2004 Annette Himstedt "LIRI" Doll *New in Box
She is in excellent condition, a unique doll for the serious doll collector!
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_____________________________________________ The letter that Annette posted to her collectors on her web site explaining her decision to close her doll factory said, in part:
"Over the years you have lived through many changes with me, which generally tended to have a very positive outcome. This time I unfortunately only have very sad news for you.
In 1986 I introduced my very first vinyl collection. Now – 23 years later – I will close my factory towards the end of the year 2008...
Through the years I've gone through a lot of changes, partly deliberate, partly because I had to. The world of dolls is constantly changing, for which I'm in part responsible. To get better, to work more elaborately and to achieve higher quality standards, has made collectors and retailers alike more and more demanding as a result. The dolls became more and more expensive in the making, due to the material and wig costs on the one hand and the need to employ more and more members of staff on the other. In the last few years I employed between 50 and 80 members of full time staff.
In addition people's financial situation has got more difficult in the last two years. Economic problems the world over, rising energy costs, and more recently the credit crunch, the crashing property market and many other factors have contributed towards people becoming less inclined to spend their money as easily as they could in the years before. Times got harder and the unfavorable US exchange has not helped the situation.
For the five years between 2003 and 2007 we have unfortunately experienced very big losses as a result of this. Because we have compensated for the bad exchange rate by charging a much lower rate to our American collectors. But because the dollar got weaker and weaker, in 2007 the losses were so enormous that we simply couldn't sustain them anymore. We had to increase the doll retail price in the US this year to get closer to the real exchange rate. For our American collectors this meant of course a lot of money. But we just couldn't keep calculating our dollar prices based on an exchange rate of $1.15, where in fact it was closer to $1.60 to the Euro. The simple truth is that to sustain a company like mine that produces high quality dolls in Germany a set amount have to be sold each year. Unfortunately the orders were getting aren't enough any more.
As a result I have no choice but to close my factory by the end of 2008. We will fulfill all orders of the Sommer Kinder, the Club Minis as well as all orders that will get to us by mid November.
I think that the last collections will become as popular as my first collection in 1986 was at the time. I am sure that they will increase in value...
Annette's letter goes on to thank her collectors, and she assures us that she will "remain in the world of dolls in some shape or form." The letter can be read, in full, at her webpage
It is very sad to lose one of the last major European factories producing dolls, and even sadder to be losing the beautiful dolls of Annette Himstedt, which have been a favorite with collectors for many years. I have one of her lovely, large dolls (Tulani) in my office, and nearly everyone who visits remarks upon how beautiful she is.
I certainly hope that this closing is not a harbinger of things to come in 2009. Between the economic climate, and the new ill-written US safety legislation that will require extensive lead testing of all products intended for children (I'm all for testing that makes sense, but the way the legislation is written will create overly burdensome requirements that could put small companies and cottage industries out of business) I fear that other doll companies will struggle or even also close down.
I wish Annette the best in whatever endeavors she undertakes, and I hope that she is back in the world of dolls very soon. I also hope for the continued financial health of the doll industry in 2009
Item ID: 6290
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