Department 56 Animated Skating Pond

Department 56 Animated Skating Pond
Winter, in many places of the world, is a cold season: snow will be falling, and lakes and rivers will be completely covered in ice. However in those states they aren't useless, since a lot of people enjoy skating! It's a relaxing and funny activity, even when you are just looking at it. It's truly a manifestation of winter. If you love winter and you love skating, you might want to get a themed decoration for Christmas. This one is made by Department 56, and it's being sold on Amazon for 65,54 dollars. The scene is the most classic you could imagine when hearing "skating on a pond": at the center there is, well, the iced pond itself, surrounded by various trees covered in snow and a small smiling snowman that is looking at the whole scene. Of course the protagonist of the scene are the five kids (that are actually four, I'll explain) that are skating in the pond. For example there are two kids together (therefore counted just as one). Probably someone who's teaching her little sister how to skate, seeing at how the little one is holding on the big one. There is also a girl who appear to be almost falling - or is she doing something very acrobatic? More acrobatic is the guy on the opposite side of the pond, ready to run to the other side with his incredible skating skills. More elegant is the other girl near him, busy doing a pirouette with grace and elegance. If this is not enough to like this minifigure, wait, there's more: the four kids aren't standing still, they move! Turn the minifigure on, and you will see them skating in circles to the whole surface of the small lake! It's a relaxing, fascinating and amazing view, that add a lot of atmosphere to your house. A classical scene worth having.

  • Cute
  • Really atmospheric
  • The skaters move!
  • Nice details
  • Not too expensive
  • Handcrafted and handpainted
  • A classical Christmas scene

  • After a few minutes it started to squeak
  • Very noisy
  • Jerky motions
  • The motors are of bad quality


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Department 56 Santa's Wonderland House

Department 56 Santa's Wonderland House
For the majority of people Christmas revolves around Santa Claus and his figure, and for those people the figure of Santa Claus doesn't stop at the man himself, but goes even to his house. Whenever you want Santa Claus to live, his house is always a magical place, full of colors, full of toys and the epitome of Christmas. You can now have Santa's house, or at least what looks like his house... in your house, with this minifigure made as well by Department 56, as sold on Amazon for 158,52 dollars with free shipping. As you can see from the picture, the house is full of details: from the roof, with a sack fo toys near the chimney, to the house itself full of lights and decorations that would make proud any Christmas lover. There is even a wonderfu garland on the door. Around the house there is a railtrack, with a train on it driven by what looks like Santa Claus himsefl! The train goes in circle around the house, passing near some trees covered in snow, under a small arch with the words "Let it snow" on it, all under the gaze of a reindeer. And if you are wondering what there's on the train... but toys, of course! In case it wasn't clear enough, this minifigure is also a animated one: the train does indeed move around the house, following the railtrack, adding a incredible atmosphere to the whole scenario! After all, like a sign on the minifigure says, it's Santa's Wonderland, and it's indeed a place full of magic and wonders.

The minifigure is incredibly well made: completely handcrafted and handpainted, it comes already equipped with a apadter, ready to be used, ready to bring Christmas inside your house.

  • Colorful
  • Tons of details
  • A unique Christmas feeling to the whole thing
  • The train moves around the house
  • Great addition to a Christmas village

  • Arrived without train
    • Very loud
  • Didn't work
  • The base magnet on the railtracks didn't work properly, and the train often goes off tracks



so cozy

While most everyone loves the romantic idea of outdoor ice-skating, I am really drawn to this cozy Santa house. It is nestled in the woods amidst evergreen trees and snow. It looks like a warm and inviting refuge from the cold. You can almost imagine the smell of apple cider and cookies baking as you walk in. It's a very heart-warming image. What conveys the splendor of the Holidays more than the idea of entering into a cozy, safe, and loving home? This would be my choice for sure!
Posted by Mahshiemonalisa on 12-14-2017


From what I read, they appear to be from the same company/brand/etc. and so I'm much more inclined to say "neither" based on the cons listed. It seems like neither figure, as pretty as they might be, was well-designed for use in action (the motor was bad in one, the train doesn't work properly in the other), and I think this says some volumes about the work put into these - which does not appear to be particularly good.
Posted by Linen on 12-14-2017
Yes, those negatives certainly don't give me a great deal of faith in either product! I'd rather buy something with decent reviews that I know will work the way it's intended to!
Posted by amelia88 on 11-20-2018
I am not a Christain and I don't celebrate Christmas. Therefore, I normally do not buy Christmas decoration and other Christmas related items. However, I think Department 56 Santa's Wonderland House is very cute and I am sure my baby will like this.
Posted by vinaya on 12-19-2017
I think I have seen that skating pond in the local duty free shop here one Christmas season. The skaters were moving and it was fun watching it. I was actually entertained that I lingered for a longer time. However, I couldn’t think of buying it because of 2 reasons. First is the exorbitant price tag of $200, if I remember correctly. And the second reason is what if the skaters wouldn’t move anymore? Repairs will be quite impossible since the item is imported.
Posted by Corzhens on 04-08-2018