Russian toys can be a perfect gift that makes your children happy. There’s a list of dolls and toys you can choose. If it’s a gift for Christmas, read here for inspiration. However, almost nothing can beat the classic and vintage Nevalyashka.
One of the most legendary toys in Russia, almost every child who grew up in the Soviet era have played with this toy. Here are some facts about Nevalyashka dolls.
1. Nevalyashka is always standing
Nevalyashka is always standing upright, even after you toss it and roll it over. The doll has a heavyweight on the center of it that stabilize the doll whenever it got knocked over.
2. Nevalyashka name has a literal meaning
Nevalyashka is a straightforward name for a toy. It means “One that never lies down”. Of course, this is due to their characteristic to always get back to a standing position.
3. Nevalyashka has other names
Nevalyashka dolls come with other names. Russian also call them Vanka Vstanka. It means “Ivan get up”. You must have noticed how the name rhymes. Another interesting fact, Vanka Vstanka is also a name for an energy drink similar to Red Bull.
4. Nevalyashka is not exclusively Russian
Nevalyashka is not exclusive to Russians only. In other parts of the world, this toys is known with other names, such as a roly-poly toy, tilting doll, tumbler, round-bottomed doll, or wobbly man in English speaking countries.
5. Nevalyashka comes in all size and shape
In the Soviet era, Nevalyashka came in various size and form. The classic one is the round doll depicting a girl wearing a wool hat and red outfit. There is also animal edition Nevalyashka, taking the form of fox, rabbit, dogs, and cat. There’s even clown shaped Nevalyashka and an onion Nevalyashka.
6. In general, there are two shapes of Nevalyashka
However, in general, the shape of Nevalyashka comes down into two types. The rounded dolls, the one comprising of two balls, one the head part and one is the body. The second type is the wooden Nevalyashka that looks like the pear-shaped Matryoshka, only it’s not a nesting doll. Just like the classic type, the pear-shaped Nevalyashka is equipped with a weight inside for its stabilizing mechanism.
7. There’s the baby and toddlers version.
The baby version of Nevalyashka shaped like a pear and designed in a smaller size for a more suitable grip. Apart from the stabilization mechanism, the doll is also equipped with a bell so it chimes. The addition of bells makes Nevalyashka more interesting to the curious baby.
8. It was first produced on a military plant
Nevalyashka was first produced on a military factory at Tambov, a town 500 km southeast of Moscow. The first Nevalyashka was designed in 1959, at the factory’s civilian production section. It became popular since the first time it is released to the public. Almost every household own Nevalyashka at the time. For many children, it was the first toy for them.
9. It can calm babies
There is a type of Nevalyashka with a little bell producing clanking sounds each time it moves. This type of Nevalyashka is also called “shut up baby” toy because the clacking sound gives comforting effects for young children. Mothers place it beside a crying or upset baby to calm them down.
10. There are painted Nevalyashka
A certain type of Nevalyashka is similar to Matryoshka. They are pear-shaped, made from wood, and hand painted with various patterns just as Matryoshka. They can roll over and stand back upright like a typical Nevalyashka. This type of Nevalyashka not only make a perfect toy but also a beautiful decoration or souvenir for its authenticity and aesthetic.
Read more facts about Matryoshka here.
11. It is also designed to develop children’s brain
Nevalyashka is not just a toy. It is also developed to help improve children’s hearing and sense of touch, especially in babies and toddlers. It also supports the development of creativity, imagination, and movement coordination of a child.
With so many interesting facts and benefit of Nevalyashka, the toy does make a perfect gift for your children. But Nevalyashka is not the only options. There are many other Russian toys that are also suitable as a gift for your little ones. After all, more toys, the happier the kids are.
Consider buying Masha doll if your child is a fan of the Russian cartoon Masha and The Bear. Masha is a widely popular cartoon coming from Russia. It is loved by many children all over the world and one of the most popular animations on earth. Your kid will happy to get a merchandise from this cartoon, a Masha Doll or The Bear doll.
Other Russian dolls to gift to your children, for example, Chebruskha doll and Russian Barbie. Chebruskha is also taken from a popular and loved cartoon character in Russia. Russian Barbie dolls can make a perfect gift for daughters. There are so many variants of Russian Barbie, from the one with traditional dresses to space-themed Russian Barbie.
The next on the list would be Russian wooden toys. Even older than Nevalyashka, the history of Russian wooden toys can be traced back to centuries ago. If you want something that is easy to find in any souvenir shop in Russia, then Matryoshka is the one for you. The classic nesting dolls can make a nice memento especially in one Matryoshka, you can get many dolls inside. Matryoshka is not suitable for little children though, as its smaller parts can cause a choking hazard for them.