Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tonner Kripplebush Kid Sweetheart

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I'm pleased to share some pictures of my 2001 Kripplebush Kid Sweetheart, by Robert Tonner. She's 8 inches tall, made of plastic, with wigged hair. Her body is strung with elastic, and she has straight arms and legs.

She also has sleep eyes.

Nap time!
Here's what she looks like when she is awake, and standing. She stands fairly well on her own because of her feet and her sturdy child-like body. She certainly loves roses and lace!

And speaking of her child-like body, her stomach protrudes a little, like a little girl's might. I should have taken this picture more as a profile.

How old do you see her as? I'm thinking around six.

I'm currently posing my Kripplebush Kids with my Tonner 16" dolls. Even though the Kids have set-in eyes and the 16" dolls have painted on ones, they seem to look passable together. Here I put her with my Basic Tyler standing on her flat feet, to give you the best idea of height, vs. a doll on high-heeled feet.

Sweetheart came with a heart to pose with, but mine didn't hold up well over the years. I got the doll second-hand, and this is the way the heart showed up:

My photo is not really the best at showing the damage, but do you see the dark spots on the trimming on the right side of the heart? The darkness is actually worse than that, and also if you look you can see the faint yellow staining on the top of the heart. The seller was totally open about it; that wasn't an issue. I think what happened here was just glue deterioration, but I'm not really sure. This is two felt pieces on light cardboard, glued together with the ruffled trim in between, and the ribbon rose on the front. There's also a piece of thin elastic across the back to allow the doll to hold the heart. I presume it's supposed to look like a candy box. I only keep the heart for the sake of completeness.

There is a helpful resource put together by Diane Drummond which will let you see Kripplebush Kids from all four years of their production, 1998-2001. Unfortunately, some of the dolls in the catalogs were never produced. Also, only white dolls were ever made. The series was mostly made up of three girls: Marni, Hanna and Eliza, and they came dressed in various outfits. There were also characters like fairytale princesses, a cowgirl, and the 1880s series which is what first got me interested in the Kripplebush Kids, with my weakness for Victorian dresses. And there were some separate outfits sold.

Tonner did use the Kripplebush Kid body more recently for his Merli Stimple character in the Gowns by Anne Harper collection. Merli got a new sculpt, with painted eyes. So it's not out of the question for Tonner to reuse the body again, perhaps for another little girl line with more characters added to the group. Of course, Tonner's Patsy line is really drawing in collectors right now who like child dolls, so who knows if the Kripplebush Kids would sell. These girls remind me a lot of Madame Alexander's short-lived Hannah Pepper line. And of course Madame Alexander's own 8" doll line. What do you think?


  1. The Diane Drummond resource seems to be a frozen site. I am trying to identify my doll and don't know where to look.

    1. There is a Kripplebush Kids Yahoo group. The link to the photostream for that group is here, although I don't know if you can see these without being a member. Or just join the group. There's also eBay, though Kripplebush Kids don't come up for sale much anymore. Or ask me! Is she wearing her original outfit?