ABOUT THE RANGE
(Please note that this is just a very simple brief history of the range using my own personal notes & memories, plus newsletters and information from the world collector net )
The range originally appeared in June 1989 under the name "Lilliput Lane, Land of Legend" and most people associate the Lilliput Lane name created by David Tate for the range of miniature cottages, castles and shops etc... and find it hard to believe that they produced fantasy figures like this! The truth is that it started in 1986 when Lilliput Lane were asked to produce some Castles which they promptly did, theses were the first fantasy pieces, there was also "Dennis the Dragon", a dealers sign. These were all produced in the factory based in Penrith in Cumbria in the UK but with sales of the cottages going so well in both the homegrown market and America, it was decided in 1987 to purchase Albany Fine China in Stoke-on-Trent and name the subsidary "Lilliput Lane, Land of Legend Limited" which is why you can see on some of the early pieces the stamp "LLLLL" (as known in the company as "5L". A few ranges under this banner were released like Dream Castles, Dream Dragons, Fantasy Figurines, and The Secret of the Swan Princess, (before the new company was set up, the Dream Dragons sculpted by Tom Raine went under the brand name of "Enchanted Lands" and were sub-contracted to a company called Holland Studio Craft for manufacturing which is funny because HSC were later to release Andrew Bills Enchantica fantasy range) but as far as this section of the site is concerned, it was when David Tate discovered Fantasy sculptor Hap Henriksen in 1988 that things started to get really exciting. (also worth noting is that David Tate discovered Real Musgrave of Pocket Dragon Fame at the same time)
The Hap range originally went under the banner "Wizards, Jesters & Dragons" which as the name suggests, there were three subsections, the most popular being the Wizards & Dragons but even though the Jesters were just a small range, they were great figures! some will say they don't fit in, but I disagree, they fitted Lilliput Lane, Land of Legends wish to create a "History that was and never was" and I feel that the Jesters shouldn't be dismissed, in fact they should be embraced by the collectors
In 1990 Albany Fine China was sold off and Lilliput Lanes CEO, Bill Dodds left and became the owner of "Land of Legends" which he set up with Hap Henriksen & Real Musgrave.
Six out of the nine Jesters were retired in December 1990 meaning they were only around for 18 months, but the remaining three managed to hang on another 2 years until December 1993.
The company name eventually changed to "Collectible World Studios" and the Hap range eventually became known simply as "Wizards & Dragons" losing the "Jesters" from the title.
At it's height, the fantasy figurine market was very strong and the range was extremely succesful even though there was a lot of competition, with the likes of Enchantica by Andrew Bill, Myth & Magic by Tudor Mint, the infamous Pocket Dragons by Real Musgrave and Windstone by Pena, they were all high quality products and all finding their own collector base.
Haps passion for his creations is obvious to anyone who has met him, he didn't just sculpt the characters, he gave them all a story, and this helped to make his pieces special to the collectors, you felt that you knew the Wizards, Jesters & Dragons and that they were real characters from history even though you knew they weren't.
Hap also sculpted a range of Bears for Land of Legends called "Bears Like Us" which for obvious reasons are not really the kind of thing I'm rushing to add to this site.
The range of Wizards and Dragons reached it's ten year anniversary with a few special 10th year specials made, like Decemuirs, Taihun & Trouth but the ranges days were numbered. In the 1999 January edition of the Collectible World News Newsletter, a new Dragon called "Frosisity" and two wall plaques were announced but none of them were officially released (although a small number of the wall plaques did surface on ebay), the range quietly went into retirement.
Eventually Collectible World Studios sadly went into liquidation in May 2006 and the name was eventually bought by a company called Xystos who were at the time buying everything under the sun (Including Enchantica & Myth & Magic) but by this time Haps range had finished and Real Musgrave had announced his retirement so they only got the end of the Pocket Dragons...
The end of an era!
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*Hap did do a range of Dragons for The Dragonsite in 2000/2001 but only a handful were ever released and most of them were smaller than the Dragons the collectors loved, so they didn't take off! There are a fair number of larger pieces that Hap made for the Dragonsite too, but for some unknown reason they haven't been released, and one is along the same size scale of "Keeper of the Ruin" and "The Merchant of Dreams" (if not larger). No Wizards were made for Dragonsite though.