When we are at the check-out at Target or Wal-Mart or sometimes the grocery store, whatever, occasionally they'll have a single Disney princess doll, sort of like this. They usually run around $5 or so, so you talk yourself into it because, hey, it's five bucks, right? Anyway, here's what it roughly looks like:
So, you get it home, and they only give you one other dress (sometimes none), and your 3-year-old (of course) wants to change her out of it - because naked princesses are dainty ladies. Your child tries to remove this with her cute, pudgy little hands, and she can't. That dress is made of soft rubber, so I imagine it's like trying to stretch a condom over a housecat. It took me several moments to get it off and the new one on, so I wasn't exactly in a hurry to buy more of these. Plus, when the dolls wear these soft rubber dresses, they don't stand up, so it's sort of hard to have a ball when all of the princesses are lying on their backs. I mean, princesses can have that sort of ball, I just don't want my daughter attending.
So, next time we were at Wal-Mart, I saw this (LINK):
The image really isn't going to do you a ton of good, but those are hard plastic dresses. They are called "Magiclip." You pinch the bottom, cram Cinderella/Ariel/Rapunzel/whomever down the neck hole, and ta-da! She can now stand up so she doesn't look like she's drunk, and your average toddler/preschooler can now swap dresses out on her own. The dresses themselves can actually stand up on their own, too, which my daughter took to mean that they could be the princes, since you can't actually find any of those:
(All of the princes and princesses were invited to our place after the ball for a pizza party. Hope they like DiGiornos.)
When you are buying each of these individually, however, you realize that you're spending $5+ on each of these (and they only come with the soft dresses), at least $9 on the dresses that don't suck, etc. You just spent a small fortune on toys that you are just going to sit on at some point. I'd probably do a preemptive strike and just buy a set in the first place for cheaper.
Here are the two options that I've seen most online:
- Disney Princess Favorite Moments 4-Pack (LINK) - $21.75 at Amazon
- Disney Princess Magiclip 4-Pack (LINK) - $24.48 at Amazon
Just spend the extra $3 and get the Magiclip 4-Pack for the reasons I mentioned above. Or just avoid the whole damn thing and try to talk your child into creating Kleenex dresses for her existing toys, because then you can just throw them away when you're done! (This did not work for us, the reply was, "Mama, that's silly.")
Anyway. If you're in the throes of this, you have my condolences.
Value: Eh. It's trademarked and all, so it's overpriced for a tiny action figure.
Child entertainment level: 7/10, depending on their level of creativity and devotion to the whole princess thing.
Practicality: 6/10. Other than being sort of overpriced, these aren't bad. You can just throw them in a basket and they don't take up a ton of room, have little pieces, or anything like that.