SKANEATELES, NY – The family of dolls at HABA, a premier maker of toys and children’s accessories, grew just a little in July with beautiful new members celebrating the heritage of the Native American. The American Indian Doll Sihu and the American Indian Horse Lanu are not only examples of toy making at the very finest levels, but also represent educational and, above all, highly entertaining toys that young children in the 1-1/2- to 5-year-old set will cherish. HABA, which traces its lineage to the Bavarian forests of Germany in the 1930s as a maker of fine wooden toys, takes doll making very seriously. The dolls in the line now number 26 with the debut of Sihu and Lanu, and include little girl dolls, little boy dolls, baby dolls, Guardian Angel dolls, and plush horse dolls – all designed and made with great care with the safety and activity interest of young children always in mind. In the toy business, dolls reign supreme. Indeed, dolls have been found in archeological digs in ancient Egypt that date back some 4,000 years, and in ancient Greece at least as far back as 2,200 years. While it’s not known if these dolls in far back antiquity were actually toys, archeologists have found dolls in Greece from around 100 AD that were used as playthings by little girls of the era, and that would place dolls as a candidate for the earliest known toys in the world. And dolls haven’t lost any of their cache as articles of spirited play. According to the market research firm The NPD Group, toy sales overall in 2011 topped $21.8 billion in the U.S., with the dolls category generating some 12% of the total (over $2.6 billion), one of the leading toy categories. There are some indications that doll demographics, if you will, are changing, however. It used to be that little girls would begin to prefer playing with dolls before age 2 and wouldn’t, on average, abandon them as everyday toys until after 9 years old or later. These days, according to toy makers, it seems as though little girls are growing up faster and move on to more sophisticated toys and electronics at around 6 or 7. But for the younger set dolls remain an important part of their play and learning as they absorb knowledge and engage in role playing in the pre-school years. The dolls in the HABA collection are targeted clearly at this pre-school age demographic, with the recommendation that these toys are age-appropriate for youngsters 18 months and older. As with all HABA toys, while the child may move on to more grown-up toy choices as she ages, a cherished doll will always remain a large part of her life. Heck, many grown women have and display the dolls of their own childhood, and at HABA the dolls are made with this heirloom expectation fully intact. The new American Indian Doll Sihu is a perfect example. Sihu stands 15” tall and carries a small baby in her papoose on her back that is about 3.75” tall. She includes a lovely dress, boots, a patterned necklace, a feather hairband, and hair ties. Her padded body is made of cotton and polyester and her braided hair is chenille. Coming soon to accessorize Sihu are a selection of doll clothes so children can change her outfits to match activities. Her pinto horse Lanu is a large soft padded horse that is about 14” tall. Lanu Includes a removable saddle and bridle, and is made of velours. The mane and tail are chenille, and the hooves are made of corduroy. HABA takes great pride in producing the finest toys in the industry and its doll collection is no exception. Check out the entire line of HABA dolls.