About my collection

Tridias Toys and Sasha

Tridias Toyshop was started in Bath by my parents, Robin and Charlotte Cooke in 1964. Tridias was the first shop in the UK to sell Sasha dolls first in our Bath branch, and then over the 20 years of UK production in all our stores in the UK. Robin and Charlotte were friendly with the Doggerts of Trendon (see below) and avid enthusiasts and supporters of Sasha dolls.

They were popular right from the start – a range of in-scale wooden furniture and living accessories was produced to match.

Many loyal customer had nostalgic memories of their dolls and have returned to buy for their children over the years.

When the Trendon factory closed we were allocated some of the final production of dolls and have kept and sold them though our shops slowly over the years.

About Sasha
Sasha Morgenthaler (1893 - 1975) was a Swiss artist and artisan, toy-maker, wife and mother (who also trained to be a midwife). She was a humanitarian and a passionate observer of the world's children. Her vision was to create sculptural dolls that reflected the innocence of children of all races and cultures.

A protégé of Paul Klee and a contemporary of Karl Geiser, Sasha was formally trained in painting and sculpture. She married the painter Ernst Morgenthaler. Beginning in the 1940s (in her 40’s) until her death in 1975, her first dolls were called studio dolls.  These were handmade and expensive to buy.

Considered works of art and created by an artist Sasha's dolls were sold from her studio and through the Heimatwerk shops in Switzerland. In the USA, Marshall Field & Co. in Chicago exhibited and sold her dolls.

But to enable her to produce a doll accessible to all children she developed the design for the 16" ‘serie’ play-dolls.

There were three ‘serie’ dolls, the first licenced in 1964 to Puppenfabrik Hans Gotz in Germany (and again in 1991 until 2001). These first Sasha dolls went on sale in all Migros stores (Switzerland) on 8th October 1965. 

In England the Sasha licence was granted to ’Frido’ (subsidiary of Friedland Doggert, an electrical manufacturer in Stockport), run by John and Sarah Doggart.  Sasha dolls became a passion for the Doggerts, and Frido was able to buy Trendon in 1970, an already well established toy manufacturer where the Sasha production was moved and developed. It continued until 1986, when the whole business was sold.

For a short time the moulds were owned by Creative playthings and sent to the USA but the dolls were never produced.

The Dolls
These serie dolls have similar stylized bodies, in quarter scale, asymmetrical, and in realistic proportions. They are made from hard vinyl, are perfectly balanced and can pose alone. Their skin colourings are blended to represent all the children of the world, and they have individually hand painted faces with soft expressions.

All Sasha dolls are strung together with elastic cord.  The colour of the cord indicates when the doll was produced so is an excellent way of dating. Dolls varied greatly in height.  They started of at 15.5 inches, but by the end of manufacture were approx 17 inches, this being due to the leg moulds (which were difficult to manipulate) being re-cast many times.

They have rooted nylon hair (the early versions wore wigs) and painted eyes (early dolls had sprayed and hand-painted eyes and lips). Hand finishing meant they all differ slightly in style and face painting.

The German Sasha from both productions is marked on their backs and necks with the Sasha logo, while the English dolls are unmarked.

All Sasha dolls wear wrist tags on their right wrists - a string with a little medallion bearing the Sasha logo.

The early German Sasha is more plentiful in Europe than in America, while the reverse is true for the English dolls. Dolls from the more recent German Gotz production can be more easily found.

I am now located in the USA but happy to post the Where do Sasha Come From booklets almost anywhere.