Robert Tonner communicated a letter that describes his decision to shut down his latest company, Phyn And Aero at the end of this month, citing production problems like rising costs and increasingly long lead times. Here it is in its entirety.
My Dear Friends,
As I stated back in January, the only thing you can count on is change, and I'm afraid I must change course yet again. As much as I've always loved manufacturing, on-going production issues have continued to wear me down, and as a result, Phyn & Aero will cease operating as of March 31st. Please know, when I refer to production issues, I'm referring to continuing rising costs and ever-growing lead times. I've always been proud of the fine work done by the factories—they care about the product every bit as much as I have—and the wonderful people we work with are as disappointed as I. Please know that this was not an easy decision for me or for us, nor a decision made lightly.
This decision, however, does create an opportunity for you to secure the last of any Phyn & Aero product. This includes Lila, Annora, Kadira and Nancy Ann—some of which have just arrived. Look for discounts on the product, but please note there will be no returns nor refunds. Also, should you order a Kadira item look for a little "freebee" in your box!
Please note, the Phyn & Aero website will be accessible through April but mainly to print off any images or descriptions you may want to retain.
As strange as this may seem under the circumstances, I am introducing a new doll—Rayne. I've attached our sell sheet from Toy Fair to explain what she is all about. The Shapeways store will be open, with at least a couple of pieces to order, by the end of the month (please refer to the sell sheet—this will make more sense). The dolls will be available thru a select group of retailers that are listed on our website, (be sure and click the link at the bottom of our site).
My new portfolio web-site, showcasing my current and past doll/figure designs and sculpting, will be up in a few days. Please check it out. (www.roberttonnerdesign.com).
Some great news—just because I'm closing P&A that doesn't mean that Kadira will be going away. Andrew Yang will be continuing to promote and develop Kadira and would be thrilled to hear from you. He can be reached at email@example.com.
So, you may ask, what the heck am I going to do now that I'll be out of the doll business? Well, I may be out of manufacturing, but I'm certainly not leaving the doll world. I'm working with various companies on freelance projects—and I've even signed a deal to do human (not doll) handbags and jewelry. So, I'll be around. Be sure to check out my new web-site and friend me on Instagram.
I can't tell you all what a wonderful ride this has been. The events, the parties, Toy Fair, the Magazines, and mostly you—the collectors—have made this entire doll world experience more than I could have imagined it to be. I sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the fun, friendship and the mutual love of this hobby—doll collecting.
The doll he mentions in the letter, Rayne, is not available anywhere for the moment, as his new website is not yet up and running. Nor is any photograph of her included in the document linked in the email, just her description and possibilities. Here is that document complete:
Just who is Rayne?
Rayne is your creative muse, your personal fashion model, your fashion canvas. She’s the realistic 16” fashion figure of your dreams.
She’s a beautiful doll but what makes her so special?
Sculpted by renowned and award-winning doll designer Robert Tonner, Rayne is a 16” realistic fashion figure with 15 points of articulation. She’s made of the finest hard plastic and vinyl with rooted saran hair (or unrooted for wigs).
So, she’s a normal fashion doll.
Not so fast. It’s not what we, the manufacturers have created but what you will do with Rayne that will really set her apart.
I’ll explain: Rayne arrives in a basic set of sport underwear and shoes just like a normal basic doll. However, that’s where the similarities with other commercial fashion dolls ends. How you dress and style her is up to you.
Again, like any other fashion doll so what makes her so different?
Simply, 3D printing technology.
You’ll be able to go to the Shapeways website at www.shapeways.com and shop in the R. Tonner Design store where you’ll find many accessories such as shoes, breastplates, cuffs, hats, sculpted wigs, jewelry, historical foundations and much more—all designed and sculpted just for Rayne. New styles will be added all the time. Pick the accessory you’d like for Rayne and order it in the material that suits Rayne’s style. How about a pair of purple pumps? Or a transparent, form fitting breastplate? Jewelry in real gold? Sure, why not? You can even order a plastic accessory that you can paint, decorate or even bedazzle! It’s easy and fun to do. You just go on the Shapeways site, pick the style you like, pick a material and color and order. It’s just that easy and your accessory is made exclusively for you and shipped directly to your home.
How about clothing?
I’m glad you asked! Patterns for easy to make outfits for Rayne will be available in March/April on the R. Tonner Design (RobertTonnerdesign.com) site to download.
Become a part of 3D printing technology revolution and enjoy an enhanced doll collecting experience--welcome to the creative world of Rayne!
I had no interest in any of the Phyn And Aero products, but the Tonner Outlander and Wonder Woman dolls are some of the best he released and would have loved to see more of them. Unfortunately it does not seem to be possible anymore.