Princess Tiana Figurine

Princess Tiana | Flickr
As an alternative to Barbie dolls and the like this toy is GREAT! Only 2 things: buyer beware the quality and the set-to-set sizing.

PROs:

* FIGURINES ARE AWESOMER THAN BARBIES: Okay, this is totally subjective, but for playtime, I really prefer the figurines. There is less focus on the accessories, and more on the story and play. So many dolls, like Polly Pockets, Strawberry Shortcakes, and, of course, Barbie, have hair that gets tangled, heads that pop off, and those annoying clothes that *must* be changed every five seconds. Of course, the targeted ages (3-7) can't for the life of them deal with the small items. So mom/dad/caregiver gets to do all the work. These dolls allow the kids to play with their favorite princesses without tiny accessories to get lost and/or sucked up into the vacuum cleaner. Again, these are a GREAT alternative to other dollies.

* FIGURINE SIZED IS MORE VERSATILE FOR PLAY: These toys easily fit into toy castles (Melissa and Doug makes PERFECT castles/houses for these kind of toys), wooden block houses, etc. They're just a great size for imaginative play, and the fact that they don't have clothes to lose means the focus stays on building houses for them and making up stories with them.

* LESS SEXIST THAN OTHER PRINCESS TOYS: I love the Disney princesses, overly girly as they are. But I also want to raise strong, independent girls, and I worry about the messages that pink, froofy toys send them. The thing I love about these figurines is that they ARE the beloved pretty princesses in pretty dresses, but they can DO so much more than just dress up. And because these toys are on roughly the same scale as other 'boy' figurines - such as uncle's Star Wars toys, or a set of TooB knights that we got for Christmas, the girls don't think of them as 'girl toys.' When we have playdates with friends, everyone can play with the castle/blocks, and they just pick a figurine that they like best: princess or knight, it doesn't matter. I prefer that to the strict gendered play of Barbies and such.

* LOOK LIKE THE PRINCESSES: Little People made a princess doll set, and they are cute. However, they are shaped like ping-pong balls, and they don't look a thing like the Disney Princesses in the movies. These look like the cartoons, which my girls appreciate.

* PRETTY POSES: The poses for these princesses is probably the best thing about them. They look 'like them' - with the possible exception of Mulan, who has more sass than that, but whatever. The hair, especially, looks pretty nice, and much like the cartoons. The glitter paint is probably not something to let kids chew on, but it gives them a special shine.

* DELUXE SET HAS MORE PRINCESSES: I find it really annoying that some princesses are not 'official' - like Pocahontas and Mulan. This set has pretty much everyone but Esmerelda, Megara, and Giselle - and yeah, no one seems to remember who those other gals are. Sure, it's the Disney version of 'diversity, ' but it's nice that this set has more than just the blonde princesses.


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