Friday, March 15, 2013

Bratzillaz "Switch-A-Witch" Set

Ever since Chloe mentioned the new Bratzillaz "Switch-A-Witch" sets in the comments of the talking Merida review, I have been watching for them at my local stores.  I guess it's time to admit that I have become a bit of Bratzillaz fan...which is unexpected.  Also, I am fascinated by MGA's blatant copy of the Create-A-Monster idea.  It's shameless.  Not only is the concept nearly identical to that of Mattel's Monster High mix-and-match line, but even the packaging looks the same.  I found my Switch-A-Witch set at Target, right next to the Create-A-Monster sets, and it would have been easy for someone to get confused between the two.  One notable difference on the day I was shopping was that the witches were on sale ($19.99 down from $29.99) while the Monster High sets were not ($26.99).

I am not a big fan of the Create-A-Monster sets.  I had an afternoon of fun with the Create-A-Monster Design Lab, but was disappointed by the Werewolf & Dragon starter set.  I thought it was short-sighted for the starter sets to include two heads but only one torso (Mattel has fixed that with their newer sets).  Also, the wig was awful and I didn't end up creating any dolls I wanted to keep.  So, I was very curious to see if MGA could take this fantastic idea and actually make a fun toy that preserves some of the critical elements of Bratzillaz charm.  We'll see.

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch
Pieces from the Switch-A-Witch Style 1 set

The set comes in a three-layered plastic nightmare box--just like the Create-A-Monster sets:


I shake my head every time I see these two side-by-side.  I mean, come on.  MGA isn't even trying to hide the fact that they're copying--right down to the hyphenated title of the set.   How can I teach my students not to copy their written work from Wikipedia when there's such blatant plagiarism in the toy world?  Sigh.

I didn't even think the Monster High C.A.M. sets were that popular.  There are always several of them on the shelves around here.  This makes me wonder why MGA thought it was worth tapping into this particular market.  

Anyway--the back of the box is very similar in design, too, with some of the different doll part combinations framed in round-edged rectangles:


This set was the only one available at my Target on the day I was shopping.  My first impression from the back of the box was that the dolls look over-the-top and garish.  There's way too much going on with each doll:

Clown parade.
The other full set, "Style 2," is pictured at the bottom of the box on the right.  This set looks slightly more appealing to me.  There's also an add-on set with a yellow and white doll (pictured on the far left, below).  Target had six of the yellow add-on dolls in stock.  The doll herself has wonderful silver glitter  side-glancing eyes and an elaborate black and white up-do wig.  Unfortunately, none of the dolls in stock were acceptable.  Several of them had wonky eyes, and all but one of them had dramatically lopsided blush.  One doll had no blush at all, and I would have bought her, but her eyes were tragic.


The box prominently displays the fact that there are two doll bodies included.  This seems to me like a direct reference to Mattel's error in not including a second torso in their early sets, but I could be reading too much into it.


This stumped me for a minute:

Die?
I get it now, though: "Do It Yourself."  My husband tells me that's a common acronym.  I need to get out more.

The box is not easy to approach.  I wasn't sure exactly the best way to get it open.  There's a two-layered cardboard back that actually has the front part of the plastic box glued in between the layers.  I decided to cut all of the way around the box with scissors, separating the cardboard from the plastic.  This worked well.  Here's the cardboard:


With the cardboard removed, I was left with a molded plastic tray holding all of the doll parts.  The tray has two lids.  The top lid opened right away because this was the piece I cut free from the cardboard:


The second plastic lid is taped to the tray in about six places:



Here's the tray with both of the lids removed:

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

There's a ton of stuff in this set.  About half of the pieces are loose inside the tray and can be easily removed.  The other items are secured into the tray with either little rubber bands, thread, or the molded contours of the plastic.  Here are the things that came out easily:


There are four thigh parts: the two left legs are pink and black and the two right legs are green and checkered.


The four lower legs are the same four colors, and the colors match the corresponding thigh piece.  In other words, the checkered thigh goes on the same side of the body as the checkered lower leg and the black thigh goes on the same side as the black lower leg.  You could mix this up if you didn't mind that the big toe was on the wrong side.


There are four molded high heel shoes in four different colors and two different styles.  The black and white shoes match, and the green and pink shoes match.



There'a also a pink and green plastic clown bowler hat with a rubber band attached:


The rest of the items were secured into the box in some way.  It was pretty easy to get everything out, though.  Extracting the clothes slowed me down the most because these were stitched tightly onto the plastic:


Here's the rest of the loot:


The two heads come attached to the two torsos:


Both heads and torsos are divided down the middle and painted differently on either side.  This head is black on one side and white on the other.  The black side has a pale green eye and the white side has a blue eye. The mouth on this doll is not divided, but rather a single shade of bright red:

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

The eyes are not as exciting as some of the other Bratzillaz eyes.  They're all the same design--very plain, pale irises with faint spotted detail at the edges.  This is disappointing, although there's so much going on with this face already, you could argue that a fancy eye would push things over the top.  

The white side of the face has iridescent pale purple eyeshadow with a lilac edge:


The black side of the face has shimmering silver eyeshadow and white lashes:


The mouth is nicely done, but you can see a faint hint of the black side of the face showing through the red paint:


The other head is half pastel purple and half minty green.  The green side of the face has a bright pink eye, and the pink side of the face has a pale green eye.  This green eye is slightly paler than the green eye on the black and white head.

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

The green side of the face has contrasting green eyeshadow and brown eyebrows:


The pink side of the face has two-toned pink eyeshadow and another brown eyebrow: 


This head has a mouth that is divided down the middle: the green side of the head has bright pink lips and the pink side of the head has apple green lips.


At this point, the purist in me is already wondering if I will be able to swap the heads back to their matching torso.

Um...I think you have my torso. 
I am always hesitant to pull a doll's head off unless I am certain that this is an acceptable thing to do.  The enclosed directions reassured me that popping heads would be fine:

Go for it.
The arms come in three pieces.  The hands and upper arms are side-specific, but the lower arm pieces are all identical and can be used on either side.  The right arms are black and pale green and the left arms are pink and checkered.   


There's a little black and white witch's hat:


Four earrings:


And two bracelets:


The set comes with two complete outfits.  The clothes are folded up into tiny rectangular bundles that fit perfectly into their section of the plastic tray.  Even after they're removed from the box, they stay in these perfect little folded rectangles:

Like a birthday present.
The pink and green checkered outfit is very dramatic.  It unfolds to reveal puffy tulle sleeves and a long layered tulle train:


The outfit looks like a dress, but it is actually a top and a skirt that have been stitched together for packaging:


The top is made out of a very stiff material that feels like a vinyl tablecloth. The color coverage on the checkered print is not perfect--there are some white specks of missing color in among the pink and green.  The shirt has impressive tulle puff sleeves in mismatched colors.  The pink tulle is stiffer than the green tulle, so the sleeves behave a bit differently.


The top opens all of the way down the back.  Notice in this picture how the pink sleeve holds its shape nicely while the green sleeve is a little limp:

One balloon sleeve and one leaking balloon sleeve.
The skirt is made out of the same checkered vinyl.  It is very stiff:


The skirt has velcro all of the way down the back, but it has attached white underpants that prevent it from opening very far at the top:


The tulle train is a separate piece that can be secured to the doll's waist (or shoulders) with a broad blue sash.  The sash has a decorative bow and velcro closure.


The second outfit has a top, a skirt and a cape.  It is made out of the same type of shiny, stiff vinyl as the pink and green outfit.


The top is a cute little sleeveless high-necked cropped shirt:


It opens all of the way down the back:


The skirt is a black and white belted mini.  The belt is just a buckle sewn to the front of the skirt.


This skirt also has attached underpants.  These keep the skirt from riding up, but they look very strange when the velcro is open:


The cape is bad.  It is made out of purple and black fabrics, neither of which have any drape whatsoever.  The material is stiff and seems to hold wrinkles incredibly well.  I was tempted to just pitch the cape.  I'll probably never use it.


The set comes with two wigs.  The first wig is a blue and pink curly clown wig:


The curls are thick and bouncy and very fun.  The wig has a flexible clear cap and seems well stitched. It reminds me of a Moxie Teenz wig:


The other wig is platinum and purple and is styled in two long, straight ponytails:


The stitching in this wig is similar to the other wig but because the hair fiber is straight, the wig seems thin.  The two colors meet in the middle at a center part, but the sides are uneven:


Here you can see how the platinum hair covers slightly more than half of the wig:


The wig fiber on this wig is soft and smooth.  It's nothing like the first wave Meygana's frizzy hair, or even the first wave Yasmina's straight but tangly, coarse hair.  It is silky and nice like the Magic Night Out hair.

Before I show you the dolls, I have to admit that I am more of a matching person than a mix-and-match person.  I mean, I like to mix up things that coordinate, but I can't handle too much random color and texture.  So...I assembled the two dolls using matching parts.  I splurged a little bit and swapped the lower arm pieces so that they don't match the upper arm.  Daring, I know:


This doll's checkered limbs and color palette are very harlequin.  She could be the harlequin doll from The Nutcracker.  She reminds me a little bit of Robert Tonner's Harley Quinn doll, and also has some similarities to Meowlody and Purrsephone:  


I wasn't crazy about how all of the Switch-A-Witch dolls have two-toned heads and torsos, but it is actually quite fun to play with the contrasting colors:





Here is the black and white doll wearing the black and white outfit.  This adds even more fun with contrasts because the black and white sides of the skirt and top are opposite to those on the doll:


The top has some trouble closing in back--it is very tight:



Here I have added the cute black and white witch hat:


I want to point out that in the picture above, the doll is standing on her own.  This took a little bit of balancing work, but not a lot.  Her lower legs are flexible, but not quite as flexible as regular Bratzillaz legs.  The legs don't buckle under the weight of the doll.  This change in firmness might have something to do with the dark color in the vinyl, or it might be an intentional change on MGA's part.  Whatever the reason, I really like these legs.


Here are the earrings:


I put the crummy cape on so that you can at least see what it looks like on the doll.  It ruins the whole black and white theme, which makes me like it even less:


The wig has the same color scheme as the cape, so this also disrupts the black and white balance.


The wig is easy to put on, but the wig cap is short and makes the hairline too high:



Ok, I didn't notice this until looking at the picture above, and of course this couldn't have been MGA's intention, but this doll's face paint might come dangerously close to resembling the blackface of minstrel shows.  That's really unfortunate.  She doesn't strike me this way in three dimensions, thank goodness, but it's pretty obvious in that picture. 

Maybe her face should have been divided into quadrants instead?  Or her lips could have been a different color?  Purple, perhaps?  Or her lips could have been split down the middle like the other doll?  Lots of options.  Maybe I am overreacting, but this seems like a pretty major oversight on the part of the doll's designers.

Back to the wig--the uneven center part is more obvious when it is aligned with the perfectly straight midline color division in the doll's body:



The wigs are a little small for Liv.  They fit on her head, but, again, the wig cap is too short and there's poor scalp coverage.


In contrast (and I'll show you this at the end of the review) Liv wigs and Moxie Teenz wigs fit the Bratzillaz head.  In fact, they fit better than the Bratzillaz wigs.

I am impressed with this black and white doll.  The parts are easy to put together and take apart, and yet they stay in place nicely.  The doll handles just like a regular Bratzillaz doll.  In fact, the lower legs are slightly less flexible than typical Bratzillaz legs, and so this doll can even stand on her own.  I am not crazy about the wig or the cape, but the doll doesn't even need those pieces to look good.  She poses beautifully and is dramatic and interesting to look at.  



When I put the pink and green doll together, something looked different.  Do you notice anything?  


The sides of her body match, so she has one all green side and one all pink side.  


Very Cloetta.
Something is definitely different about this doll's body.  Look at her legs for starters:


This doll has much shorter legs than the other doll.  Both the thigh pieces and the calf pieces are noticeably different.  It's a bit like the difference between the regular Monster High legs and the Howleen Wolf legs.  Except that I wasn't aware of there being plans for a new, shorter Bratzillaz body.  Huh.


The leg is shapely and looks strong and healthy, but given that this is a mix-and-match set, I am not seeing the rationale for making the legs different sizes.

We're talking 1/2 of an inch difference here.
The leg is shorter than a normal Bratzillaz leg, too:

Meygana's leg is on the right.
It's weird, right?  It's also very hard to tell from just looking at the limb parts on their own.  I'd certainly never have been able to figure this out by looking at the dolls in their original box.



Here are the shoes that go with this doll.  They fit nicely and are the same easy-to-use mold as Magic Night Out Meygana's shoes:


I wanted to see if the shoes are interchangeable between the two leg styles.  Both shoes work fine on both legs, but the black and white shoes are a bit tight on the pink and green feet, and the green and pink shoes are a little loose on the black and checkered feet.


I spent some time assuming that I had gotten a defective set.  If you look closely at the pictures on the back of the box, they clearly show a doll with an all-green and an all-black leg mixed together (top right) and another doll with a checkered leg and a pink leg mixed together (lower left):

Misleading advertising.
In the end, I think this leg discrepancy is just an odd decision.  Why oh why, with a set designed for mix-and-match fun, would you make the bodies different and partially incompatible?

I am embarrassed to say that it wasn't until this point that I noticed that the Switch-A-Witch dolls have a new torso mold, too: 


The new sculpture has some curvature in the hips and a slightly thinner waist.  The waist seems a tad too high--or maybe the hip region is a bit too long:

High -waisted hourglass.
Never fear, the new Switch-A-Witch body can still share clothes with the regular Bratzillaz:


On closer inspection, actually only one of the two Switch-A-Witch dolls has the new torso.  The black and white torso is the same old mold:

This is getting complicated.

At this point I started to freak out and re-check all of the body parts for small differences.  I'm fairly confident that the only differences are in the legs and the torsos.  Basically, the Switch-A-Witch set has two different body types.  So this:


Should be this:


Let's get back to looking at the (shorter, skinnier) green and pink doll:


With her earrings:



And her funny little clown hat:


Here she is with the top and skirt from the green and pink outfit:


I love the sleeves on this top.  I thought the tulle would make it hard to get the hands through the sleeves, but it's actually pretty easy.


Here she is with the sash and train added:



This wig coordinates well with the rest of the outfit.  The blue hair balances the sash really nicely:



I didn't try to brush this wig.  Brushing might ruin the corkscrew curls.  The wig is soft and springy and fun to play with.  It does tend to hang into the doll's face, though:


The wig pushes this doll's look from harlequin into full-blown circus clown:





I like this doll, too.  I am not quite as impressed with her as I am with the black and white doll, but a lot of that is just personal preference.  I think her outfit is great and the wig is fun, but the whole doll comes together to look too much like a circus clown for my taste.  Referencing a clown in the design of the outfit is fine, but this doll looks like she stepped right out of the third ring.   


Of course, even I couldn't resist a little mix-and-match fun.  For instance, I thought that the checkered green and pink outfit might play well with the black and white doll's checkered body parts:


All those checks are dizzying, but I like how she looks.  This is very harlequin:


The clown wig doesn't suit this doll's personality at all, though!


The black and white outfit on the green and purple doll is not quite as striking, but the straight wig has a great color combination for her body:


The black and white top is not at all tight on this body type, so there is a slight difference in how the clothes fit.  


In terms of body part swapping, as long as you take into account the left and right sided features, everything can be swapped freely except for the legs.



A matched pair of legs works well on any torso:


Furthermore, if you pair a long thigh with a short calf on each side, this kind-of works:

They'd never stand on their own, though.
Long thigh, short calf (L), short thigh, long calf (R).
If the thighs on the doll match but the calves do not, it's slightly better than if both legs are completely different sizes, but there's still enough of a height difference that the doll can't stand:



Here's some more body part swapping:


Double-jointed knee.
After I was finished looking at everything, I started trying to find ideal combinations of all of the parts in the set.  I kept having trouble with the wigs, though.  I would put together a great-looking doll, but then the short-capped, brightly colored wig would detract from the overall appeal.

I tried taking out the ponytails on the blonde and purple wig.  This reveals some thinly rooted patches:


The wig has some potential in this configuration:


With the ponytails removed, you can flip the wig upside-down and try the colors on different sides.  This reminds me of the Liv "Twist and Dance" line wigs.



My best discovery, though, was that Liv wigs (with the peg removed) and Moxie Teenz wigs both fit these Bratzillaz.  Here's the black and white doll in a Moxie Teenz wig:


It's even better with the black and white outfit.  I like how her mismatched eyes and bright lips pop against this two-toned backdrop:


Here she is with a black Monique wig (size 5-6):


And with a blonde Liv wig:

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

Here's a red Liv wig on the green and purple doll:


Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

A big difference between this set and the Create-A-Monster set is that with this set, I actually made a doll I like.  In fact, I like both of the dolls I was able to assemble.

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

Bottom line?  MGA blatantly copied Mattel's idea with this set.  While I think the Switch-A-Witch line avoided some of the errors that were present in the first wave of Create-A-Monster sets (one torso, bad wigs), I still think MGA fell a little short of getting everything right the first time.  I think the Monster High sets will inspire more creative customizations, and this set is easier to enjoy right out of the box.

A mix-and-match doll building set seems like an inopportune platform for the introduction of a new body type.  Having two different leg molds in this set means that the dolls cannot mix and match their limbs to the fullest potential.  I went back to Target and checked the body of the yellow add-on set, just to collect more information. The yellow doll has the same body style as the black and white doll: old torso mold and longer legs.  Here's what it should say on the box to avoid confusion and potential disappointment:
1. Two different body styles! (Then, identify the body types somehow and have all of the sets clearly marked with what's inside).
2. Not all parts are interchangeable.
It's not a huge deal.  I actually like the new body, and I like the idea of a differently proportioned doll, but I also like to know what's going on.

Another design oversight with this set is the face paint of the black and white doll.  This doll is my favorite of the two, but I wish there had been a little more effort to distance her appearance from an offensive historical stereotype.

The fact that all six of the add-on sets in stock at my Target had dolls with unacceptable face paint is evidence for some loose quality control over at MGA.  I would never purchase one of these sets sight unseen.  Keeping in mind that I hand-picked my set to avoid obvious flaws, I was pleased with the quality of this toy.  The clothes are cute and seem durable.  I love the contrast between the balloon-sleeved checkered outfit with its extravagant tulle train, and the minimalist black and white ensemble.  While the wigs are a bit gaudy for my style, and could use some tweaks in the design of the cap, at least they have soft hair fiber and are easy to manage.  The split color in the vinyl took some getting used to, but I found myself having a lot of fun with the color contrasts.  I think that the new torso mold is pretty, and I was delighted by how nicely the Bratzillaz articulation and movement translates into a deconstructable doll.  

With a set like this, I am interested in two main things.  First of all, I simply want to know if the set is fun to play with.  I also want to know if the resulting doll is comparable to other dolls of that brand, or if it's more of a gimmicky imitation.  I found this set to be very easy and fun to work with.  Aside from the cape, I like all of the accessories and tried all of them in several different combinations.  As far as the quality of the dolls, I was pretty happy with the end result.  I feel that the Switch-A-Witch dolls are comparable to their mainline Bratzillaz counterparts.  Their appearance is less versatile than that of the regular dolls, but without colorful body parts, there wouldn't be much point in mixing and matching.  Each of these dolls in her full outfit is a crazy, overdone mess of color and texture, but there are enough cool pieces, and enough combinations of those pieces, that I suspect most people will be able to build a doll that works for them.

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

Summary:
Age Level
6 and up, per the box.  Lots of small pieces.
Value
Sale price of $19.99 was a bargain.  $29.99 seems high, but you get two full dolls and the fun of a building set.
Quality
Mixed quality.  Face paint defects and misaligned eyes are common.  I would highly recommend that you select these sets in person.  Wigs are soft, but wig caps are too short.   Clothes are cute and seem durable. Body parts are highly articulated and disassemble easily. 
Packaging
Overdone.  Lots of plastic, lots of  unnecessary attachments.
Collectable?
No.
Versatility
This set offers a mix-and-match doll building activity in addition to an end result that is comparable to a pre-made Bratzillaz doll.  The vinyl colors, face paint and wigs are gaudy, which makes mixing and matching more fun, but also makes the final doll less versatile.  Despite a new torso mold on one of the dolls, these dolls and their accessories are compatible with regular Bratzillaz dolls.  Dolls can wear Liv wigs and Moxie Teenz wigs. Two completely different leg molds means that not all leg parts are interchangeable.
Overall
If you find a set with no obvious flaws, this toy offers a fun doll building experience and two dramatic, fully-dressed dolls to add to your collection...one a little shorter than the other.

Bratzillaz Switch-A-Witch

55 comments:

  1. expected hurting the wig will be left with my liv doll

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    1. Actually, in the pictures with the black and white doll with the blonde Liv wig, the plastic peg is still in the Liv wig, so you don't necessarily have to cut the peg out--just smoosh it down! ;)

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  2. OMG!black&white version I quite like but the other one scares me!!!

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    1. LOL! Do you not like clowns, Urshula? :)

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    2. a mi me asusta la de blanco y negro

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  3. What a coincidence! I already thought about what your opinion would be on these Switch-a-Witch sets.
    When I saw them for the first time (on flickr) it was in a thumbnail and so I thought they were new CAM sets!
    I immediately disliked these as a MH (and CAM) fan and was actually quite offended. It just was too clear that MGA stole the CAM idea, I even began wondering if Mattel could sue them for this.
    Your review changed my opinion quite a bit though. I actually like them now, it's still a bit weird that stolen idea thing but I guess that's just something you can expect in the toy business.
    I really like both dolls now (even with the offensive hint, which MGA surely didn't do on purpose) The smaller body is kinda cool but I agree with you on how MGA could've made this more clear on the package.
    These sets aren't available here yet but I'm sure they will be soon, we recently got the basics. I'm more waiting until I have enough money for Scaris Rochelle, Clawdeen and the cafe though. And midnight beach Meygana shall be mine one day too, lol!
    Anyway, thank you for this review Emily, I really wanted to know what your opinion was on these sets :D
    You made me laugh many times (you really didn't know what DIY was?) and your pics were excellent as always.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your insights, as always! If I had to pick, I much prefer Magic Night Out Meygana to this set, but it is still pretty fun. It makes me want to give the C.A.M. sets another try, though, because the copying bugs me and I'd like to show some loyalty to the company with the original idea!

      I saw the cafe cart the other day for the first time--it is very cute! I was out of funds, so I didn't buy it, but I am going to keep my eye on it. Looks like it would be fun to play with. :)

      And no (sigh!) I really didn't know what DIY is. I actually wrote that it must be "Design It Yourself" and my patient husband had to correct me. :) It's like the lyrics to songs--I get most of them wrong. Occasionally, I'll burst into song around the house, and my husband or kids will have to chime in and tell me the right words. Sometimes I like my version better, though! ;)

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  4. Oh, one last thing I forgot to mention:
    I saw my best friend received your Lagoona!
    She wanted that Lagoona for so long, I assume she already thanked you but I really want to thank you, too.
    I'm really happy for her, even though we never actually met I still love her and she's still my best doll buddy! (Together with you, of course xD)

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    Replies
    1. You two are friends?! Cool. She is a very talented artist! :)

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  5. I love these sets...far more than the CAMs save for the Ice/Blob set. You should really give the CAMs one more chance, I'd love to see either Ice/Blob or Mummy/Gorgon set reviewed by you. The wigs are much improved and all 4 dolls look much more 'finished' than the earlier CAMs.

    Buy the single pack SAW when you find a good one. The black and white updo wig that she comes with works great with the black and white harlequin girl. You can see here with her bestie Vampelina:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49746645@N00/8497670519/in/photostream
    Also, the purple and white wig works well with the single pack girl. I am really pleased with the SAW sets and love mine. They seem to strike my imagination better than the CAMs. The wigs are both saran, (yes I'm the hair person over at flickr, angelfish, and the one with your old Howleen!)

    Lastly, I love the different body types. The single pack SAW has a third body type, she's leaner and longer legged with a very athletic build. Give her time, she'll grow on you..;) Here she is with the pink/green SAW witch:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49746645@N00/8539907181/in/photostream

    And trying on a CAM body for fun:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49746645@N00/8504345637/in/photostream
    Thanks for reviewing these girls, I was really hoping you would!

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    Replies
    1. Wait, does that mean Bratzillas now have three different body types? I'll admit I'm not much of a Bratzillas fan, but I do love when doll manufacturers bother with variation so I may actually have to look into this line. The Toybox Philosopher strikes again! :D

      Also, rip-off or not, Switch-A-Witch is a much better name than Create-A-Monster.

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    2. @ angelfish: Oh, WOW!! Not only are you right about the black and white wig (why didn't I see that?? ) but Vampelina is WONDERFUL!! I haven't seen her around here yet. Great picture! I can't believe that the yellow girl has yet another body type!! Do the leg sizes match up with either of the other girls?

      I love the look of your CAM Ice. I'll have to watch for that set--it's not here yet.

      It's funny, the Switch-A-Witch abbreviation (SAW) makes me think of that horror movie called Saw (shiver). Which I would never watch. But in a gruesome way it's kind-of an appropriate name for a doll that comes apart into little pieces! :-O

      @Anderson: Sorry! I didn't mean to tempt you into a new line. :) Be careful with these girls, though. I didn't like them at first, either, but now I'm hooked. I totally agree with you about the name. I like the rhyming.

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  6. Great review!When I saw this review, I thought that the Switch a Witch sets would just be a rip off of CAM Monster High dolls.Now,I might have to sacrifice my money for this set.For some reason,my favorite is the green and pink girl even though she just stepped out of the Clown Camp for Teenage Witches!I think it's the wig and cape.Also,could you review a nendoroid from Good Smile company?They have interchangeablefaces,arms,legs and various accessoriesdepending on the anime/ video game/Vocaloid character you're getting.They cost apretty penny,though(40 to 50 dollars if you'relucky!Never go on eBay,many bootlegs are on there.I hope you can review a nendoroid soon!

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    1. "The Clown Camp for Teenage Witches" = classic. LOL! :D

      Nendoroids are so cute! I almost bought the Hatsune Miku version when I was considering the Vocaloid Pullip dolls. They are pricey, though! And probably I'd need to buy more than one so I could exchange parts? I'll put them on my list, though, and keep my eye out for a bargain. Thank you for the suggestion!

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  7. Hello from Spain: I do not really like Monster High. I also prefer the Bratzilias. I like your black and white creation. Some very creative photos. Great post. Keep in touch

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    1. Thank you, Marta! I like the black and white girl the best, too.

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  8. I was hoping you'd review these! (Hi, long-time lurker here)

    Someone on another blog (I think it was on Tumblr) was showing pictures of these, and of the leg differences and that just turned me right off. I've managed to make some cute Create-A-Monster girls that I like (Check out the new Ice Girl/Blob Girl set! The wig for the Ice Girl is really nice, feels like Ghoulia or Spectra's hair rather than a tatty mess.) and with some information I found on, of all places, a My Little Pony forum, I found out what other clothes fit Monster High, so I kind of frankensteined (ha) a CAM girl out of the CAM Witch Girl body, a Liv wig and Disney VIP clothes.

    These Bratzillaz though... wow. Seeing the height difference for myself in your picts... it really is jarring, and it's turning me off them a bit. I might try to find some of the clothes on ebay, to see if they'd do okay on a Monster High doll, but the dolls are really kind of freaking me out.

    And I thought I was the only one who had the "Oh my god, it's blackface" on that doll. Glad I'm not alone!

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    1. Did you see the blackface thing to, AJ?? That makes me feel better. I wasn't even sure I should mention it. It was actually my husband who saw it first, and then after he commented, I couldn't see anything else. Almost ruined the doll for me!!

      I do like the look of the Ice/Blob CAM set, but I haven't seen it in stores here yet. I also feel like I should give the CAM sets another chance. It's such a great idea to have mix-and-match dolls, and I adore the Monster High bodies. That transparent Ice body is wonderful! Reminds me of the Novi Stars.

      I've been tempted by the VIP clothes before...is the fit pretty good for Monster High? Those dolls aren't bad, either. Might need to give them another look...

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    2. The VIP dolls clothes fit Monster High (at least CAM dolls) PERFECTLY. They're a little more casual than the MH clothes, but that's what I wanted for this girl anyway.

      Let me take some shots so you can see. I apologize in advance for my crappy phototaking spot, it's been SO CLOUDY.

      http://i.imgur.com/zKsmPpS.png
      Here's the first, a full-body. That's the CAM Witch Girl (I've named her Elbetsie, she's the daughter of Elphaba, and she's SO OVER the whole "Wicked Witch" thing that she dyed her hair red and refuses to wear black), with Disney VIP clothes (I believe it was an Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place fashion pack? I didn't pay attention, I just wanted to get her JEANS), and a Liv wig.

      http://i.imgur.com/Oqoo2GE.png
      If the shoes are open-toed, they can be stretched to fit MH feet! The set came with a pair of boots too, but I can't get them on her feet for love or money.

      http://i.imgur.com/oOb0a8x.png
      And suddenly, a human hand! That's just to show the fit in back without the vest. Her shoulders a _little_ slim for the shirt, but I don't care, it and the pants fasten well in the back.

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  9. Wow, MGA seems to have a thing for LSD or circus nightmares o_o
    I like the idea with lot of different colored bodyparts, but all the patterns and colors together just freaks me out.
    Sometimes less IS more.
    I prefer Create-A-Monster since you can get two "complete" dolls(you can buy the missing torso from Mattel if you get a older package) for a fair price with interesting headmolds and specific bodyparts, even if the outfits and wigs are horrible.
    I can't stand Bratz's headmolds :x (even if they are way better with the glass eyes than the painted ones)

    I don't understand the idea behind the different legs? Different torsos is a fun thing, but the legs kinda ruins the whole idéa.
    I think it's a BIG plus that it includes PAIRS of accesories and outfits and it's pretty well designed to!
    If the whole thing was a bit toned down and if the legs where not that different, it would totally be a better copy of Create-A-Monster.

    Thank you for a wonderful review Emily, keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi Emma, it is definitely an overwhelming mix of colors and patterns! Circus nightmare, indeed! LOL! I think that's why I felt the urge to simplify and put all of the matching parts together--make order out of madness!! ;)

      The different legs still have me stumped, too. It's not that I don't appreciate the body variety, but introducing it with a mix-and-match set? Perplexing.

      You and a few others are convincing me that the CAM sets are worthy of another look. I agree with you about the different Monster High body parts being really fun--like the wings and tails. Those are petty great. And, of course, the different head styles.

      I like your bottom line--if the SAWs were toned down with the same body, they'd be amazing. Well said.

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  10. That set seems so much better than the Monster High set! IMO I really like the black and white doll version. I too would have to have the dolls actually be with the colors that they were intended for, I don't like the whole weird color combo thing. I like that the black and white doll seems to have thinner and taller legs than the other doll in the set. Plus the leg joints seem nicer.

    I'm jealous that you were able to find this set, I've not seen in it my stores and I've still not been able to find Magic Night out Meygana, Who I've been dying to have! Any possible way you wanna trade for her? haha.

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    1. I think we still have quite a few Magic Night out dolls around here--send me an email! Maybe I can help. :)

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  11. I am looking forward to see if they come out with styles besides half and half. Thanks for taking the suggestion. I just had a big audition for a preforming arts school so I was really nervous but seeing my name at the beginning of the post helped!
    -Chloe-Theamericangirlreviewer.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Chloe! Thank you for mentioning these dolls to me!
      How did your audition go? That must have been nerve wracking. Do you play an instrument or dance? My boys play musical instruments and are often auditioning for things. Even though they're doing this at the school level right now, it is SO stressful!!
      I hope you get in! :)

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  12. I wonder if any of the CAM set parts can be switched out with these sets? The leg pieces look very similar, at least.

    Not a fan at all of the two-toned circus nightmare dolls, but the idea that you can actually have some differently built dolls makes this set more attractive. It's rather dull having all the MH girls the exact same height and proportions, imo.

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    1. Hi Presto--Angelfish mentioned (above) that some parts can be swapped. From pictures, it looks like the SAW heads and arms can fit on the CAM bodies.

      That's a good perspective about the different body types. I have been feeling like the different leg molds, in particular, are a mistake, but perhaps it would be too boring to have all of the body parts the same? Maybe legs of different lengths fits well into the circus nightmare theme?! :D

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  13. Hi Emily,

    I am left sort of speechless on this one (very unusual for me, lol). It's the garish colours and the two toned bodies that I am struggling with. I have quite a soft spot for the Bratzillaz and the idea of making your own is pretty cool, but the colours! ... and that clown wig!...why? I think that they look much better with the Liv wigs. As always, you help these girls find their true potential. I can see why you were drawn to teaching :)

    Most of all, I would just love love love to be a fly on the wall at MGA. How can they justify such blatant copying?

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    1. Oh, I know! Me, too. I would really like to know how things happen over at MGA. Sometimes I get the sense that they're just cranking things out without thought--copying whatever is popular in the moment. At other times, it seems like they're making a real effort to improve on their own products or on the ideas of other companies--and this is something I respect. Spending a day in the life of one of these big doll companies would be eye-opening in one way or another, that's for sure!

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  14. I have been on the fence about these for while now. I might buy the single doll just to see if I like it, however I love the insert eyes. Great review as always.

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    1. Thank you, Starr. The single yellow doll has the best eyes of all, so she might be perfect for you! :)

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  15. It's funny, I bought the add on back yesterday for $13 and was wondering if you would do a review on these. This is my first Bratzillaz doll ever. I hate the look of Bratz, but idk, the Bratzillaz ones look appealing to me, much more sophisticated looking. The add on back is great, though, and a steal, you get a whole, complete doll! I also found the Bratzillaz fashion packs at my local goodwill for $3, and the Cleotta one (2 piece suite type) actually goes PERFECT with the add on doll. Being a HUGE Monster High fan, it's surprising for me to say this, but I prefer these much more than CAM. I really don't like how the add on packs don't come with torso and upper limbs and that they look so specific. If you don't have the right parts, they look odd, but with these the gaudiness of the line really allows to mix and match without having to make everything look like a complete look. Much easier to create a truly original doll, as opposed to CAM where they already have the look set for you.

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    1. That's an amazing deal on the outfit packs! Those packs are really great. I found a few on clearance at Target (for $3 and some change) and am really enjoying them!

      I totally agree with you about the CAM add-on packs. I assumed they would come with a torso, and felt so cheated when I saw that they didn't. It helps a bit that you can get extra torsos from Mattel, but with the added ordering hassle and shipping costs, it's nowhere near as nice as just getting a torso with the doll!

      I also think you make an excellent point about the color combinations of the SAWs. Because the colors are already so garish and mismatched, mixing body parts doesn't make the doll look like it was put together wrong--it just looks like another colorful doll. SO true.

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  16. I got this set after seeing it here, along with the third add on pack (I wanted to try a whole black and white theme.) I didn't like the red lips on the black and white one. So I repainted her to have black and white lips and some freckles, and the over all look improved greatly: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38252811@N00/8567325650/in/photostream

    Also pulled the curly wig down with a hairband. I think that one could have been improved by a green and pink wig, though.

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    1. Oh, my goodness!!! Everyone should look at this picture!

      ^^^^^EVERYONE! LOOK AT THIS PICTURE! ^^^^^^^^^

      The freckles are adorable, the re-painted mouth fixes the blackface issue and the wig is PERFECT! You have made this doll incredible. I take back what I said about the CAM sets being better for stimulating creativity! You've proved me wrong. :) Thank you so much for sharing. This is how she should come in the box--she'd FLY off the shelves.

      Now, what would you do to improve the green and pink doll? ;)

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    2. You did an amazing job on that repaint. You also managed to tame down that clown wig and made it look a million times better. Clearly, MGA need YOU. x

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    3. Eep, thanks! I'm flattered!

      The main thing with the green and pink one is that you get her together and she's adorable--and then the pink and blue wig throws everything off. If the wig had been pink and green--even neon like it is--it would have been color coordinated well. I know it's meant to match the sash, but those sashes and capes bother me--I'm trying to make my dolls look less like witches and more like humans, albeit uniquely colored--so much so none of my three are wearing them. Also, the legs are short, as was explained--they should have matched everyone else. Granted, I made my sets all match because I was going for color themes. I'd dye the wig green if I knew it would take properly and not wreck the curls.

      The wig works though, with just a clear band to pull a low loose ponytail, and it still holds its curl without going full clown. I did that with one of my AGs with super curly hair. It seems doll companies either do too tight corkscrews or half weak spirals; nothing like my own hair texture.

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  17. Wow I love these dolls thank you for the review. Nethilia great work on your re-paint.

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    1. Thank you, Kat! Isn't that repaint awesome? Drool.

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  18. Great review as always, keep it up, hopefully we can see more of these bratzillaz

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    1. Thank you! I hope to see more of these switchy witches, too! :)

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  19. I have a suggestion,
    Why don't you give Novi Stars another go?
    They've recently released several new character dolls,( with better quality than the first batch )that are very lovely. :)
    One like Sila Clops or Malie Tasker might be good for a review.
    http://www.target.com/p/novi-stars-doll-sila-clops/-/A-14370963

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    1. I have heard that they are better than they used to be... and your suggestion below has me very intrigued! Skins??? I might need to check those out. Thank you for the tip! :D

      Delete
  20. And speaking of Novi Stars, have you tried the new skin ones? Steller Skins? http://m.target.com/p/novi-stars-stellar-skinz-gail-lexi-doll/-/A-14370758 I havent met anyone who has yet. Just wondering if you'd ever try them.

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  21. I love the make-up, it looks so beautiful, exotic and realistic than Monster High. Their 2 tones body look weird but it's so artistic for me. This pack looks interesting due to you can buy 2 dolls which you can modified in 29.xx us$ with the artistic design as the art doll.

    I just don't like 2 tone wigs and the black and white outfit. i will let them naked for show hehehe..

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  22. I know some people like these, but I think they're horrible. I really like the regular line of glass-eyed Bratzillaz, though. I loved the original five Bratzillaz, and I love the Magic Night Out dolls as well. (I hate the glow-in-the-darks, though.) I think the only way I'd be buying a Switch-a-Witch set is if the dolls were given normal skin colors (not half-and-half colors). It's like they wanted to make the set as tacky as possible. Just not my thing, I guess.

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  23. I am also becoming a fan of Bratzillaz and part of it for me is I just like to root for the under dog sometimes. I was able to pick up the Masquerade line at TRU for a great deal and I just love the boy doll Penn.

    I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and want you to know that I have purchased a few dolls solely based on your reviews, what a enabler !!

    Thanks so much-it's a treat as always, Tina

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  24. So I got a used Meygana with the true blue outfit for only 10 bucks! Such a steal especially with the extra outfit which btw is the cutest outfit I have ever owned for Doll clothes!!! So my style too(studying to be a costume designer) http://www.target.com/p/bratzillaz-fashion-pack-true-blue-style/-/A-14371034#prodSlot=medium_1_15&term=bratzillaz I actually really like this doll, even though it came with absolutely the worst hair I've ever seen or felt! I didn't really believe you when you reviewed her, but damn that hair is just so bad I had to do multiple boilings and a haircut just like you did, but I might just reroot the doll because I just don't like the texture. But if you do bratzillaz again, do the fashion packs, True Blue, Changed up Chic(which goes well with the expansion pack switch a witch doll), and Romantic Spell are great, the others can be looked over lol. Anyways great review!

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  25. "That's not copying at all" says the people who make bratzillaz. Come on the first ones they made I thought that's cute but now that they have switch a witch there full out copying monster high,

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  26. Ending the major mystery to the mismatched legs:
    Many anorexic girls strive for what's called "thigh gap". Something only certain body types can obtain. They obviously made different body types to try to prevent this problem of training girls to think they HAVE to look a certain way. Hence, more curves and *gasp* lack of thigh gap.
    It's to eliminate eating disorders. Really not a complicated thing to realize.

    Really.. the amount of "I don't understand this, ughhh" Is annoying.
    It's great that they did it. Major high five to them.

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  27. awww... i wish i could get them for$19.99, in Thailand the switch-a-witch set cost about $70 and the first line cost about $60 (toys R us price)

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  28. Do the heads pop off easily? I'm frightened to try, there seems to be a lot of resistance, & like you I'm a matchy-matchy person, so the clash between head & torso is quite painful.

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  29. Can they do middle splits?

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  30. I just got my pre-owned Switch A Witch yesterday from ebay, she's pink with green.I have her in a hot pink party dress that makes her look lavender & green, nice! I don't have her wig, outfit nor shoes. I need replacement shoes. What other doll shoes will fit her feet? I put her in a Tiny Kitty Collier doll party dress which is too wide but is altered to fit her tiny frame. A Barbie Princess dress fits better but needs shortened it fits her frame & velcro closes tightly .I'm going to put an LIV on her if it fits.You are tight her original outfit, with wig does make it look like a circus clown. My doll is too cute to dress her like that!

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  31. I luke the clown looking one better. I think shes cuter.

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