Spielwarenmesse: Toy innovations 2019: Dolls, Soft Toys

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Toy innovations 2019: Dolls, Soft Toys

from Harald Hemmerlein

While in the past, it was sheer imagination that made dolls and soft toy animals come alive, these days, there are some great technical features that assist with this magical transformation. Children's toy companions are having ever more game functions added to them and they often encourage children to learn – or even learn themselves. Here's a small selection of the new products that 2019 has to offer.

Role models from different cultures

The Doll Factory Europe, S.L
The Doll Factory Europe, S.L

Toys are also cultural goods. This is something that becomes particularly obvious with dolls. The vinyl dolls of the Spanish company The Doll Factory Europe, S.L. (Hall 1/D-11) stand out on account of their particularly realistic facial features. They come in many skin colours, with numerous ethnic characteristics and different hairstyles. Their facial expressions reflect a wide range of human emotions. The premium doll catalogue is aimed specifically at educational institutions such as kindergartens, preschools or hospitals.

Children want to re-enact the world as they know it. For Muslim children, their role models simply look different than those for many other children. The Desi Doll Company Ltd. from the United Kingdom (Hall 1/B-20) offers plush dolls that take this aspect into account.

The Desi Doll Company Ltd.
The Desi Doll Company Ltd.

The 30-centimetre high dolls are called Maryam, Fatima, Hana, Zakariya and Mohamed. All the dolls come in different skin colours. The dolls from the "My little Muslim Friends" range speak single sentences when you press their hands.

Barbie is celebrating her 60th anniversary as an astronaut! This is the most spectacular job of probably the most prominent representative of all the dress-up dolls. With the right clothes, accessories, different body shapes, skin tones, eye colours, and hairstyles, the Barbies from Mattel, Inc. (Hall 12.2/P-15) offer endless storytelling fun. Girls can collect the Barbie career dolls and toys and act out the careers that they aspire to.

Dollhouses for larger residents, too

Dollhouses offer the classic stage for role-playing games. These days, they are normally designed more for small dolls and characters. Under the KRASATOYS brand, the Russian company PapkaPrint CO., Ltd. (Hall 1/C-18B) offers the dollhouse called "Cottage Svetlana" for dolls that are up to 16 cm in size. The house consists of plastic parts that can be easily combined with each other in many different ways.

"Question Heroes" and Bibi the Witch

The FRAGENHELDEN ("Question Heroes") from the German company of the same name (Hall 3A/D-02) have a wealth of exciting questions and ideas for a million stories in their luggage. Badges are placed on the plush heroes that trigger different actions. Children can decide whether they want to hear a story or interactively intervene in what's happening. What's new this year is a multifunctional pen that adds a lot of new functions to the storytelling and play options. It includes, for example, a snooze function.

The "Bibi & Tina" hand puppets from HEUNEC GmbH & Co.KG from Germany (Hall 12.2/P-14) are a good example of licensed products in the doll segment. You can choose between "Bibi", a teenage witch, and her horse-loving friend "Tina". The area of role play, which is so important for children, finds a tangible outlet with these toys when it comes to imaginatively acting out ideas from the world of Bibi Blocksberg and her companions.

Special plush experiences

Sophie la girafe / VULLI S.A.S
Sophie la girafe / VULLI S.A.S

And from the same supplier comes Pegasus, the winged horse. For all small riders and fans of mythical animals, the object of their longings now comes in the form of a child-friendly standing horse in the nursery. It has wings and a long shimmering mane, allowing for realistic play experience. Pegasus has fluffy hair that children can brush and a mane and tail they can comb.

Then there is the interactive plush giraffe from French company VULLI S.A.S. (Hall 2/B-03). "Sophie la girafe" can compose, all by herself, melodies from sounds triggered by the touch of sensors on her hooves.

The Sweet Dreams cuddly toy penguin from German company NICI GmbH (Hall 1/E-05, F-04) is an original combination of a toy and a cushion, allowing parents and children to develop a pleasant go-to-sleep ritual. When it's time to go to sleep, just pull the nightcap over the penguin's face. After waking up, you push it back up on the penguin's head again.

Coral the Crab / International Bon Ton B.V.
Coral the Crab / International Bon Ton B.V.

A bright statement for environmental protection

If, whenever you hear the word 'soft toy', you only think of cute plush creatures that are extremely cuddly, then you could be missing out on a lot. The plush toy called "Coral the Crab" from Dutch company International Bon Ton B.V. (Hall 2/C-06) is a bright red statement for environmental protection. Twelve per cent of the wholesale revenues go to the WWF. And yet, the crab is also naturally suitable as a cuddly animal. Like all products belonging to the "WWF Cub Club", it's made of high-quality, eco-friendly plush material and complies with the highest quality standards in the industry.


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Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

Mentioned product groups:

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