Tonner Doll Company is no more. Robert Tonner, the designer behind the line of high-end collectible dolls, made the announcement in an email to fans, stating that industry changes led to the immediate shutdown, effective Dec. 31, 2018.
“I was lucky enough to start Tonner Doll at a point when it seemed that everyone was collecting, making, buying or selling dolls,” Tonner says. “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… in short, the business model that I used to build Tonner Doll is no longer viable or sustainable.”
In addition to a robust collection of original characters and fashion dolls, Tonner became increasingly-known for licensed work, including dolls based on pop culture and film properties from Disney, DC Comics, Warner Bros., Marvel, the Muppets and others.
This year, Tonner is shifting focus to Phyn & Aero—launched in 2016 and promised to be run on a different business model. Through Phyn & Aero he will work direct with retailers to craft new and exclusive dolls along with original product such as Rayne, which is slated to debut around Toy Fair. Among the clients he’s designing for, Tonner notes FAO Schwarz as being “both a challenge and a delight.”