Friday, June 15, 2012

Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze Dolls Arrive!

It's been a while since I've seen a new Monster High doll--there hasn't really been anything new since the great granite Rochelle Goyle, who I reviewed back in April.  I guess April wasn't actually that long ago, but given the typically furious release pace of the Monster High dolls, it felt like a long gap in the action.  Today made up for that gap, though, because all of the roller skating Monster High dolls arrived at my doorstep.  I tried something new this time and pre-ordered an entire case of dolls from Entertainment Earth.  If you're not familiar with it yet, Entertainment Earth is a fun store with a huge variety of merchandise including Monster High dolls, Pullip dolls, Living Dead dolls, Tonner dollsLittlest Pet Shop toys, a huge diversity of action figures and lots more.  My transactions with this store have always been reliable and professional.  They have excellent communication, which is especially nice with pre-orders.  I've also had a lot of fun just recreationally browsing their site.  Anyway, a case of Monster High dolls sounds impressive, like it should be a hundred dolls or something.  It's actually six dolls--the four dolls in the release and two duplicates.  I paid $80, or about $13 per doll, which isn't too bad.  Here they are:
Monster-High-Roller-Maze
Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze from left: Ghoulia, Lagoona, Frankie and Operetta.
Each doll comes with a special helmet, roller skates, a neon green stand and a collector's card.  Ghoulia is wearing her blue and green streaked hair in two ringlet pigtails and has a big pink brain helmet:


The brain helmet is an obvious choice for Ghoulia, but I find it a bit gross--along with the brain material that is dripping off the back of her roller skates.  Gross might be the point, though.  

She's holding her left arm at a very odd angle.  I think she might have broken her elbow and her wrist while she was roller skating...

She also seems to have brain matter all over her dress.  Ew.
Lagoona has long wavy blonde hair streaked with blue and green and the "hang ten" right hand mold that I like.  She comes with a very cool scaly blue fin helmet.

Roller skating along the beach totally fits her persona.
Her roller skates also look great, with a scale pattern all over and black fins running down the back. Lagoona's helmet and skates don't seem to match anything about her dress.


Frankie has slightly toxic-looking neon green lips and some lime highlights mixed with the black in her hair.  All of the dolls have green added to their hair, but the effect is not quite as interesting or attractive on Frankie as it is on the other girls.  Frankie's helmet and roller skates are blue with lightning bolts on them--the least remarkable of the roller gear.  Without getting her out of the box and seeing how everything looks together, it seems like Frankie got the short end of the stick in terms of the creativity in her accessories and the cohesiveness of her whole look.  We'll see.   I do really like her rainbow bolt dress and the rich blue color of her skates and helmet:


Operetta has bright red hair streaked with black and green.  She has this intricate black helmet with musical designs on it and a white heart-shaped eye patch with piano key details:


Her arm is also posed in a very unnatural way in the box.  I don't think arms can bend like that:


The two duplicate dolls in my case are Operetta and Ghoulia, so I decided to open Operetta first.  All four of the dolls' boxes have this bright yellow and black background.  It is a very striking set of colors, especially with the neon green stand added in.  I think the screaming background detracts from this lovely doll, but I kinda like the green stand:


I am delighted that she comes with a stand, since many of the recent releases have been without.  Look at her arm though--there's no way to secure the arm at that angle and have it look natural.  What were they imagining?  The boxing team at Mattel needs an anatomy lesson, I think.  Reminds me of the anatomical fail of the MiM horse body.

I'm not sure it's natural for hair to bend that way, either...
Her face is slender and elegant:  


I have the first release Operetta:


...but I haven't taken her out of the box yet, so I have never seen this face without the eye patch over it. It is a lovely face and the sleek hair style accentuates it.  Her hair is tied back into a single ponytail that has been gelled like crazy into a sideways curl.


Here she is freed from the box.  I've said this many times already, but I do find the Monster High dolls refreshingly easy to get out of their boxes.  Oh, that reminds me--I've installed a new custom search feature at the top of the right hand column of the blog.  This should allow you to search back and find all of the older Monster High posts I've done (or whatever else you might be looking for...) which is probably less distracting than having me link to them every time.  I didn't realize how lame the search feature I used to have was.  I hope this one is better--please let me know if you like it!


The little bit of green in her hair looks interesting--like a chic Lilly Munster style:


I got a good look at the etching (scarring?) on Operetta's face, too.  This is such a nice detail.  I guess it's a bit creepy if you think about how it would translate into a skin design on a real person, but no more creepy than a bolt through the neck, I suppose.  She has a G clef on her cheek with scrolls and flourishes surrounding it:

Monster-High-Roller-Operetta

The design actually runs down her neck and over her left shoulder, where there is a little spider web pattern that looks like a cap sleeve.  I like how you can see hints of the design when she looks at you front on, but it doesn't obscure her elegant face.  She has grey-green eyes and heavy eye makeup in shades of green and yellow:


Monster-High-Roller-Operetta

Operetta's outfit is a simple mini dress with a collared halter top:


I have neutral feelings about this dress.  I don't love it and I don't hate it.  I think the design is meant to be little records, because the belt detail on the front looks like a mini plastic record with grooves in it and everything.  This is in keeping with the 50's referencing in Operetta's style, I guess, but a CD dress would have been cooler.  Can you imagine a little dress with CDs hanging off of it like sequins or something?  That'd be great.  Anyway, the dress has a black ribbon with pink dots running down the front of it.  The pink dot in the center of the record belt kind of lines up with the pink dots on the ribbon:


The neckline hem is stitched with yellow thread, which is a neat idea, but the large stitches make it look a bit messy.  The back of the dress has a simple velcro closure and an open back that shows off Operetta's scars:



All of the dolls are wearing knee pads:

Safety chic.
Operetta's knee pads are black with the Monster High skull on them.  The skull is wearing a helmet:

The knee pads are held on with little rubber bands.
Operetta's skates are white with purple soles.  They look like tennis shoes with ankle high sports socks, and then they have a musical pattern on the heel.  These bad boys made me wonder if high heeled roller skates exist in the real world.  Despite it seeming like a pretty dangerous idea, they do, in fact, exist.  

One of Operetta's skates has some paint defects, but otherwise they're great.  The wheels really spin.

They even have those stopper things in front--I relied on those heavily as a kid...
The heel and toe of the skates have spider web patterns on them.  The wheels are red and green with tiny Monster High shields in the middle.  The colors of the wheels are reversed on each foot with green in front on one side and red in front on the other.


With the help of her stand, Operetta can strike a number of roller skating poses, but as you might imagine, getting her to stand on the skates without any support is almost impossible.


Look at the intricate molded detail on the helmet:


The strap doesn't detach, but there's a big slit in the back of the helmet that accommodates Operetta's ponytail, and also allows the helmet to be easily slipped on and off:


Monster-High-Roller-Operetta

This Operetta doesn't come with earrings, which was a disappointment at first, but makes total sense given the placement of the helmet strap:


Monster-High-Roller-Operetta

It took Operetta a little while to get the hang of her roller skates...



But at last she managed to push away from the wall and skate for a bit on her own!


That deserves a break.

The dress is just long enough to keep her decent in most situations.
Operetta has the plastic articulation in her hips and removable hands.  It seems like her lower arms should come off, too, but I actually couldn't pull them off.  It feels like these detachable joints have been made sturdier, which I think will be a well-received change.  She has a maroon and red tattoo running the length of her left arm:

Speaking of decent...could I have that dress back?
This Operetta is a pretty basic doll with a very simple outfit, but the creative and stylish rendering of the roller skating theme makes her fun and different.  I'm glad to have a basic version of Operetta who I can play with, because she is strikingly photogenic:

Monster-High-Roller-Operetta


Vogue.

Here are some action shots.  These poses make me think of Xanadu for some reason, even though I only saw that movie once when I was about ten...and didn't like it.  I'm guessing this isn't the image Mattel was hoping to conjure...Starlight Express maybe, but really probably not anything from the 80s.  
Monster-High-Roller-Operetta
Magic.*

I'm Alive!*
*Obscure Xanadu references.

Bottom line?  I am not sure what the individual retail price for these dolls is, but for the $13 that I paid, this version of Operetta is a treat.  She's a basic doll, but seems anything but basic.  Her body etching and tattoos make her distinct from the other Monster High dolls, and the roller skating theme opens up a great new avenue for play.  The features of this doll that might be deemed basic (her simple hairstyle and outfit) actually make her that much easier to play with.  I suspect that having the full set of skating dolls, while greedy, will enhance the fun of posing and playing with them quite a bit.  I am excited to get more of these dolls out of their boxes.  Please tell me which skater you'd like to see de-boxed next by voting in the poll at the top of the page on the right.

In terms of the bulk purchasing option, this was a good experience for me.  One of the Ghoulia dolls has some shiny marks on her face (these often come off with just a bit of water) but otherwise all six of the dolls I got look perfect.  In addition, the dolls arrived very quickly after the release date and I didn't have to go store hopping for several weeks trying to round up all of them.  I would recommend this purchasing method to other die hard Monster High fans or perhaps to parents looking for that big, special gift for their child.  You can always sell the extra dolls on eBay.

If you'd asked me a year or so ago, I'd have guessed that the Monster High fad would have flamed out by now.  With releases like Rochelle Goyle and these freaky-cool skaters, and with the potential of upcoming releases like Robecca Steam and the glorious costumed creature group...I think we'll be seeing the Monster High craze for quite a bit longer.  

Monster-High-Roller-Operetta

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the posting about ordering the series from Entertainment Earth. I might just try that. I find myself becoming closer to ghoulia and her brain. She will be a reminder to make sure my head is working.

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    1. LOL! I like the way you think. :)
      I hope pre-ordering works well for you if you decide to try it--one risk seems to be that they aren't always able to guarantee exactly which dolls you will be getting in your case. With my order, they were exactly right, though. I SO wish I had pre-ordered the Robecca Steam case!

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  2. They are fantastic!!! I think operetta is my favorite, though I like Ghoulia the most from all of the Monster high dolls :)

    I just bought recently Westley from my scene dolls just to have the rollers (they should fit my pullips and blythes - I hope) ;)

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    1. Oh, wow! I really like the My Scene roller skates! Those look great. I hope they fit your Pullips and Blythes--let us know! :)

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  3. Could you take a picture with her hair down?
    I would like to know what type of part she has and how the green streaks look...The streaks look fine in her ponytail, but I think it'll look too Christmassy.

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    1. Hmm...I haven't decided if I want to take down her factory hair yet. That doesn't usually end well for me... I'll definitely post pics if I decide to go for it! :)

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  4. Another great review! When the new MH lines were announced I wasn't too excited about Roller Maze, but looking at them in detail they seem pretty cool. I'll probably only get Operetta (and maybe Frankie - this ones face is really pretty imo), but it's good to see Mattel is still "on point" with the MH dolls.

    - John in Missouri

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  5. Hello from Spain: thank you for this post as informative about the new Monsters. They are very original. Operetta is my favorite, though all the dolls Monster are very original. I really like skates. Keep in touch

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  6. Wow. I hadn't heard anything about these dolls--Monster High on roller-skates? Oh my! I think I need. :) I love them. And your review is just fantastic and detailed as always. Thanks so much!

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  7. My daughter got Operetta for Christmas and she loves her - the only thing is that she has two right hands. I didn't notice that on your doll. Is that suppose to be that way or is it a fluke?

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  8. I am customizing my Operetta currently, I wasn't to keen on the ''Country rock'' idea as her 'Thing'; so I thought I would make her a classic London punk. She is looking great so far!

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  9. you'r operetta has her hair to the side when mine has her's like a pony tail but it is cute.

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  10. I've had this Ghoulia since Christmas 2012-I'd been considering her for a while, but the roller girl (if you deboxed all 4, maybe you could set up a mini roller derby?) theme and those banana curl pigtails with green streaks did it for me. She looks great in the Comic Book Club outfit and the Ghoulia closet with the dress and the jeans/vest outfit.

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