Houston Llew Retired Spiritiles Explained

Jul 1st 2024

Discovering Spiritiles can be quite an experience.  Like a magnetic pull, their intrigue draws you in visually, mentally, and emotionally.  As you take in all of the positive, nostalgic images paired with endearing, intelligent quotes on display you start to make connections.  You piece together your story and your loved ones' stories.  Sometimes, the story is told through a Spiritile that is marked as "RETIRED".  We are going to unpack here everything you need to know about what a Retired Spiritile is and what it means for you and your investment in the Houston Llew Spiritile collection.  

For those looking for a comprehensive overview of Houston Llew Spiritiles, head over to this page to discover more


First, we'll start with some important information you may have noticed displayed on each Spiritile's page, located alongside the main image to the right.  They are as follows: Status, Availability, Production Dates and Release.  These are fairly self explanatory, but essential bits of information that are to be considered when understanding the value of a particular Spiritile.  

Status will tell us if it's currently being produced, 

Availability assesses how likely we'll be able to get it, 

Production Dates show us when it was being produced and 

Release showcases when it made it's debut. 

When looking at a Spiritile's STATUS, it will appear as one of the following: Active, Limited, or Retired.

Active - currently being produced; 

Limited - currently being produced but with a communicated end date

Retired - no longer being produced.  

This is found here:

The next important piece of information displayed is: Availability.

AVAILABILITY designations, are just that: how available is this Spiritile? In order of scarcity, we have: Limited, Rare, Very Rare, Nearly Gone and Gone. This info is found here:

Because Retired Spiritiles are no longer being produced, their stock is limited and the piece is thus much more valuable. In fact, upon its retirement, the value of a Spiritile increases to about $200. As a Retired Spiritile continues to sell through the marketplace, its value invariably increases. This is where the exclusivity comes in; the fewer there are available, the more expensive the piece becomes. Houston Llew's unique creation process means that the Spiritiles themselves will never fade or degrade, so they will not only hold their beauty, but their value, through generations.

The key here illustrates the market value based on the availability on a sliding scale - as some Retired Spiritiles are more sought after than others.

The next two bits of info - Production Dates and Release - are also valuable tools to determine value and go hand in hand.  The Production Dates give the date range the Spiritile was made and Release tells us when and what collection it was a part of. 

Take, for example, Spiritile #139 Our Land, which ran from 6.7.2013 - 8.2.2013 as a 4th of July commemorative piece; 

or Pop Spiritile #212, which ran from 12.5.2017 - 12.31.2018 as a special New Year's Tile, 

or any of the Holiday Spiritiles - which debut early November and run through December 31st.   

The Holiday Spiritiles are coveted Spiritiles, as they're highly anticipated oh-so collectable.  Their story always rejoices in the real reason for the season and helps kick off the holiday season every year.  

Be sure to get yours - as it is most definitely sure to appreciate in value quickly. 

Now that we've oriented you with the essential bits, let's move on to some practical pieces of information.  


Let's say you've fallen in love with a particular Spiritile that has been marked as Retired, and you need it now!  As we've already illustrated, it may be available.  Check out our "In Stock Retired Spiritile" collection right here to see if we have it in stock, ready to ship .  To find this on your own - go to the   Houston Llew main page, and select the filters on the left side. Shown here: 

OK, so then what happens if it's not there? 

We've got your back. We have connections.

If you see a "PRODUCT REQUEST" / "Submit A Request Form" in place of an "Add to Cart" button,

it means that while we don't have it in stock, we are ready and willing to go on a hunt to find it for you! We have a network of Spiritile enthusiasts that we are in constant contact with. We have had luck finding even the rarest of rare Retired Spiritiles! Put us to work, we are here to assist you! We will do our best to try and locate the piece for you. If you’re a beginning collector, avid collector or simply just want the Spiritile of your dreams, we can help!

So why is it, then, that Houston would even retire a beloved Spiritile creation to begin with?

Houston is motivated to retire Spiritiles in order to keep the entire collection evolving and alive. With every new collection that he creates, he chooses to retire others to ensure that the collection remains relevant and thriving. Sometimes it is simply because he wants to revisit a piece with fresh eyes and fresh artistry. He may decide to create a new Spiritile in a similar vein as an existing design and then retire the prior Spiritile in order to start fresh on the idea. Retirements also offer the chance for exclusivity of ownership, literally being one of only a number that have been created. It is a great motivator for collectors and devoted followers to snap up pieces.

When are Retirements announced? 


Keep an eye out for announcements twice a year - once in the winter (late December/early January) and again in the Summer (late July/early August). If you see that a piece you love is going to be retired, that’s a fantastic time to get the jump on ownership!

BOTTOM LINE: Do you see a Spiritile you like?? GET IT! It may not be around forever and if it is retired it may well be VERY expensive by the time you go to get your hands on it.

View our Retired section to see current values.

Have a retired Spiritile that you want to trade in or sell? Let us know. We will help you if we can. Reach out to us here.

Houston Llew Retired Spiritiles Guide |