Trauma-Life in the ER – Doll Repair – My Life as a Doll Doctor





This week I would like to give you a sneak peek right into my Emergency Room of the Tonner Doll Hospital. There will be several images of instrument trays, ER supplies, organ donors, and even a patient.

Instrument tray in doll hospital ER

Most of the items you see above are used for orthopedic emergencies. Our Doll Hospital sees more of these than any other emergency. We also handle “plastic surgery” procedures with some of the materials you see below!

Doll Hospital Supplies used in the plastic and reconstructive surgical department

This is also a large part of our Emergency Room. Reconstructive Surgery (also called Plastic Surgery..pun intended) is required for many patients due to the natural aging process…but today’s trauma surgery case involves a vicious Puppy Attack! (Warning: The Trauma images below may be too graphic for young children) 



This doll was rushed into our ER after being attacked by a puppy. I have been told that this doll did nothing to provoke the attack other than having yummy vinyl perfect for teething pups! Sadly, I knew I was going to have to check our donor dolls as at least 2 or more limbs could not be saved. The organ donors are a big part of our hospitals success!!

I must say when certain emergencies come into my ER—if it were not for the donors…we could not save them all. The puppy attack case was certainly one of those. You may ask where do these donors come from?? They are usually donated by their owners when the doll can no longer be repaired…or when only a few parts are left. We also have an area where discarded dolls or parts are left…….

Discarded Dolls wait to be chosen

Naturally…I went to the waiting room to let the parents of this dolly know–she will need several transplanted parts–we all agreed that accepting donated parts was the only way to keep her alive.

Donor Parts Match!


Yes…these parts are a perfect match

Once all the donor parts are harvested….the doll can be re-assembled and ready to be loved again….just not by that Puppy!

Doll is out of the OR and into recovery

Well my friends….I hope you enjoyed a brief visit into the Trauma Bay of our state of the art Dolly Hospital here at the Tonner Company Store!

of course if you have a donor doll you think that could help save other dolls you can always send them to the doll hospital:

Doll Hospital
Doll Donation
c/o Noreen Morris
14 Hurley Avenue Kingston NY,
Phone: 845-339-2960 Hours: Wed-Sat 10am to 6pm













10 responses to “Trauma-Life in the ER – Doll Repair – My Life as a Doll Doctor

  1. My Dydee, Pansy, and I love Dr. Noreen. She saved Pansy from a life with no arms. Happy to see one of the dolls we donated is waiting for a patient. This is my favorite blog on the entire site.

    1. Hi Betsy,
      I knew you would see her! Not to worry as she will live on within another dolly for sure. I am so glad you like the blog. Also…to all the readers…just let me know of any questions or suggestions for topics as I am willing to discuss all facets of dolls, repair, and collecting.

      1. Another doll snatched from the jaws of death …. or at least the jaws of puppy!! “But he’s soooo cute!” No, we must be firm about these things – “bad puppy, BAD puppy!”

        Well I have all sorts of questions I can ask! Here’s one – do doll doctors have doll doctor conventions?

        Here’s another – I have a Madame Alex. 21″ portrait doll from my teenage years (i.e. late sixties). She was safely stored for 10-15 years and then I bought a nice acrylic display “cube” for her, brought her out, dressed her, and lowered the cube onto its almost air-tight base. No puppies, no cats, no dust – great!!! So when I was packing to move about 8 years later, I raised the cube and …… the chemical smell was (and is) horrific! I’m guessing something that her plastic (?) was off-gassing was unable to escape the cube and built up (or maybe, at this age, she would have begun to smell bad no matter where/how I had kept her?) So my question is, is there anyway to wash off all that bad smell from her?? And if so, once it is gone, would it stay gone??? Thanks. Roberta

        1. Hi Roberta!!
          We doll docs should have our own convention….lol–I have meet a few great ones….and they all have wonderful stories to tell.
          Now…about the Madame Alexander doll….if she is late 50’s and has the hard plastic body–I know the smell….very bad like sour milk. The hard plastics go through a stage of internal decomp and those types of smells are the by-products (Gases) given off. I have a feeling your doll is newer and vinyl..(the late 60’s were). The fact that it was closed in the acrylic case just means all the chemical smells from the polyethylene plastics (made from petroleum) were trapped. If the smell is chemical…like petroleum–it is those chemical gases you smell and you should just remove the acrylic housing and let the doll air out. The smell should be gone in a few days.
          If the smell is bad..(like baby spit-up)–there are hard plastic parts that are in stages of decomp..and giving off that terrible smell.(I’ll take the chemical smell any day!) The hard plastic decomp stink of the 1950’s dolls is nearly impossible to get rid of.
          Once the chemical smell is gone–if you must use an acrylic case–make certain you either remove it each day for an hour or so….or find a way to raise the bottom up so there is 1/2 air space. An airtight housing for dolls is not recommended for several reasons. I hope this helps.
          The Doc!

          1. Thanks Doc! I must admit that after I packed her for moving (in a cardboard box, thus no longer in the “airtight” acrylic cube) I was so discouraged that for 5 years now I haven’t unpacked her and checked her b.o. (to put it crudely!) I shall go find her box in the storeroom and open it up and give her a sniff again! (And yes, she is from the 60’s, not 50’s.) So I suppose this “rule” about no air-tight storage will hold true for present day resin dolls too, for the same reason??? It is a thin line, storing things the correct way, isn’t it?! Trying to keep humidity and temperature fluctuations minimal, trying to keep dust and bugs out, but having to provide air to breathe ……. what’s a mother to do??!! Thanks again, Roberta

          2. Do you think Tonner & Barbie dolls will decompose as well? Is there any method (i.e. storage, do not expose to some elements etc) to avoid it? Will they change colour? Some of old Gene Marshall & BJD dolls I saw on Ebay was yellowing. The seller did mention it. It’s not due to bad photographing/lighting.

    1. Luckily…we do get people stopping in with their bags of donor dolls and parts. It’s fun when we bring children in the Doll Hospital to see the area. When they see the dolls waiting to save others–they give us a big smile! We usually have to resort to those parts when puppies and dogs get the dolls. They sure love to chew vinyl.

  2. Wish I know this site sooner. I have thrown away some of the unused dolls’ parts. Sometimes I auction these parts on Ebay if they are in good condition.

    1. Hi Maria,
      In response to your questions above….depending on storage and exact materials…all dolls can age and decompose –(“as we doll docs call it”). Some….much quicker than others. Many of the resin BJD’s will yellow when exposed to light. I have many in my own collection that are beginning to get that jaundiced look…but I love them just the same! As far as the vinyls…again storage and quality of vinyl will help determine how long they will last. If your Barbie’s face begins to get sticky….she may be in trouble! I can tell you–keep those dolls out of lighted curios as the heat builds up and hastens changes to vinyl and plastic…not to mention resin yellowing. I have many Tonner dolls in my collection and I can say–they do not seem to go through these changes.
      Never store dolls in basements or attics…but rather remove clothing, wrap both clothing and doll in acid free tissue and store in a box in a climate controlled and humidity controlled area. Check every 6 months or so for little buggies. For more info–feel free to email me at
      I hope this helps!!

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