The Disney Limited Edition dolls line commenced in 2009 starting with Snow White.
These dolls were initially released to commemorate the release of a Disney movie on blu-ray otherwise known as a diamond edition release. With regards to these "diamond" edition releases there is generally two released every year, one around Spring and the other during Fall and it should be noted that the Fall release is the one associated with a Disney princess movie Snow White (2009), Beauty and the Beast (2010), Cinderella (2012), The Little Mermaid (2013), Sleeping Beauty (2014) and Aladdin (2015). The only exception was in 2011 wherein the Lion King was released in fall and is the only one to be released so far that does not contain a Disney Princess. This line was eventually coined as the "heirloom" collection due to the style and look of the dolls along with the fact that Disney uses the term Heirloom in their certificate of authenticity.
Note that there have been other characters included in this collection that are either not princesses (Alice, the villains and the Princes) or are more recent princesses (such as Anna, Elsa, Merida, Rapunzel and Tiana) hence do not have a diamond edition release but instead are released either during the movie or home media release.
Along with this heirloom collection there are also various limited edition dolls which have just been termed as "Other" Limited Edition Dolls, each released to commemorate a movie release or a special Disney event.
These dolls started slow with most taking weeks if not months to sell out, up until the release of the movie Frozen, that is when their popularity started to grow and the price start to increase for the dolls.
The designer dolls have a different background, these debut during the 2011 D23 expo with a series of 10 dolls being released each one representing a different princess re-imagined in a designer/couture high fashion style. The series was a hit with all the dolls selling out and the sales being rather chaotic, as a result Disney decided to release the designer villains line to continue the series. Unlike the LE dolls these dolls were released as a series annually since 2011 with a different theme being taken up each year. 2011 had the Princesses, 2012 had the Villains, 2013 and 2014 the Fairytale line. 2014 also featured the first designer dolls outside of their normal release in Aug-Sep with the release of the designer Fairies.
This website was created to showcase these dolls and to provide people with general and useful information about them.