In 2007, the Tonner Doll Company introduced a doll called Agnes Dreary. Living up to her name, she was a little girl with a gloomy countenance and a wardrobe to match. Evocative of the Victorian era, her wardrobe represented a mix of different styles of the 19th century to create a feeling of gothic ennui. If Charles Addams and Tim Burton had a baby, it would be Agnes Dreary.
Agnes Dreary is 12″ tall but is in the 1/4 scale, as opposed to Barbie, who is 12″ tall but in the 1/6 scale. That’s because her body type is that of a young girl. She has the same body as Tonner’s Ellowyne Wilde. Agnes’ family also included her twin brother Victor, and her big sis Sister Dreary.
The Dreary family were released in subsequent editions of dressed dolls, including holiday dolls in 2008, with Agnes, Victor, and Sister resplendent in their gothy Christmas finery. All were equally morose yet marvellous. Other outfits were sold separately, with names as dreary as the family members who wore them, such as Recess at the Cemetery, Dreary Days, and Tea at the Morgue. Agnes’ face paint and hairstyles changed with the later editions of dolls. My favorite remains the original Agnes. I love her face the most out of all the Agnes dolls. It reflects a mixture of misery with more than a hint of anxiety.
In 2010, Brother Dreary was introduced.
2010 marked the final year for the Dreary family. Since the line was discontinued, the Drearies have remained popular, with collectors snapping them up on eBay. I did not learn of Agnes until she was discontinued, but I was able to build my collection of Agnes, Victor, and Sister (I’m not that crazy about Brother Dreary), along with many of their outfits, fairly easily through eBay. It seems that the Tonner Doll Company was paying attention to how popular Agnes has remained. This Fall, they’ve brought Agnes back! Tonner is offering two new editions of Agnes: I Dream of Dreary and Another Dreary Day. Both are currently available on the Tonner website for $159.99 each. Like the original Agnes Dreary doll, these two new editions are also limited to 500 dolls.
Personally, I’m not sure I like new Agnes as much as I like old Agnes. Her wardrobe is too colorful for someone so gloomy, and her facepaint is different. She looks more angry than miserable, and her eyes have a cold, almost vacant stare. She lacks the personality of the original Agnes Dreary.
What do you think? Are you an Agnes Dreary fan? Will you be adding the new dolls to your collection?
My Agnes and Victor dolls will be making an appearance on Dollsville USA very soon. With Halloween right around the corner, they’re anxious to get out and enjoy all the autumn and Halloween festivities – well, as much as two children who look perpetually gloomy can enjoy anything. But I’m sure they’ll have fun.