Before I left for Ladies Retreat, I got a special, one-day discount offer from the Disney Store. I'd really been wanting to do a review/comparison post of the new Disney Princess Classic dolls, and it was a great deal, so I made an impulse buy and got these two lovely ladies:
Both dolls have different faces than the Belle and Rapunzel dolls I currently own. I was very curious to see how they compared to the older face molds.
Here is Belle. She has a very wide-eyed, innocent look about her. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with her when she was still in the box. But I decided I'd hold off my judgement until she was out of the box.
Here's the back of the box, reminding consumers that Belle also has a set of outfits and a Prince that can be purchased, just in case they happened to forget. ;)
The back of Rapunzel's box, once again with a helpful reminder of additional products to be purchased. :}
I found this very interesting. When I covered Belle's cheerful smile, I thought she looked a little bit worried.
Rapunzel, on the other hand, simply looked coy.
After removing countless twist-ties and rubber bands, I got Belle out of her box. I'm so glad I did! As I mentioned before, I didn't really care for Belle's face when I first saw her in the box. My basic reasons were:
1. Her face mold was slightly different and not quite as pretty as my previous Belle's (at least in my opinion).
2. Eyes with a sideways glance can be hard to photograph nicely for photo stories (I've really struggled with this with my Rapunzel doll...it's next to impossible to have her looking where she's supposed to be looking!).
3. Her dress wasn't as nice as some of the past Disney Store Belle dresses.
4. I wasn't sure how I felt about her straight hair.
But by the time I got her out of the box, most of these reasons weren't issues any more.
As I took her out and started playing around with her, I discovered that she's actually really photogenic. Her head tilts back and forth much better than my other Belle's head does, giving you all sorts of possiblities for emotional expression.
She does definitely remind me of Belle from the movie with her larger eyes and fuller face.
Her outfit really wasn't that bad upon closer inspection, either. It is EXTREMELY glittery, so if you're not a fan of glitter, I wouldn't go for this doll (or any of the current Disney Princess dolls). But really, when has glitter been a new thing for Princess dolls? ;)
She came with yellow pumps. Interestingly enough, the new Princess dolls don't come with hair brushes. I wonder why?
Belle's coloring is very lovely. She has rosy pink cheeks and soft "makeup" touches on her eyelids.
While I prefer Belle's hair to have a slight curl to it, because it's closer to the movie, I can understand why they decided to make her with straight hair (especially since the box said these dolls were for ages 3 and up!). Her hair is very soft and silky. I don't know how it will be after hours of play, but the fact that it's straight will most likely help it stay nice longer than curlier hair would. And really, if I'm going to be picky, I should take it all the way and demand that her hair be shorter like its movie length. So maybe I shouldn't be so persnickety. ;)
As I said before, her head tilts nicely. It was really fun experimenting with different ways to photograph her.
This Belle has the same elbow and wrist joints as my other Belle doll. I really enjoy having the extra poseable joints. I'd like to issue a word of warning for all the parents out there, though. While this box said ages "3+", I would evaluate how your little one plays. The elbow and wrist joints are pretty delicate. I would hesitate to give this doll to my 3 1/2 year old...it would be broken within a day. If you have a very careful child, they should be okay. Otherwise, I'd stick with a fashion doll that has solid arms. :}
I wanted to get some comparison shots to show the differences between my 2010 Belle and the current Belle doll. As you can see, the newer Belle has a slightly wider face, bigger eyes, straight hair, and more makeup. You might also notice the difference in the quality of the dresses they are wearing. In all fairness, my older Belle is not wearing the ball gown she came in, but the gown that came with the Belle Wardrobe play set from 2009. Her original outfit was closer in quality to 2011 Belle's.
It's funny, next to the new Belle, my old Belle looks very calm and serene. :)
I took this picture to try to show the differences between the face molds. They're very slight. You might notice that 2011 Belle has a flatter eye surface and a more defined jawline. Actually, her whole profile is just slightly flatter, while 2010 Belle has a more rounded face. Can you see it? ;)
Here's a pic to show the differences in their hair. My curly-haired Belle is not in mint condition (she's had too many "Belle's Bulletins" adventures), ;) so her hair is not as neat as it was when I first purchased her, but you get the idea. :)
I think both dolls are lovely in their own way. Both are unique and have great capabilities for doll photography. They're pretty fun to play with, too. ;)
I just thought I'd bring up one more thing before moving on to Rapunzel. As far as I can tell, the Prince dolls have remained unchanged (except that poor Aladdin now only gets his street clothes instead of his Prince Ali outfit). The Prince dolls have always had rather long, narrow heads. The current versions have slightly larger heads than the first Disney Store prince dolls, but they still cut it pretty close when compared to the princess dolls. When I noticed that the new Belle's head was slightly larger, I wondered how she would look next to Robby, my Disney Store Beast/Prince doll.
Here are pics of both Belles with Robby (2010 Belle on the left and 2011 Belle on the right).
I did have to include this picture, too, because at certain angles 2011 Belle looks okay with him. I just thought I should post these in case there are any others out there like me that get really annoyed when their princesses have to be paired up with little pin heads. [Side note here: My head is a lot bigger than my hubby's, and I've always been a bit sensitive about it, so perhaps I'm a little too obsessed with this issue. :}]
All right, moving on now to Rapunzel 2011! :) I apologize for the blurry picture, but I didn't notice how bad it was until I'd put everything away. If I get a chance, I'll add another pic. :)
She's another lovely Disney lady. I was pleased with her...once I finally got her hair and arms free from the box!! :} She has the same jointed elbows and wrists as the other dolls, and a head that tilts at different angles.
A close-up of Rapunzel's pretty face and shiny hair.
While her outfit is not exactly like the movie, it still has some nice detail, and as with Belle, TONS of glitter!:
She didn't come with shoes, since she didn't wear them in the movie. Man, that girl must have had some major callouses on her feet! ;)
As you probably remember from my last Disney Store Rapunzel purchase, I don't really care for the way they chose to paint Rapunzel's freckles. In the movie, they're extremely light.
So, just like I did with my first Rapunzel, I removed this Rapunzel's freckles using acetone-free nail polish remover. There are still faint traces of her freckles, so now she looks closer to movie Rapunzel.
She has such a sweet face, although I think she looks a bit mischevious.
Once again, I wanted to compare my Rapunzel from 2010 (on the left) with the new Rapunzel.
As you can see, 2010 Rapunzel has no eyelashes, while 2011 Rapunzel does. I think the eyelashes make her look just a bit more feminine. The camera didn't pick it up in these photos, but the newer Rapunzel also has more coloring to her face. She's slightly rosier in the cheeks and has a bit more "eyeshadow" on her eyelids. They appear to have the same face mold.
Here are some comparison shots of the differences in their outfits (2010 on the left, 2011 on the right):
As I was doing this review, I suddenly remembered the Mattel Rapunzel doll that my oldest daughter got for her birthday last year. I thought you might enjoy seeing her next to the Disney Store versions.
As you can see, the Mattel Rapunzel is a bit shorter (she has one of the body styles that is closer to Skipper's in size), and she has the regular hard plastic arms of most Barbies. So this one might be a better option for those little girls who might not do so well with the tiny wrist and elbow joints of the Disney Store dolls.
Mattel Rapunzel has a pleasant face, although it doesn't specifically remind me of the movie character as much as the Disney Store versions do.
She does have a very nice dress with pretty detail. It's lasted very nicely since April (partially due to the fact that my 3 year old has not been allowed to play with Sissy's birthday doll). ;)
I really like the pretty, glittery detail of her skirt.
Here's a comparison of the hair on all three. Just like my 2010 Rapunzel, my daughter's Rapunzel has had her hair in a braid for a while. Her hair was originally staight, too.
As you can see, Mattel Rapunzel has more of a honey-blonde color than the two Disney Store dolls.
I have been very pleased with the Princess and Prince dolls from the Disney Store in the past year or two. In earlier years, they didn't quite have the face molds right, and I preferred the Mattel Princess dolls. Now, things have switched. I don't care for the Mattel molds as much (especially Belle's), and I LOVE the Disney Store dolls! :) I'm really glad I have some in my collection.
I hope you enjoyed the review. Which dolls are your favorites? Do you like the 2010 or 2011 versions better? Or are you more of a Mattel type? :)