Tonner Doll Company, led by celebrated doll artist Robert Tonner, designs and markets collectible fashion dolls, child character dolls, and licensed character figures such as HARRY POTTER and WONDER WOMAN through a network of specialty doll retailers and their own on-line store (http://www.tonnerdirect.com). Established in 1991, the internationally renowned company has been a staple in the high-end collectible doll industry for two decades.
In celebration of the 20-year milestone, Tonner Doll is planning a spectacular celebration during their annual convention in May. According to Robert Tonner, Tonner Doll Company CEO, Tonners annual convention will be bigger and better than ever.
I cant believe its been 20 years, exclaims Tonner. This convention truly reminds me of just how much fun this business is. It allows me to share my love of the dolls with my friends, the collectors.
The 2011 Tonner 20th Anniversary Convention Celebration is to be held in Lombard, IL at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center. For more information about the Tonner Convention, visit http://www.tonnerdirect.com/t-2011conhome.aspx.
After changing his career path from medicine to fashion, Tonner attended the Parsons School of Design. At Parsons, I discovered that maybe a kid from the Midwest could end up as a fashion designer in New York, Tonner reflects.
Upon graduation, Tonner was invited to work for Bill Blass, an internationally recognized force in the fashion field. Tonner soon became one of the companys top designers, heading up the Blassport label. "He had the same sort of instinct about clothes that I had when I was his age," Bill Blass once said of Tonner.
Tonners long-time interest in collecting fashion dolls led him 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 his career as a rising fashion designer. In 1991, he left the fashion industry to start the Robert Tonner Doll Company.
All of Tonners fashion dolls and costumes reflect his fashion industry background, and strong desire for perfection. They have been prominently featured in national and international media, including People Magazine, CNN, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Womens Wear Daily and British Vogue Magazine. Additionally, several of his creations were added to the permanent collection of the Louvre Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, France.
In addition to fashion, Tonner continued this thrilling trend of beautifully costumed dolls inspired by the cinema. Movies have become more magical to me than ever, said Tonner. Tonner has channeled many pop culture icons, such as those from Twilight, DC Comics DC STARS, Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland, Disney, Gone with the Wind, Marvel, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and many, many more.
In the mid 1990s, amidst the AIDS crisis, Tonner was greatly affected, and as a way to give back threw a fundraising event to benefit AIDS research. Tonner organized an American Model doll fashion show, where the dolls were dressed by well-known designers, such as Bill Blass and Dolce & Gabbana. The event was hosted by none other than Demi Moore, a doll collector herself. The doll that wore the same stunning Dolce & Gabbana dress that Demi wore that evening garnered a $ 50,000 bid from her then-husband, Bruce Willis. The star-studded event was a great success, and raised $ 350,000 for notable AIDS foundation AmFar.
Other newsworthy milestones during Tonner Dolls 20-year career include the introduction of Emme, the first full-figured fashion doll in 2002, which garnered widespread media coverage. In most recent news, in 2010 Tonner again made headlines for releasing his first gay fashion doll, Andy Mills Event Planner.
Whats next for Tonner Doll? Says Tonner, I never know where the next inspiration will come from something that says, you must turn me into a doll. But I do know that doll collecting isnt going away anytime soon and neither are we. Doll and character figure collectors around the world can celebrate, too.
Tonner products are available for purchase at http://www.tonnerdirect.com, as well as in specialty retail stores, FAO Schwarz, and the world-famous Harrods of London.