Tonner Doll Company Announces the Nationwide Debut of their Most Hauntingly Beautiful Collector Dolls Ever Created – the Memoirs of a Geisha Collection

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In conjunction with the Columbia Pictures/Dreamworks Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment’s launch of Memoirs of a Geisha (December 9, 2005), the Tonner® Doll Company brings to life the first in a series of unparalleled collector dolls: Spring Dance Sayuri – based on the character Sayuri, the most captivating geisha of her day – in stunning and authentic detail for collectors worldwide.

Just in time for the December 9th release of Memoirs of a Geisha, the Tonner® Doll Company, Inc., internationally recognized for its superbly crafted, life-like, limited edition dolls, introduces its newest and most remarkable creation – the exquisite Memoirs of a Geisha™ Collection.

“I was thrilled to be chosen as the official licensee for the collector dolls for this film,” said Robert Tonner, CEO and head designer of the Tonner® Doll Company. “The characters are beautiful, memorable, and exotic. It was an honor to have the opportunity to capture the essence of each. I believe both collectors and fans alike will be as thrilled as we are with the final results.”

Spring Dance Sayuri is the first in the collection. A stunning16” tall and fully articulated, she wears an authentically detailed kimono from the film, entitled “Spring Dance.” Noted Tonner, “We had complete access to the costumes from the film, all designed by Colleen Atwood. Spring Dance reflects all of the nuances of the actual costume, meticulously re-created in exacting detail, right down to the tiny bells inside her shoes.”

Already creating a buzz in the collector world, the new collection features dolls based on the characters Sayuri and her mentor Mameha. Creating characters authentic to the movie, the true essence of the geisha is represented in a way no one other than the Tonner® Doll Company could accomplish. “We felt it was important to be as exact as possible, while creating the most beautiful dolls imaginable,” said Tonner.

Tonner’s Memoirs of a Geisha™ Collection will officially debut at Toy Fair in February 2006 and will be found on specialty store shelves, including FAO Schwarz, and other high-end specialty stores nationwide. The entire line will consist of the above-mentioned dolls, a collection of authentic movie costume replicas, and perfectly matched accessories.

Based on the internationally acclaimed novel by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha is a sweeping romantic epic set in a mysterious and exotic world that still casts a potent spell today. The story begins in the years before WWII when a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house. Despite a treacherous rival who nearly breaks her spirit, the girl blossoms into the legendary geisha Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang). Beautiful and accomplished, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men of her day, but is haunted by her secret love for the one man who is out of her reach (Ken Watanabe).

Directed by Academy Award nominee Rob Marshall (Chicago) and produced by Lucy Fisher, Douglas Wick and Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Robin Swicord, Memoirs of a Geisha features an all-star international cast including Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dance?), Youki Kudoh (Snow Falling on Cedars) and Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern).

Headquartered in Hurley, New York, the Tonner Doll Company, Inc. develops and markets high quality collectible dolls like Betsy McCall™, Mary Englebreit™, Miss America Dolls™, Kitty Collier™, Effanbee Dolls, the popular Tyler Wentworth® line of dolls and fashions, and the new Memoirs of a Geisha™ licensed doll collection.

For more information, product samples, or interviews, please contact: Debra DeForte, Publicity Coordinator 856-241-4384

Memoirs of a Geisha film images courtesy Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Memoirs of a Geisha, the film: TM & © 2005 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and DreamWorks L.L.C. and Spyglass Entertainment Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP), a Division of Columbia Tristar Consumer Marketing (CTCM), is based in Los Angeles and handles the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television.

Columbia Tristar Consumer Marketing is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). SPE is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

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Debra DeForte
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