UPDATE – Phyn and Aero marketing reached out to confirm that they would not be continuing the DC Comics line. In a bit or an ironic move, a few days ago Tonner got a bit of free advertising from John Barrowman on the DC Daily show (for those with DC Universe subscriptions), as he brought in some of his favorite items from his collection. He actually brought in Aquaman and Batman figures from Tonner, giving them a shout out on the show.
It is a sad day for the collectible doll industry as long time doll maker Tonner Doll Company has announced its immediate closure. The news came in the form of a letter from the owner Robert Tonner.
Tonner has made some fantastic high-end dolls of some of your favorite DC Comics characters for years. The last batch included a line based on the Wonder Woman film.
It isn’t all bad news, a new company is starting up in the form of Phyn and Aero, but as to whether they will be producing product based on DC Comics characters, is yet to be determined. I have reached out to the new company and hope to get something back soon (see their response at the top of the article).
You can check out the letter announcing the immediate closure, making the rounds below…
My Dear Friends,
I was lucky enough to start Tonner Doll at a point when it seemed that everyone was collecting, making, buying or selling dolls. At the same time, the Far East was willing and eager to produce whatever we wanted at a price that couldn’t be beat. High demand and inexpensive, quality production led to the golden age of collectible dolls and great success for Tonner Doll.
It’s often said that the only thing you can count on is change; I whole heartedly agree with that statement. I could go on and on about the changes in the collectible doll industry, but in short, the business model that I used to build Tonner Doll is no longer viable or sustainable. Therefore, Tonner Doll Company (including the Tonner Doll web site, doll hospital, phones and emails) was closed as of December 31, 2018.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
― Jenna Evans Welch, Love & Gelato
I’m very excited that Phyn & Areo will continue with a brand-new business model, one that addresses some of the changes mentioned above and we will be exploring new ways of doing business. Through Phyn and Aero, I’ll be working directly with our favorite retailers to create unique and exclusive dolls (look for the first Ellowyne out this Spring). I will continue to design for and attend events throughout the year (Dollology, Shaker Doll Club, Doll Circle and UFDC to name a few). At Phyn and Aero I will also continue to develop new product; we’ll be doing small batch, design driven products. Rayne, a new character with unique (and I mean unique) accessories will debut around Toy Fair. In addition, I am working on design projects with other companies (I just did a huge amount of work for FAO; that was both a challenge and a delight). I think it’s going to be a very busy, very exciting 2019!
Over these past 28 years I have had to honor to meet, work with and befriend some of the most wonderful people there are—doll collectors, doll lovers and doll retailers. I want you to know how deeply I’ve appreciated our journey together—and here’s to a bright, exciting, shiny, new future!
About Tonner Doll Company:
The Tonner Doll Company is internationally renowned for award-winning dolls that encourage the young– and the young at heart– to Believe in the Power of Play. The company has manufactured fine dolls designed and sculpted by Robert Tonner, from little girl and classic character dolls to fully articulated, high-fashion dolls with exquisite collections of costumes. Tonner Doll is one of the most successful and celebrated doll manufacturers in the world.