German Dolls from TeBu.

The stories of most German dolls companies are similar to one another. Almost all of them started to produce dolls from composite, then switched to celluloid, which was prohibited in wartime.
In the 50-60s, dolls were made of rubber and vinyl.

Each story had the same ending. Companies would close down and the dolls would become collectibles.

In one of my previous posts I wrote about the Ari company, whose dolls are experiencing a second birth, adding to puppet collections around the world.


My new story is about TeBu dolls. I have no doubt that they are also popular among fans of German dolls.

So we go back to Germany to the village of Wallendorf in Saxony-Anhalt.

Not to be confused with Wallendorf, Thuringia. This town has given the world amazing porcelain. Later, this town became the birthplace of a large puppet factory.


In this village, the Theodor Buschbaum Factory of TEBU started its work in 1859. The first dolls were made of ceramic and had on their backs this trademark with the number that indicated the model of the doll.

The company specialized in the manufacture of small dolls, dolls for doll houses – from composite, celluloid, but over time, “TeBu” began to produce rubber dolls and puppies, mainly in the form of composite dolls – many live such puppies from childhood.


There is very little detailed data about that time, but you can find images of old TeBu dolls from those years.

Already today, the company existed in the GDR as an independent enterprise (most dolls are marked), but since 1963 it has also had state subordination (VEB).

In 1964, TeBU dolls were claimed only in rubber version. The name and description of the company and even the logo indicate “TeBU, unbreakable dolls”.

According to various sources, “Tebu” was nationalized in 1968 or 1972, judging by some reports it happened in 1972, when there was a wave of nationalization and, according to some German sites, 1972 was the beginning of “socialist spring”. Thus, starting from 1972, the factory changed its name and ceased to be independent. That’s when it was called VEB Kleinpuppen.


Dolls and nappies are no longer marked, which makes identification a bit difficult. And if you look at the faces of some German dolls, you can easily make a mistake in the authorship. It seems sometimes that they borrowed from each other a mold of doll faces.

But still, there’s one thing you can’t go wrong with. The boys’ hair has a special look. I think it’s more beautifully shaped.


In the catalogue of 1979 there is already a name of the concern “VEB Kleinpuppen Lichte”, and “TeBu” is no more. Considering that there were several factories in the same community and the population there is only about 2000, we can assume that “VEB Kleinpuppen Lichte” is the successor of “TeBu”. But the new concern included several brands of dolls.

VEB Kleinpuppen , Lichte is the “Little Dolls” factory (national enterprise) in the community of Lichte (Thuringia). It is part of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district.

The factory existed until 1985, no further information is available.

Two representatives of this company live in my collection. A little boy and a little taller nappy. I don’t know what to do with him yet) The previous owner marked him with ink or green)


If anybody knows how to fix these time stamps, I’d be happy to.

Now I feel like I already had a little poop. I know his face a lot. How about you?

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How do collectors choose dolls for their collections?

How do collectors choose dolls for their collections? They can be dolls of a certain master or puppet company. Some collectors prefer porcelain beauties from the past Victorian century or plastic dolls from our century.

Perhaps the preference in the collection is determined from the very first doll and the collector seeks to find such dolls. They remind him of his childhood or one of the stories told by his grandmother.
The size of the dolls may also be an idea for a collection. If there isn’t much room for exposition in the house, and the desire to have many miniature dolls, the size is of great importance.
And perhaps the idea of the collection can be the beauty of doll faces.
But there are collectors for whom collecting dolls are part of the profession. I am such a collector. It is very important to have as many different dolls in the collection as possible when creating doll clothes.
In a previous article, I wrote about vintage German Plasticbaby dolls.

Angel from Plasticbaby

And in particular about my last find. She gradually gets new dresses. I will be glad if you like them.

s-l1600 (4)
Light blue dress

Special for Easter holidays I knitted light yellow dress with silk embroidery and white apron, also with embroidery.

5 inches doll yellow dress
Light holiday dress for 5 inches doll

And another amazing dress for a vintage beauty. I wanted to make it in Russian style. It’s a porcelain painting by Gzhel.

5 inches doll