The day after Christmas, my mom and I had the chance to stop at a few stores. At Target, I was super excited to find some new toys from Hasbro's Disney Princess Little Kingdom line.
Some of you may have seen the Little Kingdom cosmetics line, with dolls that serve as bottles of nail polish or lip gloss. I thought they were cute, but the actual dolls are even cuter. :D (Interestingly enough, I recently discovered that the cosmetics line was released by Jakks Pacific, not Hasbro, even thought they look almost identical.)
I never thought about mini dolls and how that would work with Hasbro's takeover of the Disney Princess line. I'm thinking these are probably going to be the replacements for Mattel's mini princess dolls with "Magiclip" dresses.
This is the "Arendelle Treat Shoppe" playset. It was $19.99. There were a few individual dolls and a larger set with Anna at Target, but this one caught my eye because of Elsa's adorable face and cute, detailed outfit.
See what I mean? ;)
The back of the box.
A few closer details:
The box also shows some other Elsa and Anna dolls, showing how you can mix and match their dresses and accessories to make new looks.
The "Frozen Sleigh Ride" set pictured above was the other one I saw at Target. It was cute, but Anna was wearing her coronation top instead of her winter top, so it looked really weird. I wish the "Frozen Fever Celebration" set had been there, too. ;)
The entire playset is held in this clear plastic inner case.
Even better, there were no huge twist ties! :D Just a few rubber bands that were easy to remove.
Here's the entire playset. It comes with the Treat Shoppe, Elsa and her clothing, a cake, four ice cream cones, eight snowball/ice ball (not sure what to call them) double scoops, and four small accessories for Elsa's dress and head.
A closer look at the smaller pieces.
Let's take a look at the Treat Shoppe first.
Here it is from the front...
...and the back.
I love the sticker art of little Kristoff in the window. :)
The Treat Shoppe has a little shelf set in a half-circle where you can place some of the snow cones. I also put the cake on the shelf behind them.
There's storage for extra snowballs below. Not sure I'd want to order from a shoppe that stores its food on the ground, though. ;)
The little doors in the middle of the shoppe feature Olaf artwork...
...and open to reveal shelves for storage.
There are three Snowgies depicted in the artwork on the window of the shoppe.
And on the other end is the snow cone-making station.
To "make" a snow cone, you place one of the empty cones below this apparatus, then open the white snowball hatch at the top.
Place one of the snowball sets in the hole.
They will fall into the tube.
Next, pull the little lever on the side out towards you.
The snowballs will fall into the cone.
And now you've got a snow cone!
Now, even though this worked for the pictures, most of my attempts at "making" snow cones didn't go so well. The snowballs are just tall enough that they make the ice cream cones too top-heavy to stay upright. More often than not, the snowballs would fall out and clatter on the counter. I wish Hasbro would have made them a little smaller so they could stay in the cones better.
So now that we've seen the Treat Shoppe, let's move on to Elsa herself (my favorite part of the set). ;)
Such a cutie!
Her skirt has holes in it so you can attach her accessories, as pictured above.
Her head also has a small hole for accessories. I think the snowflake looks really cute there.
Elsa from the back.
I have to admit, I like her best without anything on her skirt.
Her cape attaches with a tiny hole and peg just under the jewel. Sorry I didn't get a better picture of it. My phone camera was having trouble focusing on it. :}
Speaking of her skirt, it has two different sections. The top part slips off without any sort of clasp. It just rests around her hips.
The back of the top section of the skirt pulls open, as shown in the following pics:
Once the top part of the skirt is off, she looks like this, with a kind of odd, gaping hole beneath her bodice.
And her bodice itself is just a small piece of rubbery plastic that fits into a hole in her chest. I can't see this staying really well after serious playtime, and predict this will be the first thing Little Gal loses if she gets one of these. ;)
In this picture I tried to show the long "peg" on the inside of the bodice and the hole in Elsa's chest, but it's kind of hard to see.
The rest of her skirt slides off over her hips. It takes a little work, and I do worry that too much force might cause the plastic to wear out or rip over time. Of course, the older mini princess dolls with the rubbery skirts tended to have similar problems.
The inside of the skirt has two sections for her legs.
I was pleased to discover that Elsa's head can tilt from side to side as well as turning back and forth. It always adds so much character to a doll when you can give her head a little tilt.
I also appreciate the detail in her hair and dress sculpt. Hasbro did a great job with this.
Here's a picture of my newest Elsa with my Mattel Magiclip Elsa. As you can see, Hasbro Elsa is much more stylized than Mattel Elsa, but I think her face is much more pleasing. She has almost an anime style about her.
You might also notice that Hasbro Elsa is missing her little bodice piece. I realized today as I was finishing up this post that I hadn't gotten a comparison picture between these two, so I took this picture just a few moments ago. I was horrified to discover that my Hasbro Elsa's bodice had disappeared. :( I can't find it anywhere. So it looks like my concerns about losing this little piece are not too far-fetched, especially since Elsa's done nothing but sit on my Frozen shelf. :(
Here's a look at all of my current coronation Elsas. Hasbro Elsa fits right in. :)
I tried researching the Little Kingdom sets when I got back from purchasing mine, but couldn't find much on them. I did, however, find THIS YOUTUBE REVIEW with a few more of the sets. I think the one I'm the most excited about is the awesome "Frozen Friendship Collection" set with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, Marshmallow, and Kristoff. :) I'll definitely need to find a Belle and a Rapunzel for my collection, too. :) From the video, it sounds like these aren't supposed to be released until January 1st, but some Targets put them out a little early.
Chad Alan also put up a review of some of the smaller Belle and Anna sets, which you can see HERE.
One really smart thing Hasbro has done with this line is to give each doll different dresses depending on the playsets they're in. For example, even though there are multiple Elsa dolls (at least two in the coronation dress and at least three in the ice queen dress), each dress in each of the playsets is slightly different from the other. The nice thing about this is you can end up with multiples of one character and still have variety in their outfits. And if you're a real collecting fanatic, you'll want to get one of each so you have every variant of your favorite character. (Not that I would be that obsessive. Ahem.) :}
Well-played, Hasbro. Well-played. ;)
So, time for some overall thoughts. Since this is the only set I have, I will be basing my review on this set only, not on the entire Little Kingdom line. I'm also going to give separate ratings for Elsa and the playset.
Elsa: 5 out of 5
Playset: 3.5 out of 5
I love the little Elsa from this set. I love her stylized little face, the great detail in the sculpt of her hair and outfit, and the way her head tilts back and forth. I think that this line is really going to appeal to little girls, and that Hasbro is right on with this.
As far as the playset, it was nice, but not as interesting to me as an adult collector. The oversized snowballs kept making the ice cream cones fall over, and there wasn't much else to the set. It's cute and all, and it will display okay, but really, I just bought it for the doll. ;)
Elsa: 5 out of 5
While Elsa isn't the most posable doll I've ever reviewed, for the size she is, she has nice, basic articulation. And again, the head tilt is a huge plus for me.
The playset isn't posable, but that's to be expected for a building. ;)
Elsa: 4 out of 5
Playset: 3.5 out of 5
I think that Elsa will be great for playtime overall, but I'm docking a point for the design of her outfit, especially her bodice. While the removable bodice is a great idea, I can tell you with certainty that the bodice will get lost with normal playtime, especially for someone like Little Gal, who is always losing/breaking/misplacing her toys (never on purpose, she's just hard on stuff). And hey, if I couldn't even keep track of my display-only Elsa's bodice, how can I expect my kiddos to keep track of theirs? :} I also think that with time the skirt pieces might have some wear and either rip or stretch too much to function. That being said, as I mentioned before, some of the Mattel mini princess dolls with stretchy clothing had similar problems.
The playset is cute, but I think it will lead to a lot of frustration for kids with the hard-to-balance snow cones and the snow cone maker's tendency to knock over the cones instead of making them nicely. It does have fun artwork, but it doesn't really do much aside from store things. Still, I could see my girls coming up with a selling candy and ice cream storyline for its use, and they have plenty of small toy food to stock its shelves with other sweet treats.
Price: 3 out of 5
Honestly, I don't think this set is worth $20. Maybe $12, but not $20. I had a gift card and I really liked Elsa, so I went for it. After seeing the above YouTube video, though, I've decided to wait for the smaller doll sets, which feature the dolls and smaller accessories and will be less expensive. The individual dolls are around $7, which is still a little steep, but I'm willing to pay that for at least some of the dolls. ;)
Brief Thoughts from the Gals:
Since this type of playset is not geared towards my age group, I thought I'd have the girls try it out and see what they thought.
Oldest Gal (age 11) said she preferred the doll to the set, but would enjoy the set more if she had more dolls to go with it. She also thought that some of the small pieces would get easily lost, especially for the younger kiddos of the four and up recommended age. She loves the dolls and can't wait to see more of them.
Middle Gal (age 9) also preferred the doll to the set. She suggested that it would be nice if Hasbro would put a back on the Treat Shoppe so that the sweets wouldn't fall out of the back. She also said that the little accessories that go on Elsa's dress fall out pretty easily.
Little Gal (age 7) loved the playset and said it was something she would want. She loved making the snow cones and playing with the set. She also said that Elsa is really cute and she loved her. ;)
All three of them mentioned that the snowballs were difficult to work with because they kept falling over. Yet all of them, especially the younger two, spent a good amount of time playing with it and enjoying themselves. ;)
While I'm still undecided about Hasbro's take on the Barbie-sized Disney Princesses (I want to reserve judgement until I see them in person), I'm very excited about their Little Kingdom line and can't wait to see (and collect) more of them. ;)
How about you guys? Will any of you be keeping an eye out for these?