Monday, December 17, 2012

Monster High Update: "Jinafire Long" from the Scaris Collection

I am a huge fan of Monster High dolls, but I haven't been tempted to purchase any new ones recently. Even when I saw that the Scaris line has two new characters (Jinafire and Skelita), and also includes a great version of Rochelle (who I think is great), I still didn't feel any need to go on a hunt for one of these dolls.  Then, the other day, I saw the whole Scaris line at Walmart and they looked wonderful in person.  Jinafire, in particular, struck me as something new and different (and shiny) so I picked her up:

Scaris Monster High "Jinafire Long."
Jinafire is the daughter of the Chinese Dragon, which is a neat idea.  I think of Chinese dragons as being very masculine for some reason, so I imagine it was quite a challenge to feminize this iconic figure.

The box art is very attractive.  The back of the box has cartoon versions of all five of the Scaris characters. I love Rochelle's dress and Skelita is tempting because she is so different from the other dolls.

Jinafire's profile is also on the back of the box.  She's 1500 "scales" old and has a hot (flaming hot!) temper.  I like that she mentions how her tail makes it difficult to find haute couture fashions:

There's a brief summary of the Scaris story--that the ghouls are visiting the "City of Frights" to enter an international fashion competition.  

I think Skelita and Zombie Boy would get along really well.
Here's Jina with the outer box removed.  I like everything about the backdrop--from the twisted Eiffel Tower and the flying bats to the dramatic lighting and romantic realism of the city street scene:

The doll comes with a stand, a rolling suitcase and a journal.  She doesn't even need the stand.  I am amazed at how well the Monster High dolls can stand on their own.  They all have these elaborate high heeled shoes, and yet most of them stand as though they were wearing huge, sturdy boots.

The suitcase has an elaborate dragon design.  I peeked at the other suitcases in the Scaris line and they are all very intricate and fun to examine.

The front of the case has a molded dragon and some gold painted fire details at the top, while the back of the case has a mix of scrolls and scales with no dragon:

The suitcase opens to reveal some more molded details--two fake pockets on one side and a padded pattern on the other:

The journal is red, unlike the regular Monster High journals that look like black and white composition books.

There's a critter that looks like a funny purple dragon on the front of the journal.  This is Jina's pet qilin, "Qing."  A qilin is a Chinese hoofed chimera.  Its body looks mostly like a dragon, but it has cloven hooves like a cow or an ox:

I still think it's kind of weird for these Monster High characters to have pets that are so similar to their own "species."  I mean, let's think about this for a minute: the box says that Jina is the daughter of the Chinese Dragon, so she's part dragon, and Qing is also part dragon, but he's stuck being the pet.  Seems like these two half-dragons should be siblings or cousins.  I assume that Jina's other parent is a human (hence her humanoid features) so maybe poor Qing gets relegated to pet status because neither of his parents are human?  Hmm.  I think it would be hysterical if, instead of a pet, Jina had a little half brother who was a qilin.  That would resonate with older sisters everywhere.

Anyway, the journal has some lovely watercolor pictures inside and a few journal entries that give a window into Jinafire's life and personality.  The first entry describes Jinafire's frustrating day with creative block and accidentally setting things on fire.

Here's Jinafire herself:

She has a metallic golden body and long green hair with black streaks:

I think her long, swishing green-tufted tail is fantastic:

A Chinese dragon is not the first thing I think of when I see her face, but the colorful clash of gold and green and the angular details of her eyebrows are reminiscent of these mythical creatures:

Jina's hair is long and smooth and very easy to manage.  It doesn't seem to have a lot of styling product in it.  Her hairstyle is simple--she has some shorter hair pulled off to one side at the front of her face, and then a partial ponytail that is twisted and piled on top of her head:

The headdress is also fairly simple--it's a black bamboo-style rod with flame-shaped ornaments dangling from each side and a large marigold accent:

Despite their individual simplicity, the combination of hair and headdress looks complex and elaborate.  There's no way I'll ever remove this head piece.  It adds significantly to Jinafire's drama and charm.  

Jina's face is distinctly Monster High, but it has an ferral edge to it.  While the other dolls don't exactly look realistic, I think Jinafire has a strange wide-eyed quality to her features that makes her seem more mystical and less real...almost like an animated statue or painting:

Wild thing.
Here she is next to Threadarella Frankie--even though Frankie is pale and green-tinged, she seems more realistic than Jinafire:

Jinafire and Lagoona:

Cleo De Nile is one of the more conventionally attractive Monster High dolls:

Next to Cleo's very human face, Jinafire looks even more wild.  Obscure reference alert: this picture reminds me of the movie Ladyhawke, when Michelle Pfeiffer's character changes into a hawk and her eyes go from soft and human to all round and fixed:

I'd like to compare Jinafire to Robecca Steam, who also has a metallic gold body.  I owned Robecca for a while, but I can't remember the overall effect of her coppery skin tone.  In pictures (like this gorgeous one from Bratzylimz photostream), Robecca has a warmer, more human appearance than Jinafire.

There's a lot of detail in this doll's eye paint.  She has green cat eyes with little lines radiating out from the pupils.  She has three different colors of eyeshadow--the purple and pink on her top lids is the most striking, especially because it has a spiked pattern that mirrors the shape of her eyebrows:

She has shimmering shades of pinkish gold above and below her eyes, and very long upper and lower eyelashes:

She has very detailed pointed dragon ears with long dangling earrings.  The earrings look like a Chinese New Year knot charm, which is a symbol of good luck.  I love the scalloped lower edge on her ears:

Jina is wearing a plum colored dress with a blue, red and black fire and smoke print.  The dress has asymmetrical sleeves and an angled hemline.  The fabric is very stiff and synthetic.  Over the dress, she's wearing a belt attached to a small tulle overskirt that looks like an apron or a loincloth:

The top of the dress resembles the high collared neck of a qipao, but it has some interesting modern cutouts and angularity:

Problem: on such a small scale, asymmetry can come across as sloppiness.
The dress bunches up at the waist and the un-hemmed edge of the shorter right sleeve is ragged and uneven.

She has a cool orange spiral arm band.
The gold plastic belt is very flexible and has a neat skull ornament hanging from it.  The tulle overskirt curls at the bottom, making it slightly less dramatic than it could have been:

I wish that the long sleeve and the tulle overskirt had been made out of something with a little bit of slinky drape to it.  This would have allowed the skirt to lay flat and also would have given the sleeve some drama and movement.

I haven't found a good way to permanently uncurl the tulle, but you can see that it has a scale pattern and a scalloped edge along one side. 

Here's the dress without the belt:

There's a large hole in the back of the dress to accommodate Jinafire's awesome tail.  This looks fine unless the tail is removed, in which case the hole looks pretty large and gaping.

I like overall design of the dress--particularly the long flared tulle sleeve and the qipao style high neck, but the quality of this garment is not so great.  The fabric is stiff and cheap and the print, while clearly fire and smoke, isn't that pretty in my eyes.

Jinafire's shoes are no less spectacular than what you'd expect from Monster High shoes:

The shoes have a New Year's knot ornament like the one on Jinafire's earrings.  They have extremely high heels with the ball of the foot resting on a clawed pedestal:

I'm not sure if the heel is supposed to be anything in particular, but it is very detailed and reminds me of a dragon's tail or a unicorn's horn:

Jinafire has a wonderfully detailed body sculpture.  She is heavily scaled from her neck to her toes:

Her torso has some larger dragon belly plates, but most of her body is covered in smaller scales:

The combination of gold shimmery plastic, the long expressive tail and the abundance of detail on the body sculpture make this doll even more fun to photograph without her clothes than with them:

Here's Jina back in her clothes.  I like the added detail of the belt, and how it balances the long tulle sleeve. I found that the curling overskirt distracts too much from the otherwise polished appearance of this doll, though, so I removed these accessories for most of the pictures.  

She is crazy-fun to photograph:

Bottom line? Yet another unique and fun addition to the Monster High family.  This doll's only weakness is that her outfit isn't as interesting or well made as some of the other Monster High clothes.  The texture of the dress material is unappealing and the tulle overskirt won't lay flat.  The thing is, this doll doesn't even need clothes.  Her scaly, metallic gold body with that fabulous long tail are more than enough to complete her exotic dragon character.  I have a feeling that no matter how many Monster High dolls are already in your collection, Jinafire would bring something new and exciting to the mix.


  1. Hello from Spain: you're right. Scaris is a different and very original collection. I bought the Eiffel Tower Monsters. Keep in touch

  2. WOW! I just feel like I had her in my hands, Love how you show the dolls! Thanks :)

  3. Jinafire was the only one of the new dolls that I really and truly wanted. She's waiting for me under the Christmas tree! Thanks for another fabulous review!

  4. Wonderful review, as always!! I can't believe how detailed her body molding is... I think Mattel really put a lot of effort into these two new characters.

  5. omg!she slooks marv!loving her golden dragon skin :) and crazy eyes!

  6. Wow! I gotta say, That her body is amazing!! I love her breast plate and the scales all over her body, Make her look amazing! Not to mention, Her tail is just plain out cool lol. I love her nude pics, With the way her body is I'd just be happy taking photos of her with nothing on but her shoes or underwear. The only thing, That I don't really care for is her face :/ I don't like how her lips are sitting, It kinda looks like she's doing a sour lips thing. But I do love her eyes, The color is amazing.

  7. Thank you for another excellent review!
    I definitely want to get Jinafire, especially after seeing your pictures. Her lips are more "fish-like" than I was expecting, and it's disappointing to know that her dress isn't as nice as it could have been, but I still like her overall. I love dragons, and this girl is certainly going to join my collection.

    Thank you again for sharing your opinions and awesome pictures! I've found myself frequently consulting your reviews before buying a doll. You do a great job!

    --Anonymous :)

  8. Thanks for, yet again, making a review so thorough I feel as though I've already had the doll. I wasn't sure which MH to get besides Cleo because, though I usually like to have 2 of each type of doll, I honestly didn't find the others all that appealing. I thought it was because they're not as 'normal-looking' as Cleo but after reading this I love this doll even if she is absolutely a fantasy creature so... I guess I'm attracted to extremes;).

  9. Thanks for this great review and congrats on getting Jinafire! When I first saw her, I didn't like her colors that much. But I have to admit that she grew on me.
    I love evrything about her now, she's so different than any other MH doll, so special. It feels like Mattel has reached a higher standard with this doll.
    Her skin is gorgeous, the scales are beautiful. I actually don't have anything bad to say about this doll, not even criticism. To me, she's perfect (and everybody has to admit that she looked like a supermodel in that Coffin Bean chair!)
    The Scaris line is one of the best lines yet, I think. I really hope that Mattel releases it in the Netherlands, I'm already very happy that they finally released Venus and Robecca here (Robecca is more rare though, and I don't have the money to buy her so it's time to save money for that beauty!)
    so I hope it won't go like the whole Spectra, Cupid etc. situation. I already missed out on those and there's no way in the world that I'll miss out on Skelita and Jinafire!!! (my faves from this line)
    Thanks again Emily, I'm really busy with school so it's nice to relax and read your reviews. ^^

  10. Congratulation on getting her and thanks for this super review. You are making the MH dolls more tempting to me ;-)

    I LOVE your posing of this doll especially. I can tell your enthusiasm for photographing her in them. She looks ready to walk off the set.

  11. Honestly, Jinafire's eyes are too wide for me to find them appealing, and Chinese dragons are mostly associated with water, not fire. I like the concept, and I hope for more international mosters!

  12. She's gorgeous! Thanks for another amazing review :3 I have Jinafire on the way from the states and I'm so excited.

    I too was not completely sold on her outfit when I first saw it, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long for a fashion pack.

    Oh, and Skelita is great, although the picture in her sketchbook is better - a brown-haired Skelita would be more aesthetically pleasing, I think.

  13. great review! You should get skelita
    But i don't get it! If Jinafire is supposed to be a Chinese dragon she is supposed tos be calmed and also Chinese dragons don't breath fire those are the American dragons, the ones associated with anger and fire

  14. Awesome review!I love Jina, she`s perfect in my eyes.Are you planning to buy Skelita as well?
    Also, have you heard of the ''Lottie dolls''?You should totally check them out.

  15. Thank you for the review!

    Monster High is launching in Thailand this month. I saw the group of them and Jinafire Long and all girls in the Fashion competition series. The price is sure more expensive about, 56.33 us$ here. I interest in one who is all body bone, Skelita. She looks very artist doll.

    I don't expect in the best quality in playline doll but I love the creative of doll and storyline of Monster High.

  16. Did anyone else notice that she looks like Sailor Pluto from Sailor Moon? By the way, AWESOME review! :)

  17. Thanks for showing these nice pictures. Now I know more abaut the details.

  18. I want her really badly now:)thanks

  19. Anonymous--I deleted your comment because of the link, but thank you for the tip about my photos. Sorry about that.