|The newest version of Rapunzel and her predecessor.|
|The newest 12" Disney Store Rapunzel doll.|
This looks like the Mattel version of Rapunzel or something...not anything like the movie character or the doll.
There are two wire ties holding the doll in place, and then a mess of thread to control the hair. Everything is pretty easy to get undone:
Once she's free from the box, she still has plastic supports on her hands, rubber bands holding her shoes on, and lots of thread bits in her hair:
The hair was sewn to her outfit in one spot, so you have to be careful to cut all of the thread before you start pulling the doll out.
Right away, I like this version of the purple dress much better than the last one. First of all, it has the 3/4 sheer sleeves that are accurate to the movie. Also, I like that this dress is glittery, but it's not raining glitter everywhere. Glitter must stick to this satiny fabric better than it does to tulle, because this dress doesn't shed much at all compared to the last one.
The different shades of purple in the dress are inverted from what they are in the movie. The darker purple is in the bodice instead of the skirt. This is a fun but subtle way to avoid making the same dress over and over again.
The hair on this doll is every bit as lovely as the last doll--it's super-long and smooth and very easy to manage. I am amazed that they can root a play doll with this quantity of high quality hair and charge $11. Crazy. It has a bit of stiff styling product in the front near her face, but I was able to comb that area into submission. The hair is slightly longer than it was on the last doll.
Now, it could just be a different painting style, but to me this looks like a new face:
She's missing the green paint inside the whites of her eyes, which is a relief, and the eyes look smaller to me, and much darker green:
The mouth is lopsided, which you might be able to see in the picture above. I am not sure if this is intentional or not...it might be a painting flaw. I think it looks fine.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two dolls, with their hair braided and out of the way:
I didn't dislike the old face, but I like almost everything about the new face better. Her expression is a bit less exaggerated, while still being charming and different from a typical 12" fashion doll. I like the new doll's lip color better, but I like her eye color slightly less--I prefer the light green to the darker teal. I like the simple eye paint in the new doll's iris better...and I certainly prefer the healthy white scleras of the newer doll. The larger eyes of the older Rapunzel are more accurate to the movie character (that girl's eyes are huge!), but the smaller eyes suit the size of the doll really well.
I wish Disney had attempted a doll with Rapunzel's endearingly large front teeth and contagious grin, but I bet that's a difficult expression to capture accurately on a small doll. Still--why didn't they try it for the 18" limited edition Rapunzel? Ah, well.
Here are the two Rapunzels together in a full length shot so you can see the differences in the clothing:
Both dolls are missing some detail that was present in the very first Rapunzel doll's outfit (that doll is in this review, too), especially in the skirt, but both are still clearly recognizable as Rapunzel. I love the color and movement of the new skirt fabric--it reminds me of the wonderful draping animation in the movie. The fabric comes out of the box a bit wrinkled (especially in the back of the dress).
I might prefer the color scheme of the older dress, but I do like the fact that the lacing in the bodice is so visible in the new dress. Although Rapunzel never wore shoes in the movie, it's nice that the new doll comes with some simple purple flats.
My older doll had her hair in a braid, so it looks more wavy than it did originally, but you can see that aside from the tiny bit more length on the newer doll, the hair on these two is very comparable.
Underneath the skirt, Rapunzel has the new plastic legs with knee and ankle articulation (and flat feet).
Here's the dress again--I really like this dress:
|The new Rapunzel can turn invisible.|
Under the clothing, the two dolls are the same above the waist. Below the waist, each has a trick the other can't do. The older Rapunzel can move her legs from side to side while the new doll can't. The new doll can rotate her ankles, point and flex her feet, and bend her knee joint more. Also, the new plastic legs do not attract glitter and can be easily washed off.
|Tip me over and pour me out!|
Disney Store dolls are always full of character and incredibly fun to pose, and this girl is no exception:
|It looks like she's holding a hair baby.|
|Rapunzel's senior portrait: voted most likely to secretly be a princess.|
|Playing the hair harp.|
|The hills are alive...|
If you recall, I liked the last version of Rapunzel quite a lot, despite her funny eyes and glitter stubble. I have to give Disney huge credit for taking the time to try and improve something that was already pretty great. It seems to me that they succeeded in improving Rapunzel--the new lower body articulation, the sweeter face, the non-rubbery legs, the glitter-stabilized dress...all of these elements combine to make a better doll. I have to say, if I'd know that this beauty was coming, I'd have skipped that last version and held on to my money to buy another one of the new dolls. From what I've seen, the whole 2012 princess lineup looks great. You can see some in-box pictures of the new Cinderella over on facebook if you're curious--another charming new iteration of a cherished favorite.
**UPDATE: after playing with Cinderella, I need to backpedal my praise for the new articulated body a little bit. Stay tuned and I'll post a few more pictures so you can see what I mean. The short version of my complaint is that the new dolls can't sit as gracefully as the older dolls. Also, my Cinderella's joints are deformed! Here's the link to my update.