Thursday, February 28, 2013

Monster High "Catrine DeMew"

There are a lot of new Monster High dolls on the shelves in Maine.  So far, I've seen all of the Scaris dolls, some of the Picture Day line and two of the Power Ghouls. Many of them look great, but Catastrophe Toralei Stripe and the lovely Catrine DeMew made the top of my wish list.  These two stand out to me--maybe because they're both cats.  Toralei has not made her debut here yet, but Catrine was at my Walmart last week so I thought I would do a quick review of her:

Scaris "Catrine DeMew" Monster High doll.
I have a major soft spot for white cats.  When I was a kid, I had a lilac point siamese cat named Murphy who was my great buddy.  In high school, I worked at the SPCA and fell in love with another white cat named Luna (she looked a lot like this cat).  I never got to adopt Luna because she was gone by the time my dad agreed that I could have her.  Sigh.  Side track--sorry, the point is, any white cat with blue eyes (even if she's half human and made out of plastic) has already pretty much won my heart.  Monster High dolls have already won me over, too, so there's not much to do here except show you some pictures of this fabulous French feline.

She comes in the typical, user-friendly Monster High cardboard window box.  I love the backdrop in the Scaris boxes:

The back of the box has Catrine's personality profile:

Here is a larger version so that you can read it.  Catrine is a "purrfectionist" and an artist.  She does not have a pet.  Too bad.  A poodle would have been fun--cliched, but fun.

Here's Catrine with the glare of the plastic window gone.  She looks great against the purple Scaris sunset:

Who's this beefed up elfin guy, by the way?

He is on all of the larger Scaris boxes, but I must have missed him on Jinafire's box because her journal was mounted right below him.  He looks kinda like a gargoyle--maybe he is Rochelle boyfriend, Garrott?  Looks like he has his own (haughty) pet white cat.  That must be a little strange for Catrine.

Catrine is a street artist, and she comes with an artist's utility belt and two of her paintings tucked under one arm:

Actually, the paintings are made out of cardboard and are attached to each other and to the back of the box.  Slightly disappointing.  Based on the style and color selection, I'm guessing that the backdrop on the Scaris boxes is one of Catrine's paintings.

She also comes with a stand, a black plastic purse and a blue journal adorned with a twisted Eiffel Tower.

Here's everything that was in the box:

I love the color of the journal, but the contents are a bit sparse.

It's actually not a journal, but a sketch book.  There are only six paintings inside (one on the inside of each cover and then one on each side of a folded bound inner page):

The book isn't bound very well, so the little color tabs on the spine show through and are distracting:

The purse is a much better accessory:

It has some great little details in the scrolled handle:

And a purple silhouette of Scaris at night:

The back panel is very plain in comparison to the front:

But the purse opens:

Catrine is wearing a simple tee shirt and skirt outfit in pastel colors that match her hair.  She has a scarf around her neck, a flexible vinyl belt, and sunglasses perched on the top of her head.  Her fingerless gloves are painted onto her hands.  Catrine's tail isn't attached to her body, but rather tied to her belt with a transparent rubber band:

I cut the tail away from the belt and noticed that it has a strange brown stain on the tip.  There's nothing brown on this doll or in any of her accessories, so the color is a bit of a mystery.

Did she drag it through the mud?

With memories of Frozen (moldy) Charlotte haunting me, I threw the tail into a bleach bath and examined a tail-less Catrine:

I really like the curled bob style and color mix of Catrine's hair, but the whole hairdo is plastered with gobs of styling gel and doesn't move at all.  Also, the sunglasses are tied into her hair with a transparent rubber band and they look like they might be tricky to extricate.

Catrine has blue cat eyes, purple eyebrows and thick pink eyeshadow above and below her eyes:

Her mouth and nose are painted lilac purple in a slightly darker shade than her eyebrows.  She also has a black beauty mark under her left eye.

Almost everything about Catrine is done in some shade of pastel purple, pink or blue...with black highlights.  The royal blue eyelid crease above her eyes is a nice exception.

Catrine's lips look glittery in this picture, but they're not.  They have a subtle, lovely opalescent sheen to them.

If I had to find a criticism about Catrine's face, it would be that her pink eyeshadow is too shapeless and bright.  She has such a pale skin tone, I wish the eye makeup was a bit more subtle--like a watercolor painting, not a pastel circus.  I like the more sharply drawn eyes of Toralei and the Werecat twins better.  Toralei's eyes have four different intricately layered eyeshadow colors:

My Catrine has some faint grey marks on the side of her nose and mouth.  Not sure if these are paint smudges?  They're hard to see in the pictures, and I didn't even notice them in person until I was half way done photographing her face.  

With her tail in the sink and her face needing a good wash, I decided that it was time to take a closer look at Catrine's outfit.    

I get a little dizzy looking at this outfit sometimes.  The scoop neck tee shirt is made from a stretch knit with a pastel striped pattern.  The same fabric is in the lower tier of the mini skirt.  The top of the mini skirt is made out of a less flimsy black material that is decorated with a print of what I think are moons...or cookies.

Catrine has a stretch knit scarf tied in a tight knot around her neck.  The scarf is purple and black and has a swirly scroll pattern that coordinates nicely with the purse handle.  The scarf is tacked to the skirt with a tiny plastic tie.   Catrine's pink belt has a molded artist accessory on either side.  This is a cute detail, but the belt is a bit unruly and tends to stick up at strange angles:

The belt has two attachment points in the back.  I am wondering if Catrine's tail can fit in between those two straps and help hold the belt in place?

One side of the belt has a molded pocket with a nice brush assortment.  It would be very cool if the brushes had some painted details.

The other side of the belt has space for three pastel crayons.  There's a spider web pattern etched into the straps of the belt that don't really fit with Catrine's theme, but they look fine:

That's very Draculaura.
 Here's the outfit without the belt.  I prefer it this way:

The skirt hikes up in the back--it doesn't have the ribbon "thong" piece that helps hold some of the Monster High skirts down.

Oh, dear:

Here is the outfit by itself.  The shirt takes some effort to remove because it doesn't open all of the way down the back.  Also, the sleeves are pretty tight and although they can slide over Catrine's hands, it's easier to remove the hands or the entire lower arm.

The tee shirt has a strip of velcro in the back with a space for the tail underneath it, and then two narrow strips of fabric at the bottom that are sewn together. 

The skirt is tiny, but it seems well made:

Catrine's shoes are more interesting than they seemed to me at first glance:

They are, predictably, pastel purple and pink, and they have some generic scroll and flower designs on them.  The cool things is that the heels on these shoes are intertwined paint brushes. Again, I wish they had some more painted details (different color bristles?) but the idea is amazing:

And (this took me a while to notice) the soles of the shoes are made out of stacked pastels!  I'll say it one more time--different colored sticks would have been better, but I still love the creativity here:

So, back at the stain spa, the brown spots on Catrine's tail lightened a little bit, but I couldn't get them to go away completely.  I tried to wash her facial marks off with water, and even scrubbed them (very carefully) with a tiny piece of Magic Eraser, but they're not budging.  

Here she is all put together:

Her body is pure white without any textured details.  She looks cool with her black gloves and just her neck scarf.  The white of her hands that shows through the gloves is not a perfect match to the rest of her body, but it's good enough.

I undid the tight knot in her scarf and took a closer look at it.  The scarf has the triangular cut of a tie at one end, but the fabric curls quite a bit, so you can't really see the shape unless you lay it flat:

My last challenge was to remove the sunglasses:

I usually like to leave factory hair in place.  This is mostly because my attempts to fix hair have a greater than 50% chance of going horribly wrong.  In this case, Catrine's crispy coiffe was bugging me, and it was already a little messy, so I decided to remove the sunglasses, see what the hair looked like without them, and take it from there.

The sunglasses are only held in place with a single rubber band, but the fancy swirled ear pieces are wedged pretty far back into her hair:

On the right side of her head, Catrine's bangs are tied back into a little loop that intermingles with the sunglasses.  I didn't want to remove the loop of hair--it looks cute.

In the end, all I had to do was snip the rubber band and gently pull the sunglasses away from the hair.

The hair was messy enough after this procedure that I decided to try and brush out some of the gel.  Here it is before brushing:

And after:

I am thrilled that I could tidy up the hair without ruining the look of the loopy curls.  I used a Liv doll brush and just gently ran it through the hair once or twice, using my finger to suport the curls.

Catrine has nice rooting, and the hair is attached right up around her ears so that there are no awkward gaps:

I love this slightly softer look:

Here are some more pictures of Catrine dressed in just her skirt and top:

Notice in this first picture how she's able to strike a fashionable pose and still stand completely on her own.  I didn't use the stand once for this photo session.  I think Monster High dolls are good at standing because their joints are so flexible.  Catrine's knees can bend and rotate until she has just the right amount of support underneath her center of mass.  The tail helps with balance a bit, too.

Bottom line?  There are some minor quality issues with this doll.  Her face and tail stains are not ideal.  Also, one of her arms is a little bit loose at the elbow.  It's worth mentioning that of the three Catrines I saw at Walmart, this was the only one who didn't have seriously wonky eyes.  The other two dolls each had one pupil that was startlingly larger than the other.  Mattel has to be careful.  They are making a lot of these dolls now, and while an odd stain here and there is tolerable, something like a glaring eye defect could completely sabotage a doll's potential.  In this case, though, my Catrine's small flaws are overshadowed by her assets: her ghostly white vinyl, her tranquil watercolor palette and her weirdly beautiful cat features.  These qualities combine with the traditional Monster High sass and flexibility to make a great doll.  It's nice to have this white cat join the clowder.


  1. Loved the post! Hoping to hunt this doll down when I get to the city!

  2. Another purrfectly faboolah review!!

  3. I want one now too! Great review as always!

  4. I hope this Catrine makes it to Australia. Very few of the Scaris dolls have arrived here yet but she had been added to my wish list - thanks for your review.

  5. Love her coloring and the purrrrrse is really cool!

  6. Yay, finally a shiny new MH-review!

    I thought the amount of cat-dolls from Monster High was enough after Toralei, Meowlody&Purrsephone and the pink Create-A-Monster.
    I'm really interested in the differences between the head-molds, and if Catrines is different from the other I can maybe forgive Mattel for their lack of fantasy.
    I'm in love with her art theme anyway, those shoes are stunning and her glasses looks really cool!

    Thank you for sharing her with us <3

  7. Fantastic review of a fantastic MH doll!She's going to jump into my wish list now! lovely little white cat!thanks again!

  8. I love cats!!! Catrine is so pretty! Thank you for the review!

    Best Regards!!!

  9. Siamese cats are very special individuals. I've owned many, and I did have my own special white one, a red point siamese named Pyro. I go bananas for anything that even slightly resembles him.

    I've been wanting Catrine, and not just because she's a cat... she's also an artist, like me!
    I haven't seen her yet, though.

    I've been reading up on Monster High dolls ever since I bought my very first one (who can resist?) and discovered that it had a lot of quality issues.
    Apparently wonky eye paint, weird face smudges, extremely stiff or loose joints and weird sticky leaky glue-hair are common quality control problems reported to exist on certain MH dolls that are marked "made in Indonesia". Mine was marked Indonesia and has all of those problems, disappointlingly. From what I've read, the "made in China" dolls rarely have these problems. Have you heard about this? I find it both interesting and a little disappointing.

  10. Very pretty doll, I got Skelita recently and she is a really interesting design (completely new body mold).

    1. She is just FABULOUS. I ran out and got her after the guest reviewer talked her up...the fact that she's a full skeleton is just too cool not to have about.

  11. She is very beautiful. I love that photo with the sunglasses. You really do spoil us with these fantastic reviews you know?!

    I feel kind of frustrated with myself for getting sucked into this Monster High thing. I used to sniff at them in a snooty fashion from across the toyshop, and now I find myself rummaging through the shelves to see what's new. I have bought a couple as I mentioned before and I will undoubtedly buy more in the future. Today I saw Frankie from the Ghouls Alive series. Her skeleton lights up! How irresistibly cool is that gimmick? But if I'm honest, I just can't shake off the feeling that I am just too old for these dolls. I have had to have a serious chat with myself about spending a fortune on dolls from series past.

    I am super impressed by them though. There are so many creative ideas in their design and they are amazing to pose. It is so great that they can stand without extra support. The main limitation to the posing, which you touched on with Catrine, is that some of the clothing looks immodest in some positions (See! Too old!)

    Thanks Emily. Have a great weekend. x

  12. I love her even more now Emily!
    I'm sorry about the stains but everything else about her is just perfect. Even the short ''diary'' is cool, I love the artwork in it. Her accesories are awesome too; her scarf, sunglasses, purse and belt really add to this doll.
    I like her outfit very much and her shoes are really creative, just like Miss Catrine herself!
    I think the eyeshadow isn't even that bad, the only thing Mattel could've improved is the eyeshadow underneath her eyes. It's a bit much but I feel the colors fit her some way.
    There's a lot of pink and purple here so I appreciate the black elements. My favorite color is purple so it's not really disturbing me.
    I wish she wasn't an exclusive, Mattel really has to stop making so many MH exclusives, I'm not the only one who's bothered by it.
    Thanks for this great review Emily, I really wanted to know more abouot this mysterious, white beauty ;)

    One more thing, have you received my package yet? I eager to find out what you think about the doll!

  13. Is it weird to anyone else that her tail grows out of her back and not where a tail should be? I mean I don't know where a standard cat-person tail should grow, but it does seem as if it should be lower.

  14. Great review!(: But I guess the gargoylr guy is the one from the Create A Monster set. (not sure)

    I have a picture of the box:

    And if you look more to the sides of the twisted Eiffel tower, you can see Deuce Gorgon on his scooter, wearing his Scaris outfit. I was really laughing when I saw him on the box of my Skelita. And I also noticed Ghoulia her scooter, more to the left. It is really neat how Mattel puts so much effort ib details, even for the box artwork.

    And I think that Mattel is producing too much Monster High dolls, it starts to be an expensive hobby for die-hard collectors. (who collect every single Monster High doll) But I think they are really pretty and detailed and you get a lot for a +- 20 dollars doll. (compared to some other dolls, like Bratzillaz)

    But yeah, overall a really nice review!(:

    Ps: did you find Chelsea's pet fish yet?

  15. Yay! I just got a Catrine of my very own (and am working on a double review of her and the Scaris Cafe Cart.) I was happy to see your review go up, because I'm always curious to hear your thoughts on a doll I own.

    Like you, I have a special fondness for white cats. I always wanted a white Persian when I was a little girl - even dressed as one for Halloween - and the kitty I own now is a snowy Siamese. Catrine definitely scored points with me just by being a white feline. Once I finally got the doll in-hand, though, I was slightly disappointed with her rock-hard hair. It made her look pretty severe. I am so glad you were able to soften it, and will probably try to do something similar with my own.

    I'm also thinking of adding some painted details to areas like the brushes and shoes. Have you tried any other MH clothing on Catrine? I've got her in a mix of Draculara and Spectra clothes right now, with the black cat shoes from the CAM Cat Girl. Those hot pink accents in Catrine's hair work really well with a lot of MH clothing from other characters.

    Thanks for a fun review of a fave feline! As always, I look forward to your next post.

  16. I just love the color palette used on Catrine. Your review was amazing as always.

  17. I loved how she looked after you brushed her hair out.

  18. She is so perfect. Too bad that in my country don´t exist Target, Walmart and other shops so i miss all of this perfect dolls like Cat Tastrophe and Catrine.
    I can order them online, but for more than doubled price.

  19. Hey Emily,
    I may be getting a MIM doll for my birthday, and I was wondering if Hearts for Hearts girls clothes fit them. Also, do you prefer the serious one pr the happy one?

  20. Thanks for this full review. I appreciate the richness of it.

    Course now I really want Catrine and Torelai, but that's okay ;-D

  21. You live in Maine? I live in Maine too! (Didn't know there were any other doll collectors/reviewers in the state, hah!)

  22. I've been looking EVERYWHERE for MH werecats, but I can't find a single one. I've also been searching on news about the new characters, Catty Noire, another werecat, Gigi Grant, a genie, and Twyla, daughter of the Bogeyman. Catty will be released apart from the other two, but I can't wait!

  23. So my walmart FINALLY got these in after checking in every week all the walmarts around me were very sparse with MH, then all of the sudden they got a HUGE shipment and got a TON of MH dolls, mostly scaris(and those were on sale for 10 bucks, was tempted to grab a couple, but have to wait because of monies). Anyways they got a lot of Catrines, so I could analyze which one was the perfect one for me, after looking at the dolls for a good 10 mins(being a young man, you get strange looks, lol, but surprisingly little girls are usually excited when they see I'm buying dolls :) ) I finally picked the perfect one and I love her, she's a great addition to my increasing Doll collection which has been growing rapidly, mostly cause I'm still a newb. Anyways I always love your reviews! I think you should do the Picture Day MH Dolls next! I am in love with each and every single doll they've released and are going to release for that line. They all look very fashionable and wear stuff girls would wear today(with a twist of course) and they all look cohesive! I even got Spectra, who wasn't in my must haves list until this line came out! I got all but Cleo from that line, but she's next! But I want Operretta the most from this line she looks sooooo cute and high school! sorry for the rant, i just love the MHs sooo much and I recently discovered your blog which I love!!

    1. Oh btw, just wanted to add, you will LOVE the hair on this new line! Abby and Spectra have the SOFTEST hair I've ever felt on a doll!! Draculaura's tho felt the same as previous dolls tho, but I did find her from a goodwill for only 10 bucks so that might have something to do with it. lol

  24. Hi Emily, we had to leave a comment after reading your fantastic review of Catrine, it's best review of a Monster High doll we've ever seen!

  25. hey toyboxphilosopher!
    I love cats too, and btw you know what? I think the cat you wanted to adopt is a turkish angora. I LOVE MH too, but I can't get any :(

  26. Is it just me or does that picture with the glasses look like Willy Wonka from the Tim Burton movie?

  27. Must. Have. CATS!!!!!!!!!
    - Anonymous A.

  28. One thing;
    is taking the sunglasses off a risk to ruin Catrine's hair? I am getting one for Christmas and I honestly do not approve of the glasses on her head, not to offend anybody.

  29. I loved your review so much, I had to buy my own Catrine. I bought her used, off of ebay, so her hair doesn't have the curls at the end, but she is such a beauty, and I think I actually prefer her hair brushed out! Thanks for the review

  30. She is lovely!!! I love her ears!