Collecting: Successful Pottery Firm Are Bringing Home the Bacon

Article excerpt

One of the biggest gatherings of collectors the Midlands has ever seen will be in the region next weekend (July 29 and 30).

More than 17,000 people are expected to descend on Lord Lichfield's stately home Shugborough Hall at Milford, near Stafford next Saturday and Sunday for a National Collectors' Weekend Fair.

The massive crowd is attracting collectors from all parts of Britain and has been organised by Collectible World Studios Ltd, based at Stoke-on-Trent.

The Shugborough fair is the sixth annual fair organised by the firm - last year's was held at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham - and with the prospect of tickets selling out well in advance, it seems destined to be the biggest and best ever held.

Collectible World began ten years ago with its base in Cumbria, but has now centred its headquarters at Stoke-on-Trent where large numbers of its ceramic figures, animals and other items are turned out each year.

These include Piggin' model pigs whose antics and escapades which, in addition to fascinating thousands of Piggin' Club members worldwide, were also one of top three best-selling gift lines in Britain.

Another of the firm's top-selling lines is Pocket Dragons. Nothing fearsome, furious and fire-breathing here though, for these are all baby dragons with wide eyes, big ears and warm loveable smiles.

Already, the Pocket Dragon ceramic figures have seen their popularity ratings shooting up among collectors not only in Britain but also on the other side of the Atlantic.

In the USA these cute little green dragons are being marketed through the sales department of one of the most experienced toy companies in the country, Goebel. Several promotional sales tours have been carried out in the States and also at a number of US military bases around the world. The most recent was presented at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The disadvantage of such an event, however, is that access is usually closed to the general public by the US Air Force or US Army for security reasons. It is said, however, that members of the US armed forces - army, navy and air force are good spenders!

Apart from Piggin' and Pocket Dragon figures, Collectible World Studios has recently launched two fascinating fresh lines of collectables - a range of sculpted ceramic miniature shoes known as 'Just The Right Shoe' and 'Soul Journeys' which focuses on larger, limited edition sculpture.

The Shugborough event will show collectors each of the lines and as well as displays it will be an extra special event because all the artists who have designed the pieces will be there to meet collectors. …