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Royal Doulton Bunnykins - 3rd Edition
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The third edition of Royal Doulton Bunnykins was released November 20th, 2003, in North America and December 5th, 2003, in the United Kingdom. This edition is slightly larger than the previous, with 360 pages of text and 32 pages of colour. A 6% increase over the 2nd edition. Additional information in the Bunnykins Commemoratives section, plus the new additions to the figurine section account for this increase. DB1 through DB313 is now listed and priced. Commemorative wares incorporating the 2003 Bunnykins Extravaganza Event in Stoke, May 11th and 12th, are now listed.
The transfer of the production of Bunnykins figures to China has certainly caused a disturbance in the Bunnykins market. There are those who feel Barbara Vernon’s creations will never be the same, and then there are those of us who feel that her compassion is not so prophetical as to confine her creations to any particular country.
Bunnykins has entered a new phase, they have become a global collectable, like the figures of Walt Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, Coalport’s Snowman, and Border Fine Arts’ Beatrix Potter, all had their roots in the United Kingdom. All now compete in a very competitive market place, and all are produced in the Far East. It is interesting to note that the most outspoken opponent of the new Bunnies promotes a Snowman Series which is manufactured in the same area.
For all the hoopla of Bunnykins sinking into to the sunset, it certainly is not confirmed by the pricing trends in to 2004. The 3rd edition catalogue prices are ten to fifteen per cent higher than those in the second edition. Over 70% of the DB numbers rose in price, while 17% were even in price with the 2nd edition, and only 11% moved into negative territory. The slight down turn in prices (11%) happened mainly in limited edition issues, maybe they ran too high, too fast. Markets correct, it is a sad fact of life, but they will move higher again in the future. Maybe the quantities and issue prices of the limited editions should be examined for the next year or two.
Bunnykins figurines are coming of age, evolving into three main markets: the gift or general issue market, collectable limited edition issues, and the yearly event or commemorative issues. The gift or general issues are now relatively inexpensive and distributed worldwide, making them the collectable of the future. Production numbers of 5,000 to 20,000 pieces, at four bunnies to each outlet, is meaningless in a market when you are able to sell through 2500 retail outlets worldwide. That is only 2 to 8 bunnies per store in a global market place that counts the eligible buyers in the hundreds of millions.
New discoveries over the past two years in nursery ware shape / pattern combinations have been incorporated in to the listings. Prices have been revised. Even with over three editions of accumulated experience behind us, prices are still not fully developed due to the many hundreds of variables, however, the corner has been turned and the 3rd edition prices are the most accurate yet. New finds in Fine White China nursery ware are added, along with pricing for the individual shapes and patterns. We must caution the collector on these prices however, as they are the first listings and our emphasis is on “indications only.” Due to the rarity of white china shapes, pricing is still between the buyer and seller.
This guide is the most comprehensive and informative of its kind on the market today. The only guide to offer the collector a clear insight in to the happenings of the Bunnykins market.
3rd Edition Author: J Dale & L Irvine Editor: Jean Dale Release Date: November 2003 392 pages ISBN 0-88968-282-8