Friday, July 20, 2012

Disney Store 2012 Belle Doll Review (Including a Comparison with 2010 and 2011 Belles)

Okay, the kiddos are finally all asleep, so I think I should be able to work on this post without interruption! :}  Tonight I'll just be reviewing my new Belle doll from the Disney Store.  I'll get to my post on the girls' dolls later on.

So here's the picture you saw in my previous post.  As you all know, I was concerned that the new Belle looked a little too "evil" or something with the way her eyebrows were painted.  Thankfully, she looked much better in person than in the stock photos. ;)  As soon as I realized that, I knew she should come home with me. :)  

Here's a view of the back of the box.  I always enjoy seeing how they change the packaging each time.

Here's a closer look at a few of the details:

As you can see here, Belle's new design was featured in the artwork on the back of the box.  I really like this re-envisioning of her look. :)

Here she is...almost free! ;)

Lovely Belle.

So this still isn't my favorite face on a Belle doll ever, but I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  Her coloring is really nice and subtle.

A view from the back.  Her hair is actually a shade or so darker, but my camera was being stinky. ;)  The hair looks pretty accurate from the front...not so much in the back. It's a little on the wild, untamed side too.  At least it's somewhat closer to the original movie length, though. :) 

I love her curly tendrils in the front.

I think this has to be one of my favorite versions of her movie dress that the Disney store has done so far.  It's a lot closer to the movie than many of the other ones they've done.  And yay...finally gloves!!  (Unfortunately, they're really hard to get on and off, especially with her jointed elbows!)

I love the way they made her skirt all scrunchy, just like it was in the movie. :)

Belle's shoes.

My Belle had a weird glossy residue in one ear...not really sure what that was all about.  (Too much ear wax?)  ;}

So, now on to the part you've all been curious about:  her articulation.

Belle's arms are exactly the same as the arms on the 2010 and 2011 Disney Store Princess dolls.  They bend at the elbow and wrist. 

However, unlike the older versions, the new dolls have jointed knees and ankles.  As you can see from the above pic, my Belle doll is super bow-legged.  This isn't necessarily the case with every doll, because Middle Gal's Snow White has legs that are a lot straighter.

The knees bend simply, nothing as impressive or complex as a Liv doll's knee joints, but still enough to give Belle a nice range of motion.

The front view of her bent knees.

The ankle joint is super flexible.

As a matter of fact, the foot can turn all the way around (which I have to admit makes me cringe every time I do it...ouch!!).

One thing I noticed (which has been mentioned by several other bloggers and online doll reviewers before me) is that the new dolls sit in a manner.  Thankfully, my doll's legs curve enough that she can at least cross her legs at the ankles.  But they have to sit with their knees spread eagle, as shown in the pic below...

Not exactly the way a lady is supposed to sit!

Like I said, having the option of crossing Belle's ankles makes her appear at least slightly more ladylike. ;)  I think the poofy dress helps too.   

I have another post I'm working on that compares the articulation between my new Belle, a Liv doll, and a Moxie Teenz doll, and in that post I go into a lot more detail.  So stay tuned! ;)

And of course, I wanted to get a few comparison pics of 2012 Belle with her older compatriots.  Here she is with my 2010 Disney Store Belle.

And here's the lineup from the last 3 years:  2010 Belle (wearing the ballgown from the Belle Wardrobe Playset; her original gown was much more simple), 2011 Belle in her original gown, and 2012 Belle in her original gown.  You'll notice that 2012 Belle is a bit shorter than the other two.  There is a slight difference in her height because of her different legs.

And some close-ups to show the differences in the faces:
2010 Belle

2011 Belle

2012 Belle

I thought I'd do a closer comparison between 2011 Belle and 2012 Belle.  I didn't include 2010 Belle because she's harder to find and because I no longer have her original outfit.

Both dolls have a sideways glance, which I find rather frustrating as a doll photographer.  It's a lot harder to capture the emotion I'm trying to express from a doll that is looking off to one side.

The bodice of 2011 Belle's dress.  Simple and absolutely CAKED in glitter!

The skirt of 2011 Belle's dress.  Once again, glitter was used generously in the making of this product. ;)

The bodice of 2012 Belle's dress.  Still super glittery, but not quite as drastic as 2011 Belle.

The skirt of 2012 belle's dress.  Just lovely. :)

Side view of both dolls.

Back view of both dolls.

Two beautiful gals. :)

And another shot of the three of them together, just because. ;)  I always find it interesting to compare their expressions.  I find that 2010 Belle seems very serene.  2011 Belle strikes me as extremely innocent, while 2012 Belle looks more mature and serious than the other two.  What do you think?

2010 Belle will most likely always be one of my favorites.  I think they did a great job of capturing Belle's simple beauty.  Plus, this particular Belle holds a special place in my heart since we've shared so many blogging adventures together. ;)   I can't look at her without thinking of her back story. :)

I believe that 2011 Belle is probably the best choice of the three for a small child interested in a Belle doll.  Her super straight hair, simple dress, and less complicated joints make her a great first princess doll.  Plus, she has a really sweet expression.  Just plan on having glitter all over your house. ;)

There are a lot of things I love about 2012 Belle.  Her hair is closer to movie Belle's hair length and style than most of the other Belle dolls to come from the Disney Store.  Her face is lovely, her dress is wonderful, and her extra poseability make her a fun addition to a Disney collection.  

I just have a few complaints.  First, her gloves are super hard to get on and off, as I mentioned earlier, which I think would cause frustration for younger kiddos (especially since the box claims this is a doll for ages 3 and up!).  Second, while having a super poseable doll is pretty cool, I think the design could be improved a bit.  I just keep going back to the Liv dolls.  As far as poseability goes, they take the cake (even if their knee joints look a little funny when they're in shorts!).  Aside from the whole sitting issue, her joints are not very strong, and her legs are much lighter than the rest of her body (in weight, not color!).  This makes it really difficult for her to stand (especially my doll with her curvy legs).  She'd be great sitting down on a shelf, but I had to put my doll in a doll stand to keep her in a standing position.  As a collector or display-only doll, she's great.  I just don't think she scores quite as well on the "playability" scale.  And since we're on the subject, while I LOVE her hair, I don't think it would look nice for long in little hands. ;)

Would I recommend her?  To collectors, adults, older children, or Beauty and the Beast fans, I'd say an absolute yes!!  For younger kiddos, I'd probably point them towards 2011 Belle instead. :)

I thought I'd end the review with a few parting shots of each of the three Belle dolls with Robby, since he is the Prince doll that's still currently being offered (he really hates it when I do this to him, especially now that he's married!). ;)

Robby and 2012 Belle.  I think they make a nice pair.  Her head's still a bit big for him, but not as bad as 2011 Belle!

Speaking of which!  I mean, maybe I'm just overly sensitive to this since my head is bigger than my hubby's (and I hate it!), head is a LOT bigger than his.  And this picture doesn't even fully capture the difference!

Now, I know I'm just biased, but really, isn't 2010 Belle just the perfect match? ;)

I hope you all enjoyed the review.  Next up, my Journey Girls review post, sometime between tomorrow and Monday. :)  Have a great weekend everyone!


All AG said...

Do you still want one of the Disney animator dolls? You have to wash their hair every once in a while (like washing AG's) but I absolutely love them I am adding Belle to my collection of Merida and Rapunzel. I think 2011 Belle is the prettiest in my opinion because she is simply innocent, right down to her dress. I recommend the Disney animator dolls very much, an if you add one to your collection, I might get a bag if you got 2 of them. ;)

beastsbelle said...

Hi All AG. :) I'm definitely still interested in adding a DAC Belle to my collection, but it will probably be down the road a ways. I had an out of town trip and did some "fun" spending this month, and now I need to be a good girl and get back on track with my budget for a while. :}

Thanks for the recommendation! :)

S and O and V said...

Your Belle dolls are so cute! I love them all, but I really like 2011 Belle, simply because I like her face and her hair. I agree that 2010 Belle is super cute with Robby :) Once again, I love your dolls (I also love your blog).

~ S ~

beastsbelle said...

Thanks S and O and V. :) It seems that 2011 Belle has a lot of fans out there. ;)

Glad you're enjoying the blog and the dolls! :D

MulanFan_95 said...

The prettiest out of them all is 2010 Belle, but she looks somehow generic. '11 is the most Belle-ish, but her head is a big NOT for me. 2012 is pretty, but her eyebrows do not look like Belle's. What do you think about 2012's lack of ruffles in the back of the dress? I thought it would have made her cheap, but it's not as bad as it looks. I put the side-curls in the ponytail she already has, and she looks so much better! They make her look like she has a bed-head.

beastsbelle said...

Oh, I completely forgot to mention her lack of ruffles in the back! I know it really bothered some collectors, but it didn't actually bug me that much. I mean, of course it would have been nice to have a detailed dress all the way around, but I guess I've just gotten used to inexpensive dolls having dresses that have detail on the front and none on the back. ;)

I'm sorry that your Belle's side curls were an issue. I had the rare blessing of choosing my doll in person (a luxury I normally have to go without), so I made sure to get one with a good face and good hair. ;)

MulanFan_95 said...

I can't believe that only three pieces of elastic were used on making such a beautiful dress! Too bad they only used them on the front. Oh, My Belle's story is really funny. I got to the Disney Store and to my worst luck, I couldn't find her anywhere. There were lots of Belle's wardrobes and The Beast dolls hanged on the princess' castle, but no Belles. As I was looking at the new Rapunzel Singing doll, I turned around and at the top of a high shelf, there she was! I bought one that had a curl in the front of her face. I knew I wanted her hair to be more accurate, so it didn't bother me that much. The shelf where I grabbed her was incredibly high, so I only had chance to choose between two of them. I don't regret it! She's beautiful!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the fun story, MulanFan_95. I'm glad you were able to find her...and I'm glad you managed to notice her on top of the shelf! ;)

Mary said...

Hi Beast's Belle -yes, I know, where have I been. Our computer has been acting weird. Anyway, would a Liv wig fit 2011 Belle? Her hair got in an (ahem) accident so I need to re-wig her and I have had my eye on a particular Liv wig that would be perfect for her. Thanks!! :)

beastsbelle said...

No problem, Mary. :) I know how that goes. I'm afraid the Liv wigs would be way too big for the 2011 Belle. Their heads are a lot bigger.

I would measure Belle's head at her hairline so you know what size wig she needs and then check places like eBay or perhaps to see if you can find a wig the right size.