Tuesday, January 11, 2000
Tyler Hits Town: Signature Style Tyler by Tonner
by Kathryn Darden
Towards the end of December, the reports started to come in. Tyler's outfits were the first to arrive, then the dolls. "Tyler is here!" was the message of many emails that flew across the web. Tyler arrived to enthusiastic accolades. "She looks just like the prototype!" was the resounding first response to the doll.
There were a few problems: Fashion Design Weekly Awards arrived with a few beads missing and loose shoulder straps according to some; Gallery Soiree caused staining; Tyler's eyes are a little plain, her hair is a little thin, and there is a hole in her head. However, these were three negatives experienced by a few people as opposed to an overwhelmingly positive response by the vast majority of collectors.
My personal take on Tyler? She is a lovely, elegant doll, much more realistic than Gene but perhaps slightly less artistic. Her face is plain in comparison to both Gene and Willow's exotic mien, but that is in keeping with the more natural look of the new millennium. I still like Julia's proportions better. When you stand Tyler next to Julia, Tyler's head looks big. Now, next to Gene, obviously Tyler's head looks right in scale! Tyler's head is also softer than the porcelain-like vinyl used for Gene's head. Tyler's hands are extremely well sculpted but a little large in comparison to Julia, Gene and Willow. Tyler's has excellent mobility and pose ability due to her knee joints which work better than Gene's and her rotating arms.
Several people on the Internet have observed that Tyler resembles a big Barbie doll, and I do see that resemblance. Barbie doll collectors who have shied away from Gene due to her large head and "headlight" eyes will do well to give Tyler a careful examination as all her proportions are in keeping with a larger Barbie sporting a Mackie face. However, Tyler is definitely a Tonner doll and has his trademark elegance.
I received the Fashion Design Weekly Awards dress with my two dolls, and mine arrived with no missing beads and fit in the shoulders perfectly. I think the dress is understated and stunning. I am also pleased with the signature outfit -- what nice workmanship! The craftsmanship of Tyler's modern wardrobe is excellent and in keeping with the quality put forward by Ashton-Drake for Gene.
Now the creative folks at Tonner are putting out Tyler's new line, to be premiered at Toy Fair with a live fashion show featuring real models on the runway wearing Tyler togs. An early sketch has made the rounds on the Internet featuring two likely dresses. If the new line lives up to what Tonner presented with his first line, fashion doll collectors are due for another good year in 2000.