Käthe Kruse - Play dolls + cuddly toys

Messe.TV meets Tobias Vorbach, Managing Director of Käthe Kruse, today at the Spielwarenmesse 2016 in Nuremberg. Presenter Klas Bömecke sets off to find out what's new at the stand of the traditional company Käthe Kruse.

Dolls from Kaethe Kruse
Stuffed animal cuddly doll Kaethe Kruse

Käthe Kruse: dolls and cuddly toys

Klas Bömecke: When you hear the name Käthe Kruse - what do you think of? That's right. Dolls. Maybe stuffed animals - also right. But you certainly don't think of Matthias Schweighöfer and Florian David Fitz. Managing Director Tobias Vorbach will hopefully explain to me in a moment why that's a mistake in 2016. Mr. Vorbach, what is important for Käthe Kruse in 2016? Tobias Vorbach: At Käthe Kruse, 3 themes are generally important - but the most important theme is the doll.

Bathing doll Planscherle Kaethe Kruse
MesseTV Contribution Tobias Vorbach Kaethe Kruse

Klas Bömecke: That's the classic, isn't it? Tobias Vorbach: This is the classic. A play doll from Käthe Kruse - here the very beautiful Planscherle model - a bathing baby. You can recognize it by the fact that it can be taken into the bath.

Käthe Kruse Play doll Planscherle

Klas Bömecke: Ah. It has holes in the feet so that the water can run out again. Tobias Vorbach: Yes, exactly, it's a great way for the little ones to get dry. Then we have our soft dolls for the little ones, they don't go in the water - they can, but are then air-dried later. They have a vinyl body. Klas Bömecke: What age groups are these dolls made for? Tobias Vorbach: We start from birth, so to speak - that means the youngest children can already play. Then we have dolls here for 18 months plus, then we go up to 36 months plus and later come the play dolls. (Goes to the shelf with the play dolls)

Cuddly dolls Kaethe Kruse
Stuffed doll cuddly doll Kaethe Kruse

Klas Bömecke: So of course they're really great - they're very elaborate in detail, which will probably also appeal to older children? Tobias Vorbach: Older children will love them. And it also allows older children to realize their fantasies by having all-vinyl body dolls that also have functions. This means they can role-play more fully and the clothes can be changed, which is something very special. Klas Bömecke: Dolls from Käthe Kruse, that's the classic - the very classic connection, but they don't just make vinyl dolls now. Tobias Vorbach: Yes, exactly, we also have another mainstay. Klas Bömecke: Yes, I can already see a lot of great stuffed animals over there. Tobias Vorbach: A classic mainstay, so to speak, which has also been around for a very long time. Klas Bömecke: They also look really cute and I imagine I know certain faces like the sheep, for example.

Käthe Kruse: Cuddle cloth

Tobias Vorbach: Yes, you may remember that from your childhood. Käthe Kruse made the child for the child and made the first cuddle cloth back then. With a potato and a cotton cloth over it. You drew it on with charcoal to give your child something to play with. And the cuddle cloth comes from this phase, from this time. Klas Bömecke: Today, of course, there's no longer a potato in it, they're really nice and soft. Tobias Vorbach: Exactly. Soft, cuddly cotton and they're not on stands, they're there to play with and are companions for life. Many of our customers still ask after 10 years "Do you still have something like that?", "Can you still make something like that?", "Can you still get us something like that?", because if something like that is left lying around somewhere, sometimes the world comes to an end - but we help to make sure the world doesn't end. (laughs)

Cuddle cloths Kaethe Kruse

Käthe Kruse: XXL Dangling animals

Next we have a new series from us - this is Carlo the monkey. The special thing is that we now have the XXL dangling animals. Klas Bömecke: "Schlenkertiere" means they have really long arms or what? Tobias Vorbach: Exactly. They wiggle around, you can take them with you, you can jump on them, you can play with them.

Giant monkey plush animal on
Dangling animals XXL monkey Carlo Kaethe Kruse Spielwarenmesse

Klas Bömecke: You can still cuddle them as an adult because they're the right size. Tobias Vorbach: They are huge, yes. You can even put it on the couch. Klas Bömecke: For a child it's gigantic, of course, because it's bigger than a 3-year-old. Tobias Vorbach: Yes, it can be a playmate for a 3-year-old. Klas Bömecke: Of course, it's gigantic when something like that is under the Christmas tree, I think that makes their eyes light up - but it's more of a boys' toy, isn't it? Tobias Vorbach: Yes exactly, this is one of our 4 new Carlo series. We also have the dog, which is also a bit boy-oriented.

Cuddly animal dog Sammy Kaethe Kruse
Stuffed dog Sammy Kaethe Kruse

Klas Bömecke: Yes, girls also like to play with dogs. They now have everything in XXL and that's the new thing. Tobias Vorbach: Yes, exactly. Klas Bömecke: How important are these soft toy ranges for your overall business? Tobias Vorbach: That is our most important part. We are still recognized as a doll, but the soft toy sector is also a very important economic factor for us. Klas Bömecke: You are currently promoting a special doll in a very unusual way. Tobias Vorbach: Yes, we still have one special feature. Klas Bömecke: So here I see a puppet and Mr. Schweighöfer and Mr. Fitz - that could become a very popular combination. Tobias Vorbach: Yes, that's an interesting collaboration. This is the Waldorf doll Leni. The Waldorf doll itself follows the Steiner philosophy of stimulating the imagination through naturalness.

Käthe Kruse: Waldorf doll Leni - The hottest day

Klas Bömecke: Does that mean these Waldorf dolls look particularly natural? Tobias Vorbach: Exactly. They have a neutral facial expression. They are not very exaggerated. Not very friendly, not very sad. So that as a child you have the opportunity to put your own imagination into it and interpret it, to communicate your joys and sorrows in the puppet show and to learn and process things in the process. Klas Bömecke: I believe that Käthe Kruse and Mr. Steiner also knew each other personally - is that the reason for this close connection between Käthe Kruse and Waldorf? Tobias Vorbach: We knew each other from our time in Ascona. That was an artists' colony. And during that time, we also encouraged this naturalness and developed new approaches. And the collaboration is still there today. We are associated with the Association of Independent Waldorf Schools, we have the global license for it and are allowed to market the products. Klas Bömecke: And now Leni is playing a key role in a major German comedy? Tobias Vorbach: That's right. That's the special gift. One of the gentlemen is a father and wants to give his daughter a special present, and Leni is going on the trip with him - which makes us very happy.

Waldorf doll Leni Kaethe Kruse

Klas Bömecke: Does that mean Leni will now also have a career in the cinema? Tobias Vorbach: Yes, Leni can make a career in the movies. Klas Bömecke: But I think most dolls, not just Leni, are probably a special gift for children when they get them from their parents, aren't they? Tobias Vorbach: That's right. Every father knows that a smiling child's face is priceless and a very special gift. As a father, I can only confirm that. Klas Bömecke: You always have a great reward with your products when you make something so beautiful. Tobias Vorbach: That's true. Klas Bömecke: I wish you lots of fun and continued success. Tobias Vorbach: Thank you very much!

Cuddly animals made of cotton Kaethe Kruse
Rag dolls by Kaethe Kruse