Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky) became the historical site for the craft of glass Christmas decorations, starting in 1936, when the Gorky fishing and cooperative artel Children's Toy was organized. It included a glass-blowing art workshop for the manufacture of Christmas toys. In 1946, the enterprise became a member of the Union of Industrial Artels Manufacturing Products of an Artistic Orientation, and received the status of an artistic craft enterprise in the Gorky Region.
The path to today of the Nizhny Novgorod Christmas tree toy was not easy. She survived the war years of 1941-1945, joining the solution to the general tasks of helping the front, when along with toys glass blowers blew out medical devices and laboratory glassware. The hard work of wartime toy-makers laid a serious foundation for the further development of art crafts, and then factory toys.
During the years of perestroika after the collapse of the USSR, glassblowers and artists had to learn to work in the new economic conditions. Another competitive toy was needed.
In 1996, a new history of the production of Christmas-tree decorations began in Nizhny Novgorod. At the Ariel Glass Christmas-tree Decorations Factory, the foundation is laid for a future unique school of glass painting art, which will bring worldwide fame to Nizhny Novgorod craftsmen a few years later. The factory staff not only quickly mastered the technical features of labor-intensive glass-blowing production, but also took a decisive step in updating the artistic repertoire (product range). Along with the traditional decorative coloring of toys, a new direction arose - thematic painting on glass. Over the years, new expressive means accumulated, a series of balls appeared, which became collectible. These include the Moscow Metro series of balloons made for the 75th anniversary of the Moscow Metro, Little Prince balloons and candlesticks using author's drawings, the Winter Watercolors series, and many other collections.
However, the bulk of the products are designed to decorate the Christmas tree. These are glass figures, forms for which are developed by the factory masters. Each toy character has its own character - a proud tradeswoman with a samovar, a good-natured king, a perky dancer, a serious hunter and a fisherman pleased with the catch. The Russian style of Ariel Christmas tree decorations makes them recognizable and loved among adults and children.
In 2013, the “Christmas tree toy house” was opened at the factory, which houses a museum and a toy store.