Thursday, February 3, 2011
Tonner Scarlett Portrait Review
Scarlett arrived yesterday, and my overall reaction is mixed. Not what I would expect from a doll that is supposed to retail for almost $200. Fortunately, I didn’t pay retail.
On the plus side, the hair is finally the right color. Rather than a sun-kissed brunette, Scarlett’s hair is finally the dark raven-colored shade that it should be. Her facial paint and sculpt are also a pleasant likeness of Vivien Leigh; not as good as the Franklin Mint’s sculpt, but still fairly good. As others have stated, the draping of the blue velvet is pretty good, too. Even though chances are that the shoes aren’t accurate to what Vivien Leigh wore or to the historic period of the movie, I still like them. A small trifle as they don’t show in either the painting or the film.
I now quickly move on to the criticism. Tonner has a nasty habit of painting the skull of their dolls the color of the hair. I can only guess that they think this allows them to use fewer hair plugs, thus saving money. What it does is it makes the doll’s head look gruesome with the contrasting shades. It also looks cheap.
I have posted a closeup of the face from Scarlett’s portrait, which now resides in a museum in Atlanta.
The look on Vivien’s face is more haughty, unlike the Tonner doll which definitely has a sweeter expression. The hairstyle is also off, as the ringlets are way too long.
The scale of the shawl is also off; the rosettes are way too big for a doll of this size. Franklin Mint usually nails the jewelry; Tonner’s typically looks cheap. Tonner stays true to form with a wacky gold-toned filigree style earring. Not at all like the cherished earbobs that Scarlett inherited from her mother (which is what she is wearing in the painting). Cheapest of all (and this is also typical of Tonner) is the sewing. For some reason, Tonner’s production crew uses white thread, which shows up horribly on the sewn buttons and inside stitching. It’s a small detail, but one that really makes a difference in the overall quality of the garment. I can only guess it’s for the sake of economy and ease.
Overall opinion: I can’t say I recommend it. The Mint already did Portrait; for Tonner to repeat the same gown, I just can’t understand why they wouldn’t go the extra mile to improve it. Is it a nice doll? Sure. Is it worth the retail price? Definitely not.
Note on my photos: yes, I have removed the joints in the doll for photographic purposes. I have also touched up the doll’s pupils in the photo as the paint job was not particularly realistic. In addition, I removed a number of the seams and stray white threads that were visible. Other than that, what you see is what you get!
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