DeDe Denton by Tonner Doll

As we watch the peeling away of the layers of the Tonner Doll Company, I think it's a good time to take a look at what still remains.

Tonner is the only fashion doll company that has consistently put out a doll with a realistic female shape. Beginning with the introduction of Emme in 2002, there have been very few collections that did not contain a doll that we would previously have called "full-figured."  Full-figured is now the average American woman's figure IMO.

I found these old Emme catalog pages in the Tonner archives.

Emme is an actual person who is credited as having been the first plus size model at the end of the last century through the beginning of this one.  She is currently an advocate for body image reform and has twice been chosen for People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.

She is much more beautiful than the doll showed.

The current full-size doll coming out of TDC is DeDe Denton whose back story is that she's the granddaughter of DeeAnna Denton, the chewing gum heiress. DeeAnna was from an earlier style era and her clothing was, for the most part, quite lovely.
DeeAnna Denton - "Parfum de Fleur" PFDF Exclusive
 DeDe was introduced at the TonnerCon 2015 "Guilty Pleasures" event.

This screen shot from Cherished Friend's website shows the entire line as it's currently available or will be eventually. Check out the great prices, too.

Here are the full images of each of the DeDe products.

While these gals may not be in my collection, I can appreciate their place in that of any other collector.  My favorites are Manhattan Blush and Producers Lunch. I'd like to see a lighter hand used with the eyeliner and lashes. It's a little too raccoonish for my taste.

It would be a real shame if Tonner were to stop producing moderately priced dolls like this, leaving a big black hole in the doll world.

Do you have or have you ever had any so-called plus-sized dolls? 


  1. Two DeDes found their way here: Manhattan Blush and Season Premiere. The nice thing about Tonner is that not only do they make nice dolls, they almost always have several separate fashions. That makes it easier to try dolls with "different" sizes who may not be able to share clothing with your current ones. In this case, Screen Tested and White Hot so far. Between them and the outfits for the other two dolls available at the time -- Executive Sweet and Drinks Before Dinner -- that gives a nice chance to rotate outfits between the two dolls. I consider that a good starter set. I'm planning to add the outfits from the two new dolls if I can find them at a good price. The old 17" DeeAnna clothing also fits, though I'm finding that hard to find at a reasonable price point.

    The dolls are really nice, and picking them up at a great price was a bonus. However, I agree about the eyeliner being a bit heavy. Sometimes I get a bit of a Kardashian vibe, especially with White Hot, and that is not a good thing.

    I like the fact that companies try different sizes for dolls, though sometimes there doesn't feel like a big commitment to them. Supporting that is important to me, which is why I'm also buying the playline Barbies with the new bodies, and the Lammily dolls. As long as they have good wardrobes, they are just as much fun to dress and photograph. Play fun comes in all sizes!

  2. I bought Emme Doll in 2007 (or around) and still love her. Being a full figure myself it seemed quite evident for me to have one. I should ad that I am not a collector but a player, and I playe/dress/photograph and I have a lot of fun creating stories and adventures for my Gang (16") and I am quite amaze still today buy the strength and quality of the Tonner dolls. My only regret for Emme is the lack of articulation.

  3. G'day Terri. Yes, I have an Emmie since she first came out. She is still in the cabinet and looking good. At the time she was really innovative and so much more relatable to then others. I still enjoy her immensely. Cheers, Marilyn

  4. I have the original body 17" (sits like a drunk sailor)Peggy Harcourt and I really like her.Shes still more of an hourglass than what I would consider to be todays version of plus size.I want my dolls to be more like fashion illustrations than actual scale versions of living humans.Like the vintage sewing pattern catalogs where they have the illustrated garment and the photo of it sewn and on a model and it looks way different.Ive never been overweight but I am getting old and wrinkly and wouldnt want a old wrinkly doll.Just my preference in dolls not some judgement on actual people.This world is real enough that I dont need it in my dolls.Also a factor for me is I think a bit of extreme anatomy like a very small waist is needed in getting clothes to fit in more than one layer.Great topic and very hard to discuss without offending!We are all real women whether 6 feet tall and 100lb or short and fluffy.Dolls are just dolls.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

  5. Even before Emme, and Denton girls, which reused the original 'athletic' superhero sculpt of Lara Croft, Tonner's original American Model, way, way, back always honored proportions of women that walked the beautiful line of a fashion silhouette.

    I think it's interesting that has he's expanded he's become less interested in capturing women or even fashion; and more interested and story, play, and make believe. But there have certainly been moments. I think this is certainly been dictated by why consumers want to buy also.

  6. All of them look like a femme fatale. They are powerful and fashion women.