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Doll News 4/21/03

By John Medeiros

Tonner's Tiny Kitty Collier Debuts

Maybe it was her diminutive size. Or the attention to detail and period "vintage" look. It certainly had a lot to do with her superb head sculpt and painting. Whatever it was, I was instantly smitten by Robert Tonner's new 10" Tiny Kitty Collier doll at Toy Fair 2003 in New York. I wanted to go home with a bag full of the entire collection that was shown at the Javit's Center this past February.

Luckily, I and other fashion doll fans did not have to wait for long. The first releases have already appeared at doll dealer's shops and are finding their way into collectors' eager hands.

I have spent the past two weeks with the new "Bridal Bliss Hat Box Set" and the separately packaged "Fiesta" ensemble. I am happy to report that all of my already high expectations have been surpassed by this lovely doll.

Upon removing the Bridal Bliss set from its shipping box, I was presented with a sturdy and beautifully designed signature hat box tied up in a large pink satin ribbon. Untying the ribbon and removing the lid revealed a lush pink interior lined with padded pale pink rose-patterned satin. Displayed in the hat box is the doll dressed in her sumptuous bridal gown and double veil. Her trousseau is laid out and sewn to the inside lid. It consists of her foundation garment, a negligee and sheer robe all in a soft peach color. Her bouquet of white fabric roses is also displayed in the lid. Accessories include a full 4-layer petticoat, nude pantyhose, panties, white heels, single pearl earrings and an elegant round Lucite stand with pelvis cradle. It bears the Tiny Kitty Collier signature logo with pink rose.

The full gown itself is made of a clean white satin overlayed with tulle that is intricately embroidered and detailed with crystal beads and pearlized sequins. The gown is fully lined in tulle and the attention to fit and detail is top notch. Her crystal beaded veil is attached to a headdress made from knotted satin rope and the same crystal beads. Simple and elegant.

The doll's body is beautifully sculpted of a semi-matte hard plastic. It has the soft buffed feel and look of other Tonner dolls. She is jointed at the knees, hips, waist, shoulders and neck. The shoulders and hips are ball-jointed for ultimate articulation.

The hard vinyl head is one of the most beautiful sculpts I have seen from Robert Tonner. And I am quite fond of many of his faces. Some collectors have referred to the head sculpt as looking more like "Tiny Tyler" than "Tiny Kitty". The painting is superb and even under magnification, has a hand painted and very detailed look to it. The eyes are particularly well done.

Her high quality platinum hair is pulled back and arranged into a bun of many curls.

The Bridal Bliss Hat Box Set is being produced in a limited edition of 2000.

The doll was very easy to redress in her "Fiesta" ensemble. This festive bold striped sun dress is beautifully tailored. The tiny red rickrack trim and "Fiesta Wear" colors really add to the design's vintage flavor. Accessories include a simple and ingeniously designed red bowed hat, matching cloth bag with rope-look straps, red heels with diamond rhinestone accents, lace-trimmed panties, hose, pearl necklace and earrings. The ensemble is limited to 2000 pieces.

A few words about redressing caution: Be careful when pulling her panties up over the hose. Her pointed toes can wreck havoc on the feet of the pantyhose if you are not careful.

Another delightful redress discovery is that many Barbie-sized fashions fit her, especially the Silkstone line garments. The vintage styles really look smashing on her.

Although the Bridal Bliss doll is the first Tiny Kitty Collier to be available to the general public, convention attendees have been able to obtain two very limited dolls.

"My Heart's in San Francisco" is a dressed doll that was made for the 2003 IDEX show's Sunrise Surprise Breakfast in a limited edition of 500.

Attendees of the Modern Doll Convention in 2002 were treated to a wonderful Tiny Kitty Collier gift set that included a brunette doll in lingerie with two separate fashions. This was made in a limited edition of 300.