Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Little Break

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to let you know that I'll be taking a couple of weeks off from active blogging.  Things are really busy right now, and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I have a few bloggy things I'd like to rework and rethink in the next few weeks.  I'm also horribly behind on my emails, so I'm hoping to attack those and get all caught up (my apologies to those of you who are waiting on return emails from me). :(

I have some great stuff planned for next month...I'm tentatively planning a blog party, but I have to make sure I can get all the details arranged. :)  I also have a TON of posts in draft that I hope to get all caught up on.

(Speaking of blog parties, Kellie is hosting her annual Literary Heroine Blog Party at Accordion to Kellie.  I was really hoping I could participate this year, but I just couldn't quite pull it off.  Be sure to stop by and check out the fun...her blog parties are always enjoyable.) :)

I'll still be publishing comments, but I may not be able to respond to them immediately like I normally do.  Also, comment moderation is on (as always), so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away.

I guess that's about it for now.  Be sure to check out my Disney Store Toddler Elsa and Toddler Anna review that I published earlier today. :)

Hope the rest of your month goes well, and I'll talk to all of you again in March!! :D

Disney Store Toddler Anna and Elsa Review

I've been looking forward to reviewing these two cuties ever since Middle Gal and Little Gal brought them home at the beginning of the month.  And thankfully I had the foresight to do a photo shoot shortly after we got home.  These dolls have received a lot of love, and Toddler Elsa in particular (Little Gal's doll) is not quite as "mint condition" as she used to be. ;)

Anna and Elsa, sisters from Disney's Frozen

We were thrilled that the Disney Store we visited still had these in stock (as well as my DAC Kristoff doll).  Frozen merchandise has been selling like crazy with the huge success of the film, and I had been told when I called ahead of time that all they had in stock was Toddler Anna.  Little Gal wanted an Elsa doll of some kind more than anything else for her birthday trip, so it was great that they still had some available.

Let's take a closer look at both dolls.  I'll start with a review of Elsa, then move on to Anna.

Here is Elsa, still in her box.  Sorry for the lower quality of these pictures, but I wasn't about to make Little Gal wait to open her doll until we got home just so I could get pristine review photos. ;)

The front of the box has the Frozen logo and a picture of grown-up Elsa.  

I love all of the extra details they added to the box artwork.

Side view...

...back view...

...and other side view.

A look at her cute little shoes.

Once we got home, with the girls' permission, I did borrow Elsa and Anna for a photo shoot. :)  Here is Elsa, free from her box and home from her long journey.  

Back view of Elsa

She has a sweet face with a few freckles and a sideways glance. 

Elsa's profile.

Her black satin headband is attached with thread (Little Gal managed to loosen one of the threads before the photo shoot.

The headband has Velcro closure underneath Elsa's hair, and is removable if the threads on her head are carefully cut.

Unfortunately, the dark material of the headband left quite a stain on Elsa's head.

Her identifying markings on her head.

Here's a closer look at her dress.  As far as I can tell, it appears to be based on the dress Elsa wore in the beginning of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman", when both girls were at their youngest.  The only difference is that in the movie, Elsa wore a blue jacket over the dress.

There are some fun details to the dress, especially on the bodice...

...and around the edge of the skirt.

Much like the outfit on the fashion doll version of Anna, the dress has the appearance of a shirt and a jumper, and even has layers of material, but it is all sewn together and comes off as one piece.  

The dress has Velcro closure in the back and a satin ribbon (which is just for show and not functional).

She has blue tights and black plastic shoes.  I love the extra details on her shoes.

And in my mind, when the undersides of a doll's shoes are more than just flat plastic, that's a definite bonus in the detail department. ;)

Here is Elsa undressed.  Like the dolls in the Disney Animator's Collection series, Elsa has painted on undies.

Back view

Elsa had a few stains on her shoulders and waist...

...and some small, light stains on her chest and tummy.

Her arms can move up, down, and out to the sides:

Her head works better than my Kristoff's.  This is her normal head position.

She can tilt to the right...

...tilt to the left...

...look down...

...look up slightly more than her original position...

...and she can turn from side... side.

She sits in the same funny-looking sprawled position as the DAC dolls.

Now that we've gone over the basics of Elsa, let's take a look at Middle Gal's Anna doll.  Here she is in her box (once again taken at the hotel).

Box artwork featuring Anna as a young woman.

Side view...

...back view...

...and other side view.  She also has nice detail to her box, but I guess I got lazy taking pictures of her.  Either that, or I didn't remember all the pictures I'd taken of Elsa (Middle Gal and Little Gal bought their dolls a day apart). :}

Adorable Anna out of her box.  I absolutely love her sweet little face!

Back view

While Elsa is cute too, Anna is definitely my favorite of the two dolls.  I love her expression.  

Anna in profile.

She has little pigtails tied with black satin ribbon.  While her high pigtails are really cute, I kind of wish they'd stuck with the low pigtails of the movie.  I also thought it was interesting that they chose not to include the white streak in her hair.  Maybe this was supposed to be pre-snow accident...

...although her dress is very obviously the one she wore in the beginning of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman".  Just like Elsa's, this dress is made of satin.

It has Velcro closure in the back and a bow that is "just for looks".

There are nice detail on this bodice as well (although the bodice is a bit wonky and off-centered).

And just like Elsa's dress, while there are layers of material on Anna's outfit, it is all sewn together and comes off in one piece.

Anna has light yellow tights and nicely detailed shoes like Elsa as well.

Here she is undressed.

Back view

Anna doesn't have as much staining as Elsa (probably because her clothing has lighter colors), but she still had stains on her shoulders.

I tried to take the exact same pictures of her head posability:

Right tilt

Left tilt


Slightly up

Side 1

Side 2

Her arms move the same way, too:

I realized that I forgot to take this shot with Elsa.  Their arms can also rest quite close to their sides.

And speaking of forgetting, I wanted to mention a little detail before I forgot.  Their arms are quite squeaky when they move.  It's not difficult to move the arms, they are just rather noisy.  Just in case that detail is important to anyone. ;)

Anna sitting.  Not very ladylike, Anna. ;)

Here's a front view of the two dolls together.  As you can see, Elsa is just slightly taller than Anna, which I thought was a nice attention to detail.  I love that their eyes are painted in such a way that they can look at each other. :)  Also, notice the slight difference in skin tone?  Elsa is just a shade paler, which is accurate to the movie.

At first, I thought that Anna had the standard Disney Animator's Collection height, but now that I've compared both Frozen dolls to my DAC Belle, it appears that Elsa has the same body height.  I'm wondering if they made a special mold for Anna's body or just modified one for her.  The difference is very slight.  

Here's a closer look at Anna and Belle...

...and Belle and Elsa.

"Wanna come out and play?"  

Anna was very excited that there was a Kristoff in the house, too.  My original plan was to keep him in the box, but as you know from my last review post, that plan didn't last for long. ;)

Here he is with both girls. :)

Since it's standard procedure for me to have a comparison picture of the doll being reviewed with an American Girl doll, I thought I'd continue the tradition. ;)  I've stated this before, but I find the DAC and AG dolls pretty incompatible because of their vastly different styles (although I love having both in my doll collection). :)

Yesterday, my own Toddler Anna doll came from my nearest Disney Store. :)  I loved that they put her in a bag as if I'd actually purchased her there. :)  I was a bit surprised to see that there was absolutely no protective material around her in the box.  Thankfully, I was planning on deboxing her anyway (and her display box was pretty sturdy).  Still, I probably wouldn't order one of the classic fashion dolls from the store this way unless I was willing to face the possibility of a crushed box.

My Anna in her box...

...and next to Middle Gal's Anna.  I thought it was interesting how different their face paint was.  Next to Middle Gal's Anna, my Anna looks like she's sunburned...or maybe really embarrassed. :}

I have to say I prefer the subtler coloring of Middle Gal's Anna, but I'm just grateful to have one of my own. ;)  Hmm, here you can really see how crooked their bodices different directions. :}

Both of these dolls are adorable and are great additions to any Frozen fan's collection.  I think I enjoy all three of the Frozen Toddler sized dolls even more than some of the DAC dolls since we actually see these characters as children in the movie.  Having the dolls is a fun way to remember our first glimpses of Kristoff trying to get a block of ice with the ice harvesters, or Elsa and Anna playing together in the middle of the night.  And of course, seeing the little sisters together brings to mind the beautiful and touching "Do You Want to Build a Snowman". 

I think that Disney did a wonderful job capturing these two in doll form.  Their sweet expressions, colorful clothing and affordable price make them a fun doll for children and collectors alike.  My girls have spent hours playing with Elsa and Anna and they have held up considerably well.

I'm giving Anna a 4.5 out of 5 and Elsa a 4 out of 5.  Part of the deduction for both is the material of their clothing.  While satin has a pleasing look, it frays and snags easily.  I know from experience that it does not hold up as well to normal play as other sturdier materials, especially when Velcro is involved.  (Little Gal's Elsa already has some wear on her dress after just one month of play.)  Both Annas in our house also have some minor clothing flaws (crooked bodices).  I'm also taking deductions for the staining.  Elsa has a lower score because her staining was more extensive than Anna's.  I would love to see the Disney company figure out a way to produce these dolls without the staining problems that seem to be the norm for the line.

Aside from these minor issues, the dolls are wonderful.  I would recommend them to any Frozen and doll/toy fan. :)  If you're particular about face paint and such, I would recommend buying them in person if you have the opportunity.  There is obviously some variation between dolls (as demonstrated by the two Annas we have in the house).  There were several readers who mentioned that their Kristoffs have some differences from mine, too.

Unfortunately, these dolls are no longer available on the website.  If you have a local Disney Store, I would definitely check it out, just in case they are still in stock there.  And hopefully, with the release of Frozen on Blu-ray and DVD next month, some of the stock will be available again.  If not, I'm sure there will be more new Frozen releases in Disney's doll line.  Frozen is such a big hit, it would be in Disney's best interest to create more merchandise for the film.  I know I would buy it! ;)

So which is your favorite, Toddler Elsa or Toddler Anna?