Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book-Featured Dolls by Tonner - Part 3

To provide collectors with an up-to-date doll reference book, my first two books on black dolls were devoted to doll identification and values.  In addition to assessing a value for each referenced doll, these books were designed to aid collectors in identifying dolls found on the secondary market with a visual image of the way the doll appeared originally along with associated text on manufacturers' marks and a description of the dolls' size, facial attributes, hair, and original clothing. 

Unlike the first two books, my third book was written to document my interaction with dolls  already here and new ones that arrived during the time the book was written.  The idea was to halt or at least slow the pace of constantly buying new dolls by instead appreciating and giving attention to the ones already owned. The plan, further, was to document my doll interaction by allowing the dolls to record entries in book form written in their own voices each time "we" interacted.

This blog post focuses on Tonner dolls that blogged our interaction in Book 3 (The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak I Listen).  The blogs were compiled over a two-year period.

The first Tonner doll to blog her experience was Ready to Wear Esmé.  On page 14, she wrote:
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Recently, Deb purchased a photo box for photographing items, in her case, dolls.  She is in the process of re-photographing several of us in an effort to capture better images for her second doll reference book.  I was re-photographed today using the photo box.  First, she had to remove the lavender dress made by Franklin Mint for their Princess Diana doll and allow my hair to hang loose in its original style. After restoring my manufacturer's appearance, I was photographed wearing my basic lavender teddy, nude stockings, and white high-heel shoes.

Later today, Debbie redressed me in my glamorous lavender gown and plans to include that photograph in her book to illustrate how collectors can change the appearance of their dolls and fully enjoy them with a simple redress, particularly if a doll's attire is not completely appealing to the collector.  As for me, as my name indicates, I was manufactured to be redressed. 

Peace for now ~ Ready to Wear Esme

RTW Esmé wrote additional blog entries on page 202 with Basic Esmé and another entry on page 270 with the Basic and Ultra Basic dolls. 

Other Bloggers:

Rihanna, Ultra Basic Matt O'Neill and Ultra Basic Russell Williams

  • School Picture Day Libbie blogs on pages 16, 217, and 249.
  • Rihanna (American Models Basic AA) blogs on pages 25-26, and 28.
  • Matt O'Neill, who entered the collection by mistake, blogs his experience on page 44.
  • Russell Williams's first entry is on page 45.  Subsequent entries from Russell appear on pages 48-49, 55... 

Far Out Friday Foster and Russell Williams (Russell looks dapper in his tailor-made shirt, tie, and 3-piece suit made from shirts that were my brother's.)

...and on page 214, Russell writes:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Green Beret [referring to that guy's blog on the same day] is right.  We were also mentioned in today's DOLLS Magazine, "Dolls in Black, Chronicles and Perspectives" blog [The New Men in Their Lives].  Friday Foster and I have been an item since she joined the collection back in March of this year.  I mean, just look at her.  Friday is hot, and I mean that in a very respectable way.  Esme and I broke up shortly before Friday arrived and there has been no looking back.  Esme and I are still friends.  We'll always be friends, but Far Out Friday is my woman now.

Russell Williams
More Bloggers:

Carin, Tiny Basic Dru, and the two Georgias

  • Carin writes her blogs on pages 76 and 212.
  • Tiny Basic Dru (a doll I purchased for a doll friend with the same name) wrote a short blog before she departed on pages 116-117.  Because I allowed the dolls to use me as their facilitator, Tiny Dru managed to write one final blog on page 121 after she arrived to her new home.  Imagine that!
  • The two Georgias appear on pages 40 and 174.

Antoinette Spice!

My now most favorite Tonner doll, Antoinette Spice (I love her body, articulation, and auburn hair... oh, and her complexion is beautiful, too) blogged her experiences on pages 188-189 and again on page 271.  A portion of her page-271 entry, written on Thursday, December 17, 2009, reads:

...Debbie enjoys posing and redressing me.  I am one of her favorite doll purchases for 2009 and of all dolls by Robert Tonner, I am her absolute favorite.  That gives me great pleasure.  It's both exciting and flattering to know I am highly favored.

With love,

Antoinette Spice

Far Out Friday (Foster)

Fabulous Far Out Friday Foster with her big beautiful brown Afro that is much like the one I wore during the 1970s, blogs on page 93.

Ultra Basic Esmé

Finally, Ultra Basic Esmé, the last Tonner doll I purchased before the book was published in 2010, speaks in blog form initially on pages 267, 269, and 270. 

Writing this three-part series on dolls by Robert Tonner took more time than I imagined (nearly a week), but I love research and documentation.  Couple these two with dolls as the subject, and it is usually "on" in my world.  I could do this stuff for free.  Oh... but I already do.

As Ready to Wear Esmé would close one of her blogs,

Peace for now,




  1. Debbie, we just loved your posts! Our blog post directing others too them, and your marvelous books.

    If you can, shoot us an email at - I have a question for you about your third book.


    Dir. of SoMe

  2. Love your posts! They are so informative. Great pics of the dolls

  3. How enjoyable! That was awfully creative to write it from the dolls perspective.

  4. Thanks everyone... glad you enjoyed my Tonner doll coverage, specifically the dolls featured in book 3 who were allowed to speak, because I listened.

    Kevin, I wrote you yesterday at your gmail address, adding @ in place of the period to separate media from gmail. I hope you received it. If not, feel free to email me directly at


  5. I enjoyed this post. Your doll pics are very nice. Friday is such a lovely doll. The Afro really does it for me. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this post, Georgia Girl for for the compliment on my pictures.

    Friday Foster is one of my favorites. I love everything about her. She's probably a doll that I will never redress unless it is in her Funky Friday fashion (if I ever get it).



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