Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ever After High "Apple White" by Mattel

I don't like to be too repetitive, but ever since AJ's wonderful guest review of Madeline Hatter, I have been even more excited to get a look at my favorite of the first four Ever After High dolls, Apple White.  *Update: on the topic of repetition, I want to insert this link (and this one) to the Fairy Tale High dolls from Toy Fair that I didn't know anything about but Quiche mentioned in the comments section.  The pictures of these dolls provide an interesting contrast to what Mattel has produced with the Ever After High line.

While I was in Boston visiting the American Girl store, I took a few minutes to pop into the Natick Mall to see if they had a Justice store.  Sure enough, there was a Justice (and just about every other store on the planet) and several of the Ever After girls were in stock.  There's something funny going on with the prices of these dolls, though, because they're marked $36 (which can't possibly be the normal retail price...) but everything in Justice is 40% right now, so the price ends up being around $21, which is perfectly reasonable.  I assume and hope that when these dolls appear in other stores, they will cost $20.

Ever After High Apple White
Ever After High doll, "Apple White."
I really like Apple White's name.  When Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple, she got a lot of criticism from the public.  I think this is a cute name, and perfect for a fairy tale themed doll.  It's a little strange, though, that Snow would name her daughter after the food that put her into a magic-induced coma, right?  That would be like Frodo Baggins naming his son Sauron.  Oh well--too each their own.

Apple's box is just like Madeline's, except for the fact that Apple has a different color scheme, and she is a Royal, not a Rebel:

Ever After High Apple White

The symbol for Ever After High seems to be a heart-shaped padlock attached to a key with a woman's face on it.  The teeth of the key are the letters "e" and "a."


I like the book-shaped box, but the elaborate shape means that the packaging is not quite as simple or easy to manage as a Monster High box.  There's more plastic on this box, too. 



Here's a picture of the top of the box so that you can see the curved cardboard backdrop that is decorated with lines to look like book pages:


The side of the box also has a page design and "Ever After High" drawn in a print that actually looks like it was written in pencil across a closed book's pages:



The back of the box gives some information specific to Apple White:


Are you a Royal or a Rebel?
It's a bit cliche. 
Raven, Madeline and Briar were also in stock at the Justice in Natick.  Of these three, I like Briar the best, although I love Maddie's hair and dress.  I guess I am a Royal...but I pretty much knew that already, given my fondness for Cinderella.  


The plastic front of the box is attached to the cardboard with plastic tabs.  You can cut the tabs off or try to tear them off along some perforated lines.  I just cut them.


You can see some of the packaging details better with the plastic removed:



The cardboard bookmark hides a folded story that you can see popping out a little in the picture above. The bookmark has tabs on either end that slide out of the cardboard backdrop. You can cut the tabs off to make a nice rectangular bookmark-shaped booklet:



The book is more like a pamphlet, but the bookmark design is clever.


The booklet is a journal written by Apple, with chapter headings.  It's nice because it explains some of the backstory--every teenager at Ever After High is destined to become their parent's fairy tale character, and they have a predestined "Happily Ever After" that they all know about.  The Raven Queen is threatening this blissfully secure future. 


The writing is casual and chatty and the pictures are very simple.  I think it's funny how Apple says, "whatever after."


The stand is concealed in the spine of the book.  Apple's stand is gold:



The stand design is very similar to the traditional Monster High stands, but it has a fancier, wider base in the shape of the Ever After High lock and key:



Here's the stand alone and next to a Monster High stand:



The doll and brush can be removed from the cardboard backdrop by snipping a few clear rubber bands and some plastic holders:


The design of the backdrop is interesting.  It's covered with partially obscured text as though it is one of the pages from an old, worn book:


If you look at the text closely, though, you'll see that it's not all in English:


It looked like French to me, so I tried to read a few of the sentences and figure out what they mean (thank you, Google Translator).  Here are some examples:

Ever After High pas votre ecole ordinaire que enseigne l'histoire mathematiques (and then something in parentheses that I can't read).  This translates roughly to: "Ever After High is not your ordinary school that teaches the history of mathematics (_______!)"

Another sentence starts in German: Marchen ended mit Glas-Hausschuhe, but then finishes in Spanish: libro de cuentos.  This means: "Fairy tale ended with glass slippers... storybook."  Huh.

I couldn't decipher very many of the sentences, but my favorites are:

Comme si elle etait vraiment a peu profonde! ("As if she was really a little shallow!")

Ever After a un etudiant peut etre une pomme ("Ever After has a student might be an apple")
I love how this sentence suggests that they're not sure if the student is an apple or not.  Hard to tell.

So maybe that apple is one of the students?  Hm.
It will be interesting to see if the backdrops on other doll's boxes have different sentences or different languages.

Here's the brush--it is made out of the same gold plastic as the stand, and it is in the shape of the Ever After High logo key.




Finally, here is Apple White herself:

Ever After High Apple White
Slightly baggy stockings.
Apple's stand works fine, but I was hoping that 13 Wishes Clawdeen's saddle stand would also work.  It turns out that Clawdeen's stand does not fit Apple very well. The saddle is too tight for Apple's body, and her legs are a little short.


Apple has a lot of jewelry accessories, and they are all made out of the same gold plastic as the stand and the brush. She has a ring in the shape of a bow:

Ever After High Apple White

Actually, I have the ring on the wrong finger in this picture (that explains why it kept falling off...):


Apple's right hand has two of the middle fingers positioned together, and this is where the ring is supposed to go (it still falls off quite a lot when it's wedged onto these two fingers).


The ring is tiny and I'll probably loose it, or one of my dogs will eat it.  


I like how the gold plastic has some glittery shine to it.


Apple is also carrying a purse that is shaped like an apple:


It has a really fun molded beading pattern:


The purse opens, which is wonderful:



The purse is great for storing all of the tiny jewelry pieces.  Maybe I won't loose that ring after all!


Apple is wearing a single gold plastic bracelet.  You have to remove her hand to get this piece of jewelry off:


The Addams Family theme song plays in my head when I see this picture.
Apple's outfit theme seems to be beads (bubbles?) and bows.  The bracelet has lots of molded spheres and a teeny tiny bow accent at the top:


Apple is also wearing bow-shaped gold plastic earrings:

Ever After High Apple White



And a headband with a red bow and a gold plastic crown:



There's some molded detail on the red band:


This reminds me of another headband crown...


This crown has some wonderful molded and painted details:


Liv in Wonderland
Liv did it better.
Her outfit consists of a strapless dress and a high-collared shrug:


The little shrug jacket is made out of a stiff material with a gold checkered print.  The sleeves are trimmed with gold stitching.  Hidden in the large collar is a gold plastic necklace:




The collar seems designed to be worn standing up, but this makes the rough hemmed edge show in back:



Underneath the jacket, the dress has a red fitted corset-style bodice with black tulle trim:



The underskirt is very stiff and can hold its shape.  It is covered by a pink floral print overskirt with a black tulle trim:





Notice the little apple silhouettes in the shiny gold scroll pattern of the skirt:


I really like the red part of the skirt, but that pink split overskirt with the black trim makes the dress a bit too Moulin Rouge or cheesy French maid for my taste.


It looks like she could use those flaps like wings and fly away:

Ladybug, ladybug...
Apple is wearing black fishnet stockings and red high-heeled shoes:

Gitchi gitchi ya ya da da...
The red shoes have molded bows and beads on them, and also a cool spiral heel design:




There's also a molded leaf on the outside edge of each shoe, which is nice because it helps me tell the left shoe from the right:


The Ever After High face is very different from the Monster High faces.  Apple seems to have the same face as Maddie.  It is a round, flat-profile face with large, wide-set eyes:



When I smoothed the hair away from my Apple's face, I noticed that she has crooked eyebrows:

Ever After High Apple White

She looks a little irritated...at least on the right side of her face.  I just tell myself she's raising one eyebrow sardonically--a skill I wish I had myself.  

Oh--you remember that Photo Booth symmetry trick I did with my Arizona Doll and Toy museum baby?  Here's the same trick with Apple.  The pictures are terrible, but you can see she has a nice side...

Aw.
And a naughty side:

Yikes!
I don't think the doll is supposed to be raising one eyebrow, although that would be pretty great.  Here's a picture of another Apple White doll at Justice.  Her eyebrows might not be perfectly straight, but I think they look more level than my doll's eyebrows:


Apple's eye paint has a lot of detail.  She has two-toned blue irises with thickly painted black eyelashes.  She has three shades of eyeliner: metallic silver, dark brown and a lighter, thinner brown all around the outside.  What's interesting is that she has a band of bright purple in the whites of her eyes:

Purple eye isn't contagious.
All of the Ever After dolls have white dots on their lips.  I think these are meant to make the lips look shiny or sparkly:


Apple's blonde ringlet curls are a mess:


The disorder is not helped by the fact that she has a strange, lopsided hairdo.  Small sections of hair from either side of her face are pulled back and tied together underneath the hair from the top of her head.  Like this:



You can see that the rooting is fine.  It's not super-thick, but it's not thin like a La Dee Da doll or my EuroGirl.  Thank goodness.


The Ever After High body has 11 points of articulation.  


Apple has a sway back, but it's not as pronounced as the trademark Monster High arch:


As AJ pointed out, the torso has a slightly thicker (more natural) build than the ultra-skinny Monster High body.


Here's a side-by-side comparison with 13 Wishes Clawdeen:


Ever After High Apple White

As I started to play around with Apple, the first thing I noticed is that while she can do things like this:


Her hip joint has restricted movement.  The shape of her upper leg interferes with smooth rotation of the joint.  

Note: some of these pictures seem crude, and I apologize, but I couldn't find a way to show you the nitty gritty of the hip joint in a more delicate way.


Clawdeen has some of the same movement restrictions as Apple (like not being able to do full sideways splits...):


...but Clawdeen does several things better than Apple.  For example, Clawdeen can cross her legs a bit more:


Clawdeen can do a high side kick without showing big gaps in her hip joint:


Both dolls rotate at the knee (which is great!) but Apple's thicker lower legs make the rotated position look strange:



Here's a comparison of the two dolls' lower leg thicknesses:


I also noticed that if you rotate Apple's arms straight up in the air, she can't spread them out from side-to-side much at all:

Yay!
Clawdeen's arms can rotate straight up and then bend all of the way out until they're at a 90 degree angle with her head:

YAY!
Apple can still do some great posing:








She can sit nicely...


...except that her legs are too long for this Monster High couch, so she has to tuck them off to one side or sit knock-kneed.  


AJ discussed how well Maddie and Howleen share clothes in her review (the dress fits Howleen but the shoes do not...), so in this review I'll look at how well Clawdeen and Apple can share their wardrobes.


While Clawdeen's dress looks amazing on Apple, the fit is too tight and the dress will not close completely in back.


D'oh.
However, Clawdeen's shoes fit almost perfectly:


Apple's dress looks ridiculous on Clawdeen.  Also, the fit is too lose, so the strapless bodice keeps falling down.


Not surprisingly, the shoes are a good fit:


Mattel missed a real opportunity here.  Why, oh why, would they not make these two cross-over lines able to share clothes?  Clothes sharing with Howleen and Twyla doesn't count.  There are only two of those smaller-bodied dolls and dozens of the taller girls.  Clothes sharing should be with the regular-sized dolls.  The completely different body doesn't make a lot of sense to me. 

Here are some more pictures of Apple wishing she could wear Clawdeen's dress:


Imagine the mix-and match possibilities that were lost.  Sigh.

Ever After High Apple White

I rounded up a few dolls for a comparison picture:

Disney Store Rapunzel, 13 Wishes Clawdeen, Apple White, Fashionista Barbie, Magic Night Out Meygana
Apple is the most similar to Clawdeen, but she also looks fairly close in size to Magic Night Out Meygana:


I think Apple's dress actually suits Meygana, but it's way too small and can't close at all in the back.


Because of Apple's slimmer build, she can wear Bratzillaz clothes...they're just a bit loose.  I thought that the basic Meygana's dress might look nice with Apple's eyes:



And the Switch-A-Witch black and white dress, because it is tight-fitting, is a pretty good match:


The Cutie Pop dolls have about the same size chest as Apple, so some of those dresses can be shared, too.


It's not a perfect fit, but it could work.


I decided that Apple's hair was so messy and uneven, I might as well take out the little rubber band and see how the curls do when they are brushed.

Hmm.  Emily--are you sure that's a good idea?
Ok, here are a few more shots of the factory hair in case I mess things up horribly:


Ever After High Apple White


Well, first of all, I like the hair with the little ponytail taken out.  It looks much more even and full:

Ever After High Apple White

And...with the hair brushed, there's a certain amount of frizziness, but I don't think it's awful.  Phew!


The cut is (intentionally?) uneven--angling down from her right to her left:




Here are a few final pictures of this interesting new doll:







Bottom line?  Since this is a Monster High spin-off line, it's difficult for me to evaluate the doll without comparing her to a Monster High doll.  In fact, I think it's necessary for me to compare her to a Monster High doll.  

What struck me when the Monster High line first came out is that every doll was so unique.  I couldn't believe that Clawdeen's head mold had wolf ears and Lagoona's head mold had scalloped piscine ears.  Many of the Monster High dolls have differently shaped faces, too.  Not only that, each doll has a unique fashion style.  Frankie's clothes are often schoolgirl prim, while Clawdeen's get-ups are edgier, and Lagoona looks like she just came from the beach.  The Ever After High dolls do not have this same diversity.  All of the faces look the same to me.  Spin Master made this mistake with the Liv dolls.  If all of the characters have the same face, there's little incentive to buy multiple dolls.  I mean, will Cinderella's daughter just be Apple in a different dress?  I hope not.  Furthermore, the Ever After faces are very round and plain, with nowhere near the character of, say, Clawdeen's fierce pout, Lagoona's wide-eyed innocence, or Ghoulia's slightly confused pucker.  My Apple's eyebrow-error gives her more character than she was meant to have.  Don't get me wrong, I think the face is fine.  It's a recognizable face, and maybe the mild expression will leave room for kids' imaginations to fill in a neat personality. 

The Ever After High dolls clearly need to have head molds that are different from Monster High heads (otherwise they would just be new Monster High dolls), but half of me wishes that Mattel had re-used the Monster High body.  This would have made sense given the spin-off nature of the line, and clothes sharing would be easy.  The other half of me is glad to see a new body shape.  Even so, I wish Mattel had maintained the same level of articulation quality that we enjoy in the Monster High dolls.  Apple White's joints don't have the range or fluidity of motion that Monster High joints have.

I think that the idea behind the Ever After High dolls is brilliant.  It is a perfect spin-off concept.  While Monster High dolls cater to the spooky, darker side of collectors' imaginations, these new dolls will satisfy the happily-ever-after sweetness that many people crave.  There seems to be no shortage of new monsters whose teenaged spawn can join the Monster High lineup.  Similarly, fairy tales provide a rich pool of characters from which new dolls could be made.  Mattel isn't likely to end either of these lines for lack of new material.  In addition, the fairy tale theme provides some good fodder for amazing outfits and accessories.  I am picturing Cinderella's daughter, Ashlynn, with a steampunk-style clock outfit (for the clock striking midnight) or a semi-transparent gossamer outfit that suggests glass (for the glass slippers).  Or maybe even an outlandish bubble gown that hints at a pumpkin?  Apple's wonderful beaded fruit purse is a good start, but I wish she had some funky apple ornaments on her shoes (apple cores as heels?) or a dress that was a zany, modern interpretation of Snow White's signature gown.  

I like things about this doll, and I am eager to see the new characters as they come out, but I'm left feeling like with material this rich, the design team isn't having enough fun.  Liven it up, Mattel--this could be gold.

75 comments:

  1. Love this review! While I am not considering buying a EAH doll for myself because I REALLY don't like the face mold, they are beautiful dolls. But I totally agree, they could have done so much more with this line. And if the characters had pets, omg amazing! Briar could have maybe some half-fairy-half-woodland creature, and I'd love to see maddie's mouse, Earl Gray. Awesome review!

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    1. Thank you, Julia! I agree that pets would be very fun. Mattel doesn't do pets with all of the Monster High releases, so maybe there's hope? :)

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    2. You know,Not all Ever after High dolls look the same.Yeah they have the same face mold,but the eyes are all hand painted.That's Faulty of course,Because you can't get the same result twice.Of millions of times.That's just a lesson that we should pick dolls more carefully and look at them before we buy it.

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    3. In the book Briar has a unicorn named Divacorn, Apple has a snow fox named Gala, and Raven has a dragon named Nevermore, and there's a bunch of other pets too.

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  2. Aw, man. So clothes swapping is officially a no go. Pissysnots!

    Oh well. I'm still gonna pick myself up a Briar, and the other characters that interest me. You've now gotten in my head to try and make a steampunk outfit for Ashlynn when she comes out, if I can find that two-pack.

    I do agree that it is a bother that after all the care they gave to make new headmolds for the MH dolls, that they didn't do the same for EAH, but I guess I can understand it too (she says, begrudgingly). They don't know how this is going to take off. It might not be worth it at this point. At least the makeup jobs and skintones make them look enough different from each other, but yeah. The longing for all the fun with MH is high. This review basically solidified to me that while I will get the dolls that interest me, my main collectible doll is and will remain Monster High.

    And to echo Julia Lynn above... YES. GOD. Missed opportunity ahoy that they didn't include pets! I have a spare My Little Pony animal friend mouse around here somewhere, I'll give that to Maddie in the meantime.

    Thanks again for letting me review Maddie for you, and thanks for this great review!

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    1. Well, Clawdeen could wear Apple's dress if she really wanted to (and didn't jump up and down too much...) but she doesn't want to! ;) The style is all wrong for her-as you pointed out in your review.

      I'd love to see the sales figure data for fashion doll pets. My guess is that pets don't sell very well on their own (as with Bratzillaz pets) but I'd also wager that a doll with a pet sells better than the equivalent doll with no pet. I almost bought Twyla just because her bunny is so cute! :D

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    2. I LOVE her bunny! I've kept all my pets. Granted, they're mixed in with my box of - as I call it - Pretty Plastic Pony Products, all the plastic doodads that come with My Little Ponies. But they're there!

      I just glaced at the Fairy Tale Academy links... well. That's clearly Disney all over the place. Not knocking Disney but... okay. So, we have Monster High, Ever After High for Mattel, Hasbro getting in on the game with Equestria Girls and Disney now too. Make money while the sun shines, I guess! Dunno if I'll be going for these, I think I'm more fond of Ever After High at this point, even with my quibbles about clothes sharing being a no go. That I can live with... those Fairy Tale High/Academy dolls look... I dunno.

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    3. I've heard about Fairy Tale High... Whats weird is that some of the characters were not originally princesses but they are in high school... or that Alice is older than her original character. I think I might stick to EAH.

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  3. The only one I really want to get so far is Maddie, only because I've always liked the Mad Hatter character. I know what you mean, these dolls could be improved upon but the idea is still pretty cute and imaginative. I hope neither MH or EAH end anytime soon. Great review as always. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Emma! Maddie does stand out with her gloved hands and colorful hair--and her wonderful teapot purse! Because the EAH idea is so good, I think there is tons of room for improvement and expansion. I'm not worried yet. :)

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  4. Yes, Justice overprices all of their dolls (and clothes frankly). I got my Scaris Rochelle there for about $36.00 as well, while other big box stores sell them for much cheaper.

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    1. Huh. So they're really going to charge $36 for these permanently? I figured it must be temporary because they have the dolls first or something. $36 is way too much! :-O

      Scaris Rochelle might be worth it, though. Love her.

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    2. I found Scaris Rochelle NIB on ebay for 20$. Someone had to bring it to me though, because I live half way across the globe. It costs about 50$ here.

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  5. The eyebrows aren't crooked, the eyes are. I've seen several reviews of these dolls already and everyone had seriously crooked eyes. What the hell? This makes me suspect there may be other, less obvious quality issues. The giant, lifeless head and non-MH-interchangeable body add to a big disappointment in this new line. I'm pretty sure I'll still get a doll, but they are not living up to the expectations. By the way, the faces remind me a lot of the Mystixx vampires you reviewed, do you still have that thing? Since they had fatter torsos, the clothes might fit better.

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    1. EAH seems to share MH's problem with crooked eyes. It's just more noticeable on the EAH dolls because their eye socket is so flat. I found an Apple and a Raven with nice, even face-ups. Briar and Maddie are short boxed in some of the cases, so I've seen fewer of them and have yet to find suitable ones. Granted, I'm super picky about this. It's why I virtually never buy MH online. If I want to get an older one I missed, I go to eBay looking for auctions that include close-ups and scrutinize them. I'm very nervous about the Wydowna I ordered sight unseen.

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    2. These dolls are cute but I agree with the crooked eyes. I might not get one because of these reviews. They are't as pretty as the monster high dolls.

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    3. Ooh! Good question, Black Kitty. I'll dig around and see if I still have Kalani. I am not too fond of her, so she might be buried in a bin somewhere...

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    4. The Maddie I ended up with also has the crooked eyes going on, but hers is slight enough that it can pass off as a normal expression. My problem- which may seem trivial to others but is HUGE to me- is that her stand was missing the piece that holds on to the doll. With these dolls retailing at $36 a pop I'm pretty livid there wasn't enough quality control to make sure everything made it in to the box.

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  6. Great review! :) I recently reviewed Raven Queen and Madeline Hatter on my blog, and my mom just purchased Apple and Briar on an out of town trip (they're still on their way home), so I'm in total Ever After High mode! ;)

    Since I'm not a collector of Monster High dolls, I didn't have the MH standard in mind when I reviewed these dolls. I can see how a Monster High collector would be frustrated by the inability of the dolls to share clothing, but personally, I'm thankful that the EAH dolls are not quite so incredibly thin as the MHs. I do wish they had more variety in their faces, though. I think the rather smirky expression they all wear works for Raven and possibly Briar, but I had hoped that Apple and Maddie would have lighter, happier expressions to fit their bubbly personalities. Overall, I'm still pleased with them, though. And as you referenced in your post, I'm thrilled to have a doll line that doesn't focus on the darker, "scarier" characters of Monster High (although I realize the show itself is not overly scary). I've always thought Lagoona Blue was a cutie, but I didn't want to get my daughters into the whole monster thing.

    I wouldn't hold out too much hope for Ashlynn. Have you seen her character in the webisodes yet? If not, she's in this episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaqxuxJANIM
    (Ashlynn shows up at about 4:46.)

    I've seen a prototype dress for the doll, and it looks just like the outfit she wears in this webisode. To be honest, if they hadn't told me who she was in the cartoon, I would never have guessed she was Cinderella's daughter...aside from her excitement over the shoes. ;) I was hoping for a longer, fuller gown. :(

    Anyway, wonderful review, as always! :)

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    1. Hi beastsbelle! I'll go read your review! I try not to read other reviews until I have examined a doll myself, but now I am really curious to see what you think. The doll was not what I expected.

      I completely, totally agree with you about the dresses. It would be so nice if the outfits were more reminiscent of the fairy tale characters. Maddie's dress is good, but Apple's is too generic and the others didn't strike me as being very special on first glance--I need to take a closer look, though.

      I also completely agree about the faces! Apple should look sweeter. In this picture, I think she looks perfect:
      http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7400/9140426868_9e8d03e315.jpg

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  7. I have read (and watched on youtube) quite a few reviews on the EAH line so far and yours is the only one that pointed out the writing on the back in the box AND then translated it. Brilliant! I so enjoyed that. I also loved how you pointed out the similarities with the crown headband to the Liv doll version and it made me immediately think (with the Liv doll fandom that now resides in this house because of your great reviews), "Well, I Liv does do everything better and that's just how it is." And finally, thanks so much for pointing out the fact that the Monster High line has such unique face molds and paintings to make them as collectible, special, and just plain interesting as they are. Again, because of you, I never would have considered them but the other day when I was picking up the Lala-Oopsie seahorses (which I have already shared about to you) I found myself lingering in the Monster High area and later one looking up the skeleton one - IF we end up getting one. (Just one.)

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    1. I'm looking at getting the skeleton one as my first MH!how funny!

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    2. Thank you so much, Andrea! I have to say, I am fascinated by the box. Is it just snippets from fairy tales, written out in different languages? German would make sense since the Grimm brothers were German, but French and Spanish? If those, then why not Russian and Japanese, too? It's a neat box.

      Liv does do everything better. :) Or did. :( I wish Spin Master had something new and Liv-like for this year. I can't get too excited about Kawaii Crush.

      Skelita is a great doll. If you only want one Monster High, she certainly demonstrates many of the neatest features of the line (great backstory, unique body mold, fun accessory, amazing shoes). I like Rochelle a lot, too for those reasons. And Clawdeen. Ah! It's hard to get just one!! ;)

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  8. personally, i would boil the hair if I got her. I'm not a fan of curls on smaller dolls... for some reason, curls work for AG....huh.
    on a different note, have you opened your AG doll yet???????? she looks like a Valerie, Sophie, or Katie to me..
    -Juliet

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    1. I haven't opened my AG doll yet (busy week! Ahhhh!) but I am leaning towards Keira or Sophie. :)

      I also agree with you about Apple's hair--I have been thinking seriously about giving it a boil sometime in the next day or two. It's too frizzy right now!

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  9. I really love the clothes the dolls come with (especially the shoes & tights!) but i have to say the dolls themselves aren't making a very good impression on me. Apple looks a lot like Abigail Breslin.

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    1. Ok, I am embarrassed that I had to Google Abigail Breslin, but I am so glad I did! First of all, THAT'S what happened to the cutie who played Olive in Little Miss Sunshine (she's all grown up and beautiful!), and second, you're totally right! There's a striking similarity to Apple! Wow! Excellent call.

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  10. I have to say, your Apple is definitely the cutest one I've seen! I love the raised eyebrow and there's a certain lopsidedness to her smile/face that gives her such a mischievous look! Definitely an example of a slightly askew face-up working FOR a doll, instead of against it. What a find!

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    1. Thank you, Astroasis! I do like her sarcastic face. I think probably Apple White should have a sweeter expression, like beastsbelle said, but given the overall lack of variety, I am glad to have a quirky face!

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  11. Great review Emily!Are you planning on doing a review on the CAM Ice and Blob girl set anytime soon?I`d love to see your review on it!

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    1. Oh--right! I have a ton of pictures for those dolls! I should get that review finished! The short version of my opinion is that I think there were some great improvements from the original CAM sets, but the CAM sets in general just don't appeal to me as much as the regular dolls. :/

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  12. Thank you for the review! I don't know when these dolls will be available in Italy (maybe in time for december?), but I know I'll get one or two... for some reasons I like the new body shape more than the MH one, it's a little more natural, although I must admit it's a pity we won't be able to share clothes with the MH babes... to me the major botton line of EAH is that Mattel wasted some of the potential of these dolls using the same face mold... WHY??? Why they ended up screwing a big project like this??? At least they could have used a different mold for royal and rebels...

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    1. Yes, I totally agree, Sara! At least a different face mold for the Royals and Rebels. I also like the new body quite a bit because of the more natural shape, but I guess I had just been assuming that these dolls would be able to share clothes with Monster High, so I have to get over that disappointment for a while.

      I hope the dolls come to Italy soon so that you can see them in person!

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  13. I seem to be less bothered than many about the head/face mold. If you look at the first five MH girls, you'd need at least four head molds just to account for ears. The EAH characters are just human girls, so it's much less vital- though it would be nice. Also, most of the other doll lines I've collected have a single mold. MH and LitD are the exceptions.

    I don't change the clothes between characters much and doubt I'd have my MH and EAH girls share even if they did so perfectly, but I've seen a number of reviews that seem to indicate it's just a matter of finding the right dresses to switch. Some work perfectly, others not so well, still others not at all.

    You mention pets, and here's something odd- Mattel has indeed filed Maddie's dormouse (Earl Grey) and Hunter's squirrel (Pesky) along with several others under the same sort of trademark they use for the MH pets. Did they change their minds? Will they sell them separately, a la Bratzillaz? Will they show up in later releases? No idea, but if 'Nevermore' isn't Raven's raven I'll eat my hat.

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    1. I was wondering some of the same things about the pets. I think if they're sold separately, they can cost more, but I'd wager that the sales for solo pets aren't great. I see a lot of Bratzillaz pets on the shelves. I think having a pet with a doll probably boosts the sale of that doll--like Rochelle with her gargoyle is so much cooler to me than Rochelle on her own. On the other hand, if the Ever After High pets were separate and, say, under $5, it might be a nice way for kids to get something at the toy store without plunking down $20 or more.

      Nevermore would be a perfect name for Raven's raven! Good call!

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    2. actally, nevermore is raven's pet dragon

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  14. Steampunk Ashlynn would be so fabulous! If I ever got an Apple White doll, though, I think I would name her Fiona after the singer Fiona Apple.

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    1. She even looks like a Fiona to me! That's a great name. :D

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  15. Overall, I like almost everything about this line but their facial expressions. :( They just look so... blank. If Mattel had just painted them all with side-glances (like their characters are often shown with), it probably would have helped. It's making me want to learn how to do repaints just so I can make them look more like their cartoon characters.

    I, too, wish they had come out with different head molds for them. Sure, they're all human girls, but when you look at the cartoons, Raven's face is longer and more angular, while Apple's and Maddie's are rounder (and Maddie definitely needs a big, open-mouthed grin). I'll probably still get Raven, Maddie, and possibly Apple-- and then figure out how to do repaints. :D

    I second the pet idea-- and, @Anonymous, I agree that Raven totally needs a pet raven named Nevermore. :)

    Thank you for the great review, Emily!

    --Kate :)

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    1. Kate, repaints are really not difficult, try an overpaint at first and if you can achieve symmetry in the features, you're on the good path! The hardest part is the concept and finding the right supplies (also, free time).

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    2. The symmetry is the hard part-- I even have a hard time with symmetry when doing my own cartoon drawings, with the hardest part being the eyes and eyebrows. One eye always ends up smaller than the other, and one eyebrow always has a better slant. Then again, real faces aren't perfectly symmetrical, so as long as I get it close enough, it might not look too bad. It's worth a try, anyway. :)
      Maybe I can find a MH doll at the thrift store to experiment on, too, before I spend $20+ on an EAH doll.

      BlackKitty-- have you done repaints before? What do you use? I saw a MH repaint video where the artist used what looked like colored pencils, and that would be my preferred method (I'm always better with pencils than with brushes). What kind of pencils would you use? Watercolor ones? Pastels? And what do you seal it with? The Mr. Superclear stuff that's used for BJDs?
      Sorry for all the faceup questions. I'm just curious. :)

      --Kate :)

      P.S. Here's the video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zvXud_AuMw

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    3. I have done just a few. The main reason is that I can't find a matte sealer - it is used as a base to help dry pastels, chalks and watercolour pencils adhere to the surface (yes, this is the stuff people use). The sealer goes on top of the repaint too for, well... sealing :) This is why I have used exclusively acrylic paints and didn't seal them. It works, but gradients are a pain. Try this forum, it has everything you'll ever want to know on doll customs: http://www.dolls-n-daggers.com/Dolls/Forum/index.php

      I apologize to Emily and everyone else for the offtopic.

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    4. Thank you for the info, BlackKitty! I'll check out that website.

      And sorry for all the off-topic posts, Emily. I PROMISE I'll stay on-topic from now on. :)

      --Kate :)

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    5. Oh, goodness, Kate! No worries--talk about whatever you want!
      I love reading this thread about repainting. I think it's totally relevant, anyway. Many collectors will be thinking about repainting these girls. I saw an awesome (slightly creepy) Apple repaint online yesterday, but now I can't find the picture at all! Silly Google images. I'll link if I find it. :)

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    6. Actually, in the books, Nevermore is not a raven but a dragon. And apple has a little snow fox named Gala.

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  16. If you want to tame the after-brushing frizz a bit, wet the hair. I don't mean wet slightly, but put the head under a tap (cold water) and really really soak the hair, finger style it, and let it dry without brushing or toweling. The curls should "connect" (for a lack of better word, what I mean is they should be back to forming ringlets instead of a hair cloud) and spring right back up, to an extent.
    :)

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    1. Cold water? I have become such a boiling fanatic, I didn't consider cold water! Sounds worth a try. Thank you for the suggestion, Alrunia!

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  17. congratulations on another great review, mattel has been careful with the details of these dolls, and they're still in time to fix the expression of his face well wait for December to see what happens

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    1. I do think there's hope for improvement over time...and the dolls have a lot of great features as they are. It will be very interesting to see what happens. I would hate to see this line fade away because it wasn't executed well enough. What a waste!

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  18. It really sucks that they can't share MH clothes :( I was so hoping for that, as I'm sure every other MH fan was hoping as well. I wonder if the older Bratz clothes can be shared with the Ever After dolls. I like the dress from your Cutie Pops doll on Apple, It was so cute. I wonder if the La Dee Da clothes would fit these girls, I know that that Howleen can wear their clothes, so I don't know..maybe the fit would be too small for Ever After. Great blog review :) I really hope that once these girls are in the other stores that they're not in the 30 price range, I'd hate to spend that much for just ONE doll.

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    1. I tried my Dots of Style Dee's dress on Apple and it's too tight. :( The style would have been REALLY cute on her, though, so it's too bad.

      The $36 price tag at Justice was outrageous. I am glad they're having a sale (hope it lasts!). I will be very curious to see what the Target/Walmart/Toys R Us retail is on these. $36 would be a death sentence for the line, in my opinion.

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  19. There was another line like this at Toy Fair! At first it was called 'Fairy Tale Academy' but they eventually switched it to 'Fairy Tale High' (Which immediately made me think of it as some kind of MH knock-off). Weird thing is, though they seem to be trying to make 'modern and edgy' versions of these fairy tale characters, instead of basing them off the original fairy tales, they base them off the disney versions. I feel like there's a lot of room to be creative when using the originals, but I also understand wanting to use the versions of them that are known by more people... Hmm.

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    1. Oh, wow! You're right!! I hope you don't mind if I insert a link to those in the blog. That is fascinating! I see some trouble on the horizon. Some of the outfits look a little cheap, but Snow White's outfit is similar to what I was imagining for Apple--a modern version of the original Snow White dress! Very cool. I will be interested to see one of those, especially because they claim to be "full articulated."

      Thank you so much for this information! :D

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  20. The faces, and the nontrivial distance between me and any given Justice, keep me from ill-advised purchasing decisions. (Only so much money! Catty! Gigi! But... but pretty dresses...) When the dolls get wider release, I'll probably feel more comfortable picking one or two up. I can't not with Ashlynn, and I suspect Maddie and Raven are the same way. But I was in a mall the other day myself, and stood, and stood, and stood, and talked with my husband, and stood, and stood.

    Dang it, Apple, everything but your face and I would have been all over you.

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    1. (Er, "if it weren't for your face, I would have been all over you." Two in the morning. Shouldn't comment at two in the morning.)

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    2. LOL! Two in the morning is too late! Or early! You're forgiven any and all typos! ;)

      I think it's wise to wait and consider with these. Certainly don't run out and spend $36. Eeep! Because of exactly what you said, I have this sinking feeling that the Apple and Ashlynn repaints are going to be calling out to me BIG TIME. Talk about lots of money...

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    3. Justice is weird. I've never been in there and seen dolls at full price, just convenient, persistent 40% off sales or BOGO offers which bring the price-per-doll down to Target levels. (My neck of the woods, for doll-hunting purposes, overlaps with yours. Between the Fox Run shopping complex and the Cumberland Farms gas price directly adjacent to it, you might want to explore Newington, NH!)

      Maddie *screams* for watercolor pencil repaints. I was telling myself that I could get her just as soon as I committed to buying pencils and sealant.

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  21. I don't usually (ok, never) do contemporary fashion dolls but Mattel has roped me in with the EAH line...roped in so hard I've now picked up some MH too. That should be making a Mattel exec happy to read <3

    re: face molds...I got my 1st Asian Ball-Jointed Doll in 2003 (not playing the "I've been in a fandom since..." card here) and I LOOOOOOVE how the first 4 EAH dolls share a face mold. It's like Volks' original 4 SD "sisters" mold! It's very nostalgic to me...as a fairy tale should be. Also very appealing for customs because you're not relying on the mold itself to make each doll unique.

    I really think they've hit all the right notes with these...you're not going to get a doll that is everything to everyone, but man, imho this is pretty close.

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  22. I had never heard of this line before FroggyMama mentioned it on her blog. Now lo-and-behold but every doll fan I know of seems to be finding these girls! I haven't seen any down south, and I'm hoping the $36 price tag is a bizarre fluke because these dolls are cute...but at that price (plus good ol' 'Bama's 10% sales tax) there's just not enough doll for me.

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  23. Ahh, finally got to read this review. Crazy busy week here with my return to work. Thanks for this review Emily. As always, I think that you have shown the doll in the best possible light. I really really want to get excited about these dolls. The doll collector is me is eager to go out and buy them all - but if I am really honest with myself I don't think that I really love them all that much. My biggest hang up is the faces. They just have so little personality and I don't find them all that attractive. I find some of the MH dolls so beautiful - Ghoulia in particular - but these EAH dolls are lacking something. On the whole I am much more drawn to the Rebels. (I can't help but wonder what this says about us? You know me by now!!). I actually really like Apple's Moulin Rouge style dress with fishnet tights. Your ideas for future dolls are amazing. I would buy a steam-punk Cinderella in a heartbeat. I think that I will have to wait until I see them, and their price, in person before I commit to anything yet.

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  24. E!! Have you see this? First (non-blurry) look at the Ashlynn/Hunter two-pack!

    http://i.imgur.com/Bba7l6C.png

    She's GORGEOUS.

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  25. Monster High has spoiled a lot of people and playline dolls are being held to this high standard even half the MH dolls can't live up to. While I wish the lips were a little more pouty, I think this is a nice line. I like the detailed layered dresses and the fact that they come with stockings. I'm glad that Mattel did a new spin on something without feeling like they had to be really out there and over the top to be interesting.

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  26. I wonder why they're more expensive than all the other dolls (well, at least more expensive than MH)
    But she looks pretty!

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    1. $36 is standard Justice markup for a signature Mattel doll. Twyla, freshwater Lagoona et al. carry a similar price tag there, for example. They have frequent discounts (BOGO 1/2 off, 40% "clearance", that sort of thing -- I remember coupons at one point when Scaris came out) which typically bring the price down to $20-21 before tax.

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  27. Hi! I sent you a message on flickr about Apple White, hope that's ok!

    I love your reviews :) x

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  28. Very cute,the dresses are very nice.If you could have on when I am a child,I will feel very happy!Thanks for sharing the interesting toy.

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  29. God I love this doll so much! As I said in my comment on the Madeline Hatter post, I'm not really a fan of the heads. I still don't really like the roundness of it and the eyes are still very, very Barbie. But on Apple White, it just all comes together to make a wonderful looking doll. I love the crooked eyebrow on your doll, it's a shame it was a factory mistake. They should've made every Apple like that. I'm happy to see that these dolls can at least swap shoes with the regular sized MH dolls. At first I thought it wasn't possible because Maddie's shoes wouldn't fit Howleen (stupid of me to not think it through and remember that the regular MH feet are larger). I adore Apple's style. Her clothes and accessories are gorgeous (I was like: OMG look at that purse! and then like: OMG look at those shoes!) And then it happened.. Mattel got me again. I.must.buy.these.when.available.here dsjsklfmsd;lfadfmad;fm;afm NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO How do they do it? How do they get you to spend all you money on these plastic, articulated toys? Hello even larger wishlist and goodbye future money!
    Thanks for letting me fall in love with new dolls through you blog and no thanks for letting me spend money in my head that I don't even have in real ♥

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  30. These haven't arrived in Australia yet, but will keep an eye out. Are The Charming brothers and the daughter of cinderella siblings, or did someones happily ever after not actually happen?

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  31. Hey! I've been reading all of your previous reviews of the MH dolls, and after reading this review for the third(?) time, I figured I should comment. :) First, I love your blog! (And your name:) I love dolls, and while my favorite has always been AG (it kinda runs in the family...) I fell in love with MH dolls, and now EAH! I just bought my first MH doll, the create a monster design lab, and I'm hoping to expand my collection. But what I really wanted to ask you is if you seen the webisodes. I know you don't watch the MH ones, but I was just wondering because they've introduced lots of characters that aren't dolls yet. If not, at least google a picture of Kitty Cheshire. I'm pretty sure I'll buy her as soon as she hits shelves... Anyway, sorry for my uber-long first comment! Keep posting awesome reviews:)

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  32. Hey Emily, your review of Apple White is incredible, I can't imagine there will ever be a better one written! Apple is my favorite of the all the EAH characters at the moment.

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  33. If you look on Flickr, they've released Ashlynn Ella, the daughter of Cinderella, in a two-pack with a nice-looking boy called Hunter Huntsman. It's really worth checking out, they look great.

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  34. there is something I do not block you suppose raven queen is the white apple stepmother in the story, not if I want my stepmother out of my age

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  35. I just got the Hunter Huntsman/Ashlynn Ella set today. These are quite nice dolls, but a very unoriginal series to me.

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  36. Thanks very much for all the detailed photos! I`m ready to finish Apple`s cosplay for our EAH party on April!

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