Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mystixx "Kalani" by Playhut

Mystixx are a new brand of vampire doll from Playhut.  When I think of Playhut, I think of the awesome pop-up structures that my kids used to play in when they were younger.  Apparently, Playhut has decided to throw their hat into the increasingly popular ring of slightly creepy but highly fashionable vampire/monster/witch dolls. As I mentioned in my Cutie Pops review, I enjoy seeing a smaller toy company step up and compete with the big guns.  It gives me hope for something truly innovative.  For example, while the Cuite Pops bear a certain resemblance to Lalaloopsy dolls and some of the other big-headed dolls on the market, they offer something fun and different with their removable eyes and hair.  Encouraged by the success of Jada Toys and their Cuties, I wondered if perhaps Playhut had found a fun and unique way to contribute to the monster doll market.

The Mystixx caught my eye at Toys R Us the other week because for a split second, I thought I was seeing a Bleeding Edge Goth doll (if you're not familiar with them, you can see a nice selection of the Bleeding Edge dolls here).  I guess something about the Mystixx face (its pallor and fierce expression?) made me think of BEGoth dolls.  On closer inspection, I actually found the face to be unappealing and not much like a BEGoth doll at all.  Also, peering in the box revealed that the doll was, at best, minimally articulated.  Why, then, would I shell out $20 for such an unpromising doll?  Well, for three reasons.  First, the doll is advertised as having a changing face. She has a human face and a vampire face.   That's not something you see every day.  I get impossibly curious about things like this--I mean, a doll with two faces?  How does that work?  It sounds cool.  Also, these dolls come with interchangeable wigs and two complete outfits.  This immediately had me hoping that they would be able to share wigs with Liv dolls and share outfits with some of my 12" play dolls.  Last, I have been pondering the popularity of dark, monster dolls lately and wondering if the Bleeding Edge dolls are a kind-of ancestor to Monster High and all of the dolls that have followed in the Monster High footsteps.  This doll's ability to conjure BEGoth dolls in my mind convinced me that I should buy one and see where she fits into this burgeoning market of vampires, ghouls and goths. Here's Kalani:

Mystixx "Kalani."
I find the name of this line to be uninspired--it's generic-trendy.  It reminds me of the Winx Club and of the Bratzillaz with all of their extra "z's" and "x's."  Also, you should never end a sentence with a preposition:

How about: The doll with a changing face?
The backstory is creatively vacant:

Girls came to a school, some weird stuff happened...at different times.
Whoa.
Also, a peeve of mine, "day" and "night" are randomly capitalized, making me wonder if they mean something more profound than just day and night.  Probably not.

The back of the box has some cartoon versions of the Mystixx characters and a few descriptions of how the doll's face-changing feature works.  Apparently, you just turn her head to reveal the second face.

Two-faced doll.
These girls on the back of the box are pretty, but neither looks anything like Kalani:


These same faces are featured on the front of the box in a cool heart design that changes as you look at it from different angles:

Looking directly from the front. 
Looking from the left side.
All of the Mystixx characters are drawn on the back of the box (there are no photographs of the actual dolls):  

The names are unique--Talin, Azra, Siva and Kalani.
Of these four dolls, only Kalani and Azra were in stock at my Toys R Us.  Azra is really pretty on the box, but the doll looks completely different.  In fact, the Azra and Kalani dolls share the same mold, they're just wearing different clothes and have different hair.

I don't care much for this large drawing of Kalani on the front.  Her lips are strange and her bangs are too short.  Incidentally, Azra's portrait on the front of the box is the same drawing, just colored differently:

Her lips look like bat wings--I wonder if that's intentional?
Here's a close-up of Kalani's actual vampire face, which is the only face that shows when she's in the box:

Yikes.
If I were in charge, I would have put the normal face on display in the box and had the vampire face be a secret.  Maybe it's because I like surprises, or maybe just that I find this to be a very unattractive face.  I think I actually squeaked or laughed out loud when I first got a good look at this mug.  It's spooky, I guess, but not in a way that's endearing to me.  

There's a paper cutout of the normal girl face, but it's hard to get a good sense for what it will look like in three dimensions.  All I can say for now is that it looks slightly better than the vampire face.


Here's the doll next to her cardboard double.  It's great that this set comes with two complete outfits and two wigs.  I love the green wig.  Spin Master made a green Liv wig, but it was incredibly hard to find.


The box opening starts off like a dream.  The outer box is plastic with a cardboard back.  You can snip one pice of tape at the top and then easily open the flap of this box.  The cardboard insert slides right out and you're ready to detach the doll and her accessories:

The backdrop on the cardboard looks like a swanky penthouse with a pool.
Detaching everything from the cardboard is a pretty typical box-opening experience.  There are tons of little plastic ties holding the clothes and wigs in place and a fair number of plastic pieces covering various accessories or holding them up for display.  I extracted the extra outfit and wig first:
  

The extra outfit includes a short-sleeved collared tee shirt, a plaid skirt with a woolen feel to it and a pair of green fishnet leggings.

One issue I have with this outfit right off the bat is that there are too many greens.  The green of the tights is a forest green, but the green in the shirt is sage green and the skirt is a blue-green teal color.  Two greens would be fine, but somehow three just seems like a mistake.  

It's not easy being green.
The skirt is probably my favorite piece of clothing in this set.  It is simply made with minimal hemming and a very basic shape, but I like the length and the woven fabric and I even think the chains are a cute touch.  It has a glittery tulle accent at the bottom that mirrors Kalani's other outfit.  


The shirt is pretty cute, too, except for that lace cravat in front that looks like a napkin tucked into the neckline of the shirt.  The ruffled cap sleeves and collar are fun, but the edges aren't hemmed at all, and this kind of finishing always makes me nervous about durability.


The extra wig is blonde with green streaks and is styled in two ponytails:


Already I can see an issue in the back where the style was squished against the cardboard and the thin rooting is exposed:

Why use a ponytail style if the wig isn't rooted appropriately?
The wig seems haphazardly sewn and feels terrible.  The ends of the hair are bristly and coarse.  The wig cap is hard opaque plastic--not flexible like a Liv wig.  The peg in the middle of the wig cap inserts into a hole in the doll's head.


Kalani also comes with an extra pair of shoes--these long, shapely black stiletto boots with neon green  (yet another green...) ornamentation:


The heels are very thin and flexible, so they can't support the doll very well.


There's also a pink plastic brush:


And a pair of sea-green horn rimmed glasses:


Next, I removed Kalani from her plastic entrapments.  She's wearing a fancier nighttime outfit.  She can stand on her own when she is wearing these boots:


She's wearing the green wig, which is also styled in two slightly sloppy ponytails.  This wig looks and feels much nicer than the other one.


She's scowling at me...kind-of seductively.


So, I was going crazy with curiosity about this doll's two faces.  I had a cloth doll when I was a kid that could turn inside out and reveal a second face--I think it was Little Red Riding Hood and you could turn her inside out to get the grandmother doll.  But this is a plastic doll, and so both faces have to be right there all of the time, with nowhere to hide.  Sure enough, if you take off that wig, she's got two full faces, one on each side of her head:

It's way too much like when Voldemort's face took over the other side of Quirrel's head.
So, here's her regular face looking at you:


It's cute enough, and if you look at it directly from the front, there are no face parts sticking out in the back or anything.  The face strikes me as very generic, though.  It's a bit like a Winx Club doll face, a bit like a Monster High doll (in the eyes) and then she has some strange angles in her jaw and in her nose that are uniquely hers...but which aren't doing her any favors.




Her eyes are painted very similarly to the Monster High eyes--even down to the slash/dot reflection on one side.  Her lips are a bit more like the Winx Club lips, but they have a pinched smirk on them instead of a sweet smile.  The eyes are wide-set on a broad face that tapers into a very small chin.

The bridge of her nose is way too thin.  Her eye color and eye paint is very nice, though.  I like the broad, dark shape of her slightly slanted eyes and her subtle periwinkle blue eyeshadow.

That's totally a Monster High eye.
The pale white of the vinyl is great for the vampire face, but I think it would have been nice if her human face had a slightly more realistic skin tone color.  I can only imagine how silly she would have looked with her wig off and two face colors...


Well, maybe it wouldn't have been that bad...but then you have the problem of what color to make the body.  

Here's the vampire face without the wig:

She looks kinda cool,  actually.
The makeup is darker on this face and the eyes and eyeshadow have swapped colors.  She also has glitter decorating her eyelids.  The shape of this face is much more angular--you can picture the skin stretched over a skeleton.  Her cheek bones are visible, and she has sunken eyes and a prominent brow. 


Here are the two faces side-by-side.  I have to say, I think they did a nice job of changing the mold significantly enough to make the vampire half of the head look decidedly different and spooky.  The more I looked at and photographed the vampire face, the more I liked it.  Despite my initial impression, in the end I feel like it's the normal face that's lacking--it seems to be the result of rounding up features from other popular dolls, with a final product that doesn't have enough character or charm of its own.



The glasses don't fit very well over the ears of the normal side of the head.  They're slightly warped, but even if they were straight, the sides are just a bit too short to hook over the ears:


The fit is better on the vampire side of the head...but vampires shouldn't need glasses, right? Don't they have super x-ray night vision or something?

I have eyes on the back of my head.  And a nose. And four ears.
I like the green wig on the normal girl's face, but she looks so pale.  That's not your classic human look.


I took the ponytails out of this wig to get a better look at it and it is, indeed, a much nicer wig than the blonde one.  The fiber is soft and manageable and the color is fantastic:


Styling options are limited...mostly because of that pesky second face peeking out of the back:


A single ponytail looks cute...except for the double-chin problem:


Hatchet head.
 This slightly glitzier outfit is for clubbing and maybe grabbing a tasty human snack on the way home:


She's wearing a glittery black skirt, a tiered silver tube top and a white shrug.  


The skirt has two layers--a black satiny underskirt and a glitter tulle overskirt.  Neither layer is hemmed.  The waist band is black ribbon, and gets folded back on itself pretty easily.  


I think the silver top is the most carefully made piece of clothing in the set.  I am not crazy about the style ( I could never wear that...), but it has a lot of detail and is well-sewn.

The tiers aren't hemmed at the bottom.

The shrug is unremarkable.  It's made out of a stretchy white knit with silver threads:


She's wearing black fishnet leggings and a pair of boots.   


These boots have the exact same color scheme as the longer stiletto boots, but I like these better.  The heels are sturdier and the short length makes them easier to get on and off.


Kalani has 5 points of articulation.  This is a disappointing number.  Furthermore, her shoulder joints only rotate (no hinged movement) and her hips don't have any side-to-side movement, either.  Her head can only look around--not up and down.  Her torso is hard plastic but her arms and legs are more bendable--her arms more so than her legs.   Her legs aren't as rubbery as the Bratzillaz legs, which is nice.  


She can't do much in the way of posing, just some scissor kicks and partial splits.



Look at Kalani next to Clawdeen:


I see huge similarities here.  Look at the shape of the hands, the molded underwear and the curves of the torso:


The lower legs, in particular, look very similar to me.  Kalani's calves are a bit more shapely, but the feet are almost identical.



Kalani's thighs are very skinny compared to Clawdeen's upper legs.  This part of the leg also seems hastily sculpted.  There are some uneven areas:


Look at the arched back of Clawdeen's torso--this is kind of the trademark Monster High feature:


Now compare that to Kalani's torso.  Focus on that side seam: if you look in front of the seam, the shape is almost identical to Clawdeen.  Behind the seam, Kalani has more thickness to her body.  



I realize that dolls are copied all of the time, but I'm disappointed that the body would be so similar to something that is already being made--and being made well.  Why can't they come up with a new shape?  The good news is, I'm guessing that Clawdeen will be able to share Kalani's clothes and shoes.

If you're going to copy a Monster High body, why not copy the awesome articulation?  I mean, Kalani has bendy arms, but they can't exactly strike many realistic poses:

You seem a little weird...
Ah!  Jeez.  Don't do that!
Ahhhhh!
One thing Kalani has going for her that definitely isn't copied from anywhere is that she can hold two conversations at once:

Liv: Ah, you make me a little nervous, but do you think perhaps I could try on your wigs?
Clawdeen: I have fangs, too.  You don't scare me.  Can I have your clothes?
Kalani's wigs don't work on Liv.  The wig cap is too big and the peg is positioned towards the front of the wig, so the hair sits way too far back on Liv's head:


The wig cap is way too big.
Similarly, Kalani can't wear a Liv wig because her double-faced head is too thick and the centrally-placed Liv wig peg pushes the hair too far forward.

Cro-Magnon hair.
Peek-a-boo!
I much prefer the flexible, clear wig cap of the Liv wigs.  I also like that Liv wigs are more carefully rooted.  Compare the two stitching patterns:


Even though the green wig is soft, the rooting isn't very dense and the hard green wig cap is unattractive:


Indeed, Kalani's clothes fit Clawdeen pretty well.  Everything is a bit lose because of Kalani's thicker torso, but it's one of the better fits that I've encountered:


Here you can see the waistband ribbon misbehaving, but the fit is good:


Clawdeen can wear Kalani's boots, and they even allow her to stand on her own, if somewhat tentatively:


The other outfit looks nice, too:


The waist of the skirt is a bit loose and the skirt overall has a sloppier shape than most Monster High clothes, but it works:


Here's Kalani showing off some of her many different looks and her five joints:









Since I started this discussion by mentioning Bleeding Edge Goth dolls, let me show you one of mine, Leda Swanson:


The BEGoth line was started in 2003.  These dolls have limited articulation and funny-looking bodies, but their faces are fascinating.  Some of them are too extreme for my taste and cross the line into strange/unattractive.  Leda has a balance that works for me.  She's unusual, with the Mars and Venus signs in her eyes and several facial piercings, but she's also quite lovely with her blue gown, long raven hair and graceful tattoos.

Some day, I will have to do a full review of Leda or another BEGoth, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures for you.  Tell me if you agree that these goth beauties might have sparked the flame for dolls like Monster High and Bratzillaz:

BEGoths are slightly taller than Monster High and Bratzillaz.
They have 8 points of articulation with internal click knee joints.
Leda retailed for between $20 and $30 originally but is now much more expensive.



In the family tree of goth/monster dolls, Leda is kind of like Kalani's grandmother.  I think several important features, some steps in quality and a ton of originality have been lost along the way:



Bottom line? There are doll mimics all over the place: Barbie impersonators, American Girl wannabes, Monster High look-a-likes and even Blythe clones that don't even try to disguise what they're trying to be.  Sometimes one doll is a blatant copy of another doll, sometimes the basic idea behind a doll is used, but it's tweaked to attempt something new.  Sometimes a company tries to create a less expensive version of a pricey popular doll.  In general, I don't have a huge problem with any of this.  As a collector, it's nice to see companies take good ideas and try to make them better or make them affordable.  What I find frustrating is when a company takes a good idea and makes it worse...or just cranks out a thoughtless imitation.  

I'll admit that Kalani has grown on me since I got her out of the box a few days ago.  Her wan, pale vampire face, in particular, stands out now as perhaps her best feature.  It's spooky and cool in an almost glamorous way--very Spectra Vondergeist.  That's the problem, though.  In the end, she is just a lesser version of a Monster High doll.  Almost everything about this doll seems like it was hastily copied from another doll.  Her name is too similar to the Winx Club and Bratzillaz names.  Her body is extremely similar in shape to that of a Monster High doll, but is inferior in quality and articulation.  Her wigs are like Liv wigs, but they're scruffy and have hard plastic wig caps.  There isn't even a creative backstory to help me get excited about the characters.  The Mystixx's only innovation is their double-faced head, and honestly this feature is too weird to be a bit hit.  Unless you're planning an intergalactic game with two-faced extraterrestrial creatures, I don't see this doll filling any role that wouldn't be better cast as a Monster High character.  

A vinyl doll with a face that could actually be removed and replaced would have been a noteworthy achievement.  I have only ever seen this feature on expensive BJDs.  A interchangeable face coupled with removable wigs could have been the foundation for a highly versatile play doll line.  Oh well--not this time. 

There's some irony to the fact that the first time I saw this doll, I mistook her for a Bleeding Edge Goth doll.  I couldn't be more wrong.  From what I know about the evolution of doll trends, the Bleeding Edge dolls could be credited for introducing gothic edginess to the mainstream fashion doll market.  Mystixx are at the opposite end of the spectrum.  They aren't trend-setters, they are followers.  To me, Kalani is a forgettable side-effect of the bigger forces of creativity, experimentation and risk-taking that are shaping the modern doll market.

This face won me over a little in the end.
Summary:
Age Level
6 and up, per the box.  I agree.
Value
You get a lot for $20: a doll, two outfits and two wigs.  Nothing really special, though.
Quality
The quality is fine.  The clothes are cute but simple.  Un-hemmed edges might be a problem.  The doll is sturdy, but has little articulation. The wigs are of varying quality, one is pretty bad and the other is acceptable.
Packaging
The packaging is fairly standard--better than a Bratzillaz box, not as good as a Monster High box.  Mostly plastic with a cardboard insert.
Collectable?
No.  This is a low-end play doll.
Versatility
The changeable wigs and multiple outfits suggest versatility, but the strange double-faced head and severe vampire face will limit play options.  The clothes and shoes fit Monster High dolls pretty well.
Overall
I can’t find anything special or different enough about this doll that would cause me to choose it over a similarly-priced Monster High doll.  

This face didn't.

53 comments:

  1. I think she is a cute doll, but the double head really seems awkward. Too be done right, they probably should have designed a wig cap that covered the entire second face.

    I loved the review (and the green wig).

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    1. That's a good idea, April. If the wig were stretchy or something and could cover the second face, it'd be a big improvement (it might fit Liv then, too)!

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  2. The two faced idea is interesting, but it's also just really weird.
    I do really like the Bleeding Edge dolls, they look really pretty and their bodies remind me of old Barbies from the 70s or 80s (some had click-bending knees).

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    1. Oh, yeah! The BEGoths definitely have that vintage Barbie look with the broad shoulders and tiny waist. I love their unusual faces.

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  3. Thank you for this review; I had been wondering about these little creatures and what they were all about. I love your Leda Swanson doll, by the way!

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    1. Thank you! Leda is a neat doll to have around. I really feel like she gives some depth to my collection of Monster High and other slightly creepy dolls. I also have Atara Inferno (my favorite) but she's in the box for now. :)

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  4. Maybe the outfits of Kalani would fit Nefera a lot better! Can you redress her to see if she could possibly have more clothes/shoes? (Even the green color scheme looks like it could work for her).

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    1. That's a great thought! Unfortunately, I gave my Nefera away, so I can't try out your idea. :( I agree that the green would be perfect for her!

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  5. She is kinda cute but I am not feeling the whole two head thing. I would have preferred two separate heads and you pop one off and put the other on to get a different look. Kind of like the MH CAM sets.

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    1. Yes--I agree. The head comes off really easily, too, so it would have been a simple way to handle the two faces. On the other hand, since the only unique thing about this doll is the double face, if they gave that up, they'd really just be left with a MH knock-off!

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  6. I'm happy to see a review of these dolls! I was really curious about them. I didn't think I'd want to pay full price, but if they go on clearance that double head is too neat for me to pass up even with the disappointing body.

    But face changing is available for non-BJD dolls too! :D I have a Coraline doll (NECA bendy, that's the most proper name I've been able to find) with a face you can swap. I don't know if its accurate or not, but I heard the original price of the non-exclusives was $12-15. Though they do cost a lot more now, and are not worth that high price in my opinion. I also know some pretty expensive ($200-300ish I think?) action figure-type dolls come with changeable faces and hands and stuff like that. I've only seen movie characters and they're crazy realistic. Its a bit creepy how good they are, honestly.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68105287@N03/7370725106/in/photostream/

    I'd love to see your thoughts on a Juku Couture doll. I recently got one and I'm in love. I'm curious what newer ones are like (mine is missing a few clothing pieces at least).

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    1. Oh, I should definitely do a Juku review! I have been wanting one of those dolls (but really, what doll don't I want? ;) Those are Jakks Pacific dolls, I think. I'll see about getting my hands on one of those--they're reasonably priced, I think. Thank you for the suggestion!

      I also love the look of your Coraline doll--I had no idea that the faces were interchangeable on those! That is awesome.

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    2. Mine was only a few bucks, but she was loose and all. I looked them up on eBay shortly after and most were pretty reasonably priced. And you're welcome! :)

      I didn't know either until I had her in my hands, so I was surprised. But its a really great feature. I hope more playline dolls will come with it soon.

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  7. There's something about clones this blatant that just fascinates the hell out of me. Were I a Monster High fan, I'd definitely be after these dolls, even though the double face terrifies me, haha. (by the way you know how some people on Etsy who custom mold MH shoes and torsos make conjoined twin- double headed- torsos? I wonder if someone's made a double faced two headed hybrid yet. Four faces is obviously twice as good as two faces, haha.)
    Not much else to say as this doll is totally outside the boundaries of my interests, but as always I loved the review. The part where Clawdeen gets freaked out and runs away made me laugh out loud. :)

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    1. I think the clones are kind-of fascinating, too, Alrunia! I have much more positive thoughts about them when they cost less than the original, though. I'm tempted by the Blythe clones that are called "Blybes." I mean, they're not even trying to pretend that they're making an original doll! Amazing.

      I'll have to go check out the Monster High customs on Etsy--I haven't looked around there for way too long...

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  8. With the Mixtixx dolls, it looks like they've just doubled-up and have two whole heads grafted together. I'm not sure why they didn't just have one more rounded head with facial features carved into both sides, or have swappable heads like April W. mentioned.

    The wigs look as though they almost might work with the Monster High Create-a-Monster dolls, if you flipped the wig around backwards.

    As a Monster High fan, I do appreciate having a line of dolls to steal clothing from! Of course, were the double-face feature executed a little more artfully, I would have interest in the line past a new source of shoes.

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    1. I'm hoping that they release clothing packs for these dolls--that might be worth buying, especially if they were less expensive than the MH clothing packs (although MH clothing packs are actually pretty reasonable). You have a good idea about the head--a more rounded shape would have helped a lot, especially with the fit of the wig. :)

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  9. The whole idea of two faces is interesting but a bit creepy. When I saw the first picture I was immediatly like, Emily bought a cheap Monster High clone! Well, turns out she is not that cheap :')
    I hated the vampire face when I first saw it but it grew on me a bit as I was reading your (great) review. Oddly enough, I liked the normal girl face a lot at first but that's also not the case anymore :)
    While I was reading the review, I couldn't get the thought of MH clones out of my head, I don't think I could ever really like these dolls. I love the real ones too much, haha! :)

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    1. That's exactly it, Dailey--the Monster High dolls are so great, if you're spending $20, you're much better off buying a Monster High. They are so full of personality! :)

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  10. Oh not another one! Great review, though, I loved the parts with Clawdeen and Kalani, I laughed and could totally see Clawdeen saying/doing something like that (I have to admit I've watched the MH Webisodes and I was hearing her voice while reading). The two face thing seems like an interesting idea, but... I swear I've seen something like this before, but I can't remember where. I got deja'vu looking at the pictures. This is going to bug me for awhile. I think they made the shoes interesting enough, and the vampire face does seem to have a bit of an interesting vampy look to it, but there's something lacking in the characterization. She doesn't seem whole to me, like say one of the MH ghouls, and as you said more like a follower rather than a trendsetter. The second outfit makes me think of a strange mixture of Frankie Stein and Draculaura... with Ghoulia's glasses?! I hope that if they continue to work on this line, they do something else about that double face idea to make it look less like a parasitic twin, and more like a regular girl that changes into something else at night. It may also help to hire some new writers, because the story of the doll is very uninspiring.

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    1. Parasitic twin = perfect description. You hit the nail on the head!

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  11. Oh my god, I have something else to add: I found another picture of these girls on Flickr and I nearly had a freak out moment when I saw this.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbabs/7860757556/

    Check out the shoes on that pink girl, what the heck is her name anyways? I guess it doesn't matter, but...don't those shoes look a bit... familiar? Like another certain vampire doll on the market, with pink and black hair, a pet bat, and a famous father figure...?

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    1. Oh, yeah! You're right! The hat is totally Dawn of the Dance Draculaura, too! Wow.

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  12. Hello from Spain: the idea of the two faces is interesting but I think they did not create it either. The company should better study the issue. I do not like that the legs are not articulated. Your doing a great job informative. We keep in touch.

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    1. Thank you, Marta. I completely agree that a little leg articulation would have made a huge difference--then she could at least sit down!

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  13. The poses cracked me up. She works well as a horror doll.
    Speaking of changing faces, have you ever seen the Pinky Street figurines? They are a line of 10cm tall figurines with interchangeable heads, hair, torsos and legs.

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    1. Those Pinky Street dolls are very cute! I had never seen those before. I love all of the different combinations you can make--especially if you have more than one doll. Tempting.... :)

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  14. What a hilarous set of pictures! Such a strange, strange doll series. The 2 faces make me think of the ancient Roman god Janus, but I know they aren't going for a mythology angle. I could see buying extra clothes, shoes, or wigs from this series on eBay to diversify the wardrobe of my Monster High collection, but that's about it. Thanks for sharing and reviewing them!

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    1. Thank you, Tiffany! I didn't think of Janus! You're right. Good call.
      The extra clothes are nice--I especially like the chunky shoes that help Clawdeen stand on her own.

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  15. The doll's appeal to me, because they're Vampires :) anything with Vampires/ Supernatural I'm all game for. But as much as I love Vampire themed dolls, I think I would personally have to pass by on these dolls. I was really hoping that she was going to be pose able, But when I seen that she wasn't I was really disappointed :/. I also think that I would have to pass on these dolls, Because of the too much similarity to the Monster High dolls, Plus the two-faces thing kinda threw me off! I do however love! her shoes and I think her clothes are adorable, I think that if they made extra outfits..with shoes included I would definitely buy them for the Monster High dolls.

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    1. Yep, I'll be watching for any clothing packs, too. I like the plaid skirt in this set quite a lot, even though it has a very simple shape. It looks great for fall/winter. :)

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  16. I think she's is kinda funny looking. Saw these at toys r us and thought they were MH for a second!

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    1. She pretty funny looking. :P In my TRU, they have these dolls set apart from the MH a little bit--there are some Hearts 4 Hearts, Winx Club and Bratz dolls in between. This is a smart move, I think, because of exactly what you said.

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  17. Excellent review, but I came away thinking I might need to get a Clawdeen, LOL! Really don't like the 2-faced concept as done on this doll. Even as a child, it would have bothered me a lot that the "other" face made the hair stick out strangely, and so on. Lack of articulation makes the rest of the doll just "so-so".

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    1. Thank you, Barb! You should definitely get Clawdeen. She's one of my favorites. She's like the seasoned veteran around here, passing her own judgement on all of the new dolls. :)

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  18. If the Mystixx wig caps are too big for Liv dolls how do they fit Moxie Teenz? Would they fit better if the peg was snipped out?

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    1. Good questions--I cut the peg off of one of them to see if it would help the fit on Liv (it didn't) but I didn't try the Moxie Teenz. My guess is that it wont be a great fit since Liv and Moxie can share wigs. I'll try it as soon as I get home, though!

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  19. I saw the two dolls and I just couldn't get over the vampire face- it's just too pointy for my taste. The double face thing has been done before (it's been a long while! http://worldcollectorsnet.com/magazine/issue31/Threefaceporcelai15is.jpg)

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    1. Ah!! That baby! The double face is so much creepier on a baby head for some reason! How awful and wonderful at the same time!

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  20. It does look like a cheaper MH imitation, here in Spain some Chinese store run "fake" toys (I've seen fake Barbies, Moxie dolls...) and someone found a MH imitation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/noeluna/7718257320/in/photostream/. It doesn't look bad, especially at 7.50€
    I like Mystixx's face (although the two face thingy is a bit creepy) but I'm aware that in the USA you can get a better quality doll for $20.

    By the way, Emily, I was thinking that I'd love to see your doll collection and storage!

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    1. I agree, I'd love to see your dolly room Emily :D

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    2. Wow! That is a blatant copy if I ever saw one! Incredible. How is that even legal? I don't understand the copyright laws or anything, but that seems to cross a line. Even the box has the same design!

      You definitely don't want to see my storage. It's not a pretty sight. The dolls I decide to keep get decent housing, but the storage accommodations? More like a condemned haunted house. ;)

      I'll have to think about a fun way to share my doll collection with everyone...

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  21. Well... The box design reminds me alot of Bratzillas and the doll herself looks like a weird Monster High-mutation or something.
    It would be interesting to se how her headsculpt looks with the paint rubbed away with acetone.
    I like the vampires headprofile pretty much!

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  22. What would I do without your reviews to steer me in the right direction? Normally I'd just go buy the Next Newest Doll Thing, but now that I have your blog, you save me bucks ill-spent.

    These dolls interest me because of the two-faces idea, but after reading your detailed review, it's definitely a no-go for me. Just as you said: like a lesser Monster High, and not even any cheaper hardly! What's the point of that?

    The Novi Stars at least have an original idea -- I just wish they'd created them a bit taller, and a more poseable doll than they have. I wanted to get one or two of them too, until I read your review. I still may cave in, they are so cute -- but I don't want a "figurine", I like dolls I can play with and pose. Much more fun.

    Thanks as always for the fun read!

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  23. I LOVE Leda Swanson! Many thanks for the introduction to the Bleeding Edge dolls. I really enjoy collecting freaky dolls and they look fab! A proper review of one would be wonderful. x

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  24. Thanks for reviewing her! I was very curious about this doll because of her two face feature. While she is very cute I think that a Monster High doll would be the better value like you suggested. My mother had a two faced doll from the 60's, it was scary to me because one side had chicken pox on top of the two faced thing!

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  25. have you heard of the midnight magic dolls? i have a few of them myself but id love to see you do a review of them!

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  26. Hi! I've just found this review by chance. I was so surprised because the girl in the box's artwork looks like Twyla! I mean, she's got the same hair and a ruffled outfit. What do you think about that?

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  27. This is the first time I've heard about this doll, but I'll have to keep my eyes open for her on the shelves. I really like her.

    Also, I had the same Red Riding Hood doll. One side was red, you pull her hood down and Grandma was on the back, flip her upside down and it was the Big Bad Wolf. Scared the heck outta me!

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  28. i have notice ha this line got popular enough to have a nw round of dolls. i think they are interesting and no have a hole to show you the other face. but i think it would have been better for a full face removal and click system that you se in some japanese character models

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  29. The part when Clawdeen is talking to Kalani cracks me up every time! Awesome Review!

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  30. Do they even sell Liv dolls anymore???

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.