Embassy Dimmer Mei Li
Sweet Indulgences Gift Set
Cissy's European Holiday Trunk Set
Doug James' Baby Doe Cissy
Timeless Favorites Chatty Cathy
Little Friends Pajamas Outfit
Little Friends Jeans Outfit
Little Friends Hiking Outfit
Doll News January 29, 2002
Tonner Raises the Bar for 2002
With the New York Toy Fair less than two weeks away, the Internet is buzzing with news of exciting doll releases for 2002.
Master Collector Online will be in the Big Apple the entire week of February 9-14 to bring you all the sights, sounds and scoops from the year’s biggest toy extravaganza. Beginning Feb 10, we will be providing you with daily updates featuring info, photos and videos of the event. Make sure to check back often as we take you inside the showrooms of Mattel, Ashton Drake, Robert Tonner Doll Company, Madame Alexander and all of your favorites.
We will also be covering the Dolls Magazine Doll and Teddy Bear Artist’s Showcase of NYC on Feb 8 & 9. New work by many of the world’s best doll artists will be debuted and we will be there to show you all the beauty and imagination this premier event serves up.
The Robert Tonner Doll Company has announced some sensational looking dolls and outfits for their 2002 Tyler Wentworth line. Once again, it looks like this company is going to be setting the bar for detail and design in the 16" fashion doll race. I thought last year’s crop of Robert Tonner’s dolls were the cream of the industry. The 2002 offerings are downright jaw dropping. There honestly is not a single doll I would not love to own in this collection.
If I had to choose favorites, my votes would go to the two lush gift sets: "Sweet Indulgences" and "Madison Afternoon". And there is definitely a space on my shelf for "Embassy Dinner" Mei Li, "Sheer Glamour" and "Florentine" Tyler.
Available for pre-order at Madame Alexander dealers is the incredible Cissy’s European Holiday Trunk Set. This follow-up to last year’s A Day in the Life of Cissy set is even more luxurious and detailed. The set does not come with a doll, but includes fuchsia suit with blue bodice shirt, black and white linen dress with matching jacket, pearl necklace, portrait hat, ball gown with separate petticoat and natural panty hose, and stunning lingerie set featuring bra, garters, panties and stockings. A faux fur full-length stole, black purse, brooch, tiara, earrings, necklace, two wigs, three pairs of shoes complete the set - all packed in a delightful travel trunk. Now, that’s a trunk full!
Another exquisite Cissy doll that has been announced for 2002 include the Doug James designed Baby Doe Cissy. Doug has also been busy with his partner Laura Meisner getting ready to debut their own new 20" fashion doll. I will have more on this beauty coming weeks.
Not all the pre-Toy Fair news is good. Although not 100% confirmed, word raced through the online collecting community last week that Ashton Drake will be disbanding the entire "Gene Team". If this is indeed happening, many Gene fans will miss them. There are also far fewer dolls and outfits announced for 2002. The upside is that perhaps this downsizing may lead to a smaller and more focused collection and a broader attention to quality control and collector interests. A formal announcement is expected during the NY Toy Fair.
A few weeks ago I mentioned Mattel’s new Timeless Favorites 14" Chatty Cathy doll as one of my favorites from 2001. It seems that these little gals have completely disappeared from toy shelves. Many dealers must have snapped them up before the holidays as they can now be seen on eBay for greatly inflated prices. Seems the African-American version was produced in far fewer numbers and only packed two in a case. My sources tell me that retailers are planning to restock sometime this spring, so your may want to hold out and take your retail chances rather than pay the eBay markup. Also, several members of the Chatty Cathy Collectors Club have reported finding them at Kmart and Meijer stores as recently as this week.
Speaking of K-Mart, last week’s news of the store’s financial troubles sent me on a local shopping spree in support of the NY City K-Marts. I discovered a line of 15" dolls, outfits and accessories they carry called "Little Friends" made by Battat. These outfits fit the 14" Chatty Cathy perfectly. They are well made and resemble the 18" American Girl, Our Generation, Girls on the Go and Collectors Lane style sets. Priced at $7.99 and $9.99, it’s possible to build an entire wardrobe for your doll very reasonably. There is also a very nice wooden doll trunk that retails for $24.99. It has enough room for the doll and the entire collection.