Monster High Wave 1 Retrospective

It’s been seven years since Monster High changed the doll collecting world. Before Monster High, doll collecting as a hobby wasn’t discussed very often, especially with the younger set. That changed when Monster High hit store shelves. From that gothic line based on the children of monsters and other creatures came a wave of collectors who had never bought a doll in their life, but now found themselves addicted to these ghoul-themed fashion dolls. Of course, I wasn’t part of that ‘awakening’ of sorts, but I do remember the hype that surrounded Monster High’s first few years, especially when the first wave was hitting stores. My mom and I would regularly go from store to store to see what Monster High dolls were on the shelves (if any), trying to get the complete set for our collections. Keep in mind, we were doing this because we liked the dolls, not because we thought they’d be ‘investments’ for the future. (As we’ve seen recently, those that collected for investment purposes are finding it hard to make any sort of profit. This doesn’t surprise me.)

First Wave Monster High

We bought our first two Monster High dolls at a Toys R Us. They had received a handful of dolls. Ever the budget collector, I couldn’t buy them all. In the end, I left with Lagoona. My mom left with Frankie. Those two dolls fueled the purchasing of nearly every doll in every line produced for at least two years, if not longer. I shudder to think how much I spent on Monster High dolls over the years. (Especially since most are sitting in wine boxes due to space issues.) The first few lines were released with rubber band legs, meaning that as they age, they’ll loosen. Eventually, the rubber bands will break and the dolls will fall apart. This happened to my mom’s Deuce. Thankfully, he was later released in a Create a Monster body in later years, so fixing the first wave Deuce shouldn’t be too hard.

First Wave Monster High

While Lagoona was my first Monster High purchase, my favorites of this line are Frankie, Ghoulia and Holt. Holt being my absolute favorite male doll ever produced for Monster High. Sadly, Holt only had two releases: his amazingly detailed, awesome looking first wave look and a super boring, basic bathing suit doll sold at Justice clothing stores. I often wonder why Mattel only released Holt twice. Was it the hair that was molded to look like fire? Was it the eye brow piercing? What made them shelve this doll pretty much immediately after the first wave? (Yes, he was released again in 2013, but that was probably to appease us collectors who kept asking Mattel where new Holt dolls were!) Alas, we’ll never know.

First Wave Monster High

Ghoulia is and always will be another favorite of mine. Her zombie look was perfectly done, especially when paired with character traits from the webisodes. Her outfit, too, was a true standout of the entire doll series. So many bright layers of clothing that gave her a punk sort of vibe that fit her face and styling perfectly. Her glasses complete the cool look. Ghoulia and Holt were hard dolls to get in the very beginning. They arrived later, along with the two set of Deuce and Cleo, than the rest of the ghouls. My mom and I had the majority of the first wave ghouls before we even spotted Ghoulia and Holt at Toys R Us.

First Wave Monster High

Frankie is a favorite because she was freakishly fabulous from the start. Her face was great and her outfit super fashionable. Plus, as the main character, you kind of had to love Frankie! Frankie is pictured above with the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Black and White Frankie, the first SDCC release for the line. While I picked this up on eBay, a limited number of black and white Frankie’s were sold at Justice. (Later, Mattel released another Black and White Frankie, this one in a bathing suit.) I was disappointed when Mattel didn’t continue to release black and white versions of our favorite ghouls for San Diego Comic Con. I think it would have been pretty cool to see every doll done up in this style.

First Wave Monster High

First Wave Monster High

Cleo and Deuce were the first ever two pack released in the Monster High line. Unlike Holt, Deuce got quite a few releases of the years. The original release of Cleo is still one of my favorites. I think her design really speaks to the character in the web series. This doll has a ‘regalness’ to her.

First Wave Monster High

First Wave Monster High

First Wave Monster High

I was sold on Lagoona, because of her face. While later releases of Lagoona would be disappointing, this release was spot on perfect. Her face was pretty, but still not ‘conventional’. I still love her big, round eyes and freckles.

First Wave Monster High

Clawdeen and Draculaura, to tell you the truth, aren’t my favorite of the dolls. They were both over produced and over hyped. And don’t get me started on Draculaura being the ‘new’ Frankie in the 2016 reboot. (I just— I just can’t.) These original first wave releases of Clawdeen and Draculaura are nice and speak to their characters well, though.

Check out the video above to hear Barbee0913 and I talk about Wave 1! What are your memories of the original wave 1 Monster High releases? Do you remember which Monster High doll was your first purchase? Did you go on ‘hunts’ for the dolls when they were first hitting stores? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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October 21, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Toy Fair 2017- As Seen From YouTube

Don’t get too excited. Alas, I wasn’t able to afford a trip to New York City to attend the esteemed toy trade show that is New York Toy Fair. (I’ll be going to New York City later this year for Blogger Bash, though, which has a mini toy fair called the Sweet Suite!) The past week or so, I’ve been searching YouTube for videos from New York Toy Fair. Below are a few that might be interesting to you! (And I definitely plan on going to 2018’s NYTF. I feel like there should be more booths getting coverage than what is out there on the internet as of this writing.  That, or it will be a pretty lackluster year for toys. Lottie, The Queen’s Treasures and A Girl for All Time were there, but I don’t see many videos from their booths on YouTube yet. Tonner was also there with Phyn & Aero, but seemed to have had a very small collection of items. He livestreamed from his booth.)

The best video that I found was a live stream from the Doll area.  (The trade show floor is split into different themed areas.) It features Lottie, A Girl for All Time and Tonner. They go through the doll area and chat with vendors.

This video isn’t from New York’s event, but Hong Kong’s. It features Kurhn dolls! They don’t show at New York Toy Fair. That reminds me, I need to add a new Kurhn to my collection soon. It’s been too long!

Here’s a tour from Madame Alexander. No audio from the company, so your guess as to price, name and release are as good as mine on these dolls. I do see many things that were on display last year, though. I have an e-mail out to the company, so maybe we’ll be hearing more about them later!

Spin Master’s Luvabella will either win your heart or creep you out. Check out the video to see why! She’s a robot baby that has some pretty awesome head movements!

I love the Barbie hologram machine!!! It looks like it will be pretty cool. It doesn’t look like they have their new thingmaker, the 3d printer, on display this year. I wonder what’s going on with that?

My Ballerina Dolls was back (and still not in the doll area, it seems). From the looks of it, they didn’t have anything super new to show. It looks like they’re re-working Clara a bit so she can be more of an ‘anything’ character. (They mentioned that in another Toy Fair video.)

Shibajuku Girls debuted their new smaller sized dolls in their booth! I still prefer the big ones to the small ones, but they look cute!

This is just a sampling of what was on display at Toy Fair. If you haven’t, I suggest going to YouTube and searching Toy Fair 2017 and seeing what else people posted. (Look up Hasbro, Mattel and Funko– they usually have great stuff on display!)

There are some videos of the new Monster High dolls out, but honestly, the dolls don’t look very exciting. Also, bad news for Ever After High fans, it looks like they had zero new dolls on display for that line. There look to be a lot of fun new dolls coming to the DC Superhero Girls line, some of which are characters I actually know thanks to the CW’s current love affair with DC themed entertainment.

Did you see anything exciting at Toy Fair or through coverage online? What was it? Let me know in the comment area!

March 1, 2017. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Dolly Review: Monster High Zomby Gaga

Note: Originally, there were pictures in this review. However, they were hosted on Photobucket, who decided to stop allowing free users to embed their images. I will try to reproduce them at a later time.

Zomby Gaga, made in collaboration with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation and Mattel, is a pretty cool looking Monster High doll. She’s probably one of the last interesting and articulated Monster High’s we’ll see, in my opinion. Since the reboot (and even before the reboot), there haven’t been many thrilling Monster High releases. Some Electrified dolls look promising, but the excitement that I felt when shopping for, say, the original Dawn of the Dance wave, just isn’t there.

There’s a good chance that if you collect Monster High, you pre-ordered your Zomby Gaga ages ago and even got her open and out of the box already. My doll arrived a few weeks ago. I give Mattel kudo’s on her packaging. The doll is packaged in a cool triangular box. Her accessories are hidden on the bottom of the box. Zomby Gaga comes with a stand and extra outfit. Her stand is pretty horrible. It’s one of those poorly made stands that just doesn’t want to stay together.

The extra outfit, a shirt dress and fishnets, is cute. However, it’s very short. It’s more shirt than dress. A little extra length would have made this extra outfit perfect.

While Zomby Gaga is articulated, she has some major body issues. Similar to what others have experienced, my Zomby Gaga’s left elbow doesn’t work. When you try to bend it, the elbow joint pops out of the arm. Her outfit’s tight sleeves also hinder the shoulder joints from moving well. I’m disappointed in the poor construction of her arm joints. Mattel has been making articulated bodies for a while now and for such a huge tie-in release, they should have made sure they were putting the best product in consumers hands.

The suit she wears in the box is stylish, even though it hinders her movement a bit. I think the collar should have been lowered a bit, as to not hide the small neck detail painted on the doll, but besides that, the look is pretty neat. I love the flair pants. And her shoes? They’re awesome.

Zomby Gaga has long hair that is styled in a high ponytail. I like the combination of light pink and grey hair they used. It works really well with her zombie/skeleton like skin tone. Unfortunately, her hair has a tendency to fall out, at least on my doll.

What makes this doll super cool is her face design. The details are on par with early Monster High dolls. It has depth and dimension to it, like Monster High faces should. You can tell this doll was designed before the ‘sugary sweet’ reboot was really put into play. Zomby Gaga’s eyes aren’t the cutesy anime kind that the new dolls are getting. There’s something alien about them, again, much like early Monster High dolls.

Another nice touch are her hands, which say Lady Gaga (one word on each hand). Small details like that are getting rarer and rarer in the Monster High series. The bubble gum is a nice accessory, too.

Overall, I’m happy they made Zomby Gaga. It was nice seeing some excitement around the line again. However, they did a huge disservice to the doll by giving her a wonky body and weak hair. But, if you’re a fan of Lady Gaga or the golden age of Monster High, you may want to add one of these to your collection. What do you think of Zomby Gaga? Did your doll come with a bad elbow? Let me know in the comment area!

February 14, 2017. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 16 comments.

Pre-Order Your Zomby Gaga Now

For a while now, we’ve known Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation was working in partnership with Monster High, Natali Germanotta, and Zombie Boy to create a fangtastic exclusive Monster High doll. Born This Way empowers youth to create a kinder, braver world.

Zomby Gaga is a pretty awesome looking Monster High doll. It looks like Mattel spared no expense with this release. Zomby Gaga “wears a killer black tux with flared pant legs, bell sleeves on the fitted jacket, a bow tie and the song title, Born This Way, emblazoned in the lining. Her “to-die-for accessories include suspenders with heart clips, sunglasses perched atop her head and highly detailed patent leather boots”. (Description quoted from Amazon.com) Zomby Gaga is pictured below with a removable bubble gum ‘bubble’. If she’s anything like her promo photos, this doll will surely stand out on doll shelves.

Zomby Gaga (MATTEL)

Zomby Gaga (MATTEL)

Zomby Gaga (MATTEL)

She’s set to ship early January 2017 and is on pre-order at your favorite toy stores now: Target, Walmart, YoYo and Amazon. For those abroad, I suggest checking out the Born This Way post for locations in your country.

Do you plan on pre-ordering Zomby Gaga? What do you think of her? Share your thoughts in the comment area.

October 28, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Dolly Review: Monster High SDCC 2016 Ghostbusters Frankie

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about Monster High. Why? Since the reboot, I just haven’t been super enthralled by many of the dolls. There have been a few bright spots, like Dayna Treasura Jones, but they are few and far between. Up for review today, however, is one of the more interesting Monster High dolls to be released in 2016– the San Diego Comic Con 2016 exclusive Ghostbusters Frankie.

This Frankie isn’t super luxe or over the top, in fact she’s relatively basic when you look at her. But, it’s because the doll itself is less ‘exciting’ that the outfit and props really shine, making this one of the more unique Monster High’s produced during the series run. If memory serves me right, this is the first ‘mash up’ we’ve seen in the Monster High line. It makes me wish we’d seen more cool tie-ins when we were guaranteed releases with articulated bodies. But, let’s get onto the review, shall we?

Monster High SDCC Ghostbuster Frankie

Frankie, as I stated, is pretty basic when it comes to her face and hair. Her face is as you’d expect with large two toned eyes and her scar. It’s free of make up and has a clean, fresh look. Frankie’s hair has decently rooted highlights in black and white. They’re pulled up into a simple ponytail. And of course, she has bangs/fringe.

Monster High SDCC Ghostbuster Frankie

What makes this Frankie stand out among the rest is her super cool Ghostbusters uniform and proton pack! Frankie wears the uniform of the Ghostbusters proudly. Mattel did a great job on this element of Frankie’s look. She has the Ghostbuster logo on her shoulder and her last name printed on the front of her uniform.

MH SDCC 2016 GB Frankie

On her back is the ever important proton pack with a removable handheld ray gun that wraps around Frankie with enough room to have her hold it. Her outfit is complimented with knee high boots, a belt, a black bracelet, plastic ID/Dog tags, earrings and cool yellow glasses.

Monster High SDCC Ghostbuster Frankie

This Frankie has all the articulation you’d expect from a good, old fashioned Monster High doll, with shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and knee joints. Her suit limits her movement a bit, but I’m so happy Mattel didn’t skimp on the body type for this exclusive! (The fingers on my Frankie are a bit hyper extended due to how she was placed in her box, so you might encounter this, as well, if you pick one up.)

One other thing they included that is worth noting is Slimer! Monster High’s Slimer is much smaller than his movie/cartoon counterpart. He’s hollow on the inside, which means you can pretend he’s ‘sliming’ someone easily by being propped on a Monster High’s hand.

Monster High SDCC Ghostbuster Frankie

Overall, I am very happy with this Frankie. I love how Mattel incorporated Ghostbusters into the Monster High line. If you search Ghostbuster Frankie on eBay there are a number of dolls available. Most are overpriced, in my opinion, since she was pretty easy to get through Matty Collector post comic con. But if you can find one for under $40.00 or so dollars, I think she’s unique enough to be worth the money.

Monster High SDCC Ghostbuster Frankie

Do you have this Frankie? What are your thoughts on her? Let me know in the comment area!

October 19, 2016. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

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