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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Department 56 offer any replacement parts for Village products?

Yes, Department 56 stocks a wide variety of replacement parts for many of our current Village pieces. Items like hanging signs, flags and little add-on pieces that normally come packaged separately in the carton can get lost or damaged. In addition, we also carry some specialized bulbs and some unique replacement adapters (the kind that come packaged with the building). We do not stock any replacement parts for giftware, Snowbabies, or Possible Dreams. To find out if we stock a part you may need, click here to shop replacement parts, or call Department 56 Consumer Services at 1/800 LIT-TOWN (548-8696) if you do not see your part listed online. There is a small charge for each part plus a nominal shipping and handling fee. We accept all major credit cards for payment.

Want to contact us by mail?

Sometimes a letter works the best, so to contact Department 56 Consumer Services by mail, please use this address:

Department 56 Consumer Services
7400 Flying Cloud Drive
Suite 100
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

How do I find a dealer for Department 56 products in my area?

Use our dealer locator on our web-site or call 1-800-LIT-TOWN (548-8696) to find where a specific product might be sold. For information on products in our "general" line (i.e., non-collectible), 1-800-LIT-TOWN is your best bet.

What's the best way to clean Department 56 Village items?

We recommend using a soft brush or feather duster to remove surface dust. Collectors have shared with us that using a hair dryer on a low, cool setting, or using canned air (used to clean computer components) is also effective to remove dust. Do not use a liquid spray, water or a soapy water solution to clean your buildings or accessories as this may damage the finish.

If your Village pieces have been subject to any more serious damage - water damage due to hurricane, rain or basement flooding, we recommend that you contact a local restoration service in your area for professional assistance. They have the materials and expertise to assist you in cleaning.

What's the best way to clean Snowbabies™ figurines?

We recommend using a soft feather duster to remove surface dust from the figurines. Collectors have shared with us that using a hair dryer on a low, cool setting, or using canned air (used to clean computer components) is also effective to remove dust. Please do not submerge them in water or a soapy water solution. This may clog the porous material, and cause your collection to become dirtier in the future.

Should we keep the packaging materials that the Village items came with?

Yes, the packaging that accompanies your Village collectible is designed for protection and storage.

Can I get a replacement box for my Village piece?

Unfortunately, we have never had extra boxes available. As the buildings are produced, an appropriate number of boxes are made and each building is packaged before it leaves the factory. If your original box has become lost or damaged, we recommend storing your piece in a clean, sturdy cardboard box with adequate packaging material.

What is the best way to store my Village pieces and accessories?

When storing your fine collectibles we recommend that the storage area be kept at a comfortable temperature (between 50 - 80 degrees F), that is, do not subject the pieces to extreme heat or extreme cold. If you are unable to find a suitable location within your home, a dry basement is a good alternative. We suggest using large plastic containers that will prevent dampness and water from damaging the boxes and finishes of your collectibles. We do not recommend storage in a place that gets too warm ? like an attic. The cords, electrical components, sisal trees and bushes, and animated portions are not designed to stored in extreme temperatures and may be negatively affected by heat.

Do you have a brochure available for your Village items?

The current Village and Snowbabies Brochures are available at your local qualifying retail store or you may order one through our LIT TOWN line at 1-800-LIT-TOWN (548-8696) or you may order a current brochure for the Villages, Snowbabies and Possible Dreams through our web site here.

We would like to add a train to our Village display. Which model train scale works best with your Villages?

There is not a definite scale to our Villages so the scale of train is your personal preference. However, collectors have told us The Original Snow Village is closest to "O" scale and the Heritage Village Collection, Dickens', Christmas In The City, North Pole, Alpine Village, New England Village is closest to "HO" scale.

How often are new introductions for the Villages announced?

New introductions are typically announced twice each year. The main introduction is in January, with those products becoming available in stores by the following summer. A smaller, mid-year introduction is made in late Spring, those items are typically available for purchase by the holiday season. Of course, there may be an occasional surprise introduction!

How can I learn about the new items being introduced?

The list is posted on our Web site once the announcement is made. You may also have a notice of the announcement sent to your email address. Signup for emails using the form in the footer.

Are Village items ever retired?

Yes, each year selected designs are discontinued, or retired, to make room in production for new products. The Village retirement announcement is announced on the first Friday in November.

How should I choose which Village to collect?

The nicest part of collecting is selecting items that you like. Many collectors choose buildings and accessories that evoke fond memories of holidays past, or remind them of a favorite place to visit.

What are the different series within the Heritage Village Collection?

We currently offer the following collections:

  • The Dickens' Village Series - the holidays during Victorian England
  • The New England Village Series - historic small town America in the 1800s
  • The Alpine Village Series - a cozy European mountain hamlet
  • Christmas in the City - a look back at the hustle and bustle of downtown
  • The North Pole Series - Inspired by the enduring legend of Santa Claus
  • Williamsburg Series - The capital of the Virginia colony in the 1700s

What is the main difference between The Original Snow Village and the Heritage Village Collections?

The Original Snow Village is crafted from ceramic, is slightly larger, and has a shiny, glazed finish. The Heritage Village Collection pieces are made from porcelain, are slightly smaller in scale and have a matte finish.

Why are the accessories' figures not in the same scale as the lighted buildings?

Since the pieces are made of porcelain or ceramic, they shrink when they are fired, usually about 5% to 15%. If we made the accessories any smaller, the tiny details would be lost, such as the petals on a flower or the folds in a woman's shawl.

I have a store and am interested in selling Department 56 products. Who should I contact?

Thank you for your interest in Department 56 and our products. Please call 1-800-4-ENESCO.

What would be the best adhesive to use to make minor repairs to Village pieces and Snowbabies figurines?

We recommend Super Glue gel formula as a repair agent. Please be sure to remove all other adhesives before repairing. (Old adhesives can be safely removed by using a hairdryer to soften the old glue).

How do I remove a light cord that has slipped into the building?

To remove a light that has become lodged in a piece, we would suggest using a needle nose pliers to grasp the metal butterfly clips. Another idea would be to thread a twist-tie (used to seal a plastic bag) or thin piece of wire through the butterfly clip of the light, twist the ends together, and carefully remove through the opening of the piece. As a last resort, you may wish to cut the cord, and work the clip out of the opening, bulb first. You would then replace it with a new light cord. Department 56 Consumers Services stocks many different product specific light cord/ adapter units. Your favorite retail will sell the standard light with switched cords (56.99028) and light cords with auxiliary clips (56.53039).

What are the most common bulbs used in the buildings?

It is extremely important to use the correct bulb with each piece. We have created a PDF document that shows the most common bulbs and their sizes. Click here to view the PDF.

Do you offer repair services?

We do not have a list of repair services to offer. Many collectors have found local repair technicians and assistance through hobby shops that deal with model trains and model airplanes.

What if I have received defective giftware?

If you discover that giftware you have purchased if defective, please contact the retail store where the item was purchased immediately to arrange for an exchange or refund.

Will any village piece work with the Display Anywhere Lighting/ Battery Operated Lighting?

The Retrofit lighting units (56.53501) are designed to be used with most Department 56 buildings, both old and new that currently light using a single light cord (56.99028), and converting them to cordless. This light unit will allow you to use your Village pieces in places where cords would detract from the beauty of they display. Four AAA batteries will give you approximately 75 hours of light before the batteries need to be replaced.

What pieces are included in the Department 56 "Classic Brands"?

We currently offer the following licensed "Classic Brands":

  • "A Christmas Story"
  • Peanuts®
  • The Grinch®
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer®
  • Disney®
  • Disney Frozen
  • Dairy Queen®
  • Hasbro
  • Fisher Price™
  • The Elf on the Shelf®
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • Downton Abbey®
  • Harley-Davidson®
  • Coca-Cola®
  • The Wizard of Oz™

How can I determine the value of my collectibles?

As the manufacturer, Department 56 does not deal in current values of retired or discontinued products. You can purchase a book showing current values of both the Villages and the Snowbabies through Village D-Lights magazine, phone 1-800-765-1690, or online at www.Treasuresmagazine.com

How do I reset my password on department56.com?

Click here to reset your password.
If your email address is not found, please try a different email address or create a new account.

What is KIBO/Shopatron?

Department 56 partners with authorized retailers across the country with a fulfillment agency called KIBO/Shopatron. Retailers who participate in the Department 56 KIBO/Shopatron network are committed to satisfying your needs and providing you with an exceptional online shopping experience.

What is credit card pre-authorization?

If you just placed your order, what you are seeing on your bank account is an authorization. This is a common bank practice handling credit card transactions to ensure sufficient funds and account authenticity. This authorization will clear (depending on your bank, usually within 48 – 72 hours). If you need help speeding up the process, you can contact the issuing bank of your credit card. An authorization hold (also card authorization, preauthorization, or preauth) is the practice within the banking industry of authorizing electronic transactions done with a debit card or credit card and holding this balance as unavailable either until the merchant clears the transaction (also called settlement), or the hold "falls off." Debit card authorization holds can fall off the account (thus rendering the balance available again) anywhere from 1–5 days after the transaction date depending on the bank's policy. Credit card holds may last as long as 30 days, depending on the issuing bank. Please only click the "Place Order" button once to avoid multiple authorizations. If a debit card, check card, or gift cards is used to make a purchase on the Department 56 website and the purchase is not accepted for any reason, please be aware that most banks will hold the 'authorized' funds (counting against the account balance until the authorization clears) even if the order is not accepted by Department 56's security measures. The most common reason for a failed transaction is that the billing address entered does not match the billing address for the debit/check/credit card/gift card being used for payment. Department 56 does not have the capability nor is obligated to release the bank's temporary hold on authorized funds. Since Department 56 does not have the capability to release the bank's temporary hold of funds, Department 56 can not be held responsible for the policies of the customer's banking institution regarding the holding of authorized funds. Please note that authorization fund holds last for varying periods, depending on the issuing credit card company's policy. The period may last as little as three days or as long as several months. We strongly suggest that if such a situation arise, that the customer contact the issuing credit card company or bank directly.

Didn't get your question answered in any of the above questions? Want to contact us directly?

The Department 56 Consumer Services Department is available to take telephone calls from consumers and collectors weekdays, 9 AM – 6 PM (CST). Our toll free telephone number is 1/800 LIT TOWN (548-8696).