Everyone knows that Robert Tonner and his talented associates are always exploring new horizons. Never remaining in one niche or expected routine, the Tonner gang has now headed in a whole new direction—literally. They’ve moved their facilities to Wall Street in Kingston, N.Y., and are settling in quite nicely, although the move was hectic and intense—“Jack said it was like moving 20 houses,” Tonner quips.
And though Tonner and team are at a brand-new address, they haven’t forgotten the roots of what has helped to craft their reputation. Collectors can still expect professionalism, courtesy and ingenuity under the Tonner label.
Another big change for Tonner is the addition of the Tonner Doll Hospital at the company store, which is still located on Hurley Avenue at the company store. Ably headed by Dr. Noreen Morris, a veteran restorer of antique and modern dolls, the “resident plastic surgeon” has more than 20 years of experience in repairing all manner of calamities and challenges.
For dolls, accessories and outfits that were purchased new from Tonner or from one of its recognized dealers, the repairs or replacements will be done, usually, at no charge to the collector. In some instances, a fee might be charged.
Tonner dolls bought on the secondary market, through eBay, at doll shows or from other collectors will most likely have a fee charged for replacements. Dolls will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Dr. Noreen is a whiz at figuring out how to restore a doll that seems to be a lost cause. She works on all manner of dollies—bisques, china heads, porcelains—not just the Tonner brands. “My mother is so incredibly talented at her craft. She has a knack for fixing just about anything and she has done it for as long as I can remember,” observes Shauna Perry, the director of sales and marketing at Tonner, and Dr. Noreen’s daughter. “Her passion for maintaining her ‘patient’s’ authenticity is astounding. She rummages through flea markets, garage sales and scours the Internet for ‘donors’ to make sure everything she uses is true to the doll’s era.”
Tonner has long believed in the “power of play,” and his new doll hospital is ensuring that beloved dolls stay around to play for years and decades to come.