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Meet Leone

December 8, 2012

Reblogged from The Empty Bobbin. This doll has easily become my favorite on the shelf since getting her (and making her clothes)!

It happened again. And I know you want to hear all about it (probably in painful detail for some of you), right? That’s what I thought.

This is Leone, the Sporty Girl from Tonner Toy’s Little Miss Matched line (LMM is the coolest place to buy socks cause they give you 3 socks in a “pair” and none of them match). I love all the dolls Tonner makes, but they’re collector dolls and are way way out of my price range, so now that they have a toy division  – it’s awesome. Because the toy dolls are sold at toy stores in my town and they’re way cheaper!

For some reason it always surprises me that she’s so much bigger than a Barbie, but the size is also really appealing

Excerpts from the Tonner blog:

LittleMissMatched launched as a company in 2004, and began by selling bright and colorful, unmatched socks in wildly fun, mismatched patterns packaged in odd numbers for young girls and pre-teens. For the company’s founders, Jonah Staw, Arielle Eckstut, and Jason Dorf, it all began as a funny commentary about the mystery of disappearing socks, and the single mismatch it leaves behind. They jokingly concluded that they could solve the problem by wearing socks that didn’t match.

Interesting fact: Little Miss Matched does not have a wikipedia page, neither the dolls or the socks.

Taking her place on the doll shelf.

Anyways, Leone is one of four dolls all with the same face mold but different hair colors (and one that is darker skinned). The plastic and hair she’s made of feel really sturdy and nice. She has 10 points of articulation, so her knees, elbows, and chest have joints (along with the typical shoulder, hips, and neck). I really love … well everything, I love how many joints she has, how she’s a mid-size doll (15″), and her face because it’s so different and cartoonish. The only thing bad I can say is that her joints are a little stiff and I’m pretty certain that one of her legs is ever so slightly shorter than the other, but that’s not noticeable when she’s wearing her shoes.

Why is her name Leone (pronounced Lee-own), you might ask? Let me give you a glimpse into the conversation Pedro and I had:

Molly: so… i bought the lmm doll

Pedro: cool, which one?

Molly: i got the blonde one, “Sporty”
   need to come up with a name since she doesn’t come with one
Pedro: mmmm
   what’s she wearing?
Molly: a pink skirt, black tshirt and a hoody
Pedro: interesting
Molly: and of course knee high socks and shoes that don’t match
Pedro: oh thats good
Molly: yup, i like that the dolls come with one extra sock too
Pedro: oooooh
Molly: how about Sandra or Terri… or something
Pedro: that sounds all 50s ish
Molly: i was going for semi-tomboyish
Pedro: how about Minnesota
Molly: if you’re going to name something after a place, it should at least be a nice place
Pedro: thats a nice place…
Molly: um, no
   how about Arizona
Pedro: okay, then Sierra Leone
   Arizona’s good
Molly: oh, maybe!
   where is Sierra Leone?
Pedro: Africa
Molly: I’m not sold on a two word name, but Leone is a really cool word
Pedro: ooh ya
Molly: ok. Leone or Arizona. tough choices
Pedro: Mauritania
Molly: what is that?
Pedro: a country…. in Africa
Molly: i don’t even know how to pronounce that
Pedro: mar-i-tawn-i-a
Molly: no, i still like the first two
Pedro: Namibia?
Molly: what’s with you and Africa tonight?
   she’s not even black
Pedro: i don’t know
   i’ve been doing this map quiz thing and Africas giving me trouble
Molly: come up with some Russian or Polish names
Pedro: georgia
Molly: why can’t we have real names?
Pedro: Odessa
Molly: Leona
Pedro: ugh leonA?
Molly: to make it female
Pedro: then i dont like it
   sierra leone sounds feminine
Molly: but i don’t like sierra
Pedro: sahara
Molly: Filippa
Pedro: philippines
Molly: Milo
Pedro: masha
Molly: Olga
Pedro: helga
Molly: ok my short list: Arizona, Leone, Mila, Olga
Pedro: i like leone and mila
Molly: lets go with Leone, Mila is too close to Mia
Pedro: oh ya
Molly: i just thought of that
Pedro: but Leone, not Leona right?
Molly: ya Leone
Pedro: are we saying this “lee-own” or “lee-on”?
Molly: lee-own
Pedro: ok, good
Molly: all french like

As you can see, it was a difficult decision, and we settled on a very random choice.

Her clothes are of decent quality, on the same level as any store bought Barbie clothes. The hoodie has a tiny little zipper, but I can’t get it to work so I’m not entirely sure if it’s supposed to work.

What makes Tonner Toys special and unique from most other toy companies on the planet is our design-oriented standards. In other words, because we are more design focused, as opposed to marketing focused, we believe that makes for a superior product, both in design and quality. And that was totally intentional! Tonner Toys wants to make a product with a distinct collectible feel, but at a toy price point.

Leone also has a very realistic body shape, I assume because of it she is supposed to be a pre-teenage girl. She has a small bust and straight torso with pretty much no waist definition. I’ll have to try making a fitting shell for her, though it might not be worth it since any bust darts I put in would be teeny tiny! I could probably just copy the pattern of her t-shirt easily.

Leone’s t-shirt left behind some marks around her arm pits, I haven’t tried soap yet but they didn’t come off with just water and rubbing. There was also a little bit of residue the same color as her skirt on one of her thighs, but I’m confident that the marks will all come off.

Doll Diaries did an interview with the designer of the LMM dolls:

Doll Diaries: The LittleMissMatched Girls have such sunny little faces. What was the inspiration for their sculpt?

Jason: I love their faces. They’re sweet and a little mischievous. The inspiration was the LittleMissMatched Logo. When Robert and I were designing the dolls and when Robert was sculpting them, we kept that cute logo in mind.

Doll Diaries: How is designing a doll for play different than designing one that is meant more for display?

Jason: Designing a doll for play is a bit more complicated. The most important thing is safety. There are a lot of safety standards to pass and keep up on. Then we move to FUN. Playdolls need to be a lot more durable and child friendly than Collector Dolls. Their clothes, while still being pretty and stylish, have to be easy for children to get on and off with a minimum of parental help.

Robert: And, as for the sculpt, at the price point it can be more stylized than a realistic collector piece. It was fun to do.

On a related note, I’ve been following Doll Diaries’ reporting from Toy Fair 2012 and it looks like Tonner Toys will have some sweet dolls coming out later this year (I know what I’m asking for for my birthday next year), my favorite being Maudlynne Macabre and her ghost best friend Victoria. I’ve read somewhere that Maudlynne will share the same body as the LMM dolls so they can share any clothes I make for them!

Maudlynne Macabre

Maudlynne Macabre

Oh, and this is what happened only minutes after taking Leone out of her box:

A perfect fit!

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