Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monster High Review: Nefera De Nile and Operetta

It's hard to keep up with the Monster High releases!  I heard the news on the "Prego" doll board yesterday that Purrsephone and Meowlody are up for pre-order at Toys R Us (well, they were.  It lasted about 5 seconds), so that's pretty exciting, and also three new dolls have hit the shelves recently: Nefera de Nile, Operetta and Cupid.  I haven't seen Cupid yet, but the other two materialized at Walmart the other afternoon and I snatched them up.

I was especially interested in Nefera de Nile because she has a different body than the others.  She is the older (and taller) sister of Cleo de Nile, and so is another daughter of The Mummy.  The other new release, Operetta, is the daughter of The Phantom of the Opera.  That's a mouthful to say, but she is very interesting--particularly if you like the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

I don't think I want to take Operetta out of the box just yet (don't ask me why--that's a whole other story) but I will de-box Nefera to get a close look at that new body.  Here she is in her box:

Monster High Nefera De Nile.
Before I de-box Nefera, though, I can at least show you Operetta in her box:

I don't know, can you read that?  Maybe if you click on it and enlarge it...

I love how with Monster High boxes, you can open a few cardboard tabs, slide the backdrop out of the box and then put everything back later so it still looks brand new.  Here's Operetta removed from the outer box:

Look at her music note mask and her kinda creepy skin
carvings...scars?  What should those be called?
The details are so fun--the pianos on her sleeves,
the skull button on her jacket...her little beauty mark.
She's got tattoos all down her left arm and then a crazy music/spiderweb belt.
Piano bracelet and the tiniest little die ring!
The shoes are typically awesome.
A casket/guitar case?  Purse?  Not sure what this is, but it's great.
A Eddie Munster type spider...
Rock-hard curls...or hard rock curls?
A better look at that tattoo.
Operetta is great--perhaps my favorite Monster High doll yet. I love music and I love her quirky mix of retro glamorous and grungy modern.  I will probably have to get her out of the box at some point.

Ok, back to Nefera.  I don't need to comment on the box much. It is the same as the first wave releases.  Lots of cardboard, visually pleasing, easy to get the doll out except for those two big plastic ties holding the head.  Interestingly, Nefera's box is the same size as Operetta's box.

Here's that backdrop removed from the outer box:

I love Azura the scarab beetle!
Nicely designed purse...but it doesn't open.
That's a big snake belt!
Everything out of the box:

My stand doesn't work well.  It won't snap together and falls apart easily.  I am wondering if Nefera should have had a taller stand?


Great eyes!
My attention was definitely drawn to Nefera's face right away.  It is very pretty and has nice detail in the makeup. The color of the lips is not my favorite.  There's a lot of that same teal color in her hair and outfit, and so perhaps a contrasting (less green) color would have been nice for her lips?  But hey, she's a monster.  She can do green if she wants.  She has gorgeous two-toned metallic eyeshadow and a geometric accent under her left eye.

What if her lips had been that metallic orange color around her eye?  
The earrings are a bit long and bend awkwardly.  I like the
designs, though.
Her skin has a very subtle shimmer to it, and the color is beautiful:

Lilac eyes!  Not wonky!
There's a lot to take in with her outfit.  I am struck immediately by the skirt, the headpiece and the shirt.  The skirt is stiff and waaay too short.  It's literally in tatters.  The headpiece looks like it might be a pain to get off (it actually comes off very easily) and the shirt has a really interesting fabric that is mirrored in other parts of the outfit:

Very short skirt.  Material is crispy.
Oh, dear...
The shirt has one full sleeve and one sleeveless side.
Her necklace was secured to her neck with one of those see-through rubber bands.  When I took the rubber band off, the necklace (which is attached to the netting on her shirt) moved up towards her head.  The necklace isn't heavy enough to resist the push of the netting:

Here's the little gold elastic ring that connects the necklace to the netting:

Look at her skin in this picture though--it looks real to me with that faint shimmer!
I removed that tiny plastic tie in the netting and tried the necklace again, but it still pushes up.  If you slide the gold elastic farther up on the snake, you can get it to lay a little bit more evenly:

That's the best I could do.
Here's the outfit without the snake necklace and without the big snake belt:

I like the draped netting.  It is a really creative accent and it fits well with her mummy theme.  Her hair is a mix of black and teal, with quite a bit of tinsel.  That tinsel might be a problem over time.  Part of her ponytail is braided in a thick, chunky braid.

The leg wrappings match the shirt, and I really like the way they look.  They don't come off easily, though.

She has a tiny, transparent blue diamond-shaped ring.  It is very cute and tied onto her hand with a see-though rubber band.  I worry that as soon as that rubber band comes off, the ring will get lost!

The shoes on these dolls just keep getting better:

Cobra heels! Hiss!

If you like snakes, Nefera is the doll for you!

Nefera is quite a bit taller than her little sister:

Cleo's face is very grown up compared to, say, Lagoona's, but next to Nefera, she looks younger and more cartoonish I think:

Nefera's vinyl is darker, and has that metallic shimmering finish on it.  I think Nefera is meant to be gold-colored, and this is a really interesting part of her look.  A little bit like a spray tan.  There are a few places where the shimmer on her skin is uneven, but for the most part this is a nicely-done effect.

It could be that Nefera's body is just a scaled-up version of Cleo's, but it seems to me that there are some noticeable differences in shape.

Nefera doesn't get quite as skinny in the ribcage, does she?
They have shoulder blades! 
Nefera's back doesn't look quite as dramatically arched:

Her thighs are more shapely, I think
She has a tattoo on her left arm!
They both sit well, but Nefera's knees are super-stiff and have something strange going on in the lower thigh.

Do you see how the leg is concave right above the knee?  

That leg contour looks funny to me and I am not sure if it is a defect contributing to the mobility problem in her knees, or just an intentional part of the exaggerated sculpting of these dolls.

Probably the joints will loosen up a bit with time.
Nefera looks strong to me.  She has more obvious definition in her muscles than the smaller dolls do...or perhaps the muscles are just more noticeable on the larger body.  Look at her arms, for example:

 She could totally take Cleo in an arm wrestling match.

The way the head articulates with the neck is a bit more conventional with Nefera.  You can't see any of the ball of the neck in this doll.  Makes for a much more normal-looking profile.

Here are two shadow shots to show you the overall shape of the two bodies (sorry, I couldn't get Nefera's leggings off!):
Cleo--funny neck, very arched back, no belly.
Nefera--slightly less arched back, normal neck, a tiny bit of a belly,
if you can even call it that.
This doll is another solid addition to the Monster High gang.  Aside from some minor flexibility issues in the knee joints and that short skirt, I don't have a whole lot to critique.  She is not as unique a character as Operetta, or as most of the other releases--she is basically just another version of Cleo. The fact that she has a very different face from Cleo, a shimmery skin tone and a new, taller body makes up for the lag in character invention, I think.  It is nice to have a big sister character and I imagine she will get all kinds of crazy roles in kids' games all over the world.   She has the same attention to detail in her clothing and accessories as her sister, and her pet is very clever and well-done.

Of the two, I like Operetta quite a bit better, but Nefera is much more interesting face-to-face than I thought she would be.   I have to give Mattel credit yet again for taking what could have been a predictable and repetitive release and, through attention to detail and the introduction of new features, making it something special.


  1. I'm curious to know about the feet and the shoes...Can Nefera wear Cleo's shoes and vice versa? I love the look of these figs very much, but I do wish they would lengthen the skirts a bit!

    1. Nope, sadly they can't share shoes. Nefera's feet are a lot bigger. Reminds me of Cinderella when I try to get Cleo's shoes on her! ;)

    2. What about other shoes? Maybe the Harumika shoes or the Lorifina shoes might fit?

    3. Harumika shoes are too small, Lorifina shoes are too I'm stuck in Goldilocks' adventure! :oD
      The extremely high arches on the Monster High gals makes it hard to find compatible shoes.

    4. That's sad. And Nefera's shoes are so character specific it will be hard to customize her into a new character unless she also has something to do with snakes.

  2. She is so pretty! I don't get the short skirts thing either, even just half an inch longer would be great. My Home Ick Frankie's dress looks like a shirt, her apron completely covers the lower half and I can see the crotch of her tights when the apron is removed. I put some cute dark denim shorts on her and she looks much better, like she didn't forget to put on pants. (The shorts came from a thrift store Moxie Girl I bought just for the outfit she was wearing.)

    I found Operetta the other day and had to buy her, the amount of detail and design they put into these playline dolls is great. I'm concerned about quality control, I'd be hesitant to buy these dolls online because I'd much rather inspect their face paint and hair in person. I had my choice of five Operettas on the shelf and I feel sorry for the kids stuck with three of those five, they should have been sent back for a do-over.

    1. Oh, no. I am sad to hear you say that about quality control, because I have been finding nice dolls on the shelves lately and had high hopes that quality control was getting better. There was only one Operetta and one Nefera at Walmart when I went, and they were both great. I guess I have just been lucky! I hope my Meowlody and Purrsephone are not wonky-eyed...

  3. I Brought Her But When I Compared my Celo To Her Celo Was taller i went to wall mart brought another one see what happen and the 2 was was taller the celo and i got my money back for the 1 one :)

    1. That is so weird. I wonder why the first one was shorter? I am so glad you were able to find another one!

  4. Received Nefara the other day--she's gorgeous! Thank you!

    1. Yay! I am so glad you like her. Thank you for letting me know. :)

  5. Hi! I like no joke JUST got Nefera... And i didnt know she had a tatoo on her left arm before you showed me thanks! And i would say That my Nefera legs like make noise when i try to bend them so she can sit.... kinda like a clicking sound.... If you didnt notice her fingers are much how should i say muscular than cleo's. I love on the hair how theres a widows peak adds much detail! Love the doll!

  6. The same thing happened with my Sweet 1600 Frankie's stand. >.< It looks exactly like yours...

  7. Hey could you perhaps do a review of a Spectra Vondergeist MH doll? I really want one, but I would like to see her first, and maybe the Abbey Bominable one to, if you have them. Also, the Lagoona Blue doll? Alot to ask I know, but I would appreciate it soooo much.

  8. Your posts are very interesting! I appreciate. Nefera is so beautifull!

  9. Wow, I like Nefera so much more than Cleo. I've liked Cleo's styles before, but her face just doesn't speak to me as much as Nefera. It's too bad that more versions of her haven't come out; it's probably because her body doesn't lend itself well to sharing accessories with the other girls. I saw in the comments that she can't share shoes with the others; how about clothes?

  10. I find that Nefera can't sit down without looking... obscene. She better avoid sitting down. Kneeling, maybe. But Katie from Liv is a better at kneeling. So are a lot of Pullip dolls.

  11. Love her! My friend was fooled by that picture where the skin looks real - she thought it was a person!