New at the Disney Store: Princess Dolls with Extra Sparkles! (and extra problems)

On a recent visit to my local Disney Store, I learned that Disney had just released a new line-up of Disney Princess dolls at the holidays. The new line-up was on the shelves–and so were some of their older counterparts.*

All of the dolls had new face molds (with larger eyes) and new dresses (which were sparklier than ever). Here’s what I saw:

The old Belle doll (left) has sparkling swirls on her gown's skirt, while the new Belle's dress is 100% sparkles. She also looks kind of worried. What's wrong, Belle?

The old Jasmine doll (left) has sparkly swirls on her pants, while the new doll's outfit is sparkly all over. Great news: She isn't wearing eyeshadow! She looks a little angry, though. What's wrong, Jasmine?

Our local store only had the newer Mulan doll in stock. It made me a little sad: Disney seems to want to “girl up” its tomboy. (Maybe that’s why the new Belle doll looks worried!) Check out Mulan’s tulle:

Hey, Mulan! Where'd you get that enormously poofy pink gown??

They didn’t have last year’s doll in stock (a sign that customers who like Mulan want a dress that’s true to the character?), so I found these online:

The old Mulan doll has swirly sparkles, like all of the older models; hers are just around her waist.

Watch out, Mulan--you're being swallowed by a rampaging ball gown. Run!!!

Did they put Pocahontas in a ball gown, too?

No ballgown here--but perplexingly, her feet are shaped for high heels. Old Pocahontas doll (left): sparkly necklace. New Pocahontas (right): sparkly necklace AND sparkly waistband! Good point: Her face mold seems truer to her on-screen counterpart. Big problem: The newer doll has noticeably lighter skin.

Disney lightened their Native American character’s skin? Hey, I bet that’s why Jasmine looks angry.

Not cool, Disney. Not cool at all.

In short, the new dolls have some good points (e.g., less makeup, a wider range of facial expressions) and some that cause concern (e.g., Mulan’s westernized dress and Pocahontas’s lightened skin).

Parents and Disney fans: What do you think of the new dolls?


*Note: My local Disney store did not have the older models of several dolls, including Rapunzel and Tiana (which have been selling very well). Has anyone seen the other dolls side by side? What did Disney do well? What could they do better next time?

10 Comments on “New at the Disney Store: Princess Dolls with Extra Sparkles! (and extra problems)

  1. They look like they’ve had Botox! Weird facial ‘expressions’! Hidious!

    • Talia, I think that by making the dolls’ eyes as large as they look on the on-screen characters, something wonky happened with the proportions of their foreheads and cheeks! Definitely something weird about the new look.

    • if think single dolls are bad look up limited 17 inches disneystore dolls on youtube hate how disney put glitter all over the body face neckline really disney ?

  2. Some other observations…

    1. Mulan’s ball gown is pink…
    2. I bet the off-shoulder dress helps Pocahontas to hunt in the forest…I would love to obtain a pair of Native American-made high heels.
    3. It seems that the Belle and Jasmine are looking off to the side, not straight ahead. Non-confrontation?

    • Jody: Great observations!

      It really struck me that some of the new dolls don’t have a direct gaze. All the older Disney Princess models seemed to have that sort-of-straight-ahead-but-unfocused gaze typical of Barbies. Several of these new dolls gaze off to the side: Belle, Jasmine, Rapunzel, and maybe a few others.

      What’s the reason for this? Does a sideways gaze make them appear more expressive or lively than the their previous versions did? Possibly! But it’s also a bit coy and sexualizing. How much would you like to bet that none of the prince dolls gaze off to the side???

  3. The big doe eyes are what gets me. To project a stronger look of innocence perhaps? Needing someone to take care of them in the big wide scary world? And to be honest, I don’t think Mulan even looks very Asian anymore. She could pass for a Kardashian.

  4. They just don’t look like the characters in the animated features anymore.

  5. Ug this is sickening! I’ve been around to watch the Disney barbie craze begin and now that I have kids it’s become a plastic surgery sparkly princess nightmare. When my daughter is old enough for Barbies I will be buying the 90’s styles off Ebay!

  6. Pingback: Katniss vs Merida: Mattel’s doll versions of strong girl characters | Rebecca Hains

  7. Pingback: Reimagining Disney Princesses with racial diversity: From Tumblr to D-Tech | Rebecca Hains

Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: