Tonner 25th Anniversary Convention — Days 4-6

Day 4

The final day of the convention was also an auspicious occasion… my 40th birthday. Woke up to a ton of messages on Facebook, which made me feel loved, before getting ready and heading down to the sales rooms to pick up the Comic-Con Alice Primrose for a friend. And as soon as I entered and Tonner’s Michelle saw me, she had the entire room sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. It was both embarrassing and lovely at the same time!

The first event of the day was the Cheery Mary Engelbreit luncheon. Which was a Big Deal to Mom, as she has been a ME collector going on 20 years now. The lady herself was there! We got to hear and see her creative process, and see the reintroduction to the Ann Estelle line.

Mary Engelbreit and Robert Tonner answer audience questions.

Mary Engelbreit and Robert Tonner answer audience questions.

 

Two new versions of Ann Estelle, the classic little girl and Ann as a teenager.

Two new versions of Ann Estelle, the classic little girl and Ann as a teenager.

Mom bought her very first doll, the classic Ann Estelle doll! I admit, I kind of prodded her into buying the doll, but I knew she wanted it, especially since the doll matched our table gift, a Mary E. print in a little acrylic frame.

Table centerpiece -- a My Generation girl in a Mary Engelbreit outfit.

Table centerpiece — a My Generation girl in a Mary Engelbreit outfit.

 

Amelia even matched the tablecloth!

Amelia even matched the tablecloth!

After the lunch, Mom and I got in line to have a couple of her Mary Engelbreit books signed. She was such a nice lady! Mom also had Ann Estelle’s butt signed by both Mary and Robert. Tee hee!

The afternoon rolled around, and I was supposed to attend another workshop, but I just wasn’t feeling well at that point. I managed to get some things mailed home via UPS, but I skipped the workshop in order to take a little nap. The final event of the convention was coming up and I didn’t want to miss it!

And I’m so glad I didn’t! The final, grand event was amazing. On every single table was a one-of-a-kind doll, celebrating Tonner’s 25 years, being “dressed” by fashion designer Tyler Wentworth.

This was our centerpiece. I wanted her, but wasn't fortunate enough to win her.

This was our centerpiece. I wanted her, but wasn’t fortunate enough to win her.

The table gift was a stunning jewelry set, of “diamond” earrings and necklace for the girls. (Mine are still fighting over it, so it’s put away until they can come to an agreement. *g*)

Amelia dressed in her Silver Anniversary togs!

Amelia dressed in her Silver Anniversary togs!

But the highlight of the evening was a fashion show, with models dressed in Robert Tonner’s designs, some familiar, some new. I’ve always been intrigued by fashion, even if I don’t follow it, or care what I wear myself. It was such fun to see real-people fashion on display!

At last, it was time for the big reveal… the souvenir doll! A fashion doll with a face sculpt created just for this convention and will never be used again… AND I DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE OF HER. Ugh, I’m slacking! So I’m “borrowing” one from the Tonner website…

A true Celebration!

A true Celebration!

Even the box was amazing… magnetic closure and every one was signed by Mr. Tonner!

The evening was capped off with a pajama party (where I gave away my quilling piece) and the RAFFLE! Now, I have attended three Wilde conventions and three Tonner conventions. I always win at Wilde. I never win at Tonner. And that proved true this time. I didn’t win a thing.

Mom, on the other hand, won TWO.

Deja Vu Aahmas and Agatha Primrose Want to Dance?

Deja Vu Aahmas and Agatha Primrose Want to Dance?

They are amazing! And Mom is my lucky charm! Happy birthday to me! 😀

It’s always sad when the convention is over, but most of us were hanging around for one more day… After all, the Mid-Ohio Doll Show was being held at the hotel on Sunday!

Days 5&6

Mom slept in, while I went down to explore the doll show. So. Many. Dolls. Antique dolls. Barbie. Madame Alexander. Tonner. Doll dresses. Prams. Furniture. Teddy bears and old toys. It was… overwhelming. I don’t do so well in crowds, but I made it all the way around the room twice. Go me! Picked up a stunning dress for the Deja Vu dolls, which I don’t have yet, but will have to pick up soon. Also found a teeny-tiny fairy doll for Mom, as she collects fairies. And then I found this….

Weirdly adorbs!

Weirdly adorbs!

I took my spoils back to the room where Mom and I hung out for while before heading out to eat a celebratory birthday dinner at P.F. Chang’s. Where I had never eaten before but fell in love. I said my goodbyes to a few people back at the hotel before returning to the room to finish packing.

The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast of leftover P.F. Chang dessert (yum) before checking out and heading to the airport. We met up with Thomas and Lance who were waiting for their flight to Texas. It’s so wonderful to be able to spend time with friends who live so far away! But all too soon, they boarded their plane and we boarded ours and it was time to leave Columbus behind.

Such a wonderful, amazing time! I say that about all the conventions, but it really is awesome to just let loose and talk dollies for a few days every year.

Until we meet again! ❤

Das loot.

Das loot.

Tonner 25th Anniversary Convention — Competition & Exhibit Rooms

Competition Room

There were so many great entries in the competition categories this year! Too much, really, to go into great detail, so I’ll just post pics to ooh and aah over.

But first, my entries. As I have said before, I cannot sew. Wouldn’t have the first clue how to make a pattern. But this  year, there was a category for making a dress entirely out of paper. I do OK with paper crafts, so I thought I would give it a shot…

My paper dress entry.

My paper dress entry.

The base of the dress is yellow tissue paper. All the flowers were handmade (and took 2 days!!) by me and glue to the dress. I added a little bling and some glitter and voila! I wish the glitter showed up in the photo. The yellow skirt sparkles when you turn her.

The other category I was able to enter was the craft category. I’d recently taken up quilling, or paper filigree, so I thought I’d do an homage to Tonner’s “Believe in the Power of Play.”

Not too shabby for my second-ever attempt at quilling I think.

Not too shabby for my second-ever attempt at quilling I think.

Amazingly, I won third place for this! And someone at the convention liked it so much, she wanted to buy it. I ended up just giving it to her, as I had no idea of a price to put on it. And it was my birthday. I like to give gifts on my birthday.

And now for some of the other amazing entries…

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Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Special Exhibit Room

The special exhibit this year was a look back at Tonner’s 25 amazing years of creating dolls. I tried to bribe the security guards to look the other way on a couple of things, but alas, they were all too honest. 😉

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Such an amazingly talented team, to come up with so many beautiful creations! I only wish I had started collecting earlier, as many of these were long gone before I even discovered Tonner. But it was wonderful to see them in person!

Tonner 25th Anniversary Convention — Day 3

Day 3

Friday began early for me. (Mom decided to sleep in.) Got up and rushed to get ready for the Wilde Imagination seminar. I was really looking forward to this, as the majority of my collection are Wilde dolls. Upon entering the conference room, we were given a Wilde Imagination coloring book!

Aw, yeah!

Aw, yeah!

We were shown a retrospective on the various Wilde Imagination lines, followed by an informative Q&A session where we learned the following:

  • Tonner will be producing ‘Outlander’ dolls
  • There will be a Robin to go with Tonner’s Batman doll, as well as a ‘Dawn of Justice’ Wonder Woman.
  • ‘The Big Bang Theory’ line is being worked on still. Howard and Leonard are the ones being produced next. They are working on Penny, but are having problems with the sculpt. They’ve done the sculpt twice and just aren’t happy with it.
  • The Evangeline Ghastly line WILL continue. Joe Petrollese left behind enough sketches and ideas to keep her around a for a good long time.
  • ‘Empire’ dolls are still in production.
  • The new workers in the Chinese factory are getting up to speed. The old workers retiring caused a delay in releases the past year or so.
  • New furniture is in the planning stages, and may come along more quickly as 3-D printing gets better in the next few years.
  • Tonner DID have a license for ‘Downton Abbey’ and created prototypes for Mary and Matthew when contract disputes between the actors and production company happened. They were asked to discontinue the doll line to avoid additional problems.

A companion Ellowyne was introduced, Satin Doll, and I knew she would be coming home with me.

Dragonfly dress! How could I resist?

Dragonfly dress! How could I resist?

After the seminar, I had a quick look in the competition room (pics in another post) and picked up my raffle tickets. I also purchased two tickets for the one-of-a-kind resin 22-inch American Model being raffled off for charity. She was gorgeous! As soon as I saw her, I knew I had to take a chance.

*grabby hands*

*grabby hands*

Hurried back up to my room to get ready for the next event, ‘Agatha’s Comic-Con Cosplay.’ We were invited to dress up, cosplay style, for the occasion, so I did.

Steampunk style!

Steampunk style!

And so did Amelia….

We match!

We match!

There was no doll centerpiece for this event. Rather, every table had a different pop culture toy as the centerpiece. Ours was a giant red Power Ranger (which is funny, because I was a huge Power Ranger fangirl, back in the day). The “winner” of the centerpiece had to take it home. Fortunately, I did not win, because that sucker was HUGE.

A festive Comic-Con atmosphere!

A festive Comic-Con atmosphere!

Our table gift was an amazing set of superhero dolly T-shirts. Perfect for my nerdy girls!

I can already hear the girls fighting over Wonder Woman.

I can already hear the girls fighting over Wonder Woman.

We were treated to another hilarious video, this time of an interview with an aging Wonder Woman. It had been shown at a previous convention, but it was still very funny! There was also a costume contest, in which an adult Agatha Primrose won. And the companion doll, Agatha’s Comic-Con Alice, was introduced.

So cute!

So cute!

After lunch, Mom and I did the rounds of the competition room and put in some raffle tickets. I had to hurry to get ready for my first workshop, learning how to make ribbon dresses. I sadly did not get any pictures of this, but it was a very cool idea, and one I think I can duplicate for my Sad Sally dolls in the future. To the lovely lady who hosted the workshop, thank you!

The next event was dinner, the “Deja Vu Costume Ball.” Again, we were encouraged to dress up, this time in our favorite time periods. My favorite time period is Tudor England, but as I had limited room in my suitcase, I went with something simpler…. the free love ’60s era.

Make dolls, not war.

Make dolls, not war.

Amelia, however, had ample room in her travel case.

Welcome to 18th century France, Mademoiselle Amelia!

Welcome to 18th century France, Mademoiselle Amelia!

When we walked into the ballroom for the event and saw the centerpiece, I knew I was in deep, deep trouble. Instead of a Deja Vu girl, there was a beautiful American Model doll, dressed in a stunning court gown.

Belle Dame

Belle Dame

I had to have her. And since it was my birthday weekend, I decided to treat myself. (Any excuse, right?)

The table gift was a cute little bird cage tealight holder (which you can see in the above photo). It will fit in well amongst the hoard at home. Dinner was quite delicious and there was another costume contest. In the video presentation, some of Robert Tonner’s friends and fellow doll designers congratulated him on 25 years. Mr. Tonner was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from one of the doll publications (I’m ashamed to say, I cannot remember which one). But it was a pretty awesome moment.

Another companion doll was introduced, a Deja Vu, Anne de Toile. While very pretty, I had to pass, as the American Model doll had done me in for the evening!

So lovely!

So lovely!

After dinner, there was the annual dance party, but as loud music really bothers me, I decided to turn in early to get ready for the final day of the convention.

 

Tonner 25th Anniversary Convention — Days 1&2

Last year, when the Tonner staff announced their 25th Anniversary convention would be held the first weekend in June 2016, I knew I had to be there. Not only because it was their silver anniversary, but because it was being held the weekend of my 40th birthday. What better way to celebrate than hanging out with dolls and friends? And to top it all off, Mom wanted to come too! She hadn’t been to a doll convention since our very first Wilde Weekend, back in 2012. And to be honest, I think she was looking forward to it as much as I was.

Day 1

We got up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. in order to leave at 6 for the two-hour drive to the Nashville airport. Check-in went smoothly, and pretty soon we were through security (in under 5 minutes, amazingly) and waiting at the gate. We were flying to Columbus, OH, on Southwest, so picking our own seats was a new experience for Mom. Our flight was slightly delayed, but that turned out to be fortuitous as we were meeting Thomas Lake and Lance Goforth, flying in from Texas, at the Columbus airport. The four of us arrived almost at the same time. We picked up our bags, picked up a rental car, and after squeezing all four of us and our luggage inside, we headed to the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

This is some fancy digs!

This is some fancy digs!

Mom and I got checked in, ordered room service and basically spent the evening getting ready for the next day…

Amelia was released from her travel case and immediately put to work on goodie bags for tablemates.

Amelia was released from her travel case and immediately put to work on goodie bags for tablemates.

I like to give gifts on my birthday...

I like to give gifts on my birthday…

Day 2

We didn’t really have to be anywhere Thursday morning, so Mom and I decided to have room service breakfast. We felt so fancy! I got my competition entries ready to enter (more on that later), then headed down to registration when it was time.

All registered!

All registered!

I usually take a photo of the convention bag, but somehow, I didn’t manage to do it this time. So I shall have to steal one…

Carl and Doug model the latest in Tonner convention totes. (Look at these two sexy beasts!) Photo courtesy of Tonner Doll Company.

Carl and Doug model the latest in Tonner convention totes. (Look at these two sexy beasts!) Photo courtesy of Tonner Doll Company.

The bag was silver, as was the lanyard. Inside were the usual convention goodies: pin, pen, agenda and assorted information, dolly magazine and a sweet little gift… an Ellowyne purse! AGAIN, I have failed to take a photo of the one I received. Resorting once again to photo theft…

Floral Crush purse. Photo courtesy of Tonner Doll Company.

Floral Crush purse. Photo courtesy of Tonner Doll Company.

I wasn’t volunteering this time around, so all I had to do that afternoon was enter my competition entries. (That will be a whole separate blog post.) But I was surprised and very flattered at how many people said nice things about my entries! I’ve never considered myself crafty before!

The first event of the convention was “DeDe on Location” dessert event! We were told to dress in white, but as I don’t own anything white, Amelia stepped up to the plate for me.

Work it, girl!

Work it, girl!

The centerpiece was a beautiful DeDe Denton doll, “DeDe Celebrates.” She was dressed in a nude/silver embroidered gown, which I loved. But I’m not really a DeDe collector, so I passed on the centerpiece.

DeDe Celebrates

DeDe Celebrates

However, the biggest surprise was a large box at each place setting, wrapped in silver paper. Inside was our own basic DeDe doll, DeDe Makes a Splash! She was available as either blonde or brunette. Mom and I both got blondes. I guess I’ve become a DeDe collector after all!

DeDe Makes a Splash — blonde. Photo courtesy of Thomas Lake.

DeDe Makes a Splash — blonde. Photo courtesy of Thomas Lake.

There was an amazing selection of desserts to choose from, along with champagne… Yummy! The program was hilarious and included a funny video and a retrospective of Tonner’s 25 years in business. Even though I’ve only been collecting Tonners for 5 years, there were still plenty of fond memories to look back on.

After the dessert event, it was time to open the sales rooms! I hit the Tonner sales room first, to see a glimpse of the Wilde Imagination companion dolls, both resins.

Black Diamond Evangeline and Deep Dark Forest Ellowyne.

Black Diamond Evangeline and Deep Dark Forest Ellowyne.

I fell in love with the Ellowyne, but Evangeline ended up coming home with me… along with a basic Miette and Tech Savvy Agatha Primrose.

In the vendor sales room, I picked up a couple of cute Amelia outfits and a patriotic dress for Patience from the talented Janice Mundy of Sew Sweet Designs, then wandered around for a little bit before declaring myself too pooped to pop any longer. Morning would come early, so Amelia, Mom and I head off to bed to dream sweet dolly dreams….

WildeCon 2015: Royals Gone Wilde — Days 4&5

Day 4

Morning came super early for the last day of the Royals Gone Wilde convention. I had decided to purchase just one of the other Homecoming dolls to go with my Ellowyne, so before the final event, I moseyed down to the sales room to make my choice. I had decided on either Prudence or Amber, but I needed to see them up close one final time before deciding.

Why can't I just get all three? *whine*

Why can’t I just get all three? *whine*

In the end, I decided on Princess Amber, the red-head in the purple dress. I just love purple!

The final event was a breakfast buffet, with the theme of Charlie Meets the Queen of Hearts. This was actually featuring the Tonner My Wonderland line, a Re-Imagination of Alice in Wonderland. We were asked to wear a T-shirt of our favorite band, so in keeping with the royalty theme, I of course chose Queen.

And Amelia chose to show off her love of British punk.

And Amelia chose to show off her love of British punk.

The centerpiece was the band Stacked Deck, featuring Aiko, Sydney and Charlotte.

Stacked Deck Spade

Stacked Deck Spade

Stacked Deck Heart

Stacked Deck Heart

Stacked Deck Club

Stacked Deck Club

The table favor was an awesome electric guitar for the girls to jam on.

There was also a cherry red one.

There was also a cherry red one.

There was a final farewell message from the queen, and everyone who had entered the competition had their photos on the big screen.

Look, there's me!

Look, there’s me!

As the cherry on top, I also won the final door prize of the convention, the amazing Velvet Sunset outfit for Evangeline, which I did not have!

I won so much crap!

I won so much crap!

Goodbyes were sadly said and the convention was over for another year. I went to the sales room one last time to pick up a doll for a friend and to get a box to ship my goodies home via UPS.

The rest of the afternoon was spent packing up and having a wander of the hotel. Amelia wanted one last photo…

Look how cute she is!

Look how cute she is!

I found the pool, and after lunch I decided to take a dunk. It was indoor and heated and I was the only one there, so I had a leisurely swim before heading back to the room for a “Law & Order” marathon before turning in for my last night at the beautiful Sheraton Framingham.

Day 5

Was up and at ’em early for a continental breakfast before check-out. My van was a little late in picking me up, so I was super nervous, worrying if I’d be able to get to the airport on time to fight security and find my gate. But traffic back to Boston was much less at 10 a.m. than it had been Thursday evening rush hour, so I made it with plenty of time to spare. Check-in and security were a breeze, the flight was on time and even landed a little early in Nashville. Dear old Dad was there to pick me up and drive me home.

I usually post a photo of all the “loot” I had gotten at the convention, but silly me unpacked everything and found homes for the dolls before I remembered to do so. I so another post later on the dolls out of their boxes, posing in the yard.

Until then, I’d like to thank the staff at Tonner/Wilde Imagination for another amazing weekend. I think it was the best since my very first one. I’d also like to thank my awesome table-mates for, well, just being awesome. I hope to see so many of you in Columbus in June!

TonnerCon 2015: Guilty Pleasures — News from the convention

Several exciting tidbits were talked about during the Q&A portions of the convention. I felt they deserved their own separate entry.

There are three new lines coming out later this year (hopefully) that sounded quite intriguing. The first one talked about was a new line for Wilde Imagination called Miette. I suppose this new line is the reason the Amelia Thimble line is being retired. (*SOB*). She sounds intriguing. She’s a new face sculpt on the Chic body. She’s the daughter of the mayor of a small town in southern France that can’t be found on any map. The line looked and sounded like it was very inspired by fairy tales as well as old movies such as the Alice in Wonderland movie from the 1930s. I’m very much looking forward to this line, as fantasy-themed dolls are very much a part of my collection.

Not the best photo, sorry!

Not the best photo, sorry!

A new line for Tonner, in the same vein as the new Marley Wentworth line, will be the DeeDee Denton line. She is the granddaughter of DeeAnna Denton, the chewing gum heiress. Whereas DeeAnna was a fashion icon of the 1950s, her granddaughter DeeDee is a modern girl — and a reality show star. DeeDee will be on the 17-inch Lara Croft body.

The other new line discussed was Agatha Primrose, described as being “adorkable.” She will be on the Revlon body. Agatha is a young girl who is into fashion and pop culture. Can’t wait to see this one!

In other news, Tonner will be expanding to mass produce a line of dolls for Walmart and Hallmark, called My Imagination. They are about the same size as the American Girl dolls and can wear the same clothing.

The Carmen Dell’Orefice line has ended with just the one doll. Mr. Tonner said Ms. Dell’Orefice was a lovely person, but hard to work with creatively when it came to fashions for the dolls.

The Harry Potter line will be returning with the large scale dolls, to round out some characters they hadn’t done yet.

There will be more Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz dolls down the line as well.

Licensing for character dolls has gotten a lot trickier in recent years, so there probably won’t be as many character dolls  from Tonner in the future, although there are plans for more dolls from the DC line and Leonard and Penny from “The Big Bang Theory” will be out later this year.

Next year’s convention will be June 2-5, 2016, in Columbus, OH, and it will be big as Tonner will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. (That’s also the weekend I turn 40, so now I have to go!)

Can’t wait to see what else Tonner Dolls and Wilde Imagination has planned for the future!

TonnerCon 2015: Guilty Pleasures — Days 4&5

Day Four

Our last day all together! I actually woke up feel so sad it would all be over in a couple of hours. The last event of the convention was a breakfast event celebrating Deja Vu. I’ve loved this line but avoided collecting it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop at one. However, the centerpiece was so, so, so very tempting!

Dame de Loisirs (Lady of Leisure)

Dame de Loisirs (Lady of Leisure)

As the breakfast theme was “That’s a Wrap,” Amelia came dressed in her own lacy wrap.

So sad to say goodbye!

So sad to say goodbye!

The table favor was a gorgeous collection of dolly-sized cakes and sweets. They looked almost good enough to actually eat!

Yum!

Yum!

Breakfast was eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, fruit and yogurt. Well, that’s what I ate. There was plenty of cereal, pastries and other assorted noms for the first meal of the day.

Mr. Tonner held a Q&A session about upcoming and current lines and then it was time for the charity auction! At every convention, several one-of-a-kind dolls are offered to the highest bidder, with all the proceeds going to one of the charities the company supports, A Friend’s House, a facility to help women struggling with various issues.

Royal Pain Ellowyne

Royal Pain Ellowyne

A one-of-a-kind Marley Wentworth

A one-of-a-kind Marley Wentworth

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Ellowyne

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Ellowyne

Ruby Red Romance Tyler Wentworth

Ruby Red Romance Tyler Wentworth

Carmen in Black Magic

Carmen in Black Magic

I’ve never participated in one of these auctions, but I loved I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Ellowyne, so I thought, why not? I bid $400 for her, though I was pretty sure she would go higher. Sadly, she did. (Though not sad for A Friend’s House!) Bidding was fun! Though I really should not get into the habit of doing so.

Then, sadly, it was time for farewells and one last trip into the Tonner sales room. But much to the relief of my bank account, I didn’t buy anything. Thomas graciously helped me box up most of the goodies I had gotten over the weekend and helped me carry them down to the UPS shipping desk to send home. But a couple were small enough to go in the suitcase on the plane!

Thomas, Lance, Shannon and I said our goodbyes, then the boys took Shannon to the airport as her flight was leaving that evening. I had booked a flight home for the next day, as I hadn’t wanted to be too stressed about attending the last event, packing and getting to the airport. So I spent the afternoon in my hotel room, packing my crap.

Amelia helped!

Amelia helped!

To my great surprise and delight, around dinner time, Thomas and Lance came back to the hotel to kidnap me for a quick bite to eat. We went to the mall across the highway for Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a place I had always wanted to try, but had never gotten the opportunity. (The curse of living in a small town!) Burgers were good, fries were meh.

Me and my boys!

Me and my boys!

Then it was time for goodbyes, again! Spent the evening watching reruns on TV, hoping I could get a good night’s sleep for my flight home the next day.

Day Five

Woke up early and nervous about having to get to the airport by myself, but I did treat myself to a scrumptious brekky in the hotel restaurant.

Can't eat like this every day!

Can’t eat like this every day!

Finished packing and checked out of my room around 11. The hotel staff got a taxi for me, and I got to the airport with three hours to spare before my flight. Oops! Spent the time mostly people watching and playing musical gates for my flight. Amelia and I said farewell to Dallas and made it home safely without any bumps or mishaps along the way.

I had such an AMAZING time at TonnerCon and I’m so glad I went, despite all the anxiety I had about getting there. I’m really looking forward to the next convention and seeing everybody again!

But before I close out this recap, I have to post the obligatory final picture:

THE LOOT.

THE LOOT.

Hope to see you all soon!