Photo Credit: Department 56 (c)

As Halloween 2018, fast approaches, collectors and lovers of the holiday gear up for it, each person getting the treasured items for their version, some purchasing big props, scary screams, or animatronics, others enjoy a calmer version, whichever is the case there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Department 56 (c)

Anyone familiar with the company Department 56 knows of their passion for creating well detail villages for Christmas, however, their Halloween version also has a great creation, especially it being subdivided into Peanuts Great Pumpkin, Hot Classics, Nightmare Before Christmas, and now The Addams Family, one can only hope The Munsters is not far behind these either. If one looks at back at the history of this line, they may be  surprised to learn it started as The Snow Village Halloween in 1998, yes, this year marks their 20th-anniversary, it started with two buildings both called Haunted Mansion one with a Green Roof and the other had a Black Roof value at $110, and long since retired. Alas, the catch in the collecting of this extraordinary display, the company often retires pieces quickly, and the aftermarket cost sometimes doubles, with about 18 limited editions either to a certain number or to year of production. If curious what becomes the breakdown of this vast aspect look below. This year three buildings stand out, first the Monster Mash Party House (which plays the fame song), The Black Cat Flat, and The Bone Grinder Mill, those pieces collectively cost $460, and the limited dated piece called Rest in Peace 2018 tallies in at $99.

Photo Credit: Department 56 (c)

The Hot Classics, a short-lived off-shoot of the main Halloween village, started in 2002, that included long sought-after pieces as Dracula’s Castle, The Creature’s Lair, The Wolf Man’s Curse, and Frankenstein’s Laboratory, among others, all-in 7-pieces with a horror theme. Another division called Hot Properties featured M&M’s® getting into the mix with a Haunted House, Haunted Mine and others.

One of the interesting things about many of their pieces is the ability to add or interchange a few of the buildings and/or accessories, for example a common addition to Halloween themes, the inclusion of Sherlock Holmes – 221B Baker Street, because of The Hound of Baskervilles, a film that over the years feature both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. This building featured in The Historical Landmark Series issued in 2002 and retired in 2003 at an original cost of $90. However, other divisions such as The Heritage Village contains just one-piece entire Halloween Village Express issued and retired in 2002 at the cost of $25.

Last year, for the Nightmare Before Christmas fans, Dept 56 unleashed Halloweentown based from Disney’s movie and the Tim Burton film, which contain 7 pieces at a total cost of $690.

Photo Credit: Department 56 (c)

Now, they just introduced a new licensing item, The Addams Family Village which includes the family house, Gomez and Mortica, Uncle Fester, and Wednesday playing with Pugsley, sadly there’s no Lurch. The house lists for a suggested price of $164.95 and the family figurines rank from $23.5 to $37.50.

Still curious the total investments:

The Addams Family Village $249 (4-items)

Nightmare Before Christmas $690.00 (7-items)

M&M ® Village Items $105 (4-items)

The Hot Classics $405 (7-items)

Peanuts $207 (5-items)

Snow Village Halloween Lighted Buildings [1998 – 2017] $9,959 (103-items)

Snow Village Halloween Accessories [1998 – 2017] $7,768 (266-items)

Total $19,383 for 396-items

Though speaking with some of the collectors, there some items one needs to purchase more than once, such fences, trees, hedges, pathways; etc., the cost can rise higher. Nevertheless, this is a vast undertaking, and scanning the lists, merely as a novice, the amount of work from Department 56 to create, enhance and detail the construction of every piece becomes a worthwhile endeavor. Therefore, if you choose to become a serious collector, just know your wallets limits.


Happy Halloween!