Tips from the Hospital

by Doctor Noreen at the Tonner Doll Hospital

I have compiled several tips related to the care and handling of your favorite TONNER® or Effanbee® doll. Some of the tips come from experience, but the vast majority are from collectors like yourselves who were kind enough to share their knowledge. I would like to begin with our Tyler line and some ideas that will make the Power of Play® more enjoyable.

Now for all you head swappers out there...(and you know who you are), we do not recommend swapping heads if your are inexperienced in this practice. Since you are going to eventually try it anyway, I will give you some insight on this increasingly common practice among collectors of our fashion dolls.

The first thing to remember when doing a head transplant without a license is there is some risk involved. The most common side effect is a broken neck button. This can be deadly–but avoidable. You will be using your blow dryer to warm up the neck opening completely. Please protect the beautiful saran hair first, as direct intense heat will cause Tyler to have a permanent case of the "brittle frizzies". Most head swappers wrap the hair with a small washcloth. Direct the warm air towards the base of the head where the neck opening is. It usually takes a few minutes of warming to make the vinyl pliable enough to slip off the neck button without causing damage.

Once you feel the neck is warm enough...gently pull up while turning the head slightly to one side. If you feel resistance–Stop! To try and forcefully remove the head will cause the neck button to snap off, and can also cause cracks in the neck itself. If resistance is felt, just continue to warm up the base of the head with tour hair dryer for another few minutes.

Now that you have successfully removed the head. Follow the same procedure, except this time, when the head is fully warm, push down at an angle while twisting the head onto the button. Again, if resistance is felt–Stop! Go back to re-warming the neck opening for a few more minutes. Always keep the dryer at least 4 to 5 inches from the area you are heating. Even a hairdryer held too close to the vinyl for long periods of time, can cause a distortion.

As you are now probably aware, head swapping can be a life-threatening procedure. This is the reason it is not recommended and should always be left to a professional Doll Doc like myself.