Edited to add: Please at least skim to the end of this article, as I have some updated information about the dolls with “reflection eyes” that have been coming out fall/holiday 2014. Thanks.
One day, in Toys R Us, I saw a toddler doll of Flynn Rider (Eugene Fitzherbert) from Rapunzel. Had. To. Have. So I snatched him up and took him home while the gettin’ was good. I was on vacation, so I waited until I got home to go pick up a Rapunzel. Both of these dolls had “My First” on the packaging, but I didn’t think much about it.
Another day, shopping with my mom, I expressed a wish to have “all the Disney Animators’ Collection dolls” because they’re adorable. I now have a whole bunch. Thanks, Mom!
I had no intention of unboxing the Animators’ dolls until I got a case for them (and who knows when that might happen), but, after I released the LIBBY pattern for the “My First” doll, I got an email from a mom who was trying to sew for daughter’s birthday. The pattern she had bought, for a 15″ doll, was way too big–I assume because it was for a 15″ baby doll and they’re chunkier, larger in scale. I could see by holding the “My First” up to the box that the Animators’ would be a little taller and a little chunkier. It wasn’t until I broke open the box that I realized there were a number of differences between the two dolls.
I did a handful of patterns for each of these dolls, including MIMI for the “My First.” MIMI has long and short sleeves, and I thought it would be a cute cover if I photographed the two versions on Anna and Elsa from Frozen (which I also had from my mom because I’m spoiled like that. 😉 ). So I broke into Elsa’s box only to find that the todder dolls not labeled as “My First” are much shorter and slimmer! A slightly different body style and a TOTALLY different size.
This really ticked me off. I could see the Animators’ being different because they’re very stylized and marketed to collectors as well as children. But for these two play dolls to be so similar and yet such different sizes–grr! It’s bad enough that the doll companies are treating our girls like adult collectors and hardly offering anything in terms of clothing for dress-up play. (There’s a rant for another day.) They don’t need to make it hard for us to sew as well.
So this article is here to give a heads-up to all those sewing for and shopping for clothes for these girls that there ARE differences among these three doll lines. I want to try to give you some help if you’re not sure what doll you’re sewing for.
The Animators’ dolls are 15 1/2″ tall. They’re generally sold in Disney Stores and at the shops in the Disney theme parks and resorts. They’re adorably stylized with large heads, large eyes, and have the most expressive faces. The imprint on the back and back of the head reads (c) Disney and also China. Packaging indicates Disney as the manufacturer. Patterns in my shop that fit this doll should be tagged with “DAG for Disney Animators’ Collection Girl.
- Height: 15 1/2″
- Bust: 8″
- Waist: 9 1/4″
- Hips: 9 1/2″
“My First” Princess
You can often find these at Toys R Us, Walmart, and Target. They are toddler dolls, and not to be confused with the baby dolls that share the same name and often similar packaging. Besides the obvious difference of the baby body with slightly bent limbs, the baby dolls also seem to all have short, molded hair, not rooted like the toddlers. The face is much more generic-child than the Animators’ (though I think there was a release of dolls with bigger eyes). The imprint on the back of the dolls’ head just says (c) Disney. Packaging indicates they’re made by Jakks Pacific. Patterns in my shop that fit this doll should be tagged with DMF for Disney “My First” Toddler Princess.
- Height: 14 1/2″
- Bust: 7 5/8″
- Waist: 7 5/8″
- Hips: 8 1/2″
(See also Stephanie’s comment below about two different sizes within this line.)
I’m not sure what to call this line. I’m not even sure how readily available these dolls are because I’m not coming up with much in a Google image search. Comparing my Elsa to my Rapunzel (see comparison photo above), the faces of these dolls are a little more sophisticated with a heavy black line to indicate their lashes. They are also smaller and slighter than the “My First” girls. The mark on the back just says (c) Disney. Packaging indicates they’re made by Jakks Pacific. Patterns for this doll should be tagged “DTP” for Disney Toddler Princess.
- Height: 13 1/2″
- Bust: 6 1/2″
- Waist: 6 1/4″
- Hips: 8″
Edited to add: I need to find time to write this up new, but for now, I just want to let you know about the dolls that are new for fall/holiday 2014. These are the ones with the “reflection eyes.” They have large, plastic eyes rather than painted like the previous version. The body for the these is slightly different, but they share clothes with the 13 1/2″ princesses above. Going forward, I’ll be fitting to the 2014 doll.
The new “My First” collection dolls with “reflection eyes” seem to have the same 13 1/2″ body. Anyone sewing for that doll will want the “DTP” patterns, not the “DMF” patterns.
The Princess Sofia dolls with “reflection eyes” (I found this doll at Target) are much larger than any of the dolls on this page. None of these patterns will fit that doll. (But I hope to have some soon, so let me know if you’re looking.)
If you are rescuing an older doll of this type that has a Playmates 2002 marking on the backside, those dolls fit the patterns currently titled with “My First” and tagged “DMF.” Be aware that the fit is a little snug through the chest. You may want to add a little to the back seam.