Sunday, January 18, 2015

Disney Store Deluxe Singing Elsa 11" Doll Set

So if you know anything about me and Frozen, you know I've been salivating for a playline version of Elsa's Coronation dress. I like that dress (for some reason) more than her sparkle-sparkle Snow Queen get up, and short of spending huge money on the ginormous deluxe doll set that the Disney Store has released (twice now), there really hasn't been a good version of it available short of sewing one yourself with the officially licensed doll clothes patterns. The closest I had been able to find was a color change dress from a Mattel doll.

Last week I was in a Disney Store, bemoaning that I had my Christmas money with me and was finding nothing to buy, when I spotted a lone doll box in the Frozen section. Ladies and gents, I give you:

11" Singing Elsa!

Elsa comes with her coronation dress, a noseless Olaf figure, some swirly magic snowflake accessories, her Snow Queen dress and matching flats, and what I first thought was a really amazing stand. 

Actually this big snowflake thing is NOT a stand. It does light up in three LED colors when pressed, though.
How amazing would this thing have been as a stand? You blew it, Disney. Blew. It.

The back of the box shows everything that comes with the doll, and encourages you to sing along and recreate Elsa's big movie moment.

Give her hand a little tweak through the hole in the front of the box, and you can listen to her belt out part of "Let It Go" at a volume plainly audible to everyone in the room. 

Like the rest of the new 11" accessory-rife singing dolls, Elsa is a whopping $30 new. And may I just say OUCH to this? Considering that the Classic Elsa is just $16, you are really getting gouged for one additional dress and some plastic accessories. You could buy Anna AND Elsa in the non-singing Classics line for just a buck or two more.
The front of the box reveals movie scenes when opened, while one side is decorated to look like a book spine. (The other side looks like pages)

The interior sleeve of the box slides out of the "book" effortlessly, giving you a look at the goods.

Olaf looks surprisingly cute, even without his nose.

Elsa's hair is cemented down flat against her head with styling product. This would have been less weird if she'd come in the coronation dress, since Elsa musses up her hair into the style we're all more familiar with before creating her ice dress. It comes off looking like this was an accident rather than being done on purpose as a callback to the movie. 

Image from Disney Wikia
Elsa, letting her hair down before going full Snow Queen.

One of the "magic snow whirls" is fastened to her hand. 

Her cyan flats are held onto her "Barbie legs" with clear rubber bands. 

Let's move into another room where the lighting is better and compare THIS Elsa with the one I've already got (Classic Disney Store doll in a Mattel dress). 

Singing Elsa does have her good points. For one yes - she sings. For two, she comes with some physical representations of "snow magic" and has her coronation dress. (Which is what this whole thing is about, let's be honest.)

Let's compare! (Please note, the articulated Classic doll is actually a little shorter than the singing doll. The stand she is on makes her look taller, though.)

Snow Queen Dresses

It was a little hard to be sure I wasn't imagining it at first when the dolls were dressed, but placing their Snow Queen dresses flat on the table reveals that there are some differences between them. The bodice on the classic doll dress (right) is glittery), whereas the singing doll's dress is plain.

Additionally, the classic dress has a much larger, grander train. Would it be silly to call this a wingspan? Well, I'm going to do it anyway. 

Construction on the backs of the dresses is pretty much identical. 

I'll be honest, I prefer the singing doll dress. Less glitter is always good.

Coronation Dresses

Image from Disney Wikia
This is less a "doll vs. doll" comparison, since we're comparing dresses from two different manufacturers. Instead, it becomes a question of "whose matches better"?

I'm not sure this is even a contest. 

The singing doll's dress doesn't even attempt to recreate the beautiful rosemaling on the movie dress at all, or the gold trim, OR the proper shape of the waist seam where the bodice and skirt meet. The Mattel dress has an inset panel with a color change gimmick, but it's easily apparent that they did try to make a good representation of the movie dress. The construction of the pattern also figures in. The Mattel dress fits beautifully and was well worth the cost of the doll JUST for the dress. It looks elegant. The Disney Store dress fits like a a lumpy bed sheet.

I'm also a bit let down that after putting this dress on her a grand total of twice, the singing doll dress is spouting loose threads like tree roots in the spring.

The shoulderblades of the singing doll dress include two spots of velcro for attaching the cape that came with the doll. 

Not a finished edge to be had on the whole thing, sadly. But this is something that can be fixed with a sewing machine and a little time if it bothers you or if your kiddo is likely to want to get a lot of play out of the cape.

On the doll stands I'm using, the cape tends to stick up and out a little bit. It does have a nice length to it, and the color is very nice. 

The Dolls

There may, and I say may because I'm not completely sure, be a slight difference in color between the singing Elsa and the classic Elsa. As you can see, Singing Elsa has the old rubber clicky legs, and only one articulated arm. This is due to the fragility of the wires that run from her wrist to her voice box, I'm sure. Still, can't help but wonder if a button wouldn't have been better. That one stiff arm is really a downer to me. 

Like the old-style giant singing dolls, Elsa's back-speaker is in the shape of a heart.

On her left side, below that stiff arm, she has an on/off switch that allegedly controls her singing. My doll still sings, no matter what position the thing is in, though. 

Something to watch for: staining. My doll has a very faint mark on her right thigh that I think must have come from her dress. 
While I was checking out this stain, I tried bending the doll's legs to see if she could sit in a more dignified manner than classic Elsa. This is when I discovered that they only seem to have one position they click into. Well, ONE of them will click into position. The left one feels "off" and will gradually straighten.

It also gets this weird dimpling when you try to bend it into position like the other leg. I think it's broken? I've never actually bought anything from the Disney Store that's broken before. I'm completely at a loss as to what I should do about it.

Anyway, let's keep moving.

If the Elsas tried out for Swan Lake or the gymnastic team, singing Elsa has it over classic Elsa in spades. Here's a comparison of the gals in the side to side spits. 

And front to back.


Since Classic Elsa doesn't have any accessories to speak of, let's just take a quick look at all the stuff Singing Elsa came with. Olaf here is pretty cute if you're down on his level. Olaf is, of course, noseless when Elsa initially re-creates him in the film. He doesn't get his carrot nose until Anna shows up and "completes" him.

He does have a very concave profile, though. Add that to the fact that he leans forward, and sadly you miss seeing how sweet his face is unless you're holding him up. 

He can use the snowflake thing as a stand, though.The snowflake thing is.. I mean it's okay. It's obviously meant as a stand in for the big glowing flake that appeared when Elsa stomped her foot and started creating the ice castle in the movie, and it does alright as that. 
Image from Disney Wikia
As a movie moment recreation piece it's fine. I'm still just terribly let down that no one thought to make it a doll stand. 

It could have been such a cool doll stand!

I'll be honest, I didn't think much of these blue sparkly things at first. However, I have realized that I was completely wrong about them. 

They really are a fun accessory and make for a very dramatic presentation on a posed doll!

Image from Disney Wikia
Movie moment representation: Snow magic!
I'm going to lay it on the line, here. For $30, I feel like this is a vastly overpriced set. Sure, the doll sings a bit, and sure she comes with some nice props that do a decent job of calling back the big iconic song of the film, but I shouldn't be able to buy two dolls for that same price tag. For $22-25, I'd be more impressed. Additionally, the fact that the doll came with a broken leg is a tremendous disappointment. 
I can honestly say that even though I was let down that Honey Lemon's long spidery limbs were wonky out of the package, I have never been as disappointed with a Disney Store purchase as I am with this one.  She's cute, that's true. But the big draw for me was the fact that she came with a coronation dress. Frankly, the dress leaves a lot to be desired and is not at all up to the quality I tend to expect from the Disney Store.

Would I recommend this doll to someone else? Only if they didn't already have a Classic Elsa laying around. The character likeness is still stunning, but the extra outfit is clearly an afterthought that is poorly executed and will probably not bear up to lots of play. The extra accessories are nice, but probably not worth the extra cash.

Fits like a lumpy, used bed sheet. *sigh*


  1. Oh Disney... so close and yet so far! :(

  2. A shame that she was such a disappointment when she looks so promising in the box.

    I'm especially surprised that the ice-thing isn't a stand - that was a real wasted opportunity! I like the idea of it though (and the idea behind those ice accessories as well).

    1. I just can't get over that snowflake thing not being a stand. It seems so obvious, doesn't it? The swirly ice things are a lot of fun to pose the dolls with. I wish it would snow so I could set Elsa up with them for some photos!

  3. Well, son of a biscuit eater! Until your review I had no idea that the singing dolls only had one articulated arm. I bought the Aurora but didn't take her out of the box. She's wearing a shawll so you cant see her elbows but since her wrists were articulated I just assumed she was ac'd all over. Oh well, thems the breaks.

    So the big snow flake is a night light?

    1. You'd think they'd either articulate both (and activate the sound feature with a torso button) or none, wouldn't you? I forgot to mention that the "sound activating" wrist doesn't rotate around much, or at least I don't think it's meant to. That was another small downer.

      Not even a night light really; it just lights up in those three colors and then goes dark again. The whole process takes maybe 30-45 seconds I'd estimate.

      OH! I remember that you (I think it was you?) asked awhile back about putting Disney Fairies heads on Ever After High bodies and I made my best guess which was that I thought it might work - I actually ended up with a spare fairy doll recently and jammed her noggin' down on a spare EAH body I had lying around. It works! I was afraid I was going to break the post at one point, even with the head softened with a blow dryer, but it popped on there and looks great. You get a weird neck post lump if you tilt the head back very far (and the doll can't look down), but it definitely is doable. :)

  4. I have the singing Anna of the same set and she is one of my favorite Anna dolls. Like you, I was hankering for a coronation dress and she did not disappoint me whatsoever. Her accessories are all well made and adorable, plus she can actually SWING (not just sit) in the swing which I use to display her. From the second I saw her online, I adored her. As for Elsa, well, her set looked, frankly, boring online. Then I recently saw it in stores and today I read your review and I realized something that just made me sad: Disney Store barely even tried with Elsa and it shows. Rather than put the effort into making a high quality set that would fit in with fabulous Anna, Merida, Rapunzel, Ariel, Tiana, etc, they made a money grab knowing that people would get the "fancy Elsa doll" regardless of how "fancy" she really is. I wish that, rather than cheapening out with their most popular character, they had made the effort to go above and beyond and really make her worth those $30. Anna was worth that and more, in my opinion. :)

    1. I'd have DEARLY loved to have taken a look at Anna's set if they'd had it in stock at the store I went to. She really did get the better deal between the two sisters. I think that you're right - they knew that the set would sell just "because Elsa", and didn't take a lot of time to make her set special. Looking at the two versions of the coronation dresses makes it really apparent. The Disney Store one fits like a satiny bag of potatoes.

      I'm really enthralled with the idea that Anna can actually swing on her swingset! What an awesome accessory! I'm going to have to watch for that set to become available. $30 is steep for a one-doll set imo, but when they're made well, that makes all the difference in the world!

    2. I'm hoping to get a review up of Anna before the end of the month (but you know how life can be, I'm sure!) She's one of my absolute favorite Anna's (and I think I have more than 15 if we count non-Barbie style ones) and I highly recommend!! Because of the $30 price tag, I only got one but if they were cheaper I probably would've gotten Rapunzel and Tiana, too. My mom got the Merida on sale for $13- that was one of those "I can't believe this!" days!

    3. I'll definitely watch for that review! I'd love to see how everything looks.

      I did see that Disney Store online has Tiana for about $17 right now.. wish they had more stuff I want to order, I just know as soon as I commit they'll bust out one of those clearance sales, lol!

    4. Thanks! I probably have close to fifty photos of deboxing and everything do I'm a little daunted by it. :}

      Tiana was my third favorite because of the fact that she came in her white dress and has a little frog Naveen. As for sales, doesn't it seem like that's always the way?? Hahaha!

    5. Okay, here it is!

    6. AWESOME! Thanks for the link!