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.

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December 30, 2015. Uncategorized.

34 Comments

  1. SmallerPlaces replied:

    Oh my! The new faces look like fakies.

    It’s not impossible that I’ll actively like some of the new face-ups (Draculaura is definitely pretty in an anime way), and I’m totally with you on being bored with what the line had become. At the same time… Barbie disappointed me with the new look by going vapid and younger-looking (despite my excitement about the greater range of skin tones)… MGA’s Bratz disappointed with with the new look by losing the brattiness in favor of being wide-eyed and more innocent-looking… and now Monster High is starting down the same path. Where I might shrug and learn to like it with one line, as an industry-wide trend, it doesn’t thrill me.

    I look forward to your reviews when the new ones hit the shelves, and yeah, you’re actually RIGHT to wait and see (I’m just getting cranky).

    • lydia replied:

      I know everything has been changing ever since i moved and im crying becouse its not about me but the girls that do have scars on there faces and arms like that. There showing yhat those girls arent made to be in this world. Thats what im also crying about.😥😭

  2. Debbie Miller replied:

    It’s very nice of you & others to give Mattel the benefit of wait n see, however, I find it very disappointing to loose such a line that touted ‘BE DIFFERENT” I can’t see Mattel being more creative by changing the faces to cutesy & blending in with other lines. But, all GOOD things must come to an end. I do however, look forward to you & your mom’s fantastic reviews. I may not purchase MH new releases but look forward to reading about them. On that note have a very Happy New & Prosperous 2016.

  3. b. elson replied:

    Only thing you didn’t touch on I the importance of their theme. Be unique be yourself be a monster.

    • lydia replied:

      You have to be yourself nomatter what! If i didnt the new school yhat im at right now wouldnt except me and now girls are starting to bee byattyer every day becouse of it!!!!!

  4. gem clancy replied:

    Some people on eBay uk ask ridiculous prices for old Monster High dolls. The new faces are ugly. Luckily I signed a petition to stop Mattel from making these fakies.

    I will laugh if this backfires on Mattel, heck I’m laughing at the lost of Disney Princess dolls as Hasbro has brought the rights to Disney dolls.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yeah, Mattel didn’t leave 2015 on a high note, that’s for sure.

  5. Monster High Reboot - A Collector's Thoughts - Culture Honey replied:

    […] To hear another collector’s POV on the reboot, click here: […]

  6. Anonymous replied:

    They are scrapping like, half the characters!

    • lydia replied:

      My favorite character is.lagoona and now.she looks ugly!!!!!!!!! Im cying rightt now becous i look like her!!!!!!

  7. Gale Drier-Hensyel replied:

    Is it possible to reroot a doll without removing the head? I have a vintage 70’s hard plastic baby doll in need of a lot of hair. Trying to remove her head might be too risky. I am afraid she might break. Rather ironically, when I was a kid I named her Curly, because she had short brown curly hair. I know she isn’t worth much, but she is special to me because my older brother gave her to me when I was a kid.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I don’t know of a way to re-root without taking the dolls head off. 😦 Without taking the head off, I’m not sure how you’d get the hair to be comb-able. Sorry!

      • Debbie Miller replied:

        A wig would be a viable option for that type of doll

  8. Deuce replied:

    The answer is a hard “no”. Mattel can go straight to heck on that (yes, HECK!). They’re trying to ready us for the live action movie because they can’t possibly find anyone that looks like the ghouls. That’s what this is, and the answer is an even harder “NO!”

    • lydia replied:

      You are right! Its easy enough for oeaople to understand nobody likes the new reboot so why are you keeping the new look?

  9. Ace of Cupid replied:

    Thank you!
    I’ve been getting so fed up with everyone throwing a big fit about how horrible the reboot is but, really, I love the idea.
    I think the dolls are cuter and from what I’ve seen of the future animation, it’s different but still a huge improvement!
    I’m not asking anyone else to like it but if everyone would calm down and give it a chance, I’d be happy.

    • Lira replied:

      Telling people they suck for having a differing opinion than yours is both rude and rather immature. I don’t like the changes myself, but everyone has the right to like the newer dolls just as much as we have the right to dislike the direction they are going.

      As someone who has never had a doll that looked like me, I can;t say that I sympathize with that sentiment. Dolls to me were never about finding a reflection of myself, they were for adventures and story-telling. I’m more worried about this “need” nowadays for girls to have dolls that “represent” them physically. My mother and other women I knew growing up were my role models, not toys.

  10. Carla M. replied:

    It will be interesting to compare these new reboot dolls to the China knock offs that have been circulating for years. They look like the knockoffs with their lack of details, so it will be interesting to compare the quality of craftsmanship.

  11. Sam replied:

    I agree with the first comment, the bratty (and in my opinion more interesting) look of the Bratz dolls have been replaced by a wide eyed anime-ish look. They’ve also had HUGE shoes and less accessories for a higher price.

    Why would Mattel change such a fantastic line? I mean yes, it’s kind of attracted more adult collectors than the intended demographic, but I feel like the original *cough* “scary” look was what set it apart from all of the pink clad dolls in the aisles next to them. I think this reboot was also a little hypocritical too.

    It’ll be interesting if this backfires, as I’ve seen mostly negative feedback on this. We’ll see. (I think Hasbro did better w/Disney Princesses, even though they look younger, they’re much more attractive, but that’s just me.)

  12. gem clancy replied:

    Trouble is that people are greedy on eBay.co.uk and are asking £75 for Holt Hyde and Slo Mo in boxes. Or between £29 and £40 for a used Holt Hyde.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Greedy people have been around since Monster High first hit store shelves, unfortunately. 😦

  13. mediaacademiks replied:

    Reblogged this on Monster High Media Analysis.

  14. Lira replied:

    While I don’t care for the new faces too much, what has me concerned is that I’ve seen pictures of the the “reboots” that are lacking joints at the elbows and wrists. If Mattel goes that cheap with them, I’m out. They are already cutting so many corners with Ever After High it’s ridiculous.

    • lydia replied:

      They realy messed up the dolls. They were showing that the monsters that are born after them could be beutiful when you dont know it. So for you to remember there making them ugly now.

    • lydia replied:

      I mean if the otfits were for a different thing and the faces.were.the same and the joints. Than i would like it. But i ha5e it becouse there not ANY OF THOSE THINGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. lydia replied:

    I hate the new looks of the monster high dolls!!!!!!! They look so stupid. They look likebthey were from my little pony. People say the real monster high dolls are creapy like thats a good excuse! I just wish they never changed it. The new monster high dolls are a peice of crap.

  16. lydia replied:

    I think the new looks are super duper ugly. What is mattel thinking?! This is insane! WE ARE MONSTER HIGH!!!!!!!!!

  17. kiwa45 replied:

    I thought EVER AFTER HIGH catered for those parents who wanted a more ‘cutsie’ line. I liked the uniqueness of monster high…. why have 2 lines that are cutsie?

  18. warmheartedkiller replied:

    No one is really touching on any of the really offensive things about this reboot. Like the fact that they’ve minimized or erased the scars on characters (as if scars are something to be ashamed of) the fact that the dark skinned dolls are now much paler (white-washing, anyone?) and the fact that they’re scrapping the majority of the characters INCLUDING the disabled characters. We had a beautiful diverse cast, with multicultural and disabled characters, characters in interracial relationships… And all of that will most likely be gone.

    The message that you should embrace your flaws and love yourself for who you are is completely erased, no matter how you look at it. And in terms of doll quality, I saw them in store today alongside the pre-reboot ones and damn.. They look like sh*t. The clothes look super cheap and badly made, they have no joints, hell, even the boxes look cheaper and less interesting. They look very, very bad.

    As a girl who had many scars who grew up in an interracial family, I had no dolls I could play with that I related to. As an adult, I was thrilled to see something I would’ve loved as a kid. I was also overjoyed to see the disabled characters, because I had disabled friends growing up who always felt extremely underrepresented. Now this is over, replaced with more conservative, exclusive dolls. This whole thing just depresses me.

  19. Fluttershy replied:

    The new dolls dont look better they look like fakes that parents buy for kids who are too young to read the box

  20. Louis Valentino replied:

    I do agree very fervantly that the older Monster High was more meshing to my personality,and freakish out look,and me being a guy who collects these highly imaginetive dark looking dolls,makes the experience more unique. I do not agree that back in 2014 and 2015 it lost it’s colorful inhuman touch. I loved the Freaky Fusion,Haunted,Scaris,Freak Du Chic,Gore geous Ghouls and Great Scarier Reef dolls.

  21. Monster high replied:

    I don’t like a new monster high face and all ow them😲😩

  22. The super hero fan replied:

    The new dolls look like the fakes parents by for children before they know how to read(Steffi dolls am i right)

  23. The super hero fan replied:

    The new dolls look like the fakes parents by for children before they know how to read(Steffi dolls am i right)I have a huge scar on my arm and it looks like Mattal say”whatever,be perfect like barbie or dont be pretty at all!”;(

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