I am so grateful for guest reviews, because not only do I get a fresh, new perspective on a doll line, but I often get the motivation I need to review a doll that has been sitting in my house for ages. Today, I am happy to get a chance to review a couple of Frights, Camera, Action! Monster High dolls, with the help of Grace, a 13-year-old doll friend from England. Grace's perspective is especially valuable to me because she is the target audience for the Monster High franchise. In other words, her opinion is what really matters. Grace will share her Clawdia Wolf doll with you, and then I will do a quick review of my Honey Swamp doll. I would like to thank Grace for her insights, her patience, and for inspiring me to buy a Clawdia Wolf of my own:
|Frights, Camera, Action! Clawdia Wolf.|
Hi! I'm Grace, a 13 year old doll lover from England. I recently got a Clawdia Wolf doll and e-mailed Emily to ask if I could do a guest review, and she said I could, and I am delighted because this is one of my favourite blogs, thank you so much!
I am a big fan of Monster High, and I love it when they introduce sister dolls, so I immediately bought Clawdia. I think it is really cool how all the new characters have ties with one another, such as Clawdia being Howleen and Clawdeen's big sister, Viperine being Deuce's cousin, Honey's grandma being friends with Operetta, and Elissibat being Draculaura's friend.
This doll comes with an iCoffin, notepad, diary, brush, stand, and pen (my pen was loosely secured and fell out of the box the minute I opened it, and I have yet to find it!)...as well as Clawdia herself.
|Empty Abandoned Box.|
Lets get on with the non-doll stuff so we can get to the doll as quickly as possible!
Clawdia comes with a normal brush and stand. The Frights, Camera, Action! diaries are really cute, and look like a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Clawdia's says "I'll make you a villain if you read my diary!"
The pen was really cute with a skullette in the end and a sticky-out thingy which you could use to make Clawdia hold it. There's a super cute iCoffin which does not have a handle, so I suggest that you keep the rubber band ON it.
Can you see the Monster High logo on the back?
Can you see the Monster High logo on the back?
[Emily says: this is hard to photograph (it's blurry even in real life...) so here's another picture]:
Lastly, there is a plain book with rubber band marks which is not easy for Clawdia to hold:
[Emily says: here's a picture of the book with my pen, which isn't lost...yet!]
YAY! Now we're onto the actual doll. She is really pretty and darker than the other wolves. I think her blonde hair is a really good idea and stands out with her dark skin. I absolutely, positively, ADORE these glasses and have tried them on all of my dolls.
Here is Clawdia out of her box:
She is SOOO PRETTY and her hair is so curly. It matches the two curls in her artwork on the front of the box. Let's let it out:
Her hair was held by two rubber bands securing it at the back and front and it looks amazing out.
Clawdia has a beautiful face and a smile I've never seen on any other doll:
Her red tweed jacket was hard to get off and can not be taken off without removing her hands, but the dress underneath was worth it. She has long red stockings and some beautiful gold shoes matching her necklace. Here is everything she comes with:
When I bought Clawdia, I wondered if (like Nefera) she would be taller than the other dolls. I would have loved to compare her to Clawdeen or Nefera, but I am still saving for them, so I will compare her to Black Carpet Draculaura instead. Draculaura is about a head shorter than Clawdia, and has smaller feet:
[Emily says: I don't have Nefera anymore, either, but here is Clawdia with Headless Headmistress Bloodgood, and with 13 Wishes Clawdeen]:
|Same body, but Clawdia has a smaller head.|
I also noticed that Draculaura's face was different and she that she has thinner body parts.
When looking on the back of Clawdia's body, I was surprised to see 2011 MATTEL printed on it with Clawdia being a new character introduced in 2013 not 2011.
This doll is beautiful and I adore her!
To say "bye," all of my Monster High girls joined in!
PS: Thanks for letting me do this review, Emily!
PPS: If you ever come to London, pop into Selfridges and take Effie to their Makie store!
I agree with Grace that Clawdia is a great doll, but it actually took me a little while to reach this conclusion. I had been passing Clawdia in the store for months before I bought her, because all I could think about when I looked at her red and yellow color scheme was Mc Donald's.
|Would you like fries with that?|
Grace's review actually convinced me that Clawdia might be worth a closer look.
Clawdia's dark skin and yellow hair are a great mix, but I don't care for the combination of the red jacket and the yellow hair.
Clawdia's hair is soft and puffy, and feels like mohair.
She has tall, elegant ears and a cute, ski-jump nose:
Clawdia's eyes are two shades of yellow with a black outline. They are accented with a rainbow of warm colors, which is a great match for the dark vinyl.
Her smile has a very straight row of un-delineated front teeth with two exposed fangs. Her wine-colored lips have a sparkly top coat.
|The teeth don't look quite as fake in real life--remember they're really small.|
In profile, you can see that the two fangs stick out further than the rest of the top teeth:
I was worried that Clawdia's expression would be funny-looking, but it's actually quite a contagious smile.
The red jacket closes in front with velcro, but it doesn't stay closed very well. I agree with Grace that the underlying dress is fabulous. It would coordinate well with 13 Wishes Clawdeen's dress.
The jacket looks ok, but it's not constructed very well. The lapels are constantly sticking up, some of the edges are uneven, and there are several visible stray threads.
I think that the red knee-high stockings are even worse than the jacket. This is way too much red, with no pattern or design to break up the glare. The golden shoes are clunky, and together with the stockings, the look gets too clownish.
However, with all of the red removed, Clawdia becomes much better...at least to me. Suddenly, she's tall and elegant, and her metallic dress makes her hair and eyes remind me more of sunshine than of mustard.
I like these glasses a lot, too, but they're a bit too much like goggles for Clawdia's glamorous, jacket-free golden persona:
|I might have them on upside-down, too.|
With her hair up in a simple bun, Clawdia's transformation from fast food to fabulous is complete:
I can't let this opportunity pass without at least doing a quick review of my Frights, Camera, Action! Honey Swamp. This fascinating character has been sitting in my review queue for ages, and it was fun to finally get her out of the box and see how she is different from my expectations.
Her box is a typical Monster High cardboard window box:
Honey Swamp is the daughter of the Swamp Monster. She is a feminine southern ghoul (from New Gorleans...) who aspires to be a famous cinematographer. She is also a perfectionist:
The back of the box has a short description of the Frights, Camera, Action! movie plot:
Honey's box art is a little intimidating. She looks like a carnivorous swamp plant:
|Related to Venus McFlytrap?|
Honey comes with a stand, a brush, a journal, a movie camera, and a clapper board:
Her journal does not have any pictures. On the front it says, "if you don't want me to snap at you, sugar, keep your claws off my diary!"
Honey's camera does not have any moving parts. It is decorated with a spider web design, and the back end is scalloped--probably also meant to look like a spider web:
One side of the camera has a small decorated handle:
The clapper board is black with white, chalk-like coffin outlines and dripping borders:
The top actually moves up and down:
|It has teeth!|
This accessory also has a handle on the back:
I think Honey comes with better accessories than Clawdia. The clapper board, in particular, is really great and would be fun to play with.
Honey can stand on her own pretty well, but I noticed right away that she does not move smoothly: her arms are stiff in the shoulders, come loose at the elbows, and her knees buckle. Also, one of her hips makes a loud clicking sound when it is extended. At first, I thought that the design of the Monster High hip articulation had been changed, but it's just that one of Honey's hips isn't seated exactly right, so it bumps into the torso when the joint is moved and makes a loud click.
|She has the hips of a 115 year old.|
Honey is a bright greenish-blue color and is dressed in a matching green dress with purple and pink accents:
|That's a lot of green and blue for my eyes.|
This doll's hair is one of her most interesting features. It is a thick, surprisingly dense mass of tight blue curls. The hair is much, much thicker than I expected it to be. It feels neat, but there's no way it could be brushed. The hair comes tied back at the front with a small pink hat headband decoration:
It's awesome that this swamp creature has an old southern lady's flowery hat:
|Bless your heart!|
The hat has a small flower decoration at the front:
Honey has emerald green reptilian eyes:
Her eyes are surrounded by blue and pink eyeshadow, and her eyebrows are purple:
Honey's mouth reminds me of Venus McFlytrap's mouth:
Honey's impressive hair is held back with just two thin strands:
Here's a peek at the very dense rooting pattern:
|No shortcuts here.|
Underneath all of that hair, Honey is wearing two white stud earrings:
They look like simple pearls from a distance:
|Perfect for a southern belle...|
But they have little angry monster faces on them if you look really close:
Honey is also wearing a bracelet that looks like it has a simple bead or pearl design:
But these beads also have tiny faces (that are really hard to photograph):
This juxtaposition of monsters and southern ladies is hysterical, and very cleverly done.
Honey is wearing a one-piece dress with a removable vinyl belt:
The dress has a matronly purple bodice and a printed skirt with a feathery, fake fur underskirt.
Perhaps the underskirt is supposed to evoke hanging moss or other vegetation? It does remind me of this a little bit, but it is also quite feathery and bird-like.
The belt cannot be positioned directly around the waist--it rides up all of the time:
The belt look like it has a mossy, flowery design...
...but again, the centers of both flowers have little angry faces:
Here's the dress without the belt:
The dress closes in back with velcro. It can be taken off with Honey's hands in place, but the hands need to removed to get the dress back on.
The skirt is made out of a stiff, shiny fabric that has a floral pattern with little monster faces in the flowers:
The bodice has a black lace collar and painted white buttons. If you look closely, you can see that the velcro is covered in black fuzz from the feathery underskirt:
|That fuzz gets everywhere.|
Honey's pink vinyl shoes match the color of her hat and belt.
The shoes are incredible. They have creepy crocodile faces in front and a row of spines down the back:
|Best shoes ever.|
Crocodiles and alligators are easy to confuse, but you can tell that this is a crocodile face because the teeth from both the upper and the lower jaw are visible when the mouth is closed. Only an alligator's top teeth are visible when its mouth is fully closed.
|Crocodiles are extremely rare in the United States, but Louisiana is nasty with alligators.|
Honey doesn't move very well for a Monster High doll. Several of her joints are stiff and hard to bend, one of her hips clicks, and one of her arms falls out easily. Every time I remove her arm to re-dress her, this problem gets worse.
However, this character has a very intricate body mold.
She has raised, asymmetrical vine-like designs along both sides of her body:
Her right leg is especially detailed:
She has webbed fingers and decorated hands:
Honey's back has two rows of adjacent small spines that remind me of an opened zipper:
The heavy, vine-like design is concentrated on the right side of the zipper up around her neck:
She has wavelike molded underwear and elegant vine tendrils weaving up along the left side of her torso and down her left hip:
Here is Honey back in her full outfit, practicing her cinematography skills:
Clawdia has a unique smile and a vibrant blend of hair color and skin tone. She is also one of a very few Monster High dolls made in the taller size. The thing that was holding me back from purchasing this character was the combination of her bright red jacket and her neon yellow hair. For some reason this was a big turn-off for me. However, without the jacket and the red stockings, I think Clawdia takes on an entirely different look. Her yellow eyes gleam once the overshadowing jacket is removed. Her hair transforms from fast food yellow with the jacket, to illuminated gold without it. The jacket's glaring red color does nothing to compliment the rich earthy tones of Calwdia's face paint. The metallic dress is easier to use, more sturdily made, and more attractive than the jacket. I know some people will enjoy Clawdia's bold mix of colors, but I vastly prefer her sleek, elegant style with no traces of red in sight.
Honey Swamp is special because of her thick mass of tightly-curled hair, the intricate vine-like scrolls on her body, and her incredible crocodile shoes. She also has a funny, clever theme. The hair was the biggest surprise to me--I expected something like the Switch-a-Witch hair (which is fine), but this hair is significantly more dense and very fun to touch. What takes away from Honey's charm is her flawed articulation, and a dress that doesn't do much for her theme or her color palette. Honey's articulation is my biggest concern: some of her joints are too stiff to move well, and some of them fall apart too easily. The fact that her hands need to be removed every time she is dressed just exacerbates this problem. A few of my oldest Monster High doll have loose arm joints, but if a doll comes out of her box with bad arms, that doesn't give me a lot of confidence for the future.
Overall, I think Honey Swamp has a better character concept (and the best shoes), but Clawdia is a nicer doll. My small complaints with Clawdia were really easy to fix...I just removed her jacket and socks. I'll stick with Grace on this one: Clawdia is beautiful and I adore her!