Disney Ballerina Princess Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty
Ballerina Princess Snow White

Have you seen the new Disney Princess Ballerina Princess dolls? I saw the Belle doll at a local Walmart a couple of weeks ago; this week, they also had Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella - and I saw Snow White later at Target.

When I first saw Belle I was very excited. I always wished there could be a low-priced basic Disney Princess doll line so it would be cheaper to get parts for OOAK dolls. () Until now, the lowest-priced Mattel-made Disney Princess dolls in the US have been priced around US$10; these ballerina dolls sell for around US$6.

Unfortunately, then I realized that, because they have molded-on clothes (including ballet slippers), you'd have to get a "donor body" for the heads. It wouldn't be too difficult to find donors for the characters who use Barbie's body (Belle, Sleeping Beauty [a.k.a. Aurora], and Cinderella), but the smaller-size characters (Snow White, Jasmine, and Ariel) have a unique body that's only used in the Disney Princess line - which means the only way to get donor bodies for them is to buy other princess dolls, meaning there's no point in getting the ballerinas in the first place. It became less exciting after that.

However, I did notice three things: The dolls' torsos don't seem to be much bigger than the standard versions despite the molded-on clothes (it doesn't look like they just piled new sculpting on over the regular bodies the way it usually does - there doesn't seem to be much added "bulk"), their upper chests don't have any molded details on them, and their legs are skin-colored (no "painted-on tights"). Hopefully these things were done on purpose so the dolls could be dressed in other clothes without the molded-on stuff interfering. That's the way it "should" be done - I've been saying that ever since 2001 when the Palm Beach Barbie dolls came out with their painted-on swimsuits featuring totally unnecessary choker necklaces and shoulder straps that showed when the dolls were re-dressed and ruined a lot of their play value.

BTW, apparently there was a line of basic Disney Princess ballerina dolls like this last year, too...

Last year's basic Disney Princess ballerina dolls

...but I don't know exactly where they were sold. I'm pretty sure they weren't available in the US, but right now I can only find listings for them on South American websites, so I don't know if they were sold in other places. Up until now, German toymaker Simba has had an exclusive license to manufacture Disney Princess dolls for the European market, so it's possible last year's ballerinas were never sold there. However, Simba has apparently lost their exclusive license, and the new Disney Ballerina Princess dolls are being sold in Europe.

(In fact, I was pretty much expecting Mattel to come out with a ton of Disney Princess dolls now that they can [apparently] sell them in Europe, but I wasn't expecting dolls like this to show up in the US too! )

Side note: Notice that last year's dolls do have molded details on their chests, and "permatights". They do look more ballerina-y, but, as always, it's a trade-off when it comes to the play value.

Oh - apparently there was a set of basic princesses last year, too, using the same torsos as the ballerinas but with long skirts and puffed sleeves instead of tutus (except for Ariel - she has a cloth bikini top and a molded fin):

Last year's Disney Princess basic dolls

The same goes for these - I can only find listings on South American websites. If you know where any of these dolls were sold, please let me know! I'd especially like to know if the Ariel doll shown in the picture was actually available - I can hardly find any information about it at all...

Filed Under: General Dollstuff
Topics: Disney Princess
Doll Diary 05 February 2010