Today was such fun! The girls chose all their favourite dolls clothes from Petalina's 2017 collection and had their pictures taken.
What's new for Petitcollin in 2017?
Petalina has been selling Petitcollin products for a good few years now and we have seen their ranges grow considerably over the last two years and sales have grown as a result. For this reason I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the company in more detail, their recent history and what our customers can expect to see doll wise for 2017.
Petitcollin is a doll making company based in Etain in France. The company was founded in 1860 to make horn combs and in 1898 began to use celluloid for it’s various products. It is believed that they started to make toys in 1901 with dolls being introduced in 1907.
A photograph of the Petitcollin factory floor (found on Wikipedia)
In 1901 Petitcollin started to use the trademark of an eagle’s head which can be seen on the back of the dolls, sometimes together with a number which was the size of the doll concerned. At a later stage vinyl started to be used instead of celluloid but these first vinyl dolls weren’t particularly celebrated, although there is one style of doll that is very well known with a lock of hair over the forehead, a turn up nose, and a mouth that isn’t quite serious, which was developed in 1924. These are still made today, not from vinyl, but from polythene.
The head of Matelot, an original design 40cm doll by Petitcollin
Matelot with the tiny Eagle’s Head trademark on his back
Between 1930 and 1960 Petitcollin was very successful due to producing high volumes of dolls. It was the largest and most important French manufacturer of celluloid dolls both in France and also around the world. It still produces dolls in Etain using polythene with the Petitcollin head in plastisol. The original doll has changed slightly but still has the lock of hair!
Matelot, an original design 40cm doll by Petitcollin
Having visited the Kathe Kruse factory in Bavaria, which was fascinating, I am now very keen to visit the Petitcollin factory in Etain which is open to the public with guided tours available for most of the year.
Petalina has been a stockist of Marie Francoise dolls for many years. These are some of the traditionally made polythene dolls with an incredibly pretty face. The dolls are always dressed in garments made from high quality fabrics with lots of French style.
This year’s Marie Francoise dolls, traditionally made 40cm dolls for children from age 4
We also carry some of the baby dolls, including the tiny 25cm Ecolo babies, a range of baby dolls that have been made using sustainable plant based materials that are dressed in clothing made from organic fabrics.
Ecolo babies are suitable for children from a year old
The Petit Calins are also very popular cuddly 36cm baby dolls and this year we have added to the range of both dolls and clothes.
The 2017 selection of Petit Calin baby dolls
In 2015 Sylvia Natterer began a partnership with Petitcollin and together they have created many beautiful dolls that have been made in Spain.
Sylvia Natterer and Yvan Lacroix (Petitcollin director) during the Nuernberg toy fair in February 2015
At first there were the Minouche and Finouche dolls which were welcomed very enthusiastically by doll lovers worldwide.
The first collection of Minouche dolls 2015
Left to right Natalie*, Joelle*, Samira* and Jeanne*
(* means they have now been retired by Petitcollin and we may have already sold out)
The first collection of Finouche dolls 2015
Left to right Smilla, Zoe and Alice
(All have been retired and we have now sold out)
A year later more Finouche and Minouche were added, together with a new range of Starlettes and the beautiful Bibichou babies.
Starlettes were introduced
Left to right: Coppelia, Tatiana, Louella and Milena
(All still available in 2017)
The Bibichou baby dolls, Nick on the left, then Fleur and Tom
There was also Bibichou Lilly but we aren’t going to stock her this year as she has become terribly expensive due to the suitcase. The rest of the 2016 Bibichous are still available.
This year sees the introduction of the Minettes, two 27cm soft bodied babies for tiny children. Fanny is in fact named after Sylvia’s first born, a daughter called Fanny and Louisa is the most gorgeous toddler doll with tight curls. Fanny is suitable for children from 18 months old but Louisa, because of her hair, isn’t safe until age 3.
Sylvia’s dream is that her dolls allow children to be able to play games about families, and I remember doing just that with my Sasha dolls all those years ago. So it's lovely now having dolls of different sizes to play with together, as my most favourite ever photograph illustrates.
Finouche Smilla with Minouche Joelle, and Mini Minouche Dita and Fritzi.
The Mini Minouche babies were made by Kathe Kruse and have a slightly different face to the Minettes. All are sold out now.
The photographs below show the new Sylvia Natterer dolls that we are expecting to arrive in May or June at Petalina. Of course you can reserve dolls in advance with no need to pay until they arrive.
Bibichou 2017 Rafael, Teddy and Lena
Minouche 2017 Antonin, Eline, Mila and Maelle
Starlettes 2017 Melissa, Julia and Sarah
Finouche 2017 Noemie, Hannah and Alix
Due to the exchange rate crash following the referendum to leave the EU, our prices have had to increase. Suppliers have increased prices to us, and the exchange rate will push up prices as well. However, the final price will be set on the day we pay our invoice, the cost of the dolls being determined by the exchange rate that day. As always we will reduce the price of the dolls if we can, and hope that we don’t have to increase them!