Meet the Most Diverse Disney Princess Dolls Yet—Our Kids Can't Put Them Down!

Mattel's new collection of enchanting dolls starts at $11

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Mattel's New Disney Princesses

Verywell Family / Kevin Liang

We may have our doubts about the current state of the British crown, but one group of royals still holds quite a bit of power over us all: Disney Princesses. I saw the latest proof of this theory when Mattel sent me a box of 15 “fashion”-size dolls (all around 11+ inches)—13 from the new Disney Princess collection, plus Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.” Grown women, men, and even a jaded 10-year-old boy have been magnetically drawn to these dolls before my eyes, almost as much as their intended younger consumers.

For anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes toy-biz news about these dolls, here’s the short version: Mattel launched these new Disney Princess dolls (along with a handful of princes, sidekick pets, and accessories) in January, after winning the license for them back from rival Hasbro, which had been making the princesses since 2016. In celebration of this big triumph for the Barbie brand, Mattel’s designers have taken this as the opportunity to make something a little bit different.

Mattel Disney Princess Moana doll

Verywell Family / Sabrina Rojas Weiss

To buy: Disney Princess Dolls: Moana, $11;

Seeing 15 princesses all at once is impressive. But when you look closely at each individual doll is when you see what Mattel has done here—and for a very affordable price of $11 per doll. They did not use the same mold to churn out 15 dolls with the same face and body, differentiated by only their hair color, skin color, and dress designs. Ariel, Merida, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Tiana, Raya, Rapunzel, Pocahontas, Moana, Jasmine, Snow, Mulan, Elsa, and Anna each has a different face, a slightly different body (though, yes, they’re all pretty skinny), completely different hair texture, an array of skin tones, and dresses (or pants) that are fun variations on their movie costumes. They even vary slightly in height. 

Mattel Disney Princess Merida and Raya

Verywell Family / Sabrina Rojas Weiss

To buy: Disney Princess Dolls: Merida, $11;

In a nod to the fact that Disney Princess fans can be younger than the typical Barbie fan, these all have built in plastic bodices that can’t be removed—that’s one less piece of clothing to struggle with or lose). Their shoes and crowns are attached by rubber bands and/or plastic tags, which can remain on for younger children or be cut off for older kids who like the freedom of removing those items. (Once I removed the tag from Moana’s crown, it never stayed on again, and Jasmine’s shoes were nearly lost forever 30 seconds after unboxing, when they slipped off and bounced away in opposite directions at our office.)

Disney Princess Ariel doll shoes

Verywell Family / Sabrina Rojas Weiss

To buy: Disney Princess Dolls: Ariel, $11;

One 5-year-old "product tester's" aunt reports back that her niece is most in love with Ariel's seashell heels—which must be quite the triumph for the former mermaid.

Disney Frozen Fashion Dolls

Courtesy Mattel

To buy: Disney Frozen Elsa, $11;

The level of detail in these dolls, mixed with no small amount of nostalgia, was enough to make the Verywell team rapturous when we unboxed some of the princesses. Immediately, no one dared to call a doll an “it,” as we admired their luscious locks and intricately patterned skirts or pants. Merida’s freckles, Pocahontas’ profile, Raya’s well-earned arm muscles, Moana’s strong calves, the two colors blended in Tiana’s eyes—they all made us anthropomorphize these ladies like we were little girls again.

Disney Princess Pocahontas

Verywell Family / Sabrina Rojas Weiss

To buy: Disney Princess Dolls: Pocahontas, $11;

And then there’s their hair. My son declared the end of his doll-loving days a year ago, and I’ve missed the soothing act of combing and braiding the plastic tresses of his My Little Ponies and Barbies. Those are a poor comparison to the surprisingly thick manes on these princesses. Rapunzel’s hair may not go past mid-thigh (unless you buy this version with color-change hair extensions) but it’s glorious to comb. Moana has an abundance of curls that have been a delight for her new 4-year-old playmate. I’m obsessed with combing the red and gold strands on Merida—so my niece is going to have to wait one more week for me to give her up. In deference to their more intricate 'dos, Tiana’s, Snow’s, and Cinderella’s hair are all curled and glued in place and won’t be the best gifts for littles who like playing with doll hair as much as I do.

Disney Princess Rapunzel

Verywell Family / Sabrina Rojas Weiss

To buy: Disney Princess Dolls: Rapunzel, $11;

And speaking of playing, this new line isn’t just about the dolls. There are also bigger play sets such as Rapunzel’s tower, Belle’s castle, and Moana’s boat (which also comes with Heihei the rooster and Pua the pig, naturally). I particularly like the storybook sets, like Raya’s, which comes with seven characters and packaging that turns into two different backdrops, plus a cardboard boat to build. For $27, it packs in a lot of imaginative play possibilities.

Disney Princess Raya and the Dragon Storybook Set

Courtesy Mattel

To buy: Disney Princess Toys: Raya and The Last Dragon Story Pack, $27;

We parents know that pretty dresses and cute accessories aren’t the true best feature of a good doll. When we pick up one of these for our kids, we hope they see themselves, their role models, and their friends reflected in miniature, all ready to inspire new stories beyond what boring old adults came up with for the screen. Maybe one of these 15 princesses is the right one to help a child in your life create a new world in their living room. That is, if you can hand her over after giving her just one more hairstyle.

By Sabrina Rojas Weiss
Senior commerce editor Sabrina Rojas Weiss loves to disappear down a rabbit hole for the greater good, whether that means reading medical journals or shopping for rain boots. She’s written and edited for Parents, People, SheKnows, Yahoo, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, MTV News, and more.