Sunday, July 8, 2012

Disney Store Doll Articulation Update

I wasn't as thorough as I should have been with my Disney Store Rapunzel review yesterday, or with my 12" Merida review, for that matter.  Fortunately, I had time this morning to de-box Cinderella, and she made some of the flaws and potential problems with the new articulation pretty glaringly obvious.

Cinderella enchanted me from within her box, mostly because of her coy side-glancing eyes:

Disney-Store-Cinderella-New
Charming, right?
She looks so sweet in her box, with the beautiful rich blue of her dress and the lovely matching background.  

Disney-Store-Cinderella-New
I am such a sucker for Cinderella.
Gorgeous.
But...look at her without her dress:

Cute blue underpants and some serious bowed legs.
Bendy, bandy-legged babe.
Nothing against bow legs, but with this doll, the leg shape is a symptom of some significantly warped joints.  She has trouble bending at the knees and at the hips.  There is very poor joint mobility.  To make things worse, one of the ankle joints swivels around freely.  The joint is nowhere near tight enough for there to be any control over the placement of the foot.  

Because the lower legs are flexible plastic, I can bend them back into a normal-looking position, but they go right back to being bowed within minutes.  I can't figure out what is wrong with the hip joints.

While I am showing you her legs, I should mention the shoes.  I like the transparent "glass" slippers, and it's great how the new dolls can wear flat footed shoes or heels.  These heels aren't quite sturdy enough to support the doll, though.

Not so much glass slippers and rubber slippers.
Here's the shoe against a black background so you can see the bendy heel:


The other big problem with the new body is something I should have tested with Rapunzel and Merida.  Look at how nicely the old Rapunzel (the one with the rubber legs and the click knee joints) sits in this lawn chair:
Mother Gothel would be proud.
In comparison, when the new body bends at the hips to sit, the knees splay waaay apart.  This, in combination with warped joints and a swiveling ankle, makes Cinderella look like a complete and total spazz when she sits:

Is there a chapter to the Cinderella story that I don't know about?
Quite a contrast.


Here's the newer Rapunzel--even with her dress on, it's clear she's not, uh, sitting like a lady:


Here's a lineup of some of the 12" play dolls I have laying around.  All of them can sit gracefully except the new Rapunzel:

Old Rapunzel, Barbie Fashionista Artsy, Liv Katie, Monster High Clawdeen, new Rapunzel

You can play a fun game called "Crazy Legs" with Cinderella.  It goes like this: you examine a normal-looking picture, and guess if she has crazy legs underneath her skirt or not.  If you guess correctly, you win.  Let's try it with this picture:

Hint: always guess crazy legs.
Then, without moving her at all, you lift up her skirt and....

Ah! You win.
There are certainly still plenty of charming things about this doll.  I love the royal blue color and the style of the dress, and it has the nice low-shed glitter application:

It looks like there's only one pleat in the front along the pale blue panel,
but the other side was just stuck together.
Her up-do hair is nice (nowhere near as nice as Rapunzel's hair, though...), and the upper body articulation is great.

Crazy legs?
You win!
Above all, I absolutely love Cinderella's new face paint.  This feature makes up for many of her articulation issues.  I still like the new body quite a bit, but really wish the joints could handle a sitting position more gracefully.  I am pretty disappointed overall with this particular doll.  I know I only paid $11 for her with the big sale, but there's no excuse for such poor quality control.  Buying a doll should not feel like a gamble...and yet so often it is exactly that.  This doll looked perfect in her box, so even if I had chosen her in person, I'd have had no idea of her underlying flaws.  This princess could have been a major disappointment to a child, and that thought always makes me upset.


Disney-Store-Cinderella-New

24 comments:

  1. Oh, that's awful! But, I seriously laughed at the body comparison pictures when she was sitting on the lawn chair! Wow, that's CRAZY! Last year when I went on my doll craze (this was before I learned about the amazing Monster High Dolls), I went Thrift Store hopping to find some old Disney store and Mattel princess dolls to have for when my niece comes over to play. I found a Cinderella with the old body, but I was considering looking for the new Disney dolls until you mentioned the crazy legs! Her face really is cute though...

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    1. Yeah, I don't know what to think about the legs. I'm not quite as excited to run out and get more of these dolls as I used to be, but I still think that the faces are wonderful and the new body has good qualities, especially at the current price. It's hard to beat $11 for a nicely dressed articulated doll!

      I'd love to know what your niece thinks of the new body if you decide to get one. I often wonder if kids care as much about articulation as I do! :)

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  2. I laughed at first, too, when I saw the bowed legs. What's that Cindie been up to? Tsk, tsk.

    However, if I were a child and I had saved for this doll only to find her legs-akimbo, I would have been outraged.

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    1. Yeah, me too! I just hope that this doll was a rare occurrence. It would be sad to see lots of new problems cropping up with these bodies, because I feel like it was a good move to change the body, and they're definitely moving in the right direction.

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  3. I laughed way too hard at some of these pictures. I guess Cinderella is an avid equestrienne. Or she's just really into tapping her foot to the music. Restless leg syndrome? In both legs?
    But yeah, it's pretty sad that the joints warp like that. Having them made of the same plastic the torsos are made of would prevent that, maybe that's what they'll do in the future? Although in the case of Mattel's fashionistas it doesn't quite seem to help :D http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesearekatieonlypics/7519870694/
    Anyway, I just love these bodies and I'm super jealous that you can get them easily and they're on sale too! Disney Store UK doesn't seem to have them yet. I'd probably try to fix the wonky joints using heat, and floppy ankles with either rubber bands or glue.

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    1. LOL! "An avid equestrienne." :) She does look like she's really into music, too. I always sing, "kick your knees up, step in time" to myself when I look at those pictures.

      You have such a keen eye, Alrunia--I think you targeted exactly the problem with this articulation, which is something I hadn't figured out yet. I totally agree that making the lower leg out of hard plastic would be a good idea. The arms are nice with the slightly bendy plastic, but bendy legs is a bad idea. I can bend Cinderella's legs into a good position and they stay for a minute, but then they're right back to being bowed. Liv dolls had the hard plastic legs, and they always looked great.

      I like your idea about using a rubber band to stabilize the ankle! Im going to try that....

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  4. I am so happy that I never got into Disney Dolls. Monster High and Mikelman (Vintage Integrity)are more my style.

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    1. I love the vintage Integrity dolls you have shared, Frannie!

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  5. Oh dear. Thanks for highlighting this. I'm disappointed with the poor quality of the doll. Too late for me, though, as I already ordered Tiana to re-body old Christie heads. I wonder if that's why they are on special, since they seem to be only recently introduced.

    I also like Cinderella's side-glance and got a 'Once Upon a Wedding' doll for re-bodying on an Element Body, http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10179388

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    1. I think the odds are still good that you'll get a nice body on your doll. My Rapunzel and Merida are fine--they just sit in that splay-legged position. Cinderella slipped past the quality control somehow, which is definitely disappointing. I really hope your Tiana is one of the good ones! :)

      Now, isn't "Once Upon a Wedding" an older Cinderella? I think she'll have the rubber legged body and forward glancing eyes...unless I missed a new Cinderella doll! :-O

      I like the body you chose--that's amazing! The articulation looks incredible.

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  6. This post had me cracking up! Thanks for the warning. Ladies, really! Is this any way for a princess to sit?

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  7. Hello from spain: This princess has a look very nice but I do not like her body. A pity! The dress has a very nice blue color. Thanks for reporting the arched body. Keep in touch

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  8. LOL!!! I LOVED THIS REVIEW! You had me LOL-ing!!!

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  9. I just recently bought the Disney Store Belle and noticed the same thing! In fact, I was going to make the same point in my review post that's still in draft. My Belle actually ended up quite bow-legged, which is only an advantage because she can at least cross her ankles. It, um, somewhat helps. :} Your comparison pictures captured it perfectly, though. I was laughing right along with everyone else. ;)

    By the way, I'm new to your blog (I found it through Flickr) and absolutely love it! :) Oh, and I don't know if you do this sort of thing, but you've been nominated for the "I Love Your Blog" award by Belle, my Belle doll who has her own blog: http://belles-bulletins.blogspot.com/ Apparently she's been enjoying your blog too. ;)

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  10. Oops...just realized I needed to give you the link to the specific post. Here it is: http://belles-bulletins.blogspot.com/2012/07/ive-been-awarded.html

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    1. Oh, wow! Thank you so much! I have never been nominated for anything, so that's a pretty amazing feeling! I also love to get new blog links, so thank you so much for sharing Belle's wonderful blog with me. Tell her she's one of my top five favorite princesses (don't tell her she's behind Cinderella, because she might rescind her nomination...) ;)

      At least they're good at riding horses, these bow-legged princesses...right? I do love horses. :)

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    2. i have the first rapunzel and belle , and have noticed the new disney dolls colouring is pailer and the eyes are not as nice as the old rapunzel

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  11. OMG! TOO FUNNY-LOVED THE REVIEW! BRINGS A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO "RAPUNZEL, RAPUNZEL, LET DOWN YOUR HAIR"!!!!!

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  12. This is one funny post! I love the Disney dolls and I think despite reading your reviews about the new line of 12" H classic Princess's the Disney store has..I feel the need to get Jasmine. I mean there's still a chance that the doll could not have wonky legs but have perfectly fine legs.

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  13. OMG!! I never imagined that!!! Thanks a lot!!! I have to debox my Meridia... Is she going to be sitting like that????? noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

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  14. Hi, and thanks for this terrific blog! I have been reading and re-reading all your posts on Rapunzel / Disney dolls as guide and reference. I have the 2011 Disney Classic Rapunzel doll and I would like to be re-body her on a Mattel Fashionista with the pivotal knee joint. I was wondering if you (or any one you know / who reads this blog) has done this kind of re-bodying before?

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  15. Oh my! That Cinderella sitting in her lawn chair, with that choker and sideward glance looks very....NOT G rated! If I walked in and saw my kid posing her nude like that, we'd be having a very grown up conversation!

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  16. How about a body swap? Old Cinderella with rubber legs with the new head....might be a simple swap!

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  17. I nearly choked on my dinner when I saw nude Cinderella sitting on the chair right after Rapunzel gracefully sitting on the same chair. Ladies and gentlemen, for kids!
    I have to say I found the same problem with my Disney Store dolls.
    I have an Anna and an old Rapunzel. Anna has the crazy legs, Rapunzel the rubber legs. While Rapunzel has some troubles bending her knees, because the joint won't flex a lot, Anna sits like a truck driver on a very hot day. The first time I saw that I was all like "You kidding me, right?".
    I can't believe Disney couldn't get. for example, the rubber leg joint for the waist and the new crazy legs joint for the knee.

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.