Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meet Ann Estelle, A Tonner Mary Engelbreit Doll

Hi Doll Friends!

I am pleased to introduce you to Ann Estelle, an adorable doll sculpted by Robert Tonner based on Mary Engelbreit's whimsical Ann Estelle character. Since I am such a big fan of all things Mary Engelbreit, a little Ann Estelle doll was destined to live at my house!
And here she is...

Mary Engelbreit is famous for her designs that include cherries, checkerboard, flowers, and of course, Ann Estelle. According to her website, maryengelbreit.com, Ann Estelle was named after Mary's maternal grandmother, and she has been drawing her since she was a little girl. Mary gave Ann Estelle the title "The Queen of Everything".

Ann Estelle dolls were made by Tonner for 10 years, from 1999 - 2009. Over the course of those 10 years, Tonner produced many versions of Ann Estelle and her friends, Sophie, Georgia, Gracie, and Michael, along with many outfits, furniture, and accessories.

Ann Estelle dolls are no longer available from Tonner, but a quick eBay search reveals that they have quite an active following there, with many artists designing custom-made outfits for these little cuties. I was able to purchase my little Ann Estelle from a doll collector friend on Facebook. She sent her to me in the original box.

If you notice, her box says Effanbee Doll Company. In 2002, Robert Tonner purchased the Effanbee Doll Company, which was one of America's oldest doll companies, manufacturing dolls since 1908.

Ann Estelle dolls are 10" tall, making them the same size as Tonner's new Patsy dolls. Patsy dolls have been produced by Effanbee since the 1920's. Since Tonner now owns Effanbee, he has re-imagined Patsy with an adorable new face sculpt. The new Tonner Patsy is currently available from tonnerdoll.com/patsy. Patsy would make a great friend for Ann Estelle since they are the same size.

My doll is known as Birthday Queen from the 2009 release.

Ann Estelle wears the most adorable little wire framed glasses.  These little hinged glasses are very well made too, nice and heavy.

Here is a close up of Ann Estelle's face, without her glasses, so you can see her adorable inset blue eyes. Her sweet smiling face just makes me happy.

Earlier Ann Estelle dolls came with straight legs, but later versions had hinged knees, like my doll.

Here is 10" tall Ann Estelle with my new 11 1/2" tall Bleuette that I recently introduced in my last post.

I love the size of these smaller dolls. They fit perfectly in my doll cabinet, and it's so much fun to look for accessories for them. I found these adorable Mary Engelbreit chairs on eBay.  They are actually pin cushions.

I can't wait to make Ann Estelle some Mary Engelbreit style dresses from these adorable new tiny print ME fabrics from Hancock Fabrics.

I'd like to design a whole Mary Engelbreit theme room for Ann Estelle. There is definitely some Mary Engelbreit style going on in my dollhouse, as you can see here. Don't you think Ann Estelle needs her own Mary Engelbreit style kitchen? :)  The wheels are turning now...

Facebook Group

If you're on Facebook, check out the Mary Engelbreit Collectors & Fans Group. It is a place to chat about Mary Engelbreit products, past and present like Tonner's Ann Estelle dolls and more.

I hope you enjoyed meeting my new little Ann Estelle!

 - Lisa


  1. I love Tonner's Ann Estelle dolls. I have an Ann and a Sophie of my own, and just finished making a St. Patrick's Day dress their size! I have an adorable little doll dresser painted in Mary Englebreit style that I happened to find on eBay. Am planning on showing it off on my blog at some point.

    Tonner's Petite Fillles and It's a Small World dolls also share a body with Ann and Patsy. I wish I liked the Patsy dolls more. Their faces just don't appeal to me.

    1. Hi Barb! I'm so excited to hear that you love Ann Estelle too! I can't wait to see the St. Patrick's Day dress that you made. I'm looking for a pattern to make some dresses for Ann Estelle. I hope you will show your dress and the little ME dresser on your blog soon!

      I tend to like dolls with big eyes, so I like the Patsy dolls because they have really big eyes. :)

      If you are on Facebook, check out the Mary Engelbreit Collectors & Fans discussion group. I'll put a link to it in the post above.

  2. Have you seen Tonner's 18" Ann Estelle dolls? They are gorgeous, but they go for lots of $$$ on Ebay. I would love to own one someday. I don't have a 10" Ann Estelle, but I do have Tonner's 10" Linda McCall, who is just as cute as can be! These small dolls are fun to sew for. They don't require much fabric, and they're not too tiny as to make sewing for them really difficult (like Barbie!)

    1. Hi Angela,
      I haven't seen the 18" Ann Estelle dolls in person, but I bet they are stunning! Tonner's 10" Linda McCall must be even more elusive. I searched Tonner's website and Linda McCall didn't even come up in their archive. Betsy McCall did, but not Linda. I searched eBay and found only outfits for 10" Linda McCall, but no dolls currently for sale. Then I searched completed auctions and finally found one. She is adorable!!! She looks a lot like Ann Estelle, doesn't she? I'd love to see your dresses that you sew. I hope to find a cute dress pattern to try out my new ME fabric.

  3. Lisa,
    You may already know about this but here is a delightful Ann Estelle blog you may enjoy. http://thelifeandtimesofannestelle.com
    You new doll is a cutie!

    1. Hi Fawn,
      Thanks for sharing the link!!! There's a whole world of Ann Estelle info there! I'm enjoying the Furniture pages especially!!! Thanks!!!

  4. There is something so incredibly adorable about this doll...those glasses! Sh is such a little charmer. :) This is the first time I have heard of this line of dolls (as I'm new to collecting) and yes, I definitely think she needs her own Mary Engelbreit themed kitchen (the link you included has left me in amazement at how cute that kitchen is)..I'm looking forward to see what you have in store for her. :)

    1. Hi Farrah Lily,
      Welcome to the world of doll collecting!!! Thanks so much for the encouragement to get started on a kitchen for Ann Estelle! I have visions of what her kitchen should look like. :)

  5. I love Ann Estelle and I have a Linda too, lucky me :)



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