Thursday, August 14, 2014

Disney Store 2014 Belle Doll Review

At last, the long-awaited 2014 Disney Store Belle doll review is here! :)  As many of you know, I ordered the 2014 versions of both Belle and Rapunzel back in June (you can see Rapunzel's review post HERE), but my Belle doll came with a very squished nose.  The Disney Store very graciously sent me a replacement with a nicely-shaped nose, so she'll be featured in the review today. :)  

Here she is, fresh out of the UPS box! :)

A closer look at her nice, non-flat nose. ;)

Some pics of the box:

Box details: 

Belle was attached to the packaging by a twist tie around her waist.

Her hair was really flat in the back from being pressed up against the packaging.

Like Rapunzel, she was attached at the hands with rubber bands as well.

She had tissue in her skirt to make it look more poofy.

Also like Rapunzel, her legs are the "click knee" legs (just like a Barbie's).

All free from rubber bands and twist ties! :)

A look at her pretty face. :)

Her bodice is simple satin with a see-through, sparkly gold material at the top.

A look at her full skirt.

The top of the skirt is gathered, much like it was in the movie.

The middle has a sparkly design in gold glitter.

I love the beautiful, glittery rose pattern at the base of the skirt. 

A view from the back.  Her dress has Velcro closure.

A closer look at the back of the skirt. 

Her shoes are yellow flats, held in place by rubber bands.

A few more shots of her pretty face: 

Her hair has a thick bun at the top.

It's about the same length as the more recent Belle dolls, but shorter than the 2010 and 2011 versions (as we'll see in later pictures).

The hair is basically in two sections of curls.  The curls are pretty crunchy with product towards the bottom, which is a little disappointing for playtime.  

A view from the other side.

Putting the curls over the shoulders doesn't help the separation in the back, and looks a little too wild.

It looks very nice when pulled back behind her head, though.  Fairly movie accurate, too. :)

As always, I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison of the different versions.  From left to right, we have 2010 Belle, 2011 Belle, 2012 Belle, 2013 Belle, and 2014 Belle.

Here's a closer look at each of their faces:
This face mold will always be one of favorites.  I like her pretty coloring and serene expression.  Sadly, this particular 2010 Belle has a rather asymmetrical face, which makes her not quite as appealing as my original Belle, pictured here:
Always my favorite! ;)

Belle has a pinker-tinted makeup and greener, wider eyes in a sideways glance this time around.  This face mold is my second favorite.  I like the innocence of her expression  She's also a great choice for younger Belle enthusiasts because of her straight hair (it holds up better to play than any of the other curlier-haired Belle dolls).

This Belle has rather severe eyebrows compared to the earlier versions.  Her eyes are smaller in relation to her face.  This face took me a while to get used to, but it still has it's merits.

I think this is probably my least favorite Belle face out of all of the versions.  Her eyebrows are even more slanted, and her eye makeup is extremely heavy.

This year's Belle has a slightly softer look to her face and lighter eye makeup.

And here's a better look at their dresses.  All of the dolls are wearing their original dresses:

This one, while not strictly accurate, is still appealing. :)

This is the dress that is probably the farthest from the movie.  This was the year of the glittery, tulle skirts for almost all of the princess dolls. ;)

Here's the dress that is probably the most movie accurate out of all of them. :)  I love that she has her gloves, even though they're a complete pain to get on and off.   

 A fun variation on Belle's original dress design.  I really love the pretty, glittery roses all over the skirt.  The horribly uneven "sleeves" on this particular 2013 doll are a major distraction, though.

I love the beautiful, glittery design of the skirt and the fact that the dress is an interesting interpretation of Belle's original dress while giving it a slightly new feel.

Here's a view from the backs of the dolls, which also gives a great look at the differences in their hair.

2010 Belle and 2011 Belle 
Not movie accurate hair at all, but very pretty. ;)

2012 Belle
Now we're getting closer to movie accuracy. ;)

2013 Belle and 2014 Belle 
I'd like to work on 2014 Belle's hair a little more to make the curls a little less separated.  I think these two have hair closest to the movie out of all of them, though.

Time to talk about my overall thoughts on this newest version of beautiful Belle. :)

Pleasing Qualities: 4 out of 5
   I think I'll probably always prefer the 2010 Belle doll to any other version, but when it comes to the ratings, I feel I need to try to judge the doll on her own merit as much as possible.  She has a lovely face, more subtle, pleasing makeup than last year's Belle, and is incredibly photogenic.  Her hair and dress, while not exactly like the movie, are close enough that they are nice interpretations of the original.  I think any Beauty and the Beast fan would enjoy adding this doll to their collection.  I'm knocking off a point because I still prefer softer, slightly raised eyebrows on any Belle doll, and feel they capture her character a little more.  I also don't care for the crunchiness of her curls, even though it keeps them in place.

Posability: 5 out of 5
   Like I mentioned in my Rapunzel review, Belle works well for the design she has.  My girls have found these dolls fun to pose and easy to play with.  I'd still love to see a better design brought about by the Disney Store in the future (similar to the LIV doll articulation, perhaps?).

Playability: 4 out of 5
   We've had great success with these dolls in the past and have found them very compatible with normal play.  The hair is usually the first thing to get a little crazy, and the clothing usually wears out after a while, but I think that's pretty typical of most of the play line Barbies these days, too. ;)  I'm knocking off a point because the product in her hair will make it difficult for little ones to play with her hair without frustration.

Price:  5 out of 5
   These are a good price for what they are, especially when you wait for the "2 for $10" promotion they commonly have at the Disney Store. :)

I didn't get a chance to get the girls' views on Belle this time around, but they'll be sharing their opinions on some of my future reviews soon. :)

Which of the Belle dolls is your favorite so far?  What do you hope to see in future releases?


Shelby-Grace said...

Great review as always :) I love the little bun-like style you gave your new Belle, it's so pretty! My favorite Belle is Belle from your Belle's Bulletins blog ;)

Y. Gonzalez said...

Love your Belle collection! What I don't like of some of these dolls are the high hair bun. Pardon my english, I speak spanish!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Shelby-Grace. :) I actually didn't do the bun on my new Belle...she came that way! :)

Belle from Belle's Bulletins is my favorite, too. ;)

Thanks, Y. Gonzalez. I would like to see them do a slightly lower bun myself on some of the Belle dolls...maybe in a future version! :)

Your English is just fine, by the way. :)

Farrah Lily said...

I think I have to agree with you about 2010 Belle's face...she seems to capture the real "kindness" that is the heart of Belle's character in the movie, something that all the other don't quite nail, but I really do like the 2014 doll as well. Her dress is really nice and I think she has my 2nd favorite face! Is your favorite Belle (the one in the blue and white dress) also a 2010? She is the most beautiful! Thanks again for a very thought out review with lovely photos. (sorry for all the comments lately..between you and Emily from the Toy box Philosopher, I have really enjoyed discovering your blogs this summer!) :)

Nina said...

Awesome review! I got my Disney Belle doll in Disney World (last year, 2013), and she has the 2012 face mold and a completely different dress than any of your Belles. Weird. She's pretty movie accurate, though. I guess they make Disney dolls especially for the parks?

Have a great day!:D

beastsbelle said...

I feel the same way, Farrah Lily. There is a unique kindness and sweetness to 2010 Belle's face that the others are lacking.

Yes, the Belle in the blue dress is my original 2010 Belle (the one I used for Belle's Bulletins). She's been through a ton of photo shoots and photo stories, so she's been rebodied and has much shorter hair now. That's always been my favorite picture of her, though. :)

Please don't ever feel like you need to apologize for leaving comments...I love them! :) I'm so glad you found my blog. Emily's Toy Box Philosopher blog is one of my favorites, too! :)

Thanks, Nina! Glad you enjoyed the review.

Yep, the Disney Parks dolls are always different from the Disney Store ones. I have one of the earlier Disney Parks Belles that has the 2010 face mold and a beautiful, unique dress. I haven't deboxed her, but I should probably do at least a partial review. I'd love to get ahold of one of the newer Disney Parks Belles sometime...I love the new dress! :) If I ever manage to make it to Disneyland, I'll try to snag one then. :)

Meritre said...

I have to agree with you guys, 2010 Belle has something the others don't have. 2010 is first for me (Want to get one someday...) 2011 is second and the other three are third. I don't like the eyebrows, it makes them look a little... angyry? malevolent? But 2014 Belle is still nice. As far as dresses go, I'm pending between 2012 and 2013, they are quite movie accurate, I think. I would love to see Belle in another dress next year but that probably won't happen.

Jan said...

I love the 2014 Belle's dress!! :). I really want to make sure I get her before they redo the dolls for 2015. Do you happen to know when they usually redo the princesses for another year?? Thank you, and I loved the review!! Belle is one of my favorite princesses.


Michele said...

Loved seeing all the Belles together. I have to agree about 2010 Belle, her face is so sweet. I really like them all for different reasons and I love the new dress, really beautiful!

Manta said...

I love the 2014 Belle's dress! It's glittery without looking something threw glitter randomly everywhere;)

Awesome review, just like all your others, by the way:)

honeysucklejasmine said...

Seeing them all side by side, my favorite is definitely 2010. Her soft eyes and neutral eyebrows are gorgeous. 2011 is just as gorgeous but her default hairstyle and gown don't do her beautiful face justice. That's the reason I heavily modified mine :-/ Have you seen her?

I also love 2012's gown and gloves. Sadly it's hard to photograph her without looking terribly angry :-/ And her hair is a perpetual hot mess :-/

beastsbelle said...

So many fun comments! Glad you're all enjoying the review. :)

Meritre, my first thought when I saw 2012 Belle (the first one with the odd eyebrows) was that she looked a little arrogant or something along that line, so I totally understand what you're saying. Those eyebrows are NOT Belle eyebrows. ;)

Yeah, I think the chances of her being in another dress are pretty slim; her gold dress seems to be the standard. I think that would be really smart marketing on Disney's part, though. If they released the classic dolls in a new dress each year, I think that would give customers one more reason to want them every time. ;)

Hi Jan! They usually redo the princesses each summer. The last few years it's been sometime in June. You should have plenty of time to snag 2014 Belle. :)

P.S. Belle is one of my faves, too...which you probably could guess from my username and some of my other blog posts. ;)

Hi Michele! Yep, 2010 Belle definitely has something special. It seems that a lot of us prefer her. :) But I agree, each doll has something unique.

Lol, Manta, I completely agree. It's nice when the glitter looks a little more planned. ;)

So glad you enjoyed the review. :)

Hi honeysucklejasmine! Nice to hear from you.

I have seen your modified 2011 doll...great job! :)

I've had the same problem photographing my 2012 Belle. It's really hard to get a photo that doesn't make her look irritated or malicious. ;) And yes, her hair is pretty crazy. Although I actually have the most issues with my 2013 Belle's hair. It looked messy from the moment I deboxed her,. :}

Ampy said...

I kinda have mixed feelings about this years doll,I hate some parts(glittery thingy that was supposed to be a dress ruffle,eyebrows) the I love some things ( like her legs,the restof her dress and face). I think my fave is 2011,there's something about that tulle dress that I love! :))

anyways,I have reaaally exciting doll news:

mattel's going to make signature belle and rapunzel doll!

belle's dress is lovely,it reminds me of the 90's doll dresses that belle dolls have.

Rapunzel has this awesome smirk and floor length hair and 3/4 sleeves. the picture is a bit blurred though

beastsbelle said...

Hi Ampy! I've heard about the Mattel Signature Collection Belle and Rapunzel dolls, and I'm super excited to see them in person. The only thing is, I hope they don't have the odd sparkly skin that some of the other recent Signature dolls have. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. ;)

Good to hear from you!

Mark Patraw said...

Like your recent Rapunzel review, I think it's neat to see the year-to-year releases of each doll standing next to each other. Taken alone, it's easy to assume that the product doesn't change that much annually, but when you see them all together, the variations are plain as day.

I like the 2012 dress and the 2011 face the best. That head has the closest "Disney animation" feel to it for me, and I think the wider eyes suit the character better than the narrower, and more heavily made-up, ones on the more recent releases.

That said, I actually prefer Belle in her "normal" blue and white dress, as that's more iconic to me--while it's not the most exciting ensemble, that's the image that springs to my mind when I think of the character. The Beast's servants, in their animate household item forms, are the things that I enjoyed the most from the film though (Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts & Chip, etc.)--I just like the idea of "living" everyday objects in general.

Since you asked, things that I think could benefit future Disney Store Princess doll releases:

1) More articulation, primarily in the legs. While they have the benefit of being seamless, I've never liked the functionality of internal ratchet knees, as they offer very little in the way of useful mobility.

2) A small personal accessory or two--not something large that would drive the cost up, but a little iconic item or small sidekick/pet, unique to each Princess. Pascal for Rapunzel, an apple with a bite taken out it for Snow White, etc.

3) This would likely drive the price up, but a second, alternate outfit would also be great. Belle's blue and white dress in her case, a mermaid tail and scallop shell bra for Ariel, etc. On a similar note, alternate swappable heads, or interchangeable faces, with different hair styles or expressions (surprise, anger, laughing, etc.) would also be neat--I see that type of thing frequently with "boys" sixth-scale figures, but seldom in "girls" lines (although there have been some). For example, they could make a Rapunzel with two swappable heads, one with long blonde hair, and the other with her short brown tresses.

4) As digital sculpting/printing has become increasingly more prevalent, I think it would be worthwhile for Disney to consider using that for the heads/bodies of their dolls, rather than the usual hand-sculpted approach and generic physiques, as digital 3-dimensional polygon models of most, if not all, of the Disney Princesses already exist. That way, there'd be no question about accuracy, as you'd be getting an exact copy of the "real deal". For example, they could take Rapunzel's CG model, scale it to the proper 11-12" size and modify the anatomy for the doll format on a computer, produce the parts with a 3D printer, and then send them off to the factory in China for mass production. The resulting doll, assuming the paint job, hair rooting, or fabric garments don't get messed up along the way, should look just like the film version from any angle.

Speaking of which, did you know that you could have a 3-dimensional digital sculpture of yourself printed out in plastic form? It's a relatively expensive process at the moment, but with time, I imagine it'll become more widely available and affordable. Imagine: someday, instead of "flat" photographs, you could own incredibly accurate 3-dimensional "dolls" of your daughters, husband, and even yourself! Here's a pictorial review from a guy, in London, that had himself done.

beastsbelle said...

I love your ideas for future releases, Mark! Especially the leg articulation, extra outfits and accessories, and the digital sculpting. I have to say, I've never personally been a fan of head swapping on dolls. I'm more into having one doll that doesn't come apart. That's just me, though. ;) I could see that feature appealing to a lot of other doll collectors. :)

The digital printing review was really interesting!! It will be neat to see how the technology improves with time (I hope eventually the paint will be less grainy). It would be really cool to have dolls/figures of my family, though! :)

The link didn't work for me, so I'm including another link HERE

Mark Patraw said...

Whoops, sorry the link didn't work; I think it got messed up because I didn't put "http://" in front of the "www" part. Thanks for providing the working one!

beastsbelle said...

No problem! :)