Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Tonner Bridal Scarlett: Collections from a dear friend

I had to put that ("dear friend") in the title of the post.  Eric Caron was one of the GWTW fans I met in the Scarlett O'Hara Vinyl Doll Group. When you're a man  who collects dolls, it pays to know that you are not the sole male who collects dolls and more so one who loves Gone with the Wind, Little House and the Prairie and Vivien Leigh. It's like you're in a foreign country and suddenly you get to find someone who speaks the same language as you do. 

Eric's GWTW collection range from books,  soundtracks/stage musicales of GWTW (recently he shared a London Musicale of GWTW with me -- very interesting too!)  Eric was also one of the staunch supporters of my dreams in repainting. He even sent me a doll to practice on. Look back and you may find her  wearing Tonner's "Receiving Guests with Melanie". 

This is part of the latest addition to his collection: The Tonner Bridal Scarlett (doll only). None the hair has been re-touched (and this is why I chose this as the first picture). The first photo shows you how beautiful that hairstyle is with curls over what seems to be a large braid. Thus the head of the doll has volume and body -- befitting of a bride. The back of the dress is opened because this is a Franklin Mint dress and the Tonner body is big around the bodice area for it. It is the Franklin Mint "Beaux Monde" gown or the mourning dress worn by Scarlett when she is gifted the green Paris Hat by Rhett Butler. 

I like this photo of Scarlett seated (Eric has this nice Victorian chair that works well with the doll + you should see his GWTW and Little House on the Prairie miniatures). Some of Eric's miniatures have even been gifts to the actual TV cast of Little House on the Prairie -- How cool is that? But that surprise comes in later.

Eric has this eye too for poses.  I like this doll seated on the chair because you see her arched eyebrow -- perfectly and the pouf of the hair behind. Notice too how the black contrasts still with the dark grey background and how haunting that hand falls on the arm rest of the chair. This photo is like those in the Victorian portraits. Franklin Mint's impeccable jewelry may be simple but in scale and so realistic! Here it punctuates the mourning dress as its only adornment allowed.

 And here's a photo of that lovely chair.

 Polite, seemingly reserved but that far-off look and arch eyebrow tell you she's no ordinary Civil War lady.

This is the red garnet gown worn by Scarlett in that shameful entry in Ashley's party. I think the length of the gown is just right here. The photograph is also clean with the red standing out.

 Here's a vintage styled photograph of Mrs. Butler. She doesn't look that shameful does she?
And now a peek into Eric's miniatures. I am sure you'll love them! Below, you will see the "porch scene" of Tara recreated by Eric.
notice how everything is in scale, the texture that simulates the material of the home, the fall of light and shadow of the photograph as well as the color -- Scarlett's dress has it right.
 If you wish to read more, this link will lead you to the "Little House Reunion" site where these photos were taken:
 The Little House school where Laura and Mary Ingalls would go. I could still see them with Nellie giving them a hard time. = )
And the iconic and charming Little House. = )

Thank you Eric for sharing with me your collection...oops sorry, I had to post your "Little House" miniatures here. Tres magnifique!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Commissioned Repaint: Franklin Mint Scarlett -- Goodbye Franklin Mint!

Commissioned Vinyl Franklin Mint Scarlett O' Hara  for Beth Wilder of Louisville, KY

Whenever I repaint a Franklin Mint Scarlett O' Hara doll, and end up staring at how the sculpt has been made, I feel a certain feeling of regret. When news of Franklin Mint decision to discontinue the production of their dolls came out, it was not news that came with a lot of good reason -- especially with doll collectors. It cannot be denied, the attention to detail Franklin Mint dolls have are known to superb. The quality of the vinyl is almost like porcelain. You know Mattel's Silkstone -- well the FM vinyl seems close to that.  
The Franklin Mint Scarlett O' Hara vinyl doll is one perfect example. The sculpt IS Vivien Leigh. When repainting this doll there is not much need to blush, shade, contour to achieve a Vivien Leigh-ish shape of face. 
I think it is a sad thing that Franklin Mint gave up on a good thing. 
There has been no news of them continuing one of their good points. 
There is also no good news to justify the discontinuation of the doll line. 
So till they come back -- and we're all still feeling they will -- hang on to your Franklin Mint Scarletts.

Perhaps if we write them more, we'll find some way to ge the dolls back. 
After all, tomorrow is another day!

(Below the un-photoshopped pictures of the doll. If Franklin Mint does come back, I hope they consider "softer" hair)

Ana Karenina: Tonner's adaptation of Vivien Leigh's costume?

You judge for yourself. The Tonner Ana Karenina gown comes for the 22" doll as well as the 16" doll. You can't fit the wig on your Scarlett though. The wig is wonderfully adorned with flowers and fashioned in the similar way as Vivien's hair is. While the gown of Vivien in the film crosses from shoulder to shoulder, the doll version has the flowers only on one side. But the gloves, the jewelry and the gown itself are there. A nice Victorian ball gown for Scarlett or for the Carol Barrie doll (which you can change looks with change of wigs).

The Amazing Scarlett O' Hara Collection of Lea Di

I have not met her.  I came across Lea Di's Collection of Scarletts while surfing for GWTW doll collectors in the internet. Her photos are found here ( I have placed a direct link so you can easily find the site, because there's more. The Russian site contains larger photos of Lea Di's collection. Here you will see her amazing improvisations or adjustments in the the dolls dress, accessories and even hairstyles. She has gone through the process of showing the detail of her every doll -- which I wish doll manufacturers should do. After all we are paying a hefty sum for each doll. $200 plus can actually afford you a nice sofa, right? It pays that you are given a look at the details. 

Scroll down and you will see details of the doll like those you have never seen. There are some adjustments too which you will notice if you own some of them -- you will see an added hat here, a purse there and even a new pair of shoes. 
Well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Congratulations Lea Di on your collection. 

 I actually liked the repaint on the Christmas 1863 Scarlett doll and it looks like the best facial paint of Scarlett I've seen now.
With her updo hairstyle, she is perfect to wear the "In the Mist" ensemble. Notice that Leah Di changed the brooch to a more elegant and realistic looking piece of mourning jewelry.

I especially liked what she did with the Blue Portrait Doll to look superb in the "Return to Tara" outfit. Here you will see a different set of shoes used, details on the jewelry and the hat which I believe was added as this was not part of the outfit when bought. There is also an added purse which you will see when you scroll down.

Congratulations Lea Di! I hope you don't mind us sharing your wonderful passion for dolls.