Lemax © (pronounced Léé-max) was founded in 1990 by the Chinese Mr. Jack Lee, President of LIC Limited (a Porcelain / Ceramic Hong Kong company).
Since its establishment in 1990, Lemax has been one of the fastest growing suppliers of illuminated villages. Although the first collections portray typical Victorian buildings and accessories for a Christmas village, they have now also added extensive collections for circus, sea, North Pole and Halloween. From a modest selection of picturesque illuminated villages, the collection has grown into a world of houses, figurines and accessories with more than 2000 items. Collectors from all over the world enjoy collecting and setting up their own Lemax village. The selection of many houses, landscape accessories and figurines offer something for everyone, from novice hobbyists to serious experienced collectors. Lemax is known for beautiful fine details combined with affordable prices. In addition to quality, Lemax is also known among suppliers for their reliable deliveries. The head office is located in Hong Kong. The ten (!) Lemax factories are located in the province of Quangdong, where more than 5,000 people proudly produce more than 1,000,000 houses and 10,000,000 figurines every year. 80% of the turnover is America, 9% Europe, 6% Canada, 2% austalia, and the rest is spread over Asia and South America. What started with houses, grew into houses with sound and eventually houses with sounds and movement. Over the years, old-fashioned, artisanal production has had an update with contemporary animation technology, but Lemax never sacrificed the unique, hand-painted porcelain pieces that collectors like the Lemax standard are used to.
The first Lemax products appeared in the Netherlands, in a catalog from importer Edelman B.V. only in 1998 as a small part of their extensive Christmas collection. About 3 pages with some houses and dolls. The demand for the Europe market really grew from that time on.
Since January 2, 2006 lemax has an Office annex showroom in Europe.
The company achieved a stable top position on the American market and this was the basis for the expansion on the European market. Having your own office in the heart of Europe was a logical step to meet the needs of the consumer and the contract with Edelman B.V. was canceled. Lemax Europe B.V. imports the Lemax items from China and distributes them via a dealer network that stretches across Europe and the Middle East. By removing the brokering, the price could be adjusted approximately 30% downwards in favor of the consumer. The activities are managed from the head office of Lemax Europe in Roelofarendsveen. The 1,200 dealers are mainly garden centers, department stores and Christmas shops. Lemax Europe also supplies companies in, for example, the business gifts market.
The activities of Lemax Europe are strongly seasonal. The sale takes place from December to April, after which the orders go to China in May and June. Delivery of the orders takes place in June, July and August, so that the dealers can set up store shelves and displays well before Christmas. For the consumer, Lemax is then available from mid-October to the end of December. Although some online shops offer their goods throughout the year.
Houses of Lemax are made of hand painted porcelain and the figurines of polystone. Many of the Lemax pieces have besides lighting also animated parts and three-dimensional scenes visible through their windows. Lemax is known as the supplier of the total concept for a village, so next to houses there are all sorts of accessories available such as lanterns, trees, bridges and means of transport (trains, carriages and cars). Lemax also has limited editions such as the Village Hardware Company. This limited edition item is from the Vail Collection and was only available in 2008. Click here for the themes of Lemax or look in the sub-menu.
Lemax also has special exclusives. These are exclusively designed items and manufactured for the shop chains of Kmart, Michaels, Sears and Gift Spice in the USA. These exclusive items are designed with input collected by these retailers, creating a unique and distinctive product that is sold exclusively in their stores or online websites for one or two years. Some items come into the ordinary collection the following year and some disappear from the collection. Intratuin Nederland has also had its exclusive item for one season, the façade “Lemax Parisian Stairs”.
All items from Lemax are hand painted
Lemax from lamp to LED
In anticipation of legislation, Lemax replaced all incandescent light bulbs for the very efficient LED lamps since 2010. By means of a new technique these lamps give a comparative beam as the old light bulbs, in contrast to the older forms of LED. From now on, all houses will be equipped with a LED lamp on 4.5v battery connection. These battery cabinets do have a connection for your 4.5v adapter so that they can be used without a battery. In 2011 we started with the standardization of adapters and slowly all items are executed in 4.5v. For example, it is possible that lanterns are in circulation on 3V (stock from before 2011) and the same version in 4.5V. For the time being, the adapters remain available in both voltage and connection.
In 2017 Lemax introduced the Led Bulb “Moonlander” On the image you can see that the Lemax Led Bulb Moonlander
has an on / off switch and a direct connection option for a battery box or Lemax 4.5 Volt adapter. The Lemax Led Bulb Moonlander is suitable for all Lemax houses with a round hole in the back of the house.
In 2007 and 2010 the founder of the Dutch forum Kerstdorpen.nl, Niels visited Mr. Lee in Hong Kong. As far as we know, this is the only photo “inside” the head office of LIC Limited / Lemax. (photo © Niels van Willigenburg with Jack Lee)
Lemax Europe © and the MinidorpClub
Lemax Europe has been one of the main sponsors of the Minidorp Club for many years. In addition to their support and “give-a-way” prizes for lotteries, employees open their doors once a year exclusively for a handful of members of the club (see our club agenda). On such an open day we may take a look at the showroom, which would otherwise only be open to retail. In addition to getting to know the employees and enjoying all the firsts, the invited club members also jointly create a small village, which then serves as the shop poster that year. Lemax Europe is always open to input and ideas from the end user. For example, the idea of our member, Grandpa Mustache (Herman l’ecluse) went into production in 2012 and was surprised during an open day with the very first Lemax “Learn to Ski”.
An incredibly successful item and following this was the Lemax ‘You Name It, We Create It’ contest, where fans were challenged to design a special edition for the 2015 Spooky Town collection. (Lemax celebrated its silver jubilee in 2015) Winner was the collector Cassie Hancock from the USA, who created the Banshee’s Boo-B-Traps. The contest, held in October 2013, saw many great design ideas, but in the end it was the haunting Hancock store that collected and won the most votes on social media.
Lemax published an annual catalog with all items up to and including 2007. however, since 2008 the catalog has been replaced by a flyer with the latest collections and they have stopped distributing their catalog for consumers.
below two drawings of Lemax designs before production.