Having the My Doll Best Friend doll shop, currently a stockist for Gotz dolls, Kidz 'n' Cats dolls, Madame Alexander dolls, Petite Fleur dolls and very soon, Schildkrot dolls with more brands to be added this year, is a fabulous personal experience.  Not only do I have an excuse to buy all the latest dolls as they become available, which is of couse a lot of fun, I get to meet and make online friends with lots of doll enthusiasts, who are nanas, mothers, daughters, adult collectors and children.  They all become very dear to me. 

There are lots of different initial reasons for the first email from someone, perhaps they very generously send me a photo to join the website's Gallery or maybe they want to find out a bit of information about the dolls and how to care for them. There really are lots of lovely individual reasons why the email exchanges start and over the course of a few blog features I'll be telling you about some of these unique and dear new friendships I've made and you'll find all the posts eventually in the category 'Friends'. 

When someone first contacts me with a question, sometimes a bit of research is needed. I'm very lucky that I get lots of help from Silke, one of the Gotz daughters and Sonja Hartmann and her daughter Gesa, from Heart & Soul who make the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls.  I often learn a lot of interesting things about the dolls myself through finding out what other people want to know.  Occasionally though, the information is more challenging to find and the internet becomes the easiest resource when trying to find out about dolls of the past.  

Recently I made a new online friend, Diana Gash, who was introduced to me by Char the writer behind the fantastic doll blog Doll Diaries, who I had had the great pleasure to meet up with at the New York Toy Fair in February.  Diana was interested in the Gotz Happy Kidz dolls that she couldn't buy in the USA and Char mentioned I'd written about these Gotz dolls in a blog piece she'd read earlier in the year.  Thanks to Char, this was the start of a beautiful new friendship and a doll journey that the three of us have been on over the last few weeks. 

A little joy sent to Char and me by Diana

Diana often looks for dolls on ebay and has become very good indeed at restoring them to their beautiful child like state.  Diana makes the most wonderful doll handmade clothing for them too, with gorgeous embroidery detail which is one of her great skills.  She kindly sent me this photo of Hannah on the left who she restored, adding eyelashes where there were no longer any and making her beautiful red shorts set.  The dolls always get their hair washed, conditioned and styled to start with which immediately gives them a loved look. The doll on the right is Hannah in Europe, but can be purchased in the USA as Tess from Toys R Us, made by Gotz.

Diana and Char have both added Gotz dolls to their collections and you can read about many of these already at Doll Diaries where Diana sends many of her photos and stories.

Char now has a Gotz doll Tess from Toys R Us and you can see original photos of how she arrived in the feature.

If you would like to see how the brunette Hannah above looked before Diana's restoration take a  look at Doll Rescues from Diana.

I love the embroidery on the pj top Diana made in A Little Gotz Lesson from Diana it's exquisite.

There will be more too, as I know Diana has a few more dolls to share with Char and the rest of us there, so be sure to stay tuned to that blog as I think some of the rarer retired Gotz dolls that Diana also bought will soon feature! Doll Diaries has a section in 18" Dolls for Gotz dolls that's worth taking a look at.

Diana sent me this photo of retired, collectible Gotz Franja in the middle...and you can read all about her story on Doll Diaries where there are before and after photos as Diana collected her from another Gotz enthusiast.

Doesn't she have incredible eyes?

Here Hannah one of Diana's earlier Gotz dolls welcomes new addition Franja with a hug...

I have really enjoyed the communication with Diana about her Gotz doll discoveries, particularly seeing all the rarer dolls such as Franja and I do look forward to keeping this going over the years. Big thanks to Char and Diana from me! 

Steiff Dolls For Gotz

It has been a focus of mine for a while to track down some very specific difficult dolls to find and these are the 50cm/19.5" Gotz Steiff dolls that have a gold plated button in their left ear, just like the teddy bears.  They come with certificates, sometimes Steiff teddy bears and bracelets around their right wrist.  So far I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for, despite searching in many countries.  The Gotz Steiff dolls are now highly collectible dolls. Originally distributed from Germany, now over a decade later they are scattered around the world, which is what tends to happen with beautiful, rare Gotz dolls over time.

Their names are Leatrice, Giselle, Katharina, Nadja and Nore.  I know Nadja and Nore were available in 2003, I'm not sure about the other dolls, though I think the first doll became available in 2002 to commemorate Steiff's centenary.







If you have any information about these dolls please leave a comment or contact me.  If you have one to sell, please contact me!

This was a Gotz Steiff Katharina that was on ebay.com very recently but she didn't come with original clothing and had a slight mark on her chest.  She's very beautiful though, here she is for you to see, brought to me by Diana who found the listing.

This is another set of Gotz Steiff Katharina photographs sent to me by someone who is selling her on ebay.

I have realised during my communications with Diana that while the dolls are current it's easier to get hold of them and that's the very best time to do it as they're also better priced, so best to look hard at those in stock and go for what you really like! When they become rarer it's more difficult, much more expensive and not always in the best condition. 

It made me look at the dolls in stock in the online shop in a different way, and I've picked out four potentially future sought after dolls from Gotz Classic Kidz 2013 Luisa, Laura, Lena and Vroni.  I have to admit I did overlook these a bit previously, as they are the most expensive ones at a retail price of £125, however, in years to come these could be the ones that doll enthusiasts search everywhere to buy.  Luisa has already sold out at Gotz from their first delivery, perhaps a sign of things to come?

The dolls featured in this article whether it be the Hannahs, the Steiff dolls or the Classic Kidz, are all designed by Hildegard Gunzel for Gotz.

Whether the Gotz doll that you have is a future rarity or not, it will certainly be beautiful, is likely to give much pleasure, and through your online blog and facebook participation could even bring you the great fortune of making new friends.