Gwendolyn, er… Ellowyne Wilde


Another Edit! 2-12-2007: just to add a review of my first Ellowyne “Nevermore”…
Ya know… they’re juuuuuust on the verge of getting me every time. The not-much ballyhoo’d Ellowyne Wilde (originally Gwendolyn) is finally making her debut on October 30th. And she just seems… like Robert Tonner, while jumping on the big-eyed Japanese band wagon, hasn’t been paying enough attention, at least not to the right things. He name drops Sylvia Plath for street cred, but failed to recognize our fear of gigantic collars (unless dressing as Endora or Seymour for Halloween). She’s almost goth (a la Emily the Strange), almost vintagey, almost big-headed, almost Japanese, but lacks the squee-factor to appeal to the aging jaded urban hipster such as myself. Oh wait, that’s not the demographic they were targeting? Oh. Damn.
However, I think the tonners are meant to be blank canvases, the clothing is definately focal, and their quality is usually very good. The outfits are a bit hit or miss. I like Chills. I don’t like the hippy (cute bangs though). But why on earth are the basics in lingerie so boring. You coulda done something super cute, and not white/pink, fer criminy. Meh. I like the pointy eyebrows on the brunette though.

She’s stolen Emily the Strange’s life. Look, she’s spooky dancing…


Is that the “taffy pull” or the “mezmerized by my fingernail polish” dance?


Now, I love that pose on “Red, White and Very Blue” …. but what is this outfit supposed to do??? Cute bangs.


Bitter Green” is all “Woe betide my inappropriately massive haute collar! Alack!”… along with the *yawn* hair, it ruins an otherwisely fantastic ensemble.
They’re really sweet, and I want to love them. I think they just need a bit more pout, a bit more petulance, and a bit more edge. And the hair! She’s not Gene Marshall for chrissakes.
Edit: I’ll tell ya what I’m lookin’ for… something not as trashy as the “fashion victims” et al. The quality and artistry on those are SO BAD. I really think there’s a middle ground niche market, but poor Ellowyne just seems like she’s carrying a bit too much fashion doll market baggage. Break the mold a little and you just might have something unique, spooky, and fun.

15 thoughts on “Gwendolyn, er… Ellowyne Wilde”

  1. This doll came SO close to working……but she’s trying to be a retro Alexander type, I think, rather than a Japan bigeye…….and for moi, the whole Big Giant Head thing does NOT work. And the HAIR? eeeeesh. One or two of the outfits are fine, and I am sure there is Tonner quality, but she’s not coming home to hang out with MY girls!
    Now one of the new ballerinas? YES!!

  2. I don’t know. I feel like they’d *like* to get your demographic; they’re very much insistent that they want a broad audience. All the same, these dolls almost feel like stepping-stones between American Girl dolls and the Tyler Wentworth line. It seems like their target market would have grown up with $100 dolls already but are too old for AGs, but not old enough for the somewhat fusty Tonners. A lot of my friends who would never consider a BJD would probably fit into that category. (I’m 18.)
    The April Haute Doll article seemed pretty (obnoxiously) adamant that Tonner/Wilde didn’t want a BJD/market, though. That would explain the emphasis on clothing that looks like a 12-year-old’s conception of Oscar de la Renta, instead of “pout and petulance.”
    As for myself, I want one, but I’m reluctant because I’m afraid that they’d look cheap next to my BJDs, rather than any particular trouble with their aesthetic. They’re certainly an improvement over the thick-jawed Tylers. ^_^;

  3. I wish I liked Tonners better than I do, but then again they’re kinda expensive for me. I agree that this doll is trying to be several things at once, and just not making it in any category. I’ll admit to being surprised that I liked their Hermione as much as I did when I saw her in person, but her $120 price tag made it easy not to bring her home.

  4. I only seen this today, so I’m only posting a response today.
    My reaction to that new Tonner doll? “Oh, it is youthfulness as seen by people in their fifties who do not or no longer have exposure to actual youthfulness.”
    Not sure if I spelled “youthfulness” correctly. Too lazy to check.

  5. Actually, Tonner sculpted the doll but it’s not his company that’s producing them. I don’t have a Tonner doll, I do have an Ellowyne, though, and in her defence, I love her. I love her clothes (with the exception of the Bitter Green Outfit) and her look (which is dramatic without being too anime’ – I hate the anime doll look). I’ll also add that the quality is amazing and worth every penny – so in short, I’ll respectfully disagree and say I don’t think they missed the boat at all.
    I will add, however, I’m not a huge fan of the “woe betides me/i’m so bored and emo” personality – in that regards, I roll my eyes. So I re-created her persona to fit my needs.
    I also might add that I probably AM in the key demo – I’ve been a big collector of American Girl dolls, and while I enjoy looking at Gene dolls they are too fussy and not “playable” enough for me. Ellowyne strikes a good balance for someone who wants something inbetween.

  6. I have this doll and think she is abosolutly beautiful. I love her clothes and enjoy the fact that she is a bit dark. I have collected older Cissy Face Madame Alexander Dolls and the Furga Alta Moda S girls. I consider this doll one of my favorites. I am 49 and of all of today’s Tonner and Madame Alexander’s she is the only one I have purchased except for the re-release of the tiny Betsy Mccall and Tiny Ann Estelle. In my opininon this doll and her clothing are exceptional.

  7. I love this doll, she is a lot more fun than the “regular” Tonners. I like her look, and I like that she works well as Cissy’s little sister or cousin. I loathe the storyline and the bad verse. I think the argument about ripping off Emily the Strange is a moot point, as Emily the Strange is a ripoff of Nate The Great’s pal Rosamund. Seriously! (Nate the Great is a boy detective character in early reader type chapter books by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.) Don’t take my word for it, read one of the books, it’ll take all of ten minutes.

  8. For some reason I have been out of the loop and only just discovered Tonner’s dolls — both the Tyler Wentworth line and Ellowyne. I recently bought two Sydneys, a Matt, two wicked witches, and a ballet dancer (yeah, I kind of went overboard – but I got most of them on ebay for fairly cheap 🙂 I really love them. I’m still blown away by their quality — both in the face paints/sculpts and the details of their clothes. Prior to this the only collectable fashion dolls I had were three old Genes from the mid-90s, on the not-very-posable original bodies.
    I briefly thought about getting a few Fashion Royalty dolls, but they look kind of stylized and fakey next to the Robert Tonner dolls — a bit too much like Bratz dolls, which I detest.
    I have been struggling with whether or not to get an Ellowyne. Can she share clothing with the Tyler-type dolls and Genes, or is she shaped differently? I do love her Chills outfit and some of the others.
    Also, can somebody clue me in to BJDs? Is it possible to get one that costs less than $500? A lot of them look too cartoony for me (at least of the ones I’ve seen) but some of them are incredible.

  9. Hi Jen!
    I don’t have an Ellowyne yet, my “Raven” isn’t due to ship til after 2/5, so I can’t comment definitavely on cloth sharing. However, though the body is styled a bit differently, they are the same height, and I’m sure they’ll be some clothing sharing possible. Do a google search on Ellowyne & Tyler and you should find some doll groups out there who will readily share this info.
    As for BJD’s… wowie, there are so many right now it is a hard question to answer. The 16″ and shorter ones tend mostly to be under $500. Keep looking, and hold out for one that really speaks to you. You’ll find her! I have some good resource links on my links page that you can look through:

  10. I love these dolls. They are my new obsession. I have Zwergnase and I’ve had the other Tonners – none compare. I have The two FAO dolls and the Bitter Green, Bitter is absolutely beautiful the outfits are made exceptionally well and she has the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen on a doll. I’ve also had BJD’s – only for a short time and parted easily with them, no real connection – I can’t seem to let go of my Ellowyne’s.

  11. I love Ellowyne’s face and face paint, but can’t stand her “I’m so bored” theme. It makes me think she has a shallow personality, and that’s such a turnoff for me.
    I think she’s a great doll overall. Her clothing style seems to be all over the place, though … I love the gothic/Victorian inspired clothing, but then she also wears outfits that don’t look at all Victorian (like the Red, White and Very Blue doll). She can’t seem to settle on any one style of clothing.

  12. can someone tell me for sure if Ellowyne can wear the same clothes as the 16 inch tonner dolls? I cant find anything on the web and I really really need to know. For my two cents worth, I love my Ellowyne Wilde and wouldnt part with her for anything! Her face is beautiful, she has a believeable body unlike Barbie and her big head is just beautiful!

  13. I have two Ellowyne Wilde dolls: Essential brunette and redhead. I have one word to describe them :gorgeous! They are feminine and sofisticated without being to girly.I have already bought two pair of shoes and I plan to by two outfits early next month. I’ll may also purchase Ellowyne’s best friend enssential wigged out Prudence Moody but not now.

  14. I am new to doll collecting. I loved playing with dolls as a child and I recently decided to go back to that pleasure at a whole new level. The dolls I bought were Essential Ellowyne and Prudence. I have most of their wigs, which are so much fun to change with different outfits. The dolls are BEAUTIFUL and I love the fun, stylish outfits. I just wish there were more clothes for her. Any suggestions on where I can buy more outfits for them.

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