Friday, April 6, 2012

A Review of Rapunzel from the Tonner Doll Disney Showcase Collection

I love the Disney movie Tangled.  To put that in some perspective, I should mention that I am not a die-hard Disney movie enthusiast in general.  I love Cinderella (of course) and Beauty and the Beast, but I never cared much for Snow White (she's too whiny) and I couldn't make it through the frantic Frog Princess movie, but I love Tangled.  I usually cry the whole way through the movie, even now that I've seen it about eight times.  Maybe especially now that I've seen it eight times.  I cry when the queen is sick in the beginning.  I cry when baby Rapunzel is born.  I cry when baby Rapunzel is stolen.  I cry every time there is a lantern anywhere on the screen, and then in the middle when they release thousands of lanterns and Rapunzel and Flynn are singing about seeing the light...well, by then I am sobbing and gasping and there are tears streaming down my face.  It's good crying, of course (the kind that goes well with chocolate) but it's hard to explain that to my boys.  I think they are uncomfortable watching that movie with me because of all the crying.  They worry that there's something really wrong with me...which I guess there might be.

Anyway, I have been on a bit of a Disney kick lately because of the availability of the Tangled: Ever After short film.  You can watch it free online as many times as you want (4 for me so far).  There's been a huge selection of Rapunzel dolls on the market for a while now, but with the release of Ever After, a whole new crop has been introduced.  I decided I should review a few of these dolls--old and new.  I am going to start with a unique Rapunzel doll made by the Tonner Doll company:

Tonner Doll's Rapunzel from Tangled
Tonner dolls have some of the best packaging out there.  Simple cardboard shipper, and then a cardboard box inside:

Rapunzel is held in the box with two white ribbons, and her legs are protected from ribbon burn by a piece of white foam:

She has some shoes and a saddle stand in there with her:

Rapunzel doesn't wear shoes in the movie.
Here's everything that was in the box: 

I wish she'd have come with Pascal the chameleon!
Look at her hair!  It's in this huge white hair net, and also enclosed within a plastic bag.  Notice that there's no thread of any kind involved, the hair is perfectly neat, and it only took me about thirty seconds to get the hair unpackaged.  Why can't all dolls be boxed like this?

That's a lot of hair.

The hair is arguably the most important feature of any Rapunzel doll.  In general, Tonner hair runs the gamut from crispy and stiff to smooth and silky, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  There was an earlier Tonner Rapunzel doll sold through FAO Schwarz that had thin, bad hair.  This hair is amazing.  It is a wig, not rooted.  It is conditioned, but not greasy or goopy.  It can hold a lot of static electricity, but a dryer sheet will fix that pretty well.  You can actually comb it through in one stroke--no tangles or hassles.  It is very fun to play with.  It's a perfect length, too.  The length is nowhere near accurate to the movie, of course, but it is long enough to be special and noticeable and short enough to be manageable.  I love the color.  I love the feel.  It is practically perfect hair.  

So the hair is wonderful, but let's look at her face.  When I first saw the promotional pictures of this doll, I thought to myself, oh, man. Really?  They got the face totally wrong.  I didn't even consider ordering her back then, especially for almost $200.  To me, she looked nothing like the movie character:

But now that I have her, I see things a bit differently.  She's clearly Rapunzel, with the huge green eyes, freckles and ski jump nose, but she's not quite as cartoonish as the movie Rapunzel.  It's almost like she's the real Rapunzel who the movie character was based on.  I mean, she still looks pretty cartoonish compared to normal Tonner dolls (or real people), but everything is relative:

Her eyes are beautifully hand painted:

She has a few shiny parts on her nose and lip, but overall her face is excellent:

Here's her half profile:

Those short hairs sticking out on top of her head are the only
flaw with the huge amount of hair.  I just pulled them out.
And her full profile:

They got the nose almost right, and she has a slight overbite.
Her face has grown on me considerably. I really like her face.  She is definitely Rapunzel, but not another clone of the movie character.  I think the Mattel Rapunzels have a similar thing going on--they look more like Barbie than they do like the movie character, but they're still clearly Rapunzel dolls.  This doll looks like a Tonner doll and she looks like Rapunzel.  She is Tonner's interpretation of Rapunzel.  

She's lovely.
I braided the hair to get it out of the way.  I can see someone re-creating the beautiful flowered braid from the movie on this doll.  That would be stunning.  I did a really quick braid.  It is just the right length:

One flaw with the presentation of this doll is that the stand doesn't fit her.  She floats:

She even floats if you put her shoes on:

Rapunzel has the Ellowyne Wilde body, or so I'm told, and my guess is that since Ellowyne has fashion heels, her feet fit the stand and nobody bothered to change the stand to accommodate Rapunzel's flat feet.  It's a bit sloppy, but I have a million stands and so I don't mind that much.  Besides, she stands on her own really well for photographs:

Her outfit is pretty faithful to the movie.  It's actually fancier than the movie dress:

The front panel of the skirt is sewn in, but the decorations in the fabric are printed or painted, not sewn.

There's a full, but attached, petticoat with a lace trim:

The top is really beautiful and has some great details.  For example, the pink string actually laces through eyelets in the bodice:

The top is fully lined and closes in the back with metal snaps.

I don't currently own any Ellowyne Wilde dolls, so I can say for sure how the two bodies compare, but as I mentioned, I am pretty sure Rapunzel has the 16" "teen" Ellowyne body with flat feet:

She has 12 points of articulation (her ankles and waist are not jointed).  Her chest joint is not very maneuverable.  It moves from side-to-side a bit, but not at all from front to back:

That's as far to the side as the chest joint moves.
 Her arms have a wonderful range of motion:

She cannot do a sideways split, but she can do this:

And while I don't consider this real kneeling (like the Liv dolls can do) it is something:

Overall, her articulation is less than an Antoinette/Cami body or a Liv doll body, more than a Lorifina doll in the wrists, but less than Lorifina in the feet.

Here is a comparison of some of the Tonner body types:

Cami (left), Rapunzel, Cinderella (right)
Rapunzel can fit into Cinderella's outfit, but it is a bit tight:

One of Cami's outfits (Party All Night) is too small for can't be completely snapped up in back:

But looks cute from the front!

Here's Rapunzel next to a Moxie Teenz doll.  You can see that Rapunzel is considerably bigger, and her plastic is of a much higher, matte quality:

Here are some more shots of her.  She is very fun to photograph:



Here's Rapunzel examining my next Rapunzel review subject--the Disney Store's latest 12" version:

Do you like this little doll they made of me?
You can see the difference in the cartoon quality of their faces.  Next to the Disney store version, Tonner's Rapunzel looks calm and kind...and more real.


Bottom line?  I had serious reservations about ordering this doll.  I thought her promotional pictures were strange and didn't look anything like the movie character.  In the end, though, the high quality of Tonner's execution and my enduring love for the movie Tangled won me over.  This doll has glorious long hair, a lovely hand-painted face that is reminiscent of the movie, and a beautifully made outfit.  I wish her stand fit her, and I think it would have been great if she'd come with a little resin Pascal (you know, like the resin Golden Compass animals), but within moments of opening this doll, I knew I would love her.  In fact, she is currently one of my very favorite Rapunzel dolls and, as you'll see in the weeks to come, I have quite a few of them.


Age Level
10 and up
Prices are variable since the doll is almost sold out.  Original retail is high at around $190.
Very good quality.  The clothes are well constructed and detailed, although the outfit is fairly simple. The wig is long, soft and manageable.  Facial features are hand painted. The doll is well articulated and sturdy.  Stand doesn’t fit the doll.
Excellent.  Almost all cardboard and it’s very easy to remove the doll from the packaging.
Yes. Limited to 1000 pieces.
Although this is a character doll, she should be able to share Ellowyne Wilde’s extensive and unique wardrobe.  She is dissimilar enough to the movie Rapunzel to be her own character, if that’s what the collector wants.
Recommended, especially for those who love the Disney movie.



  1. She is gorgeous! (BTW I am glad to know I'm not the only one who bawls her eyes out through Tangled!)

    1. Oh good! We are not alone! Is it getting worse for you, too? I swear I cry more every time I see it. I cry in anticipation of the sad or happy parts now. Tangled has definitely become my "go to" movie when I need a good cry. That and "Love, Actually."

  2. Oh, she really is a dream! Haven't seen Tangled (yet, now I think I need to) so can't comment on that aspect, but her face is darling and the hair is fabulous.

    1. Thank you, Barb! Yes, I definitely recommend Tangled. I went to the theater and saw it by myself when it first came out (no one else in the theater, even!) and I laughed and cried out loud then, too. ;)

      Does her body look just like your Ellowyne body? I think some of the other Disney dolls have the 15" teen body instead, which has waist (and maybe ankle?) articulation. I like this body. It definitely works for the character.

    2. Yes, her body does look just like the Ellowyne body, including the minimal articulation of the upper body and no waist or ankle movement. Ellowyne has "heel feet" though, not flat.

  3. She looks like a really nice doll and great quality. I haven't seen the movie either, but I need to especially with Brave coming out soon (which looks awesome). That might be why I'm unsure about her face, it's a very pretty face but she looks bored to me.

    1. I am SO excited about Brave, too. It looks amazing!
      She does look bored in some of the pictures--I think it is the placement of her irises near the tops of her eyes. She doesn't strike me that way quite as much in person, but I definitely see what you're saying.

  4. Hello from Spain: I really like Rapunzel Toner. I see a doll quality. The dress is beautiful and very elegant. You make a very detailed comparison of different measures of the doll. A great job. Keep in touch.

    1. Thank you, Marta! She is a very nice quality doll. I think perhaps she could have been slightly less expensive, but I am very happy with her overall. :)

  5. I am sure you would probably have included this if it were true, but I have to ask; is Rapunzel's wig hair removable, like it is with other dolls such as the dolls in your Make it Mine review? I was curious, as I love this doll and want to buy her, but she's likely the only expensive doll i'll be able to buy for a long time. :) Thanks for a great review by the way!

    1. Hi Maryam--nope, Rapunzel's wig is glued on her head, not easily removable.

      It might have been fun to have it removable, especially since the hair is so long. One of the companies should make a Rapunzel doll with interchangeable wigs--one long blonde one and one short brown one!

      I hope you can find Rapunzel at a nice price! :)

    2. Me too, thanks for the reply! That doll idea is a good one. :D

  6. I was looking on Youtube today for videos of the Disney Rapunzel dolls - I love to see the dolls in 'real-time' so I can imagine I really have them, and see how they move, etc - and then I searched for a tonner Rapunzel youtube video/review and I found there weren't any. :O I'm not saying you have to or anything, but I have a suggestion: maybe you could make one? I think I and many others would enjoy seeing the tonner Rapunzel through a video, and not only pictures (though I am glad you wrote this review and provided lots of pictures!)

    Just a thought. ;)

    1. That's an excellent thought! I watched a lot of de-boxing reviews before I bought my first Pullip. It really helps! The only problem is that I don't have a good video camera. I'll definitely keep your suggestion in mind, though, because I often see an item I'd like to review, but I decide against it because it has moving parts or some kind of live action (like the Moxie Girlz horse) that could only be shown through video.

    2. Yes, I can see the problem reviewing there! A short video would be a good addition. I would just love to see this Rapunzel look real, so I can really imagine her being in my own hands... ^.^ Your review gives a real taste, but this would be even better. :D Good camera or no. ^.^ :P

  7. She's really pretty! I wish Tonner hadn't archived her because I'd love to get her.

  8. Hey, did you know that there's a new tonner rapunzel coming out this fall? She has the braided hair with flowers; otherwise she's exactly the same, except maybe some slight face changes. If you type 'tonner rapunzel' on ebay you'll see her. :D

  9. Hi, I have this doll and absolutley love her. However, with all of my 13 year old daughters, ummm, attentions, we did manange to "tangle" her hair horribly. I rinsed her head under hot water and the wig just peeled off. I am sending it to Dr. Noreen at the Tonner Doll Hospital for fixing. But, we have discovered that changing her hair is quite a relief. We got her a few wigs and she can wear her "Rapunzel" hair just for display. She has a lot more playability that way, I think. I love your review. I had the same thoughts at first, went back and bought her on the secondary market and she is our favorite doll. That face sculpt is SO beautiful. Thanks for the great reviews!!

  10. This is killing me I really want her!

  11. LOL! I see that 2 plus years ago she was a very wanted doll. I wanted her so badly but just couldn't at the time. Now I wish I had just gone and bought her. But then I missed all the special Disney releases also, so there must be something in that message. :)

    But she is exquisite!

    My best,

  12. She is absolutely stunning!!! I hope I am able to find her someday. <3