Photo Tale as Old as Time

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle opened Friday, took an estimated $170 million at the US box office for the weekend, and is expected to break the all-time opening weekend for a PG-rated movie (full story here: I’m interested in seeing it, but I’m not too impressed by the tie-in merchandise offered-especially Disney Store’s Emma Watson doll, which looks surprisingly masculine. Hasbro’s version looks more feminine and a bit more like her, but still doesn’t quite capture her beauty; and Disney Store’s other merch just isn’t really speaking to me. However, last year for my birthday I got the deluxe doll gift set that DS came out with for the original’s 25th anniversary. So, in honor of the live-action release, here are some pictures of my set!

The Belle doll that came with the set-she arrived in her winter outfit as shown.


She’s very pretty and very movie-accurate (not that this blurry picture makes it easy to see that), but so far my 2015 DS Belle seems to be a bit more versatile and expressive in photos (she’s my primary Belle, at least for now). Once the weather here gets more consistent, I plan to do some experiments with settings, angles, and outfits to bring out the best in Gift Set Belle, and then hopefully she can be featured more.

Here’s a picture of the 2 Belles side-by-side.

2015 Belle is wearing a My Scene dress, faux-fur boa, and boots. As Bratz competitors, the My Scene dolls had shoes designed to look like oversized feet which slid over their regular Barbie feet, so the size of the boots allows the wearer (like 2015 Belle here) to stand up on her own. Gift Set Belle was forced to sit down because I couldn’t find a second pair of My Scene shoes or boots that wouldn’t clash with her dress.


The Beast.

His expression perfectly captures Beast’s awkwardness and hidden (at first) kindness.


He can stand on his own! You need to hunch him over a bit oddly to do it, but it works.


Last year, during JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette and the following summer’s season of Bachelor in Paradise, the standout character was Daniel, a Vancouver-born personal trainer who projected a comically self-absorbed persona and listed his occupation as “Canadian” in his contestant bio. I felt the perfect job for Daniel would be to play Gaston at Disneyland, where he could really ham it up (although he’d have to bulk up a bit to get a better resemblance). I also see something of Daniel in this Gaston doll, so outside of any BATB-themed photo shoots I may do in the future, he’ll serve as a miniature version of Daniel within my doll world.


Here’s a group shot of Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip.

I used my entertainment center as the backdrop for the enchanted objects group shot in hopes that all the black would make the small objects stand out better. I think it worked!


Philippe! He’s a bit small, but who cares when he’s this cute?

Philippe: Neigh, soft snort. Translation: Yes, I really am this cuddly in person.


In addition to all the major characters, the “deluxe” means extra outfits and accessories. Here are the outfits: Belle’s village dress and ballroom clothes for her and Beast.


One of the birds from “Something There” (I stuck it between the outfits and the accessories  because it’s neither an accessory nor a major character):


The magic mirror and (very glittery) enchanted rose.


Belle’s book and basket.


I did an enhancement job on the mirror and the book’s spine to make them look a bit more accurate.

I filled in the rose with a neon pink Sharpie, the leaves with a neon green Sharpie…


…and the spine accents with a gold Sharpie.


A group shot of the major characters (minus Gaston/Daniel, who was cluelessly hitting on one of my other dolls).

Due to his small size, Chip’s balanced on top of Philippe’s head.


I even managed to make Belle ride Philippe (sidesaddle, because of her short skirt).



Quick Questions

Today I found that my Disney Store Elsa has these dark stains on her legs (they might be from a pair of pants, but I don’t know that for sure because she hasn’t worn those pants for a while).


dscf0451I’ve tried baby wipes and eye makeup remover-all to no dice. Now I just have a couple of questions. 1st: would it be better to use nail polish remover, acne cream, or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? I’ve read of all 3 being used successfully, but I’m not sure which one would work best. 2nd: I already have nail polish remover, but it’s non-acetone. Is there any chance it would work, or should I go buy some with acetone?

I’ve done some minor doll restoration work, but I don’t normally have to deal with vinyl staining, so I wanted to get some advice before doing much more, especially since I really love this doll.

Disney Store Classic Tiana Review

I recently bought the Classic doll of Tiana from the Disney Store (as well as Jasmine-I’ve been wanting to get these two ladies for my Disney Princess collection for a while. I wanted to pick them out in person, because they can be a little difficult to get just right, and it was hard to find time to go because my nearest Disney Store is about an hour away from my house), and since then I’ve noticed that (as far as Google can show me) no bloggers have done a written review of Tiana yet-there’ve been several YouTube reviews of her, but none written out. I’m terrified because I’ve never written a full-on doll review, but it looks like I’ll have to be the first to do it.

Here she is as I picked her up from the DS shelf:


The left side of the box:


And the right:


The back shows a movie illustration of Tiana just before she kisses Naveen in his frog form (who will heretofore be referred to as Froggy Naveen in this review).


The box’s top left corner has this line drawing of Froggy Naveen.


The middle of the right side features this illustration of Tiana’s restaurant.


And here she is deboxed!


A close-up


Comparison to the box back. They really captured her expression-a smirk and a side-eye.


A close-up of Froggy Naveen.


I got several dolls and outfits for my birthday a few months ago, including a Mattel-made Tiana outfit pack from 2011. Here’s my new Tiana in her waitress uniform (with shoes borrowed from a 1979 Pretty Changes Barbie outfit I found at a flea market a year or 2 ago).


And here she is in her green-and-white dress (Is it her wedding dress? I’ve seen bits and pieces of the movie, but never the whole thing-if anyone can answer that for me, please let me know).


Finally, I decided to revamp Tiana a little bit. I let her hair out of its bun, evened out the curls by winding them around the front piece (the purple part) of this pair of nail clippers (I normally use them to cut the little plastic T-shaped swif-tacher things on dolls)


and put her in this dress from a selection of Fashion Madness Kenya outfits that I also got for my birthday.


So there it is, my first-ever doll review. I hope you enjoyed it!