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! ;)
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. :)
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 rather...um...awkward 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:
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!), but...wow...her 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!