Monday, July 23, 2012

Monster High "Ghouls Rule" Clawdeen Wolf

I was tempted to pre-order all of the Ghouls Rule Monster High dolls from Entertainment Earth a few months ago, but the case price was overwhelming (I think it was $180...maybe more).  I decided to wait and look at all of them in person and just choose my favorite.  I was lucky to find all of the dolls at Toys R Us about two weeks ago.  This is a fun, elaborate group of dolls and they make an excellent (and tempting) first impression.  At the store, I grabbed all of them greedily into my arms and lurched towards the checkout.  As I got to the front of the store, though, my head cleared and I did some quick mental math: $26.99 times four equals...ugh.  Too much.  I sulked back to the shelves and put them all neatly in a row and began making my agonizing decision.

I won't bore you with all of the details of how I made my choice, but let's just say it took a while.  Like maybe forty five minutes.  The tenth time I circled the Monster High section, I think the TRU employees were getting ready to call security.  The problem was, my favorite dolls from the pictures (Frankie and Draculaura) were not the same as my favorites in real life.  In the store, Clawdeen struck me as the most unique (and there was only one of her), Draculaura didn't dazzle like I thought she would (there were ten of her), and Cleo was about twice as beautiful as her pictures.  Cleo was putting some kind of Egyptian spell on me from inside her box or something, because I found her very, very hard to leave behind.  The saving grace was that all of the Cleos had some minor defect or another, which gave me an excuse to abandon them.  In the end, I liked the dolls in this order: Clawdeen (awesome, unique hair), Frankie (I have a soft spot for Frankie), Cleo (putting a spell on me...), Draculaura (amazing wings!), but I would have been happy with any of them.  Here's Clawdeen:

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf
Ghouls Rule Clawdeen Wolf.

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf

She's very different from all of the other Monster High dolls.  Her 1970s jumpsuit reminds me of ABBA (and I like ABBA), but in the promo pictures, this outfit was a deal breaker for me.  I don't particularly like anything about 1970s fashions.  Too many embarrassing family pictures, if you must know.  But Clawdeen's face paint, funky hair and mask look fantastic:

Take a Chance on Me.
This version of Clawdeen does not look fantastic:

Mama Mia...
I like the doll so much better than that picture.  That picture also made me think that the doll came with a DVD.  This helped explain the $27 price tag, and got me a little bit interested in sitting down and watching the show.  The doll does not, in fact, come with a DVD.  She's just really expensive.

Here's the back of the box:


If this is what the Monster High girls look like on the DVD, maybe I don't want it after all.  


Actually, some of them look ok, I guess, but check out Frankie:

Dum Dum Diddle.
I'm better off looking at the doll, because she is great.  The theme of this collection is based on the plot of the DVD movie.  Instead of staying indoors on Halloween, the girls decide to, "take back this haunting holiday in fang-tastic, over-the-top costumes."  


Clawdeen comes with two strange accessories that probably make a lot of sense if you watch the DVD.  She's got a coffin filled with something green and a purple trick-or-treat bucket.  She also comes with a black stand and a hair brush.


I love Monster High boxes more and more every day.  They are so easy to manage compared to so many of the other play doll boxes.  The outer cardboard window box comes right off with no cutting or ripping--you just have to release some tabs.  The tabs aren't even taped in place.  Once you get the insert out, there are just a few stretchy rubber bands to cut, and then about five plastic ties holding the doll in place.  All of the cardboard can be very easily separated and recycled.  The only thing that worried me was this small grease (glue?) spot at the back of Clawdeen's head.  Maybe from the hair product?

I'll have to be careful where I set this doll.
Within moments, I had all of the items removed from the box:

Stand, brush, coffin, bucket, card, doll.
The collector's card has the freaky pictures from the box duplicated so that you can save them.  Um...no, thanks.



Here's the little purple bucket:


And the coffin with green stuff.  I have no idea what the green stuff is supposed to be:


Is it something like spider guts and centipedes?  I dunno...maybe it's candy?  Bug candy?

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
The coffin closes, but the oozing bug gut candy prevents it from snapping all of the way shut:


Here's Clawdeen with her mask still tied to her hand:


The hair doesn't look quite like the promotional pictures....


Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf


The best things about this doll are her hair and her eye makeup.  She has this long, curly purple mohawk with flocked "shaved" hair on the sides of her head.  The flocked hair has a print that looks  like leopard spots.  Each of her wolf ears has two green plastic earrings that look like cogs or gears.


She has mismatched green eye shadow and a gold glitter slash running across the bridge of her nose.

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf
She's groovy-fierce.
The pattern around her right eye kind of matches the pattern in her shaved hair:

Is it supposed to be phases of the moon?
Her left eye just has normal (heavy) eye makeup in two shades of green:


The flocked hair is a gutsy move.  That could have been a complete disaster, but I think it looks good. I have no idea how long it will last with normal play, though.  Could be a problem.  I think she'd also look great if she were bald on the sides of her head.  If my doll starts to shed, I'll probably just pull off the flocked hair completely.

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf

Hmm.  On closer inspection, maybe I won't pull off the flocked hair after all.  Look at her hairline--there's a cut line in her scalp all around her flocked hair.  Did they cut the flocking right up against the head?  Are those score marks to direct the placement of the short hair?  It looks ok, but she'd be much more customizable without it:


There's a small flaw in my doll's left ear.  The earring holes were not cut correctly:


It's as if the ear was marked in one place for the earrings, and then the actual hole was placed slightly off target:


It's sloppy, but you have to look pretty close to notice.  Not a big deal.


Clawdeen's mohawk is braided at the top and then secured in a small ponytail that runs down her back:


The braid is a bit lopsided and will have to come out:


The rooted hair is set in rows and looks a bit thin under the ponytail:


I detached the mask from Clawdeen's hand so that I could start posing her, but the rubber bands that held the mask in place deformed her right hand:

I understand hot water will fix this....I hope so.
It might just relax over time, too.
The mask looks like a wolf's forehead and nose, with gold plastic chains and scythes (?) that cascade down one side and serve as a decorative handle. 


There's a hand grip on the bottom of the handle, which suggests that Clawdeen can hold this mask up by herself.


Maybe Clawdeen can hold the mask using that handle, but the only way I could get it to work was by balancing the bottom of the handle on the palm of Clawdeen's hand like this:


Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf


Clawdeen's outfit consists of a stretch purple print jumpsuit with black fur sleeves, gold shoes, a gold plastic breast plate, a gold plastic belt, fur leg warmers, and two gold plastic ornaments that sit just above the leg warmers:


Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf

The gold plastic breast plate sits very high on Clawdeen's chest and tends to ride up and bulge out when she's posing her arms:


The purple fabric has shiny gold printed zipper details against a background that looks like black lace with green blobs on it.  Maybe the green blobs are the same concoction that's inside the coffin accessory?


Here's a closeup of the ornaments that sit at the top of the fur leg warmers.  They're like calf bracelets:



The breast plate has four straps with small peg-and-hole fasteners.  These attachments make the removal of this piece really simple.



 Here the jumpsuit without the breast plate and the belt:


Underneath the giant fur leg warmers, Clawdeen is hiding some pretty great shoes:


They are gold plastic to match the rest of the outfit and have molded buckle details and spikes along the front and the heel:


Here are the legs of the jumpsuit with the fur removed:


The shoes look very nice on their own:

Funky Feet.
The outfit comes off pretty easily.  The sleeves can slip over Clawdeen's complete arm (no detached limbs are necessary...) but the fur leggings are a bit trickier.  These have to come off after the shoes, and the plastic calf bracelets have to wait and slide off after the leg warmers.  I still haven't figured out how to get the leg warmers back on.  They're narrow at the top and so it's a tight fit to get them over the legs of the jumpsuit.  It's not easy and I'm not patient.


The black fur on this outfit sheds quite a lot.  It's like having another dog in the house.


Here's Clawdeen with everything removed:


The gloves are great.  I love the bright green color and how it contrasts with the purple of her hair and her jumpsuit. The fingers aren't painted perfectly, but it's very hard to notice


You can see the paint imperfections better against the black fur:


I undid the lopsided braid in Clawdeen's hair and brushed her hair out with the brush that was included.  The fibers of the hair are very soft at the top, but get frizzy at the bottom.  It's possible to brush the full length of the hair without hitting too many snarls.  There's quite a lot of hair when you get it all fluffed up!  It's like a cloud:


The hair is rooted in a straight line across Clawdeen's forehead, so it falls back nicely between her ears.


The kinks from the braid and the widely-spaced rows at the back of her head make the hair fall a little less gracefully from side to side:



The bright color of her hair, her elaborate makeup, the green in her gloves and earrings, and her rich skin tone combine to make her a visual treat...even with no clothes!

I Am Just a Girl.
Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf


Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf



Here she is back in her outfit for some more posing.  I never was able to get those fur leg things back on.

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf

The combination of the puffy wing-like fur sleeves and the plume of purple hair offer what seems like endless posing potential.  I kept wanting to try new ways of getting those explosions of contrasting color to frame her exotic face. 


The breast plate and the fur sleeves inhibit the arm movement of this doll.  I had a hard time moving the arms, and I even pulled one off a few times when trying for some more dramatic positions...


Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf
Dancing Queen.
Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf






Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf






Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf

You can probably tell by the zillions of pictures that I really like this doll.  It is effortless and entertaining to photograph her.  Every time I think maybe I've seen too many Monster High dolls, and that they must have lost their magic by now, these sly ghouls prove to me all over again how inspiring and captivating they can be.  I appreciate the successful execution of a creative vision in this doll, and so her little flaws don't bother me at all.

As the price creeps up, though, I have to ask myself--are these dolls worth $30?  For thirty bucks, should we tolerate the little problems that crop up again and again in the Monster High line?  The poorly aligned eyes or sloppily pierced ears?  The loose joints and the frizzy hair?  The marked faces and the bent hands?  Probably not.  But if Mattel keeps rolling out dolls like this that feel new and different and are so much fun, I'll keep turning a half-blind eye to the imperfections.  I paid my $26.99 and I'm happy that I did.  In fact, if given a chance to pay it again for another one of these fascinating creatures, all dressed up for some Halloween trouble, I'll probably take it.  Tag me a sucker and call it done.

Ghouls-Rule-Clawdeen-Wolf
Head Over Heels.

36 comments:

  1. She is amazingly exotic -- love everything except the "periwinkle blue" lipstick, just don't personally like that color. But the fur sleeves and leg warmers for the jumpsuit are delightful, and the shoes are to die for!

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    1. You're right! Good eye. The blue lips are not very good, are they? I wonder what would have looked better (not green!)? Maybe a slightly darker blue, or even just a dark natural color? There's so much else going on with her, she doesn't need a striking lip!

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    2. I Have the mh ghouls rule cleo doll. In person she is lovely. In The UK she comes with a punch cauldron,a soup ladel, a cauldron,a mask and a hairbrush and stand. I would highly recommend her.

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  2. I'd guess the grease spot at the back of the box is from glue seepage, if she was made in Indonesia. And glue seepage can't be fixed.

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    1. Yikes. Maybe from the glued flocking on her head? That's a bit creepy. I added that possibility into the post. Thank you!

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    2. If its normal MH glue seepage, its not from the flocking. It would be from the glue inside the head holding the hair in. A lot of Indonesia MH dolls are made with bad glue, and the glue seeps out of their heads. It took a while to show up in older dolls, but I've seen a lot of brand new dolls (especially Rochelle) that have it very badly. Lots of Rochelles I've seen others post have had huge stains in their cardboard from the glue. Its the main reason I don't collect MH anymore, since its a permanent problem.

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    3. Oh, wow! I had no idea about this! That's pretty creepy. Thank you for telling me about this--it seems like an important thing to keep an eye on. Ick.

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  3. She is gorgeous, and I'm interested to see what the other girls in this series look like... My hair used to be just like Clawdeen's, so maybe that's why I like her..

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    1. Whoa! Purple, even? Good for you. Orange was as brave as I ever got--and certainly no mohawk. ;)

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    2. Yup, purple (:
      I'm so excited to get my first Monster High Doll :)

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  4. Hello from Spain: very good buy with Clawdeen. You're right that Monster is a very different from the rest of the collection. You're right that the boxes are the best. It's easy to pull the doll from its box and the box we can save. Does not break. I like her hair and makeup. The photos are very nice and looks in detail at the doll. Thanks for sharing. Keep in touch.

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    1. Aren't the boxes great? Maybe it's silly for me to get so excited over the boxes, but it makes getting a new doll SO much more pleasant and fun. And, like you said, the boxes stay in tact, so you can put everything right back in the box if you want!

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  5. New follower here!

    Wow, I have to say, you give probably the most in-depth reviews of a product I've ever seen for dolls... and I LOVE it.

    Those new illustrations are terrifying... why in the world wouldn't they do the movie as a cartoon, which is what people are used to seeing... and what people love??? Very baffling.

    Heather
    http://majokkoshop.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Heather!

      The computer graphics of the new show are definitely terrifying, especially if that's not what the webisodes look like. Why change a good thing?

      Thank you for your blog link...I got so caught up in reading about RealPuki PoPo, I had to drag myself back to this blog. Fairyland is not good for my budget... ;)

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  6. Wonderful review as always:) I'm not interested much in this set, esp Clawdeen in particular (I really hate her outfit except her shoes) but you've got me wavering as her face is amazing! The spots on her eyeshadow and shaved head are leopard spots (Clawdeen has a lots of leopard print in her wardrobe), I think that's what's supposed to be on her leotard too. As for her price I tend to stay away from TRU unless it's an exclusive as they're stuff is more expensive.

    The "webisodes" (they are 2 minute episodes shown on the MH site and on Youtube, there is no regular tv show) are 2D animation as were the first two tv specials. The last two specials and the upcoming Halloween one are all computer animated. No one seems to know why they switched but a lot of collectors (including myself) wish they hadn't; it looks so bad:P

    Sorry for the long winded post!

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    1. Thank you, Desiree! I think if you have a good reason to not get one of these dolls, grab onto it like a lifeline! There are so many new dolls coming out, it's almost frightening. If you need another reason to dislike the outfit, it sheds like crazy, which I forgot to mention. I'll have to go back and add that, above.

      My Toys R Us has SO much more stock than the other stores in the area, but I didn't realize that the prices were higher. That bums me out a bit.

      I should go watch some of the webisodes. I also have a DVD that came with one of my dolls--I should watch that, too. I am a bit worried that the personalities of the characters on the show won't mix with what I have at this point in my head....

      Thanks again for the Threadarella reminder! I am so excited about seeing her. Need to check in with Target today... ;)

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  7. Clawdeen looks amazing and exotic. However if she is $27 in America it will be interesting to see how expensive she is in Australia. Still I bought rollerskating Operetta (you were the enabler - you did such a great review) for $12 so maybe the price will somewhat similar.

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    1. I just noticed that these dolls are $29.99 online at Toys R Us. I wonder why there would be a difference between in store and online? Hmm. Anyway--I really hope they are reasonably priced in Australia! $12 for the Roller Maze dolls is great. I hope you love your Operetta...aren't the skates fun? She's still my favorite from that group. :)

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  8. Wow, I didn't think I would like this doll so much but your review really opened my eyes!
    It will take a while for the Ghouls Rule dolls to come here but I'll patiently wate for them.
    Before this review my Ghouls Rule list was like this (1 being my most favorite doll)

    1. Draculaura
    2. Frankie Stein
    3. Cleo de Nile
    4. Clawdeen Wolf

    But because of this review I made a slight change..

    1. Draculaura
    2. Frankie Stein
    3. Clawdeen Wolf
    4. Cleo de Nile

    I like them all though and since you said your favorites weren't what you expected in real life, we'll just wait and see :)

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  9. heey :D
    first of all,I LOVE your reviews,they're great,i was searching for a merida review and then I found your blog and found these.
    I wasn't so sure about to get these doll (if she ever comes to portugal)but now i'm like Crazy about her,she's just perfect!
    grea,great review,Thanks a lot!!

    oh and by the way you find a way to put the fur leg things back on??

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    1. I found her blog the same way!!

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    2. Thank you! :)

      I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't tried getting the fur leggings back on. It must be possible! I'll go try again right now...

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    3. Ok, I did get the leggings back on--it wasn't too bad, but I lost several chunks of fur from those beasts in the process! You have to widen the hole with your finger and then grab on to the bottom of the jumpsuit leg so that it doesn't get pushed up.

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  10. Great reviews Emily. I put Clawdeen's 1600 boots on this doll, I think it makes it less of a fuzzy mess.

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m80y49Yglt1r0fm5co1_500.png

    What do you think?

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    1. Oh--that's perfect! Good call. I think that's a much better balance than her factory look and you're not kidding about the fuzzy mess. :)

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  11. Will you being doing the novi stars dolls?? I really want to know about those. right when I saw the dolls in the magazine I thought they look really cheap.plus I really want to know if Mae tallick even has a shirt? I really want to know more about them before I buy any of them.

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    1. Yeah, I was wondering about those too.
      They aren't out in the Netherlands yet (if they ever will be) but when I first saw them I thought they looked ok. It's not like: omg! I want that! now! But I thought that the doll with the water in her legs or somethig looked cool.
      I was wondering if the quality of these dolls is as good as it looks in the promo pics.

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    2. I saw the Novis yesterday at Target and looked at them for quite a while. If I had bought one, it would have been Alie. The one with water/glitter in her legs (Uni?) is probably the "prettiest" (if that's the right word) but the glitter was all pooled at the bottom of her legs and I could picture it drying out over time. I thought the light-up effect that Alie advertised sounded be more interesting, and her plastic is a neat shimmery yellow color. Ari wasn't at the store.

      They are cuter than they look in their promo pictures, and the eyes are especially neat. I have to say that it's a very original idea, but I'm not sure what I'd do with them. I didn't buy one mostly because they are very small and look more like statuettes than dolls. They could fit in a box about a quarter the size of the one they're in. I think some of them do not have leg articulation, and the arm articulation looks fragile. Surely not worth $20, but perhaps if they are ever cheaper, I might get one? They remind me of Happy Meal toys (good ones, to be sure). :oP

      I don't think Mae has a shirt...

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    3. Haha ok, I think I also wouldn't buy one at that price :)
      I laughed when I red that Happy Meal sentence xD

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    4. I do think the alien thing is cool, just something things are way to close to mh. I really want to know the dolls more than some quick review on YouTube. Like if I have a chocie between Liv and novi stars.

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  12. Oh, I'm so glad I was directed to your blog! This in-depth look really made up my mind about the Ghouls Rule line as I didn't think I'd care for any of them based off the promo shots. But I'm definitely going hunting for Clawdeen :)

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  13. I just came across your blog (and this post is super old) but I love your detailed reviews!

    I'm mostly commenting to say that I think the details on Clawdeen's mask are meant to be crescent moons (since she's a werewolf and all) and I've gotten it to stay on her head via one of the tiny, clear bands that come with her in the box (if you're inclined to have it on.)

    I also wanted to reassure you that you can get the leg fur back on, but it is kind of hard. I think I had to push everything up and then snag her jumpsuit leg with my fingers to pull that part back down.

    Love your blog, can't wait to read more!

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  14. Awesome I think u would enjoy the movie...

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  15. I want her so bad, because I ABSOLUTELY love the make up and the hair. But the furry jumpsuit is simply awful. If I'd buy her, I should buy a fashion pack for her too. I live in Finland, and the prices are much higher here. Tough decisions.

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  16. I've seen the movie, and the animation is much, MUCH better than the pictures on the box.

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  17. This line is interesting, since the Halloween costumes are all pretty abstract. Frankie's my favorite for looking like a Tim Burton princess, but the stock photos with ungelled hair make her look more like Helena Bonham-Carter!

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