Humour, inclusion and glitter
Things are easier if you take them in good humour, which is also true in the doll world. And if you have enough toilet paper and noodles in times of COVID-19, nothing can go wrong, even for dolls. With the Corona Survival Kit by Heless GmbH from Germany, doll parents can integrate the current situation into their roleplay and get their dolls safe and sound through the times of COVID. The set includes a face mask for dolls, toilet paper out of crepe and cloth noodles for the doll kitchen.
Spanish company MINILAND S.A. wants for all ethnicities and people in the world, whether with or without disability, such as down syndrome, to be represented in the world of dolls in all of their diversity. The attitude behind this is that a good upbringing does not succeed through indoctrination, but rather through empathy. The dolls by MINLAND are available in a variety of ethnicities and genders. New this year is a Black doll with the typical facial features of a person with down syndrome. All dolls are equipped with moveable joints and are handmade.
Barbie by Mattel is going a completely unique and surprising way. Every colour reveal doll reveals its individual appearance only after being dipped and waved around underwater. Only then are the numerous and various combinations of eye colour, metallic hair, skin tone and metallic shimmering stockings truly revealed. Various hairstyles, glitter skirts, shoes and earrings can be added to create completely customised dolls that are all about glitter.
Licensed articles and creativity
Away from the licensed articles dominating the soft toys sector, designers and product developers are showing a lot of creativity. The Czech company Woodyland s.r.o. provides an illustrated booklet telling a story about each of their creations in the Lumpin plush collection. For example, the story of Alfons, the wolf in sheep's clothing who does not give the sheep in the Bohemian Forest a moment's rest.
The first day of school is a highly emotional event for everyone involved. The German company HEUNEC GmbH & Co. KG has just the thing for everyone who wants to give their child a pleasant memory of this memorable day, the BEAR BACK TO SCHOOL. The bears are available in two variants, cream or light brown. It comes with a t-shirt in either yellow or white with wishes for a good start in school.
Innovation is also happening in materials. Margarete Steiff GmbH in Germany is now using the innovative visco-elastic foam. With the help of the memory effect, this foam ensures that the Heavenly Hugs Benno teddy bear returns to its original shape after the most intense of cuddle attacks. The open-pore cell structure of the filling material increases air circulation. The filling aligns itself to any body shape and provides for an optimal distribution of pressure, making even lying on the teddy bear especially comfortable for children.
French company DOUDOU ET COMPAGNIE has presented an innovation that highlights the gift article-character of plush toys with HAPPY DOUDOU TO YOU. Five new bunnies in modern designs with white fur and many spots of colour are available in two designs, respectively, as either a cuddle blanket or snuggle blanket with lots of details and various surface structures to stimulate babies' senses.
Technology has long made its way into plush articles. At US-based Wild Republic Europe (European branch in Denmark), plush birds now chirp like their real-life models. The Birds With Sounds even look like them, too. The bird songs were made available by CEBA, the Centre Bioacoustique Alpin, Europe.