You all may remember me posting a few days ago about the recently released Disney Princess Shoe Pack from Mattel, luckily my local Walmart had it in stock, so I was able to pick it up. Seeking to educate my readers about it, I decided to give it a review. It is what follows.
Let's start with the package itself. The Disney Princess Shoe Pack (what I've dubbed it since there's no actual name on the product) is a new item released consisting of five Barbie doll style shoes, each designed to invoke a different Disney Princess. It's a relatively inexpensive price, this one at Walmart was 2.97, most places should have it for around three dollars. It's packaging is small and simple, as a clear plastic molded purse about 2" by 4", decorated with images of Cinderella, Tiana (The Princess and the Frog), and Belle (Beauty and the Beast). Unfortunately, in order to remove the shoes from the package you kind of have to wreak the little purse (maybe a more delicate touch than my own could have saved it). In a nice little touch the strap and blue heart "clasp" on it can be detached and used for something else (more about that later). I enjoyed the little details added to the packaging, that could have easily been neglected. And I must admit when I was carrying it around the store, I did carry it like a purse, it was just too cute not to.
When I first opened the packaging I found something in the back that I was not expecting. Inside was a little three panel booklet showing other things Mattel has in the line. (How long has it been since we saw a booklet in an actual item? I miss those.) Apparently this shoe pack is part of the most recent doll clothing line that Mattel produced for Disney. I'm not sure how familiar everyone is with this line, while I don't really follow Disney dolls, I can't recall seeing this product line before, so I believe it's relatively new. It's a line of packaged doll clothes for the Disney Princess dolls, with two outfits in each, one their "peasant" clothes, and the other consisting of one of their more formal looks. As of this writing only Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle have been produced. Even though as of late the Disney Princess group has swelled to eight (ten if you count Mulan and Pocahontas), I'm not really sure why these three were picked to launch this line, I'm don't really know the logic behind it. I must admit that I'm terribly conflicted over this line. I just adore the fact that Mattel is finally producing some Disney Princess clothing that you can buy without buying the doll too, for too long you couldn't purchase any clothing separately. While this is a step in the right direction, there are many faux paus this line makes in my opinion. The biggest one that I have is how far the clothing strays from their movie counterparts, in both material and design. All of the clothing is made from the same shiny satin like material, which is all well and good for their gowns, but really does not work for their "peasant" clothes. Even beyond changing their materials, everyone also suffers from some creative license taken with their clothing. Sleeping Beauty's first look has been given a color wash over, grays and blacks have turned into various shades of purples, it has also been giving a very odd ruffled hem on the skirt. Belle is the only one that her regular clothes have not been adapted severely, but her pink gown (From the "Something There" song scene in the movie) has really been "jazzed" up in this line. Unfortunately I can't get into much detail since I haven't seen this movie as often as the other two. Lastly Cinderella has been given the greatest make over compared to the other two. Her regular dress has been giving a complete color change, no longer brown it is now pink. It also suffers from the same ruffled hem as Sleeping Beauty's. Also her apron is a different shape from the movie, a minor gripe, but still. Her second outfit is a bit of a change from the usual, instead of her iconic ball gown Cinderella is given a wedding dress. For the most part each clothing set includes a different dress than their iconic ball gowns, which I applaud since they're pretty much produced with every line of these dolls. I assume they were stuck with Sleeping Beauty since she only wears two looks the entire movie. I wonder what they will do with Snow White since she only wears one outfit the entire movie. Anyway, the issue I have with Cinderella's dress is that it's completely different from the dress at end of the movie. They took a lot of liberties when creating this, which I don't understand why. Very few Disney Princess' have wedding dresses in their movies, only Cinderella, Ariel, and Tiana have them. I would rather see them make one for Sleeping Beauty than this, besides that way they could replicate Cinderella's pink dress that the mice made for her. But anyway, sorry for the review within a review, but this line is a step in the right direction, but there's a lot that needs fixing still.
Looking at the back of the booklet reveals something interesting about these shoes. (It also shows off the other two accessories packs available, purses and jewelry, both of which I saw at the store and left at the store.) I'm not sure if the picture I took came out clear enough, but if you look at the picture of the shoe pack you can see that the picture in the booklet is a bit different than the product in my hand. The only pairs of shoes that are like the ones in the picture are Belle's shoes and Ariel's. The red pair with the bows was originally much lighter and more opaque, the clear white one's originally didn't use any glitter and used a different mold (one with bows), and a pair of purple shoes with straps were completely eliminated. These became a pair of clear purple ones that uses the mold originally used on the clear white ones (with bows). I'm not sure if any of the other packs changed, but it's interesting how this one did before production.
For a final point about the packaging when you take out the purple glitter strap from the purse as well as the purple non-glitter "snap" from it, you can use it to make a child's bracelet. I really liked this touch, and I will say that the bracelet fits me, in fact that's my hairy arm modeling it, so I'm not sure how well it would fit on a child. Either way it's a really cute touch that added to my enjoyment of the product. I just wish that each different package (Shoes, purses, jewelry) had a different colored bracelet, but they are all the same purple color.
Now, finally onto the shoes in question, the real point for this whole review. This set includes five plastic pairs, each identified to belong to a certain princess. We have; Cinderella's, a clear glitter pump, Belle's a golden 40's style pump with a flower design, Ariel's, a sea foam blue/green clear pair with open toes and seashell design, Snow White's, clear purple pumps with bows, and finally a pair that I can't relate to anyone. They're a pair of red pumps with bows in the back. Even with my knowledge of Disney Princess films, I can't guess who they belong to. If I had to make a guess I would say Tiana, since she's on the package and she's the only one that they might work for her time style, but those were the only pair that I couldn't assume who they "belonged to". I would like to point out that these shoes are the old styles without the defined left and right foot, which is fine by me. I did try them on my Silkstone dolls as well as my vintage dolls. I could get every pair on the Silkstones, but I was stretching the plastic of the shoes a bit. The worst ones were Snow White's and Ariel's. I couldn't get those two on the vintage dolls, but the others went okay, just took a bit to work them on. I would say playline dolls are the best for these shoes.
Now to the shoes themselves;
Cinderella's- Simple clear pumps with silver glitter. On the package these were shown using the bows on front shoes, and I kind of wish they went with that one. These are cute, but look really big on Barbie's feet. Not that they don't fit her, but from the fact that there's a lot plastic in these. These are a lot of shoes for Barbie, which normally I wouldn't mind, but since they're clear you can really see how much extra plastic are in these shoes. Also I don't understand the unusual diamond decoration in the front of them. Cinderella's shoes had a heart design on the, besides these aren't even that cute. I'm seriously thinking about filing them off, so you can say that I'm not really a fan. But with that said these are the ones that I like the best with the color and style, beyond that diamond thing.
Belle's- Gold plastic shoes, very similar to Cinderella's, but these are shorter. Also the side wall is lower in these, giving them a 40's vibe to them. These have a molded on rose on the fronts, which are big. These are an interesting pair of shoes, I feel that I would like them more if the flowers in the front weren't so big. While they're aren't my favorite I do think that these would look really nice paired with Belle's golden ballgown, as long as you can't see too much of the flowers on them.
Ariel's- Sea foam green open toed pump with a shell design. These I am not a fan of, like at all. I think there's just too much going on with these shoes. I think at least one of these elements should have been toned down. I would have gotten rid of the open toes since I have yet to see a doll that could reach down that far. Charlotte's toes stop way before that, so it's really a wasted feature. If you got rid of that part of them, I think one thing could make these much better, make them flats. I think that these shoes might actually work as flats. In the movie Ariel wears mostly flats when she's shown wearing shoes so it would really work for her, but that's just my thoughts. Other than that, I doubt that I'll ever use these for anything.
Snow White's- light purple/pink heels with bows. I say these are Snow Whites because they look like the shoes she wears in the movie, I could be incorrect about these, but I doubt it. I really like the mold of these, they are very cute and the bow is really nicely in scale, that said I'm not a fan of the colors. If these shoe colors are any indication to how the rest of the clothing line is going to look you can count me out. They look a little big on Charlotte's feet, but I think that's because since they're so clear you can see how much the doll's feet are compared to the rest of the plastic. I just wish it was in a different color, even if it was the clear color like the booklet.
The red pair- Red pumps with bows in the back. These shoes are big, similar in size to the clear Cinderella ones. These ones are actually my favorites, and the real reason why I wanted to purchase these shoes. These are really reminiscent of a pair of those that came in the Louboutin Barbie shoe pack last year, just made more "ready to wear", and a billion times cheaper, it's just a shame about the color. Not a fan of the shimmery red, but I'm actually planning on painting these. I just wish I knew who they were designed for.
And that was all the shoes in the pack. Overall I would say that I'm split down the middle. I really like the idea of this product, just not a fan of it's application. Now, I must admit that I'm not the intended market, these shoes are designed for young children who dream of Princess's. While I will challenge anyone who doesn't think I'm a princess I'm certainly not a young child. I could easily see them being more than pleased with this product. Me on the other hand am seeing some major modifications for several of them, with some of them never getting used. I will say that I like Mattel is producing sets of just shoes (like they used to) and if they do more of them I would eagerly buy them, I just wish they were a little more versatile.
Hope you enjoyed the review!