Tonner Doll Company has been making high end , fully articulated dolls since its inception in 1991. They have made dolls for properties for Star Wars, Marvel, Twilight, Tomb Raider, Get Smart, Disney, Lord of the Rings, and mostly DC Comics, along with other original designs. From DC they have produced tons of both comic and movie inspired dolls, in different scales and price points.
Sadly, it looks like those days are over. As of December 31, Tonner Doll Company has completely shutdown, from its website to its phone service. Company founder Robert Tonner sent out a letter announcing the news, while also plugging a venture called Phyn & Aero. Sadly, they will not be continuing with the DC Comics license. Below you will find the letter announcing the closing:
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!
This is yet another blow to DC Collectors, as this follows the news that Mattel has lost most of its own license to produce DC Comics toys., with Spin Master taking up the reigns.