The end of an era: Tonner Doll company shuts down

I was expecting to begin the new year with happier news, but unfortunately that is not the case. Robert Tonner announced in an email that Tonner Doll shut down with the end of 2018. Of course it was to be expected, after the restructuring of his business and his focus on Phyn & Aero, which left Tonner Doll only with licensed product, which was obviously not as commercial as it should. Licensing has the fees sucking out most of the profits, and if a company deals only with such a sector, it needs to have mass production and a wide array of product to be sust, something Tonner Doll had not. I’ll always cherish the Tonner dolls I own, and hopefully will acquire some more in the future. From now own, doll collectors will follow his endeavours with his other company, Phyn & Aero. Below is his letter. 


 My Dear Friends,

I was lucky enough to start Tonner Doll at a point when it seemed that everyone was collecting, making, buying or selling dolls.  At the same time, the Far East was willing and eager to produce whatever we wanted at a price that couldn’t be beat.    High demand and inexpensive, quality production led to the golden age of collectible dolls and great success for Tonner Doll.

It’s often said that the only thing you can count on is change; I whole heartedly agree with that statement.  I could go on and on about the changes in the collectible doll industry, but in short, the business model that I used to build Tonner Doll is no longer viable or sustainable.  Therefore, Tonner Doll Company (including the Tonner Doll web site, doll hospital, phones and emails) was closed as of December 31, 2018.


“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.”
― Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato

I’m very excited that Phyn & Areo will continue with a brand-new business model, one that addresses some of the changes mentioned above and we will be exploring new ways of doing business.  Through Phyn and Aero, I’ll be working directly with our favorite retailers to create unique and exclusive dolls (look for the first Ellowyne out this Spring).  I will continue to design for and attend events throughout the year (Dollology, Shaker Doll Club, Doll Circle and UFDC to name a few).  At Phyn and Aero I will also continue to develop new product; we’ll be doing small batch, design driven products.  Rayne, a new character with unique (and I mean unique) accessories will debut around Toy Fair.  In addition, I am working on design projects with other companies (I just did a huge amount of work for FAO; that was both a challenge and a delight).  I think it’s going to be a very busy, very exciting 2019!

Over these past 28 years I have had to honor to meet, work with and befriend some of the most wonderful people there are—doll collectors, doll lovers and doll retailers.  I want you to know how deeply I’ve appreciated our journey together—and here’s to a bright, exciting, shiny, new future!


P.S.  Starting today, please visit our website at or call us at 845-802-5552.  You can also reach us through


All photos courtesy of Tonner Doll.  

Mommie Dearest - Integrity does Hollywood again

Most of you already know that Integrity has a Paramount licensing deal - that is how they got the Breakfast at Tiffany's and Funny Face dolls releases among others. This time around, the honoured film is Mommie Dearest, the 1981 biopic of Joan Crawford's life as an adoptive mother, played by Faye Dunaway. The doll is not made in the likeness of any of the two actresses but rather tries to embody the role spirit. 

Item # 14025
Mommie Dearest™
Official Collectible Doll Gift Set
Limited edition of 800 dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $150.00
Approximate Ship Date: Early July 2013

The gift set includes a 12-inch fully articulated vinyl doll (on the Integrity Toys body) with hand-applied eyelashes and rooted hair. The day ensemble is a tailored two-piece skirt suit, complete with hat and jewellery (earrings and a brooch), finished with a pair of black pumps.

The night outfit is a nightgown but she sports another head altogether for it! The set includes a doll body, two distinctive sculpts with QUICK SWITCH* feature, two complete costumes, a miniature wire hanger, two pairs of shoes, earrings, hat, doll stand and certificate of authenticity.

So you get a doll that has two interchangeable heads and two distinct looks. The nightgown looks really nice too - plus the second head recreates the look from the film, where the star is shown wearing her night beauty mask.

Below you can see the two ensembles in stills from the actual film:

The second look is really scary in the film - but only because of the expression of the star's face. The doll looks so much calmer! I really like the sculpt and the outfits of this one, she's a keeper. The head changing system looks promising, wondering how good it works up close. It will be featured on all future doll releases from Integrity Toys.

Please note that the photos are of prototype doll and accessories. Final product subject to changes and modifications. All information contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2013 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission.

Tonner Dolls Pre-Toyfair collection! Part two - Retro gals: Deanna & Holywood

Retro lines are usually treated with panache by Tonner and this one is no exception The Deanna Denton line features a unique full figured body which is more realistic for the period. For this collection they have only one dressed doll. I like the outfit but the doll leaves me cold. She could have looked that much better. Their previous efforts were so much more interesting. I hope this changes again for the next one. It is called Bye Bye Baby. Yes of course it is the Marilyn song:

So she could have looked like that. Sigh.

Let us stay in Holywood then and check out the Holywood Glamour collection. Tonner have condensed here all the old Holywood star dolls they make plus a series of glamorous outfits.

 Joan Crawford is a gorgeous doll, the likeness of the sculpt is breathtaking and the outfit so glamourous it dazzles. An excellent doll but quite expensive at US$189.99. The doll is named appropriately Devil In White and is wearing a sleek satin gown and luxurious faux fur trimmed capelet, adorned with a lavish rhinestone brooch. Rhinestone bracelet, pantyhose, and faux-leather shoes also included. Joan Crawford™ Head Sculpt and 16" Tyler BW Body; Blue Eyes w/ Raven Hair and Bloom Skin tone. I think she could have used a pair of long gloves.

Ava Gardner is again a great sculpt and this release is probably the one that looks more like the famous film star. I like the outfit as well, although the jewellery is too simple for a star of this calibre. A pair of short gloves would have looked perfect as well as a clutch bag. The doll is called Hearts Ablaze and she wears a red dress of sumptuous lace and frothy tulle. Her waist is cinched in with a satin belt and sparkling rhinestone buckle. Rhinestone earrings, bracelet, pantyhose, and faux-leather pumps also included. Ava Gardner™ Head Sculpt and 16" Tyler BW Body; Green Eyes w/ Brunette Hair and Bloom Skin tone.

There is a Bette Davies doll as well, called Stardust but no picture is available yet. She comes clothed in a shimmering gown with matching braided trim, gleaming beaded bracelet, pantyhose, and T-strap high-heeled shoes. Bette Davis™ Head Sculpt and 16" Tyler BW Body; Blue Eyes w/ Platinum Hair and Bloom Skin tone.

Joan Crawford: a formidable doll by Tonner

Tonner Dolls has been expanding their doll line rapidly over the last years, incorporating new face molds (and new bodies lately) into their wide range. So it was inevitable that, with the love Robert Tonner holds for Old Hollywood, that famous stars of the past would find their way amidst their other film lines. The first glamorous Hollywood star to receive the Tonner treatment is none other than the magnificent Joan Crawford. A natural choice, both for her star quotient, interesting face and promising original outfits, most of which were designed by the genius designer of Hollywood glamour Adrian.

Basic 2008 Joan Crawford (Ready for Wardrobe is the moniker of the doll) arrived promptly for her photo shoot, with all the airs and fuss a diva of this magnitude commands. The turquoise box reminded me of the Integrity Gene ones, to which of course this doll is in direct competition: they belong to the same era, would be antagonists in real - life Hollywood and will be vying to share the spotlight in doll collectors' shelves. But how does Joan look and feel?

The doll bears an uncanny resemblance to the real star: her face is exquisitely sculpted to match Joan's characteristics, looking very much like her younger self in her earlier career in the 30s and early 40s. This incarnation of the doll has brunette hair, gathered at the back and cascading in big curls. Her eye make up could have been a bit more pronounced in my opinion (as the stars of the era did wear it heavy-handed) but she still is pretty much Joan. One basic problem: one of her fiery red painted nails had colour bleeding from it onto the finger, a thing that I have never seen before in a Tonner doll.

She comes dressed in a lovely turquoise charmeuse slip trimmed with black lace, hosiery with attached panties, and lovely black Mary Janes (see below). I think they should have included a long flowing matching robe, giving her a more diva feel - being basic does not mean she is a lesser star. Also the slip is a bit too short for her to pose sitting without showing too much for that era. I am sure they were wearing longer slips back then. She does not have any jewellery either. She has the standard Tyler body, which means that her silhouette might look a bit more modern than it should, although that can be corrected with careful tailoring of the outfits. The overall feel though is very nice.

So what should she wear? I knew she would be itching to get out of her slip as soon as she came her, so a lovely gown was waiting for her to put on. The Jungle Red outfit from the Joan Crawford Tonner collection took my breath away from the publicity shots: the cut, colouring and tailoring seemed ideal for a Hollywood diva. So here she is, basking in it's beauty:

The gown is a full length, pleated chiffon dress with intricate shirred detail and striking red and white contrast, paired with a coordinated beaded bracelet and faux leather open-toe red strappy heels. She would want a pair of diamond earrings to go with it too, but more of that later. Fortunately the dress comes with an attached white slip under it so that the bright red fabric does not stain the doll. The bodice is also lined in white.

It was a treat photographing her in various poses in this particular outfit: the fabric and pleating offer many possibilities and make her look even more glamorous and breathtaking, the true diva she is. A great addition to the collection of any Hollywood fan doll collector.

"So, what about those diamonds?" I heard her say, becoming more impatient with every camera click. So I dug out the set Franklin Mint's Marilyn Monroe was wearing in "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds" with her red outfit and put them on her - the diamonds and rubies match the white and red gown perfectly (see below). Joan in satiated - for now... wait till she sees what the other ladies are wearing around here...