SnowBabySP's Place
Did You Know ...
Nothing But The Snow Baby Facts Please!

November 26, 1999:

Did You Know ... that your Somewhere In Dreamland has a brass plate on the bottom with either 1, 2, 3, or 4 snowflakes engraved on the plate? Lot's of collectors write to me about this curiousity so here's the story. The piece was first introduced in 1993 and retired in 1997. If yours has one snowflake on the brass plate, the piece was produced in the first year of its production, and if two flakes then the second year and so. Why did D56 do the brass plate thing? Its seems that the company wanted to make the piece "special" in some way, but collectors for the most part were not convinced. Some collectors have included one from each year in their collection, but except for the brass plate there is no difference in the pieces. The one flake version generally commands a slight premium over the others on the secondary. You be surprised how many collectors never realized the plate was there - are you one of them? Well, now you know the story :)

Did You Know ... there is even a Snowbabies softball team? The team received some limelight attention this year in connection with Department 56's announcement of of the new Batter Up piece. I've heard that each team member was honered with some goodies from the company including a neat new Batter Up Pin. These pins are turning out to be pretty difficult to hunt down ... in fact ... if you've got an extra I still need one for my own collection :)

Did You Know ... that D56 had some neat giveaways for collectors at this year's Snowbabies Breakfast held at the Longbeach and Rosemont Gatherings (and maybe others) including a free star ornament, a Snowbabies coffee mug and a Snowbabies calendar. Since the star piece is themed as a sort of a millineum item, I would not be surprised to see more of these turn up next year at Gatherings when D56 representatives are present. At least I'm hoping so :)

October 15, 1999:

Did You Know ... Snowbabies are not just for Christmas time. Lots of folks make displays that are not seasonal in nature at all (examples 1, 2). Still others make displays for other seasons other than Christmas time, and an especially popular idea is "Christmas in July" displays. Check out Snowbaby Cyndi's Fourth Of July Parade :)

Did You Know ... some collectors have sort of a weird display sense. Check out this eyebaby sent in by a SnowBabySP's Place visitor. Apparently, the little tike serves as the office mascot where he works. Well ... to each his own I guess :)

Did You Know ... that D56 does take note of collector trends and interests to develop new ideas to keep us coming back. The most recent example of it is in the introduction of new lighted pieces for collectors to use in displays. For the longest time all there was in the way of lighted pieces was the Icy Igloo, an accessory item for the larger bisque figurines. Later, We're Building An Icy Igloo came along. Minis collectors could not use these pieces very well in their displays because of the scale, but The Original Snow Village Ice Carnival lighted palace worked very well with minis. Using the Ice Palace with minis displays was such a popular choice of collectors that D56 introduced a Snowbabies version (see 1, 2, and 3) as well as the "Stargazer's Castle" (see 1 and 2). Now there are plenty of choices for lighted pieces in your displays! :)

September 12, 1999:

Did You Know ... the most expensive Department 56 Snowbabies item to date was a pair of papier mache dolls known as Allison and Duncan. Issued in 1988 at $200.00, and retired just one year later, these dolls are often said to have not been a part of the original Snowbabies product line. Apparently they were marketed originally as a giftware item but then appeared listed in the early Snowbabies History Lists. Not surprisingly, Greenbook states that Allison and Duncan are the most expensive snowbabies on the secondary market, and as a longtime collector I can tell you they are indeed extremely difficult to locate. In fact, I've only seen one set in the nine years I've been collecting. Maybe one day I'll be able to own one. Hey ... a guy's entitled to a few snowbaby dreams once in awhile, don't you think? :)

And while we're talking about D56 Snowbabies, did you know that there is a piece known as I'm An Artist. Actually, this piece is identical in every respect to "I'm Making An Ice Sculpture" except that the earliest releases of this piece made it out of the factory in boxes mistakenly labeled with the prototype name of the piece "I'm An Artist". The error was caught and corrected pretty quickly after issue. Its hard to say for sure, but it does appear that there are fewer "I'm An Artist" boxes than "I'm Making An Ice Sculpture" boxes, and many serious collectors seek out and acquire both. I know I did :)

And here's a little tip you may find useful. Most all of us know that this year's tenth anniversary Snowbabies piece, Jack Frost ... Celebrating A Winter's Journey shipped in a disassembled state with a glue packet that the collector is enticed to use for assembly of the figurines to their acrylic base. But did you know that if you do that you will never be able to store the piece in its original packaging again :( Instead, why not do what I did ... glue velcro pads in the necessary places to keep everything assembled when desired. Easy disassembly and storage remains viable in this manner :)

August 2, 1999:

Did You Know ... that Department 56 is not the only contemporary maker of snow babies. In fact, in almost any card shop one can find so-called "knockoffs" (ie. direct ripoffs of D56 designs) and other less conspicuous copy cat product lines. Indeed, if you go to many ceramic classes these days you are likely to find snow baby molds. I guess people just love snow babies no matter who makes them :) Here's a couple of other contemporary lines of snow baby products that you can find available online: Alberta Molds Snow Babies Line and Regina Lee Snowbabies Line [Sorry - site no longer exists for Regina Lee]. Personally, I'm sticking with the D56 and oldbabies varieties ... but who knows ... maybe one day in the distant future these other types will turn out to have been the ones to have collected.

July 8, 1999:

Did You Know ... that snow babies were also used to adorn container pieces of several varieties (i.e. planters, jewelry boxes, candy dishes, candle holders). Beginning in 1997, Department 56 captitalized on the idea as well by creating a hinged box series of pieces which have proven quite popular. I am looking forward to the day that they do planters in the Snowbunnies line; seems like a natural to me :)

Here's a couple of images of an old snow baby candy dish piece: Front View | Top View. Neat eh?

June 3, 1999:

Did You Know ... that Department56 is not the first to produce snowbaby waterglobes. Well ... to be perfectly honest, I didn't know either! Recently I stumbled across a web site that features snowglobes, and they have a page devoted to Snowbaby Snowglobes. As near as I can tell (since I know absolutely nothing about these pieces) a few snowglobe producers apparently purchased German and Japan snow babies and placed them into snowglobes that very much resemble D56 waterglobe music boxes available today. Check out the pictures on this site: Great Shakes! Snowbaby Snowglobes. The two globes at the top contain German snow babies; examples of which are in my own collection. The next two contain Japanese pieces ... I have the one on the right (without the waterglobe of course :). Maybe SnowBaby Fiona will write after she sees this to tell us a little bit more about the history of these Snowbaby Snowglobes. And if we're really lucky ... maybe she has scans of a few more!

May 10, 1999:

Did You Know ... jointed snowbabies are among the most highly sought after antique snow baby pieces. Jointed snowbabies were made in a variety of sizes and have their appendages connected to the torso section with wire or elastic binding providing for a doll-like appearance. In fact, the wire stands used to display dolls in upright standing position are an excellent way to display a jointed snowbaby. My personal favorite jointeds are the five inch wired variety! You've never seen a jointed snowbaby? Well ... Check It Out!

Did You Know ... Department 56 has put the legend of the snowbabies online at their web site. This article tells a wonderful history of antique snowbabies which I think you'll find interesting and informative. [Sorry - D56 removed the link]. If you enjoy the article, check out my Links page where you'll find many more online D56 Quarterly articles I've located :)

April 11, 1999:

Did You Know ... the birth of Marie Ahnighito Peary, daughter of the Artic explorer Robert Peary and his wife, Josephine, attracted the keen interest of Eskimos who called the fair skinned infant "snow baby". Mary Morrison tells a wonderful history of the Peary family and the influence of early artic exploration on the beginnnings of snow baby collecting in her book "Snow Babies, Santas and Elves". Today, with lunar and other-worldly exploration taken for granted, its easy to have no real appreciation of the artic frontier and its affect upon American culture at the beginning of this century. But you can gain a sense of it the in early snow baby literature (eg., 1) and postcards (eg., 1, 2, 3) and at the same time add a little bit of history to your collection :)

March 5, 1999:

Did You Know ... old christmas porcelain bisque pieces are quite collectible often commanding very high prices from serious collectors. Like snow babies, these pieces can be classified by type; elves (eg., 1, 2), dwarves (eg., 1, 2), santas (eg., 1, 2), adult winter figurines(eg., 1, 2) and snow children (eg., 1, 2). Some collectors look for an example or two of each to build "type" collections. Others build collections of one of more variety, and still other folks have built extensive collections of all varieties :)

February 3, 1999:

Did You Know ... that snow babies are often found posed in playful winter scenes. These are a few of my favorite images of such pieces: Snow Baby House; Santa on Igloo; Snow Baby in Kayak; and Ringing The Bell. Enjoy!

January 7, 1999:

Did You Know ... that until the mid-80's, with the beginnings of Department 56's popular Snowbabies line, the majority of snow babies produced were German (eg., 1, 2, 3) or Japanese (eg.,1, 2, 3) types. My greatest collecting pleasure is in finding oldbabies that bear notable similarities to the modern D56 ones. I just love displaying my "Best Friends" with several examples of so-called "huggers" that are almost identical but for their size and age :) Send in examples that you have found, and I'll start a new page with this theme!

December 18, 1998:

Did You Know ... that even Department 56 Snowbunnies have antique predecessors. Antique snow baby collectors search high and low for these comparatively uncommon pieces depicting snow babies with rabbit ears on their snow suits. I guess it just goes to show that there's nothing new under the sun these days. Well ... except the 1998 new Snowbunnies releases we can expect from Department 56 this coming Spring :)

Check it out! Then and Now.

November 21, 1998:

Did You Know ... there was a newsletter published for collectors by Department 56 that predates the present day Quarterly? Beginning in the Winter of 1988, and then again in the Spring and Winter of each year through 1990, there was Department 56 Collectibles: A Newsletter For Collectors. A total of five issues were produced. Like the Quarterly there were many informative articles and full color photography in this short lived newsletter. And like the Quarterly, many collectors cherished theirs enough to consider them a part of a favorite D56 collection. Mine are part of my Snowbabies collection, but I'm certain if you speak to a Hertitage Village collector the newsletters are more appropriately a part of the Heritage Village collection ;)

Check it out! Then and Now. And while we're on the topic of D56 collectible paper goods ...

Did You Know ... Department 56 even published Snowbabies postcards? Most collectors obtain from their dealers the marketing brochures and History Lists available each year. A few even convince their dealers to part with special dealer brochures with beautiful white covers and gold stars. But surprisingly, few dealers and collectors know of Snowbabies postcards made so dealers could send notes to collectors about special events or the arrival of new shipments, etc. The postcards are approximately 5 X 7 and have fantastic pictures of Snowbabies doing what Snowbabies do. Want to see one? No problem! March/92 Snowbabies Postcard

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