Tonner Dolls - Believe in the Power of Play®
The Matilda Company proudly presents the Tonner Doll Company collection. The Tonner Doll Company is internationally renowned for award-winning dolls that encourage the young—and the young-at-heart—to Believe in the Power of Play®. Inspired by a passion for doll collecting, the company has manufactured fine dolls designed and sculpted by Robert Tonner, from little girl and classic character dolls that recapture the magic of childhood memories, to fully articulated high fashion dolls with exquisite collections of costumes that depict the quintessential American style. Robert Tonner’s life-long interest in dolls, top-level fashion designer experience, and designing and sculpting talents led to his creation of the Tonner Doll Company, one of the most successful and celebrated doll manufacturers in the world.
After graduating from the Parsons School of Design, Tonner was invited to join Bill Blass, an internationally recognized force in the fashion field, and soon became one of the company’s top designers, heading up the Blassport label. Throughout his career, Tonner’s “contemporary classic” view of how a modern American woman should dress continually caught the eye of the fashion world’s trend-spotters—his designs were featured regularly in such publications as Women’s Wear Daily, Town & Country, New York Magazine, New York Times and Vogue.
Tonner’s long-time interest in dolls led him to become a collector, and in 1982, to try his hand at doll sculpting. In 1985, Tonner received a glowing review, from an esteemed panel of judges at the National Institute of American Doll Artists Conference in NYC, for a model-like fashion doll he had entered for critique. During the years that followed, Tonner turned more of his attention to developing and perfecting his doll designs while still pursuing the career of a rising fashion designer. In 1991, he left the fashion industry to start the Robert Tonner Doll Company, manufacturer of collectible Tonner dolls.
All of Tonner’s dolls and costumes reflect their creator’s fashion industry background and desire for perfection. They have been prominently featured in national and international media including People Magazine, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Women’s Wear Daily and British Vogue Magazine. Recently, several of his creations were added to the permanent collection of the Louvre Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, France. Chosen from a gamut of doll makers in the industry, Tonner Dolls partnered with Miramax Films’ to create dolls based on the film ‘Chicago’ and ‘Ella Enchanted’ – his late 2006 release of Paramount Pictures’ Dreamgirls continued this thrilling trend of beautifully costumed dolls inspired by the cinema. Tonner is also working with Warner Bros. on its current Harry Potter™ Collection, The Wizard of Oz™ and DC Comics’ DC STARS™ Collection featuring famous DC Super Heroes such as Supergirl™, Wonder Woman™ and soon to be released, Superman™. In , Tonner will team with Marvel Comics to introduce licensed likenesses from the film, Spiderman 3, in a complete character figure collection. In addition, Tonner will release new collections based on Disney film properties Pirates of the Caribbean and the Chronicles of Narnia. Other Tonner Doll licenses include Betsy McCall®, Ann Estelle by Mary Engelbreit® and For Better or For Worse®. Tonner’s top line, Tyler Wentworth®, is based on the life of a New York City fashion designer and her exquisite wardrobe of hand-beaded silks, luxurious cashmere and camel hair, and a myriad of exclusive haute couture fabrics.
Robert Tonner has served as standards chairman and president of the National Institute of American Doll Artists (NIADA), and regularly aligns his company and creative spirit with a variety of charitable initiatives including the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), England’s Action against Addiction and Broadway Cares/Equity Fighting AIDS..
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