Those who have seen my posts on Tonner’s Facebook and Blog, on Twitter, or on my doll blogs–Cythna’s Introspections; The Cami Kingdom; The Dolls of My Life–know how in love with and addicted to Cami I have been since her debut in early 2010. Cami is, to me, the most beautiful and perfect doll, and collecting her has brought me far more happiness and pleasure than mere words can impart. Some of you are familiar with my second Cami doll, a 2010 blonde whom I named Cythna; she is my companion doll, and she attended my first Tonner Convention with me this year:
From the beginning, I have relished every Cami doll, outfit, and accessory release, and buy multiples of most dolls, one to keep factory mint on display and the others to dress in the lovely Cami outfits. A few of those Cami dolls have joined Cythna in my play world, allowing me to truly live the Tonner credo, “Believe in the Power of Play.” Currently, four Cami dolls comprise that play world:
Most of my Cami dolls are displayed in a cabinet that they are already on the verge of outgrowing; the first and second shelves have four rows each of Cami dolls, as space is a premium, but I adore looking at them and rearranging them.
When I arrived at the Tonner Convention, my Cami collection contained 96 Cami dolls. I bought a 2011 basic redhead from a dear doll friend (thanks, Charlie), and received mine and my sister’s Flamingo Cami dolls from the Saturday night Flights of Fancy banquet, which brought the count to 99. My first Tonner Convention was so extraordinary that I wanted to achieve my personal milestone of obtaining my 100th Cami doll at the convention.
Sunday morning, the sales room opened at 7:30 AM, so I made sure I was in line bright and early; I arrived at 6:30, I believe, and patiently sat there until the sweet and bubbly Michelle opened the door. I bought my third Flamingo Cami, which was my 100th Cami doll! Miss Michelle captured the moment in pictures and made that moment even more fun and meaningful!
I really do love each and every Cami–each one is stunning–but I must admit that Flamingo Cami is very special and symbolic to me: the first convention Cami I got firsthand and my 100th Cami. Since I was lucky enough to also purchase the Parrot Antoinette centerpiece at my table, I knew that the gold base was meant to be Flamingo Cami’s. She is absolutely breathtaking!
As a historic addendum to my Cami collection, I also purchased Tonner Air Stewardess Kay, who, according to Robert Tonner himself, is another sculptor’s interpretation of Cami:
As a Cami lover and collector, I am over the moon with elation that I was able to reach this important collecting milestone while at my first Tonner Convention, and with such a gorgeous Cami! I met so many wonderful, enthusiastic people at the convention, as well, many of whom recognized Cythna from her blog and its 365 Project. Nothing excites me more than to be asked about Cami, and one unexpected yet very pleasant side effect of attending my first convention has been the messages and comments I have received about Cami, both via my blogs and my email.
Many people ask questions about Cami, mostly a particular doll that they see pictured on one of my blogs. Others let me know that they like the reference site, The Cami Kingdom, as a way to see each of the Cami dolls that Tonner has produced. The most exciting messages are those from people who have gotten or are getting their first Cami dolls and share that joyous experience with me because they know that I will understand. That may seem trivial to some people, but it really does touch my heart. Collecting Cami is about far more than the doll herself–it’s about the people involved, from Mr. Tonner and his staff, to fellow collectors. I am so very grateful that I got to share this milestone with Michelle and others to the 2012 Tonner Convention.
(NOTE: All photographs and text copyright 2012 by Sheilah R. Craft)
Be sure to visit our Doll Duels Cami Pinterest Board
or check out our current Cami & Jon line: