Vault Review:
Monster High’s Ghoulia

I like Monster High. And ever since I started watching the webisodes, Ghoulia has been my favorite character. This week, I was lucky enough to find wave Wave 3 at my local Target and have Ghoulia for review. But even though I love this character, I have conflicted feelings about her plastic portrayal.

When I reviewed Lagoona Blue in the beginning of August, I wondered if a monster toy line marketed towards girls could be successful. Almost three months later, it seems the answer is yes. Not only is Mattel marketing Monster High as one of their hot toy lines for Christmas (which is to be expected), but they can’t seem to make the dolls fast enough. The two-pack with Cleo and Deuce doesn’t move as fast, but the individual figures are becoming scarce. I felt pretty lucky to find Ghoulia at all.

Like I said in the opening, Ghoulia is my favorIte character. There’s a lot of charm in the fact that she speaks with moans and groans, yet is the smartest student at Monster High. She shambles around in awkward poses, but is always there to help out the girls with their problems. It would have been easy for the writers to make her an outcast even among monsters, or have the girls ridicule her as the typical nerd archetype. Instead they made her part of the group. Even the catty Cleo considers her a best friend. She’s the zombie that’s always helpful, what’s not to like?

Like all the other female Monster High characters, Ghoulia shares the same body with a uniquely sculpted head. She’s got a ball jointed head with good side to side, but limited up and down movement. Her shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees are all swivel/hinges. Like the other girls, her forearms are easily removed at the elbows to allow for clothes changing. Her thighs are swivel/hinges connected with a stretchy piece of fabric. I’m not a big fan of this joint, but it works. All together these joints give the body a simple design, but still allows for a fairly large range of movement.

This Ghoulia figure leaves me with an interesting dilemma as a fan of the character though. The head is a nicely sculpted piece, but it doesn’t really look like Ghoulia. Where Ghoulia has an almost vacant look to her wide eyes and a slightly grimaced mouth, the figure has been given makeover to make a “prettier” doll. Mattel isn’t wrong in thinking that girls want to play with pretty dolls. But by creating the doll in a more attractive fashion they have also stripped away the character’s true personality. Instead of the cute and quirky zombie girl, we are left with a very attractive, but generic figure.

To Mattel, Monster High is nothing more than a dollar sign. But like all good cartoons, there’s still an underlying PSA message: What better place than a high school full of monsters can kids learn that the differences in how we look, act, and sound make us unique (and dare I say, even special). It’s too bad the toys can’t entirely reflect those same sentiments. Continue to Page 2…

14 thoughts on “Vault Review:
Monster High’s Ghoulia

  1. I have to admit I really do like the design on these and if my daughter was a little older, she’d have the whole dang collection!

  2. (I gotta do it. Vault, I know you’ll get this)

    “Why, Miss Ghoulia! Without your glasses, you’re beautiful!”

    While I’m not the target audience, I’m glad to see this line, even if it seems like a way to burn thru Bratz bodies that the lawsuit got them or something. I suspect the cartoon is great fun and may even be something grown up kids yearn for 20 years down the road.

    Another good job, Vault!

    1. lol, they haven’t taken her glasses off in the cartoon, but it would be hilarious if she didn’t act like a zombie anymore if they did.

  3. If you don’t mind watching decently written cartoons for girls, might I suggest the new My Little Pony cartoon on the Hub. Don’t knock it ’till you try it. It’s getting a lot of positive reviews from a lot of people. It’s produced by Lauren Faust, wife of Craig McCracken (who made the Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends most notably).

    1. Thanks Rage, I’ll have to check that out. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really care if something is for girls or boys, as long as it is actually good it doesn’t matter.

  4. I just got this for my daughter. We haven’t opened it yet, so I hadn’t noticed the Thriller homage! That’s brilliant. I admit, I tried really hard to convince her to get this one rather than the others, which were the 1st series girls in new outfits. These things are constantly gone from all shelves, so I figured a new character would be a tough find later.

    Once again, $15 for this makes the $15 I spend on Mattel’s DCUC seems silly.

    I hope the show is decent enough to sit through. There’s some fun creativity in the designs, but the flash animation looks pretty shoddy on the commercials for the special.

    1. The animation is a little simple sometimes, but I’ve gotten used to it. It’ll be interesting to see how the movie is.

      I agree with you on the price points. Compared to DCUC and Motu these seem like a steal 😛

  5. not for nothing fake eyes, but the 15 bucks for dcu (and the 20 for motuc) should make us feel silly.

    how come no one markets a toy as THE hot chanukah toy of the year?

  6. That’s because Mattel hasn’t made The Phantom Stranger yet, Dayraven.

    How can a superhero known as The Wandering Jew not be the hot Chanukah toy of the year?

  7. Nice Review of Ghoulia! I’ve been looking in all our dept. stores and have yet to find her. I refuse to pay scalpers fee’s, though, for her!!! Awesome pictures in this article, too!

    Ironically enough, I buy MOTU for my uncle and can totally see where the price comments come from! At this point, I’ve gone from buying everyone (sub and non sub) to just getting the subscription pieces.

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