I received my lovely Tonner Marilyn Monroe as Pola Debevoise doll last Wednesday, and just now have finally had time to write up a proper review and take some pictures. I ordered mine through the wonderful Gigi's Dolls, who offer layaway, even on pre-orders. I highly recommend them!
Upon opening the box I found her well packed, including her diamond earnings and fun red strappy shoes. Her hair is styled solidly, and held up well during shipment. This is not a doll I plan to restyle at all, so I don't mind the heavy gel in her hair to maintain her trademark look.
She is in a red swimsuit with lots of detailing. The back doesn't close as snugly as I would have hoped for, but otherwise it is very well made. The stretchy fabric would have needed either a zipper, or twice as many snaps to not gape in the back, but then it would have been too bulky. I'm sure the designers beat their heads against the wall with this, and a little part of them died to compromise. But you're not going to look at her from the back very often, so this is very, very minor.
The shoes are awesome! At least they're awesome now that I figured out how to get them on her feet. It was definitely trial and error, and some nervous tugging at the tiny straps praying for no breakage, but once they're on, they look fantastic!
Unlike my Horsman Vita doll, I didn't have to punch my own earrning holes. One ear wasn't quite punched all the way through, but it was at least started so I didn't feel like I was having to take a hammer to get the earrings in. They're sparkly and dangly, and very glamourous. Definitely the right touch!
As for her face paint and sculpt, I know she's not a perfect match to the real Marilyn Monroe, but I still love it. It would have been nice if they could have made her with more of her dazzling smile, but it probably would have ended up looking goofy or even creepy. I think her eye makeup is done just right, and while her mouth could be a bit better, this doll still looks like Marilyn Monroe to me.
This doll has nice articulation, although still not as much as the ball joint dolls I've been spoiled by. She can sit and nearly cross her legs without it looking ridiculous, but she can't quite touch her cheek with her perfectly manicured hand. It's still a lot of poseability to work with, and each doll edition will just get better, I'm certain.
Casual pictures like the ones I took as I was opening the box and taking her out for the first time come out well, with good lighting. But when you bring out an even slightly fancier backdrop and fuss with the lighting a little more, this doll shows how photogenic she can. This is where I could have spent hours and still not gotten tired. I swear she really did flirt with the camera!
I would love to purchase all of Tonner's beautiful outfits for my Marilyn Monroe doll, but my budget won't allow for that. But that just means I'll be able to try out my sewing skills to see if I can do her justice. There are a couple of outfits from Some Like It Hot that would be a blast to reproduce, as well as her other glamourous classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Even trying to capture Marilyn in a more casual outfit would be fun. I'm picturing her in a crisp white shirt and capri pants, with a scarf to hide her hair and giant sunglasses.
For collectors of both Tonner and Marilyn Monroe dolls, I think this one is well worth the $124.99 price. Again, I can't recommend Gigi's Dolls enough for the customer service and willingness to offer layaway.
Be sure to check out my gallery for a lot more photos of my Marilyn Monroe doll.
Now I am off to tackle some of those duties that keep me away from my doll collection. I also need to find a suitable section of display space for my newest acquisition, and hope the Fashion Royalty dolls behave themselves around her. They may be a bit jealous of the attention Marilyn can't help but receive. :D