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The Pipka Collection

By Michele Johnson

One of the First Six Figurines, Star Catcher Santa
One of the First Six Figurines, Star Catcher Santa

In 1995 we attended our first Collectible Show in West Bend, Indiana. Booths were filled from floor to ceiling with hundreds of collectible items. We had a small booth and only 6 figurines, the Star Coat Santa, Star Catcher Santa, Midnight Visitor, Gingerbread Santa, Santa’s Ark and the Czechoslovakian Santa. We placed them on a mantle and hoped someone would notice us. They did. At that time, people were accustomed to seeing the Coca-Cola version of Santa, a jolly man with a big belly and a twinkle in his eyes. The Pipka Santas were old world Santas with handsome faces, elegantly dressed and holding vintage toys. The Pipka Santas stood out in the crowd.

It all began in 1994 when Pipka met two entrepreneurs from Kansas, Gary Meidinger and Michele Johnson. These two friends shared Pipka’s vision and started a company, Prizm inc., to manufacture her designs. 25 years later, we were still making Santas of the world and traveling all over the country to share Pipka’s beautiful art!


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