Black History Month: Tonner Doll’s African American Retrospective

February is Black History Month, and as such, we thought it would be a fun thing to go back into our own history of Tonner Dolls and take a look at our African American creations over the years.  It’s always fun to take a walk down memory lane!

First, though, here’s a special video message from Robert:

Wow – sounds like something special is coming down the pike!  Stay tuned for more info on that front, doll lovers!

…and let’s take that walk down memory lane, shall we?

Tonner Doll's African American Collectibles
Tonner Doll’s African American Collectibles

To take a look at a whole album of African American dolls spanning our history, click here.

It’s also interesting to note how many different skin tones we have used over the years:

Spice, Honey, Onyx, and Tiana skin tones
Spice, Honey, Onyx, and Tiana skin tones

So many beautiful ethnic sculpts and hairstyles and face paints!  There’s Jac/Jon, Diane Evans, Kagiso and more!  …And let’s not forget Friday Foster!

TON_0468TON_0457 And there have been some stunning African American guys too, like Russell Williams and Laurent from Twilight.

Russell Williams Ultra Basic
Russell Williams Ultra Basic
Laurent from the Twilight Collection
Laurent from the Twilight Collection

And even our friends over at Wilde Imagination have some rich African American History as well, with sweet Lizette from the Ellowyne Wilde Collection and tiny little Izzy from the Amelia Thimble Collection.  Some beauties for sure!

Black History Month Collage Wii

If you’re looking for a fantastic source about African American dolls, Debbie Garrett is THE authority on black doll collecting.  She’s written books, and has an incredible blog and facebook page, and has even been featured on our blog as well, so be sure and check her out!

Well, doll lovers, until next time…

Thanks for reading!

15 responses to “Black History Month: Tonner Doll’s African American Retrospective

  1. Thank you for the Black History Month tribute showcasing several past and current African American dolls by Robert Tonner/Ellowyne Wilde. I just added All-Natural Lizette Spice to my collection. She will be featured on my blog soon. Thank you also for mentioning my books and blog. I am honored.

    I am also on Facebook as BlackDoll Enthusiast

    The URL to the home page of my blog is:

    Thank you again!

  2. I own a few of the Black Tonner dolls they are beautiful I would love to see a Pair of Native American dolls added to the line I also like the male Tonner dolls.
    Thanks for sharing I think I have about 25 Tonner Dolls now!

  3. Mr. Tonner, you sure know how to keep people on their toes with anticipation. But MERCY, sir, I am running out of living space thanks to all of your beautiful dolls!

    I have always enjoyed the inspiration to various story projects of mine that your dolls have provided, and then some.

    I share your kudos to Debbie Behan-Garrett – she is not only VERY knowledgeable and enthusiastic about collecting black dolls, she is a genuinely kind person to boot. She is also generous in sharing her knowledge and love of black dolls as well.

  4. Thank you for this! I have been collecting African American Tonner dolls since the early models (Shonda, Angelique, etc…). Robert Tonner has created so many beautiful face sculpts for African American dolls over the years and I have been fortunate enought to obtain many of them (including the most recent All Natural Lizette). Thank you Robert, for your unparalleled work in this area!

    Also–I would LOVE to see a Dorothy Dandridge Hollywood Legend doll 😉

  5. Thank you Tonner Company for recognizing Black History Month. Thank you for all of the Beautiful Black dolls, and for noticing we come in many different skin shades.

  6. Hi! I love your dolls, they are so precious.
    I truly appreciate the fact that you have been using various head sculpts and skin tones for your black dolls.
    I am in love with your new line, the My Imagination dolls. They are perfect for all the people who like 18in full vinyl dolls. I really hope that, someday, you will make a black version of the My Imagination dolls with a two wigs option : Afro hair (like Patsy used to have) and non Afro hair. It would be a real treat.

    Thank you for making us dream

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