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The Tonner Dolls Evolution Continues


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Tonner Dolls are the creation of Robert Tonner and the Company was founded in 1991.

The company was first established by Robert Tonner together with Harris Safier and a part-time working seamstress. They were the only employees then and were charged with the task of building an empire right from scratch.


The first Tonner doll was made public in an American International Toy Fair in New York as porcelain fashion dolls and jointed porcelain child dolls. Through the intense marketing tactics of Harris and Rebecca Plasker who publicized the dolls, Robert Tonner Doll Designs started a rapid pickup in sales in its first year in business. In 1992 it suffered a downfall just at the brink of success due to the inability to meet the excessive demand for the Dolls.

Come 1995, the Company came up with a new strategy. They gained the licensing rights to recreate the 1950 version of the paper doll Betsy McCall to reintroduce it to the collectors market.

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tonner dolls, tonner doll, robert tonner dolls

Robert decided to produce the doll in China to cut on costs and Betsy McCall was reborn. The new vinyl made doll became a huge success and revived the financial luster the company had lost.

From then on Robert Tonner recorded success after success and the rise in demand saw the company increase its staff to meet the consumer needs, but Robert Tonner wouldn't take any chances this time around.

By the year 2000, the company had well over 24 employees including marketers, designers and a vast sales and administration staff. The company then changed its name fully to Tonner Doll Company.

The success of the Betsy McCall doll earned it the right to manufacture dolls based on television, cinema, comic book and video game characters.

In 1997, the first cinema character to be replicated was Rose of the Titanic film. Then in 1999 dolls for the Star Wars series were created.

Tonner Doll continued to shine in its doll franchise with the popularity of its work spreading. In 2006 it won the contract to produce doll replicas for the Harry Potter series and Memoirs of a Geisha characters. This was followed by the company entering the comic book arena with the likes of Superman and Lois Lane being produced along with Heroes and villains from the DC Comics as well.

tonner dolls, tonner doll, robert tonner dolls

tonner dolls, tonner doll, robert tonner dolls

In 2002 Tonner Doll Company bought Effanbee Doll Company. This saw the incorporation of Bernard Lipfert's Patsy doll 'Patsyette' into the Tonner Doll family. The Effanbee Dolls have retained their name though they are now under the production of Tonner Doll.

Later the company gained rights to reproduce dolls for Tribune Media's Brenda Starr and Girl Reporter series not forgetting the comic strip Little Orphan Annie.

Deals for reproducing action figures kept coming and now kids can catch their favorite superheroes in vinyl doll form.

The 2010 collection of superhero figures includes the likes of Wonder Woman, who comes full with her signature accessories, Super girl Kara is also on the list of replicas with her knit body suit and faux leather belt as well as a display stand. More action figures in the line are Cat Woman, Superman, the Green Lantern, Poison Ivy and even the Joker.

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Movie lovers can now become doll collectors through the artistic replication of movie characters with dolls like the Summit Entertainments Twilight characters; Bella, Edward Cullen or Jacob as well as the new James Bond movie character Daniel Craig.

The Tonner Doll Companys' tentacles have now spread to the fashion world with the Revlon Company giving the go ahead for the production of Revlon fashion dolls complete with fashion outfits. Studio designer Anne Harper is rubbing shoulders with Tonner Doll as well. She is working firmly with the company to produce fashion dolls to model her designer gowns.

On October 29th , 2010 Tonner Doll had a surprise for its doll collectors. The company had a new event christened the 2010 Tonner Collectors Halloween Convention showcasing Halloween character figures for the fans to add to their collections.



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2011 Toy Fair and Tonner's DC Comics  Not rated yet

Tonner Dolls unveiled their upcoming Dc Comics’ Dove figure, amongst others, at the NYC toy fair.

Shown above are some images from the Tonner booth ...


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