My Ballerina Dolls Spotlight: Q and A with Creator Tiffany Koepke

Back in February, I stumbled upon a Toy Fair booth that featured some very pretty Nutcracker themed dolls, aptly named My Ballerina Dolls. I’ve been following the line ever since. Recently, I reached out to Tiffany Koepke, one of the people behind this new line. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. (For those that need a reminder of what was on display at Toy Fair, check out my post on My Ballerina Dolls and/or the video below.)

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired My Ballerina Dolls?
A: I am a professional ballerina and principal dancer with the San Diego Ballet Company. I’ve been dancing since I could walk, so it has always been a huge part of my life. From my ballet experience came the inspiration to create ballerina dolls. I wanted to share my world with children everywhere and also educate them on the stories I know from the stage.

Tiffany and Clara

Tiffany and Clara

Q: How long has this line, My Ballerina Dolls, been in the works? Are you excited that they are about to debut?
A: We have had the idea for some time and honestly never thought My Ballerina Dolls would ever come to existence! We have worked for two years perfecting the Clara Marie and Nutcracker doll. We strived to master the true look of a ballerina and create dolls that were quite ethereal. We are thrilled to have them on the market and to share them with children.  And adults too!

Q: What are My Ballerina Dolls?
A: These gorgeous dolls stand tall at 22 inches. They are ball jointed and able to be posed in all the classical ballet positions. The facial features are more whimsical and fairy like than any doll I have seen. Their clothes were designed with such detail and quality that they take after a true ballet costume.

Clara

Clara

Q: What makes My Ballerina Dolls different from other dolls currently on the market?
A: They are a unique size, therefore they’re very eye catching. It is special that they can move in all the ballet positions and can be an educational tool, as well. Introducing children to french ballet terms and spelling of words is a definite bonus! Also, an illustrated book of our version of The Nutcracker is offered. Kids can listen to the storybook while holding their very own ballerina doll.

Q: I’m assuming My Ballerina Dolls are wigged. Is the wig removable or glued on? Do these dolls have a removable head cap underneath the wig to allow you to change their eyes?
A: Yes, the dolls are wigged. They are attached with a velcro piece and can easily be changed out. They do have a head cap if someone did so choose to change the eye color. EDITORS NOTE: The doll I received has a silicone wig cap (not velcro) under the wig. Also, there is no head cap that I see, so you’d probably have to really mess with the head if you want to change the eyes. This interview was posted before the line was released, so they must have changed their minds since answering the Q/A.

Toy Fair 2015- My Ballerina Dolls (Nutcracker)Q: I don’t see the Prince on your website yet. When should we expect to see him?
A: Not yet! We will be debuting the handsome Prince/Nutcracker in the beginning of 2016!! The anticipation will be something for us all to look forward to.

Q: Do you see these as ‘playline’ dolls or ‘collector’ dolls? What is the suggested age range on these dolls?
A:
These are created as a play toy doll for children of all ages. They are so lovely in their package that they would also make wonderful collectors items; Great for all!!!

Young Ballerina with Clara

Young Ballerina with Clara

Q: You are currently focusing on the Nutcracker. Do you think you’ll be releasing dolls based on other ballets in the future? What drew you to releasing Nutcracker themed dolls as your first line?
A: Yes! We intend to go through all the classic ballet stories, so there is much more to look forward to in the future. Everybody is familiar with the Nutcracker, especially at Christmas time. We wanted to start with a story that warms the hearts of children and would be a cherished series to keep for a lifetime.

Q: What can we look forward to in the future?
A: A Party Dress with hairpiece and the book are currently available. We will be introducing two new characters from The Nutcracker every season. The costumes will only get more extravagant. In the near future, it will be possible to own every doll in the Nutcracker book. It’s very exciting!

Clara's Party Dress

Clara’s Party Dress

Q: Where can collectors purchase My Ballerina Dolls and/or find out more information on the line?
A: They can be purchased on our website, www.MyBallerinaDolls.com

Toy Fair 2015- My Ballerina Dolls (Nutcracker)

Now that you know a little about the line, here’s some amazing news! Use coupon code ‘Clara30’ between August 11-31, 2015 and you’ll receive 30% off and free shipping. You only have three weeks to take advantage of this, so I suggest checking out the website if you’re interested in saving a few dollars on Clara.

Toy Fair 2015- My Ballerina Dolls (Nutcracker)

I’d like to thank Tiffany for taking the time to answer my questions. Now, it’s your turn to comment. What do you think of this line? Are you excited about My Ballerina Dolls? Do you plan on taking advantage of the discount code? Share your thoughts in the comment area.

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August 10, 2015. Tags: . Uncategorized.

24 Comments

  1. discodiva replied:

    WoW! What a pretty doll & a great price for the bj feature. I love her dark long hair & delicate facial features, she would make a great addition to my collection.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yeah, I love the fact that you can change her look if you’d like, since the wig and eyes are removable.

  2. Susanne Iles replied:

    I will definitely be purchasing this lovely doll! Very excited about this.

    • Anonymous replied:

      Glad to hear you like the doll. I am so excited for their release!
      Tiffany

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Excellent. Let me know what you think of her!

  3. 39yearslame replied:

    And this sort of thing is one of the reasons my house is overflowing with dolls. 😛 But at least this one isn’t just “more of the same.” I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on one of these dolls since your Toy Fair report, but the one time I checked their web site since the line actually launched, they were sold out of the dolls. Finding out that they’re now on sale again–and with a $30 off coupon!–is great news, even if I shouldn’t be buying right now.

    At least PayPal has a thing going right now that they’re giving money back in September for spending money in August. Of course, it’s likely to only be $10, but…maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll be $100! If it’s $10, I think I’m going to use it on that party dress for Clara. (If it’s $100, there’s a BJD on the Junky Spot that’ll suddenly become much less expensive…)

    I can’t wait for that prince to hit the market. He’s so gorgeous! I think you said this earlier, but he really does look amazingly like Howl from “Howl’s Moving Castle”. (Someone said that, anyway…)

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yeah, the 30% off brings these down to an fantastic price. $70 for a 22″ resin bjd? Can’t go wrong. Customizers should be picking these up now. The price is just right.

  4. Blackkitty replied:

    Big dolls aren’t my thing so I won’t buy them but they are very cool to look at in photos!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yeah, the photos make them look very pretty. I’m interested in seeing how they feel and how they hold poses.

  5. Beatrix replied:

    I think the prince should be pretty popular, but I’m not convinced the ballerina will do as well among adult bjd collectors. That’s a very discriminating market to attract. Maybe, like you say, customizers will find her an affordable option and help boost sales.. It will be interesting to see what they do with her…although I think Ashton Drake’s Delilah Noir should provide some clue even if she was smaller. The idea of offering all the characters from The Nutcracker is good if initial sales keep these dolls around long enough to make that actually happen. I really like the party dress and the idea of more costumes in the future, too.. Will I buy one even with the $30 off though? Not likely. She’s not interesting enough to me personally. I’m also wondering about the real age range this will appeal to here. Will kids really appreciate the ball jointing? Will the doll hold up to play? Will parts come off and get lost? Also if they wish to make the doll more appealing I think they can’t rely on the fact that the dolls represent the Nutcracker ballet and assume that fact is instantly a story people will relate to. The site needs to visually bring that story to life so that potential buyers connect with the doll at the time they go to shop, not just recall what they might have watched at Christmas..Otherwise the doll risks becoming generic. American Girl dolls are a successful brand because it markets the dolls as characters with an entire story–movie, book and collection all at the same time to give the dolls more “personality” and make the buying of the doll an “experience.” From what I’ve seen from the ballerina dolls site they’ve overlooked this important part of sales strategy. Even Lottie dolls are “put into scenes” to stoke the fires of kids’ imagination. Ballerina dolls better get cracking because the doll business is as tough an industry to survive in as they come..

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I totally agree with your comment on the company needing to add more personality to the website. They also need to work on getting a social media presence, because they don’t have one right now at all. Also, you’re right. It will be interesting seeing what the largest market for these ends up being. I wouldn’t doubt that with the proper marketing, these could be a hit among the youth dance world.

      I’m pretty sure that legally, they’re probably 6+, at least, but it doesn’t really say that anywhere and I’m just guessing. If they’re strung like I suspect, then the official age range would have to be around there, since the feet and hands, when unstrung, could be a choking hazard.

      I don’t think she’ll be a hit among all BJD collectors, b/c, like you said, there is a bit of elitism in that niche, but I do think the face will grab people. I hope so, at least. I’d like to see what this brand can do with a little growth. Thanks for reading!

  6. Melissa Whisper replied:

    These are so beautiful; that face just won’t let go of me. The website says these are hard plastic and vinyl, which I think explains the price more. Still, that is a fantastic price for such a huge ball jointed doll with so many features! I’m also super curious to see how she moves; I wonder if she’s elastic-strung like most BJDs or if the joints are all plastic?

    The only two things holding me back from purchasing her are her Godzilla size (among my 12 inch dolls she would stick out insanely…and all my dolls live in my small bedroom) which I could easily overcome, and the fact that shipping to Canada is, according to their website, $135. (…Wha???) That is much harder to deal with.

    I really hope they get the international shipping figured out, because I’d love to take a look at one these dolls up close! They look so beautiful, and the Nutcracker story is special to me. I really hope this line succeeds(and that I can buy Clara)!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Wow, $135?! That’s crazy shipping! I, too, hope they can work out a better way to ship to Canada and abroad. Yeah, I did try to get more specifics on the whole Resin vs Hard Plastic/Vinyl thing. I know at Toy Fair, they very specifically said these would be resin, but that seems to have changed. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure what constitutes ‘resin’ or how many different forms or combinations of materials that might encompass. I hope to get one of these for review one day to see just how this hard plastic/vinyl combo feels.

  7. Teresa B replied:

    These dolls are so pretty! I too love the detail and the face is just sweet. What a wonderful idea having them bj so they can pose like a real ballerina. So awesome!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I hope they decide to come out with a barre one day for these. I really like the idea of displaying them doing barre work.

  8. Sugerplumfairy replied:

    I just ordered her with the discount code and it’s super exciting! I’m a huge fan of the Nutcracker, and I’ve never had a bjd before because of how expensive they are. Her face is so cute, I keep going back to look at her, and those slipper boots are pretty cool. I think she’ll look even better when I redress her though, I wasn’t a big fan of ether one of her costumes. The prince doll looks amazing as well!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yay! Let me know what you think of her. I love her ballet slippers, too. Super cool looking.

      • Anonymous replied:

        Will you be getting this doll? I would like to because of the price and I have no ball jointed dolls. I would like to get her but change her clothes. Do you have any suggestions where to purchase 22″ doll clothes?

        • kewpie83 replied:

          I *think* I’m receiving one for review from the company. They don’t ship until mid Sept, I believe, so if they do send one, I’ll have a review up probably around then. Right now, I do have plans to review her, though!

        • kewpie83 replied:

          Also, for 22″ doll clothes, she should fall under the same size as an MSD ball jointed doll. It’s hard to tell right now what will fit her properly, though, since I don’t have one in my hands.

  9. Debbie Miller replied:

    I received mine about a week ago & she is so beautiful. The slippers are so well made & have a perfect fit. I’m a little disappointed with to top of her hair-along the braid you can see the netting on the wig & then there is this huge bobby pin on the back holding that braid that wraps around her head. The dress is pretty however it is frayed in some parts. Her posing ability is exactly how a real ballerina would move. All in all I love her face sculpt & movement. The option to change her wig is a plus. I have noticed on the website the party dress looks different than the actual dress on the Party doll which is not available yet. The party dress looks like a heavy gold fabric in the center of the blue ruffled dress-but on the doll-its more of a see through yellow. I too hope you get the doll for a review & would be interested in your opinion on where to purchase clothes & shoes for this 23 inch doll. I cant imagine that party dress with pink slippers.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I’m most excited about her posing. If only I ballet barre or something for her photo shoot (sadly, I don’t). I’ll make sure to talk about clothing for her in my review. My doll was just sent out, I guess, so we’ll see when she arrives.

      • Eli replied:

        Hi, I am a doll collector, designer and ex-ballet dancer.
        I find this lady’s dresses quite charming, but she did not design the dolls in any way, they are “Ye Luoli” dolls or “Night Lolita/Lori Night” made by a small chinese company and based on a 3D animation series. They can be purchased for about 50$.
        I have nothing against Tiffany Koepke, of course, but she should not take the credit for something she did not do.

  10. Dolly Review: My Ballerina Doll Clara | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] It’s time to give her a proper review. As we learned in the interview I did with creator Tiffany Koepke, this line has deep roots in the Ballet world. Inspired to create a doll that could pose like a […]

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