FRANKENMUTH, MI (WNEM) –
You likely have that one thing that reminds you of being a kid at Christmas time. Maybe it’s the fancy plates mom only used for the holiday, or the fragile figurines on display in grandma’s house.
Collectible items are timeless, often enjoyed for decades, holding sentimental value that you can’t put a price tag on.
At Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the Fontanini brand nativity set is one of those things.
“The kids love playing with the little animals. And the Fontanini ones, they’re poly-resin, so you don’t have to worry about the children breaking, but the animals end up in different places, but that’s OK!” Maria Sutorik said.
You can’t help but get bright-eyed when you see their display of Christmas villages.
“Now you see people, they’ll buy a building one year, next year they’ll come back and buy an accessory to go with that, and just keep building on ’em year after year,” said Asst. Supervisor Jodi Burgess.
The Christmas villages have been around for a long time, and they’re always a popular item at Bronner’s.
“They’re also popular with the train crowd – the people that like to do the train sets are the ones that like do the villages. New generations, too. And, you don’t need to do an overwhelming large village display. Some people put them on end tables, just a couple pieces, like vignettes, too,” Sutorik said.
Some of the villages even retire.
“First weekend in November, generally, is when the retirement is. And so, people collect the ones that retire, since that’s the last chance to get ’em, sometimes,” Sutorik said.
Bronner’s also houses a collection of fragile figurines – like Snowbabies!
“Even before Dept. 56 brought them out, they were something in Germany and so on. So, Dept. 56 kinda picked up on the trend, the nostalgia and brought them back as a modern-day collectible for Snowbabies,” Sutorik said.
If your holiday decorating style is more “eclectic,” the Jim Shore Collection will really speak to you. The folk-art style pieces are a real hit with a huge following.
“He’s very, very popular. We’ve had him in the store before for signings, and he’s very well-loved and in-demand!” Sutorik said. “The detail embellishment, it’s almost like a wood-carved look that was painted.”
If you want to start a more traditional collection, you can do that pretty easy as well. The Possible Dreams Collection features the Jolly Man in red doing just about every job you can think of!
“We have the Mark Robert Elves, too, which some people collect. But we’re going into the Possible Dreams pieces, and like you said they’re also picking up on the licensed, the nostalgia and the trends of them. But, they’re almost a paper mache type material, the faces are more resin, but very detailed and expressive,” Sutorik said.
As the times change, so do the demands of collectors.
It’s still a tradition for many, but nowadays, many popular items aren’t quite as easy to get your hands on.
“A lot of the collectibles are getting hard to find,” Burgess said.
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