Gotz is a long time favourite brand of mine. It's the brand I remember from my childhood. I remember seeing the dolls behind glass cases at Hamley's on the top floor when we made family trips to London; perhaps you remember them there, too ?

The brand is very different today, it offers many play dolls at reasonable prices and very few collectible dolls at all. Gotz is a name associated with quality dolls and beautiful dolls, and it always has been.

These dolls are very attractive to parents looking for a special play doll for their child - one that merits the cost of the purchase. Their aspirations are for their child to bond with the doll and to gain a deep sense of joy from having something so precious and desirable to play with .

Gotz play dolls are often sought by adults who appreciate true works of art at the price of a child's toy.

 

It's great to have the opportunity to go to the Toy Fair in Nuremberg, to see the brand new 2015 collection and to meet the Gotz family. They are an inspiration in so many ways, not least because the business is still family owned and run - in its seventh decade. There's always such a lot of energy and excitement in the Gotz booth. I personally love the bar within the booth and the snacks on offer, plus of course the coffee!

I hear stories of how Marianne Gotz who set up the company with her husband in the 1950's, is still very much a sprightly woman, mother and grandmother who drives her teenage grandchildren to their social arrangements. I know she still bakes hundreds of biscuits each year for the visitors to the Gotz booth to enjoy whilst they're there. They are even packaged and given as little gifts to the visitors on their departure. There are several varieties too, and they're so unusual but delicious!

The company is now run and has been since 2000, by daughter Anke Gotz-Beyer and husband Uwe Beyer (who is the son of artist Hildegard Gunzel - what a great alliance for Gotz fans!). Although I've never met Marianne Gotz I really do imagine when I meet Anke that they must be alike, because she is stylish, absolutely full of energy and presence, and exciting to be around, always open to ideas and with a pen and paper making notes, questioning views or suggestions and contributing thoughts. I imagine that this dynamism must run through the blood of this remarkable family.

I'm sure you all really want to know about this year's Gotz collection of dolls, clothes and accessories that are on offer at My Doll Best Friend!

The most exclusive range of Gotz play dolls is the Classic Kidz collection of multi-jointed exquisitely dressed 19" dolls and this has been designed by Hildegard Gunzel. In the collection is Laura returning from 2014, and Lena and Luisa both dressed in new outfits for 2015. Vroni is now not part of the Classic Kidz as she has been discontinued.

Gotz Classic Kidz Laura
Gotz Classic Kidz Laura
Gotz Classic Kidz Lena
Gotz Classic Kidz Lena
Gotz Classic Kidz Luisa
Gotz Classic Kidz Luisa
Gotz Classic Kidz Luisa

Then there's the Happy Kidz range of dolls consisting of 6 dolls this year and priced considerably lower at £85 rather than £130. These dolls are particularly good value as essentially the dolls have the same bodies and faces as the Classic Kidz, just less designer clothing.

Katie the new and exciting doll this year for doll lovers who regularly buy Gotz dolls! She has a new hair/eye/mould combination and she's available in the Happy Kidz collection. She has cute little freckles, long fibre lashes, rooted deep red hair and natural blush. Her outfit has been designed by Anke. Katie wears black rimmed glasses and a black 'fascinator' style hat hairband. Her glasses have been placed in her hair for this photo so that you can see her gorgeous face. The fascinator hairband is a recurring theme this year in the Gotz collection, as you will see soon.

Gotz Happy Kidz Katie
Gotz Happy Kidz Katie
Gotz Happy Kidz Katie
Gotz Happy Kidz Katie

Sophie is a multi-jointed ballerina doll who is very graceful, and popular with everybody because of her big brown eyes, pleasant expression and long glossy brown hair.

Gotz Happy Kidz Sophie

Anna is the multi-jointed horse-riding doll. She wears a very attractive equestrian costume.

Gotz Happy Kidz Anna

The horse you see below arrived mid-2014 and was a Christmas best seller. It's so special because of its size, saddle and adjustable stirrups. That's not all - the horse has combing mane and tail which can be braided and styled as desired - the horse even comes with a hairbrush for this purpose!

Gotz Happy Kidz Anna

Happy Kidz Clara has the same face/eye/mould combination as Happy Kidz Sophie but she has a centre parting and rather than being dressed for ballet, she wears a pink fur coat and sparkly shoes.

Gotz Happy Kidz Clara

Happy Kidz Emily is very beautiful with her big brown eyes and blonde hair.

Gotz Happy Kidz Emily

Emily isn't quite the last of the Happy Kidz collection in 2015 - there's another doll.
Gotz is always thinking about new ideas, which is how they come to adapt and move into each decade - new ideas, new collaborations with a continued adherence to beauty, quality.

A project that Gotz has worked on most recently has been the the competition they set the Munich Design School students which was voted for by the general public. The winning doll was to be manufactured, complete with her student designed outfit and you can see it directly below. This doll in her outfit is available to purchase in 2015 as part of the Happy Kidz range.

Gotz Winning Design School Anna 
Gotz Winning Design School Anna

Whilst Design School Anna was the doll who won the most votes overall and therefore was manufactured exactly as designed by the student, there were other winners. The winners had their outfits created by Gotz as part of the 2015 collection, and you can see them below. Please note that it's just the outfits that are available and not the dolls which were customised by Gotz for the purpose of the competition only.

 

This is a ball gown, necklace and shoes set - particularly welcome as it's such a departure from the casual, practical clothes that Gotz focus on making. I love the sparkly collar necklace.

 

 

 

This is another winning design, with many pieces for lots of mix and match potential.

 

This is a further winning outfit;

Below is an original example of a Bavarian costume created by a design school competition entrant. Folklore costumes play a huge role in Bavarian life, more so than in any other state of Germany. The saying goes that: "Clothed in a dirndl or lederhosen you are always dressed to perfection." Folklore dress not only is and always will be a fashionable way to dress but it will always represent an essential aspect of Bavarian culture, which is possibly why it was also a winner.

 

 

The whole idea of engaging creative play is at the heart of the Gotz brand - healthy, educational child development is core to its ethos and this is why you see so many items for play. This is the perspective from which the Gotz team each year begin designing - they think about children at play.

Children learn to deal with emotions and situations in a conscious way through play and they develop abilities like perception, recall, thinking and empathy. The dolls, clothes and accessories are the tools for this development.

Hannah dolls were introduced in 2004, first called Sarah's World, and these dolls have purpose! They are dolls with a destiny who come with a spare set of clothes and or accessories to assist them in the role. In play a child can be any of the things they are not in the real world, so a ballerina, a horse-rider, a fashion designer, a Princess etc and they can live what they think it might be like through playing with their doll.

The Hannah dolls in the current collection are below along with their accessories and or extra outfit.

This is Hannah and her dog - not just 'man's' best friend, but doll's best friend and girl's best friend, as this doll returns every single year with her dog - sometimes a white dog, sometimes a black dog - and always dressed ready for walkies!

Gotz Hannah & Her Dog

Hannah's dog wears a collar and lead and a cute dog coat that co-ordinates with what she wears.

Gotz Hannah & Her Dog

Hannah Hair Stylist has the career that lots of young girls would like - hairdresser!

Gotz Hannah Hair Stylist
Gotz Hannah Hair Stylist

Hannah as a Princess is a fairytale doll who lives the life of a princess, but like Cinderella, has a different look for the day - in her case it's jeans not rags!

Gotz Hannah as a Princess
Gotz Hannah as a Princess

Hannah Happy Birthday is having a birthday! She comes with cakes to share with her friends.

Gotz Hannah Happy Birthday
Gotz Hannah Happy Birthday

Hannah loves Horse-Riding, and here she is dressed appropriately to muck out the stables and groom her horse. She also comes with a dressage outfit to change into for the horse show.

Gotz Hannah Loves Horse-Riding
Gotz Hannah Loves Horse-Riding

Hannah as a Ballerina has blonde hair and white skin, black hair and Asian skin or black hair and African skin. Each doll has a different face mould as we don't all share the same bone structure. This is good recognition and celebration of cultural beauty and difference, but love of the same pursuits.

Gotz Hannah at the Ballet
(Sophie on the right below is a Happy Kidz doll, not a Hannah doll)
Gotz Hannah at the Ballet dolls

The neutral facial expression of Gotz dolls is intentional because it enables the child to feel understood in all emotional states, such as joy sadness affection or fear.

The human like appearance of a doll like Hannah makes her a child's 'best friend' very soon.

Hannah at the Design Studio is a fashion designer - was she perhaps inspired by the Gotz Design School project, or was she the inspiration for it? I don't know but I'm sure there is some connection.

Gotz Hannah at the Design Studio

She comes with the adjustable height tailor's dummy plus a sewing kit, patterns and fabric for a creative child to make their own doll clothes for Hannah to wear. Personally, I think this is inspired and I would have loved it as a child!

Gotz Hannah at the Design Studio

There's another range of Gotz dolls that can share clothes with the Classic Kidz, Happy Kidz and Hannah dolls and this is the Precious Day collection of Elisabeth, Jessica and Julia. These dolls are very suitable for young children as they have soft bodies for cuddling, can be carefully machine washed if they become dirty, and have closing eyes. These dolls are less expensive too, at £54.99.

Gotz Precious Day Elisabeth

I love Jessica's ears!

Gotz Precious Day Jessica
Gotz Precious Day Julia

Children enjoy undressing, redressing and restyling their dolls, creating many combinations of looks from a few well chosen pieces. They immerse themselves in their own world of thoughts, feelings and stories.

The ever increasing clothes and accessories range is exciting for a child wanting to play and create so many stories. All Gotz doll garments are perfectly finished such as buttonholes, pockets and embroidery. Many variations in the clothes and accessories promote the development of a child's fine motor skills.

This is a particularly beautiful set of clothes which includes the shoes, worn by Hannah (and her Dog).

 

This ice blue ice-skating outfit is new for 2015.
Here's the recurring fascinator hairband this time in white. It's fun and fresh in the doll world and offers up some good potential for a story - wedding anyone?

The outfit is sold as a set which includes the shoes, and comes in beautiful Gotz packaging as always - Gotz clothes are always perfect to give as a gift.

I love this outfit! It has ears again - ears and fascinator hairbands are very 2015 at Gotz!

Aren't the shoes cute? Very Marc Jacobs inspired!

 

This is the very popular Gotz Rainy Day set. The set consists of raincoat, hat, umbrella and boots and fits many 18" dolls. Hannah wears a pretty Summer dress underneath.

Gotz Rainy Day Set

Two sets below: The Gotz Skis & Accessories set and the Gotz Ski Suit & Mittens. We love the skis and the poles for their authenticity, play value and actual design - the poles stay on the hands and the doll is perfectly balanced on her skis!

Gotz Skis & Accessories
This tennis outfit is new this year - I like the sun visor with the dress.
The roller skates set is excellent and comes with the helmet which can also be used with the rock climbing accessories and the bicycle seat.
Gotz Roller Skates Set
Gotz Roller Skates Set
There are many more activities that Gotz dolls have exactly the right accessories for that haven't been photographed.
So many stories can evolve.
Shh! Emily is meditating, sat on her yoga mat below.
Gotz Yoga Set
Some of the clothing and accessories range was displayed on coat hangers and on shelves, much as it would be in a physical shop.
This is a fun bright new dress, t-shirt and again, fascinator style hat combination.

 

 

Love these very bright orange sandals for Summer!

Cute heart earmuffs!

I cannot wait to try this dress and sparkly shoes on a doll, I know it's going to look spectacular.

Part of the new Basics range which consists of lots of small priced separates is this anorak, so you can buy a doll and a coat for when it's going out - you don't need to buy a whole extra outfit to get the coat anymore.

Cute new wellies for 2015.

There are many more accessories that you'll be able to see on the website soon.

Gotz have brought out a fantastic white wooden loft bed with ladders to climb to the top bunk, a fitted dressing table and separate chair, long mirror, wardrobe with 3 wooden hangers and drawers - plus the bed comes with bedding. The photos don't do it justice, it's a great piece of furniture.

Gotz Loft Bed
Gotz Loft Bed

The loft bed matches with the white wooden vanity table and salon hairdressing chair.

Gotz Vanity Table

Cook in the garden or on the beach with this fully furnished barbecue complete with food, utensil, logs, apron and cooking gloves.

Gotz Barbecue Set

Try baking for a party and make this set of food. The cake has a lid so that the biscuits and cupcakes can be stored inside.

Gotz Baking Set

New for 2015 is the fairytale white unicorn which is the same size as the large combing horse. It too has hair for mane and tail. The unicorn is the perfect 'horse' for a bareback riding Princess - what great stories the creative mind can make with these beautiful doll accessories! (I wish I were a child again!).

The combining horse again, with Happy Kidz Anna holding the reins.

Gotz Combing Horse
Gotz Combing Horse

Gotz is deservedly respected worldwide for being a leading children's play doll brand and is known for its reliable high quality products. Each year we see the addition of new products that are destined to appeal to the likes and interests of children, whether it be the fascinator hats, the cats ears hairbands or the ladybird wellington boots, Gotz are not afraid to try new things and evolve.

Thank you to the Gotz family for allowing me to take my own photos of the 2015 dolls and accessories at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. What I hope you can see is that there's a very wide range of beautiful Gotz dolls, clothes and accessories available. A huge amount of thought and passion goes into development of the doll collections every year, to continue to make it what it is - one of the greatest children's doll brands, in the world.

Finally the last word from Gotz: "Give your child the opportunity to conjure his or her own world, to be the creator of his or her own play".