When Tangled first came out, my niece got one of the $12.50 12" Disney Store Rapunzel dolls, and I was very surprised and impressed by the doll's articulation and quality. I immediately bought one for myself, of course, but for some reason I have never taken her out of the box. I was looking at the Disney Store the other day and noticed that the newer version of this Rapunzel doll is actually a bit different from the original. This demanded further investigation. I ordered the newer version and in this review I'll de-box the newer doll and compare her to the older Rapunzel...and I'll also compare her to the Ever After wedding version of the same doll.
|Disney original 12" Rapunzel doll (L) and the current version (R)|
Here's a close-up of the Pascal figure. He's really cute:
The newer doll can still be found on the Disney Store site for $12.50, and is sometimes on sale for even less than that. The older doll is much harder to find.
The newer doll comes in a simple plastic box with a cardboard back:
You can get into the box pretty easily by cutting the tape all around three sides of the plastic front:
Right away, I noticed that there's something wrong with this doll's dress. Look at the bodice:
|It's easy to get distracted by all of the glitter, but look at her chest.|
The gathering in the middle is uneven and so she's a little, uh, lopsided:
As you might expect, it's a pain to get the doll detached from the cardboard. The hair is held in place with a half dozen plastic bands and some thread. The doll herself is secured to the backdrop with two wires, and the outfit is held in place with several of those tiny plastic ties that you have to be really careful not to pull on or they rip the dress:
Here she is fresh out of the box:
The next thing I noticed is that she has glitter from her dress stuck everywhere, especially to her legs, which have a more rubbery texture than the rest of her body:
|Rapunzel's magical glittery leg stubble.|
The hair is really long and lovely. I think it was a good choice to remove the glittery tinsel from the hair for this edition. Some of the Monster High dolls have tinsel highlights, and it does make the hair harder to brush and manage. Rapunzel's hair is soft and silky and easy to brush. It has a few crispy areas near her face, but is otherwise loose and smooth. There's a gap in the hair in the back of her head because of how she was secured in the box:
After brushing, the gap is pretty much gone:
Her face had a few shiny parts (probably residue from the hair product) but these were easily removed with a damp Q-tip:
The bigger problem is that she has some strange face paint. First of all, the freckles on the right side of her face are much lighter than those on the left side of her face. Also, she has green in her eyes. Not in her irises, but around the whites of her eyes. Her sclera. It's especially bad in her left eye:
|She has a bad case of greeno-sclero-itis.|
Seriously, though, what is that? I mean, there's no natural physiological reason for her to have green in the whites of her eyes unless she's got a raging infection (eew!), she's got a weird form of jaundice (don't Google that), or she's an alien with green tears and she's crying.
|Or, maybe Pascal is secretly, gradually, transforming her into a chameleon?|
|It's earlier in the transformation.|
The bodice has a false corset that is also heavily dosed with glitter. The puffy gathered sleeves have little purple stripes on them, and the neckline is finished with some simple lace:
|I can't get that silly pink bow to lay flat.|
Even through the unopened box, you can see that the dress on the older Rapunzel doll is both more detailed and more accurate to the movie dress. This dress has filmy half sleeves under the striped cap sleeves, and also has a lovely floral ribbon border where the two sleeve fabrics meet.
|First edition Rapunzel|
She has 11 points of articulation, including bendable wrists (yay!) and the internal click knee joints (like the Fab Faces My Scene Barbie). Her legs are made of a different material than the rest of her body. They are more rubbery in texture, and the increased friction from this material makes it difficult to pull clothing over her hips.
|There's nothing wring with my hips.|
The knee joints don't bend as much as a regular knee joint (or a Liv knee joint), but they do increase the posing options a bit, and they allow her to sit down.
The legs are so bendable (especially below the knees) that the doll really needs a stand. I could not get her to stand on her own:
The wrist movement is slightly limited. She can touch the top of her head, but not her face.
Her body has a nice level of articulation without being unruly. This seems like a good mix for younger children.
Here's a lineup of similarly sized dolls so that you can see Rapunzel's relative proportions:
|From left: ITBE, Rapunzel, Barbie, My Scene, Stardoll|
|From left: Liv, Rapunzel, Monster High|
All of these dolls are very similar in size. Rapunzel's dress looks best on the Liv dolls (perhaps because of the larger heads on both dolls). The scale of the dress seems a bit large for the ITBE and Barbie dolls:
|Disney princess is the new haute couture. It is. Really.|
Green-eyed Liv Katie makes an excellent Rapunzel, especially with one of the extra-long Liv wigs:
The quality of the long wig is pretty bad, by the way. It is thinly rooted, feels cheap and sheds like crazy!
|With Viveca's chameleon.|
Liv clothes hang a little loose on Rapunzel, especially in the chest:
But the Stardoll dress...
The My Scene dress...
...and a regular Fashionista Barbie dress all fit very well.
The only shoes that fit Rapunzel are the Barbie Fashionista shoes:
Here are some pictures of Rapunzel back in her own dress:
Her hair is really easy to braid:
Because she didn't come with Pascal, I substituted Chelsea's friend Viveca's chameleon, Chami:
I am going to leave the original Rapunzel in her box for now, but here are the two dolls side-by-side:
|Original Rapunzel on the left, newer Rapunzel on the right.|
So, of these two 12" Rapunzel dolls, which is the better buy? Here's a breakdown:
Dress: The original Rapunzel's dress is better. It has more detail and doesn't shed glitter everywhere. I like the newer dress, though. It is pretty and looks like a Rapunzel dress. I'll assume that most of these dresses do not have a defective bodice like the one I got.
Accessories: The original Rapunzel has Pascal, a paintbrush and a hair brush. Of these, Pascal is the only thing that I think is really necessary, although with all of that hair, having a brush is also a good idea. The newer Rapunzel has no accessories. She should at least have Pascal.
Face: The face paint is very similar. The older Rapunzel's lip color is pinker and the newer Rapunzel's lip color is more lavender or light purple. Both have strange green tints on their scleras. My newer Rapunzel has some minor factory flaws in the face paint.
Hair: the original Rapunzel has longer hair with tinsel "highlights" in it. I like the way this hair looks, but the shorter, tinsel-free hair of the newer Rapunzel is probably better for kids.
Not to over-complicate things, but there's yet another 12" Rapunzel option that is currently available at the Disney Store for a slightly higher price. The Ever After wedding Rapunzel, which retails for $22:
There's a lot of talk about how this doll isn't accurate to the chronology of the movie. She has the long blonde hair with the flowers from the birthday scene, but she's wearing her wedding dress. Not to give away the whole story or anything, but let's just say that by the time Rapunzel gets married, she has a completely different hairstyle. I am often a stickler for details like this, but this doll doesn't bother me. I can totally understand a little kid wanting Rapunzel's long golden hair and the beautiful flowers from that fantastic scene at the palace and her wedding dress. All together. It's like the Ultimate Fantasy Rapunzel doll.
She's essentially just the same doll as the basic version I reviewed, above, but she has a different dress and slightly different face paint.
She has a plastic golden tiara with a wedding veil attached, and 8 little colored plastic flower clips in her braided hair.
Her dress is gorgeous. It's a bit poofier than the movie dress, but it looks wonderful on her. The dress has a cream colored bodice with a printed golden sun pattern on the front and gold ribbon trim:
The skirt is two-layered, pairing a cream brocade style overskirt with a light pink satiny underskirt with printed gold leaves and flowers.
The flowers are a brilliant accessory. Everyone wants to recreate that scene from the movie, and these little flowers are simple, easy to use and they look great:
The only differences between the wedding doll and the basic doll (besides their clothing) are in the color of their underwear:
|Basic Rapunzel on left, wedding Rapunzel on right|
|The hair is the same length and quality. No tinsel in either doll's hair.|
...and a slight difference in the color of their lips (the wedding doll has pinker lips).
|Basic Rapunzel on left, wedding Rapunzel on right. Wedding Rapunzel has that same green tint in her eyes, but not quite as much as the basic doll.|
To increase the versatility of the wedding doll, you can buy extra outfits for her ($12.50). The outfit sets comes with a brush, a tiara and a giant Pascal (attached to a paint brush):
The pink dress is my favorite:
The green dress looks nice with her eyes:
|Wedding Rapunzel in the extra green dress.|
|Wedding Rapunzel in the extra green dress.|
So, which of these two do I recommend? That's a tough call. Tangled fans will probably want the purple dress, although it deviates enough from the movie dress that perhaps its collectibility is diminished. Aside from the price tag, I like everything about the wedding doll a little bit better. Her dress is more elaborate, she has those fun flowers in her hair, and I prefer her slightly pinker lip color. I am a bit biased because of the flaws on my basic Rapunzel doll. Her freckles are off, her eyes are too green and her dress has a lopsided top. This is probably just bad luck, but it does make me worry about quality control.
|Wedding Rapunzel (L) and the newest basic Rapunzel (R)|
So, it's a close race, but I like these three 12" Rapunzel dolls in the following order:
1. Original Rapunzel in purple dress with accessories
2. Ever After Rapunzel in wedding dress with flower clips--especially with the extra outfits.
3. Newest Rapunzel in purple glittery dress
I think all of the versions of this doll are cute, though, and would be happy with any one of them. For her $12.50 price tag, even the newest basic doll with no accessories is a good buy and a fun doll. I like owning her as an adult and she would have been a dream come true as a kid. For younger children, I suggest keeping the long hair braided at all times. Despite being soft and smooth out of the box, this much hair is sure to tangle if left to its own devices.
|Newest basic Rapunzel|
Summary (newest basic Rapunzel doll)
3 and up
Very fairly priced at $12.50.
My doll has some quality control issues. Her dress has a lopsided seam and her face paint has some noticeable flaws. The hair is great and the articulated body is very nice.
Lots of plastic. The cardboard backdrop is riddled with plastic holders and ties. It took some fiddling to get this doll out.
I’d say no, because of the quality, but Disney items are almost always collectable.
The Disney dolls are sold only with princess clothing, and this limits their versatility. Rapunzel’s flexibility as a character is limited because of her really long hair. However, because this doll can share clothes with Barbie and some other popular dolls, I can see her taking on some more modern personas.
Recommended. I love the Disney dolls. I like this Rapunzel despite her factory flaws. I recommend the wedding doll slightly more, but the basic Rapunzel’s price tag can’t be beat.
|Wedding Rapunzel in her own dress.|