Should I Stock Up On Formula Before Baby Is Born The Lilliput Lane And David Winter Cottages – The Early Years

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The Lilliput Lane And David Winter Cottages – The Early Years

Lilliput Lane cottages have long been considered one of our favorite collections, along with figurines from Willow Tree, Border Fine Arts and Lladro. Lilliput Lane was established in the early 1980s as a competitor to David Winter Cottages. David Winter had been around for a year or two and had the market pretty much to himself. The miniature cottage phenomenon was in its infancy, but quickly blossomed. Our problem was that the company was run eccentrically. The houses were modeled by David Winter, but he was by no means a businessman.

The commercial side was run by a man named John Hine, a great self-promoter who was happy to fly when faced with a convention. He did not believe in performing at fairs. He also disliked hiring agents, so getting information about new launches and production discontinuations wasn’t easy at the best of times. Another eccentricity was that the delivery man dropped the warehouse boxes at our door and then demanded a check – not the best way to build a relationship with your customer. Also, most worryingly, the quality of David Winter Cottages was not good enough. They were plaster-based and tended to break easily.

So, the market was crying out for a competitor. And like a knight in shining armour, along came Lilliput Lane Cottages. What a refreshing change. This concept was developed by David Tate. He saw the collecting potential of miniature cottages designed in the vernacular style. He was also a multi-talent, as he never tired of telling me. Not only did he develop the skill of modeling cottages, but he was also an engineer and was able to develop the best manufacturing techniques that would on the one hand retain the amazing attention to detail that characterizes Lilliput Lane Cottages, but also make them harder to wear. He increased the polyresin content of the cottages and as a result arrived at a much more successful formula.

David Tate also appreciated the importance of regular introductions and retirements, the idea of ​​keeping collectors on their toes. From day one, Lilliput Lane was always run in the most professional manner. Our representative visited us regularly, the product was always well presented and properly packaged. Fairs were attended and Lilliput Lane usually had the reputation of having one of the most innovative and attractive stands.

Over the years Lilliput Lane grew in popularity and it wasn’t long before the selection overtook David Winter Cottages as the number one collection of cottages. As time went on, David Winter became more desperate and it seemed that corners were being cut. In some cases, unfortunately, it seemed that the collector was not treated seriously. In one infamous case, a selection of castles was introduced in a rather large circulation. At the same time, the same models were produced, but on a resin base, but with a much smaller circulation and a much higher price. It was decisions like these that put the final nail in David Winter’s coffin. Owners came and went, but try as they might, the slide continued unabated until the only real demand was in the US, and even that was negligible. Eventually, and ironically, the brand was taken over by Lilliput Lane cottage dealers Enesco. They were able to focus on a small, shrinking group of collectors while focusing their core efforts on their excellent brand.

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