Showing posts sorted by relevance for query disney. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query disney. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sadness Figures from Pixar's "Inside Out"--A Comparison Review!

The Pixar movie Inside Out was released on DVD last week, and to celebrate I decided to review two different versions of Sadness--my favorite character from this show.  I absolutely love Inside Out, but when I watched it in the theater, I had to constantly battle with myself to suppress tears.  At one point I made a strange strangled noise to try and control an anguished sob, and the lady next to me shifted in her seat to increase the distance between us.  I don't blame her.  But there were other times during this movie--mostly when Sadness was talking--that I laughed until I was wiping away tears for the opposite reason.

As some of you might remember, my oldest son is getting ready to leave home and go to college, which is hectic, exciting, scary, wonderful...and sad.  Frankly, I walk around most days feeling emotionally stunned.  So this is a good year for me to latch onto a movie that deals with emotions and kids growing up.  And a good year to appreciate the delicate balance between joy and sadness.

I wanted a memento of Sadness from the movie, preferably one that would repeat some of the lines that made me laugh so hard.  As far as I know, there are only two large (non-plush) talking Sadness figures, one by Tomy and the other from the Disney Store.  I bought both to see which one captures this melancholy blue heroine the best:

Tomy's Sadness ($24.99) and Deluxe Talking Sadness from the Disney Store ($19.95).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2013 and 2014 "Ariel" and "Merida" from the Disney Store--A Joint Review!

The Disney Store tends to release their new versions of the Classic Princess dolls every summer, and I have been slow this year in taking a look at the new lineup.  I assumed that Anna and Elsa would be generously re-stocked (and perhaps re-designed) as part of this summer release, but I am amazed to see that the Frozen dolls are still only fleetingly and unpredictably available online.

All of the other Princesses are readily available, and there are even some new deluxe sets that look appealing.  I have plans to review the Rapunzel Deluxe Talking Doll set that I bought, but today I am going to look at two of the redheaded Classic Princesses--Ariel and Merida.

I am always curious to see what differences there are in the Disney Store dolls from one year to the next.  Some years the releases are very similar to their predecessors, but other years bring big changes--like new face molds, or (as in 2012) completely re-designed legs.  Last summer I chose Rapunzel and Mother Gothel to review, so I don't have the 2013 Ariel and Merida dolls here for a direct comparison.  Fortunately, my friend Morgan (who you met in the first Fusion post) has both of these dolls and agreed to help me write up this review.  Morgan will show you the 2013 Ariel and Merida, I will show you the 2014 dolls, and then Morgan will end the review with a side-by-side comparison.

2014 Ariel Disney Store
2014 Classic Ariel from the Disney Store.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Musical Magic Elsa" Doll by Mattel

Well, I am making some progress through my crazy-busy week (seven more lanterns done!) and wanted to post a short review of a Frozen doll...in honor of yesterday's much-anticipated DVD release.  Many of us were hoping for an enduring re-stock of Disney Store Frozen dolls to accompany the DVD debut, but this hasn't happened yet.  Most of the dolls seem to have come back into stock a few days ago (I don't know exactly when..I missed it), but they quickly sold out again.  As I'm writing this, only the mini doll set is still available.

I reviewed the Disney Store's 16" Singing Elsa doll a few months ago, and so today I want to give you a quick overview of one of Mattel's musical dolls, Musical Magic Elsa.  There is also a Musical Magic Anna, and these dolls have a retail price of around $26 each.  Musical Elsa, like every other Elsa doll on the planet these days, has become quite scarce, and so her current asking price is more like $50-$60.

"Musical Magic Elsa," by Mattel.  Not worth $50.

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-Rapunzel-Review
Tonner Doll's Rapunzel from Tangled

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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Animators' Mini Elsa Playset from The Disney Store

I'd like to thank Emma for her suggestion that I take a look at the new Disney Store mini Animators' doll playsets.  Not only is this a perfect suggestion for me (I love minis!) but it would have taken me ages to notice these new dolls on my own.  I actually saw the mini dolls during one of my routine browsing days at Disney online, but passed them over because I assumed they were the larger 16-inch versions of the Animators' dolls--just with more accessories.  Wrong!  These little 5-inch dolls are a whole new thing completely, and they are definitely worth a look.

The first release of Animators' mini dolls includes Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Ariel and Jasmine.  All of these characters come with several cute movie-themed accessories.  For example, Cinderella comes with a flocked Bruno (as a puppy), Gus and Jack the mice, and several smaller accessories.  Ariel comes with Flounder, Sebastian, a glittery starfish, and a seahorse pulling a carriage.  I was tempted by all of these sets, but ended up purchasing Elsa.  I didn't intend to review yet another Frozen doll, but I found the mini Anna and Elsa to be the most appealing of these newcomers.

Disney Animators' Mini Elsa
Animators' mini Elsa doll from the Disney Store playset ($19.95).

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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Endless Hair Kingdom Barbie by Mattel

I've been going to Toys R Us every week for the past month, trying to find something new and exciting to review.  This is often a slow time of year (after the holidays but before summer) for new doll releases.  In fact, I've been noticing absences from the shelves more than additions: Bratz dolls have been discontinued and are gradually disappearing, the Journey Girls have been replaced by American Girl, Winx Club dolls--and their Make it Pop imitators--are gone, and although Cabbage Patch Kids are still around, they look really different under the Wicked Cool Toys label.

Amidst all of these changes, evidence suggests that Mattel might be doing well--recovering from their multi-year financial slump.  I don't have a lot of data to support this, but the Toys R Us doll section in South Portland is certainly dominated by Mattel these days: there's Barbie, Ever After High, Monster High, My Mini MixieQ, DC Super Hero Girls, Loving Family...and of course the whole American Girl mini-store.  The only chink in Mattel's armor seems to be the fact that Hasbro scored the Disney Princess license.

Mattel's dominance doesn't bother me the way it used to.  I think this company is starting to make a lot of great changes.  While I've all but lost interest in Monster High and Ever After High, I'm very excited about some of American Girl's new releases: the WellieWishers, Melody, Gabriella, Logan, Z and Nanea.  The Barbie aisle is more exciting to me now than it's ever been, too, with the brilliantly-articulated Made to Move characters and the diversity of body types and skin tones in the Fashionista line.  In fact, the most interesting doll I found at Toys R Us last week is a Barbie doll.  This doll is from Mattel's Endless Hair Kingdom collection.  She caught my eye because of her size (about 17 inches), her great articulation, and her very long hair:

Endless Hair Kingdom Barbie, $24.99.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fairy Tale High "Teen Rapunzel" by S-K Victory

Fairy Tale High (known as "Fairy Tale Academy" at the 2013 Toy Fair launch) is yet another brand of 12-inch play doll that is using the fairy tale princess theme.  Fairy Tale High's angle is that all of the princesses are modern teenagers attending the same school of performing arts.  At least it's not fashion school.

The number of dolls that have something to do with princesses or fairy tales this year is shockingly high.  I can count about nine different doll lines: The current Disney Store and Mattel versions of the Disney Princesses, La Dee Da Fairy Tale Dance, Cutie Pops Crown Cuties, Ever After High, Monster High Scary Tales, Once Upon a Zombie and Fairy Tale High.  And I guess I could also include the Bratzillaz Witchy Princesses, but they don't really look much different from the normal Bratzillaz.  Anyway, it's out of control.  The question is, do we need all of these different princess characters?  I mean, which ones are offering something truly unique?

I have been reluctant to review this particular doll because when she arrived in the mail, her face was a disappointment.  I don't find anything appealing about her facial screening or her expression, and I tend not to review dolls that I know I won't like.  Some recent conversations in the comments section and pictures on Flickr inspired me to reconsider.  I decided that she was worth de-boxing, if only so that I could reference her as I review some of the princess dolls I am more excited about.  Rapunzel cost me $17.99 at Toys R Us:

Fairy Tale High "Teen Rapunzel," by S-K Victory.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Star Darlings "Sage" from the Disney Store

It seems impossible to me that it's already December.  The sunny, 50 degree weather here in Maine certainly doesn't help me wrap my mind around the fact that there are only 16 days left until Christmas.  I had at least five dolls that I wanted to review before the holidays, and while that won't happen, I do have an interesting newcomer to show you today.  She is called a Star Darling and is designed around a theme of wishes and magic--which I figured would help me get into the right mindset for this time of year.

The Star Darlings are characters in a series of Disney fantasy books geared towards 8 to 12-year-olds.  There are currently two books available for sale and an additional four books ready for pre-order.  Five of the characters from these books have been released as dolls, and they can be found at the Disney Store for the whopping price of $29.95 each.

I was drawn to the Star Darlings series because of the promising description of the dolls.  They have inset eyes, colorful hair and plenty of articulation...and they don't look like typical Disney Store dolls.  Fresh on the heels of the Disney Descendants dolls (made by Hasbro) the Disney Store has introduced yet another toy designer to their entourage: Jakks Pacific.  I think the Star Darlings resemble the Jakks Pacific Disney Fairies quite a lot, but they don't use the same body or face.  I'm always excited to see truly new things on the market, and so I eagerly ordered myself a Star Darlings doll the moment they appeared on the website.  I chose Sage because she is the heroine of the very first book in the Star Darlings series:

Disney's Star Darlings "Sage" doll, $29.95.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Disney "Princess & Me" Rapunzel Jewel Edition Doll by Jakks Pacific

Over the last year, I have had several requests to review one of the Disney "Princess & Me" dolls.  I can understand why people are curious about these dolls.  First of all, at just under 20 inches tall, they make impressive gifts.  In addition, they portray the beloved Disney Princesses, and so collectors and enthusiasts of these characters will be tempted to own a large version of their favorite heroine.  Also, these dolls are comparably sized to many slim 18" play dolls like Carpatina, Kidz 'n' Cats and Magic Attic, which makes clothes-sharing an added temptation.

To be honest, I always walk a little faster past this section of the Disney doll aisle, purposefully avoiding eye contact with these huge princesses.  Their oversized faces and round, staring eyes freak me out a little.  Also, the price tag is a bit of a stunner.  All of the dolls cost $50 except for the Diamond Edition Cinderella, who (because of a bigger dress?) is $60.  That's really expensive for a Toys R Us play doll.  So, I have been reluctantly watching for a sale, but secretly hoping that I would never need to bring one of these large, glassy-eyed girls home with me.

As luck would have it, over April break, a really good sale started at Toys R Us.  All of the princesses (including Cinderella) were $39.99 (sale ends May 11th).  I headed over to my local Toys R Us and, with my teenaged son running in the opposite direction as fast as he could, I bit the bullet and settled in to inspect all of the dolls.  While Cinderella was the obvious choice for me, especially with the $20 off sale, I actually found Rapunzel to be the most appealing doll in the group:

Disney "Princess & Me" Rapunzel doll.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review Fusion #2

I am delighted to have another Review Fusion today!  I wasn't sure if this idea was going to work, so I'd really like to thank all of the reviewers who have been willing to share posts with one another and contribute to these fun combinations!  I love grab bags and surprises, and I think this ever-changing blend of dolls and perspectives feeds into that passion.  I hope you enjoy the mix, too.

I am in the midst of trying to inject some order into my madness (in other words, rearrange my doll room) and so having the help of such wonderful guest reviewers is amazing.  Today, I have two reviewers, George and Amanda, and they will be talking to you about a Mattel Winx Club Bloom doll and a Disney Store singing Cinderella (eeee!).  The cover picture this week is an extraordinary photograph that I have been holding on to for months, waiting for the right moment to share it with you.  This exquisite girl is a new Cutie Face Makie (like Effie) named "Ever."  Ever is owned by Amy and was customized to Amy's specifications by Sioux.  You can see more of Amy's pictures of Ever on her gorgeous Flickr photostream.  I think Ever is magical:

Makie doll, "Ever."  Photo by Amy, used with permission.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Disney Store Doll Articulation Update

I wasn't as thorough as I should have been with my Disney Store Rapunzel review yesterday, or with my 12" Merida review, for that matter.  Fortunately, I had time this morning to de-box Cinderella, and she made some of the flaws and potential problems with the new articulation pretty glaringly obvious.

Cinderella enchanted me from within her box, mostly because of her coy side-glancing eyes:

Disney-Store-Cinderella-New
Charming, right?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Disney Descendants "Signature Mal" Doll by Hasbro

The Disney Channel is releasing a movie at the end of the month called Descendants.  This show is set in a modern-day imaginary kingdom and focuses on the offspring of famous Disney characters.  Re-imagining fairy tales has been an extremely popular theme these past few years--both in the movie/television world (Maleficent, Cinderella, Snow White and the Huntsman, Once Upon a Time, etc.) and in the doll world (Ever After High, Once Upon a Zombie, Fairy Tale High, Tonner's Re-Imagination line...and probably a few that I'm forgetting).  It's especially noteworthy how similar the Descendants premise is to the the inspiration behind Ever After High.

The Descendants movie plot centers around Ben, who is the son of Belle and the Beast.  The teenaged prince decides to invite several of the villain's kids (who have grown up banished on the Isle of the Lost) to attend his fancy prep school...and then--if I am judging from the trailer correctly--promptly falls in love with one of them.  The villain kids feel torn between the wishes of their evil parents and a growing fondness for Ben and his royal friends.  Several things about this whole set-up are confusing to me (do all of the fairy tale characters live in the same kingdom?  Are they all the same age?  Why does Ben get to be the leader?  Didn't most of the villains die before they got to reproduce?) but I'm willing to wait and see if everything is explained in the actual movie.

I thought that the 11-inch Descendants fashion dolls were being released just before the movie (on July 20th), so I pre-ordered a few of them and was eagerly anticipating their arrival.  However, last weekend I was visiting a Toys R Us store up north and found four of the dolls already in stock!  This was a nice surprise, so I jumped on the chance to do a review of one of the characters I didn't pre-order--who actually seems like she might be the star of the whole movie: Mal, the daughter of Maleficent.

Doll review
Disney Descendants "Signature Mal" doll, $19.99.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Ily 4EVER Fashion Dolls by Disney

Many of you (and most of Twitter) have been excited about the new Disney ily 4EVER dolls for a few weeks now, but it's taken me this long to produce a review.  Sorry!  I'm not good at doing things quickly.  I'm especially not good at writing reviews quickly, and I fear that I'm getting slower over time.  I think this is mostly because I obsess over photographs more than I ever used to, which can be a huge time suck.  Ordinarily, my slow pace is not much of a concern; it suits my life, and the reviews get done eventually.  However, when there's a hot new doll, a slow response can be incredibly frustrating.  I want to give you information as quickly as possible, so you can decide which dolls (if any) to buy!

I can totally understand the hype and anticipation over these dolls.  This new collection of 11-inch fashion dolls follows the same idea as the 18-inch ily 4EVER dolls that have been gracing the shelves of Target for a while now.  Namely, they are styled as Disney fangirls who wear modern clothing that is based on color schemes and thematic designs inspired by the classic Disney Princesses.  It's a very cool concept--especially for an 11-inch fashion doll.

The larger 18-inch ily dolls are adorable, and I've admired them at Target frequently, but they never managed to make it to the top of my review queue.  In contrast, these smaller dolls grabbed my attention instantly because of their manageable size, inset eyes, normal-sized heads, lovely faces, and what looks like great articulation.  They struck me as something that could be revolutionary for the play doll market, and also for the Disney Store which, as you know, has fallen out of my favor more often than not over the years.  I purchased all of the new ily 4EVER dolls (and a few of the accessories) and will share them in one way or another over the next few weeks.  The star of today's review is the Tiana-inspired character who was the winner of a Patreon poll.  I've named her Tia:

ily 4EVER Tiana doll by Disney, $29.99.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Merida Talking Doll from The Disney Store

I have already reviewed the original 12" Merida doll from the Disney store (love her) and took an in-box look at the first 17" collector's edition Merida doll, but I couldn't resist ordering a third Merida--the 17" talking play doll version ($29.50).  Having never owned a singing Disney doll before, I wondered if these princesses might offer a nice middle ground between the small inexpensive play dolls and the larger limited editions.

Even before I got her out of the box, I could tell that this doll has struck another important balance.  She is not quite as serious as the limited edition doll, and not quite as goofy as the play doll.  She has her own look:

Merida talking doll from the Disney Store.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review Fusion #1

I have been getting quite a lot of guest review requests these past few weeks for some reason, which is really wonderful.  I love how guest reviews can change my feelings about certain dolls (I bought my first Bratz!), how they can help encourage me to write a review that I had been putting off, or how they simply remind me of the fact that dolls make people happy for so many different reasons.

The problem with these guest review requests (as those who have emailed me know too well...) is that I am painfully slow to get things organized and published, and the waiting times are getting long.  In an attempt to lessen this problem, I have decided to combine guest reviews together into occasional "Review Fusion" posts.  This should allow me to share more perspectives while still doing my own reviews each week.

I have also received some amazingly gorgeous single photographs by email over the years, and have been looking for a good way to share a few of those with you.  My plan is to start each Review Fusion volume with a beautiful photo, and then move into the actual reviews after the jump.

I knew exactly which photo to share first: this is a Pullip doll, "Nanette," posed in front of the Great Wall of China.  This amazing picture was taken by LagoonaLicious, author of the Skelita Calaveras review from last year:

"Nanette."  Photo by LagoonaLicious.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Elsa Mini Doll Wardrobe Set from The Disney Store

To follow up on Zoe's great review of the Frozen Ice Skating set, I want to do a quick review of one of the other new products from the Disney Store: a Mini Doll Wardrobe set.  There are quite a few of these new wardrobe-themed playsets available on the Disney Store site, and they include characters like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and even the Frozen princesses.  When I saw that the wardrobe version of mini Elsa is wearing her blue ice dress (rather than the coronation clothing of the first mini Elsa), I knew this was the set for me--especially because it's hard to know when these items will sell out again!

I will try to give a fair, objective review here, but you know what a soft spot I have for perfect little miniatures of larger dolls...and just look at these two!

Elsa Mini Doll Wardrobe set
J.C. Penney 12" Elsa doll (left) and Elsa from the Mini Wardrobe set (right).

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Disney Descendants Doll Update Review

I have already reviewed the Disney Descendants Mal doll by Hasbro, but before I found her--unexpectedly--at Toys R Us in early July, I had pre-ordered several of the other Descendants characters.  In this update post, I will quickly share some of those other dolls with you.

Oh, and coincidentally, the Descendants movie premiered yesterday on the Disney Channel (I haven't seen it yet).

With many dolls lines, looking at one of the characters is sufficient because all of the dolls share certain basic features.  One of the things I like best about the Descendants dolls is that each character has his or her own unique head mold and coloring.  For that reason, my experiences with Jane, Audrey and Lonnie were all a little bit different...and resulted in me liking one of these dolls much more than the other two:

Jane, Lonnie, Audrey
Coronation Jane, Coronation Lonnie and Signature Audrey from Disney's Descendants movie.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Limited Edition Merida Doll from the Disney Store

I posted these pictures of the 18" limited edition Merida doll from Brave over on facebook and on my Flickr photostream, but some of you asked me to show them here, too.  I'm leaving this doll in her box for now, so I can't really do a full review yet, but I did snap a few quick pictures of her.  The pictures aren't that great, since the box casts some weird shadows, but just in case you are interested, here she is:

Limited-Edition-Merida
18" Limited Edition Merida.