polychrome_pen: (Deuce & Cleo - Monster High)
[personal profile] polychrome_pen
We've been having a fun discussion over in [livejournal.com profile] monster_high about some thoughts on reaching the property's fifth anniversary (Summer 2010 was when the dolls started becoming available in stores).  I wrote up a little questionnaire to help facilitate sharing, and reading the varied responses has been both enlightening and nostalgic.  I mean, I never really thought that Monster High would not only go this long, but be going so strong at this point in the timeline.

It's funny, I had just finished Pharmacy school when MH debuted.  I was studying for my boards, and the line was a nice shiny distraction from the stress that was threatening to devour me at the time.  MH's wonderful posabiltiy and detailed character diaries/bios allowed for something that I could get lost a little bit in, and I am still grateful to the property for that.  (The other thing I really got into at the same time was She-Ra.  I DEVOURED that series over the summer as "rewards" for spending time studying! XD)

1. Who was your first MH doll?
-- Deuce and Cleo, who I bought off of [livejournal.com profile] tanz_fanatika since they were an extra set for her.

2. Who was your most recent MH Doll?
-- I believe the most recent dollS who arrived (in a giant Amazon shipping box!) at my house were Boo York Cleo, Deuce, Nefera, Elle Eedee, and Luna Mothews. Boo York is one my favorite lines in quite some time apparently!

3. Who is your favorite MH Character (and why)?
-- Deuce has been my absolute fave from the beginning. His original diary set a standard for me to expect the boys to get just as good treatment as the girls in terms of development, and I have rarely been disappointed (Specials/movies aside :\)
-- I also really love anything in this line that touches on mythology.

4. Who is your favorite MH doll?
-- This changes all the time, haha. Currently I really love Elle and Boo York Nefera, but that might just be because of the shiny. XD

5. What is your favorite MH non-doll product?
-- I absolutely adore the new line of vinyls. They're adorable!

6. What is your favorite MH movie/special?
-- If we're going off of looks, I like New Ghoul @ School/Fright On (the flash animation specials), but of the CG specials I really enjoyed the globetrotting adventure of Frights, Camera, Action!

7. What about the concept drew you in? Why have you stayed interested?
-- The truly edgy look of the original six was really awesome. They were something truly new and exciting in playline dolls. Also, the integrated storytelling between the diaries/books/webisodes was really novel at the time, and it did a fabulous job of maintaining interest in the brand between the sometimes lengthy waits between the early dolls.
-- The breadth to which this line has grown is staggeringly awesome. Who ever thought we'd get a character like Wydowna? Or Neighthan? Or Manny/Iris? Monster High takes full advantage of its concept for the most part, and it has been a real joy to see.

8. What would you like to see produced going forward?
-- I'll always add my voice to the cry for more boys.
-- I still want parent packs to be released some time!
-- More graphic novels. The last one especially was lovely.
-- I'd love to see a version of MH where the characters are really allowed to grow and change. Maybe a college extension of the storyline?

I've really been enjoying the "Core 8" lately (Frankie, Draculaura, Clawdeen, Cleo, Deuce, Lagoona, Ghoulia, and Holt).  They have so much great going on design-wise.  Picking up the recently-released vinyls has given me an all-new appreciation for the great design work that went into that first batch!  (Here's hoping we get a Holt vinyl at some point.  Poor boy has basically been forgotten!)

My Amazon exclusive "Collector Draculaura" arrived today, and while she's a bit strange, she doesn't disappoint.  The hair is a bit of a dry mess, it's true (and they didn't do the large front curl that's in all the promo pictures, but even so, the overall presentation is superb.  Little touches like the box being coffin-shaped (wonderfully reminiscent of the cutout shape on the original boxes), to having a removable lid, and nice stiching on the dress.  The face feels a bit...off.  Like, definitely not the cheerful Draculaura face she usually wears.

But I actually like that too, the more I reflect on it.  It goes well with the more somber tone of her Diary.  And OMG, the diary is practically worth the price of admission alone!  I lovelovelove that we finally get some of Ula D's backstory answered, including her true connection with Dracula explained!  And can I just fanboy all over the place that she's actually ROMAN?  I need another Draculaura in a toga, stat.

Basically, I hope that this doll does well enought that we might someday see other characters join her in fabulous editions.  How cool would an Egyptian Queen Cleo and Spartan Warrior Deuce 2-Pack be?  Or a Sea Goddess Lagoona?  Or a Holiday Ghost of Chrismas Spectra?  Or a Traditional Phantom/Christine combo Operetta?  Haha, basically I want this to turn into some kind of historical cosplay theater sub-line. XD

But really, this Draculaura has reminded me why I loved the character in the first place.  I think she's become really one-note and annoying as the series has gone on (seriously though, tell me that her ridiculousness in the specials isn't infuriating).  Draculaura is a happy character, yes, but it's supposed to always be tempered by kindness and consideration for others.  (She is the character that tries to make "normie" Jackson comfortable in the Monster world and goes against type hanging out with werewolves, after all.)  And maybe a little bit of pain underneath (though well hidden).   I guess I just want her character to have a bit more depth - nobody who's been alive for 1600 years will be without a plethora of interesting stories to tell!

Date: 2015-07-24 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanz-fanatika.livejournal.com
I need that Draculaura, but I shelled out for the 17" one instead. My fun money this week is being taken up by my Lilydoll obsession, but maybe next week.

How is she Roman? Dracula must be way older than we thought. Although actually didn't they hint at that? I think they mentioned it somewhere, but now I don't remember. Her strange little accent doesn't really work for Roman, but I guess you can pick up the accent of anyplace if you live there long enough.

Date: 2015-07-24 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanz-fanatika.livejournal.com
Nope. If I'm planning on buying a doll, I won't read her diary until it's in my hands. It's part of my enjoyment of the doll.

Date: 2015-07-24 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ry-sabir.livejournal.com
Disregard that last comment - was meant to go to Lori

I sooo wish the diary part was longer! But I'm thankful for what is there at least!

Date: 2015-07-24 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ry-sabir.livejournal.com
The front of the box says "Est. 411 AD," so she's really late Empire, but just squeaks in (and born a year after Rome was sacked by Goths! Thanks Wikipedia!).

I don't want to spoil how it all unfolds for you, mostly because finding the diary inside was like finding an unexpected little lore treasury! We even get a name for Draculaura's mom!

Date: 2015-07-24 12:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strongheartmaid.livejournal.com
I would love a proper Phantom/Christine Daaƫ Operetta. (But that goes with out saying, heh) Ditto an Egyptian Queen Cleo/Spartan Deuce. (Only I hope it hits a toy store proper if they continue this line so it's easier to get a good look at them in pere) And agreed on her being rather... One-note

Date: 2015-07-24 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ry-sabir.livejournal.com
Yeah, Draculaura was one of my early favorites...but I kind of got soured on her throughout the specials. This doll makes me hopeful for her future, though!

Date: 2015-07-24 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strongheartmaid.livejournal.com
Agreed! Even some of her webisode appearances have me soured [the one with them wanting Cleo to spend time with Amentia - erm.. You just heard what she did to Cleo and you want them to be friends. WTFF?!]

And agreed! I'm hoping the doll undoes some of the damage the webisodes/specials have caused her.

you know, I have oft wondered which of the Monster High Ghouls and Mansters we'd be like, sort of how I got branded the Flora of the Winx Club XD

and unrelated, but I poke you to choose prompts from my various prompt tables: http://strongheartmaid.livejournal.com/187759.html - the master list

Date: 2015-07-25 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wickedbish.livejournal.com
So this whole entry is fab, but I'd like to know your thoughts on Clawdeen. I just started collecting, and she is consistently one of my favorites.

Date: 2015-07-25 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ry-sabir.livejournal.com
Clawdeen was the last of the original 6 that I picked up. In the beginning I really didn't care for her that much. I knew she was the "fierce" character, but at the time it really didn't do anything for me. Her early characterization was really pushy and take charge, too, and people like that have always made me a little uncomfortable. (Yet somehow it didn't bother me with Cleo? Maybe because she was played a bit more for laughs or straight up villainous in the early webisodes whereas Clawdeen was one of the "Main Three?")

In fact, I almost didn't buy her at all. So, never have I been so happy to have a change of heart/be proven wrong.

The first time I really loved Clawdeen (and still my favorite Clawdeen to this day) is Dawn of the Dance. She showed me the possibility of how awesome Clawdeen could look. One of Clawdeen's traits it that her hair grows super fast, so she can always style up and rock a new look; one of the MH comm members lamented that over five years this has barely been used when we should have been getting Clawdeens that have story-sanctioned reasons for looking wildly different.

Personality wise, I love that the character is still no-nonsense/fierce, but having the larger cast means Clawdeen has mellowed a bit. Definitely having three of her siblings as characters allows for a huge array of emotional stories, and over time the writers have allowed for self-doubt and vulnerability to be displayed by her character. Clawdeen doesn't always have to be "the fierce fashionista" anymore, even if all of that is still at the core of her character. She's shown such a wide range of emotions that in the end, Clawdeen might be the most "human" of all the characters. It's like, Clawdeen inherited all of Draculaura's emotional development. XD

TL;DR - I used to not like Clawdeen, but now her character might be one of my favorite in the whole line?

Date: 2015-07-25 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wickedbish.livejournal.com
Thank you! This makes me very happy. I can definitely see how DotD won you over. I personally won't be buying her any time soon because she's pretty damn expensive, but she's one of my favorite Clawdeens. Which is saying something.

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