Collector's Corner: Wee Forest Folk Miniatures
By Michele Alice
They're not Hobbits. Or pixies, dwarves, or gnomes.
Most, actually, are mice.
The creation of Annette Petersen, the Wee Forest Folk line of miniature figurines made its first appearance in 1972 with Miss Mouse (M-001). It retailed for $8. By 1997, the 25th anniversary of the Carlisle, Massachusetts company, over 400 different pieces had been issued.
Made from molds of original clay sculptures by Annette and her son William and daughter Donna, the hand-painted miniatures are still made in Carlisle in quantities that are dwarfed by the mass-production methods of most other companies.
Usually no more than 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches in height, the figurines have generated a great deal of interest in the secondary markets. Recently, a retired mouse, Red Riding Hood (FT-02), garnered a $599 final bid at an online auction, while some of the non-mice pieces are in even greater demand: a Mr. and Mrs. Owl (O-01) sold for $610, while a Grandpa Frog (F-05) fetched $1520.95!
Whimsical subject matter, fine detailing, and relative rarity combined with factors such as color variations, errors, special editions and the retirement of some pieces each year have all contributed to the escalation of prices for this collectible. If you are interested in learning more about the Wee Forest Folk, check out the resources listed below, and,
The Concord Mousetrap - link to website - Nice article by Mary Ann Isaksen for the "Rat & Mouse Gazette."
Lulu's Public WFF Lists - link to website - Though not updated in some time, Lulu's offers invaluable info and pics of past WFF Specials, Limited Editions, Errors, and One-of-a-Kinds.
Mouse Expo - link to website - This year's "Annual Gathering of Wee Forest Folk Collectors" (their 17th) had a pirate theme with several special edition pieces available for purchase.
New Concord Mousetrap - link to website - Site offers the latest news on recent releases and color changes, and is a portal to the Old Concord Mousetrap where you'll find lots of pics of older pieces.
Wee Forest Folk - link to website - Official company site has a complete list of retired pieces, news, and an FYI page where you can request a free catalog. While you're on site, try the crossword puzzle.
Wee Forest Folk Catalogs - link to website - This page at Creative Hands displays all the WFF catalogs from 1978 to the present.
Wee Forest Folk Collectors' Club - link to website - An Information Board, Master List (with original prices), and Photo Gallery are just a few of the resources offered. The club also sponsors Folktoberfest, an annual convention held in, you guessed it, October.
About the author:
Michele Alice is EcommerceBytes Update Contributing Editor. Michele is a freelance writer in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. She collects books, science fiction memorabilia and more! Email her at makalice @ adelphia.net eBay ID: Malice9
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