Increased Costs Blamed
The company blamed increased costs of operations for the change, including a doubling of their staff in recent years. Whatever the reasons, the decision amounts to a huge disappointment for many retailers that have supported the company and its dolls in recent years. The decision will most hurt collectors and doll shops in small towns and cities, since the dolls will no longer be represented or seen in most doll shops. Additionally, many collectors depend on the informal photos taken at Toy Fair to get a real feel for the dolls beyond the formal catalog photos to make a decision on which Himstedt dolls they want to purchase each year.
Only 9 US Dealers Remain; Many Collectors And Dealers Are Upset
The decision has caused quite a bit of controversy at Himstedt Heaven, a paid Himstedt-only Forum where many collectors have been upset to see their favorite dealers no longer carrying the dolls. Some collectors worry that dolls will not be delivered on a timely basis by Himstedt Dolls when sold directly, since collectors have reported long lags in repair times for dolls sent to Himstedt Dolls for repair. Many retailers were also distressed to find out about the new policies first from collectors who found out from a letter sent to doll club members or from Himstedt Heaven before they received any notification from Himstedt Dolls that they had been dropped. Only 9 US dealers will remain.
Some Former Dealers Are Closing Their Doors
Some larger Himstedt doll dealers who had their dealerships taken away are even closing their doors, including Les Dolls. Kathy of Les Dolls posted a letter to her collectors on Himstedt Heaven which said, in part: the reason I am closing is because of the way Himstedt went about doing what she had done. I have never said a bad thing about her company, but this was a slap in the face after all my hard work over the years. Other dealers that were dropped, including Doll Market, have responded by drastically discounting any remaining inventory of Himstedt Dolls.
No Toy Fair Photos Or Coverage
In the interest of full disclosure, I own a doll shop that was dropped by Himstedt Dolls with this new policy; however, we sold a very limited number of their dolls each year so this decision will barely impact us fiscally or otherwise. It will, however, impact the local collectors of the dolls in my area who will no longer be able to see any of the dolls in person prior to purchase. Additionally, this new policy impacts my ability to bring you direct coverage and photos of Himstedt dolls at New York Toy Fair, as I have done for years.
New Policy Said To Prevent Production In Asia
Annette calls her reduction of retailers, the jettisoning of Toy Fairs and the decision to sell directly to her collectors her new concept. Annette in her letter to her former retailers said If wed carried on as usual, wed have to drastically reduce the quality of my dolls, and I guess I dont have to explain what that would imply. For example Id have to reuse the same limbs for years and years and would have to refashion the same heads with different wigs and dresses to make up new dolls. Beyond that all items on the dolls would have to become a lot cheaper. Or Id have to produce in Asia. And that is something Id never even consider. Ultimately my aim is to produce dolls successfully for many years to come. Annette said that due to this change she would produce only single use heads this year and as many new limbs for the 34 dolls of the previous year.