Monday, January 21, 2013

San Francisco Tonner Luncheon Review

A happy collector receives her Luncheon Exclusive during the registration process.

I am very excited to report about the San Francisco Tonner Luncheon.  They told us early on not to take pictures.  So I did as told.  Although I will pepper this post with photos of the dolls I bought at the show.

My Patsy Luncheon Exclusive

This was my first Tonner event, and it was a lot of fun!  Robert is a very handsome, well dressed and intelligent man.  He is both charming and witty.  He had prototypes of the very popular Patsy Dolls and her outfits for 2013 on display.  There are several new dolls coming!  And more so very cute outfits!  There was one that was a light blue snow suit complete with earmuffs that had me set to pre-order.  And there was a super cute rain coat set with ladybugs on the clear rain coat,  oooohhhhh.  I wish that I could have taken pictures for you to see.  There was a lot of the new Wilde Imagination line available for viewing and pre-order.  And another major display was of the upcoming American Models line.  I had not seen much of this line before, and I abso fell in LUV.  I cam home and found one to order.  She is on her way!  Stay tuned for a post on her, but back to the luncheon. . .

I did speak to Robert several times.  I put in a request for the much desired elbow joint on Patsy.  And I mentioned that there is still very large and active Yahoo! Group for the Ann Estelle 10ers.  He politely said that he hoped enough of us continue to buy the Patsy line so that he can continue to expand it.  I think he definitely felt that he was taking a big risk in introducing another 10" child doll to the market.  He said plainly in the Q & A period that child fashion dolls simply don't sell, and he has to follow the market to survive as a company.  I think that Ann Estelle just got played out (so to speak, maybe pun intended).  And he said that Mary is not producing as much new work for him to reproduce anymore.  Also, he said that he needed to produce something in the Effanbee line to retain the copyrights, ergo Patsy.  The molds for the original either don't exist or he doesn't have them.  But he needed to use something from the line, so he sculpted a new doll for Patsy.  I know there has been some confusion about why he named her Patsy, rather than something else when she was so different from the original.  That's the answer.  While Robert is an artist, he also has to be a businessman, and copyright laws are difficult seas to navigate.  From the Q & A period, it became quite clear how much that determines what he is able to produce.

Essential Lizette - Wigged Out, Too in Bay Breeze Outfit
On a very happy note, he said that if the surprising success of Patsy continues he is willing to consider more dolls in a Patsy "family" line, with dolls like Lilah or Betsy McCall.  And he said he stopped making furniture because he lost the connections to the means for production.  But now he may have solved that problem.  He hinted that there may be furniture for the Patsy line in the near future!  I personally am very excited about that.  I have all of the Ann Estelle furniture and I love it!

During his presentation, Robert spoke about dolls still in preproduction and planning stages that will be the newest additions.  He has secured the rights to do a new Sindy doll: Britain's popular version of Barbie.  And he is very excited about a line he has long been interested in-- a doll based on Carmen Dell'Orefice, the oldest working model.  And a new line based on the book and upcoming movie Warm Bodies.  I saw the prototypes for the two lead characters, and they were very cool.  But, well, uhhumm, I'm kinda into the zombie thing. . .

So there was a lot of news.  And he showed us some very funny videos that he had made for the last Wilde Weekend convention.  It was so exciting to see the new line and fun to connect with other collectors.  I find myself wishing that I could attend the Tonner Con in Chicago in a few months.  It just doesn't really seem possible.  But here's to dreaming. . .
Parting shot:  Robert Tonner's signature on Patsy's little bum!

1 comment:

  1. Great job describing the event! (I was there too) Maybe we'll meet sometime