Neustadt-bei-Coburg lies on the ancient route between Nuremberg and Leipzig at the foot of the Muggberg, 15 km north-east of the city of Coburg in Northern Franconia, and has been a centre for the manufacture of toys since the eighteenth century. Its importance in the toy industry was increased after the Second World War with the settlement there of skilled workers from Sonneberg in Thuringia, less than 10 km to the north, which was incorporated in the DDR.
The museum, opened in 1984, claims to be the oldest of its kind in Germany and is based on a large collection of travellers samples, including dolls made of wood, porcelain and papier mache, as well as dolls’ shoes, wigs and clothing. In all there are some 800 dolls in the collection from 100 different countries. A particular feature is a diorama of the house of a doll-making family from Sonneberg.
Visitors to the museum can also go to the showrooms and factories of toy manufacturers in Neustadt. The museum arranges a festival of dolls annually on Ascension Day.