Toddler Toys

The Ultimate Peg Doll Guide

July 18, 2020
Grimm's peg dolls vs Grapat

We’ve been peg doll obsessed lately in this household. Today J and I spent the day playing with all our new dolls. He’s always had the Grapat Nins, Mates and Coin set along with Grimm’s 12 rainbow friends. So I’m not sure if it’s because of all the new vehicles we’ve acquired or the shear volume that peaked his interest. Either way, peg dolls have been a hit in this household for some time now.

Today I wanted discuss all things peg dolls and do a deep dive on two of the more popular brands: Grimm’s & Grapat. So if you’re looking to purchase your first set of peg dolls or looking to add to your collection – keep reading!

Grimm’s Friends vs Grapat Nins

Two of the more popular brands to choose from would be Grimm’s or Grapat. They are both beautifully made. This might be the most difficult choice. Even if you’re able to see them in person.

Grimm’s friends is dipped in stain to achieve the colored body and matching hat – the exposed wood is very pale in color, almost white. Whereas the Grapat nins only have the colored bodies – but a warmer wooden head.

Grimms friends vs Grapat Nins
Grimm’s (L), Grapat (R)

Both toys have a substantial weight to them and are very smooth to the touch.

The Grimm’s friends has a slight sheen to them. In terms of colors both offer a rich variety. Not to mention they are almost identical in shape, size and price.

Grimm’s friends are made in Germany vs Grapat nins are made in Spain.

So which brand to go with? It really comes down to personal preference. Overall the colors would match most of your wooden toys. With the sizing being identical, you can use them interchangeably with your other Grimm’s and Grapat toys.

Grapat variations

Grapat tomtens, nins, magos

The nice thing about Grapat if you chose to go down the peg doll rabbit hole is that they also provide a variety of options beyond the traditional peg doll shape.

Magos aka Wizards. Matching top hat & stackable. You can purchase these in a set of 12 or find them in one of the Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer sets. Each of the seasonal sets contains 3 wizards and 3 nins. Along with corresponding mates, rings and coins.

Grapat Magos, Grapat Wizard
Grapat Wizards from the Spring Collection.

Up next we have the Grapat Tomtens. These are quite cute and funky.

Grapat Tomtens
Comes in set of 6
Grapat tomken vs Grimms friends
Tomken vs Friend

Adults. Wait, what? I thought this was just a monochrome set until I saw this toddler photo. These are quite huge from what I can see. Comes in a set of two and you can choose between dark or light skin. Looks like I’m adding this to our list.

Grapat adult
Grapat Adults – Image from Grapat website.

Baby nins. Comes in a coconut shell. Super cute and cheerful set. I wouldn’t recommend this for younger kids since they’re in choking hazard territory. Also keep in mind, all of Grapat toys are recommended for children 3 and up.

Spotted: Grapat baby nins with the regular sized nins.

What colors to get?

I recommend whatever set you get, you start off with one that has the 6 basic rainbow colors. Why? These are the first colors they learn and associate with other characters. My 2 year old associates Red = Mommy, Blue = Daddy, Grandma = Orange and Green with Grandpa. Plus these colors tend to match many other toys either from the same line or across different brands.

Grimms 12 rainbow friends vs pastel friends
3 of the pastel Friends with 12 rainbow friends spotted in the background.

Originally I really debated between grimm’s 12 rainbow friends vs the pastel. I opted for the original rainbow set since there was more variation in colors. But there was a period of time, I felt like I should’ve gotten the pastel set to match our large rainbow. In the end I’m happy I went with the original rainbow set. Which also comes in a cherrywood if you prefer a darker skin tone.

So, what should I start with?

I would pick a set that has 6 peg dolls and some other accessories. Such as the Grimm’s friends in Bowls ($67) or the Grapat Nins, Mates and Coins ($66).

Why? I think this gives you a good variety to introduce to your child to see what they’re interested in. If they end up liking the dolls, you can see if it makes sense to purchase another larger set to complement your collection. Also a nice bonus is that you’ll have a few duplicate colors in case one were to get lost.

What are good add ons?
Grapat’s Rings, Mates and coins. These are all sold separately and in assorted sets. They make great open ended toys.

Grimm’s Convertible. Comes in a 1 seater and two seater. The set also comes with peg dolls to sit in the car.

Grimms convertible
Tomtens also fit into the convertible nicely.

Grimms bus. This cheeky three seater is one of our prized possessions. I love the natural wood with the pop of yellow. The holes on the side is also perfectly sized for my young toddler to side in peg dolls through the window.

Grimms bus

Grimms Land Yacht with 4 sailors.

lil peeps by J peg dolls in grimms boat
Yacht with our very own Lil Peeps by J peg dolls.

The Grimm’s toys are really well made and beautiful to look at. For children and adults. One of the many reasons I love wooden toys is that each piece is truly a piece of art.

More Pegs

Papoose Earth Gnomes $60 for 7. Made under fair trade conditions in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Goose Grease $55 for 4. Made in Columbia.
Lil Peeps by J
Our Lil Peeps @ J’s Rainbows. $64 for 4. Hand made in Canada.

Alternatively, if you’re crafty you can take up a DIY project. To learn more: read our latest post on DIY dolls.

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