Robert Tonner, designer and sculptor well known for his amazing, high-quality fashion dolls, formed the reputable and respected Tonner Doll company. Over the years has created his own original characters, as well as familiar ones like Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Edward Cullen, and even Miss Piggy.
When the official Disney Princess line began, Tonner brought to life such characters as Belle, Snow White, and Maleficent with stunning detailed costumes and a very signature look that Tonner dolls became known for.
Surprisingly, a Jessica Rabbit doll was revealed in February of 2010. It was also showcased at the Toy Fair in New York along with other new additions such as Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.
Pre-orders started at the end of February, with many sites claiming the doll was due out in March. Each month that passed (the site I pre-ordered from anyway) kept changing the release month. I'm not certain the Tonner company ever made a release date official, but the wait seemed to take forever. The doll was first sold at the San Diego Comic-Con in July and online orders finally started shipping out in August.
This marks only the second time Jessica Rabbit has been created in Doll form (The 1999 doll by Mattel being the first). The Mattel doll was certainly a welcome addition to a Jessica collection, since at the time there was not much Jessica merchandise available. The look of the Mattel Doll, which was amazing at first, was changed a lot from the original prototype photo shown, leaving much room for improvement and questions on why the doll actually released was changed so much.
However, the Tonner doll does not disappoint. It finally embodies the actual look of Jessica Rabbit. Seeing photos of this doll does not do it justice. This is not a standard 12" doll that you see sold in toy stores. This doll stands at a tall 17". It comes in a special signature Tonner/Disney box of dark blue and light blue stripes.
The lid lifts off and there is tissue paper over the top of the doll. The doll itself is fastened into the box as all Tonner's dolls are. There is plastic around her face, arms, feet, and a white ribbon holding her in place at the neck and feet. I have been told directly by the Tonner Company that all these elements are in fact acid-free. However, the doll is tied in place at the waist which is lined by foam - this bit of foam is NOT acid-free, so you may just want to get rid of that. The accessories (shoes and gloves) are in plastic pouches on the side, and a doll stand is included. There is also a second pair of gloves (which I have learned are protective gloves and are to be put on first, with the purple gloves going over them.) The head is turned to the side and the hair is protected by a hair net.
The dolls head is turned to its left, presumably to protect the hair from being flattened. The hair color is a close match. Going by the movie though it could have maybe been a little more orange, but the cascading hair shines and flows beautifully. The rooting is very well executed, adding to that top-notch detail and quality you get from Tonner dolls. The one thing that is hard to recreate is the peak in which Jessica's hair is styled. It can be achieved in statues, but not easily with real hair, unless it is formed as such. This doll has hair with some formation to it at the top and will cover the right eye correctly.
She has a slight shade on her cheeks and her overall face shape is very well done, being full but not too round. The lips, a very important part to Jessica other than the eyes, are created expertly. She has the correct small top lip and larger bottom lip. What makes it fun is the little Mona Lisa smile she has to the corner of her mouth. It gives the doll that spark of personality and reflects her character. One thing missing are her gold earrings. Tonner does usually add earrings as an accessory to many dolls, which you have to put in yourself, so it's odd that they were not included with this Jessica doll.
Jessica was not a skinny woman. Her waist may have been small, but she was full of curves. The shape of the Tonner doll is a slightly more realistic body, but again, presented by Tonner, it works. For merchandise, her bust never seems to be an accurate size to the movie incarnation, usually on the smaller side, but this doll is definitely busty enough.
Her arms are articulated with rotating shoulders, swivel elbows and wrists, offering a variety of different poses. When opened, the arms have plastic over them, with tape around the wrists. Her purple gloves are included, but I have not put them or the shoes on her yet to see how easily they go on and stay on. The gloves appear that they do not come up as far as they should, but they do look very well made for small accessories.
Jessica's dress color sees various shades when created. It is more of a maroon color throughout the film, and closer to pink when it sparkled. The Tonner dress is red, and even though it is not an exact shade, the red really stands out well. There is also some sparkle added to it, although it is not made into the dress and it comes right off on your hands. There was also some in the box. This would be one area to watch out for. The other is the clear straps over each shoulder keeping the dress top in place better. One strap on my doll goes over the cut line of her shoulder and seems so fragile that I don't want to try to move it.
Jessica is also articulated at her upper torso - which leaves a cut line to be seen from the back. I'm not crazy about it as it takes away from a visual aspect, but on display it isn't something you would see anyway. The back of the dress is held together with snaps which do show a little bit, but again the quality is still excellent. She's articulated at the hips, knees and ankles. This totally outdoes the Mattel counterpart, which offered four points of articulation, the only useful one being at the neck.
The Tonner doll has painted fingernails and toenails, which is an extra touch. Just like the hands, the feet are also wrapped in clear plastic. The pantyhose come on the doll, along with a pair of red panties. The pantyhose do look slightly like fishnets, and the doll probably could have done without them, but I'm pretty sure they are another of Tonner's signature elements.
The small shoes are very well crafted. They might be slightly too pink, but being so well made it is hard to gripe about it. The bottom is lined with black.
The stand is a thin metal pole with two plastic nubs on the end which go around the waist, and it can be plugged into the base. I have to say this is one thing I do not like. The stand does not seem sturdy enough, and does not grab the doll well to hold it in place. It was a little shaky. Plus, the single metal piece that goes around the waist does not move, adding to more glitter rubbing off and making it more difficult to put her in that stand to begin with. There is also no Tonner, Disney or Jessica logo on the base at all.
Unlike other dolls, you don't see any seams along the side of the body, which makes it look even better, and is another extra step by Tonner to give that fantastic quality.
In an original photo by Tonner (left), Jessica can be seen included with a purse on her left arm. The purse was photoshopped out and is not included with the doll. There was rumor that a trunk set may come out, offering a variety of different outfits for Jessica such as her Park Ranger gear from Trail Mix-Up. Perhaps the purse will be included if this set is actually going to be made, although this set has still not appeared in future Tonner Collections.
The end result is a truly stunning doll and a wonderful addition to Tonner's Walt Disney Showcase Collection, but I have to admit, I'm afraid to breath on it the wrong way. At a price tag between $120 - $150 (depending where you order) this is not some simple toy-store doll, it is for a true collector. Tonner does offer a Doll Hospital & Care Service should anything go wrong.
The Edition Size is higher than expected at 1000, but as of 2012, the doll was officially sold out.
Tonner received a DOTY Award for the Jessica Rabbit doll.