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Hape adds Kathe Kruse to collection

Hape Holding AG has acquired Kathe Kruse Production and Distribution.

The partnership brings together two German toy companies with more than 130 years of experience. Hape is one of the largest producers of toys made of sustainable materials, and Kathe Kruse is one of the oldest German manufacturers of collectible, soft developmental and Waldorf-inspired dolls.

 Kathe Kruse started making lifelike baby dolls for her daughter Mia in 1905.Kathe Kruse started making lifelike baby dolls for her daughter Mia in 1905.

Peter Handstein, founder and CEO of Hape, told Gifts and Decorative Accessories, a sister publication of Kids Today, that talks started at the end of last year, and the deal was finally sealed at this year's Nuremberg International Toy Fair. He added that the new partnership will help both toy makers long time.

"Both companies bring this internationality to the toy industry," he said. "Kathe Kruse brings a lot of expertise in the soft toys category, and we think this will help Hape moving forward. In return, we're giving a Kathe Kruse a strong platform in North America...Kathe Kruse has always had this quietness in America. We want to change this."

Under the acquisition, all creative and design will remain under the control of Kathe Kruse. "What can we do?" said Handstein. "They do what they do well. We cannot touch this."

Today, the German doll maker offers everything from wooden toys, playdolls, nursery and decor accessories, infant and toddler toys, puppet theater dolls, collectibles and more.

Andrea Christenson, CEO of Kathe Kruse, also expressed her excitement in a statement. "We see a great mutual benefit for the future development of international markets."

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