Amazing Disney Princess Collab With Doll Maker, Mattel, Ends Decade Long Feud

After parting ways seven years ago, the famed doll designer, Mattel, will resume a partnership with the Walt Disney Company to create a new line for the Disney Princess franchise.

First created in 1945, the California company skyrocketed into toymaking fame after releasing popular children’s items such as Matchbox Cars, Hot Wheels, and of course, Barbie. But the Company also has a longstanding relationship with Disney, even acting as the first television sponsor of the Mickey Mouse Club and creating infant and preschool lines using Disney characters throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Mattel grabs rights to Disney Princess, 'Frozen' from Hasbro

Credit: New York Post

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Moreover, Mattel eventually became known for its highly detailed princess dolls, utilizing character designs created by Walt Disney Animation Studios. With the launch of the official Disney Princess lineup and franchise in the early 2000s, Disney and Mattel would collaborate together to create memorable products for their target audiences until 2014.

Then, Disney allegedly chose to break the partnership after Mattel produced a line of dolls for the Ever After High franchise, which reimagined public-domain versions of classic fairytale characters, including familiar names such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. Afterward, one of Mattel’s competitors, Hasbro Inc., received the rights to create Disney Princess dolls two years later in 2016.

Disney and Mattel team up to launch re-imagined line of Disney Princess dolls - ABC News

Credit: ABC

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Now, a new collection releasing later this year through a partnership between the Disney Princess franchise and the Mattel toy company has put to rest the divisive split. In addition to characters like Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen (2013), Mattel will also create a series of 17 different characters, like Cinderella, Moana, Ariel, Rapunzel, Jasmine, and more.

Meanwhile, Hasbro will retain the license to create toys based on Disney-owned franchises, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Plus, Disney itself just launched a new Jaks Pacific line of 18” non-character dolls, with “Disneybounding” outfits inspired by various Disney characters such as princesses and villains, now with 11” fashion doll counterparts, which ironically will compete with Mattel’s own Barbie and American Girl franchises.

disney ily 4EVER

Credit: Disney

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Even so, Mattel COO Richard Dickinson released a statement expressing the Company’s joy at winning back the rights from Hasbro and its hope to create “innovative and inspiring” characters with “unrelenting attention to detail and quality.” In fact, the deal comes on the heels of “corporate restructuring” enacted by Mattel Chairman and CFO Ynon Kreiz, who briefly worked for the Walt Disney Company and has worked since 2018 to improve net sales for the previously financially challenged playtime manufacturer.

According to ABC, these dolls will focus less on realism than children’s cartoon expectations, with “true-to-character facial features, hair fiber tailored to the characters, premium fabrics with brighter colors and true fashion doll scale.” Will you be adding these pretty princesses to your Disney collection?

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.