As of July 2015, items on the Department 56 retired list include items from the December 2014 Villages, Snowbabies and Possible Dreams collections. Department 56 publishes its retirement list on the first Friday in November of every year in the Collecting section of its website.
Every year, Department 56 chooses products to retire from future production. The company breaks those molds, enhancing the value of retired items as collectibles. Customers on the website are able to create a custom list of retired Department 56 items for a given collection or time period by selecting a collection name, a retirement date, or both. Items are listed by name and number and include the item's retail price. Although the Department 56 website offers a limited selection of item photos and descriptions, information on retired items is readily available online from independent Department 56 sellers.
Department 56 designs its figurines, gift items, and decorations for all traditional holiday seasons and for year-round "village" displays including buildings, characters and scenery. As of 2015, the company's retired list includes holiday and village items dating from 1979 to 2014. The company does not provide information on the current value of its collectibles and recommends that collectors refer to Treasures Magazine for valuations.