I was probably most excited about the appearance of Cupid, because she is the crossover link between Monster High and Ever After High. I have been wondering how Mattel would handle the re-introduction of this character. As excited as I am about Cupid, though, I'll tell you right now that Cerise Hood outshines her promotional pictures and seems, at first glance, to be the most unique doll in this line to date. Cerise's review will come soon, but for now, here's the lovely Chariclo Arganthone Cupid:
|Ever After High's new C.A. Cupid doll.|
Because there are now two dolls representing the daughter of Eros, I figured I should bring the original Cupid doll into this review for a few comparisons. At the end, we can decide if it was a good idea for Cupid to change schools...or if, perhaps, she should have stuck with Monster High.
The front of the box displays Cupid nicely against the usual storybook backdrop. There were many Cupid dolls at Target when I was shopping, and I thought they all had very messy, sloppily-styled hair. However, many of the dolls I saw had straight eyes and eyebrows, which was a huge relief. I think I got a good one:
The back of the box has a short description of Cupid's personality, and I found this interesting since we already know quite a bit about Cupid.
|She's a blogger! Yay!|
Now, let's compare that information to Monster High Cupid's card:
|I like cupcakes, too.|
There's a lot of consistency here, which is impressive. Cupid has always been a bad shot, and has clearly never been a fan of math. The only change I can see is that she used to enjoy psychology, but now prefers mythology. That's fine--a girl is allowed to change her mind.
She doesn't list any best friends on the Monster High card, though, which I think scores a point for Ever After High. Changing schools seems to have helped her find two best friends and a cute boy. Not bad.
In the box art, Cupid looks sweet, feathery, and very, very pink:
Here's a side-by-side picture of the box art with Monster High Cupid's collector's card:
I think both cartoon versions are cute. I notice that the Ever After High doll looks a lot more like her box art than the Monster High doll.
One thing that is different about this box is that there's a keyhole opening in the back just above Cupid's portrait:
I think this hole must have been added to make the stand more noticeable. I wonder if lots of people were throwing the first wave stands away because they didn't know they were there?
The side of the box advertises Cupid as being the daughter of Eros. Eros is the Greek god of love. As a noun, the word eros means "erotic love or desire." The Romans got the idea to have a god of love from the Greeks, but they named their god Cupid (from the Latin word cupido which also means desire).
I've always thought it was a bit of a stretch to categorize Eros as a "monster" just to fit into the Monster High theme. Maybe Cupid will keep switching schools and eventually end up at Mythology High where all of the kids are sons and daughters of the gods? That'd be fun.
The back of the box also has drawings of some of the other Ever After High characters, including Ashlynn, Hunter, Apple, and a character that I have not seen as a doll yet, Blondie Lockes:
I am baffled by the spelling of Blondie's last name. Goldilocks did not have an extra "e" at the end of her name. I am also somewhat dismayed by the boring first name. Why not something a little more creative? How about Auricomous? Auri for short?
In any case, I hope the doll has side-glancing eyes like the picture:
|She looks very Lolita to me.|
I had an easy time with Cupid's box. It wasn't just that the cardboard seemed lightweight and pliant, but the plastic tabs on the front of the box were fairly easy to pull out of the cardboard--there was no tape involved at all. In fact, I disassembled the box in a way that didn't damage anything. If I wanted, I could put it all right back together again, or I could separate everything neatly for recycling.
|You can see the tabs along either side of the plastic.|
Cupid had three plastic ties in her head (grumble) but all of the other attachments were easy to cut and remove.
The cardboard background has the same garbled, multi-language sentences that Apple and Ashlynn's boxes have:
I don;t know why these fascinate me so much. My favorite sentence fragment is: con sonrisas blancos nacarados and minty fresh, which must mean something like "pearly white smile and minty fresh [breath]." They're probably talking about one of those Charming boys...
Cupid comes with a bookmark story and a stand. I don't find the stand very useful or necessary. It's not a great style of stand, and the dolls stand very well on their own.
I was eager to see if Cupid's story would reveal anything about why she (the daughter of a god) would be going to a school for fairytale characters. Indeed, she jumps right in and addresses this in the first paragraph:
Apparently, Eros announced that Cupid was switching schools because the kids at Ever After High needed urgent romantic guidance, and Cupid was the perfect person for the job. That's as reasonable an explanation as any, I suppose.
In addition to her stand and story, Cupid comes with a bow and arrow, a quiver, and a pair of wings:
The quiver is made out of shimmering gold vinyl with elaborate molded decorations:
It has a black vinyl strap:
And a painted pink heart:
The arrows are not separate (like the Disney Store Merida's arrows...) but are part of the same piece of vinyl as the quiver:
The bow and arrow are also one piece, and are made out of the same gold vinyl as the quiver:
The bow has a handle so that Cupid can hold it:
The details are nice, but the pink tassel at one end of the bow looks like a fuzzy strawberry to me:
The wings are made out of a large piece of solid white vinyl and they have a satisfying weight. The underside of each wing is covered with a layer of metallic gold paint which is brushed over with a thin coating of white. This technique outlines the shape of the feathers very nicely:
The backs of the wings are plain white:
Here's a close-up of the painting technique:
The wings attach to Cupid with a small collar piece that is shaped like a bent arrow:
Monster High Cupid also came with a pair of wings, but the two styles are quite different:
The wings have a similar overall shape, and both attach with a collar that is shaped like an arrow, but that's where the similarities end.
Monster High Cupid's wings are made to look like the splayed bones of a rib cage with vertebrae running down the back--like Cupid ripped open someone's chest and used the bones to make herself a pair of wings. Is that a reference to metaphorically ripping someone's heart out?
|Maybe this is what THE END looks like?|
It's creepy and unsettling, but the anatomist in me loves it.
So the thing is, I can see someone with this face wearing a gristly ribcage on her back....
|I can't help staring at your nice wide ribcage...|
|Puppies! Cupcakes! Snuggling!|
So, maybe that's another point scored for Ever After High? By switching schools, did Cupid leave behind her darker body-dismembering side? Or is she just overcompensating to cover it up?
Anyway, let's look at the two faces together:
Monster High Cupid has a mime-inspired, ghostly-white face with sunken eyes and a smile that is camouflaged by expressionless heart-shaped lips.
Ever After High Cupid is a round-faced girl with healthy-looking skin and sparkling eyes:
Cupid's eyes look green overall, but up close you can see that the color comes from three different areas of the iris. There's a teal middle region with a royal blue rim and then a lime green iris pattern drawn on top:
Cupid's eye makeup includes shades of sparkling pink, maroon, silver and purple. She has tiny heart-shaped reflective dots in each eye:
She has the same heart-shaped lipstick pattern as Monster High Cupid, but she has an additional layer of shimmering light pink paint underneath so that the heart isn't as glaring:
Monster High Cupid has deep-set two-toned teal eyes with a yellow shadow under the pupil. Her eyebrows are rose pink with a severe arch:
Most of Cupid's mouth is left white, with just a small pink heart painted in the middle. This makes her look like she is pursing her lips
This Cupid's eyeshadow is composed of two bands of pastel pink and blue. She has very heavy black eyelashes:
Ever After High Cupid has bright pink hair with pale pink highlights. It is worn down with curled bangs:
The hair has some wave to it and looks messy and uneven right out of the box:
One small section of hair on the right side of Cupid's head is pulled back and tied with a clear rubber band:
Cupid is wearing a gold headband with a bright pink heart and arrow decoration:
The headband sits just behind Cupid's bangs. It slots into sections of hair on either side. The hair is held in place around the headband with two rubber bands that encircle the doll's head.
I was nervous about how this hair would look when I brushed it out. I was sure it was going to be uneven and scraggly. It took a while to brush the hair straight, but it actually has a decent shape:
The hair fiber is a lot like Apple White's hair, but with nowhere near as much curl. It feels soft and puffy--like a low-quality imitation mohair. This is not my favorite type of doll hair because it doesn't have any shine or movement, and it can look messy if it isn't brushed regularly.
Instead of a headband, this Cupid has a twisted section of hair that encircles her head and forms a heart-shaped area that sticks up on one side:
My doll's hair is a little messy in back--and very flat.
Ever After High Cupid is wearing a cute pink dress with a belt and a few small accessories:
Cupid's ring is not as fun as some of the other Ever After High rings. It's just a black bent arrow, and it's really hard to see the design:
Monster High Cupid doesn't wear a conventional ring, but her bow and arrow are worn on her hand. This hand weapon makes me think of Wolverine for some reason. I think this is one of Monster High Cupid's most creative features.
|Monster High Cupid's hand bow.|
Ever After High Cupid is wearing a gold bracelet with a molded leaf pattern:
She's also wearing plain black heart-shaped earrings. These are nowhere near as fun as Ashlynn's shoe earrings!
They're not as cool as Monster High Cupid's bow and arrow earrings, either:
|Ever After High earrings (L), Monster High earrings (R).|
Ever After High Cupid's dress has a pink bodice and a print skirt. The bodice is covered with a layer of pink tulle, and the tulle drapes down over one side of the skirt:
It doesn't have much in common with Monster High Cupid's dripping black, pink and white dress:
The vinyl belt has a cluster of golden leaves on one side that give the dress a bit of a Greek god vibe.
The belt unfastens in back and can be removed:
The dress has a long strip of velcro in the back and is easy to get on and off.
The sleeves are accented with little leaf-shaped epaulettes:
These decorations are made out of pink fabric with a silver metallic print:
The skirt is a stretchy synthetic knit with a pink and white cloud pattern. The clouds are overset with metallic pink arrow decorations. The skirt hem is trimmed with black lace.
Cupid is wearing fabulous gold winged shoes:
The outer edge of each shoe has a painted pink heart. The inside edge of the shoe has the same heart shape, but it is left unpainted:
The heel is the fletching of an arrow:
The toes of the shoes are covered in scrolling molded designs that are similar to the decorations on the quiver.
For comparison, here are Monster High Cupid's chain link heart shoes with their bow heels:
This design seems a little cluttered to me.
Under her dress, Cupid is wearing black netted stockings with an elastic waist:
The doll has a dark black smudge on the back of one leg, but it's not clear to me that this was caused by the stockings:
It looks more like paint or ink:
Cupid has the same body design as the other Ever After High girls and she is the same height as Apple and Ashlynn. As you can see, the color of Cupid's vinyl is right in between Apple's pale white and Ashlynn's golden tan:
|Apple White, Cupid, Ashlynn Ella.|
I was excited to pose Cupid with her accessories, but it seems that she can't wear her wings and her quiver at the same time. Bummer.
At first, I posed Cupid with her bow in her right hand, however, if I had been paying attention to the fuzzy strawberry tassel, I would have known that this was wrong:
While the bow's handle fits awkwardly in Cupid's right hand, it fits perfectly into her left hand:
Much better! Although...she'd need to pull the string back to actually fire that arrow. Maybe that's why she's a terrible shot?
Now that I have shown you the basics of Ever After High Cupid, I want to back up and show you what happened when my two Cupids met for the first time.
I think they were both surprised to see another version of themselves, and they got a little jumpy...
|It's good that neither of them can aim...|
Since neither girl is a stranger to rare or magical occurrences, they were able to quickly reason out that this must just be a blip in the space-time continuum, or the workings of a mischievous wizard.
Once she realized what was happening, Ever After High Cupid was delighted to catch up with her former self and share all of her new adventures from fairyland.
Although she couldn't imagine a time when she would have worn rib cage wings...
She decided that, despite the unusual circumstances, she had surely just found another new best friend!
|It's important to love yourself!|
Monster High Cupid was clearly less comfortable with the situation--I noticed she kept trying to pull her hand away from her future self. Perhaps she was wondering if there was still time to reconsider the move to Ever After High?
I am not sure if I should leave these two together--time travelers say that meeting an alternate version of yourself is a bad thing. Will Ever After High Cupid's enthusiasm win out, or will she be Monster High Cupid's next pair of wings?
Monster High Cupid:
I love the contrast of this doll's pure white body and the black glove-like tips of her arms.
Ever After High Cupid:
The bow and arrow accessories are very simple and don't have any moving parts, but they are wonderful props for this cheerful cherub:
Bottom line? It's neat to see Mattel's two very different interpretations of the same character. Both dolls are successful in conveying a basic Cupid theme while staying true to the essence of their line. Monster High Cupid captures the dark, unique strangeness of the Monster High franchise with her pale white vinyl, sunken eyes, skeletal wings, and a mouth expression that's difficult to read. Ever After High Cupid captures the frilly, sweet, upbeat nature of the fairytale spinoff line.
The most unique thing about Ever After High Cupid is her pink hair. Pink-haired dolls are getting easier to find, but they're still relatively scarce in the aisles of most toy stores. Even speaking as someone who wouldn't list pink as a favorite color, I have to admit that I like Cupid's candy-pink hair. It's bright and cheerful and fits with this girl's ultra-sweet persona. I would prefer a silkier hair fiber, but the spun sugar consistency and volume of this hair seem to suit Cupid.
Like most Ever After High characters, Cupid is a normal-looking, versatile, princess-style doll that reveals her theme only through her neat accessories. She has great shoes and dramatic, artistic goddess wings. Her bow and arrow is simple, but it fits into her hand well and is probably the accessory that best identifies her as Cupid. I love the look of a doll posing with a bow, which is probably thanks to the bow-wielding heroines of The Hunger Games and Brave. Cupid's dress is what I have come to expect from an Ever After High doll: it has tulle, sparkle, lace and a few references to the Greek mythology theme. The headband is a wonderful nod to Monster High Cupid's twisted heart hairstyle. Cupid's earrings, ring and bracelet are unremarkable, but the other accessories compensate for this.
Given all of the new Ever After High dolls on the shelves, I am glad I picked Cupid. She may not be as exciting as the mysteriously beautiful Cerise Hood, but I think she's a much more interesting choice than the Getting Fairest characters, all of whom I feel like I've seen before.
I don't think it's easy to choose between Ever After High Cupid and Monster High Cupid because they portray such different images. Monster High Cupid is uniquely weird and Ever After High Cupid is charmingly pink. Neither is trying for what the other one has achieved. I'd love to know which doll is more appealing to you, or if you have a hard time choosing as well. I will start a poll at the top and we'll see if we can get a consensus on the question: is Cupid better off at Ever After High, or should she have stayed with the Monsters?