Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Anna and Elsa Ice Skating Set from the Disney Store--A Guest Review!

Well, it seems like there has finally been an enduring re-stock of Frozen dolls over at the Disney Store.  While the 12 inch Kristoff and Hans characters sold out again fairly quickly (and Elsa comes in and out of stock) there are still many great dolls available--including a few new additions.  I was just starting to put together a review of one of the new Mini Wardrobe playsets for you when I got an email from Zoe.  Zoe has been waiting a long time to write a guest review, and as luck would have it, she recently purchased the exclusive Anna and Elsa Ice Skating set--another new addition to the Disney Store lineup.  So, I decided to create a short two-review series to close out this week:  Zoe will review the Anna and Elsa set today, and then I will review a Mini Wardrobe set tomorrow.

I first met Zoe back in June, right after Samehch's Bratz doll overview.  Not only does Zoe know a lot about the early Bratz dolls, but she also shares my passion for Liv dolls and fairy tales.  Zoe's fairy tale fondness enticed her into collecting Ever After High dolls, and also many of the Disney Princesses, which gives her some great reference points for this review.  Thank you so much for sharing this rare sister set with us, Zoe!

Elsa (left) and Anna (right) from the Disney Store Ice Skating set.
Thank you Emily for letting me write this review.  My name is Zoe and I live in the south east of England.  I collect the Disney Classic dolls and Ever After High dolls, as well as having a historic collection of Bratz.  The idea to write this review came about after Frozen merchandise was re-stocked here in the UK.  What followed this re-stock can only be described as chaos.  People were desperately racing out to stores and ordering online.  I was lucky enough to order a new Frozen doll set online - the Ice Skating set - and have it delivered.

Here is the set as it arrived in its packaging and a close-up of the dolls. Unfortunately, my box was a bit bashed-up as the courier decided to throw the package over our gate.



The reverse of the packaging has a nice image of Elsa helping Anna learn to skate. What I found a bit bizarre with this is that the cartoon Anna is wearing her winter gear rather than the summer outfit that the actual doll is wearing.


The de-boxing was fairly simple at first, but removing the dolls themselves proved a slight challenge. Small plastic tabs fixed the plastic front of the box to the cardboard background, and this separated with ease.

There were plastic wires holding the dolls in by the waist and a number of plastic ties fixed to the dolls' heads and clothing. The plastic ties were a nightmare to remove, since a lot of these were very small and took a long time to find. Some step-by-step pictures of the de-boxing can be seen below:



Once out of the box, the dolls were still joined together at the hands with some plastic casing. Having them joined allowed them to balance and stand up freely.



However, once this attachment was removed, getting the dolls to stand was a completely different story. I had the most issues with Elsa and it took a lot of effort and patience to get her standing on her own.


Now, I'll look at the dolls individually. One of the things I said to Emily about doing this review was that I wanted to compare these newer dolls to the first release Frozen dolls and also to the 2014 Classic Disney dolls

I'll look at Elsa first.


From what I can tell, Elsa's face mold and dress are exactly the same as the first release doll. The main differences on the doll are in the makeup. The first Elsa (always shown on the left, below) has a lighter purple eyeshadow but bolder eyeliner whereas newer Elsa appears to have bolder purple eyeshadow and a less definitive eyeliner. Also, newer Elsa has a pinker lip than the slightly darker lips of the first Elsa. My first Elsa was secondhand as I purchased her when the Elsa doll drought occurred here in the UK.  This older doll's hair has always been looser, but from what I can tell, the hair was originally in exactly the same style as the newer Elsa’s.  The new doll's hair is very rigid with a lot of hair product.

Original Elsa (left), Ice Skating Elsa (right).

As I mentioned, the Ice Skating Elsa's dress is exactly the same as the original, but the shoes are completely different! Rather than the disappointing blue pumps of the original, Elsa sports a pair of her famous crystal ice slippers, but these have a bottom skate. 


These shoes are lovely-looking, but they're a nightmare to keep on Elsa’s feet. She has flat feet, and these do not curve to the new shoe's shape, so the shoes do not stay on unless they're tied with the bands.


As you can see, this is a nightmare for balance as Elsa demonstrates in the photos. She managed to balance briefly with Anna’s help, but she then faceplanted the floor and her shoes went flying.



Next, I looked at Anna.  I was really excited to see that she is different from her initial release doll! Most noticeably, she is wearing a completely different outfit, but also her hair does not feature a white streak, since the ice skating scene in the movie was after she is cured of her frozen heart.



I'm not convinced these dolls use the same head mold. I'm not an expert, but as soon as I saw the new Anna, she looked different in the face.  To me her face looks slightly longer and less round:

Original Anna (left), Ice Skating Anna (right).
Comparing the first Anna to new Anna, some other differences are clear. Newer Anna has a light blue eye shadow above her lid which is missing from the first Anna. Newer Anna also has lighter freckles and slightly darker green eyes.


Ice Skating Anna’s outfit is completely different from the original. It is a great reproduction of what she wears in the final scenes of the film. It features a two-piece outfit with an attached shirt and bodice and a separate skirt. She also wears a pair of cream boots with olive green accents finished with the silver blades at the bottom to complete this skating set.  


I love once again how the quality of the clothing on this doll does justice to what fans will be expecting. The bodice/shirt has a Velcro seam up the back making it easy to put on and the skirt has a similar Velcro fastening. The boots have a good slit up the back making them easy to get onto Anna’s feet.

Next, I was curious to see how the new dolls' articulation compared to my initial Frozen dolls.

I don’t own any doll stands for my Disney dolls so in this review I am using Ever After High stands. First of all, here are the 2 dolls next to each other.


Each of the dolls has 13 points of articulation: shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and neck. This is the exact same articulation as in the initial dolls. The legs are the harder vinyl compared to the newest dolls from Disney, and they have the hinged knees that give these dolls a ‘bowed-leg’ look.

When the dolls sit, they can only sit with their legs splayed apart in a straddle.  This creates a somewhat unattractive sitting position, as Emily showed in a previous review.


The dolls can do very good front splits but not side splits.



There are some key differences between the first Frozen dolls and the newer dolls. My first Frozen dolls have terrible joints – Anna has really tight hip joints and will not sit up no matter how hard I try and Elsa is very loose in some places. Compared to the newer dolls, the older dolls either cannot sit or sit in an almost laying down position. Also, it is clear in the pictures that the older dolls have much more bowed legs and this appears to be somewhat corrected in the newer releases.

From left to right: original Elsa, Ice Skating Elsa, Ice Skating Anna, original Anna.
From left to right: original Elsa, Ice Skating Elsa, Ice Skating Anna, original Anna.
Next, I compared the articulation to 2014 Merida. She can sit more elegantly on the floor with her legs together and can generally hold her front splits better. She can also do side splits where Anna and Elsa cannot. But despite this, as mentioned in another review, due to the restricted knee click joints, the levels of posing are extremely limited and the Frozen dolls definitely win on this account!




I had great fun (although with difficulty) posing my new Frozen dolls, here are some of my shots below!

Ice Skating Anna and Elsa

Ice Skating Anna and Elsa

Ice Skating Anna and Elsa

Finally, thank you Emily once again for allowing me to write this review, it has been a pleasure. For anyone thinking of purchasing these dolls (if and when they become available again) I would definitely recommend them. This set was £25.00 (approximately $40) when I got them directly from the Disney store making each individual doll £12.50 which is their standard price separately here in the UK. I think the improved articulation is great and I’m glad they didn’t revert back to the knee-click joints of the new 2014 dolls.

I will leave you with a picture of my new Frozen dolls with the original Anna and Elsa:

From left to right: original Elsa, Ice Skating Elsa, Ice Skating Anna, original Anna.

14 comments:

  1. I have the two original dolls, and was not going to get these two, but on further consideration I think that they are different enough that I just might!

    -Morgan .B

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  2. I guess this was a sort of replacement for the ones I bought it was the coranation day set with winter outfits. Since they didn't bring it back wait does that mean I might have a collectable! I doubt it though:) -GEM

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  3. is there a place where i can but only elsa's shoes and ice skating anna herself instead of the whole set? i love these two so much!

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    1. On eBay you can get the set new for only 3.99 plus free shipping just type frozen ice skating set that's cheap and if u order soon it will get to you before Christmas..

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  4. Here's a great short tutorial on how to fix bowed legs:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pseudanonymous/15405725815/

    Plus, thanks for this review! I want to try to get this set for my little sister since she wants her own DS Frozen dolls, and knowing a little more about this set helped. :)

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  5. Beautifully done, Zoe! I also think the new Anna has a slightly different look as well (I kind of prefer her!)..your photos are beautiful. Great job!

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  6. Thanks for this post! I'm with you and Farrah Lily. The Ice Skating Anna does look different, and her face shape seems slightly changed. I've been waiting for this set to show up in the US since late September. Hopefully we'll get it on the US Disney Store site soon! Thanks for sharing all these pictures to tide us over in the meantime. ;)

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  7. Is it just me or does the new Merida have derp eyes?

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  8. Blogger ate my last (really long) comment, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this lovely review! I love how you compared the dolls to their first releases, and it's really nice to see that Disney hasn't given up on the hinged knees yet! Hopefully this means they are working on improving them to use for all their Classic dolls soon.
    And I completely hear you on the international Disney prices; we don't have a Disney Store website for Canada, so to get the dolls you need to order from the US store...and pay $25 shipping for a $10 doll. Eek! Hence why I don't have any Disney dolls. These two though are trying very hard to change my mind! I love Anna's summer outfit so much; the muted shades of green with her red hair is perfect! And the scene they are based on is of course probably the single sweetest scene in the movie. ;) Again, I love the review! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  9. This was very wonderful news to me! I'm pleased that Disney is still using the hinged knees. To be honest, I'm not fond of the click knee joints. They can be a bit dicey at times. Especially the plastic "skeleton" click joints. I had one that I accidentally broke. But anyway, I really do prefer the hinge knees, even though the sitting position is a little bit strange. It really makes for good posing! Great review. I am so excited to check out the nearest Disney store. Hope they have this!!

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  10. I love this set, but I wish Elsa was a little more different. It's like buying the same doll again pretty much. On the other hand, I am giving my daughters the Elsa and Anna classic dolls for Xmas, so I might get this set for myself to keep it nice! I'd like to take it out of the box, though. I'm assuming they don't come with stands. What kind of stands did you use?

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  11. My Anna came with a defect with her left skate! It's supposed to have a silver blade, but instead it's painted dark green like the soles! At first I was a little disappointed but now I see to appreciate such a rare and unique flaw! And my Elsa doll also had two right shoes! Double rare!! But she can't stand very well on her left foot when wearing them! XD

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