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Collectics
Dreamsicles
Dreamsicles is a range of figurines and related collectibles created by artist Kristin Haynes. It includes inspirational and adorable cherub and animal collectibles. Most cherubs have a handcrafted look; they are made from Hydrostone (proprietary gypsum cement) and feature wreaths of dried wildflowers and ribbons around their heads. The animals often feature feathers or fur.

Dreamsicles began as a result of Kristin's frequent weekend trips to Mexican beaches, while living in southern California. She loved the chintzy plaster-of-Paris animals sold by the roadside vendors and, inspired by these and her chubby toddler, Patrick, Kristin began making clay cherubs. Initially, she designed and manufactured them herself, selling them at local shows with her daughter, Harmony. Demand soon outgrew her ability to cope, especially as Harmony was starting high school and had less opportunity to help. It was clear Kristin needed some assistance.

In 1991, Kristin turned to a local, and recently established giftware company, Cast Art Industries, who had the ability to mass produce the items that Kristin designed. They initially produced a range of 29 figurines in the collection, of which only 6 were cherubs. Sales soon picked up and the collection became very popular throughout the 1990s. In their first year, GCC (Gift Creation Concepts) named Dreamsicles the Best Selling New Category.

1992 saw the release of the first limited edition Dreamsicles. Most were limited by quantity, but some were limited by time (only available for one year), especially the Christmas ones.

A Dreamsicles Collectors' Club was formed in 1993 and at one point boasted around 110,000 members. The club featured a quarterly newsletter (The ClubHouse), a symbol of membership figurine and options to purchase other exclusive pieces.

Also in 1993, Cast Art updated their numbering system for Dreamsicles, to be UPC bar code compliant. Until this point, they were all 4-digit numbers, starting with a 5. After the change, they were 3-digit numbers with a 2-letter prefix. The prefixes indicated the type or series:

  • CD: Collectors' Club Pieces
  • DA: Animals and other non-Cherub figurines
  • DC: Cherubs
  • DD: Event pieces (Dreamsicle Day)
  • DF: Photo Frames
  • DK: Dreamsicle Kids (Introduced in 1996, featuring young cherubs doing everyday kid things)
  • DM: Magnets
  • DS: Stoneware Mugs
  • DX: Christmas Items
  • HC: Heavenly Classics (Introduced in 1995, featuring traditional angels)
  • SP: Special editions (for I.C.E. - International Collectibles Exposition)
This numbering system lasted until 1997, when it changed again. At this point, most items were given a 5-digit number, beginning with a 1, and the previous 'DD' prefix was changed to an 'E' for event pieces. Two further numbering changes occurred in 1999, when two new lines were introduced. The Northern Lights collection is a range of Santas, snowmen and winter-wrapped cherubs, partly inspired by Kristin's trip to Alaska. This collection bears a 5-digit number beginning with a 6. Angel Hugs is a collection of plush items, which bear a 5-digit number beginning with a 0.

In 1999, the Golden Halo collection was introduced. These were largely reissues of retired designs, handpicked by Kristin. They were identifiable from the originals by their gold highlights in the wreaths and wings.

As well as figurines, the Dreamsicles collection also includes waterglobes, musicals, bells, ornaments, plates, cross-stitch, mugs and more. They even produced a Dreamsicles TLC kit, which allows you to repair or replace the delicate wildflower wreaths on your figurines. Some of these items were produced by Cast Art and others were produced by license of Dreamsicles artwork to other companies, including The Hamilton Collection, Berkeley Designs, Leisure Art and Giftco, Inc.

In 2001, Cast Art introduced Dreamsicles Dolls, 3.75" tall resin cherub dolls, featuring moveable arms, legs and heads. In 2002, they introduced Dreamsicles Whittle Wuns, a selection of cherubs with a distinctive wood-carved look.

As with many collectibles, demand for Dreamsicles started to decline in the early 2000s. On March 10, 2003, Willitts Designs International, Inc. (part of the Lenox Group since 2006) acquired the brand from Cast Art.

Production of Dreamsicles figurines was halted in 2003, effectively retiring all pieces not already retired. A number of Dreamsicles themed giftware items continued to be made through licensed partners, including, for example, Lenox Spice Jars.

Lenox filed for bankruptcy in early 2009 as the collectibles industry continued to decline and that effectively killed off any hopes of resurrecting the Dreamsicles brand. Dreamsicles are now only available via the secondary market.

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