Thursday, November 27, 2008

Frosty Friends 1980 - 1982

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.

7 comments:

dinged corners said...

These are sweeeet! We look forward to future installments.

--David said...

It is funny how you fall into collecting things as a couple. My wife and I, and now our kids, have a collection of various disney-themed ornaments built on the same principle as your collection. We used to keep all the packing material, but that proved too tedious for us. Heh-heh, we might regret that when it's time to sell them...

Anonymous said...

We too started our Frosty and Friends collection when my husband and I married in 1980. My collection continues today. I have all 29, and they are put on the tree every year!

Anonymous said...

I recently acquired a 1981 Hallmark that looks well and oft used. So much so that I am looking for information on it. Does the little Eskimo have two arms on your ornament - is a second one present behind the first that is petting the dog? I'd love to know if the arm is missing on the one I have. And Merry Christmas Happy New Year to all (almost time to put it all away for another year :-(

capewood said...

I took a close look at the 1981 and its hard to tell if there is a second arm or not. Looking in the front, I see what looks like the end of the Eskimo's mitten sticking out from behind the dog. But the plastic of the igloo is too distorting to tell if there is a full arm there or not. It looks like the back of the Eskimo and the dog may be fully formed, so I suspect there is an arm there.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I didn't start my collection of these little cuties until 1997. I'm trying to slowly fill in the earlier years. Does anyone have a good source? I was able to find 2 this year on E-bay at a good price, but lost the bid on the 3rd one I tried for.

Carol Clay said...

I also started this collection when I was married (no longer though); I got all the 80's except for 83, only two of the 90's and have 3 of the 2000's. I make an 'Eskimo Village' each year on the top of a bookshelf with cotton batting for snow. I was surprised to see how much the first in the series is worth (especially if it is in mint condition in the box) anywhere from $300 ~ 750!! (for mint condition in original box in mint shape as well). Apparently the box can be worth as much as the ornament - go figure! My 1980 is missing the two song books, so I am considering getting the replacement books. This small detail affects the value greatly. It's also too bad that I didn't keep most of the boxes; they took up too much room, so I've been storing them in their bubble wraps in shoe boxes - as many as will fit without squishing or damaging them. So, a word to any prospective collectors - save the boxes (including the inserts and the price 'tabs'), keep them in good shape and someday in the future you'll have a nice little retirement fund built up!!