Today, the Tonner Doll Company sent out an e-mail blast with some surprising news about the future of many of their current doll lines. Also posted on their social media sites, Tonner Doll Company shared a short note from Robert Tonner reminiscing about his favorite moments during the past 25 years. It ended with an announcement that may shock some collectors. Below is an excerpt from the note.
Currently, I’m spending a great deal of time learning (and hopefully mastering) some very new computer sculpting programs that, combined with state-of-the-art production capabilities, provide an entirely new method of creating dolls. I call it the “New Art of Doll Making™” and I’m really excited about what we’ll be doing in 2017 and beyond. It’s also awakened a pioneering spirit in me again and I’ve decided it’s time to completely re-think what we offer to collectors. Therefore, although Tonner will continue to make all of our established licensed products such as DC, Gone with the Wind, Outlander, etc., all of our proprietary lines, as well as those of Effanbee and Wilde Imagination, are being discontinued.
A new company is being launched and it’s called Phyn & Aero. We will be introducing three new lines in 2017 in collaboration with innovative (and incredibly talented) new designers. I really feel it’s time to broaden our perspectives and see what some fascinating (and younger!) designers create for our collectors. I believe the collector market needs a major shake-up and I’m quite sure this will be it!
My impression, based on this note, is that Tonner Doll Company will be concentrating on the licensed doll releases, while this new company, Phyn & Aero (pronounced Finn and Arrow, I’m guessing) will concentrate more on unique proprietary dolls. Unfortunately, as you read in the note, it looks like all of Tonner’s current proprietary lines, like Deja Vu, Agatha Primrose, Dede Denton and all the Wilde Imagination lines will be disappearing.
Naturally, I dashed to the website to see if anything was on sale. Nothing yet, though I did notice they recently did a 24 hour flash sale event. Sadly, unless they get restocks of many of the their current proprietary lines, it looks like the majority of the inventory is already sold out. Either that, or much of what I saw at Toy Fair 2016 never actually hit the website. (Did they ever release articulated versions of the My Imagination 18″ line? This line, too, I’d imagine- pun intended- will be disappearing. Also, didn’t they merge with One World? Did that not work out? They don’t mention that aspect at all in the memo.) Seeing this change in direction, it’s also safe to assume the conventions are done and over with. I never made it to a Tonner convention, even though they were close to me. They were far too expensive for me to attend, seeing I’m not solely a Tonner doll collector.
So, that’s the scoop! I would highly recommend you take a look at the Tonner and Wilde Imagination sites. If you see something you like, you may want to purchase it now. Does this change in direction shock you? What do you think? What lines will you miss? Let me know in the comment area!
A few weeks ago, Tonner announced that the license to produce Sindy was ending and discounted all the remaining stock to crazy awesome prices. Tonner’s time with Sindy was, well, not perfect. They missed the anniversary and never marketed this iconic British series properly to the US audience. Another thing they never got right was the pricing. Sindy was priced way too high. As much as I hate to say it, I would have felt so ripped off had I paid full price for the Sindy you’ll be seeing in this review. Tonner would have done themselves a huge service had they aimed this series towards the younger set and not solely collectors. If Tonner Toys, for example, had produced it and gotten a select number into big chain stores, I think this could have been a real hit. However, deciding to make her a collectible with a high price tag just didn’t work.
But, to the review! The Tonner sale saw Sindy’s usually priced between seventy to one-hundred or more dollars marked down to as little as thirty-five US dollars! Clearly, the time to buy! When I logged in, Tonner had pretty much most of their stock available. Very quickly, though, they started selling out. I was lucky enough to snatch up two, one for me and one for my mother for Mother’s Day. The latter is being kept a secret for now, but I would like to introduce you to my new Sindy (which is also my first Sindy) Sindy’s TV Dream.
Unknown to me at the time of ordering, Sindy’s TV Dream was limited to 225 pieces and exclusive to the Guilty Pleasures Tonner Collectors Convention in 2015. This doll comes dressed in a mod style outfit with a pink and green checkered jacket with a peter pan collar, a pink top and mini skirt in the same pink and green checkers. There are small details like white buttons on the jacket, a thick pink belt on the skirt and matching pink heels. She also comes wearing pantyhose and undies. One element I particularly like is the long silver chain necklace. It totally completes the look.
Sindy has a cute little face! Her blue eyes are large and round. Sindy’s round face has two chubby cheeks. Her lips are a nice mauve color and there’s light blush on her cheeks. Sindy has ‘real’ eyelashes and a handful of painted ones. Her real lashes are a bit disappointing. They’re not done very well, to be honest. They’re hard and thick, not effortless, like you’d expect from a brand known for high quality products like Tonner. Between these and painted lashes, I’d have much preferred painted lashes.
Sindy has the most adorable brown wigged hair! I love her short bob with bangs. It goes perfectly with her groovy outfit. She wears a pink ribbon in her hair. It’s just a normal pink ribbon, nothing special, but it looks nice. At 11″ tall, she’s a great size. Her vinyl is surprisingly thick and of a nice quality. There’s no hollow limbs on this girl! It’s very apparent when you feel her head. Her head is made of very thick, hard vinyl.
As far as articulation goes, Sindy is lacking in that area. Now, I can’t fault Tonner for this, because if they were making a true reproduction, then many they purposely decided against giving this girl articulation. But, in this current doll market, she would have been much more popular, I think, if she had some more articulation. Sindy’s shoulder and leg joints only allow her limbs to move up and down, not out. If you put her in a sitting position, she will sit in a straddle. She has no elbow or knee joints. On the upside, she does have a twist and turn waist and a head that moves in all directions. While I love the TNT waist, she’s hard to pose in natural and different poses due to her lack of elbow and knee joints.
I thought it would be cute to take a few photos of Sindy with my Big Chief 11th Doctor, seeing they both hail from across the pond (in relation to Illinois, at least). The prop TARDIS you’ll see in the background is actually from a convention I attended earlier. A company was selling mystery boxes shaped like the TARDIS. It turns out the box was the coolest thing about the mystery box, because it was perfectly scaled for MSD sized dolls or those of a similar size. (It’s a little big for these two, but it works!) Due to Sindy’s lack of articulation, poses were limited between the two very different dolls, but you know what? I think these turned out so cute!!! (And no, I don’t know why I always make my Doctor pose romantically with his assistants. It just happens.)
Overall, I like this Sindy, I really do. But I can see why she may not have gone over so well with consumers. Her lack of articulation isn’t really on trend for today’s collectors. Sindy’s high prices didn’t help, either. I think, if you find a Tonner Sindy for $50.00 or below, you’re good. She’s a solidly made doll and was produced in some super cute looks. At the time of this writing, there are still two outfits (no doll included) for sale at $20.00 a pop, originally priced at $70.00 (yikes!). You can easily find Sindy’s TV Dream and others in the line on eBay and most likely at your favorite doll shops.
Do you own a Tonner Sindy? How do you think she compares to the original Sindy line? Do you think her original price tag is justified? Share your thoughts below!
Like last year, I booked an appointment to see the Tonner booth at New York Toy Fair. They usually have a modest sized booth with an orderly display of both past and future releases. There were some pretty awesome dolls on display this year.
But first, let’s start with the disappointing news. There was no Maudlynne Macabre on display. If you recall, last year, packaged Maudlynne’s were on display in a corner of the room; The plan being that they’d try to work her back into the Tonner line sometime in 2015. That didn’t happen. When I didn’t see her on display this year, I asked Mr. Tonner what was going on with her, because I know that many of you (myself included) are fans. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to report. There are no plans to re-release our favorite gothic doll or her ghostly friend. That being said, he didn’t say it was off the table and I left feeling hopeful that maybe one day we’d see her again.
Now on a more positive note, there were some things I know you’ll want to see from the Tonner booth. Let’s start off with my favorite thing in the booth- Agatha Primrose. This new line looks very different from Tonner’s usual fair. Robert Tonner himself said it was a departure from what he has designed in the past and was very enthusiastic about this ‘adorkable’ line.
There are a few things I love about this line. First, the size! She’s shorter than Tonner’s typical fashion doll with a more teenage body. Second, Agatha is articulated. And third? The glasses. I love the round Harry Potter/Daria-esc glasses! The fashions are very cool, as well. Check them out below!
Below is the basic Agatha Primrose, for those who want to save a few pennies. (I wanted so badly to fix this dolls glasses!)
While many of the items for My Imagination were on display last year, new for this year is a dark-skinned basic doll. She’ll come in two skin tones.
I asked about the jointed dolls. They’re still in the works, but delayed. There were a few new licensed outfits on display, but we weren’t allowed to photograph them. There’s definitely one or two that I think are very cool!
As far as Deja Vu is concerned, I’m not crazy about all of them. The story is intriguing– a girl begins to remember her past lives. This means Tonner can do literally anything they want with the line.
Their faces are just, to me, strange. I think the expression works for the 1920’s era doll and there’s something pretty neat about the Egyptian couple, but I don’t know what I think of the rest. The costumes are, of course, spectacular. So much detail!
Also worth talking about is the new Wilde Imagination line based in the world of fairy tales that stars the mayor of a fairy tale town, Miette. Her wardrobe is fantastical and full of life.
Below are my favorite looks. I’d love to cosplay in the purple dress!
Last but not least, a Lost Costume Scarlett was on display. Tonner excels at Gone with the Wind products and this is no exception. Scarlett wears a very pretty green party dress. The design isn’t seen in the movie, however. It is based on an early sketch from the BBQ scene in Gone with the Wind. In the end, Scarlett wore a different dress and this was left on the cutting room floor– until now.
DeDe Denton and Patience were also on display. You can see photos in my flickr album. Tonner is usually really good about updating collectors on new products via their website and social media. They also welcome discussion on any kind of doll on Tuesdays at 8PM CST on Twitter using the tag #dollchat. I pop in from time to time under the twitter handle @KewpieDoll83.
See everything in the Tonner booth in this video tour, hosted by Mr. Tonner himself!
What are your favorites from the Tonner booth? Share them with us in the comment area!
Back in February, I picked up Maudlynne Macabre by Tonner Toys for $35.00. I had been eying her since she debuted, but her $45.00 price tag was just a bit steep for me to justify. When Tonner offered her for a lower price during Toy Fair, I couldn’t resist. Since that time, I’ve been meaning to do a review on her. Many people commented on Maudlynne after I featured her as set decoration in my Collector Spotlight, so I think the time to talk about her is now!
Let’s start off with the basics. Maudlynne stands at a whopping 15 inches tall and has 10 joints (neck, shoulders, elbows, thighs, knees, torso). She’s made of plastic. Unlike Tonner Toys Little Miss Matched doll line, Maudlynne is not sold in stores like Toys R Us.
Maudlynne has an adorable face. One part Wednesday Addams, one part Susie Sad Eyes, Maudlynne stands out amongst other 15 inch dolls. Her heart shaped face goes perfect with her large, purple, almond eyes. She has rooted black hair with bangs/fringe that works fantastically well with her face mold.
As far as her hair goes, I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s a basic enough hair style that you can ‘dress it up’ however you’d like. There’s not an over abundance of hair plugs, but enough to keep her hair looking full!
While the prototype outfit is made out of slightly different materials, factory Maudlynne still has a great sense of style. The dress is made out of thinner material than expected and to be honest, I thought she’d have a slip of some sort, but both of those are minor issues (and mostly based on my own assumptions)! I do love the ‘two tone’ look to the fabric and the cut of the dress is great. It’s simple, yet has character.
The only downfall I really have found with Maudlynne‘s attire is the material used for her fingerless gloves. It slips and slides a lot and isn’t the most easy fabric to put back on if you’re playing around with outfits. The look, however, is quite cool! Maudlynne‘s shoes are similar to Little Miss Matched.
How does Maudlynne pose? Well enough, I say. She stands and holds poses well. As previously mentioned, she has 10 joints and you can do a good deal with them.
The ten joints include: neck, elbows (2), shoulders (2), chest, thighs (2), and knees (2).
The downfall of her jointing is that Maudlynne is lacking wrist and ankle joints.
I would love if Maudlynne had the ability to hold objects in the palm of her hand or to place the palm of her hand on a suface. To me, the wrist joint is very important in photographing your dolls in realistic positions and I’m surprised Tonner Toys left it out of Maudlynne.
Overall, I really do like my Maudlynne doll and the line is only just beginning. I’m hopeful they’ll release a Victoria doll, Maudlynne’s best (ghost) friend, and I hear there are fashion packs in the works, too! Is she worth $45.00. It really depends on you. I think she’s totally worth the $35.00 I spent on her.
Maudlynne is a doll that oozes character and is adorable to boot! I am looking forward to seeing what Tonner Toys releases next!
For those of you that YouTube, I put together a video review for this girl.
What do you think of Maudlynne? What would you like to see in her doll line? Do you think they can improve upon her? Share your thoughts below!
One thing I love about Tonner is that they aren’t afraid to discount. For the past few years now, they’ve offered various store and web events throughout the year that have featured dolls at pretty awesome prices.
The next online event is coming up in just a few days! Head over to Tonner between January 8th at Noon EDT and January 9th at 5pm EDT for a chance to snag some dolly deals!
And if you do find something cool during the sale, drop by here and let us know about your new addition! Happy shopping!