Sunday Doll Post: Meet Leone
It happened again. And I know you want to hear all about it (probably in painful detail for some of you), right? That’s what I thought.
This is Leone, the Sporty Girl from Tonner Toy’s Little Miss Matched line (LMM is the coolest place to buy socks cause they give you 3 socks in a “pair” and none of them match). I love all the dolls Tonner makes, but they’re collector dolls and are way way out of my price range, so now that they have a toy division – it’s awesome. Because the toy dolls are sold at toy stores in my town and they’re way cheaper!
Excerpts from the Tonner blog:
LittleMissMatched launched as a company in 2004, and began by selling bright and colorful, unmatched socks in wildly fun, mismatched patterns packaged in odd numbers for young girls and pre-teens. For the company’s founders, Jonah Staw, Arielle Eckstut, and Jason Dorf, it all began as a funny commentary about the mystery of disappearing socks, and the single mismatch it leaves behind. They jokingly concluded that they could solve the problem by wearing socks that didn’t match.
Interesting fact: Little Miss Matched does not have a wikipedia page, neither the dolls or the socks.
Anyways, Leone is one of four dolls all with the same face mold but different hair colors (and one that is darker skinned). The plastic and hair she’s made of feel really sturdy and nice. She has 10 points of articulation, so her knees, elbows, and chest have joints (along with the typical shoulder, hips, and neck). I really love … well everything, I love how many joints she has, how she’s a mid-size doll (15″), and her face because it’s so different and cartoonish. The only thing bad I can say is that her joints are a little stiff and I’m pretty certain that one of her legs is ever so slightly shorter than the other, but that’s not noticeable when she’s wearing her shoes.
Why is her name Leone (pronounced Lee-own), you might ask? Let me give you a glimpse into the conversation Pedro and I had:
Molly: so… i bought the lmm doll
Pedro: cool, which one?Molly: i got the blonde one, “Sporty”need to come up with a name since she doesn’t come with onePedro: mmmmwhat’s she wearing?Molly: a pink skirt, black tshirt and a hoodyPedro: interestingMolly: and of course knee high socks and shoes that don’t matchPedro: oh thats goodMolly: yup, i like that the dolls come with one extra sock tooPedro: ooooohMolly: how about Sandra or Terri… or somethingPedro: that sounds all 50s ishMolly: i was going for semi-tomboyishPedro: how about MinnesotaMolly: if you’re going to name something after a place, it should at least be a nice placePedro: thats a nice place…Molly: um, nohow about ArizonaPedro: okay, then Sierra LeoneArizona’s goodMolly: oh, maybe!where is Sierra Leone?Pedro: AfricaMolly: I’m not sold on a two word name, but Leone is a really cool wordPedro: ooh yaMolly: ok. Leone or Arizona. tough choicesPedro: MauritaniaMolly: what is that?Pedro: a country…. in AfricaMolly: i don’t even know how to pronounce thatPedro: mar-i-tawn-i-aMolly: no, i still like the first twoPedro: Namibia?Molly: what’s with you and Africa tonight?she’s not even blackPedro: i don’t knowi’ve been doing this map quiz thing and Africas giving me troubleMolly: come up with some Russian or Polish namesPedro: georgiakosovoMolly: why can’t we have real names?Pedro: OdessaOpheliaMolly: LeonaPedro: ugh leonA?Molly: to make it femalePedro: then i dont like itsierra leone sounds feminineMolly: but i don’t like sierraPedro: saharasagesakagaweaMolly: FilippalanaPedro: philippinesMolly: MiloPedro: mashaheliumMolly: OlgaPedro: helgaMolly: ok my short list: Arizona, Leone, Mila, OlgaPedro: i like leone and milaMolly: lets go with Leone, Mila is too close to MiaPedro: oh yaMolly: i just thought of thatPedro: but Leone, not Leona right?Molly: ya LeonePedro: are we saying this “lee-own” or “lee-on”?Molly: lee-ownPedro: ok, goodMolly: all french like
As you can see, it was a difficult decision, and we settled on a very random choice.
What makes Tonner Toys special and unique from most other toy companies on the planet is our design-oriented standards. In other words, because we are more design focused, as opposed to marketing focused, we believe that makes for a superior product, both in design and quality. And that was totally intentional! Tonner Toys wants to make a product with a distinct collectible feel, but at a toy price point.
Leone also has a very realistic body shape, I assume because of it she is supposed to be a pre-teenage girl. She has a small bust and straight torso with pretty much no waist definition. I’ll have to try making a fitting shell for her, though it might not be worth it since any bust darts I put in would be teeny tiny! I could probably just copy the pattern of her t-shirt easily.
Doll Diaries did an interview with the designer of the LMM dolls:
Doll Diaries: The LittleMissMatched Girls have such sunny little faces. What was the inspiration for their sculpt?
Jason: I love their faces. They’re sweet and a little mischievous. The inspiration was the LittleMissMatched Logo. When Robert and I were designing the dolls and when Robert was sculpting them, we kept that cute logo in mind.
Doll Diaries: How is designing a doll for play different than designing one that is meant more for display?
Jason: Designing a doll for play is a bit more complicated. The most important thing is safety. There are a lot of safety standards to pass and keep up on. Then we move to FUN. Playdolls need to be a lot more durable and child friendly than Collector Dolls. Their clothes, while still being pretty and stylish, have to be easy for children to get on and off with a minimum of parental help.
Robert: And, as for the sculpt, at the price point it can be more stylized than a realistic collector piece. It was fun to do.
On a related note, I’ve been following Doll Diaries’ reporting from Toy Fair 2012 and it looks like Tonner Toys will have some sweet dolls coming out later this year (I know what I’m asking for for my birthday next year), my favorite being Maudlynne Macabre and her ghost best friend Victoria. I’ve read somewhere that Maudlynne will share the same body as the LMM dolls so they can share any clothes I make for them!
Oh, and this is what happened only minutes after taking Leone out of her box: