Harmony Kingdom

The Harmony Kingdom Reference Guide
  Introducing Harmony Kingdom: 1995

Just ten months after Antiquark's initial order arrived to HBC, another chance meeting took place that would irrevocably imprint Harmony Kingdom. While Noel Wiggins was attending the Chicago Gift Show in January 1995, he met Paul Osnain, an expert in the collectibles industry. Noel explained to Paul the difficulty HBC had with copyrighting its jewellery products and retaining customer loyalty due to competition from copycat companies. He then showed Paul HBC's new product line, the Treasure Jests. Noel explained how popular the little boxes were and how people were even beginning to collect them. Paul seized the opportunity and gave Noel invaluable advice on how a proper collectible company operates: a brand name is essential, the pieces should have colourful names and be divided into distinct subsets, some pieces should be limited edition while others should be retired, and a collector's club should be formed.

When Noel returned from Chicago he explained the blueprint to Lisa, who at first was sceptical as she felt that a collectible shouldn't be "planned" but should naturally evolve over many years. Noel convinced her that Treasure Jests were already being collected and setting things up right from the start would benefit potential collectors. So the two immediately put their heads together to come up with the name "Harmony Kingdom." They then named the sixty box figurines currently in the line, retired four of the boxes ("Let's Do Lunch," "Who'd A Thought," "Untouchable," and "Back Scratch"), divided the current selection into categories, introduced the first limited edition piece ("Unbearables"), created the first Harmony Kingdom catalogue, and retained a booth at the International Collectibles Exposition in Long Beach, California, to be held in April, 1995. Paul Osnain even flew to Columbus to assist them at no charge. Harmony Kingdom is forever indebted to Paul for his invaluable and selfless advice.

The first four retired box figurines were selected due to the controversial subject matter ("Let's Do Lunch") or the simplicity of design and lack of humour (the other three selections). Including these four, there were forty-three pieces in the "Small Treasure Jest Series," twelve pieces in the "Large Treasure Jest Series," four pieces in the "Hi-Jinx Series," and the limited edition "Unbearables."

At the Long Beach International Collectibles Exposition in April, collectors were won over by the humour, ingenuity, and detailing of the box figurines, and were further enamoured by their English origins. The fervour has continued ever since. Martin marvels at the growth of Harmony Kingdom: "It seems extraordinary to me that I can be a one-man business in my shed one day, and the next day a creator of fine collectibles sold throughout the world."




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