My Thoughts on the Monster High Reboot

So, the news of the Monster High 2016 reboot has clearly made some waves this past week. You guys have been awesome enough to share your thoughts on the subject, so I thought I’d share mine.

Monster High Trio with WM

When Monster High first hit store shelves, it was a very exciting time to be a doll collector. The whole journey from when the line was first announced to their eventual debut was great fun to follow. And the doll hunts in search of trying to find the first wave?  Tons of fun. My first Monster High purchase was Lagoona.  I was so excited to find her on the shelf!  And finding Holt and Ghoulia?  Also some very exciting and memorable moments in my doll collecting career. Personally, I know that without Monster High, my blog wouldn’t have found as many readers as it has over the years, so I am very grateful to the line.

The first two and a half years of Monster High may be my favorite. We had some fantastic lines like the original wave, Dawn of the Dance, Dead Tired, Sweet 1600, Schools Out… You must agree with me that we had some really cool Monster High releases in the early years and the anticipation of finding new characters was super high. The whole line had an addictive quality about it. Much like Pringles, buying just one in a wave was nearly impossible. I most likely have nearly every Monster High produced during those years, because all the dolls were worth buying and I really wanted to have a complete collection.

Deuce Monster High

That being said, the line started to fumble a little for me in 2014 and 2015. While I still enjoy the line, the addiction, the need, to buy every single one has long been gone. Now, I only collect new characters or re-releases that I think are pretty. I think a lot of us have been thinking the same thing this past year– that Mattel wasn’t paying enough attention to Monster High. They churned out a lot of dolls in the past two years and not all of them were made or designed well. Worse, some were just plain uninspired, stagnant and, dare I say, boring. A far cry from when they made their debut a few years prior.

So now it’s nearly 2016.  The line has had 5 successful years under its belt. But here’s the thing– everything’s gotta change sometimes and it looks like it’s Monster High’s time to do just that. Mattel has been making small tweaks to the line all the way since wave one. Some have been amazing– like eliminating the rubber band bodies and using Create a Monster bodies instead. (My first wave dolls have terribly loose limbs now. So sad!) Other changes, like cutting back on the length of the outfits that were already super short to begin with, not so much. (Friendly hint, Mattel, some of us make our dolls sit and the outfits need to be a little longer to do that in a lady like fashion.)

V-Day, Monster HIgh

So, this reboot isn’t the first time Mattel has tweaked Monster High. It is the first time, however, that they’ve decided to ‘go big or go home’. I understand why Mattel would decide to make one big change, over many small minor ones.  They want their changes to make an impact, not just seem like a mistake.

As far as the plans for 2016, I’m not going to jump to conclusions just yet. Yes, the redesign is a far cry from what we’re used to, but maybe the changes will reinvigorate the line, give it new life. I agree with those that say the large eyes make the characters look younger, more like junior high students. I’m not totally against that, though. The new look is a complete rework of the gothic monster dolls we were introduced to, but the redesign is kind of cute. They definitely give off an anime vibe. In a way, it’s almost like Mattel is taking a cue from some of the customs floating around the internet, many of which have more of an animated look to them.

ghoulia

I can totally see why people would be upset, though, because this new look doesn’t exactly jive with the ‘freaky flaws’ mentality of the original design. The redesign is way more cutesy and young than the teenage monsters we’re used to seeing. But, thankfully, if the re-design isn’t your thing, there’s a whole back catalog of dolls to collect on the secondary market. Think about the doll lines we’ve lost over the past five years that only lasted one or two waves (Pinkie Cooper anyone?). No one can say we didn’t receive a nice selection of dolls and tons of fun memories over the past 5 years of collecting Monster High dolls.

I guess my opinion of the changes can be summed up with one statement: wait and see. I’m willing to give the reboot a chance, because I feel that the current Monster High line is running out of steam at a very fast pace and I don’t want to see it disappear from stores completely just yet. If that means the dolls regenerate a bit, I’m willing to wait and see them in person, with the power of Mattel’s marketing campaign behind them. Who knows? Maybe the new look will cause a whole new slew of collectors to be born? Or maybe not. All we can do is wait and see.

December 30, 2015. Tags: . Uncategorized. 38 comments.

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