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New Doll Review: Marvel Rising

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The new Marvel Rising doll line seems to Marvel/Disney's response to Mattel's DC Super Hero Girls (like Disney Descendants were Disney's response to Ever After High).

Like DCSHG, they are being released via an early exclusive agreement with Target stores, so you're most likely to find them there in person first.

Let's take a look!

Marvel Rising dolls Squirrel Girl Ghost Spider Gwen Ms Marvel Kamala Khan

There MAY be other bodies (or body combinations) besides these, but from pictures it looked like all the dolls came in 3 main body types.  For now we'll just call them GH (Ghost Spider) MM (Ms Marvel) and SG (Squirrel Girl). 

Sculpt wise, they're pretty good above the waist and meh below.  The arms have nice musculature, and the stomach has abs, but the thighs turn into tubular sausages and the calves aren't much better. 

You can use the thigh cut as an excuse, but with a thigh cut a thigh only has to be circular AT THE THIGH CUT.  The rest of the thigh can and should be sculpted.  But generally this is an area that's going to be covered with clothing so... I guess it's OK.   Nothing compared to the incredible strong-yet-feminine sculpting of the DC Super Hero Girls, BUT they did sculpt 3 at least 3 different body types.

They also sculpted 3 different feet:


GS has arched feet, the other two have flat feet.  SG's are very wide at the toe, MM's are about the same width at the toe as the heel, GS is somewhere in between.  Between the 3 sizes, these dolls won't be able to share clothes OR shoes. 

Are there any other doll lines they might be able to share with?  Let's take a look:

Doll comparisons Marvel Rising DC Super Hero Girl Barbie WWE Diva Disney Descendants

GS is the body type most similar to the classic adult fashion doll, so she has the most potential matches.  Theoretically.

GS is the most similar to Descendants, which makes sense since they're both Hasbro-made.  Descendants are "P" size, but GS is not: while being only slightly taller, she's a lot thicker all over because of the more muscular build.

Next is Barbie (M girl classic variation) and WWE Girls (M girl strong variation).  This is a bit more similar in the hips and shoulders BUT not anywhere close in the arm, leg, and waist girth measurements.  No match here, either.

Finally there's DC Super Hero Girls (PS size, 125%).  Nope.  Every measurement is way smaller or way bigger.

 Verdict: There is no pattern size that will fit these gals! 

Next up, MM.  She has a straight torso, so the most obvious comparison is the similarly straight-torso'd Tall Fashionista (if you're wondering about adolescent Skipper, she's Petite sized, which is the same size as Disney Descendants--similar in proportion, but a much curvier torso shape).

The problem is obvious though.  The fashionista doll is much more stretched vertically, though similar in width/girth.  It might be possible to do something by skewing just the length measurements of a pattern, but that is not going to be very easy. 

Verdict: No easy clothes solutions here, either.

Last is Squirrel Girl!  From the promo pictures, she looked like the one I would be least likely to find a match for, but it turns out maybe not!

SG is a little shorter than Curvy Fashionista (M Girl size, curvy option) in the torso and leg, but very similar in girth measurements.  Let's see how that works by putting her in a Curvy Fashionista outfit:

NICE.  The fit in the torso is good.  The skirt hem ends below the knee instead of above, but that's not a bad thing, especially since it covers the kind of odd looking knee joint!

Verdict: Yay! Squirrel Girl should be fine with M Girl Curvy patterns.  Shirt or bodice length could be shortened by .5cm at the bottom hem, short skirts by 1 cm at the bottom hem, or full length skirts/pants by 2cm at the bottom for a perfect fit.

Finally, let's talk articulation. 

Hasbro hasn't done so great with articulated dolls before now.  Descendants is the best so far, Force Rising dolls the worst I've ever seen, and Disney Princess dolls somewhere in the middle.  BUT the thing I like about Hasbro is that they are always improving their products.  Quality wise, things generally get better, not worse.

Without the gimmicks of the Star Wars lines, the articulation is generally improved!  The elbow is about 20 degrees less than other dolls, but the legs are great.  Definitely closer to the made to move line. 

Let's compare the two with a more dynamic pose:

No bust, double-jointed elbow, or ankle joint, but she has no problem touching her head and the far side of her waist.  This might not seem like a big deal, but very few dolls can do this.  For most poses, these dolls will be great!


Like many doll lines, the Marvel Rising dolls have different levels of articulation.  The basic line is head, shoulder, and hip, like the basic line of virtually every fashion doll.  The fully articulated dolls add in knee, elbow, and wrist articulation.  Some dolls have somewhere in between, for example Ghost Spider was the deluxe doll with two outfits BUT she has no elbow/wrist articulation.  The fully articulated dolls were mid-range price, with only one outfit.  So if you're in it for articulation, keep that in mind.

The only other thing I want to mention is that if you're considering head swapping between doll lines, these dolls use a different neck peg system.  It won't be as easy as heat 'n pop.