Deutsches Haus Newsletters
Doll Types Explained
you know that doll collecting is rated as the second
biggest collectible hobby in the United States?
With all the different doll manufacturers
there are today, it can sometimes get confusing on what kind of doll
is best to buy. Besides having to determine which manufacturer is the
best one to go with, you then need to figure out which kind of doll
is suited best for the purpose. Do you want a hand crafted doll, Artist
doll, play doll, designer doll, licensed doll? It can get confusing.
Which manufacturer you go with is a matter
of personal taste. Germany although, is known throughout the world for
their quality made dolls. There have been many countries that have tried
to follow but have never been able to match. To this day, Germany is
still the leader in quality doll production.
No matter which manufacturer you decide
to go with, there are still other considerations. The following is a
list of the different types of dolls most manufacturers produce today.
These dolls are specialty dolls often designed to look very much like
a real child or person and are among the most expensive. Most often,
they are produced in limited editions making it more affordable for
the merchants and customers to buy. Newly made original Artist
dolls can cost up to and over $5,000. That's a hefty price to pay for
most doll collectors. Once the dolls are sold out, the mold is broken
and the dolls are not made again. This is another reason for the high
The artists that make these dolls usually
have contracts with specific manufacturers. For example, Hildegard Guenzel
is a well known artist that produces dolls for Goetz.
Artist dolls are not the type of doll you
would want to buy for child's play. These sorts of dolls are bought
mostly by doll collectors between the ages of 30 - 45 and average in
price of around $600 give or take a few hundred.
These dolls can also be made by artists as well as the companies that
manufacturer them. A variation doll is a doll that stays in production
usually for a few years or longer. From year to year certain features
of the doll may change. It may be something as simple as a different
outfit, or the hair style or face shape may change a bit in the following
year. Schildkroet is a good example of this. They carry a classic collection
line of dolls which pretty much stays the same year after year. Each
year you may see slight variations in the same dolls.
Variation dolls are not as expensive as
Artist dolls. They can start as low as $40 on up to $500 or more.
Classic Collection Dolls
Classic dolls are usually replicas of older dolls dating back to the
late 1800's to early 1900's. I have even seen some replicas from earlier
dates. They usually come in limited editions and average in prices from
$100 - $500 depending on the manufacturer. These types of dolls are
usually bought by people that remember having a doll of this sort as
a child. These dolls should sit on a shelf for display only.
Hand Crafted Dolls
These dolls can be manufactured by the companies themselves or sometimes
you will even find these dolls designed by artists. Some can come with
certificates and others wont. It can vary. These dolls can be played
with and are usually a higher quality than the simple "play doll"
varieties. Facial features may be more realistic and the materials are
designed with play in mind, meaning you will find many of the soft bodied
and bath babies in this category. These dolls are mostly bought for
older children. Hand Crafted dolls are also sought after by collectors..
These dolls are dolls that the manufacturer has licensing rights to
sell or produce. For example, Goetz manufacturers a "Harry Potter"
doll under a special licensing agreement. Engel-Puppen has a special
licensing agreement with Goebel to produce the Hummel dolls. These dolls
can vary from expensive limited editions to play dolls.
Play dolls are made especially for children. They are designed to be
dragged around by an arm, left lying on the floor for you to trip over,
squeezed to death, spanked and thrown in a toy box.
There are hundreds of variations of play
dolls. Some designed for a little less play in mind to the ones that
couldn't break if a bulldozer ran over it. Manufacturers of play dolls
are always careful to make sure the dolls are made of non-toxic materials
and flame retardant clothing. Most of these dolls are made especially
soft for children's play and includes the bath babies as well. Many
of them are very easy to clean just by putting them in a tied pillow
case and into the washing machine.
In closing, the doll you decide to purchase
most likely will be one that just strikes you, no matter who made the
doll. Most often, this is how dolls are purchased. You see a doll in
the window that either reminds you of your childhood, or one that has
a striking resemblance to a loved one. Many times, this is all it takes,
and before you know it, you have the doll in your hands.