Friday, January 29, 2010

Why don't they listen?: Tonner 2010 "What's my lamb gonna wear?"

Image from Tonner Doll Co.

It was a photo that would have made Mammy jiggle with laughter and made her Scarlett, pout with dismay. After the long wait and anticipation that fueled forums and collector's groups, the lamb probably made a poor choice, and Mammy would probably have her way in making Scarlett wear another dress so as not to "sho her bosom befoh three o' clock da afternoon". 

A fixed photo to show less prints, emerald in color and a fixed face sans widow's peak.

Like Lions for Lambs
Tonner's "What's my lamb gonna wear" elicited nothing but sheer disappointment; collectors emailing words like lions tearing the concept with words that validly critiqued the PR photo. I can actually feel my adrenaline rushing down, down, down.
The color of the prints were too light and not aligned with the color of the sash.
The hairstyle of the PR photo was said to be a bad perm day. Reminded me of those 80's gel-filled hair (Desperately seeking Susan, is that you?) But that's fix-able.
The number of prints were so not what you see on film.
Sadly, I could almost hear the guffaws of laughter from Franklin Mint Scarlett loyalists. There are some.

Why are we consoling ourselves?
As I mentioned to one member: a film as great and impactful as Gone with the Wind must be interpreted faithfully, as all great films should be, in merchandise. The barbeque dress is unmistakably Scarlett. Worn in 2 sequences, and 6 scenes in GWTW, why the miss?  Somehow, it is in these dresses, and in the likeness of the doll that a legend perpetuates even 70 years later. Could there have been a copyright with the prints that did not allow Tonner to fully copy them? If you can't make a faithful copy, then be good at making your own interpretation is my answer. Franklin Mint has its own version of the 12 Oaks Dress. It's safer. You don't get compared to, but seen as an interpretation of.  Case in point, Tonner's version of Melanie. There was no room there to compare because it was a beautiful interpretation capturing the mood that Mitchell created. And so, Tonner's Melanie/Ms. Mellie survives by its own merits  and does not suffer because of its failure to live up to the merits of an original. If customer satisfaction is the goal of any manufacturer in the world, why are we consoling ourselves? If one were to blame them of anything at all, perhaps it would be the lack of substantial awareness -- ahh despite the resources from which awareness can be obtained.  However, as collectors we tend to forgive, and forget.

Just a prototype?
Still, because of its reputation of making changes, the GWTW doll customer is hoping that it's just a prototype, it may change (remember how they suddenly switched Scarlett molds?) The Press Release photo is really an AP = Audience Release photo. Oh the Press wouldn't care perhaps, but the collectors  really give a damn! A company as big as FM or Tonner has the power to listen, to survey, to research. So why didn't they? This is the most perplexing point of the entire 2010 Tonner Scarlett reveal!

But like Scarlett, we hold on to our hopes. That the dress may actually be better, that there might be a better release. Why do collectors have to act so silly just to catch a new dress? Well after all, tomorrow is still another dress. Or am I just consoling myself?


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  2. I agree 200 % with you !!!! What a disappointement... I just don't undersatnd why Tonner always claimed that they must have agreement to create this and this... When you see the final product, one can wonder WHO is giving the agreement !! Most certainly somebody who doesn't care at all about the Gone With The Wind "cultural phenomena"...


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