Stylized image of books wrapped in brown paper wrapped wit ribbon piled on a table top surrounded by pine branches, pinecones, and ornaments


Department 56

Department 56 is renowned for crafting captivating seasonal village buildings, beloved by collectors worldwide. Their intricately detailed miniature creations capture the charm of festive holidays, from Christmas to Halloween. With exceptional craftsmanship, these collectibles bring a touch of enchantment to every season.

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From 56 to Magic: The Enchanting Tale of Department 56's Holiday Collectibles!

In the enchanting world of holiday collectibles, few names shine as brightly as Department 56. This beloved company has been crafting Christmas magic for collectors and enthusiasts since its inception in 1976. But how did it all begin, and what makes Department 56 the go-to destination for seasonal village and accessory enthusiasts? Let's embark on a journey through time and discover the story behind this iconic brand.

The Birth of Department 56

The story of Department 56 starts with a number—56, to be precise. Originally, it was just a part of Bachman's, a renowned retail florist nestled in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bachman's employed a clever numbering system to distinguish its various divisions, and the wholesale gift imports division was christened "56."

The Visionary Founder

Enter Ed Bazinet, a talented and creative individual who would become the driving force behind Department 56. Ed was more than just an entrepreneur; he was a passionate artist. In 1964, he earned the prestigious title of Minnesota State Florist Association's Designer of the Year. Ed's vision and determination led him to convince the Bachman family to invest $50,000 in creating the "56" division. Little did they know that this decision would lead to something extraordinary.

The Journey of Growth

Under Ed's capable leadership, Department 56 blossomed into a $15 million subsidiary by 1984. The company was spun off as its own entity, with Ed Bazinet assuming the role of its first president. Over the years, Department 56 would become synonymous with holiday magic and collectible craftsmanship.

From Stocks to Symbols

In 1993, Department 56 took a significant step in its journey by listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DFS." At its zenith during the 1990s, its stocks traded at an impressive $40 per share. The brand's popularity soared, and it became a cherished name among collectors and holiday enthusiasts alike.

Evolution and Expansion

Department 56 wasn't content with resting on its laurels. The brand continually evolved, introducing a variety of collections that captured the essence of the holiday season. The "Original Snow Village," with its iconic ceramic houses, marked the beginning of a legacy that would expand to include over 225 pieces and accessories.

A Village for Every Heart

From the heartwarming "Christmas Lane" series to the charming "Heritage Village" collection, each offering resonated with collectors worldwide. The "New England Village" celebrated the rich history of the region, while the "Alpine Village" transported usto the picturesque landscapes of the Alps. "Christmas in the City" harkened back to the 1930s and 1940s, and the "North Pole Series" brought Santa's workshop to life.

A Magical Lineup

Over time, Department 56 introduced several new villages, such as "Little Town of Bethlehem," "Snow Village Halloween," and the whimsical "First Frost" and "Holiday In The Woods." These additions expanded the brand's reach and delighted collectors with even more choices.

A Universe of Collaborations

In the spirit of innovation, Department 56 embarked on exciting collaborations. As of June 2023, the brand proudly showcased ten licensed brands within its collection, including Harry Potter, Disney, The Grinch, and Game of Thrones, to name a few. These partnerships added new dimensions to the world of collectibles.

In conclusion, Department 56's journey from a small division of Bachman's to a global icon of holiday collectibles is a testament to the vision of its founder, Ed Bazinet, and the dedication of its team. With its rich history, diverse collections, and commitment to enchanting holiday enthusiasts, Department 56 continues to light up the holiday season for collectors young and old. As we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in its story, one thing is certain: the magic of Department 56 will forever be a cherished part of our holiday traditions.

Department 56 Product Reviews

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Great customer service Great customer service when I had an inquiry about my order. Amazing ship Price to Hawaii for my order. Thanks!

Lara Oshiro

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Beautifully realistic and great price! These garlands are the most realistic I’ve seen and the price can’t be beat! I’ve purchased 4 so far andplan to get more.


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Halloween village. Fantastic, had just what I needed. Fast shipping and great packaging. Will purchase from again when needed. Thanks


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Fast and safe shipping.

Jonnie Jarrells

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prompt service--great selection!

Shirley Wooden

Department 56 FAQ

What makes Department 56 collectible village buildings stand out?

Department 56 is renowned for its exquisite attention to detail and handcrafted designs. Our collectibles capture the essence of holidays and seasons, creating captivating displays for collectors.

Are Department 56 collectibles suitable for year-round display?

While we specialize in seasonal villages, many collectors enjoy showcasing our pieces year-round. With diverse themes, you can evoke different seasons or create unique scenes anytime.

How often do you release new Department 56 village collections and designs?

We frequently introduce fresh collections and designs to keep your displays exciting. New releases occur throughout the year, with a focus on major holidays like Christmas and Halloween.

Can I find a limited edition or retired Department 56 pieces?

Yes, we periodically release limited edition pieces for collectors seeking exclusivity. Retired pieces can also become sought-after treasures. Stay updated with our announcements for these special offerings.

Are Department 56 village buildings suitable for both new and experienced collectors?

Absolutely! Our collectibles cater to collectors of all levels. Whether you're just starting your collection or adding to an existing one, our pieces offer timeless charm and endless possibilities.

What's the best way to care for and clean Department 56 collectibles?

To maintain the beauty of your collectibles, dust them gently with a soft, dry brush or cloth. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause fading or damage to delicate details.

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