Collection Close Up: Sasha Dolls

I received my first two Sasha dolls a few years ago for Christmas: Caleb, a dark skinned boy, and Gregor, a tan brunette boy. Since then, I’ve gathered five more (two babies, two girls, and a bald Gregor). Seven Sasha’s sounds like a lot, until you see my mother’s collection. She has, at least, double the amount of dolls I have. Sasha dolls have been a favorite of hers since she was young and found her first one, a Gregor, for under $20.00, at a store that was going out of business.Β  Both collections together make for quite a few Sasha dolls!

Sasha Dolls

Sasha dolls, produced from the 1940’s through 1986 (with a re-launch in the mid 1990’s) are unique looking when compared to other doll lines. Most noticeable are their unique faces. It was important to creator Sasha Morgenthaler that her dolls have a neutral expression. According to reference book “Sasha Dolls: A History“, Sasha, who lived in Switzerland during World War II, Sasha thought that “No grotesque caricature can awaken a child’s true feelings. A piece of wood, barely carved, is far superior to a conventional doll with an exaggerated smile.” It makes sense in the context of the times. Children going through Switzerland during the war may not have wanted a doll that was always smiling, always happy.

Sasha Dolls

Interesting, as well, are that Sasha dolls are asymmetric. Arms and legs are not one uniformed length. Their eyes are also not completely even. She designed her dolls this way, because we ourselves are not symmetrical. This asymmetry also helps the dolls do something not all doll lines can– stand on their head! If strung properly, these boys and girls should be able to stand on their heads without falling. It’s neat to see.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Morgenthaler, as a person, was kind of incredible. While reading about her in “Sasha Dolls: A History”, it’s clear that she was powerful in spirit. I’m not going to go into her entire history in his post, but I encourage you to read the book mentioned above. Sasha wore many different hats in life, including wife, mother, midwife and artist. At one point during World War II, she even started a woman’s auxiliary group that taught woman how to help the men coming back from the war.

Sasha Dolls

One of Sasha’s dreams was to create an affordable, durable doll. It took many experiments with different materials before she found one that fit her criteria. For that reason, you may see Sasha dolls made of various materials. The early dolls are harder to find, because the material Sasha used was more fragile than the vinyl she eventually created and used for the doll line.

Sasha Dolls

Many different companies made Sasha dolls, including Gotz and Trendon. The history of Sasha doll production is complicated and filled with legal drama. The book, “Sasha Dolls: A History” goes through all of this. The dolls in this post are all from the England base company, Trendon.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha dolls can vary in size. They started at 15″ and grew as the molds outstretched to be 16″ or 17″ tall towards the end of the run. You can see that in the picture below, where Caleb (right) looks smaller than Gregor (left).

Sasha Dolls

For those who like video presentations, below is a video Barbee0913 and I shot talking about Sasha dolls. In the video, my mom shares a few other facts about Sasha and her dolls. There’s also a bunch of great links in the video description to books and websites that will help you learn more about this unique line.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls
Do you have any Sasha dolls? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comment area!

Advertisements

May 9, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized.

19 Comments

  1. Tammy Colvin Sedam replied:

    Do you know what the connection is between Sasha’s and Bettina by Sebino? They have the same hands. Bettina was made in Italy. You can see my Bettina at http://planetofthedolls.blogspot.com/2014/10/doll-day-251-bettina-by-sebino.html

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Interesting. I don’t know of a connection between those two lines. Maybe they shared molds?

  2. Kay replied:

    The Sasha dolls look very well made. They each have a different look, which makes them special. They also have very nice hair. Some doll lines skimp on hair quality.
    I don’t own any Sasha dolls myself. But, I do appreciate them.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yes, they do have really nice hair. πŸ™‚ Lots of body!

  3. Lorraine replied:

    Great post and the video was good too. I am ‘Muriel Makes’ who you kindly linked to and I most definitely have Sasha dolls, they forming the majority of my doll collection as I write blog stories about their daily doings and adventures πŸ™‚ They are such well made, expressive and fun dolls.

    My main Sasha blog, and other doll blog have amalgamated into one now as it makes it easier for me, although all the old posts can still be accessed on the original blogs.

    (I also collect Skipper dolls and have found your posts on them really helpful and interesting!)

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚ Always nice to meet another Skipper collector, too!

  4. karenbail1963ey replied:

    I totally love the part about a child’s true feelings, before I even read it, my thoughts were, my Sasha that I received as a girl was the only memory of my childhood of a moment that took my breath away, my hearts desire fulfilled, she was sadly given way I replaced her as an adult and that’s a whole other story, you just have to stare at the beautiful eyes and put your finger in her hand. My oh my lots of memories and emotion. I don’t have one now haha xxx

  5. karenbail1963ey replied:

    Reblogged this on karensworld and commented:
    Thank you , beautiful presentation.

  6. Anonymous replied:

    As a child, I was in awe of Sasha dolls. But they were a luxury that was out of our price range for a toy. One day I will get one to add to my collection.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Keep your eyes peeled. Facebook has a great sale page, Sasha Doll Bazaar. Sometimes you can find deals on that site. πŸ™‚

  7. Beatrix replied:

    You have a wonderful collection. I own three (Gegor, Caleb and a brunette girl) and think they are very special. I agree part of the reason is the facial expression but also the overall design/sculpt of the body. and the restrained style of the clothing. If I ever had to give up my collection (which I hope never happens during my lifetime) these would be the last I’d let go of! . . .

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I totally understand why you love them so much. πŸ™‚ I don’t think I’d give mine away very easily, either!

  8. manikani2d replied:

    Amazing collection, and yes unique, love the African American dolls!

  9. DeeDee replied:

    I love my Sashas. Didn’t know you owned so many!! Such a great doll. I would check out the new Natturer line. I feel it has a similar vibe.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      We didn’t know we owned this many, either! Ha!

  10. Iphis of Scyros replied:

    A Sasha doll is near the top of my planning-to-buy list, but they can get so expensive! (Some of the ones available right now are in the (relatively) reasonable $150ish range, but others are over $1,000!) They’re one of the many dolls I tell myself I can have once I get my house cleaned up to make room for more doll shelves….

    • kewpie83 replied:

      They can be pricey! All of mine were purchased through the Sasha Doll Bazaar on Facebook. Thankfully, they were all pretty affordable. We never paid outrageous prices. Mostly, we just wait for deals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: