What's happening in the world of artist dolls at Schildkrot in 2018?
Wherever you find Schildkrot you find a little corner of treasure. This year it was a very little corner having been acquired by Austrian parent Stadlbauer in 2014. It was subsumed for the first time at the annual German toy trade fair within the Stadlbauer booth in Hall 6 rather than with the rest of the doll brands in Hall 1. No less spectacular for its diminutive size, the Schildkrot booth was pretty in pastels and fabulously interesting in detail and design. What an artist doll company can do so well at an exhibition like this is delight in the sheer number of different dolls they show, as they are made one by one to order so the catalogue can literally bulge with offerings.
So you can see in this corner the dolls were piled high and it seemed they had displayed one of everything.
The hugely exciting thing was that very obvious the vinyl had changed colour. Gone was the biscuit coloured vinyl of past years. In its place across the entire Schildkrot collection was a bright white vinyl that appeared almost translucent. If you haven't bought a Schildkrot for a year or two, can we tempt you to a 2018 doll with the translucent vinyl skin?
Originally it had been the plan to update part of the collection and keep the historic vinyl for some dolls in the collection. In fact I remember being told that the biscuit colour vinyl was going to allow Schildkrot to create a little pale brown Wichtel of dual African-German heritage. However, with the whole collection switching to the pale vinyl, this mixed race child wasn't created this year. It would be fabulous to see some ethnic diversity in the artist doll range...
All the dolls were stunning, but perhaps the collection to really grab (my) attention was the Muller Wichtel collection by Schildkrot.
Muller Wichtel Dolls
The Wichtels are marching on in popularity and more people are joining the parade simply because the dolls are charming, full of character and joyful.
From left below is Rosi, then Kimiko and finally Pia. The colours of their clothing are gentle, feminine and pretty, and the pieces are functional. From trousers worn by Rosi, to a pretty oriental blossom dress on Kimiko, to Pia's cute shorts. Schildkrot has had the same in-house clothing designer for many years. She designs the whole range of Schildkrot (Rauenstein) dolls' clothing, all made in Germany. The artist doll shoes are real leather, made in Germany and their hair is human hair. Their eyes are hand blown glass eyes made in Germany. Could these dolls be any finer?
The dolls have last names dedicated to the doll artist who sculpted their little gnome-like shapes: Rosemarie Muller. Indeed the charm of the Wichtels hasn't gone unnoticed by the parent company. The Wichtel range at has grown with the addition of three new faces this year. The moulds are licensed to Schildkrot by Mrs Muller, who must approve special requests, such as we've made in the past.
Kimiko's face, Pia's face and Felix's face (below right) are all new in 2018. Oskar and Rosi are new designs but their faces have been in the Schildkrot collection for a few years.
We love the cute little boys and there's no shortage of articles at My Doll Best Friend for you to be in any doubt that we think Rosemarie Muller's dolls are pretty special.
The pairing to the left below is Sam and Lea, both made with the new moulds.
Here's Stephen. He's a limited edition of only 99 dolls. He comes with his car. His accessory links nicely with the parent company, most well known for motorsport toys.
Look in the photo album for all the photos we took of Schildkrot dolls. All the baby dolls you see will feature in a separate post coming soon.
Schildkrot dolls are restocked throughout the year, so if you don't see what you want in the shop, just ask!