You may be familiar with the snow baby figurines sold for years in numerous department stores and gift shops. Depending on the model and its condition, these collectible figurines and ornaments represent infants in a variety of winter and Christmas settings and range in price from less than $10 to more than $100. These ornaments’ price lists are available on eBay, Young’s Ltd, and Department 56. Snowbabies are introduced annually and retired after a set time period. Oftentimes, discontinued models have a great value, especially if the original packaging is still available.
In 1986, Department 56, a Minnesota-based collectibles manufacturer, launched the first batch of Snowbabies. Snowbaby enthusiasts have existed since the beginning, which makes the retirement of distinctive and unusual designs all the more meaningful to devoted collectors.
The Initial Snow Infant Figurines
According to Carouselgifts, German confectioner Johann Moll invented the ancestors of modern-day Snowbabies as reusable cake toppers in the 1890s. Their design was inspired by sugar dolls used as Christmas decorations in the early nineteenth century. Hertwig and Company were the original manufacturers, but other German porcelain firms began creating similar figurines shortly thereafter.
In a 1914 catalogue, Snowbabies were identified as “Alaska Tots.” Back then, a dozen of these exquisite one-and-a-third-inch figurines cost ninety cents. Depending on their posture, these increasingly hard-to-find artefacts cost between $50 and $100 each.
The classic Snowbabies collection by Department 56 consists of all figurines, music boxes, and water globes that are not included in any other special collections. The classic collection began with the first snow babies and continues to this day, with “Christmas Caravan” from 2006 serving as an example. If you own a classic Snowbaby, save it, since it may be worth far more in a few years.
Snowbaby Miniature Ornaments
Miniature Snowbabies are among the company’s smallest ornaments ever manufactured. Production commenced in 1998 and ended in 2004. The phrase “Snowbabies” was typically embroidered in gold or silver thread on an ivory ribbon affixed to these miniatures, which were typically released around the holiday season. Each mini-Snowbaby was uniquely made to express a sentiment of love, friendship, or inspiration, and was frequently hung as a tree ornament using the ribbon. Currently, miniature Snowbabies cost an average of $35.87.
The Most Coveted Snowbabies
The first and most prized Snowbabies, from a collector’s perspective, were created with the highest care and in limited quantities in Germany. Generally speaking, the faces of Heubach’s figurines are more lifelike than those of later Japanese and other manufacturers. In addition, Snowbabies depicting blue snow are rarer than those depicting animals, Santa Claus, or “snow” porcelain crumbs, making them more precious. Despite the fact that these collectibles are not authentic Snowbabies in the brand sense, they are frequently marketed and displayed as such due to their striking likeness. In some instances, these can be considerably more valuable than their branded counterparts.
Snow Infant Value in Time
You may be wondering if the worth of new snowbabies will increase with time. Due to the fact that modern figurines are mass-produced and sold as collectibles, they typically do not increase in value beyond the price paid, as only other collectors are interested in them. However, restricted figurines created in smaller quantities and rare collectible figurines may have cross-collecting appeal.