There have been many releases of dolls from The Little Mermaid since the films debut in 1989. Many different companies have produced dolls (Tyco, Mattel, The Disney Store, Hasbro, and more). Tyco was the first to produce dolls. These are shorter than most Little Mermaid dolls.
Eventually the license went to Mattel in the late 1990s (Mattel Classic). Then in the mid 2000s, Mattel changed the head mold and made Ariel’s body shorter (Mattel 2). After several years Mattel changed Ariel’s face again (Mattel 3). Shortly before Mattel lost the license in 2016, it came out with Mattel 4 (and produced a pretty good amount of Mattel 4 dolls in a rather small amount of time). In 2023, Mattel received the license again and Mattel 5 dolls began to be produced.
The Disney Store 1 dolls are the Disney brand’s first dip into their own line of Disney dolls. Many of these dolls were released primarily in the Disney Parks. Disney Store Style 2 dolls were released in the early 2000’s and featured new head molds and a variety of dress styles, but they were discontinued after a few years, and then Disney Store Style 3, the current line of dolls, replaced them.
Simba had the license to release dolls in Europe, and release dolls they did, throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s. They seem to have lost the license very shortly after Tangled was released. Simba dolls are the ones I know the least about, as they weren’t released in the United States and I have no personal memories of seeing them on shelves or in original packaging. I only know of what I can find record of online, or what European friends locate for me secondhand. Or what I randomly find at flea markets, because flea markets sometimes have really strange things.
“Other” features the Disney on Ice dolls, which were released by a different license holder, and another (possibly Disney Store exclusive, possibly European exclusive, definitely not widespread) style of Ariel doll.
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Looking to identify a character other than Ariel? I have also put the other non-baby characters on their own pages for easy reference: