Hi I’m Julia, giving a guest review of the Anna & Elsa Classic Dolls by Disney. To begin I hadn’t considered writing a review so you won’t find Anna in her box. I’m quite impatient when it comes to “releasing” them. This is my first doll review so I hope y’all enjoy
|"Anna" and "Elsa" from the Disney movie, Frozen.|
Frozen is the newest Disney animated film that is set to be released on November 27th and is rated PG. The movie revolves around two sisters, Anna and Elsa, the details however I am very carefully avoiding. The story is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” What I have seen so far has me completely in love, with Anna especially. When Disney releases a new princess movie they also release an amped version of their Classic dolls. These dolls generally have more details, are more movie accurate, and include more pieces. They currently retail for $16.95, $2 more than than the regular “classic” line and are not included in the 2 for $10 each promotions.
As the eldest, Elsa should go first.
Elsa is absolutely stunning and its hard to believe this is a Classic doll.
|Here she is, clearly suffocating in her box.|
The box is clear plastic on the front and sides with a snowflake/flower hybrid border. The background is Arendelle in spring.
|Anna attempts to help free her sister.|
With the cardboard back partially removed there are two big wire twisties, 3 plastic tabs, and 4 of those little plastic |--| looking things that generally hold tags on clothes and whatnot. Going forward I will refer to them as “whatnots.” One of these is one of the dreaded “straight into the scalp” ones that are impossible to get out.
Finally out of the box! She does have one of the plastic whatnots holding her robe closed in the front. Her braid is also rubber-banded to her arm.
|The rear view.|
Elsa wears a one piece dress with a small bit of velcro in the back. With the exception for getting her hands through the sleeves it is nice and easy to put on. She also wears matching blue flats that are rubber-banded on. Amazingly with all that sparkle she doesn’t leave a trail of glitter behind her. In fact I only found two, literally two, pieces of glitter on the table I was working at.
|Tell me that isn't magnificent!|
On to Anna.
Oh, the spunk, the freckles, the pig tails! I just love everything about her thus far. Anna’s pigtails were attached to her cape with plastic whatnots which were a serious pain to remove without cutting her hair or ripping the thin fabric. Otherwise her removal was about the same as Elsa.
The box sans Anna:
The box sans Anna:
As I explained in the beginning, I had already de-boxed her when I thought to write a review. It's the same as Elsa’s box, except of course the image in the bottom right corner.
Without her hat the white streak in her pigtail is far more obvious. I think this is a fantastic touch for a standard play doll.
My Anna has an uneven part and a funky little pouf on her right back-side of her head. Like the kind you get when you fall asleep with your pigtails in. It doesn’t bother me since I plan on keeping her hat on.
My Anna also had a hand that was stained blue from her mittens. Or maybe that hand is just really cold.
Anna’s outfit includes a skirt, shirt, boots with raised gold designs on them, mittens, a hat that is held in place by a clear rubber band, and a cape that closes with an eye-hook. The bodice is accented with tasteful glitter and the skirt's design is printed on the fabric. The mittens are a bear to get on. She comes with her sleeves rubber-banded to her wrists to keep them down while her mittens are put on. I tried not putting them back on and it just wasn’t happening, I had to rubber-band her sleeves down again to get her fully redressed.
|The full cape.|
|While the bodice is technically one piece,|
the light blue shirt is a separate piece so you still get the effect of true layering.
And moving on . . . some box details that are identical with both dolls, like the inside of the boxes (left) and the back of the boxes (right):
The review of the articulation of these dolls has been done before so I won’t spend much time on this. I believe they are the 2012 body type with the hard legs and jointed ankles.
Elsa is clearly far more pale than Anna but you can tell they are related by that serious bowleggedness!
I tried convincing one to do side splits while the other did front splits.
But no. They just refused.
And that classy Disney Princess sit.
Here are their profiles:
Clearly different face molds.
With sisters it would have been easy to cheat on this one.
|And again with the fancy sitting...but less naked this time.|
And a few pictures of them together:
And they all lived happily ever after . . . . The End!
Well...not quite the end! It's Emily again. I told Julia that I would take a few pictures to compare my Anna and the $14.99 Mattel Anna that I found at Target. The price difference between these two dolls is only $2, but there are some critical differences in their features.
I also want to mention a wonderfully thorough review of one of the male dolls, Kristoff, from the Frozen lineup over at Casey Robin's blog.
The Mattel Anna comes in a slightly smaller box with very similar deign elements.
Here are the two dolls with the plastic shells removed from their boxes. They are each attached to a decorated cardboard backdrop:
Mattel Anna has a small movie picture that sits just in front of the doll's feet. The Anna is this picture makes me giggle. Elsa is beautiful, sly, and elegant...and Anna looks like a complete loony toon:
Here are the two dolls freed from their boxes. I could not agree more with Julia's assessment of the packaging of the Disney Store dolls. Those darned plastic ties in the dolls' heads are such a pain. They can't be worth it.
|Mattel Anna (L), Disney Store Anna (R).|
The face molds are significantly different. I would say that the Disney Store Anna looks quirky and cunning:
|Disney Store Anna.|
While the Mattel Anna looks a lot like the picture on the front of her box. A little spacey:
Disney Store Anna has dark blueish green side-glancing eyes and a lopsided grin. Mattel Anna has more symmetrical features, with wide-set, forward-glancing pale blue eyes.
Disney Store Anna's freckles are randomly scattered across her face and she has a nice level of detail in her eyes and eyebrows. Her eyelashes are depicted by a broad black line with just a hint of individual eyelashes in the outer edge.
Mattel Anna's freckles are more uniformly spaced and sit closer to her eyes. She has heavy black eyeliner and no eyelash pattern. Her eyebrows also lack any textural detail:
The dolls have similar profiles, but the Disney Store Anna has a smaller nose, larger ears and a more protruding jaw.
Mattel Anna's cape is made out of the exact same material as Disney Store Anna's cape. The Mattel cape has a black collar. The cape closes with a small velcro square that attaches to a gold plastic clasp.
The overall size is much smaller than the Disney Store cape.
|Mattel cape clasp.|
In contrast the Disney Store Anna's cape closes with an actual plastic hook and eye. The silver plastic hearts are decorative and have nice black accents.
|Disney Store cape.|
Underneath their capes, the dolls have very different interpretations of Anna's dress. You can see the movie version here.
The Disney Store doll has a very faithful rendition of the dress.
|Disney Store dress.|
The only mild disappointment to me, which Julia mentioned, is that the blouse is just a dicky sewn onto the vest:
In contrast, the Mattel doll has the bodice of her dress molded into her body, and the pattern is very different from the dress in the movie.
Both dolls have removable blue skirts. The Disney Store doll's skirt has a separate waist piece and is a deeper, royal blue color.
The flower pattern is different. The Mattel doll's skirt is on the left, below, and the Disney Store doll's skirt is on the right:
Both dolls are wearing black boots, but the Disney Store doll's boots (on the right, below) are taller and have painted gold accents and contrasting brown soles. I discovered that the Disney Store boots are incredibly hard to get back onto the doll, though, and I abandoned them after a few unsuccessful attempts. The Mattel boots slide on and off easily.
|Mattel boots (L), Disney Store boots (R).|
Prettier does not always mean better.
The Mattel doll comes with a pink plastic tiara and the Disney Store doll comes with a fabric cap. I much prefer the cap:
The last clothing difference is that the Disney Store doll comes with fuzzy blue gloves and the Mattel doll does not have any gloves. These gloves are cute, but they stained my Anna's hands blue, too, and I totally agree with Julia that they're a bear to get on:
Here are the two dolls without their clothes. Mattel Anna (L) has painted black underwear in addition to the rest of her painted clothes. Disney Store Anna (R) has royal blue painted underwear. The Disney Store doll has 13 points of articulation, the Mattel doll has five.
I took both dolls' hair down to see what the rooting pattern was like. Disney Store Anna has bright red hair with a white streak on her right side.
Her hair is pretty short, and is only rooted around the edges of her hairline and down the middle of the back of her head. There is a very large surface area of orange scalp exposed:
Mattel Anna's has longer, strawberry blonde hair with pale highlights and one larger pale streak:
Her hair is much more thickly rooted:
Julia informed me that there have been comments that the Disney Store Anna looks a lot like Classic Rapunzel. I wanted to put these dolls together to see for myself how similar they are. Here are the newest Rapunzel (left), Anna, and the 2012 Rapunzel (right):
|Anna is shorter because of the smaller size of her head.|
I guess I see some similarities in their smiles and their wide, green eyes, but the two are different enough to keep me happy. Anna's head is quite a bit smaller, for starters:
|Anna and the 2013 Rapunzel.|
Anna also has a very distinct profile with a ski-jump nose and a small chin:
Here's Anna with the 2012 Rapunzel:
The biggest difference between the most recent Rapunzel and Anna is that Anna's body has those awkward hinged knees again.
Here are some pictures to highlight the posing differences between the Mattel Anna and the Disney Store Anna. Despite her bowed legs, Disney Store Anna has many, many more realistic posing options:
|As you can see, I am clearly the superior doll.|
|Hugs, hugs hugs!|
Don't mind her, she's just very...ah...friendly.
Neither doll stands alone extremely well. Mattel Anna actually stands better than the Disney Store doll, mostly because Disney Anna buckles at the knees really easily and it's super-hard to get the Disney Store Anna's shoes on all of the way.
I had to snap pictures quickly to avoid this:
Bottom line? With only a $2 price difference, the Disney Store Anna is a much better deal. It's very hard for me to get past why the Mattel doll has her clothes molded to her body. It makes her incredibly un-versatile. Also, the Mattel face is vacant, making the doll seem silly and a little dim. I have to admit that I find Mattel Anna's spacey expression endearing from some angles, though. I also prefer Mattel Anna's longer, more thickly-rooted hair, despite it's lighter shade and less distinct pale streak.
While I definitely recommend the Disney Store doll over the Mattel counterpart, I am not as enthusiastic about the Disney Store Anna as I thought I would be. Going back to hinged knees seems like a frantic flip-flop on Disney's part. Why not just design a better knee joint? It is clearly necessary. Also, the sparsely-rooted hair will limit play options with this doll. My doll and Julia's doll both had blue stains on their hands, so this might be a widespread problem. Light staining doesn't bother me too much, but it is worth noting. I am more bothered by Anna's collapsing, bow-legged knee joints and her ill-fitting boots. Anna can't compete with some of the other debut Classic Princesses that I've owned. The original Rapunzel and Merida were both superior in terms of quality and accessories. Even when they're not at their best, these Disney Store dolls still offer a lot of personality and articulation for the money.
So, I think that the Disney Store Anna trumps Mattel's Anna, but after reading Julia's wonderful review, I suspect that the lovely Elsa might be the overall winner in this group.