Dolly Review: Monster High Frankie’s Designer Booo-tique

I didn’t plan on reviewing this for the blog, but due to a surprising characteristic on the Frankie, it seems worthy of writing something up on this release. Here’s the gist– Designer Booo-tique Frankie comes with Frankie and five outfits for you to decorate with three thin fabric markers and stencils. You also get a small page of stickers you can use to add extra details to your designs.

As far as designing the outfits, there’s not that much to it. The outfits have one stretchy side and one non-stretchy side, which looks a little odd in person. The coolest of the outfits is made up like an adult coloring book with an intense pattern you can color in. Other than that one dress, the rest are free form. You can do whatever you’d like with them.

Booo-tique Frankie

The reason I am writing about this set, though, isn’t because of the gimmick, but because of the Frankie. She’s super disappointing. Right off the bat, you’ll notice one very disappointing element– the lack of articulation at her elbows and wrists.  Upon closer examination, you’ll notice another irritating feature. Frankie’s shoulder joints don’t swivel out. All they can do is move up and down. Her leg joints look normal, but who knows what will happen to them in the reboot.

Booo-tique Frankie

As if that wasn’t enough, Frankie has lost the painted stitch marks on her arms and legs and has now received molded unpainted ones. The molded marks don’t stand out half as much as the 2D painted ones.

Booo-tique Frankie

Body issues aside, what about her face? Both my mom and I thought the same thing when we saw her: why does she look so mean? Seriously, this Frankie looks far less friendly than other releases. Maybe it’s the dark make up around her eyes and the bright pink lip color, but she looks like she has a chip on her shoulder.

Booo-tique Frankie

While I can’t say this is how the bodies will be come the 2016 reboot of Monster High, just today I saw a few budget dolls with the non-articulated arms. I really hope that they aren’t moving away from elbow and wrist joints, not to mention decent working shoulder joints.

For more details on this release, check out the video review (linked above). I wanted to make sure to cover the big stuff (like her cheap arms) in this mini written review, but skimmed over some of the smaller details.

What are your thoughts on the Designer Booo-tique Frankie? Let me know in the comment area!

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January 2, 2016. Tags: , . Uncategorized.

16 Comments

  1. Debbie Miller replied:

    Scary, its like a “beauty queen” MH. Instead of taking steps forward Mattel definitely is going backwards. Hmmm, maybe someone has it out for Mattel & they don’t know it. Mattel should be singing the tune “We don’t know what were doing” & “Can’t figure out why no one is buying”

  2. Iphis of Scyros replied:

    The eyebrows are definitely why she looks ticked off. Those are angry eyebrows.

    That’s disturbing about the lack of joints. Even the properly jointed budget dolls seem to be losing quality: I got the Catherine de Mew from the “Fangtastic Fitness” set, and was shocked to realize that her torso and upper arms were made from a different, shinier plastic that felt decidedly cheaper. The shoulder joints had been made poorly, complete with untrimmed excess plastic, and don’t move quite right. (In fact, she was so badly made that I found myself double-checking the package to make sure I hadn’t somehow bought a knock-off!) On top of that, she doesn’t even have shoes, and her only accessories were some Skullette-shaped hand weights.

    They’re definitely trying to cut costs on individual dolls to maximize their profits, but they’re crazy if they think people aren’t going to notice. Even little kids can tell the difference between a doll with jointed elbows and one without.

    BTW, I told my brother (a former accounting student) about the reboot, and described some of the changes, and he agreed that it stank of marketing, budgeting and ill-informed managerial meddling. (Apparently, executives are trained not to think. Which is, of course, why he left the business school altogether.) That being the case, though, there is at least a chance that if the sales plummet drastically enough, they might bring back the originals. (Like the New Coke/Classic Coke thing.)

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I think you may be right about the eyebrows. That has to be it. She just looks so, so mean!

  3. Joanie replied:

    No wrist or elbow joints is disappointing for collectors. But for little kids who have trouble dressing the dolls with spread out fingers and then lose the hands, it’s to their benefit. I don’t know how many Monster High dolls I have seen in Goodwill missing hands.

  4. Medina replied:

    I also noticed from your photos that her hands/fingers aren’t as detailed or separate as they were previously! 😦 I adore MH’s little tiny separated fingers.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yep. Totally with you there. The hands are sad, too. 😦

  5. Blackkitty replied:

    Ok, the shoulders are a complete (unpleasant) surprise! The hands look like shovels. The moulded stitches make no sense. Was it really cheaper to switch to them? Did you at least have fun with the dresses?

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I don’t buy into the gimmick of this as much. Once you design all five looks, you’re done with that gimmick, unless you can sew more plain outfits. I think it is cheaper to make the arms like this. Think about how many complaints MH has had over the years b/c of broken limbs. I know we’ve called them a lot b/c of those issues…

  6. Trisha Andrews replied:

    Personally, I don’t like the Monster High doll line nor any other fashion dolls with horror and science fiction themes. I buy what I like.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      That’s a great way to collect. 🙂 I tell people that all the time– collect what you want, not what other people are pining over or what you think will make money in the end.

  7. Purple Monkfish replied:

    god she looks SO mad, like she’s gonna shiv you. eeek.

    The moulded stitches are a cool idea, if only they were painted and her arms weren’t crap. Doesn’t the inability to move the arms properly outward really hurt her dressability?

    • kewpie83 replied:

      It’s like dressing a budget Barbie doll. The outfits are all kind of stretchy on one side and have no sleeves, so they are pretty easy to get on her, even with her arms. I agree that paint on her stitch marks would have worked wonders on this doll.

  8. jikin replied:

    When I first saw these, I was certain they had to be knock-offs. It is sad that is not the case.
    That said, I wonder if these are aimed at the younger end of the crowd. They are marketed toward 7-10 year olds, primarily, and there are younger kids who like them. Small removable hands that can be swallowed, and somewhat fragile joints to break- these might be an answer for younger kids who kept breaking their dolls. Basically they are kind of like the $5 Barbie: sturdy for harder play.
    As long as the keep the a line with joints, I don’t think the cheaper ones will make much of a difference for the collectors. Plus the pictures of the reboot do show joints, so far…

    • kewpie83 replied:

      If they were priced at budget prices, I would be totally fine with this. They need to start pricing them like they are– budget dolls. I think you’re onto something, though. We have called Mattel over and over again b/c of broken wrist and elbow joints. This will alleviate some of that drama for them.

  9. Great Russian Gifts replied:

    The scary faces of MH dolls are not appealing to me as a collector either, but kids love them no matter what. Ever after collection is much prettier and shares the same idea.

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