The Museum has an extraordinary and varied collection of over 4,000 dolls, the earliest being a wooden paddle doll dating from 1,300BC. The dolls represent men, women, and boys and girls from all around the world, as well as many fantasy and fairytale characters. They are also made from a wide range of materials - from traditional materials such as wood, cloth, ceramic, wax and plastic to more unusual ones like dried fruit, mutton bones and hair.

Barbie

Barbie

Barbie was first launched at the New York Toy Fair in 1959.

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Bratz

Bratz

Branded as ‘the girls with a passion for fashion’, Bratz were launched in June 2001.

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Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids, originally called Little People were created by Xavier Roberts in 1978.

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Daisy

Daisy

The Daisy doll was created by the British fashion designer Mary Quant and launched in 1973.

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Dean's Rag Book doll

Dean's Rag Book doll

Dean's started out as a book publishing company, producing rag books for small children.

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Dolls in boxes

Dolls in boxes

The collection includes many examples of dolls in boxes, including a miniature shrine to the Christ child.

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Armand Marseille baby doll

Armand Marseille baby doll

Armand Marseille was one of the biggest and most successful German doll manufacturers of the twentieth century.

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Kämmer & Reinhardt doll

Kämmer & Reinhardt doll

Kammer & Reinhardt were one of the first manufacturers to make baby dolls. They called their baby dolls 'Character Dolls' and registered them as such in 1909.

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Kewpie doll

Kewpie doll

The Kewpie was invented by the poet and artist Rose O'Neill, first featuring in magazine illustrations in 1909, and later patented in 1913.

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Lenci boy and girl dolls

Lenci boy and girl dolls

In 1920, Elena and Enrico Scavini began to create dolls and toys. They later registered to trade under the name of Lenci, which was Elena's nickname.

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Bähr & Pröschild doll

Bähr & Pröschild doll

The doll pictured is made by Bahr & Proschild, and was part of a collection owned by a girl called Audrey Denison, who was born in the 1880s.

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The Old Pretender doll

The Old Pretender doll

The 'Old Pretender' doll is believed to have once belonged to the court of King James II at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

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Pierotti doll

Pierotti doll

The wax doll-making company Pierotti was founded by Domenico Pierotti in the 1790s.

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Princess Daisy doll

Princess Daisy doll

Princess Daisy dates from the late 19th century and she is one of the most awe-inspiring dolls in the Museum's collection.

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Sindy

Sindy

The Sindy doll was launched in September 1962 by the Pedigree Doll Company.

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Steiff character doll

Steiff character doll

Steiff was founded by Margarete Steiff in 1877 when she began selling clothes and household articles that she had made herself at a ready-to-wear felt clothing company.

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Three-in-One doll

Three-in-One doll

Multi-faced dolls have been produced since the 1860s. They can help to make the dolls more realistic by showing more than one facial expression.

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Tiny Tears

Tiny Tears

Drink and wet dolls were developed in the USA in the 1950s, Tiny Tears was one of the first and was launched in the UK in 1966.

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Boy dolls

Boy dolls

Dolls representing boys are much rarer than dolls representing girls. Of the Museum's collection of around 8,000 dolls, male dolls amount to less than one eighth of the total.

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Cedric boy doll

Cedric boy doll

This doll pictured is called Cedric. He was made in about 1900 by the German manufacturer Simon & Halbig.

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Shop online...

Patrick Rylands Cool Cat

The V&A online shop stocks a distinctive and refreshingly different range for children, big and little, then and now, including toys, games, books and accessories.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200 | V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA