Sometimes you fall into a collection of something by accident. My wife and I got married in May 1980. In December we started to purchase Christmas ornaments. I had several boxes of stuff from my parents but we wanted our own stuff as well. We found this little ornament from Hallmark.
It was perfect. 1980 was our first Christmas and this was a dated ornament. What we didn't realize was that this was going to be the first of a series called Frosty Friends, a series which continues to today. The new Hallmark ornaments start showing up in the Hallmark stores in August and we always make sure we get the new Frosty Friends then. Some years these have been hard to find and we'd hate to have a gap in the series. A few years ago we bought a small artificial tree just for these. The 1980 ornament has become a collector's item. There are a number on eBay right now, some as high as $300. The key to this particular ornament is the little songbooks. Ours still has the originals, which makes it more valuable. You can get replacement song books for about $20 on eBay. The ornament is about 4 inches high.
In 1981, we were surprised to see another Frosty Friends. The Eskimo has a new friend, a husky dog. No polar bear this year. The ornament is about the same size as before. The little figures are always the same size every year. These are going on eBay for maybe $75 to $100. This one is not as condition sensitive as the 1980 as everything on it is plastic. By the way, we still have all the original boxes and packing material. We weren't thinking about long term value, it just made sense to us to repack them in the original boxes. But apparently this is important to the value of them.
1982 again features Eskimo and Husky. One thing we like about the series is the wide variation in design from year to year. This ornament is a bit longer then the first two. It is also balanced well so it hangs perfectly. I'll feature the rest of these as the season progresses.