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A group for collectors of vintage snow domes who are enchanted with these fun collectibles. Share images, stories and resources.
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VINTAGE Snow Dome Collectors Group – From Andy Zito - Your Moderator
As moderator of this group I will be guiding over the presentations of souvenir, figural, advertising and character snow domes for discussing, posting, trading, selling, informing and linking to others. There are great tools and options for posting photos, slide shows and more here on this wonderful Group site so please do try them out.
Have fun and share.
SOME THINGS TO DO NOW!!!!
Post your favorite photos from your collection in the Comment Wall or as part of your profile.
Propose questions to the group in the Forum.
Leave notices of trades, purchasing or selling requests or questions, links or simply sharing some of your own great finds. Post your stories and resources.
Join FREE now and enjoy sharing with others about your collection interests. Spread the word!!
About Andy Zito’s Vintage Snow domes
I first got interested in snow domes from buying some at a quirky gift shop called ‘Wacko’ here in Los Angeles. Wacko sold wonderful, Funky, Kitschy items that appealed to me as great items to start collecting. Through snow dome books and other collecting reference books, I made contact with other major collectors. I got their unique perspective and knowledge on snow dome collecting. From this I got the bug. So I began to more seriously to collect older souvenir, figural and advertising snow domes.
Some of the additional binding elements to my passion for them are:
• A background in advertising illustration and map illustration, which show landmarks and well-known icons. Also an intense interest in knowing about the world’s cultures, and makeup. Souvenir snow domes and snow globes also help me ‘ANCHOR’ and ‘PINPOINT’ where
everything is for me.
• I have traversed the United States back and forth several times, visited many landmarks, tourist traps and hangouts.
• So between the tourist travels, advertising background and map work, I have developed a keen interest in older souvenirs from all over the world as well as collectible advertising items. It follows that a passion for souvenir and advertising snow domes and globes, followed and developed.
There are now at least 8 books on the subject of snow dome and snow globe collecting. But they need updating and I would love to write a Snow dome book myself to show the many newly discovered snow domes there are now and reveal the fun they provide.
That said though, my website is, and will continue to be an ‘Online Museum’. As an online museum, it can constantly be updated and added to.
As far as what makes a collectible snow dome for me, I would have you focus on the ones that were made in Hong Kong in the 60's through the early 80's. Most of the serious collectors collect plastic mostly, but also collect glass (these are mostly the advertising ones like those made by Progressive Products). The small, large and calendar based, plastic souvenir types that have molded, injection, plastic, scenic inserts inside and are irregular in shape are best for providing a hand painted-folk art feeling. These older snow domes then need to be what we call..."SITE SPECIFIC". In other words, they need to have particular scenic plaques and inside name plaques, customized to the building, attraction or whatever it is representing, and that site only. If you go to this link you will see many examples of this:
I prefer that they have inside name plaques as well. The more specific the information is on the name plaque, the better. Long naming like the San Miguel Mission, Oldest Church in U.S.A, Santa Fe - New Mexico are wonderful to find.
Why are these such wonderful nostalgia items and so perennially popular? They are Kitschy, and remind me of trips gone by. I traversed the US from Los Angeles to New York and back again by car, each time taking different routes. Both trips were done in the 70's and included parts of route 66, the Louisiana Delta, Monument Valley and the National Parks. They also display easily together for a fun conversation area of your house or apartment.
Be sure and read my article on the Highway Hangouts on this page...
Another key reason for collecting is the Christmas aspect. There are lots of wonderful plastic snow dome Christmas figural types. These especially, are the ones that remind us of the snowy days in Winter. This is another nostalgic aspect, since I am in Los Angeles -‘LA LA LAND’, where there are palm trees and sunshine all year long, but I have my snow inside the domes any time I like. Then there are advertising snow domes and globes. The last area of collecting snow domes is Disney related. There are way too many and mostly glass, which I do not collect. The only really wonderful ones, for me were made by Marx and you can see the March Hare dome on...
Which was made by Marx Toy Company in the 70's I believe. There are about 15 different ones for Alice in Wonderland, Brer Rabbit and all of the Nursery Rhyme characters. Each is an extra large dome and are wonderfully depicted.
So. as I said the older plastic ones, made in Hong Kong in the 60ss to 80s, with specific inside molded plaques and specific name plaques are what we collect and look for. These can be colorful and fun items to collect, display and shake for that dreamy moment that the falling snow inside evokes.
My collection numbers at this time (Oct, 01, 2014) at around 10,500
and is filled with many rare and wonderful examples.
The single most valuable figural snow dome is probably a near mint Seated Bugs Bunny issued by Universal Studios in the 70’s and is easily worth $650.
The most I have paid for a single souvenir snow dome is $375. for a rare ‘Iran Air’ snow dome in excellent condition, but it was partially due to paying in GBP, (British pounds) when the dollar was especially weak and that added to it. Also it is an advertising collectible and thus a 'Crossover Collectible'.
The cheapest snow dome came from trading as I happened to have some snow domes someone else had that I paid only a few dollars for and I received a rare Magic Mountain troll figural snow dome from the 70’s that is now easily worth $350.
Most of what I am finding now is from Ebay. I used to trade much more with collectors from all over the world but much of it is being replaced by what comes up on Ebay.
One last note is to say that the currently highly detailed glass snow globes from many travel destinations are becoming so well done that they will likely be included by myself and other serious collectors, especially from remote locations. The ‘IN THE ROUND’ aspects to their designs really tell the story of a cities attractions and landmarks. So they will likely be the next desirable vintage snow globes to collect now.
I hope that helps.
Incredible Snowdome Collector Article
Los Angeles Times interactive display of 50 Vintage California snow domes from my collection:
Collector's Weekly article
Mia's First Ever Snow Dome Blog!
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