Why Is Monster High So Cool?

Why is Monster High so addictive? There have been a lot of cool toys since I became a adult (like this, for instance), but Monster High is so cool I have actually bought the dolls. And bought them. And bought them. I really think they are neat, but I can’t pinpoint exactly why. To be fair, when I first saw them, I was disgusted. “Monster dolls?! What are they thinking! That’s twisted.” But then I saw Lagoona, and I was like, “Wait, is that like a mermaid or a water sprite? That’s…kinda cool.” And then, when I saw the online cartoon, I was completely won over. I keep doing that. I’ll see a new Monster High doll, be very not impressed, but it will grow on me and grow on me, and then I’ll buy it. And once it’s home, out of the package, I’ll think “Whoa. Pretty.” They are just too unique and cool. Can’t explain it.

One thing I truly love about Monster High is that someone knows what they are doing. Finally.

They shoved the marketers out of the way and let the designers do their thing. Result: Less pink, more realism, highly poseable, good quality, detailed dolls. Best of all (to me), they RELEASED BACKGROUND CHARACTERS. Characters that you can swap the hair on and the heads can pop on and off easily (and theoretically other body parts, even though they look silly with mismatched arms and torsos)! I just have to say that it is maddening that all of Mattel’s other dolls have heads that break off… and do not go back on. What is so hard about making dolls that have heads that go right back on if they come off!?

If you have grown up in the past 2,000 years or so, you had about 3 main character dolls to choose from (exception: Star Wars, but only because Kenner and Hasbro are the best toy companies ever). That’s it. I had always wanted more characters, the background people. 800 variations of Barbie or Mulan or whatever still look like Barbie or Mulan. Not like the mom, or the funny grandma, or anyone else. Even if your imagination is hyperactive, you can only suspend disbelief so much. (And it is impossible to customize your dolls at age 7 when you can barely draw a house much less paint a realistic eye and Mom won’t let you think the word “paints” because of the new carpeting that cost a ungodly amount of money and is the color of bleached cotton). Now it seems, the people who were young when I was a child felt the same way and are doing something about it.

Anyway, enough ranting. Here are my Create-A-Monsters and their fan-fiction backgrounds.

Oleandra StranglerFig

Resisting the urge to make her a witch named Ephaba, she is instead the offspring of a dryad or Leshii (her name implies a Banyan dryad, but how cool would a Teak dryad be? Or a Cannonball tree! Neem (toothbrush) tree?) and the Forest Wizard. So she is basically a plant monster. She spends most of her time reading. She plays trumpet (and sometimes piccolo) in band and is secretary of both History and Dead Languages Clubs. She has lots of friendly acquaintances, but no close friends. She doesn’t know it, but she wants to be a designer and interior architect when she grows up. She is a latent bohemian free spirit, but hasn’t really found herself. She is considered “the second smartest ghoul in school” because her parents demand good grades from her and expect her to be a doctor, but she doesn’t have a passion for academics like Ghoulia. She is painfully shy, but loves to laugh. Her middle name is Rafflesia.

I LOVE this doll’s face mold and painting. I think they did a marvelous job, she is so lovely. She is wearing the blue wig from the Skeleton Create-A-Monster pack, which I think is just perfect for her.  And darn it, I LOVE that little hat. Ooh, perfection. Also appreciate the hand making a “o.k.” sign. Or adding a pinch of something to a cauldron. Or holding a pencil. Very cool.

Which brings us to…

Bonita Calcic

The name Bonita is not my idea. I read someone else had named their Skeleton Girl CAM that, and I thought it was pretty funny. So I did too. Bonita makes me think of the nun and novice on the episode “The Road Not Taken” from Season 2 of MacGuyver. Bold, daring, generous, capable, and determined. She is in the Nursing program at Monster High, and also is in Auto Shop “because it’s good to know how to fix things”. After she graduates, she becomes a RN (Registered Nurse)
and helps out the International Red Cross for many years, to do good and have adventure. She’s got the heart and faith of the Sisters of Charity, the impeccability and determination of Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, and my own grandma (who was a nurse too!), and the some of the gritty attitude of Major Houlihan of M*A*S*H.

Being bare bone, she has no hair (her eyelashes are fakies). Instead she wears bindis, like cool women with cancer do. Despite looking like death, she has a great bedside manner.

She has a pet cassowary named Ossuary. Just kidding, I just wanted to say that.

This doll’s face paint is not fabulous to me (I really don’t like it), but it’ll do (I’m not confident enough to try to do a re-paint on her). And the lack of matching torso, upper arms, and thighs, is just disappointing (she is using the Werewolf Create-A-Monster torso/upper limbs here). HOWEVER, the pieces they did put in the package made buying her worth it. Her hands and feet are BEAUTIFULLY done, the details on the feet (especially on the bottom of her feet) are awesome and accurate, so much so that I don’t want to cover them up with shoes. They are just too cool. The dress, wig, hair clip, and shoes they put with her look great on other dolls, but not her, I think. Here, she is wearing the Werewolf CAM dress and a purple jeweled bindi.

Graphite Metallica

Yes, I know she is Frankie from Skull Shores. But she looks like a completely different character, so I made her a completely different character. She is the daughter of a Alchemist. She is adorned with skeletal formula hexagons (benzene rings): earrings, bracelet, and shoes.

I’m saying that the silver stitches are actually veins of metal elements in her skin (vanadium, thulium, and bismuth, anyone?). She looks like a dreamer. I think she would do Renaissance-style paintings and metal working in school.

This is a really beautiful doll. The fact that they released a grey-scale Frankie a la the Comic Con exclusive gives me hope that they will release Scarah Screams and Hoodude too (oh I hope they do!). I love that they made her, and all her details, from shoes to silver shiny bolts to grey-scale heterochromatic eyes. I especially like her hair. It has been completely gelled down (not sticky, hard), so it’s basically impossible to mess up or get scruffy. Plus it looks cool. Bad thing: the stand base will not stay on the stick part of the stand. If you pick her up, the bottom falls off! But she was only $4.18 at HEB (the best grocery store in Texas), so a little Duco Cement (trademark) and I have no complaints.

Amarlda Agartha

I also thought of naming her Thora TreasureHoarder. She is a Scandinavian Dragondottir from the Norway region. Or maybe she is the offspring of giant, flying, lost world jungle lizards that look like dragons. Something like that. She plays trombone in the band and makes art books for fun. I think she grows up to be a explorer of some kind, either a mapmaker or maybe a freelancing naturalist for National Geographic. Her favorite books are by Thor Heyerdahl.

Another awesomely done background character (that we have never seen in the cartoon *frowny face*), the idea of a dragon girl was interesting to begin with and executed very well. I mean, the textured scaly skin and transparent little wings are so darn cool, as is the expressive, determined yet friendly face. One really cool thing about Monster High dolls is that they look BETTER at home, out of the package than they do in the store. You know how often that happens? Almost never. Monster High is pretty unique.

Coelacanth Cthulhu

Her middle name is Lathi. She is the daughter of the Kraken and a Sea Hag. She is in choir and runs track. She wants to be a model or a artist, or both when she grows up. I think she grows up to be a amazing jewelry designer like Temple St. Clair or Mikimoto.

Here she is wearing a Liv wig. I want to paint her tentacle tendrils and leg fins a teal to match her lips like I have seen some other people do. Her eye paint could have been better I think. I would have liked her to look a bit more cartoony and less heavily made up, but it’s o.k.

Some people have modified their Monster High Abbies and Frankies to look truly like the daughter of the Cthulhu. Very cool:

From DeviantArt

From CaityStrange on etsy $70 found on Pinterest

Here is a coelacanth picture if you’ve never seen one from here. They can get HUGE, up to 6 feet. They are AWESOME.

Also a arapaima because they are my favorite fish. From here.

Fright On! Vampires From Vampire Create-A-Monster Set

The vampire from the Create-A-Monster Vampire/Sea Monster kit looks just like Gory and her (unnamed as far as I know) friend from the film Fright On!

From here.

“Gory” is wearing the wig from the Witch/Werecat Create-A-Monster kit. I think this wig should have been black, even if used for the witch or werecat. I think the purple/blue color choice was terrible 😦

Gory is leader of the Belfry Preparatory School’s Fearleading Team. She must be on the Student Council. She probably becomes a accountant or a lawyer, and more than likely a control freak politician.

I need her some glasses and to add her mole. If you don’t know already, DO NOT USE SHARPIE/PERMANENT MARKER ON YOUR DOLLS. IT WILL BLEED OVER TIME AND LOOK TERRIBLE!! Really.

Her friend, who I am hoping that the designers and animators will eventually name (meanwhile I’m calling her Valpurgina or Nocticula in homage to The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson, my favorite author), is wearing the wig and barrette that came with the vampire pack. I’m thrilled that she actually came with parts that match her character in the show! In the movie she is on the Fearleading team, but I would like to add my fan-fic and say that she is surely in cosmetology. The cartoon version looks like she would also be in choir, but the doll looks like she would play French horn in band.

I LOVE this doll too. This doll has the best face of all the Monster High dolls in opinion. She is so pretty, especially the eyes. She just has a elegance to her. And I love the fact that she looks very similar to the cartoon characters and has accessories to reinforce this. The wig was poorly done, however. The bang-roll is too high, so that the forehead looks very big and one can see the clear plastic wig under-cap. But she is so, so pretty.

Werewolf

From SerenaMoonstone’s Flickr

I was really excited about this one too because she is also a background character from Fright On! the movie. I hope the designers and animators name her eventually and we get to know her better.
She looks very bohemian/hippie.

I also tried dressing her in the Skeleton CAM clothes. I think it works on her.

I don’t like the face paint. I plan on re-doing the eyes so that she looks more like the cartoon. As she is, she looks kind of ugly. But at least they made her at all! Also sucks: The Ears. They are like barrettes that clip into the hair. So they slip and look wonky and uneven and bad. They should have made the ears like jack prongs and corresponding holes in the wig. Clothes to match the movie would have been nice :/

Crysta Cat-Person

From Monster High Wiki

Crysta Cat is another character I sure wish we would see more of and would have more importance in the stories. I call her Crysta because…

From Animation Anomaly

She looks just like a catgirl version of Crysta from Fern Gully! Although it always bothered me that Crysta the Fairy had short, poofy hair. She should have had long, straight hair. But whatever. I liked Magi Lune the best anyway.

The doll looks like this:

Again, the wig that came with the Werecat/Witch set should have been black. The blue/purple just was a terrible choice I think. And her eye paint was not well done either, I don’t think. They should make the dolls look more like the cartoon! It just looks better! I am going to try to repaint her since MATTEL REFUSES TO MAKE THEIR DOLLS LOOK LIKE THE ART THEY ARE BASED UPON!!!

If I get another werecat CAM doll, I would like to make the catgirl extra with big cat ears and straight hair too. The doll comes with a pair of those bad ear-barrettes too.

Again from the Monster High Wiki.

Overall the Create-A-Monster kits, like the rest of the Monster High line, are too darn cool. And they are well made. Except for discount Skull Shore Frankie’s (Graphite Metallica) defective stand, I have had no problems at all, and besides the not-cartoony face paints and lack of torsos and upper limbs on some of the CAMs, I really like them, especially the clothes, hair, accessories, and concept.

Why are Monster High Dolls addictive? I guess because they’re alot of fun.

Give me some feedback! Leave a comment, I would love to read what you think! Seriously, do it! Thanks!

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One thought on “Why Is Monster High So Cool?

  1. I think they are addictive and awesome because they embody all of the things you want to be when you’re a young child but haven’t got the money/freedom/body to be at that age. Each doll has her own personality and they all look different, so it’s also really appealing because they give the impression that it doesn’t matter what you look like, what skin or hair you have, (or any other bits, like fins or ears!) but you can be awesome and stylish and totally cool whatever. I’m 25 and I love them, I always loved playing and making up characters, from hunting down the most obscure hair-colored Barbies in the 90s to writing stories about characters I drew and gave unique styles to. MH does that perfectly – and with the extra CAM dolls it actively encourages you to do that yourself, so any child (or adult!) who has not thought of giving a doll a whole new personality is kind of guided to do that with each monster they create. And, the OOAK artists are even more inspiring – created by the same “it’s ok to take them apart and put them back together as new dolls” attitude that MH want you to do, but even more so – if I’d had these at the age of 12 or 13 (I was late at growing up ok, as a young girl I played with dinosaurs and cars) I’d have had an amazing time. Hey, wait. I still can. 😀 I’m a bit nervous to get them out and full on play an RPG with them though… my other half might have something to say about that…!

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