Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Disney Store's Singing Elsa Doll from the Movie "Frozen"

Well, I finally went to see Frozen last week, and have become completely obsessed.  I took my whole family to see it again last night and then rushed home and pre-ordered the DVD.  I sing Let it Go in my sleep, cry when I hear Do You Want to Build a Snowman, and laugh every time I think of Olaf's face as he says, "I don't have a skull...or bones."  What a great movie!

I'm grateful to Julia for writing her guest review of the Disney Store's Anna and Elsa dolls, because if she hadn't taken the initiative, I never would have purchased any Frozen dolls right away, and now they're sold out almost everywhere and insanely hard to find for a reasonable price.  Of course the dolls I really wish I owned are the Disney Store's limited edition dolls--especially the set with Anna in her coronation dress and Elsa in her ice dress.  I always at least consider purchasing these Disney collector dolls when they are first announced, but all four of the Frozen dolls sold out in minutes and I was too slow to get one.

Fortunately, the Disney Store's 16" singing dolls (like the talking Merida I reviewed last year) occasionally share a face mold with the limited edition dolls.  The singing dolls are play quality and therefore not as nicely made or as highly articulated as the collector dolls, but they're still a decent, affordable alternative for anyone who likes the larger size or the face mold.  When I learned that the singing Elsa doll features a verse from Let it Go, I knew she was the doll for me:

Disney Frozen Singing Elsa Doll
Singing Elsa Doll from Frozen, $39.95.
The singing Anna and Elsa dolls cost about $10 more than the previous singing Disney dolls.  My only explanation for this price increase is that the new dolls are advertised as being "motion activated" rather than having their voices controlled by a sensor on the doll's hand.

At the time of this review, most of the Elsa dolls (except for the plush doll and the toddler) are sold out from the Disney Store.  I assume that this is temporary, but until they are re-stocked, prices are soaring on eBay and Amazon.  The 16" singing Elsa is currently selling on eBay for close to $100--the original price of the limited edition dolls.  Meanwhile, the limited edition dolls are selling for $200 and up.  It's a little crazy.  I hope this review will help anyone who is considering these prices but feeling unsure.

Elsa comes in a large cardboard box with a plastic window:

The front of the box advertises the song that she sings:

And also the fact that this song can be activated by motions like a simple hand wave:

I'll admit (SPOILERS!!) that before I saw the movie, I assumed that Elsa was the evil villain.  I might be the only one on the planet who thought this, but I jumped to this conclusion because the pictures of Elsa in the advertisements make her look shifty and sly--like the picture on the front of this box:

The back of the box is fairly simple, with two small portraits of Anna and Elsa, some holes for the sound to get through, and a little bit of text:

There's a small plastic tab sticking out of the back of the box.  This tab says, "pull me" and is connected to the doll.  Once the tab is removed, the motion-activated singing will start.  I'm glad that this tab was still in place when my doll arrived.  I would not have been able to look the UPS guy in the eye if Elsa had arrived singing at the top of her lungs...no matter how good the song is.

A cardboard panel pulls out of the main box.  Elsa is securely attached to this panel with two big wire ties:

The glittery train of Elsa's dress is crossed in front of her legs and held in place with those tiny little hard-to-see plastic ties:

Elsa's hands are bright blue, and apparently light up when she is singing.  I guess this is another explanation for the higher-than-usual retail price on this doll.  

Since Elsa is often wearing blue gloves in the movie, the blue hands don't look too out of place.  However, if I'm being picky, by the time Elsa changes into her ice dress, she's not wearing gloves anymore.  It's a big, turning point moment in the film.

The blue hands also reduce the versatility of this doll, so I am hoping that the light effect is impressive.

The cardboard behind Elsa is decorated with a picture of Arendelle.  It also has a molded plastic base made to cradle the head and torso of the doll.

Here's Elsa right out of the box:

One of the wire ties that held Elsa in place is looped in under her dress, so it takes some additional effort to pull it out.  I assume the tie was placed this way to prevent it from wrinkling the front of the dress.  The area of the dress just under the velcro looks tattered and unraveled from rubbing against the wire tie, though:

Elsa's ponytail is rubber-banded to her left arm:

When I cut the rubber band holding the hair in place, I noticed that the thin blue fabric of the sleeves seems to snag easily.  There are areas like this on both sleeves:

One edge of the skirt's hem is wrinkled from its position in the box:

The slit in the blue satin dress is also tacked together with tiny plastic ties:

After I removed the plastic ties, I pulled the skirt back to inspect Elsa's legs and shoes.  She has a sheet of white tissue paper wrapped around her upper legs to protect them from the bright color of the dress:

On closer inspection, the edges of the dress' seams are all very unraveled and messy:

The shoes are also disappointing.  These are not at all like the shoes Elsa wears with this dress in the movie:

I shifted my focus to Elsa's hair, and noticed that she had something plastic on the back of her head:

There's a circular piece of clear tape stuck to the back of her head.  I think this is to hold some tendrils of hair in place:

I very carefully peeled the tape circle away from the hair...

...only to find two more strips of tape underneath it!  These were harder to peel away because they were firmly attached to the hair:

I don't think I have ever seen tape in doll hair before--at least not on purpose.  Still, the hairstyle survived quite well and came out looking neat and tidy, but very flattened down:

There are several large, crispy curls stuck tightly to the top of Elsa's head.  These merge into a long braid that runs down her back.  The top part of the hairstyle is extremely hard--the hair barely moves at all, and only in big chunks.  In contrast, the braided hair is very soft and moves easily. 

This doll's hair is very light blonde.  It's not as platinum white as the movie Elsa's hair, but it's quite pale.  Many of my pictures seem to accentuate the yellow in this hair, making it look darker than it actually is.  

Elsa has an adorable face that does a nice job of capturing the spunk of the movie character.  Her face is more exaggerated than the sweeter features of the 12" Elsa doll.  I will use Julia's picture to show you a comparison:  

The 16" Elsa has large, side-glancing blue eyes and a lopsided, knowing smile.  I actually don't think that this doll has the same face mold as the limited edition Elsa dolls.  My doll has a quirkier smile, and she has squinty, smiling eyes.

The asymmetry of her mouth gives Elsa two very different profile shapes.  The right side of her face looks happy and bright, while the left side looks more subdued:

Elsa's vinyl is very pale with a faint blue tinge.  Her cheeks and nose are red--as though she's been out in the cold:

From some angles, this doll appears to have wonky eyes.  I think this is because the eyes have a steep slant, and the doll is looking very far off to her right side.  This gives the illusion of the right eye looking up and the left eye looking down:

She can be positioned so that both eyes are looking at the camera, though:

Elsa has blue eyes with black and blue lined iris detail.  I think that her entire iris is the same color blue in the background, but it looks two-toned because of the differently colored iris lines: 

Optical illusion.
She has iridescent purple eyeshadow surrounded on all sides by heavy black eyeliner and lightly drawn eyelashes.

Elsa has a small number of brown freckles around her nose.  Her lips are a rich red color.  I think the shiny areas around my Elsa's nose and mouth in these pictures are spots of hair product.  They washed right off. 

Notice the glitter everywhere.  It was all over my face, too!
Elsa's dress is a simplified version of the movie dress.  Sadly, it does not have any ice crystal details on the train.  It has a plain blue satin a-line skirt with a glitter-laden sweetheart bodice:

The translucent pale blue train attaches under Elsa's arms.  The fabric of the train is quite stiff, and it took a while for the packaging wrinkles to soften.

The neckline and sleeves are made out of a very fine, gauzy blue mesh that does not have any glitter.  This part of the dress looks great, but seems fragile, as evidenced by the snags I showed you on the sleeves.

Here you can see that the train attaches along the seam between the blue satin bodice and the pale blue top of the dress.  The train lifts completely away from the main part of the dress to reveal a non-glittery back and that messy velcro closure.  

The blue satin skirt does not have any glitter.  It has a high side slit, just like in the movie, but the skirt is nowhere near as form-fitting:

The stitching along the slit causes the edges to bunch and gather, giving a rumpled overall appearance:

Maybe I could iron that back into a straighter shape?
And, again, with the dress removed, it's even easier to see the unraveling along all of the inside edges:

Elsa's blue shoes are flat slippers.  Not only are these not true to the movie, but they do not allow the doll to stand on her own.  Her arched feet need a heel!

The Disney Store's Singing Cinderella doll's "glass" slippers are more accurate to the movie and they give Elsa much better balance.

Without her clothes, Elsa looks almost exactly like the other Disney Store singing dolls.  The only obvious exception is her blue arms:

Elsa's back has a heart-shaped speaker for the sound, a battery compartment, and an on/off switch on her side.  That small slit on the battery cover is where the pull-tab connected, keeping Elsa from belting out her song while she was still in her box.

The articulation in these dolls is frustrating.  Elsa has nine points of articulation, but her arms and knees are very simple hinges with no rotation whatsoever.  When I pose Elsa, I am constantly trying to move her arms in ways that they cannot go.  

That's as far as her hips can flex out to the side.
I understand that the limited arm movement is probably because of Elsa's light-up glove feature--just like the previous singing dolls' stiff arms helped accommodate the voice-activating mechanisms in their hands.  However, since the voice mechanism has been moved out of the hand with these Frozen dolls, I wish Disney had dropped the light-up features and given the dolls rotating elbows and bending wrists instead.  I mean, they've already made that body for the limited edition dolls...why not use it?

She can kneel, though!
Here's Elsa next to my 16" singing Cinderella so that you can see how similar their bodies are--and also see how pale and blue-ish Elsa is:

Cinderella has fancier underpants.
I assumed that there would be at least one fairly obvious difference between Elsa and the earlier 16" singing dolls: some kind of visible motion activation sensor.  However, I don't see anything on the front side of this doll that looks even remotely like a motion sensor:

How does it work?
It's a total mystery to me how waving at this doll can have any effect on her voice chip or her hand lights.  Does the sensor work through the hard plastic?  That would be impressive.  I wish I could do a cat scan of this doll to see what was going on in there.

Speaking of the lights, Elsa's forearm is translucent blue vinyl:  

When Elsa's voice mechanism is activated, her hands light up.  I should pause to say that I had a very hard time getting Elsa's voice mechanism to activate.  I waved at her, I snapped at her, I flipped her around, I jumped her up and down on the table...but only when I brought her out of the light and into a dark hallway did she start to sing...and her hands lit up very nicely.

I can't see exactly where the light is coming from, but it is a strong, pretty light.

Still mystified about the mechanism behind Elsa's motion activation, I decided to dress her back up and take her outside for some icy photographs in natural light.  

It was not easy to get Elsa back into her dress because the sleeves are a little tight for her wide hands.  This is a problem because of the fragile sleeve fabric:

I see more snags in this sleeve's future.
Here's one last picture of Cinderella with Elsa (in their glittery clothes):

The snow here in Maine definitely suits Elsa, although her hair looks even more yellow against the white backdrop, and the blueish tint to her skin is easier to see.  Still, she was right at home in the frigid conditions:

I promise her hair isn't really this yellow.

Here's a picture of one of her eyes in the daylight:

Elsa's exuberance about the winter landscape was clear...

Here I stand, in the light of day!
But she kept losing her balance...

...that happened.
But she'd get right back up again, with no break in enthusiasm:

I'm free!
The damp snow helped release the wrinkles in Elsa's dress, and the falling snowflakes added the decoration that was missing from her train:

When Elsa's hair got wet from the snow, the styling product became very sticky and soft.  I took the opportunity to try and loosen some of the crispy curls.  They don't move around too much, but I got them to sit a little further away from Elsa's head, which creates a more three dimensional style:

Elsa's rigid arms limit her posing, but she's very good at pointing to things outside:

Disney Frozen Elsa Doll

Elsa enjoyed admiring all of the fresh, light snow covering the trees:

Hmm...maybe I could build a snowman?
She also enjoyed running through the snow...

Disney Frozen Elsa Doll
I can't hold it back anymore!
...and even flopping down into it!

The cold never bothered me, anyway.
I thought that the snowy landscape would be a good place for Elsa to show you how nicely she can sing.  It took me a while to get her voice to activate out in the daylight.  I still have no idea how the voice mechanism works, but I know that once I got her started singing (by turning her switch on and off a few times and then bouncing her around...), it was difficult to make her stop.  Every little movement would trigger the song to start over again.

Here's my cheesy little movie:

The song quality is great and Idina Menzel's voice is amazing, but I wish there was more than just this one section of the song.  My other Disney singing dolls cycle through multiple parts of their songs.  My family was walking around the house for days filling in the parts that this doll leaves out.

Back inside, I decided to see what Elsa looks like with her hair down.  This is a play doll, after all, and I am not sure how well the crispy hairstyle will hold up.  I also think there are probably a lot of kids who would like to be able to brush Elsa's long hair.

So...what happens when that braid comes out?

The long part of the braid comes out very easily, but there's a small braided section tucked up under the crispy curls that is anchored with another rubber band.   

This section is a little harder to release:

Here's the hair completely let down:

The rooting is slightly thin in the back, but the hair fiber is very soft and smooth:

The shorter strands of hair that were braided at the very top of Elsa's head don't behave very well once they've been freed...

...so I gave the hair a quick boil wash:

I was very careful during the washing process not to get Elsa's body wet.  I would hate for her to stop her beautiful singing!  She wore a very stylish napkin dress to help protect her body.

The waves from the braided section of hair did not boil away completely, but the short sections of hair around Elsa's face are nice and straight:

The hair dried into a nice fluffy mass of softness.  It's fun to brush, but a little on the thin side in the back.

With some French braiding, it's possible to get the hair back into a simpler version of the original style: 

The hair is not very versatile, but at least it's not a disaster if it gets taken down or messed up.

I'll end with a few more pictures of Elsa outside in her element:

Disney Frozen Elsa Doll

Disney Frozen Elsa Doll

Bottom line?  I had a lot of fun with this doll, and she is a wonderful souvenir from the movie.  Her face clearly resembles Elsa, and captures a lot of the character's spunk and charm.  The doll's ability to sing a segment of the beloved song, Let it Go, in bright, clear audio adds significantly to her appeal.  I only wish she could sing more of the song.  I also enjoy the glowing blue hand effect, but I would gladly trade this gimmick for better arm articulation.

The biggest disappointment with this doll is her outfit.  The dress seems carelessly sewn, and is lacking many of the details that made the movie dress so special.  A fancier, more flowing train would have made a huge difference--or even just a decorated train like the one on the 12" Elsa doll.  Also, the shoes are an oversight.  Elsa never would have worn such frumpy slippers with her sexy ice dress.  I worry about the fragility of the fabric in the sleeves of this dress, especially since the doll's hands don't fit easily into the narrow openings.  All that being said, I did enjoy the dress to some degree, especially after some of the wrinkles relaxed and I saw how well it stood up to getting wet out in the snow.  The train might be stiff and plain, but it still adds a nice touch of drama to the otherwise plain outfit.

Overall, this doll is easily worth her original $40 price tag, mostly because of the connection to an unforgettable character, an epic song, and a wonderful movie.  Elsa is not a very versatile doll, but she is perfect for bringing the magic of the movie character into a child's games.  Depending on when the Disney Store retires this doll, she is also likely to hold some value as a collector's piece.  As to whether or not she's worth the $100-and-up prices on the secondary market right now, I'd say probably not--or at least not until she's permanently sold out from the Disney Store, which, of course, is always hard to predict. 

I still yearn for the limited edition version of Elsa--to have that gorgeous, crystal-encrusted dress and the wonderful arm articulation.  However, this 16" singing version has her own charm, with her cheery, unique face mold and her ability to sing so nicely.  I'd love to design this doll a custom ice gown (with a long, flowing train), and maybe re-style her hair into a dramatic, non-crispy up-do.  That could be a pretty special doll.  So my bottom line is that while I like this Elsa quite a lot...she's a bit of a fixer-upper. 

Disney Frozen Elsa Doll


  1. I wanted to buy Elsa as well but the disneystore (uk) isn't restocking her which I think is really odd. I might buy her sister soon though.

    1. Oh, wow--so maybe they are sold out for good, then? That's sad. I just assumed that they would get more dolls in stock eventually. I wonder if it's the same story here in the US? I mean, the movie is still in theaters! I'll see if I can get an answer from the Disney Store online chat...
      Anna is beautiful, too, though, and she's much easier to find for a normal price!

    2. Disney store uk are restocking in March/April I spoke with them today. Would b very silly if they didn't restock such a popular doll! Awesome review by the way �� don't think the uk singing version has the freaky looking blue arms �� x

  2. Lovely review! I have a review of the Limited Edition dolls from November up if you're interested in looking at it and also pre-ordered the ones coming out in March. Singing Elsa is one of the things I wish I bought before she sold out and I'm not willing to pay the outrageous prices on eBay for her, so I'm patiently waiting for her to re-stock again.

    1. Oh, Heather! You got them! That's wonderful! I will have to go look at your beautiful girls. They seem like especially nice limited editions. I agree that the eBay prices are out of hand, but the movie is so good that I am sympathetic to everyone wanting a doll...even at those prices! I will cross my fingers for a re-stock. There must be tons of people who still want to buy the singing dolls!

    2. They are very nice and the details on them are amazing. I'm also amazed at how much Elsa is going on the secondary market, and I can see her ending up like the Alice and Snow White dolls eventually, sadly.

    3. Hello Heather! I'm just wondering how you pre-ordered the LE dolls. I saw them on the UK Disney site but the people instore said it's not possible to pre order them. I have Singing Elsa but am dying for the LE version as well, I'm simply obssessed with her!

      I totally agree that Singing Elsa should have had at least the same cape as the 12" doll. I have that one too and it's gorgeous. In fact, I have every elsa except the LE... so the Classic, Singing, Plush and figurine. Yep, she's my favourite Disney Princess! (Queen) :))

      email is my name at gmail dot com if anyone has further info. Thanks so much!

  3. Great review, I haven't bought any of the singing dolls because while they're pretty I'm not willing to jump into another doll scale. It is however really cool learning more about them.
    I will say that in my personal experience, the Disney Store has the worst quality control when it comes to dolls. Just ask the 6 Little Mermaid Deluxe gift sets that I had to return due to defective Vanessa dolls. And to be totally nitpicky, Disney got Cinderella's shoes wrong. Those look like recast Snow White shoes. Cinderella's shoes should have a heart not a bow on them.

    1. Six gift sets, Aubrey? Wow! What a hassle. I have had a few quality issues here and there, but never anything that bad. I hope you finally got a good Vanessa!

      Good call on Cinderella's shoes! I am a Cinderella nut and didn't even know that! In fact, if I look at pics online of the shoes from the original Disney movie, I can't even tell what the design is supposed to be! I love getting input from a Disney Nerd! ;D Thank you!

  4. Amazing review! I love her facemold so much, but I agree with you about the dress... both her and the 12'' Elsa have very plain dresses :-( I believe the mechanism on these dolls with sensor activation is all about light and darkness, not the motion itself... I've seen videos of people pointing at these dolls with flashlights and they start to sing!

    1. Thank you! I am tempted to add some crystals and a new train to my Elsa's dress. I think it would look so much better! Icy Elsa can't have a plain dress--she deserves better!

      Very cool information about the voice mechanism! That makes total sense with my inability to get anything to happen when Elsa was in bright lights. I should have figured that out! Thank you so much for shedding some light on this--no pun intended. ;)

  5. I'd melt the fraying edges with a candle. Love her with loose hair and it looks whiter too.

    1. Yes--that's a great idea, to keep those edges from getting any worse. As long as my clumsy self can keep from burning her skirt...

      You're absolutely right that the hair looks whiter when it's taken down. The hair styling product darkened the hair a little and so washing it out really did lighten the hair--that's not just another strange camera effect. It's also probably in part because taking the braid out reduces the density of the hair. I like the color better when it's down, too.

  6. That doll looks cool! Before I watched the movie, I thought she was the villain too. :)

    1. Oh good, Claire! That makes me feel so much better! I thought I was the only one who figured she was evil. I spent the whole ice castle scene thinking, "oh, so THIS is when she reaches her breaking point and turns evil!" I am so glad that's not actually the way the movie went! :)

  7. Yay!!! Frozen is my new favorite movie (Pre-ordered it several weeks ago) but sadly the classic 12" versions of the dolls haven't been in stock on Disneystore.com for over a week. Its really sad because I made a 3 foot and some odd inches tall 2 story ice castle for Elsa to hang out in. Sadly it's frozen walls seem vacant without the beloved snow-queen. I'm hoping Disney restocks soon... But then again I might wait for a clearance sale (do you know when those usually are?) so I can get Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Hans for $5 each. Let me know if you happen to see them come back in-stock!


    1. Oh, wow! I'd love to see that ice castle! Sounds amazing. The sales tend to be at the end of each doll edition, from what I know. So, that means these dolls should go on sale when the new ones are ready to come out (in the summer). I have noticed that the first edition dolls are usually the nicest, too, so that would be a good sale! Sadly, if the dolls are always sold out, there won't be any to put on sale! I will post immediately on facebook if I notice any of them back in stock. :)

    2. Once I add the finishing touches (the balcony and fountain are still not up yet) I will make sure to email you a picture :) That is true... maybe I can find a coupon when they come back in stock. I am determined to get them! Yes the first edition are always better quality and have the best details, I've heard rumors that Elsa's snowflake adorned train wont have decorations in the next edition (not sure if it is true or not though). Thanks, i'll be sure to check back often. Also, have you seen the deluxe 12" doll gift-box set for frozen? It has both Anna and Elsa with both dresses they wear in the film (coronation and Ice/travel) for both dolls. It also has a cute fold out changing stand, manikins and a trunk. It is slightly pricey but the reason is that both their coronation gowns and the dolls are exclusive to the set (the dolls have their coronation up-do and different makeup than the classic versions). It has just sold out since yesterday, but if it ever comes back in stock you should take a look :)


  8. Nice review!

    I still haven't gotten around to seeing the movie, so I also thought Elsa was the villain. (In a lonely, forsaken, will be redeemed by her sister kinda way).

    I like the doll's face, but I just can't see past their really long arms! Why are they so long?

    1. Well, I had to stand up and check my own arm length when I read your comment, Panthera! I have been called "gorilla arms" a time or two, but I think this doll's arms are even slightly longer than mine. Not by a lot, though! ;D
      I'm sorry if I ruined some of the mystery of the movie for you! I went in to see it for the first time having been REALLY careful not to read or watch anything about it, and I am so glad I did. I often feel like the best parts of movies are given away in the trailers, so I try especially hard not to watch those! My kids claim that they knew all along that Elsa was ok, so maybe it's not so bad to know that one little detail...

    2. I've already spoiled the movie for myself by reading about the one love interest being .. not what he seems to be, so don't worry! What's important to me is the Disney magic anyway. The last few movies' trailers have been horrible (Tangled, Wreck it Ralph) and I've gone into the movie with no expectations, and then been really happily surprised.
      And since I hate Frozen's trailers, I'm hoping this one will be the same. ;o)

      Maybe I have short arms.. I haven't thought about it before, but I can just barely get my whole hand below my hip, and I can not reach lower than my butt without bending my back.
      Also something about Elsa's blue hands make her arms seem even longer I think. Cindarella doesn't seem as long-armed.

  9. Dear Emily,

    Before your blog, I was a mad doll collector. Now, I am a stark raving mad doll collector.
    In other words, I love your blog.

    By chance, I stumbled upon your blog four months ago. I read one review, and BOOM I was hooked. I recently finished going back and reading all of your reviews. Thank you for bringing The Toy Box Philosopher into existance. My blogger has problems, so I just have to comment as Anonymous.

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you so much! I like that I am converting others to join me in the realm of stark raving madness. Madness loves company. ;D
      It's great to have you here--thank you for reading all of my posts (!!).

  10. I wondering when more Frozen dolls would pop up on here! You can never get just one. I sure hope they restock before all too long, I'd love to buy and customize her one day since I'd probably have to save up for 5 years to get the Limited Edition doll. I'm an artist so making a custom beautiful dress wouldn't be too much of a stretch with enough practice.

    Since you're disappointed with the dress, I wanted to show you this, it's Singing Elsa with the Harrod's Exclusive dress. http://www.flickr.com/photos/68105287@N03/10880715725/in/faves-90661829@N05/

    She looks incredible in a more detailed dress. :)

    Ugh, I can relate to the Frozen doll scramble. I got my 12 inch Elsa when my DS got a brand new shipment, and they were going FAST. I barely got there in time for my Elsa before the shelf was totally empty once again. I'll be going back in February for Anna, but the playline dolls selling out is just crazy!

    1. Wow! She does look amazing in that dress! Thank you for the link--that's inspiring. In some ways, this Elsa in a nice dress would be better than the LE doll (or this is what I tell myself...) because she looks great and she can sing! It's just the darned arm articulation that bugs me. As a display doll, though, I guess it's not a huge deal.

      I have never seen anything like the sell-out rate of the Frozen dolls, at least not with any of the other Disney Store playline dolls. I just assumed that I would be able to grab a 12" Elsa at some point. JC Penney has similar 12" dolls: the Elsa has a plain dress and Anna is missing her cape, hat and gloves. Those dolls come into stock every now and then (Anna is in stock right now) and they only cost $12 ($10 of you buy two...) so that might be something to watch for, especially because you have the skill to add to or embellish the outfits! :)

  11. Unpopular opinion ahoy... I have no desire to see this movie. None whatsoever. The Snow Queen is my favorite fairy tale (OF ALL TIME! ALL TIME! /Kanye) and I'm wary of the Disneyfication of any of my favorites. My other reason is far more (read, really really) petty, but... here goes anyway: I cannot stand Idina Menzel. I like Santino Fontana (Hans) and Jonathan Groff (Kristoff), Broadway babies both, but Idina seriously makes me want to punch things. I told you it was petty.

    That said, this is a very pretty doll! I won't be getting it, but it's very pretty and as usual your review is incredible!

    1. I also don't care about the movie. Partly because all my friends are raving about it, but also because Disney just isn't my thing. I'll stick with Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Tron, and The Princess Bride, thank you very much. I agree, she is very pretty and her expression is unique, never seen that face in a play doll before.

      If it makes you feel any better, Emily, I also thought she was a villain. I mean, older sister living in a snow castle and making blizzards? Evil. I had no idea she wasn't until I started reading reviews and such.. Who knew?

    2. AJ, Frozen has next to nothing to do with The Snow Queen. It's an original story that has taken a little inspiration from that direction. I feel for you, it took me more than two decades to see The Little Mermaid because I loved the original story so much. But Frozen really is a whole different story. (Not that everyone *needs* to see it if they don't want to - but not seeing it for this reason alone makes me think that maybe you are missing out on a wonderful movie for a reason that doesn't really apply.)

      As for Idina Menzel, I don't have anything against her and her singing, but I felt her voice was too old for Elsa. I first saw the Finnish dub (with my little daughter) and both the translation and the voices were particularly good. Hearing the original Elsa after that came as a bit of a shock to me. I love the (original) soundtrack though, so I'm getting used to it - and I keep telling myself that Elsa had matured beyond her years.

    3. Hey AJ, an idea struck me today. You could try watching the movie in a different language, especially one you can understand, if possible. Of course, that would mean you'll be missing on the guys' original voices, but as for Elsa, literally any language sounds better than the original - I liked French, Norwegian, Russian and a few others. By the way, it is true that the only thing Frozen has in common with the Snow Queen is a queen who lives in a snow castle. Also, there's a reindeer. It's not even a creative interpretation, it's a completely different story.

    4. I know what you mean, AJ. The Snow Queen is one of my favorites, too, and I just can't get past that it was touted as an adaptation. It looks like a solid movie, though, but I think I'll wait until it comes out on DVD to see it.

      The dolls (and character designs) are gorgeous, though!

  12. i also thought she was the villian based on the commercials

  13. OMG she is so pretty. Why is she the only Elsa doll with eyelashes? All the others just have alot of eyeliner, which makes them look kinda weird ( to me ) Awesome review.

  14. Argh, I was hoping to get the four 12" Frozen dolls for myself in February, but Disneystore UK only has Anna and Hans left... and in Feb perhaps not those either. Oh well.

    Emily, I have been reading your wonderful blog for some time now. I check it almost every day for a new post, and keep reading back and enjoying the older posts until I'll eventually reach the very first one :)

    I live in Finland and many dolls can't be bought in a store here (or they're quite expensive) so I have to rely on online stores quite a bit. Having been able to read your reviews before ordering has been very helpful. It has surely spared me from a few big disappointments, but also drawn my notice to some dolls I probably would have completely overlooked if I hadn't studied your detailed descriptions first. I also appreciate it that you look at the dolls from such a variety of perspectives; it helps me both as a collector and as a parent who wants to
    get something nice and suitable for a kid.

    I have gained heaps of insight into doll quality from articulation to hair types and little details in accessories, thanks so much for it! I also love your sense of humor and the anatomical knowledge you pop into here and there. I read all your reviews regardless of whether the doll in question is interesting or not, so entertaining I find them. Here's for a wonderful doll year 2014, and all the best to you!

    1. Dear Moira, thank you so much for this wonderful comment! I started this blog because of several disappointments I had with my own doll buying. I was frustrated with the lack of online reviews, and with the reviews that just told about the good qualities of a doll and didn't mention any flaws. Flaws are not always going to stop me from buying, but I like to know what I am buying! Nothing makes me happier than to read that a review has helped someone with a purchase decision. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me this! It totally makes my day. :D

  15. I absolutely LOVE the face on this Elsa, but the dress and light up arms are deal-breakers for me. The smaller doll had a better dress, and Elsa's arms don't glow when she uses her magic in the film. Add to that the crazy shipping prices to Australia, and I'd probably have to pass on her, despite her beautiful face. Right now I'm just waiting for the 12 inch dolls to be restocked on the Disney store website.

  16. Emily, i just wanna say that they have new Anna and Elsa doll! and it's a Limited Edition, Elsa is wearing her coronation gown(a much fancier one than in the movie), and Anna is wearing her winter outfit in the movie, again more fancier, i hope you'll see this comment

  17. I don't honestly really like her face. But I do love Frozen! I can sing all of let it go, for the first time in forever, do you want to build a snowman, and most of in summer. I dragged my family to go see frozen again in theaters. Now if I can just convince my family that frozen would be the best birthday present ever....

  18. Hello, Emily! Just wanted to let you know two things:
    1) I love, love, LOVE your blog! I found it about a week ago and have since read through most of the articles. You've actually inspired me to start collecting dolls again, particularly EAH and maybe even MH (Perhaps a Tonner if I ever save up enough).
    2) According to the Disney Store staff I've stalked on Tumblr, most of the sold out Frozen dolls -- and merch in general -- won't be fully restocked until the March DVD release along with some new items. However, if you're lucky, you might be able to grab some because I've seen photos of select stores receiving small shipments.

    Can't wait for your next review! :D

    1. Thank you so much, Sherry! That's great information about the sold out dolls (maybe I can stop checking every morning now...). It's nice to hear that there will be a re-stock in March! With new items! That's very exciting. In the meantime, as I mentioned to Emma, some simpler, less expensive versions of the 12" dolls are available on and off at JC Penney (just Anna right now, but Elsa comes and goes).
      Many thanks again...now, I'm off to get working on that next review! ;)

  19. Great review, as always! The best part was your little movie. Seeing you act out the song with Elsa made me laugh out loud while drinking my morning coffee!

    1. Thank you, Heidi! Laughing with coffee can be dangerous, though! I hope that didn't end badly...

  20. I loved FROZEN to pieces to and set out to get 12" dolls of the three main characters. They were already sold out and I' been bitten by Disney's poor articulation and costumes before, so I ended up kitbashing play doll heads onto some spare Dynamite Girl bodies I have lying around.


    1. Awesome! The Mattel Elsa has a very sweet face and I love your pictures! Elsa is a minx! :D What a great idea (and now I know what "kitbashing" means...).

  21. I was just thinking of Frozen and the amazing dolls the Disney Store has. And I will finaly watch the movie. FINALY!!!!!!!

  22. Her face is so charming! Those eyes kill me. The video was cute and adorably cheesy. Another good review!

  23. That is probably the prettiest Elsa doll I've seen yet! If I didn't have an all-consuming hatred of noise-making toys (my daughter has the Talking Merida and it is SO LOUD), I would be tempted by this one! I love her face - it's not a bland smile, it has CHARACTER. (And she has freckles! I've been poring over screencaps to see if Elsa is actually freckled, in anticipation of the day I break down and add her to my Pullip Princess customizing lineup. :D)

    As for the dress...get your hands on some Fray-Check, if you don't already have some around. Those wide Disney Store hands do terrible things to the skinny, slippery sleeves - I spent quite a lot of this past Saturday re-stitching and Fray-Checking my daughter's 12" Merida doll dress!

  24. Her face sculpt and paint are absolutely exquisite, but I agree that her dress and shoes could have been handled better. Elsa's translucent blue arms remind me of some of the Mortal Kombat Sub-zero action figures produced by Jazwares.

    I haven't seen the film, but, as Emily and others have stated before me, I also got the impression that Elsa was the evil sister.

    I would think that the price/availability of the Frozen dolls will become more reasonable once the "newness" of the franchise has runs its course. In addition to the general popularity of Disney characters, it's also likely that a lot of sellers/scalpers bought up multiples of the dolls in the hopes of turning a substantial profit on the secondary market, creating local shortages and high online prices. I may be wrong, but my guess is that, in coming months, the dolls will become cheaper and easier to obtain.

  25. I really enjoyed your review on this beautiful 16 in. Elsa Doll! I am planning to buy it as soon as Disney restocks. I know now I should wait until Disney restocks to get it's original price. I have a couple of questions though. Do you think that normal sized Cinderella doll's shoes would fit this over sized Elsa Doll? Also, is there a way you can review the 16 in. Anna Singing Doll? I am planning to buy both dolls and want to know if it's worth the Disney's store price of $39.95 or Amazon's price of $57.95. Once again thank you for this amazing review.

    1. I recently purchased both dolls and can happily say that they are well worth the forty dollars as they are beautiful, quality dolls. Amazon's price does seem a bit high, though I would say that if you really want these dolls, go for it! Otherwise, you'll end up sitting and continuing to wait for heaven only knows when the Disney Store will *finally* restock. It's really up to you and how much you want the dolls. That said, they are a great buy and I am extremely pleased with mine!

  26. Awesome Review Emily!I saw frozen two times and literally cried each time Anna saved Elsa! Disney movies like this only come around once in a while. Now about the doll my only problem is her blue hands(shes really cold?) and the fact that Julia's Elsa captured the hairstyle more. But I absolutely LOVE her eyes they have the exact same expression that she has when she uses her powers when she's little and in let it go

  27. I loved this review...I think you're photos are amazing! What kind of camera do you use...because I've been wanting to take photos of my dolls, but I don't have a good enough camera?

  28. Great review Emily( as always!) I also fell in love with frozen the minute I heard the concept and have been obsessed ever since I went to see it in the theatre. I crie everytime I see the end scenes and have watched let it go in english and french a million times. The merchandise has been on my radar lately, so I knew I would be in for a treat when I first saw your post! I thought Elsa looked like a wonderful doll and had a more appealing face then the classic doll. Your pictures where lovely of her, especially of her outside in the snow, a setting that suited the doll well.I wasn't too drawn to Elsa based on the advertising.But now Elsa happens to be my favourite character and let it go is my favourite song in the movie, ( it's also my new alarm) so your review introduced me to an appealing doll. Oh and the other frozen lovers in this comment section also drew me to post a comment. - Keeley

  29. Where can I buy this doll? *__*

  30. What a great review! made me wanna change her hair, what should i use to wash/style it?

  31. Arendelle is the name :)

  32. Beautiful doll, wonderful review. Thank you very much!!!

  33. Hi, i've rather stupidly pulled the cord on the doll, is there anyway of reattaching at all, as its a gift for my niece, or am i looking at buying a new one?

    1. Maybe open the outer box and see if you can reach in and turn off the switch on Elsa's side without removing her from the backdrop. It's possible to flip the switch through the fabric of the dress--it's just above her left hip. Good luck!!! :)

  34. Whoa! Her singing quality is so well done! (not like the other singing Elsas out there!) And her face just invites you to break into a smile as well! Totally gonna get her!

  35. I bot this doll from ebay .co.uk the seller has lost hur shoes if anyone has a spair pair I am looking for a pair my email is maryhelencook60@gmail.com

  36. it's ok- i thought Elsa was gonna be the villain too XD