Thursday, November 3, 2011

Disney Store Belle and Rapunzel Fashion Dolls (2011 versions)

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. ;)

And here's lovely Rapunzel (they finally decided to give her eyelashes!).  I couldn't wait to get her out of her box. :)

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'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 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). 

Maybe it's just me and my weird proportional issues, but I think that 2010 Belle is a better match.  It's as if that extra little bit of roundness makes 2011 Belle's head just a little too big for Robby's.  What do you guys think?

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! ;)

Her hair is so gorgeous!  It's silky and long, and it feels thick and heavy, just like the real Rapunzel's hair would.

She did have a spot in the back where her roots were showing, but I think it's just from the way her hair was packaged (it was split in the middle).  I think with a little training, the hair would lay the way it's supposed to.

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.

2010 Rapunzel

2011 Rapunzel

Here are some comparison shots of the differences in their outfits (2010 on the left, 2011 on the right):

I must say, I love the detail of 2010 Rapunzel's dress, especially since it's one of the few fashion doll Rapunzel dresses that actually has the long sleeves from the movie.  I still think the newer dress is nice, long as you don't have glitter issues.  The glitter did definitely shed, but I wasn't covered with it by the end of the photo shoot, so that's probably a good sign. ;)

I also thought it would be helpful to show the differences between each doll's hair.  This was one of the first differences I heard about when I read an online review.  As you can see from the pic below, 2010 Rapunzel's hair is much longer than 2011 Rapunzel's.  It reminds me more of her movie hair. (And just to clarify, my 2010 Rapunzel's hair has been in braids for almost a year, which is why it's so wavy.  When I got her, she had straight hair as well).

The other hair difference, as captured in the above photos, is that 2010 Rapunzel's hair has irridescent strands in it (to represent the "magic glowing hair"), while the newer Rapunzel's hair is plain. 

I love my older Rapunzel doll, but some of you may remember from my older review post that I mentioned how easily her hair became tangled.  Between the longer length and the irridescent strands, it was really hard to work with (and not very kid-friendly).  So while 2011 Rapunzel's hair may not look as exciting, I think it will be easier to play with and maintain for younger girls.

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? :) 

P.S.  If you're interested in seeing my review posts of my 2010 Belle doll, click HERE and HERE.  For my review post of my 2010 Rapunzel doll (which includes a review of Flynn), click HERE.


Claire said...

Even though the 2011 versions of Rapunzel and Belle are lovely, I think I prefer the 2010 gals's a shame I didn't purchase 2010 Belle when I could have! :} I guess it's time for me to do a bit of eBay searching. ;)

beast'sbelle said...

Hi Claire. :) I would definitely recommend eBay. I actually just saw one of the 2010 Belle dolls on eBay earlier this week, so they are out there! :) Also, I'm part of a Disney Doll Forum, and one of the members recently took pics from her local Disney Store. There was at least one of the old Belle dolls there still.

The 2010 Rapunzel might be a bit harder to find. I hope you can, though! :)

Jen said...

I gotta say, I think 2010 Belle looks more like, well, Belle! That calm expression on her face gives her a nice dreamy quality.

While I like the addition of Rapunzel's eyelashes (they help remedy the slightly spaced-out look the Disney Rapunzel has), I can't help but think the newer dress and hair are a step back. Perhaps I'm being cynical, but I look at the comparison shots between old and new and think "hmmm, cost-cutting measures"!

(Also, I downloaded Liberty Jane's free BFC T-shirt pattern. I'm working on a nightgown and bedding for the Pie's Christmas Rapunzel!)

beast'sbelle said...

Hi Jen! Good to hear from you. :)

I'm glad there's another 2010 Belle fan out there. :D She does have a very serene, dreamy expression.

I totally see your point on Rapunzel's dress, too. :} I remember being so impressed by the extreme detail on that dress when I first got Rapunzel. Apparently they decided glittery and simple was better. ;) It's still a pretty dress, but I definitely prefer the first version. And even though, like I said, newer Rapunzel's hair is probably much easier for kiddos, I personally love 2010 Rapunzel's "magic" hair. :)

I can't wait to see how the BFC Ink t-shirt turns out. I think Pie will have a great Christmas. :)

Mickey's Girl said...

There's advantages and disadvantages to both. (as there would be on anything.) On Belle, I think I like the newer one. She has a little more personality. (Although I'm in love with Belle's Bulletins!) On Rapunzel I couldn't decide! I think their about equal.

I would enter your giveaway on Belle, but my parents aren't keen on giving out our address to anyone. (If I win of course!) If you know what I mean. ;)

Mickey's Girl

tigon_yunjae said...

beast's belle, I seriously love the way you comment and do a comparation about the dolls. So describtive :)

Mary said...

I like 2010 Belle A LOT better, though Robby and 2011 make a cute couple. In one of the pics I think 2011 was sneaking a glance at Robby... ;) Basically I agree with Jen, 2010 Belle looks more like Belle. As for 2011 Rapunzel, I really love her face, but I wish she had longer hair and a more detailed dress like 2010.

beast'sbelle said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone! I love hearing everyone's thoughts. :)

tigon_yunjae, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :) I enjoy being able to compare products before I take a chance and purchase them, so that's what I try to do for all of you on this blog. :)

Mickey's Girl and Mary, I enjoyed hearing your opinions. :) Sorry you can't enter the giveaway, Mickey's Girl, but I completely understand your parent's view.

Keep the comments coming! :D

Shari @For the Little Doll In Your Life said...

I think the hair on your Belle from last year is SO much nicer.