Syratech’s Holiday Workshop now separate unit

Syratech’s decision to spin off its Holiday Workshop Div. from International Silver was based on the division tremendous growth in sales over the last four years. Holiday Workshop produces Christmas and Halloween tabletop merchandise that is marketed through department and specialty stores and catalogs. Although retailers are focused on Holiday Workshop’s 1994 collection, the company introduced its 1995 collection. Holiday Workshop has a showroom at 200 Fifth Avenue in New York City and will show its products at the Feb 1995 Toy Fair.

 

Although a new member has joined the Syratech family of home furnishings companies–Holiday Workshop–the division was spun off from the existing International Silver and was previously called International Christmas.

 

Holiday Workshop was growing too fast for the existing sales force to handle them, said Linda Feldman, product development director of Holiday Workshop, on Syratech’s decision to spin off the business.

 

“International Silver first entered the Christmas business in a small way nearly four years ago,” said Feldman. “Today, 80 percent of the line is designed by us and tooled by us overseas.”

 

The Holiday Workshop collection, which includes Christmas-and Halloween-related merchandise, is geared toward department and specialty stores and catalogs, although some of the lower-priced items will find a home in the mass merchant channel, Feldman added.

 

While retailers’ attention is currently focused on Christmas 1994, Holiday Workshop recently introduced its 1995 line. For next season, the company has created collections that feature brighter colors and angels.

 

Highlights of the 1995 line include Figments of Folklore, featuring figurines and houses done in resin that is textured for a higher perceived value, Feldman said. The Christmas Fantasy resin series also derives its texture from molding. The whimsical line features messages and contains figurines, stocking holders, water globes, molded candles and votives. The Snowlar Bears resin collection, which takes its cue from the popularity of the Coca-Cola polar bears, includes votives, stocking holders, resin pieces, plush figures and a candy bowl.

 

A full wood collection has also been introduced. It includes figurines, a block set, wall decor, a letter train set and plaques. Again, relief work adds to the texture of the line, Feldman said.

 

The Christmas Follies line features a number of media. The line includes nutcrackers, crates, play sets, plush, stocking holders, ornaments, collectible resin pieces, water globes, molded candles, ornament photo frames, papier-mache and stockings.

 

The Heavenly Hannah collection taps into the popularity of angels. The line features wood and resin figurines and plaques, plush and votives.

 

A full assortment of plush has been introduced, including Santa with whimsical hats, a toy soldier grouping and a Western-style Santa line.

 

Tea light votives of resin are also available, set in elaborate scenes, including a village and window Christmas scene. Musical carousels, 20 in all, will be sold at key price points in addition to light-up signs.

 

Two designers have created mixed media Santa collectibles for Holiday Workshop. The highly decorated pieces retail between $75 and $100.

 

“The category is expected to grow–I think the whole category will go crazy,” said Feldman.

 

Mixed media angles are also available in 50 SKUs, which include tree top and stand-up table pieces.

 

Santa and angels with fleece material and porcelain faces make up another collection of mixed-media collectibles. Lastly, Santa, angels and snowmen appear in a collection of “recycled, rag-type” collectibles.

 

New Halloween merchandise has also been introduced for 1995. Holiday Workshop has focused on two collections: Kookie Spookies, a whimsical line which includes plaques, molded candles, plush, votives, tea lights, wooden pieces and block sets; and Halloween Hallow, a plush line in different materials.
Holiday Workshop has opened permanent showroom at 200 Fifth Avenue in New York. The firm will take part in the Toy Fair in February, and a portion of the full line will be displayed in the Syratech showroom during the New York Tabletop market.