Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review of Galadriel, Lady of Light (Tonner Doll) by guest blogger Milady Blue

Galadriel, Lady of Light.
We're glad to have Milady Blue posting again on our blog. Here is her helpful review of Tonner's Galadriel, Lady of Light, from the Lord of the Rings collection.

Galdriel Review
by Milady Blue
Special Guest Writer
Originally written on November 1, 2010
Oh, boy! An article written on one of the binary days! Okay, now that I have my Inner Geek appeased, on to the article.

This article is being written under the influence of quite a bit of positive prejudice. I love Robert Tonner’s dolls, I love the Lord of the Rings movies, and I love Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Lady of

So, bearing that in mind, let’s combine all three of those elements into the subject of today’s review, Tonner’s recent movie license for the Lord of the Rings movie characters, featuring Cate Blanchett as

Sculpted ear detail. Click to enlarge.
Galadriel, Lady of Light by Tonner is a limited edition of 1500. She is 16" tall, using the fashion model body made famous by Tyler Wentworth, including bending wrists. She has 13 points of articulation (head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, breast plate, waist, hips and knees). She has rooted saran hair, with the Cameo skintone, the lightest natural Caucasian skintone used by Tonner, and features a face sculpt based on the likeness of Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, including the pointed Elfish ears.

Her dress is in classic Medieval style, made of chiffon,  a lightweight, transparent off white flowing fabric, perfect for an Elfish noblewoman. It is embroidered in white in a pattern of vines and what appear to be thistles. The dress comes in three pieces, which includes: an underdress, so you cannot see her legs, as would be proper for a woman of her rank and times; the aforementioned gown with a full skirt and train; and a cloak with a longer train. The bell sleeves are very long, which can hide her hands at will--used by Medieval ladies to keep their hands warm as required.

Gown detail. Click to enlarge.

Back of gown, hair detail. Click to enlarge.

On the neckline of the bust is a replica of the brooch seen in the movie, looking like a mother of pearl disk surrounded by silver colored metal in a design that combines a dragonfly with tree branches. The girdle belting her waist is a white, lacy V with a long portion down the front, looking like a Celtic knot work design.

Brooch detail. Click to enlarge.
Boot detail. Click to enlarge.

The doll also comes wearing pantyhose and a pair of boots. The boots are made of a heavy, ivory colored brocade with tiny gold lamé dots. However, I only remember one scene in which the character’s feet were clearly shown, and she was barefoot. Perhaps Mr. Tonner, a stickler for detail with his Tonner Character Figures, simply asked for pictures of the dress details to make sure everything was just so.

Crown detail. Click to enlarge.
Her crown is another lovely piece of work, and appears to be made of brass and perhaps nickel. Unfortunately, I made my inquiry while the company was getting ready to depart for the Halloween Convention, so full details of what the crown was made of were not available. 

Ring detail. Click to enlarge.
Alas, her other major piece of jewelry, her ring Nenya, is too tiny to be accurately rendered in scale, so instead, she wears a lovely rhinestone on the middle finger of her right hand. I’d say from the “fire” the stone displays, it might be cubic zirconia, which is a very good simulant for diamond. (Why yes, I am also an amateur gem enthusiast.)

All in all, the design of the dress, cloak, brooch, girdle, and crown are very faithful to the way Galadriel appeared in the movie. I know, because the first thing I did was to put in my Lord of the Rings disks, and go straight to the scenes where Galadriel appeared, to make the comparison. I was happily floored!

Galadriel has long, golden blonde hair that is pulled back from her face. It is, as is Tonner’s usual choice, rooted saran. Again, the attention to detail is stunning, because it looks like it was carefully matched to the way Cate was styled in the movie. The hair appears to have either been crimped or possibly even given a loose spiral perm, because it falls down her back in long, beautifully waved lines. The sculpt of the doll’s face appears to be one of Tonner’s best celebrity likenesses. I will let you look at a picture of the doll and Ms. Blanchett in full makeup, so you can decide for yourself. The Cameo skintone really works to the doll’s advantage, since it gives her an ethereal, otherworldly look, just like the film depiction of Galadriel. Her makeup, such as it is, is very light, including lips slightly darker than nude, and the barest hint of a blush on her cheeks. She has pretty, light blue eyes which seem like they could look through you, and she has a faint little smile, which is both beautiful and mysterious.

My only major complaint about the dress is that the doll’s fingers and ring sometimes catch in the embroidery. A cause for concern, especially if you are as klutzy as me. The last thing I want is for that wonderful embroidery to be unraveled, or the pretty fabric to be torn!
Crown detail, still attached. Click to enlarge.

The only other complaints I have are that the crown was sewed to her head, and her hair had gel in it to maintain the style. Perhaps it is something odd with me, but I really don’t like any sort of styling gel in my dolls’ hair. I like brushing doll hair, and moving it around, and I just don’t like the stiff feeling of the hair products. That’s just a personal gripe, and it doesn’t apply to everyone, so take it with a grain of salt.

The problem I had with the crown being sewn down is that while it keeps the crown properly on her head, mine was smeared and somewhat dulled by the hair product. Snipping it loose was an ordeal, because I didn’t want her ending up looking like she was ready for boot camp. Thankfully, no hair got snipped, and it was easy enough to clean the crown with warm, soapy water and a brush. I patted it dry, then allowed it to air dry for a few hours. It came through beautifully, and is much shinier now. Her hair was given a rinse under warm water, and not agitated, because I did not want to tangle it, or lose the style. I just could not handle that sticky gel feel.

Now, I know the formulas for doll vinyl is different than back in the 1960s and 1970s, and that modern vinyls probably won’t react the same way as they did back in the day. But while taking jewelry design
classes, I learned that brass is considered a “dirty metal,” meaning that it will oxidize because of the copper (a major component of its alloy). I don’t think that will happen in this case, but I didn’t want to take the chance, and the styling gel needed to be cleaned off to brighten it up anyway.

To sum up, Galadriel is a beautiful doll, and certainly worth the investment, whether you are a fan of Lord of the Rings. Now the challenge will be to keep her dust free, and to distract my Cute, Fuzzy, Doll-Seeking Missiles of Mass Destruction from targeting her.

Additional information:

The photos attached to this article are of Alison's doll. She hasn't removed the crown on her doll, but she has taken down some of the hair around the face of Galadriel's hair. Also, there appears to be some glue overflow at the ring on the hand of her doll.

After the original writing of this article, Milady Blue received the following information on the metal content of Galadriel's crown:

Thanks so much for your email and interest in TONNERDirect.
Say, I am in the NY offices this week, we are heading up to Vermont mid-day, so crazy getting ready for the Halloween convention, I did ask our design direct, he said it was some type of ectroplated metal but that is all he could tell me at present...but hopefully that will give you at least an idea of what it is...
Thanks so much, if I can find out any further details, I'll let you know!
Enjoy your day!
Customer Service
It makes me think I will be removing the crown from my doll as well (per Alison).


  1. Robert Tonner dolls don't really appeal to me but I love this Galadriel. She looks so detailed and her outfit looks bang on from the movie!

  2. the most beautiful tonner doll ever made..... i did sell the outfit for it was HER i wanted the most....

  3. I'm just glad Alison handled the photography - my own pics look like I dropped the poor girl down into an unlighted cave!


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