|Monster High Headless Headmistress Bloodgood and|
The horse, Nightmare, is blue like the TV character, but her head proportions are not as exaggerated as they are in the cartoon.
The box looks like a large version of a regular Monster High box. It is made out of colored cardboard with a plastic window. The back is mostly black with Bloodgood's biography written in white and pink:
I don't watch the TV show, but Headmistress Bloodgood sounds pretty great to me. She likes scones, horses and books, and she seems to care a lot about her students and their education:
|Wise enough to be my grandmother and young enough to be my sister! Whoa.|
|She doesn't look as thrilled with her pose.|
It's hard to photograph this box because of all of the glare on the plastic window, so I removed the outer layer right away. Also, I was in a big hurry to see the horse up close.
Usually the name of a character's pet is written on that cardboard disc that sticks out from the backdrop. In this case it says, Fronti nulla fides, which means "no reliance can be placed on appearance," or, basically, "don't believe what you see." Is this the horse's name? I thought she was called Nightmare. Fronti nulla fides would be a long but pretty interesting name. We could call her Nulla for short, I suppose, which reminds me of Nutella. Mmm.
Anyway--this saying might also just be a theme for Ms. Bloodgood and her horse.
The Headmistress doll is taller than a regular Monster High doll, but it took me forever to figure this out. The taller body has a very similar shape to the traditional body, and it moves in exactly the same way. That's my excuse for not noticing the larger size, anyway.
I love this doll's face. She has great cheekbones and reminds me a little bit of Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn mixed together:
I love this doll's face. She has great cheekbones and reminds me a little bit of Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn mixed together:
|This is not actually a severed head.|
The de-boxing procedure is slightly more complex than it is with a normal Monster High doll. This is mostly because of the horse. Still, the attachments are reasonable. The horse is held in place with four twine ties that are very easily cut. Most of the plastic and tape on the right side of the box is to hold the three dimensional cardboard backdrop in place. Only a few rubber band ties secure the doll.
Here's everything in the box:
|The doll, her head and her horse.|
Bloodgood comes holding a green book, but it is just a flat prop for display in the box:
|This is not actually a book.|
Her hair is black with purple highlights and it comes in a tight bun at the top of her head.
I like the three curls in her long bangs:
She has great eyes, in my opinion. Her eyes are a plain light blue, but she has detailed purple and peach eyeshadow and dramatic cat eye make-up:
Without even handling her very much, I was worried about how messy that hairstyle was going to get. There are a lot of flyaways. Also, if you look really closely, you can see white flakes in her hair from all of the styling product required to achieve that bun:
I was eager to see if I could get this doll to strike a pose like the one on the back of the box. She is wearing tall riding boots that allow her to stand on her own like a champ, so I figured I had a small chance of getting her to balance with her head tucked under her arm. This was not easy.
At first, I was only able to snap pictures as the head started to fall out of her arm...
Or when the weight of the head caused her to topple over backwards:
|This is not, actually, a good idea.|
Finally, I got this picture. I am pretty happy with it, considering:
I am so glad that this doll doesn't have to be permanently headless. Here she is put together:
My posing shenanigans really did a number on this doll's hairstyle. The bun was looking pretty messy:
I love Bloodgood's outfit. It is so unique. I don't think there's been another Monster High doll wearing this much clothing--let alone a long riding coat. It looks fantastic on her and has a lot of detail in the trim:
Under the coat, she's wearing a white sleeveless collared shirt and a pink tie:
My one complaint about the coat is that the seams are pretty crude, and they show in the tail of the garment. I don't mind seams like this when they are on the inside of clothing, but for an area that is visible, it detracts from the overall completeness of the look. A lining on the bottom half of the coat would have been ideal, although I understand that this is asking a lot for a play doll.
The outer details make up for the visible seams, I think:
The coat has a stiff, ruffled white collar, striped sleeve cuffs with matching ruffles, tiny golden fake buttons in front, and black and pink ribbon details.
I think this is my single favorite item of Monster High clothing ever made.
Bloodgood looks nice and casual with the coat removed. The sleeveless top has an elegant simplicity to it, and the sparkly stretch pants are easy to get on and off and look perfect for riding a horse...or for going out to a party.
The tall riding boots give her a lot of stability to stand on her own, but they have a pretty serious slit in the back so that they can come off:
The boots are made out of a very flexible vinyl, so it's surprisingly easy to get them on and off:
There's a lot of flexibility in the heels, too, but this doesn't interfere with the doll's ability to stand while wearing the boots:
The boots don't have a lot of molded detail, but they do have a long fake zipper along one side and a very cute little Monster High skull logo zipper pull:
As awesome as the boots are, Bloodgood seems happy to have them removed:
The shirt is nicely tailored and the little pink tie is not a full tie, but rather just the knot of a tie sewn to the shirt:
|This is not actually a tie.|
Here she is undressed, showing off the taller body style. I believe this is the same body as Nefera, but I no longer own the elder Ms. DeNile, so I can't say for sure:
Here's an old picture of Nefera with Cleo:
I'll come back to the doll body again in a bit, but first let me show you the horse, because I can't wait to get to the horse:
She comes with her mane stitched into a plastic strip. This looks daunting to remove, but a few snips in the plastic easily freed the hair:
The mane is attached through a slit in the neck seam:
The tail comes tied to one of the back legs:
The hair fiber of the tail is tied in a ponytail and attached through a hole in the back of the horse. I had a toy palomino horse when I was a kid that had a tail attachment like this, and it held up surprisingly well. I wish I could remember the name of that horse....
The hair fiber on the horse feels a bit greasy, but it is smooth and soft and easy to manage. It has a nice curl at the ends and it isn't insanely long:
Nightmare is wearing a bridle (with no reins):
|This isn't actually a bridle.|
The halter has little molded Monster High skulls that are actually detachable clasps that allow the harness to be removed:
Without the halter, you can see Nightmare's eyes very clearly. I think the eyes look a bit muddy with the dark red corneas. I wish they were either white, or really bright red like the cartoon.
|I love the smirk on her face.|
Here's the bridle on its own:
Nightmare is also wearing a big purple saddle. The saddle has an inset white plastic skull:
The saddle has a detachable girth, but it is hard to get undone:
I really like the look of the bright white skull against the dark purple backdrop of the saddle:
This horse has a hollow light plastic body with no articulation. Articulated horses are rare, and this feature probably would have increased the price of the set, but I do love articulation. As an aside, I noticed that there is a Barbie horse on sale that looks articulated, so I've got that on my eye on that for a future review.
Despite her lack of movement, Nightmare looks great. Besides, a blue horse is not something you see every day.
For the most part, I really like the body mold of this horse. The neck muscles and withers are very well done. The leg pose looks natural, and still allows the horse to stand fairly well, although she does tend to rock back and forth on those front legs every time I move her.
The rump of the horse is fine, but the hind legs are funny. It's the lower part of the leg that's off--it's really long and skinny. Actually, the whole lower leg is too skinny to some degree. Still, this is clearly a caricature of a horse, so it's not like the legs are supposed to be perfectly accurate or anything.
I love horse hooves. These hooves are broad and sturdy and I like that they have been painted a contrasting color to the rest of the body.
This is a very, very narrow horse:
She has a skinny, narrow forehead and ears that look like they are supposed to have earrings in them:
The saddle doesn't have any stirrups, and there are no reins on the bridle, so poor Headmistress Bloodgood is forced to try and mount her steed in high heels with no help:
Once she's in the saddle, though, she's right at home:
|I did it again! :D|
So, it was at this point that I figured I had better take Bloodgood's hair down and see what was going on underneath that bun. It's just too messy to be sustainable:
In fact, the hair is pretty short--the bun is just a ponytail that is curled back over itself and plastered down with styling gel. When I squeezed the bun a little, it released into a short, frizzy ponytail:
|This is not actually a bun.|
When her hair is let down, Headless looks great from the front:
...but a little poofy from the side:
I dipped her hair in boiling water for just a second, and the whole thing straightened out and relaxed to reveal a surprisingly nice haircut:
The bangs are the only real problem--they relaxed in the water, too, and without the curls, they fall messily right into Bloodgood's face:
I tried various things with the bangs, like pushing them to the side, and trying to get them to re-curl...
But what worked best was curling them back into a kind-of 80's style feathered flip:
I liked the bun hairstyle, but the long, loose hair allows for a little more drama and freedom when playing with and posing this doll.
Here's the hair after it dried completely:
I want to do a quick comparison between Nightmare and the Liv horse, Nutmeg. First of all, Nutmeg is a much more substantial toy. He is heavy and impressively articulated. He also has a lot of painted detail and inset plastic eyes. In addition, he is more in proportion to the doll he belongs with. Mistress Bloodgood is too large for her horse, while Hayden looks almost perfect atop her mount:
Regular-sized Monster High dolls are in much better proportion to Nightmare. Their legs hang at about the right length to be realistic. Older, elastic strung dolls like my Ghoulia can't ride Nightmare very well...
But the newer ball-jointed dolls like the Create-A-Monster characters (spoiler alert!) ride very nicely:
Thanks to Birdie Pie's excellent question in the comments, I tried the C.A.M. heads on Bloodgood's body and vice versa:
The heads are pretty much the same size, although Bloodgood has a wider jaw.
|Blue Doll Group.|
As I mentioned in my Bratz/Liv horse comparison review, one of the things I like about these doll horses is that they emulate the style of the dolls they belong with. Nutmeg is clearly a Liv horse, and I think Nightmare is believably a Monster High character. The thing is, Monster High dolls are so well articulated, it would have been perfect if the horse was articulated, too. Oh, well.
Nightmare is much more two-dimensional than Nutmeg:
So, the last thing I want to discuss is the body size of Mistress Bloodgood. I am writing about this last because it took me this long to realize that she has a different body than my other Monster High dolls. I think it's because I was so excited about the horse.
As with Nefera, I really like this larger body. I think it has very elegant curves, without being significantly different from the traditional Monster High body:
I am so glad I found this quirky duo when I did. They pulled me out of a bit of a funk and reminded me why dolls are so much fun. Dare I say, a headless doll paired with a blue horse has never been on the market before, and probably never will be again.
Bottom line? I love this set. I could argue that it might be a bit too expensive given that the horse is unarticulated and the doll does not have any accessories. However, compared to other similar items on the market, this set is a winner. The doll is fabulous. She's glamorous and strange at the same time. She has the shapely, rare, taller Monster High body type. Her wardrobe is wonderful and unique, right down to tall riding boots that allow her to balance incredibly well on her own. Her head can be put on and taken off at will. Her classic hairstyle might not stand up to vigorous play, but if you take the bun down and straighten the hair, there's an attractive, workable style underneath. The horse, while stiff, is blue...and it's hard not to love a blue horse. Besides, the horse is a good size for most Monster High dolls and her mane and tail are soft and easy to work with. There were no real quality issues with this set, nor with any of the other boxes I saw on the shelf, which is a great achievement for Monster High. I only rarely get infected by the strange desire to own more than one of a specific toy. I like this toy so much that I am tempted to buy another one--and maybe try to keep the hair in its original style next time. Weird as it sounds to buy a duplicate toy, it translates into a high level of praise for this set.
Go ahead and believe what you see.