Monday, March 27, 2017

OVERVIEW: Disney Fairies Part 2 (The Movie Fairies)

Fira's rare playset
I wanted to start off by finishing up the book fairies a bit more properly. The problem with the book and movie transition is that it wasn't clear cut. Playmates was releasing movie character products with new designs alongside older designs for the book only fairies. 

Fira got this playset that only one person I know of ever found. Likewise, there's a smaller Iris playset that appears to have been sold only outside the US. I had completely forgotten this existed! 

Iris's rare playset

I don't have an accurate release date for the Iris set, but figure sometime during 2007. 

That sadly does it for the book fairies. Poor things. They did get a ton of merchandise that I didn't cover. My overviews are by no means comprehensive. They're my experience with the line really. But there were Lenox figurines, pins, Polly Pocket-like dolls, and loads of non-toy products.

Disney Store movie set

In November 2007, the Disney Store dolls for the first Tinker Bell movie came out. These were a completely different style than the original book fairy dolls. They were taller with much sturdier bodies and flat feet. 

Disney Store Silvermist

I loved the dolls at first, even though they were different from the ones I still loved from before. They had really beautiful faces, especially Silvermist and Rosetta. I'd end up selling them off though, all except for Silvermist, who was too beautiful to part with. 

In summer 2008, Playmates was back with new style movie characters. I ended up with a few of them, but I don't have any left. They did the 8" dolls and 3.5" dolls again. Queen Clarion appeared in the line this time in her movie look, which I find completely underwhelming compared to her book style. Her 8" doll had a huge unfortunate head. In spring 2009, Playmates released the same dolls but with larger and slightly prettier heads. 

I swear I have old pictures of my dolls, but Photobucket is not cooperating right now and I have no patience. They're not cute anyway, so let's just skip ahead. 

Playmates ended up being replaced by Jakks Pacific for the Disney Fairies line that was sold in regular stores. My first encounter with them was the smaller doll line for the second movie (Lost Treasure) which were pretty cute and had light-up wings. 

I also stumbled across Giochi Preziosi making Disney Fairies dolls and bought the set of five for Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. 

Giochi Preziosi Lost Treasure Silvermist and Fawn

I ordered Silvermist and Fawn, my two favorites that weren't Vidia, first, but when they arrived, I ordered Tink, Rosetta and Iridessa right away. These girls have similar bodies to the 10" Giochi Winx and they're delicate and lovely. Giochi Fawn is my favorite Fawn and Tink is my second fave after her original Disney Store doll. 

Giochi Preziosi Lost Treasure Tink

The way they did Tink and Fawn's faces in particular perfectly captured the characters. Silvermist turned out to be my least favorite of the five, maybe because her outfit is more lackluster. I think I judge Silvermist dolls harshly because it would be years before I found one that surpassed the original movie Sil from the Disney Store. 

Giochi Preziosi Lost Treasure Iridessa

The outfit quality on these girls was also splendid. 

I hated having to import dolls once again, because I was doing that a lot with Winx at the time, which is why I only ever got these five girls and then a Vidia that was sold in a cardboard tube, something Giochi frequently did for budget dolls. 

Giochi Preziosi Lost Treasure Rosetta
I was happy to see Vidia included, but Giochi didn't quite capture her. She looked too happy. By the time I got her, I believe I had some of the Jakks Vidias, who were very pretty, but still got some of that Vidia sass in there. The Giochi doll doesn't. And she's wearing an odd little nightgown/dress bit that's just weird, but she was the only Giochi Vidia I could find at the time. Much later, I learned they did a regular one for her, but I never got her. 

Giochi Preziosi budget Vidia
The Jakks dolls for Lost Treasure, both large and small, were an improvement over the final Playmates dolls. Fawn and Rosetta were about the cutest ones, with Tink and Silvermist never looking quite right for me. Iridessa was good, although occasionally hard to find. 

The fairies were now all about the movies. Each year, things would be the same. Jakks would produce small dolls and larger dolls for the movies and then a few other random lines. The Disney Store would have varying dolls for the movies, too. They had plush ones a few times. Terence showed up in a few lines and both remembered to include Vidia. 

Disney Store Great Fairy Rescue Vidia
The dolls for the Great Fairy Rescue movie from the Disney Store looked drastically different than the originals. Vidia here has a much smaller head and smaller build than the Silvermist from several photos up. Her wings flap with the push of a button on her back. This Vidia's probably my least favorite one. She's almost blank-faced and doesn't really feel like Vidia to me. 

Jakks Pacific original Vidia
Whereas the Jakks doll here on the right defiitely has that sass I talked about. Her outfit is well-designed and her face is really pretty. I have three or four of these bigger Jakks Vidias just to display a few different outfits. 

Jakks mini Vidia
The smaller doll line from Jakks was also doing Vidia justice. The earlier versions of these girls had excellent outfits, although as the years passed, they'd eventually end up in fully plastic clothes. 

My only problem with the small Jakks dolls is the shoes! Tracking down teeny tiny shoes is not fun.  
Jakks did a good job of releasing different characters from the movies, although that would take a nose dive during the most recent years. 

Jakks Pixie Hollow Games Chloe and Glimmer
Chloe and Glimmer, two of the new girls from Pixie Hollow Games, got dolls. Chloe was a bit off, but Glimmer was Vidia-level stunning. Probably because they used Vidia's headmold! Marina, a water talent, was part of a small doll set that I never got. Sadly, there was never a big Terence for the Jakks line, so we never got Rumble from this movie either.

Jakks Sparkle Party Periwinkle 
The Secret of the Wings movie gave us the most popular new addition since Disney Fairies began. Periwinkle is Tink's sister who lives in the winter area of Pixie Hollow, which (rather out of nowhere) it was forbidden for the other fairies to go. Periwinkle showed up in line after line and was still in some of the most recent small doll lines. Even when she wasn't in the movie, there was Periwinkle. 

The best thing about Secret of the Wings for me wasn't Periwinkle. It was fellow frost fairy Spike! 

Jakks Spike
Spike quickly became a favorite of mine, because she was skilled and sassy, like a winter version of Vidia. Her doll uses Vidia's mold and like Glimmer, it turned out beautifully. If I could only keep one doll from my Jakks-made fairies, it would be Spike. 

I'm still surprised Gliss, the adorable bubbly frost fairy, never got a doll. Maybe they figured with her white hair, she was too like Periwinkle? Gliss had longer hair though. I would have loved her. 

Jakks mini Spike
Spike also got a mini doll and you can see from her picture that the dolls were getting rubbery plastic outfits now. I can't remember when they transitioned fully to these, because I didn't buy many small dolls. I have three Vidias, a Periwinkle and Spike, but I think that's it. 

Disney Store Periwinkle and Jakks Spike
The Disney Store also went nuts for Peri. I had her doll for awhile, but I had to sell her eventually. Her face looks like that of one of my old bosses and we didn't exactly get along, so I didn't want her looking at me from my doll shelf! I do have the plush Peri from the Disney Store collection, and up until very recently, I had the big pack of Secret of the Wings mini dolls. 

Disney Store UK plush Vidia and Silvermist

The Disney Store UK did smaller plushies for Secret of the Wings and I asked a friend to help me import two of them. I HAD to have Vidia! This was her first plush ever! And it would be her only plush. Silvermist was cute, too, but I ended up selling her a bit ago. Silvermist was my favorite of the Rosetta/Fawn/Iridessa/Silvermist group that got pulled from the books, but her appearances in the movies pretty much ruined her character for me. 

Jakks Winter Vidia
I think Jakks handled the doll line pretty well in the earlier years. There were several exclusives, like this winter-themed Vidia to the right. She was sold in a 2-pack with Tinker Bell, who I believe was spring. I remember almost buying the cute pajama party Periwinkle a few times, but I never did, and I'm still kicking myself a bit for not getting the pajama Vidia. Maybe someday! 

In August 2013, Jakks did an awesome thing. They made a deluxe line of dolls with poseability that could compete with lines like Monster High. These dolls are 9" tall and have some of the best clothing and faces in the entire Disney Fairies line. 

The initial set was Rosetta, Silvermist, Periwinkle and two versions of Tink. I ordered them from KMart, but they sent me the four below and then another hoodie Tink instead of Silvermist. After not finding Silvermist repeatedly, I ended up buying her on ebay. 

Jakks deluxe 9" dolls

The deluxe Tinks are really cute, but the other characters are the standouts in the line. Periwinkle needed a bit of help, since her first doll had a long ponytail. I pulled it together with a band and then snipped the end off. Peri has short hair. The end. 

Jakks deluxe Silvermist

Rosetta was my initial favorite of my first four, but Silvermist very quickly stole that spot when she arrived. This is my absolutely favorite Silvermist ever made. She ignores the dumbed down movie character and takes you right back to the original calm, cool and collected book Silvermist. 

I absolutely adored these dolls. Still do! And I began to wait impatiently for the rest of the girls. 

And I unfortunately never got them. This was the beginning of the end for Jakks. 

Jakks deluxe Pirate Fairy Periwinkle
Jakks continued the deluxe line with the Pirate Fairy movie. Periwinkle was not in that, yet she got a doll and Vidia, Iridessa and Fawn all got left out. I do give them points for fixing Peri's hair though. Minor points, but still points.

New character Zarina got a doll and she's lovely, but I still wanted my original girls! Vidia, Fawn and Iridessa were in every movie. 

Jakks deluxe Pirate Fairy Zarina
The basic dolls started losing their quality. Zarina got one mini doll, but that one was hard to find, and her only basic was in a 2-pack with Tink that I think was a Toys R Us exclusive. The Disney Store did a better job with Zarina's outfits, but her doll was nowhere near as pretty as the Jakks deluxe one. They did give us a mini fairy multipack with the switched around talent outfits though, so points for that. Zarina and Tink would also be the first designer/exclusive/bottom line expensive Disney Store exclusive dolls from the fairies line. 

Jakks Great Fairy Rescue Fawn and Neverbeast Fawn

When the final movie, Legend of the Neverbeast, came out, Jakks had totally dropped the ball on these dolls. Oh, they were still producing the beautiful deluxe dolls, but now they were random exclusives of Tink and Periwinkle or gimmicky trios of Tink, Rosetta and Silvermist, who was always the hard to find one. The only dolls for Neverbeast had the most basic outfits, but they also had the deluxe line headsculpts. The kick in the teeth was that Fawn, the star of the movie, not only didn't get a deluxe doll, but she did have a headsculpt ready! Her Neverbeast basic doll has a beautiful new head. She should have gotten a deluxe doll. Iridessa and Vidia should never have been left out either. And we should have gotten at least Nyx from the movie in doll form as well. The Disney Store did some okay merchandise, including an expensive lovely Fawn, but no new characters were presented.  

Disney Fairies was over. 

Some of my many Vidias
Jakks gave us a couple more random lines of gimmicks and dull basics, but I believe the line is finally finished. 

It was a good run for awhile, but the movies limited the number of characters presented, and giving the same set of characters over and over is only going to sell dolls for so long. Jakks killed the line by ignoring important characters and not capitalizing on new ones. 

Each company made some stellar dolls. The Disney Store originals will forever be my favorites, but Playmates early book fairies were great, and Jakks deluxe dolls are stunningly beautiful. Even Giochi's brief foray into Neverland gave us wonderful dolls. I love my collection and Vidia will be one of my favorite characters forever. It's just a shame that the franchise went in the directions it did. 

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine except the Fira and Iris playset pictures (LJ user Wichita98). 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

OVERVIEW: Disney Fairies Part 1 (The Book Fairies)

Disney Store Fira
Oh, Disney Fairies. This is going to be a long ride, guys, so get a drink to stay hydrated.

The Disney Fairies franchise began in September 2005 with the release of the first book. I believe it was created due to the popularity of Winx Club. Winx had several different fairies with different powers. Disney Fairies had several different fairies with different powers, only they were called "talents" in Neverland. While the Winx girls did big time stuff like saving the universe over and over, the Disney Fairies had much smaller, more mundane, but no less interesting trials and travails. Oh, they did save the Neverland from time to time, mostly in the big Gail Carson Levine books (not my favorites, except for the first one which is the best of the three by far), but by and large, they spent their time on character development.

Disney Store Prilla
I can't remember where I first encountered Disney Fairies. I remember looking at the website and knowing Vidia was going to be my favorite character. I was not wrong and she's still a hardcore fave to this day. I do remember going to the Disney Store in my local mall and looking for the dolls. I came home with Fira and Prilla, the only two who were there.

I also brought home the PVC figurine set, pictured below. This was my only Vidia toy for awhile and she was well-loved. Vidia was actually lucky to be included in this set. Bess and Lily, who also didn't get dolls in the initial line-up, were left out and didn't appear until later.
Disney Store PVC set

I had to rely on ebay for Tinker Bell, Rani and Beck. 

The original Disney Store set of dolls is my favorite from the entire 12 years of the franchise. They have lovely delicate bodies and adorable faces. The hair was decent quality and the outfits were very well-made. The wings are sewn on, which I both like and dislike. I like it because it helps the thin plastic wings be a bit more sturdy and because on a lot of plastic wings like this, they don't stick very well if they're held with velcro. But they do get in the way sometimes and on a character like Rani, they're not character accurate. (She gave up her wings at the end of the first book.) 

Disney Store Tink
These girls were pretty accurate to the book illustrations. Prilla's footwear was the one clothing piece that was really off. They gave her these ugly yellow boots when she has really cute leafy slippers. Fira's not the best representation either, but it's really her head mold that's not very flattering. There are far prettier Firas in other lines. And I remember some of her flowers falling apart when I opened her, so not the best made member of the set either.

Disney Store Rani

The Disney Fairies share a body with the Disney Store's W.I.T.C.H. line, although for the life of me, I cannot remember which one came first! I want to say W.I.T.C.H. did. 

The next thing I got, aside from books, which aren't going to be discussed here, was a set of the PVC figures from the UK. This set included Lily and Bess, the missing characters from the US set, but oddly, they didn't have Vidia in their set. The UK set wasn't as nicely painted as the US one and the easiest way to tell them apart is the wings. The US set has transparent glittery wings, while the UK set has painted wings. 

Rani US vs. Rani UK

Writing this is slow-going right now, because I'm poking through my ancient Disney Fairies Livejournal community, trying to figure out the order of release on these earlier items. It's getting late though, so I'm going to abandon this plan in a few minutes. I just want to get one more date firm. 

The Playmates Toys prototypes were shown at 2006 Toy Fair. These included 8" dolls of Tink, Fira and Rani and awesome 3.5" figure dolls of many characters. 

Disney Store Beck

In March 2006, I got a catalog that contained some new Disney Store DF merchandise. The main thing I mentioned in the community was the trio of fairy houses. These were fabric houses with plush furniture and small plush dolls. They were a rather steep $34.95 and you could choose from Tink, Rani or Fira. 

I was annoyed at the time, because Fira had done nothing at that point, yet she was getting a lot of merchandise. She was pretty, but that was literally it. 

I had no plans of spending that kind of money on the fairy houses, but I played a game on one of the Disney sites and won a $50 gift card. So I ordered both Fira and Rani's houses. 

Fira's fairy house

When they arrived, I was surprised because Rani turned out to be the cuter one. I had thought from the photos I'd seen that it would be Fira. I ended up giving away Fira's set, I think, or selling it. Rani's I kept for quite some time, but ended up getting rid of the house part and keeping the little doll. I still have her!

Rani's fairy house mini doll

The end of July brought the Playmates line as shown at Toy Fair. I bought a bunch of the little 3.5" dolls, but none of the bigger dolls, because they were not as pretty as my Disney Store girls. Although Fira was prettier actually, but I didn't want one doll that was shorter and different, so I kept with my DS set. 

Playmates Rani and Prilla 2-pack and single Rani

The 3.5" figures were gorgeous. They had fabric skirts and semi-brushable hair, but their little faces were super cute. I ended with one of each character and doubles of several. The only flaw of this line was the lack of one very obviously missing character: VIDIA. 

Playmates Tink and Queen Clarion 2-pack

Being a huge Vidia fan, I thought her absence was ridiculous, since she was in so many of the books and one of the major players in Quest for the Egg. I don't know if Playmates thought she was the villain and they were scared to make her or what. I'll never understand companies' lack of interest in villain toys. I had plenty of them in the 80s and they made play more fun. Vidia's not a true villain anyway, but she never did get any sort of toy from Playmates.

Playmates Fira and Beck 2-pack and single Bess
The 3.5" Lily and Bess were my first poseable toys of those two and I loved them. The Fira figure is also hands down the best representation of her. The hair is a little too purple, but she's got the prettiest face of any Fira toy. Queen Clarion made her first appearance in this line and her figure is lovely.

The end of August 2006 gave us an updated set of PVC figures from the Disney Store. Finally, Lily and Bess were included. This made me want their bigger dolls even more! 

Playmates Pluck (US Lily PVC in background)

In early October 2006, I found a surprise 4-pack of 3.5" figures. This set included yet another Tinker Bell, but also three characters that had never gotten toys before and never would again. These three were Dulcie the baking talent, Iris the garden talent, and Pluck the harvest talent, as seen in my horribly blurry old photo to the right there. I was a bit mad they got toys before Vidia. I was still holding out hope for her, but that was not going to happen. Pluck is my favorite from the 3.5" line simply because she reminds me of Vidia. She's got sass. Why they made her and not Vidia I will never understand. 

Playmates Iris

In November 2006, the Disney Store released a lovely set of ornaments for the book fairies. They left one out. Guess who! My poor Vidia. I have the ornaments and they're lovely, but they would have been lovelier with Vidia. 

Thankfully, mid-November brought us what we'd all been waiting for: the Disney Store Vidia, Bess and Lily dolls!

Not being one for patience and remembering how poorly my stores had stocked the first line, I got the trio off ebay. 

Disney Store Vidia
I finally had my girl! This original Vidia doll remains her best representation much like the original set of five are the best versions of most of those characters. Vidia's outfit is gorgeous and the colors are perfect. I braided her two little loose locks of hair in front, because I dragged her around with me so much that they started to go wild. Her face though is the best part. That pouty, supremely beautiful face! She's one of the most lovely dolls in my entire collection.

Disney Store Bess
Bess was one of the more popular characters in those early days of fairies. Bess, because so many either identified with or just plain loved that she was an artist, and Rani, who was incredibly popular for either her sacrifice or her sensitivity. I actually disliked Rani a lot for years. I thought she was really overrated, even though her doll was so beautiful that I wanted to adore her. It took me ages to finally like her, after all the hubbub over her had died down. (Same thing happened to me with Flora from Winx Club.) The Bess doll has a cute, if somewhat lumpy, outfit, but her poor hair was kind of a mess. It took a lot of work for me to fix it.

Disney Store Lily
Cutie pie Lily was one of the best-dressed of the original line. I love the colors and details of her outfit, especially the pants and shoes. Lily's hat thankfully stays on really well, because I still struggle with poor Prilla's to this day. 

In January 2007, some prototype images were found for new Playmates toys, but most of them never came out. Sadly, I don't have the images anymore either and I'd actually forgotten about them until going through my old comm. 

Iris, Dulcie and Pluck were released separately in February 2007. 

Playmates 8" Prilla

Prilla got a surprise 8" Playmates doll in March 2007. She was my first of the 8" dolls and she was pretty cute, although I did end up selling her later on. (I'd like to re-add her to my collection now!) Kudos to Playmates for getting her shoes right, where the Disney Store could not. 

Prilla was a surprise, because we were expecting Iris. I can't remember which show she appeared at, but I still have this photo of an 8" Iris doll years later.

Prototype Playmates 8" Iris
Iris would have been my favorite of the 8" dolls hands down! I'm still upset they never made her. 

Some variants from the 8" series were found, but I've completely forgotten about them, so aside from Tink, I think they're pretty rare. I believe there was a Fira variant and she got a 3.5" figure with a bedroom playset, too. 

In August 2007, the book fairies sadly were dying out. Playmates released a couple new toys, but the look of Tink was clearly based on the new movie and no longer the books. 

Playmates 3.5" Silvermist

October 2007 brought a new series of 3.5" figures. These were clearly based on designs from the new movie. Silvermist, Rosetta and Iridessa made their first appearances, but they looked nothing like their book characters. Well, sort of. Silvermist was probably the closest, because her outfit was always blue, but both Iridessa and Rosetta lost their multicolored fashions from the book art.

Playmates 3.5" Rosetta
I had all three of the new characters, although I just rehomed Rosetta and Iridessa. I kept Silvermist though, because she's very delicately beautiful. Sil and Rosetta were sold separately, as was yet another version of Tink, but Iridessa came packaged with yet another Tink. 

Playmates 3.5" Tink and Iridessa 2-pack

Iridessa was given crazy long hair, when she typically has everything in an updo. I prefer her original book outfit with the blue and yellow. Rosetta, too, isn't nearly as pretty as her book art. That one had long flowing wavy hair and a lovely green and pink dress. I will have more to say on the movies in Part 2 of this overview. 

Playmates Silvermist 3.5" and 8"
I got the 8" Silvermist doll, who ended up getting sold along with Prilla. Again, one I'm looking to adopt again. She's not the best Silvermist by a long shot, but hey, I kinda like her still. Her outfit is cute because it's not her typical long, sweeping dress.

There is one other type of toy I didn't mention above, because I can't remember when exactly they came out. The Disney Store UK released three larger soft dolls for the Disney Fairies line. Tink was one, of course, but the other two were Fira and Prilla. I think I was happy Rani was left out at the time, but now I would love a plush Rani, so I wish they'd made her. 

Disney Store UK plush Fira doll
I bought both Fira and Prilla well after they came out, which is why I don't have them documented in my LJ comm,which is where I've gotten all this chronology from. I also don't have a cute picture of Prilla, so just Fira will have to do for this overview. 

The book fairies had a good run, but I was sad to see them go. Their replacement by the movie fairies was the beginning of the end for the DF franchise, even though it would still go on for many years. But the range of products would never be as wide character-wise. The movie merchandise stuck with Tink, Rosetta, Fawn, Iridessa, Silvermist and Vidia for the most part. Terence and Clarion got some toys, as did a handful of background characters, and of course, Periwinkle once her movie came out. I kept waiting for the movie that would introduce a book fairy and celebrate a new arrival, but they kept telling other stories and never tying things together like they should have. Thankfully, the book series held on for quite awhile and now we still have occasional books from the Never Girls line that keep our book fairies alive. 

I'll continue this possibly tomorrow with the rest of DF history. This just got to be too long! I don't have nearly as many photos or details from the movie fairies lines, because I didn't collect the majority of them, so we'll tackle that next time. 

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine except 8" Iris (, I think) and 3.5" Rosetta, Silvermist and the Iridessa set (LJ user Wichita98)