Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best of 2008: Tonner Passes the Barre

When you envision the ballet, the immediate imagery is most likely that of Clara with her beloved nutcracker or Princess Aurora, not the Wicked Witch of the West. However, the story and music of the Wizard of Oz easily molds into any genre. Creative forces have taken advantage of this adaptability giving Oz lovers new and inventive ways to enjoy their favorite classic over and over. Wizard of Oz interpretations through dance are becoming very popular using classical music and/or the 1939 MGM film score. Last year the Wilde Coward Company performed “One Wicked Dance Show” inspired by the Wicked Broadway Musical.

The Tonner Doll Company is well known for dolls of distinction and pushing the boundaries of character ideals. For the 2008 Fall Collection, Tonner has melded two of his best selling doll lines together creating a uniquely ravishing trio of enchantresses. Glinda En Pointe is the epitome of benevolent grace while the contrasting Dance of the Witch personifies dark elegance. Chasse’ Down the Yellow Brick Road portrays Dorothy’s innocence as she glides effortlessly with her ruby red pointes. As of this writing, these magical ballerinas are almost sold out.

The tragically beautiful face of the Wicked Witch of the East is a brand new sculpt and she wears a wickedly chic ensemble of blue taffeta. She is 16" tall and is, of course, wearing the coveted ruby slippers. She is one of the most alluring designs in the Oz collection.

A 22" beautifully tragic Wicked Witch of the West with the American Model face sculpt was a Halloween convention exclusive, but a limited supply are still available for purchase.

Goodness and Gossamer is a striking Grecian goddess with a breathtakingly ethereal face and cascading gold ringlets. The gorgeous blue and silver gown is a perfect compliment to Glinda's blonde fairness.
Goodness and Gossamer photos courtesy of Alison Rasmussen. Please see her blog The Fashion Doll Review to see other gorgeous fashion dolls.

For MGM traditionalists, a new Dorothy featuring a portrait sculpt of the lovely Judy Garland debuted at FAO Schwarz for the 2008 holiday season. She has been re-introduced into the 2009 mainline as an open edition.

Whether you prefer to remain within the MGM realm or are more daring in your choice of dolls, the creations of the Tonner Doll Company will take center stage in any collection.
Every year I think the previous year will be hard to top or even equal and yet it keeps happening. Oz collectibles continue to improve in quality and originality. With the 70th anniversary underway, it's already apparent 2009 will not disappoint.