualatex. She confirmed that they halted production because there wasn't a demand for those colors anymore from the decorator market and it didn't make business sense to continue to make a product that wasn't selling. They are focusing on the current color trends in the balloon decor market which are matte and chrome balloons. They are also having issues getting back to pre-COVID production levels.

      Comment

      • snh61
        Senior Member
        • Sep 2017
        • 100

        #4
        Re: Anyone heard about this?

        Pretty sad. Boring pastel color balloons you can buy everywhere, so they need to make those too? Chrome are interesting, but plenty of cheap supplies of decent quality non-branded ones, are abundant.
        I do not think this is a wise decision. China have also already learned to produce some good stuff. They sure should have more focus on what makes them special and different, not things I can buy everywhere else and cheaper.

        And yes, got recently some bags of printed clear qualatex, they are paper thin, like those cheap chinese ones. Almost thought they were fake. Unfortunately, likely not.

        Comment

        • AJK64
          Moderator
          • Jun 2018
          • 795

          #5
          Re: Anyone heard about this?

          Damn
          Although I'm not really a fan of qualatex (I prefer softer latex), it's sad to see Crystal's becoming rarer as they are my fav balloon type.

          Comment

          • Axle
            Senior Member
            • Jan 2022
            • 153

            #6
            Re: Anyone heard about this?

            sadly i started noticing their quality deteriorating years ago now. never a sign of a healthy company. i've even spoken to professional decorators in the past who had moved away from qualatex due to the company's corner cutting and general quality atrophy. so part of the reason there's less demand for things like crystals and 36"s is because the industry has simply switched to other better brands. tis very sad indeed but this was always coming.
            Curiosity killed the cattex.

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            • LoonerHoax
              Senior Member
              • May 2020
              • 355

              #7
              Re: Anyone heard about this?

              She had a 50ct bag of the Q16 jewel sprays that went out of production about the same time as the Q24 that I wanted to buy... Unfortunately I don't have the extra money right now and I'm trying to get rid of my stash. Not grow it.

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              • Seidenki
                Senior Member
                • Dec 2016
                • 203

                #8
                Re: Anyone heard about this?

                Definitely sounds like PBC misread the market and might've nearly got left behind. I think it's more than just the decorator market shifting so far, but perhaps some retail arrogance. Retailers are always looking for cheaper product and Qualatex were never the cheapest. So others stepped in.

                China manufacturing is interesting. They've been learning in the last few years what "quality" means. Now they're starting to learn what "consistency" means. Those were definitely two of Qualatex's strengths once upon a time...

                Comment

                • srob2
                  Senior Member
                  • Dec 2017
                  • 375

                  #9
                  Re: Anyone heard about this?

                  These and TufTex replaced everything else, so I am not sad to see them go, although this probably means assets will be sold off to the highest bidder and they will keeping making the same balloons sold through the same channels under the same brand.

                  Comment

                  • Timid Popper
                    Member
                    • Jun 2012
                    • 59

                    #10
                    Re: Anyone heard about this?

                    Originally posted by Seidenki
                    Definitely sounds like PBC misread the market and might've nearly got left behind. I think it's more than just the decorator market shifting so far, but perhaps some retail arrogance. Retailers are always looking for cheaper product and Qualatex were never the cheapest. So others stepped in.

                    China manufacturing is interesting. They've been learning in the last few years what "quality" means. Now they're starting to learn what "consistency" means. Those were definitely two of Qualatex's strengths once upon a time...
                    The funny thing is that, although PBC makes expensive balloons, they also manufacture some of the least expensive balloons in the US market: the ones sold by Walmart. Both the "Made in US" and the ones made in Mexico are Pioneer. I think this is more complicated than we think it is.

                    Comment

                    • Seidenki
                      Senior Member
                      • Dec 2016
                      • 203

                      #11
                      Re: Anyone heard about this?

                      Originally posted by Timid Popper
                      The funny thing is that, although PBC makes expensive balloons, they also manufacture some of the least expensive balloons in the US market: the ones sold by Walmart. Both the "Made in US" and the ones made in Mexico are Pioneer. I think this is more complicated than we think it is.
                      They do?!? Wow...

                      Yah. I agree, it's more complicated than we think!

                      Comment

                      • Timid Popper
                        Member
                        • Jun 2012
                        • 59

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Timid Popper
                        Re: Anyone heard about this?



                        The funny thing is that, although PBC makes expensive balloons, they also manufacture some of the least expensive balloons in the US market: the ones sold by Walmart. Both the "Made in US" and the ones made in Mexico are Pioneer. I think this is more complicated than we think it is.
                        A follow-up from a recent visit to Walmart. The USA-made balloons are all but gone from the shelves. Most of the nine- and eleven-inch balloons are now from Mexico, and the 17-inch balloons are made in China.

                        I should mention that the Mexican balloons are not bad balloons; they seem to use the same molds and latex formulation as the Funsational brand, and the quality control is very good. But if you like a softer texture or prefer pear-shaped over rounder, these may disappoint. I use them a lot for decorating, but I prefer the US ones for play and sleeping with.

                        I have not tried the 17s, but I can tell by looking that the black ones are not nearly as black as the old ones that were made in the US. My experience with other Walmart balloons from China is that they are not of very good quality, and they have a strong chemical odor.

                        Comment

                        • scamper
                          Member
                          • Jul 2016
                          • 35

                          #13
                          The biggest thing people need to understand is that most balloon businesses live off events and weddings. There been a shift from large public events and weddings. It makes me wonder why Caltex was motivated in keeping Balloon-qc in business.

                          Comment

                          • john1bl
                            Senior Member
                            • Jan 2014
                            • 114

                            #14
                            Originally posted by scamper
                            The biggest thing people need to understand is that most balloon businesses live off events and weddings. There been a shift from large public events and weddings. It makes me wonder why Caltex was motivated in keeping Balloon-qc in business.
                            I thnk the only reason Catatex would support then is to keep a foot hold in North America.

                            Comment

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