My first Tonner

I wrote this in my personal journal over a year ago, but decided to share it here, because I wanted to share my excitement over receiving my very first Tonner doll. She would definitely not be my last!

I’ve been a Barbie collector for about 15 years. I love Barbie. There was never any other doll for me – until I discovered Tonner Dolls. And even then, it was more than a year before I decided to buy one. But one day, back in August of 2011, an offer for a Tonner Lord of the Rings Arwen doll came up that afforded me the opportunity to take one on a, well, “test drive,” if you will.

I placed my order. I waited anxiously, with both excitement (Tonner! Eeee!) and trepidation – would my Barbies ever forgive me? Surely there was enough room for other dolls… until I remembered most of my Barbies were in the closet due to lack of shelf space. But I could find somewhere for a new doll to love, right?

The big day came. A box arrived. I took it upstairs and carefully cut it open, holding my breath in anticipation. I pulled out a second box. I cut that one open to find… another box. I pulled the top off and saw tissue paper. Honestly, by that point I was starting to turn blue from lack of oxygen. But this was it. The big reveal. My first Tonner. I peeled back the tissue paper…

And there she was. Arwen Elvenstar. Crushed velvet lavender dress with silver trim. Long, curly hair. Pointy ears! She would have taken my breath away if I’d had any breath left in my lungs.

Choirs of angels could have broken out into the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus and I wouldn’t have been surprised.

I had to make myself take Arwen out of her box. This was actually very hard for me to do, as my cardinal rule for Barbies is to never, ever remove them from their boxes. Which is a bit of a shame, since you can never see the back of the doll (or her shoes most of the time), but I just cannot bring myself to remove Barbie from her box. Of course, it helps that most Barbie boxes themselves are designed to be miniature display cases, and most of my Barbies look so beautiful in their boxes, I don’t want to remove them.

Fortunately, the Tonner Arwen box is very plain, and not made for displaying. This made the decision to remove her from her box so much easier for me. Which is a good thing, as I wanted to explore every inch of her. I know Barbie sculpts inside and out, but Tonner was new (to me) and pretty and POSABLE. I’ve never wanted to play with my collectible Barbies. I wanted to play with Arwen.

The thing that most amazed me with Arwen was her ability to be posed. I’ve never had a ball-jointed doll before. Honestly, I was a little afraid to try out the different angles of her limbs for fear I would accidentally break something! Her arms and hands were the most fun to play around with. The tights made her legs a little harder to move around, but it could be done… carefully. I must have put her arms in a dozen different positions the first night I had her. I really felt like a kid again, playing with my new dolly.

Her face is simply astounding. Arwen’s likeness to Liv Tyler is gorgeous, and I fell head-over-heels in love with her little pointy elf ears.

How adorable are her ears? 😀

Her hair threw me for a bit at first. It’s very stiff, but I can understand why. I wouldn’t want Arwen to lose her lovely, wavy hairstyle. As I am not a stylist, it’s not a big concern, but I wonder how it would work with someone who did want a different hairstyle for their doll.

So shiny and curly!

What I loved most, however, was her dress. Doll collecting, for me, is all about the dress/outfit. The Tonner website describes it as a “a luminous gown of soft velvet, with shimmering lace sleeves, flowing into metallic sleeve drapes. Pantyhose and faux suede boots also included.” (I know nothing of fashion and can’t tell one fabric from another, despite the amount of “Project Runway” episodes I consume.) The purple dress is just the right shade of purple… soft and airy. The glittery lace sleeves add just the right amount of “bling,” and the grey sleeves go very well and are a lot of fun to play with using the posable arms.

I could not get over the detailing in the boots, and I love how the doll comes with interchangeable feet (interchangeable feet!) just in case I feel the need to slip her into a more feminine high-heeled shoe.

Gorgeous grey boots!

And extra feet! Just in case…!


If I could add anything to the outfit, it would be a silvery belt to break up the line of the dress and the head-piece Arwen wears in the movie. (A silver belt I’ve found on eBay; still wishing for the head-piece!) But overall, she is simply perfect, down to the last detail of her painted fingernails and toenails.

I’m super excited to finally be a member of the Tonner family, and I know, without a doubt, there will be many more like her to add to my collection in the future (because I’ve already ordered three more). Thank you, Tonner Dolls, for making such lovely creations that finally allowed me to be brave enough to try something other than Barbie. Barbie is still a big part of my doll-collecting life, but I know now there is definitely enough love and admiration for Tonner as well.

Since Arwen, I have crowded what little shelf space I have with Tonner and Wilde Imagination dolls. I’ve amassed something of a small army of dolls from these two companies in the year I’ve been collecting and hope to share other dolls from my collection on this blog in the future.

4 thoughts on “My first Tonner

  1. What a fantastic post Caroline! we can practically feel every moment of it. So glad you are part of the Tonner family. ^kv 🙂

  2. […] be sure to read and comment on the rest of My First Tonner on Shelf Life […]

  3. sherry Davis says:

    You remind me of the day I got my American Model, the redhead. I was leaving for work and she came. I was undecided to open now or wait till after work and I opened her right away and what a thrill. She was so large and such a beauty. It was difficult to leave and go to work. I’ve made and ordered several outfits for her since then. It’s also all about the clothes.
    Tonner is a jewel. My first doll of his was Tyler Wentworth, Raven and there will be more. I’m trying to keep the collection small. I like to make
    costumes for them. I even learned how to make my own patterns so they would come out better.
    So hurrah for you too. It’s a lot of fun. what is life w/o passion?

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