Noisy is away for a few days and the site is mine! Ha! Don’t worry, loyal readers, I won’t break anything, but I’ve got a few fun ideas. For one, we need monster reviews! It’s difficult to find a decent monster toy line these days though. There is Mattel’s Monster High line, but I was worried it might just be Halloween Bratz.
Before I get into the meat of the review, I wanted to touch on a debate we’ve been having here at IAT. Can monster toys appeal to young girls? Being a manly man, who only occasionally buys girl toys, I’m obviously clueless when it comes to this. But from what I can recall, there hasn’t ever been a monster toy line directed toward girls, and specifically toward the Barbie crowd (ages 6+ according to the box). I’m not sure Mattel put much more thought into this brand than to cash in with the current uber-trendiness of vampires and werewolves. But I think they might have also stumbled onto an untapped subsection of the girls market. Women who like werewolves and vampires must have liked them as kids, right? So, what do you think readers? Can a line of fashion dolls that loosely resemble classic horror characters sell to the tweens?
When Mattel announced Monster High, my first impressions were mixed. As I said, I liked the idea of a girl monster series, but I wasn’t quite sold on the look. Then I watched the animated shorts online, and they won me over. Now I’m not saying these episodes are the best animation I’ve ever seen, or that the writing is on par with Stephen King. But even though most of the plots are superficially silly, there is still some depth to the ideas. Like how Frankie Stein walks in the clomping style of Boris Karloff. Or when they show year book pictures and you only see Draculaura’s clothes and hair. I like that Ghoulia, the shambling zombie girl who only speaks in groans and moans, is the smartest girl in school. And I like how the flashbacks are shown with a black and white film reel look, complete with scratches. Little details like that I really appreciate, and they’re not just in the series but also in the design of the figures.
Out of the first wave released, I decided to go with Lagoona Blue for my test figure. She had an interesting look to her with some uniquely sculpted body parts. Plus, who doesn’t love blue women? Lagoona’s bio states she’s the daughter of a sea monster, although her appearance seems very much inspired by the Gill-Man from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. But, since Gill-Man is owned by Universal, I can see why Mattel went with the generic Sea Monster.
The overall sculpt of the Monster High dolls is interesting. With their large heads and long legs, the first thing you may compare them to is Bratz, that’s what I did originally. But if you look at them closely, you’ll notice the Monster High figures, even with their exaggerated proportions, still have a youthful innocence about them. They actually look like teenagers. Contrast that with the creepy prostitute-trying-to-look-young feeling that Bratz dolls give off. I would show you a comparison picture, but I refuse to sleep under the same roof as a Bratz doll. So, unlike Levar Burton, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Each of the Monster High girls has a different head. They all look very similar, but each has a unique tooling. Lagoona has unique ears that look like fish fins. It wasn’t even necessary for Mattel to do, since you have to pull her hoodie off and her hair back just to see them. Although I’m glad they did do it, and I appreciate the extra detail. All the girls share the same body, just in different colors. But where Lagoona differs from the other girls is extremities. Her calves have two holes on the outer sides so you can plug in her translucent blue fins. This is another nice touch, and very functional since you have to take her fins off to change her clothing. Her forearms also have fins, but this time they are molded on. Luckily, all the monster girls’ forearms are made to be removable at the elbow for dressing purposes. Lagoona’s most distinct difference is her hands. She was characteristically given webbed fingers. The webbing is the same translucent blue as her fins while the hand is the light blue skin tone of her body. Even though this is a small feature, it really adds some unique character to her figure.
Lagoona’s paint job is a mix of simple and detailed. Most of her body is molded icy blue with clear blue used on her fins. Her head is where the paint was focused though. The red of her lipstick is slightly metallic, giving her mouth a wet look. Her large green eyes are encircled with three different shades of purple eye shadow, and the middle color is used again on her eyebrows. There’s also a slight touch of glitter just above her eyes, while her cheeks are speckled with little blue freckles. Who’d of thought sea monsters have freckles? Continue to Page Two….
20 thoughts on “Vault Review:
Monster High’s Lagoona Blue”
I just surprised my daughter with this same doll last week! She loves it, I knew she would.
The hands and forearm pop off easily, and the leg fins fall off too. This is better than breaking, but in a kids hands they can get lost way too easily in a toy box, furniture, etc.
I like the hand sculpts, and this one is made better by the webs, so that’s cool. Unfortunately, I saw a commercial on TV, as well as short animated segments in the Target aisle display, and the media produced thus far is the same cheap, humorless drivel I’ve endured throughout 9 years of watching doll based shows and movies. We’re BFF! You can do it! I made the cheerleading squad! Ugh..
These things are $16-$20 at retail, which makes Mattel’s DCUC prices seem crazy. I don’t get it.
Yeah, those smaller pieces might easily be lost by kids. I forget those things sometimes. All my little accessories go into little boxes for storage.
It’s hard to know what things are cost in the toy world. It seems that fabric is becoming cheaper to produce than plastic, which may be a reason why we are seeing more detailed dolls and less detailed figures for the same prices. Also, they wants our moneys. 😛
I suspect my daughter (who’s 5) would probably like the Monster High stuff. She was all about Skelanimals, so it seems like a similar theme.
Of course, I don’t know how much of that is “natural” and how much is my programming. After all, some of her favorite shows are Real Ghostbusters and Filmation MOTU. Monsters are just par for the course.
That’s kind of what I was thinking. It’s becoming more common for the adults who grew up loving monsters and superheros to impress that upon their kids, even the girls. When I go to conventions, there’s a lot more young girls there than I ever expect there to be.
yer a strange man vault. i’m trying to be all “third millenium” and all that, but this is a girl’s line. i don’t see where in this aesthetic it’s supposed to intrigue guys.
You know, it’s hard to place. I don’t really care about the fashion or the hair styles all that much. Although, I do appreciate the allusions they make to the classic monsters they’re derived from. Like I said in the review, the dolls themselves are actually cute. So they have that going for them. But I think it’s the idea of girl monster toys in general. I like that idea very much. Couple that with the cartoon, which I do find entertaining. There’s enough going for this line that I can support it. Although, that doesn’t mean I’ll be buying them all.
I don’t think it’s supposed to intrigue boys, but adult collectors are different aren’t they? I’ve bought a lot of strange toys in my time. A couple of girls toys here and there isn’t really any different par for the course.
I was just like you, thought the line was interesting, then watched the online shorts and fell in love with the line. Really looking forward to Ghoulia later this year, she looked awesome at SDCC.
I love Ghoulia, she’s great.
When I started reading the bios on these that’s what sold me on the line… I did pick up the first four but after reading all the reviews about the limbs falling off so easily I returned them hoping that will get fixed and I can re-buy them later. As an aside, was wandering through the toy department one night with a co-worker and he asked if there were any new toys that were interesting just as we were passing the Monster High stuff. I turned and handed him Lagoona Blue, he looked at her for a minute and said “is it wrong that I think she’s hot?…”. Told him to flip the box and read the bio which he did for all four (he couldn’t read them fast enough). I think that the combination of the look and the humor is really going to push these things over-the-top this Christmas.
Yeah, I’m hoping so. I’d like to see where this line can go on the future with a few more waves under its belt. Hopefully the loose joint problem is fixed by the next wave.
I kind of ragged on this line earlier, particularly because of the easily detached hands and forearms. Being a single dad who obsessed and panicked over his own toys’ accessories, the amount of tiny junk shoved into girl’s toys is maddening!! Keeping track of and searching for hands, a vital part of a functional toy should never be necessary. My daughter is old enough not to lose everything immediately, but once the hand just fell off somewhere.
I forgot to mention that I was impressed by the little diary included with the doll. It was several pages long and pretty cute, with Lagoona mentioning her sea monster dad, and the hip teen language isn’t quite as bad as the intolerably vapid and snobby dialogue that the Bratz often used. It’s a nice little touch that makes me wish minicomics still came with action figures.
Ah, the good ol’ days of mini comics.
The diary is way more detailed than I though it would be. I’m actually surprised they put so much time into them.
I too have been strangely won over by this line, and I never cared about Barbies before (being, you know, a guy). I’m thinking of getting Frankie and Ghoulia and then being ashamed I did so.
Don’t be ashamed, be a proud owner of a unique monster product 😀
And again, Ghoulia is awesome!
Hah, if I were ever to be given the keys to a website for a few days, be sure it would be redecorated with redheads and shiny purple things.
I wouldn’t have though to doll-reviews!
That fishy in the bowl is kyuuuu~te! ^___^
LOL, If I did that Noisy wouldn’t even come back. He’d leave me stuck with the whole thing. 😛
My daughter loved Bratz so these were an obvious thing for me to pick up. I was happy pick up some Monster type toys for her until they basically fell apart and pieces were quickly lost. Mattel needs to work on some QC. When they copy Bratz they should copy Bratz QC too.
Yeah, that seems to be the biggest problem with them. Hmmm, I wonder if we could get a hold of the brand manager?
Hi everyone! This is Draculaura! Have fun at Monster High and meet my friends Clawdeen, Frankie, Lagoona, Cleo, and Deuce
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