For real

Most (if not all) visitors to the Minidorp village world have one or more miniature houses at home. They have often purchased this to a Christmas village or other miniature village to put down. Elsewhere on this site we could already read how the houses are made and how you can make a nice Christmas village. We also read that many houses, and especially the Christmas houses, are often oriented towards the Victorian era. The cozy Christmas period around 1800. However, more and more modern houses have been added and you can also see more local influences.

For example, the Dutch theme has become very popular and winter sports areas in Austria and Germany are true sources of inspiration for the designers.
“For real “means real or serious. What is’ for real’ is therefore not ‘for the non real’. That real stands for the adverb really will be clear. Whereas in the beginning often houses were made according to a fantasy example or certain ideas of the designer (non real), in recent years you see more and more that existing houses entice the designers to copy these striking buildings (for real). Of course the term “real” is informal, spoken and probably not used by the designers, but let us make it clear that the copying of existing buildings is becoming more and more serious.


Some buildings are so clearly recognizable that it is just fun to see the original next to the miniature model. We have listed a few for you …


The best known is of course the Eleven Cities series of Dickensville which is entirely based on the barren skating tour through our own Friesland. Of course the designers of suppliers PeHa from Sneek have checked this tour and get their inspiration from their immediate surroundings. But other brands also show real existing striking buildings in their collections.

a well-known example is of course the Sneker gate from Sneek


For example, Intratuin started several years ago with a series of collector items where each branch has the chance to include a well-known building from their surroundings in the “Holland Specials” collection. Such as the pumping station at Cruquius or the Dom tower of Utrecht and the transmission tower of IJsselstein.

Typically Dutch, the brand of Blokker and Overvecht have been doing this for a long time, making famous Dutch buildings so true to nature. In detail. That is why they were always made of plastic, so they could add more details than in porcelain.

The horse of Marken, the most striking lighthouse of North Holland

The designers of Luville have driven a lot of kilometers through Europe to shoot photos of beautiful houses and buildings in winter sports areas. These houses then had to be put on the plate on all sides and if possible the measurements were measured as accurately as possible. They will have made beautiful journeys with certainly beautiful miniatures as a result.


And Department 56 has many buildings of existing architecture in their collection. not in the last place because they are from many “brands” license holders and therefore cast buildings under these brand names, think of Mc Donalds © and Disney World © But also world famous typical American buildings such as the Empire state building and Grace land of Elvis Presley are not missing in D56 collections.


For example, this house from the movie “A Christmas Story” (which was based on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd) is faithfully reproduced in a small theme about this film. The real house from the movie is in America. In the film there is suddenly a strange lamp in front of the window and even this detail is not forgotten in the miniature. Because the film has become a real classic in America, the house is nowadays an attraction that can be visited daily.


But also the relatively unknown brands are inspired by houses from their surroundings, such as the German Leyk houses in the typical German style, below two beautiful examples of the michelstadtrathaus and the altesrathausschifferstasse.


At Lemax it is more difficult to discover whether they have made copies of existing buildings. At some houses, however, they have clearly been inspired by buildings from all over the world. Think of the Amsterdam canal houses for example. The typical facades are recognizable along the many canals of Amsterdam, only it is not indicated if there is specifically a building model stood. Likewise the most coveted item from the Lemax history, the Tuscany Bell tower. Based on the many bell towers that the Italian region of Tuscany is rich.


Being “inspired” is also seen in all other brands. Particularly Department 56 has many buildings in their collection that have not been copied directly, but where you can see where they got their inspiration from. For example, the Jazz club can be traced back to the Mississippi USA region. The typical balcony fences around the building can be seen in many buildings.

Sometimes designers go very far to approach the original as much as possible, so not only the shape of the house but also façade paintings are applied, or other typical features. If they go that far, it is really the intention to spend that characteristic building. PeHa has in the Eleven cities series some houses that approach the original closely but because of the production it has been slightly different. But if, for example, you look more closely at the Pharmacy of Leeuwarden, it is very clear which building they mean, even the details are not missing.

In the collection for 2018, Department 56 also shows a new house that was recognized by a Facebook member as the holy geist spital kirche in the Bavarian town of Füssen. And indeed we can not deny that this church is clearly involved.

Of course, in addition to houses, there are also items that actually mimic an existing image / figure. Think of the meager bridge in Amsterdam or the female of Stavoren. We find many examples in the Efteling series by Luville. Logically, if you design a series based on an attraction park with millions of visitors. Yet there are deviations in the houses, because it is often technically more difficult to copy the real model. Langnek as an example was first released with a moving neck, as in the Efteling. However, the technique caused many disruptions with complaints. The series of Longnecks released on it were executed as a statue without technology. Yet it is also a “real”


Because there are hundreds of miniatures of existing houses we can not all show them here, but below we show a few examples of miniature and their “big” example … The best thing is of course if a brand does not like it a known building but that we recognize it anyway. Do you remember one? Report it in our Facebook group, preferably in one photo .. and not the Eiffel Tower as the Eiffel Tower but that one building that you recognize by chance! We are curious !!