Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Quick Look at the New Rapunzel Doll from the Disney Store

In my Brave Merida review, I praised the new articulation of the Disney Store dolls, and also wondered if the latest 12" version of Tangled's Rapunzel has a new face mold.   Even though it feels like I just recently reviewed a Disney Store Rapunzel, the "2 for $22 sale" at the Disney Store made it hard to resist investigating this slightly newer version.  Rapunzel arrived the other day:

The newest version of Rapunzel and her predecessor.
Her packaging is very similar to the last Rapunzel, so I won't get into much detail.  It is quite a bit pinker than the last box:
The newest 12" Disney Store Rapunzel doll.
 On the back of the box, there's this picture of Rapunzel, which I think is strange:

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 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!
The lower leg is made out of a more bendable plastic than the upper leg. The lower leg seems like the same plastic that is in the doll's arms, which the thighs are the same plastic as the torso.

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.



  1. She's gorgeous! And less glitter is always a plus. I think her dress looks better made as a whole, to be honest - the bodice looks nicer to me. One thing I prefer about the older model, though, is the eyebrows. I think the older ones look better with the more natural colouring. But the new girl is still superb.

    Hngh! Oh dear. I may have to...visit the Disney store...when I get paid. :(

    1. Hi Frankie--you're exactly right about the bodices. Part of it is that my older Rapunzel's bodice has a sewing defect, so it doesn't look its best, but the newer dress does seem to fit better overall. I hadn't noticed the eyebrows, but I think I like the older ones best, too.

      Read my post about some potential problems with the new body before you hand over your money. I am not sure how many collectors will mind that the dolls don't sit very gracefully, but the quality control problems in my Cinderella are unsettling to me, even for an $11 doll. Definitely not the standard I have come to expect from the Disney Store. :(

    2. Hi again Emily!

      I just saw the Cinderella post - what a bummer! That's very disappointing, considering it's Disney and all. With all their experience of toy making you'd think someone would have spotted this in QC. Definitely made me think again :(

  2. She is definitely a better doll, even if the last one wasn't so bad! I love Cinderella's new face too, do you have very many of the other princesses?

    1. Hi Molly--I only have Rapunzel and Cinderella at this point. I adore Cinderella's face paint, but I think Rapunzel is my favorite of the two (this could be because of my Cinderella's factory flaws, though). Rapunzel's hair is so amazing, and the new face is great.

  3. Hello from Spain: i prefer the doll with articulated body. She is very real. I will have to visit the Disney Store. There are a lot of new dolls. Keep in touch

    1. There are a ton of new ones, aren't there? I can't wait to see some more real life pictures of the new princesses. :)

  4. Hi,
    can you tell me, if the quality of both Rapunzels hair the same is?
    Thank you

  5. Hi I bought the same doll in February she was great but after a wile her hair lost the rapunzel like shine so I tried to wash her hair with shampoo and conditioner but this left her a ugly messy mess and her hair is not shiny I could braid it but I want to appreciate the rapunzel length hair do you have any tips to fix her or I could just buy a new one thanks for reading many lines :)

  6. I had that Doll. But her hair had Split ends.