Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mystixx Rococo Zombie Azra

I've been casually keeping track of the Mystixx dolls ever since my review of Kalani way back in 2012.  I think the brand might be discontinued (judging by Playhut's empty product page and the lack of dolls on the shelves), and frankly I'm surprised by how long they stuck around.  There have even been a few new waves introduced during the last three years.  The release that really got my attention, though, was the Rococo Zombies.  These bizarre dolls combine the trademark two-faced Mystixx head with a loose interpretation of 18th century fashion and cosmetics centered around a white painted zombie face--which was going to be my Halloween cover shot:

Mystixx Rococo Zombie Azra's face.
I gave myself a little crash course on 18th century style, and this is what I learned: the rococo aesthetic emerged in France during the early 1700s.  Rococo art and architecture is very ornate with lots of gilded, scrolling ornamentation that often includes shell shapes, foliage or animal images.

The Amalienburg Hall of Mirrors is a beautiful example:

Amalienburg 019

Rococo fashion trends were also elaborate and featured things like light pastel colors, bold stripes and decorative bows.  These lighthearted details were an intentional contrast to the earlier, darker baroque period.  Pale skin was also valued during this time, and so women--especially in the aristocracy--would paint their faces with heavy white makeup.  As the rococo movement progressed, hairstyles got increasingly higher--to the point where wigs had to be used to achieve the desired elevation.

Here's a rococo portrait that displays many of these characteristics:

Countess of Artois

The Mystixx box does a great job of representing the rococo style.  The oversized box has an elaborate shape with lots of colorful decorative borders.  These borders are covered with gold scrolls that include shell and foliage designs:

The left side of the box has two cartoon interpretations of Azra's character.  One is the "regular" girl, who's as regular as a green-skinned girl can be:

Aka "bad posture Azra."
The other picture is a depiction of zombie Azra.  This girl has pastel-colored hair that's styled in a huge rococo-worthy up-do.  She also has a pale face and a fancy-looking gown with visible bows and stripes:

As I mentioned in my last review, I really like the Mystixx box art.  The packaging is attractive and the characters look interesting--especially zombie Azra.  She has spooky pink eyes, fantastic hair...and what looks like a tattoo that runs up the left side of her neck and creeps onto her face.  She'd make an amazing Pullip doll.

In contrast, the Mystixx doll looks like a funny cross between a monster and a clown:

The right side of the box has a little advertisement for how Azra's face can change from "daytime beauty to nighttime princess:"

There are also small circular sections molded into the plastic near the top of the box, and these display promotions for how the doll's skirt can be used as a cape, and how her hair can be quickly transformed into an up-do:

The box does a great job of implying that this doll has a ton of special, elaborate features.

There were only two characters released in the Rococo Zombies wave: Azra and Talin.  There's a picture of both of these girls on the back of the box, and I have to say that if the Talin doll looked anything like the art, I would have wanted her, too:

The characters are a wonderful mix of elegant and spooky.
The Azra doll's "daytime beauty" face peeks out through the back of the box.  This is a neat feature that (as far as I know) is shared by all of the Mystixx boxes.

Most of the text on the back of the box is a repeat of information on the front, but there's also a paragraph that summarizes all of the doll's features:

Playhut is apparently sticking with "the doll you can change the face of" as their slogan for this line, and it still bothers me.  It's a terrible sentence.  However, I think maybe I see where they were trying to go with this.  It might be a play on the phrase "change the face of _____," as in "change the face of fashion."  That makes it slightly less odd, I guess.

The Mystixx Zombies packaging has a unique design.  The doll is mounted on a piece of molded plastic that's enclosed within a cardboard sleeve with three plastic-covered windows.  It's pretty easy to get the doll out.  I unfastened some cardboard tabs along the side and bottom of the box, and then opened the front of the box like this:

Azra and her plastic casing lifted right out of the box--the plastic was not attached to the backdrop.  

The backdrop has an ornate picture of a gazebo with lots of foliage, cherubs and a peacock.  It is definitely in keeping with the rococo theme:

I love the peacock:

The picture is styled to look like a fancy painting.
Azra is attached to her plastic casing with a few wire ties that are easy to remove:

Playhut gets an A+ for packaging with this doll.  Everything looks great and is easy to manage.  It will also be easy to recycle.

In contrast to the large and well-decorated packaging, the contents of the box seem scant:

Azra comes with three extra hair ornaments that are in their own separate blister pack (I will look at these later)...

...and a pamphlet describing how the up-do hair feature is supposed to work:

Which I will also look at later.
Azra herself is not easy to balance.  She can stand on her own, but it takes a bit of maneuvering.  She stands best when she has her toes pointed inwards, like this:

She comes with her zombie face pointed forwards, but the style of the hair does nothing to conceal the extra face in back.

The zombie face is really creepy.  It has the same angular lines as Kalani's vampire face, but the mask-like white paint makes those features even more startling:

Azra is wearing a blue and purple wig that is styled into two side ponytails.

The doll looks much more clown or mime-like than the box art, and I think this has a lot to do with the color of the hair.  The wig is not made out of powdery pastel colors but rather a mix of bright, electric purple and blue.
The ponytails are each tied twice--once just under the doll's chin, and again at about elbow height:

On the other side of the doll, the wig has three small braids.  Two of the braids are tied into one ponytail and the other braid is secured on the opposite side:

The face on this side seems very muted compared to the zombie face:

The braids are threaded through a hole at the top of the purple wig cap:

I pulled the wig off so that I could get a better look at it--and also a better look at Azra's face.  The first thing I noticed is that this wig has an oval-shaped wig cap with a smaller surface area than Kalani's full-capped wig:

The wig does not have a front and back side--it's symmetrical.  This means that it's not necessary to re-position the wig whenever the doll's head is turned around.

This wig utilizes a peg attachment design that's similar to the original Mystixx wigs (a feature pioneered by Spin Master's Liv dolls):

Azra's wig peg looks gross, though.  It's deformed, and there's some red residue on it that looks like blood:

Or smooshed brains.
I have to say, the deformed wig peg certainly fits the zombie theme, but it's more of a Walking Dead interpretation than what I'd expect on a play doll.

The part on this wig is also messy--I'm not sure if this is intentional (like a zig-zag part?) or just sloppy styling:

At this point in the review, I made a mistake and took the ponytails down.  I should have left everything in place so that I could test out the up-do feature.  I'll try to recreate the original style later in the review, but I really goofed by not leaving everything as it was meant to be.  Bad Emily.

The wig brushes out easily and is soft and silky at the top...although the ends are coarse and synthetic-feeling, and the hair always looks a little messy.  The braids are also difficult to control when they're not tied into the ponytails.

I think Azra's zombie face looks more striking without the wig:

There are a lot of bold choices with this face-up.  Azra has pale grey, dead-looking pupils with pink irises.  The deep cavities around her eyes are also accentuated by dark grey paint.  The stark white face paint that partially masks Azra's green skin is certainly clown-like, but it also brings to mind the idea of covering dead features with heavy, overdone makeup...a grim interpretation of the rococo habit.

I find her heart-shaped lipstick particularly unnerving--not sure why:

In contrast to these morbid characteristics, Azra has long, full eyelashes and glittery accents above her eyes.

There are a few defects in the eye paint.  Not only is the glue that attaches the glitter dripping off to the side, but there are some patches of paint that have chipped away.  None of this is very noticeable from a distance.

I tried to capture how sunken and creepy Azra's eyes look, but these contours are not as obvious in pictures as they are in real life:

I honestly could have nightmares about this face.

In contrast to Kalani's unusual but engagingly wicked vampire face, Azra's face is just devoid of life.  It makes me think about death masks.  Shiver.  Here's a comparison between Kalani's face and Azra's face:

The Mystixx head still has the same wedge-shaped, two-faced, Quirrel-melds-with-Voldemort mold:

And the monster ears are still inexplicably larger than the regular person ears:

Zombie elf?
Here's Azra's "daytime beauty" face again:

The face is kind-of sweet, but because of that green skin, I don't see a daytime beauty here as much as I see a stereotypical alien--especially without the wig.

This face mold looks very similar to Kalani's regular face, but the ridges around the eyes look less pronounced on Azra, so maybe a few changes were made over the years?

I don't have my Kalani doll anymore so I can't do a direct comparison.

Azra has normal blue eyes with thick upper eyelashes (no lower lashes) and pink glittery eyeshadow:

Her lips are very pale and are painted with a shimmering pink color:

I wish her lips were a little darker.  The extremely pale color doesn't stand out very well against the green skin, which contributes considerably to Azra's alien appearance.

Azra has a little smile on her face and would seem friendly and trustworthy...except for the creepy extra mask face that appears on the back of her head if she's caught in any kind of a profile shot...

I don't like either of Azra's faces as much as I like Kalani's vampire face.  The green skin is confusing with the regular head.  Is Azra supposed to be a zombie all of the time, or is she just supposed to transform into a zombie when you spin her head?

I thought maybe the wig would soften some of the strangeness of Azra's alien-like regular face, so I tried to put it back on.  Unfortunately, the melted, deformed wig peg would not fit back into the hole in Azra's head.  I tried for a long time, but simply could not get the wig back on.

No go.
I eventually cut the top of the peg off.  This left a small stub behind--enough to fit into the hole and position the wig correctly:

The wig doesn't stay on well anymore, though.

The wig definitely softens Azra's appearance, although those braids stick out in funny ways:

I tried to re-position the braids to get them to lay as flat as possible...

...and I guess this is a bit better:

But those braids still look really out-of-place to me.

Because of the small wig cap, this wig does not have full coverage in the back, and so even when I brush all of the hair towards the back of Azra's head...some of her opposite face always peeks out:

Which gives me the creeps.

I see you.
Azra is wearing a short sundress with a separate striped overskirt that doubles as a cape:

The large purple bow in the overskirt is a little crooked and can't be straightened.

The dress has purple ribbon straps with bows that sit just off the shoulders towards the back:

The striped overskirt attaches with a single metal snap and is easy to get off:

The overskirt is made out of jersey knit and has a purple ribbon woven through the thick hem at the bottom:

Underneath the overskirt, the dress has a princess-seamed bodice and a white lace skirt with layered ruffle details in the front:

The bodice and the skirt ruffles are made out of a chiffon-like fabric.  The bodice has some gathers along the side and a pleat across the chest that I think is due to a stitching defect:

The ruffles in the skirt alternate between pink and aqua layers.  These pieces do not have finished edges:

The fabric choices and design of this dress seem more shabby chic than rococo to me, but the bows, light colors and striped overskirt are certainly nods to rococo preferences.

The dress opens in the back with velcro and is easy to get off:

The bodice is lined with white fabric and accented with a purple ribbon.  The top of the bodice is a little messy, with lots of unraveling edges:

The panel of ruffles in the front of the skirt is backed with the same striped knit material that the overskirt is made out of:

Azra is wearing ridiculous baggy fishnet stockings and black shoes:

The shoes have molded straps and a tiny spot of pink paint decorating the top:

The shoes are not very interesting, and they have a strange-looking indentation in the toe where the straps attach.  These exact same shoes are shown on some promotional pictures for other Mystixx dolls, but I'm not sure how many actual production dolls came wearing them.

Azra's body is different than Kalani's.  She has eleven points of articulation:

She has a mysterious hole in the back of her torso (maybe for wings?  I don't know of any Mystixx dolls that have wings, but I could have missed them):

As a reminder from my last review, the first Mystixx dolls (like Kalani) have plastic torsos with bendy vinyl limbs and only five points of articulation.  Azra has a plastic torso with hard vinyl articulated limbs.

Her head can spin all of the way around and can also tip from side to side just a little bit:

Azra has hinged rotation at her shoulders.  Her arms don't rest directly by her sides, though.  When her arms are positioned straight down, they still sit about an inch away from her body at the hips, like this:

Her arms hinge directly upwards to about a 120 degree angle from her torso:

The arms also spin all of the way around and can be moved into a variety of positions.

There are some vinyl scraps and irregularities at the shoulder joints, but these are nowhere near as bad as the molding defects on the Khaki Girl doll.

Azra's elbows also have hinged rotation and can bend to about a 90 degree angle:

Unfortunately, even though Azra has articulated wrists, these joints can only spin around--they don't bend at all.

She can still rest her hands on her hips:

And she can touch her face and her head, although the lack of bend in the wrists is especially noticeable in these positions.

Azra has very flexible hip joints and can achieve full splits in both directions:

The hip joints have an excellent range of motion, but they are very loose on my doll, and so her legs tend to flop around.

Azra's knees can bend and rotate, which is awesome.  The knee joints on my doll were extremely stiff right out of the box, though, and I had a hard time getting them to bend for the first time.  They're a lot better now after some manipulation.

Azra is very good at kneeling:

And she can sit with her legs tucked off to one side:

She can sit in a chair:

And she can almost sit cross-legged:

Azra's limbs come apart at a few different locations.  Her lower legs, hands and lower arms are all removable:

Azra is a pretty fun doll to pose.  She does not have the range of flexibility that a Monster High doll has, that's for sure, but she can strike some interesting positions...

She reminds me of a praying mantis for some reason.
...and some extremely bizarre ones, too.

I've talked about the similarities between Mystixx dolls and Monster High dolls before, but I'll briefly run through a few of the biggest points again here.

The proportions and general shape of the Mystixx doll body is clearly (and strongly) inspired by Monster High: 

The Mystixx dolls have skinnier limbs, a quality that is most noticeable in the thighs and lower arms. 

Azra's torso shape is not exactly the same as a Monster High torso, but the differences are very minor:

The biggest difference is that the Mystixx body has a thicker profile, which is due entirely to the back half of the mold.  This obscures the similarities in the front half of the body:

Despite the skinnier Mystixx legs, these two dolls have almost identical feet:

The body similarities mean that Mystixx dolls and Monster High dolls can share clothes and shoes.

The shoes are a perfect fit.
Azra's slightly thicker torso makes Clawdeen's dress a little tight...but it still fastens all of the way in back:

Azra's dress and shoes fit Clawdeen well:

Something about the Mystixx body initially reminded me of the Once Upon a Zombie doll body, but after seeing these two side by side, I only notice the big differences.

Overall, the Once Upon a Zombie body just feels a lot nicer.  It's smooth and well-designed and those claw-handed fingers are the best.  I really like the Once Upon a Zombie dolls and feel like WowWee struck a great balance between being influenced by the Monster High craze but still coming up with a unique and appealing product of their own.

Because the Mystixx dolls are so close in size to Monster High, I didn't feel the urge to do a lot of clothes swapping or body comparisons.  Instead, I wanted to get back to that wig and see if I could recreate the up-do gimmick.

Remember that when Azra came out of her box, she had two ponytail holders on each side, one at chin height and one at elbow height.  The directions say I'm supposed to remove the upper ponytail holder and then release the middle braid:

Instead, I just replaced the bottom ponytail holders approximately where they'd been before (although mine are lower than what is shown in the instructions).

The next step is to pull down on the center braid: that the hair will "pile on top of my doll's head:"

That looks cool.
Or...maybe this will happen instead:

Attack of the killer hair!!
Now, granted, I messed up the original hairstyle and so maybe I didn't reproduce it correctly.  That's entirely possible.  And yet...that original hairstyle was not super-complicated.

I thought maybe lower-set ponytail holders would help hike more of the hair up to the top of the head, so I tried that:

But it didn't work.

Rococo no no.
And I also tried tying the ponytails higher up--which also didn't work.  Sigh.  I'm kicking myself for messing up the factory hair, but I feel pretty sure that this mechanism was never going to blow me away with its magical awesomeness.

I guess I'll have to refer you back to the picture on the box to show you what this hair might be capable of doing:

I'm skeptical.
This concept reminds me a little of the Cutie Pops Crown Cuties.  I ended up having a really fun time with those dolls, although there was a bit of a learning curve to styling the hair.

The last step in the hair instructions is to wrap the braid on top of the head and decorate with "Rococo" accessories:

Here are the hair accessories removed from their blister pack:

There's a rubber-banded section of blue hair tied to a transparent pink clip:

There's a long strand of curly purple hair attached to an opaque pink clip:

And there's a series of blue rolls mounted on a blue ribbon and tied to another transparent pink clip:

I really like using small clips like this for doll hair.  They're so easy and can help create really great styles.  I'm not so sure about some of the decorations here, though.

The rolls-on-a-ribbon clip, in particular, isn't my favorite:

That braid is really hard to control, so I pulled it out.  Unfortunately, it leaves behind a very obvious hole on one side of the wig:

I twisted the wig around so that the hole was in the back and used the two best clips to get some hair out of Azra's face.  She is not an amazingly photogenic doll, but here are a few pictures of her "normal" face with the wig:

When the hair is pulled back, the wig cap is quite visible:

It's better when some of the hair remains hanging down around Azra's face:

This is my favorite picture of Azra:

That pose makes her look so sweet and though she doesn't have a creepy mask face on the back of her head!

But then she turns around...

...and BAM!

Dead clown face!
I played around a little with Azra's zombie face and the wig, but there's too much going on.  The mask, the bright colors, the messy hair, the rococo, the's a stimulus overload for me.

I decided to scrap the wig and just take a few more pictures of Azra with her bald zombie head:

Here she is demonstrating how her overskirt can be used as a cape:

I wish it could also be used as a hood.  This doll needs a deep, mysterious hood to shroud that face:

Bottom line?  The Mystixx dolls are definitely on the spectrum of products that are imitating Monster High, but they're several steps above the Khaki Girl knockoffs that I looked at the other day.

Rococo Zombie Azra has better articulation than Vampire Kalani--who was one of the the very first Mystixx dolls.  Kalani didn't have any joints below her shoulders or hips, but Azra's limbs are fully-articulated.  Azra's eleven points of articulation mimic the style of Monster High, but don't measure up in terms of quality.  The most pronounced differences are: Azra doesn't balance very well, some of her joints are stiff (especially her knees), some of her joints are too loose (her hips), and her wrist articulation is limited to simple rotation.  I still had fun posing Azra, though, and I think her rotating knee joints are an especially good upgrade.

Azra's wig and clothes are comparable to Kalani's.  I don't see many noteworthy changes in these accessories--good or bad.  Azra's hair fiber is smooth at the top and coarse at the ends, and the wig cap is dark and distractingly visible with some hairstyles.  The design of Azra's wig has changed a little from the earlier wigs, though.  The wig has a small, oval wig cap that sits at the very top of Azra's head.  The hair is rooted in a way that makes both sides equivalent--there is no front or back.  So when Azra's faces are switched, the wig does not have to be moved at all.  The downside of this design is that it's hard to cover the extra face on the back of Azra's head.  My doll has a defective wig cap, but I will assume that this is an isolated problem.  I was not impressed with Azra's up-do hair feature, nor with the small hair accessory clips.  Azra's clothes don't immediately make me think of rococo, but they're fun and bright and have a nice mix of fabrics.  There are a few construction glitches--like the messy neckline of the dress and the puckered stitching in front.  There are also some great things, like the fully-lined bodice and the versatile overskirt.  Azra's shoes are unremarkable and her saggy net stockings are really unfortunate.

If I think about Azra from the neck down and compare her to a Monster High doll, I can't find much that distinguishes her.  Her clothing is comparable and her shoes and articulation are significantly inferior.  The appeal of the Mystixx brand is really all about that two-faced head...and I have mixed feelings about the head.  Azra's normal face is reasonably appealing and sweet--except that it's green.  The mask-like zombie face is chillingly creepy, but I feel like it's so extreme that it will have limited uses and might even spook some kids.  To me, Kalani's pair of faces is much more versatile.  Regardless of the particular mix of faces, a doll with an extra face on the back of her head is a great novelty and a fun item to display or photograph.  The shape of the head is so strange and alien, though, I just can't picture kids getting very attached to these dolls.  I definitely have a hard time bonding with them at any level.

This seems like such a minor detail in the long term, but one thing that Mystixx does really well is packaging.  Azra's Rococo Zombie box is beautiful.  It has an interesting (but easy-to-manage) design, the backdrop is like a fancy painting, and the concept art is very appealing.  The box conveys the rococo aesthetic much more convincingly than the actual doll.  Also, the size of the box is impressive (much bigger than the doll requires) and the little details--like the window in the back for Azra's second face--are eye-catching and intriguing.  The doll seems more special and interesting when it's in the box.  It's possible that the Mystixx dolls have stuck around for so many years in part because of this packaging.  I say that because while I don't have much interest in any future Mystixx dolls, I'd be happy to see the concept art expanded into a new, creative theme or story.  The characters on the box pique my imagination in a way that the dolls do not.  If the Mystixx dolls had been made to look anything like their pictures, I suspect they would have enjoyed many more years of success.


  1. I remember hearing about these when they first came out, but never saw any in stores. I still think that it's the strangest combination of things to put together to make a doll line. That said, I kinda dig Azra's outfit. It's not really that "Rococo" in my opinion, but it's kind of cute.

    I think they'd have done a bit better with these dolls if they'd had replaceable heads like the Monster High Create a Monsters, rather than the Voldemort meets the Exorcist thing that they have going on.

  2. The zombie face looks like the Clockwork Men from DoctorWho!

  3. Great review, wierd dolls, lol I'm surprised they lasted this long too.
    Emily, have you heard of the new highly articulated Barbie doll?
    apparently she's going to start showing up soon in stores! Hopefully you can review her for us :)

    1. and

      Apparently they were supposed to be put out already. Maybe delayed for Christmas?

    2. The one on the blue top (Teresa?) is seriously beautiful. I heard they are $15 dollars at retail. Good price, they don't have shoes tho.

    3. I like the face and body but not the hair would take his head and would put another

  4. I think I spent more time admiring the backdrop of the box than the actual doll...

  5. I love her outfit, hair colors, and even the clunky shoes, but can't get past the sickly green color of her skin. Poor thing. I even like the zombie face, but too much of that ick green is exposed

  6. I love the rococo-zombie concept, although the execution originally struck me as being more pedestrian than it should have been.

    Reading this review with all the detailed photos may have changed my mind a bit - I still think the concept could have been something more brilliant, but if I think about her as a two-faced green alien instead, I'm completely charmed!

  7. The rococo aesthetic is my absolute fave. The movie Marie Antoinette, the one with Kirsten Dunst, nailed it. They had not excuse not to, considering they filmed a lot at Versailles itself.

    The paint women wore to get the desired paleness included lead, and rather than wash off at night, they often slathered on more, until their makeup would crack off like a mask. The skin underneath... Yeah....

    "The doll you can change the face of" ends with a preposition, and that makes for an odd, stand-alone sentence. I think they were trying to put the focus on how YOU change the face rather than something like "The doll whose face you can change," which is something happening TO the doll, even though it sounds better.

    Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or is there an orange spot on the white part of the skirt toward the top front?

    "might even spook some kids." My 5-year-old screamed and won't look at it again.

    I'd rather see the extra face as a mask. As this doll is, she's a major pass.

  8. Hola cuando pase eso, sumerge la cabeza de la muñeca en agua caliente, el plastico se ablanda y asi se puede meter de nuevo la peluca sin cortarle nada. Lo mejor hubiera sido probar el mecanismo del peinado antes de quitar la peluca, o mejor aun no quitar la peluca ni deshacer el peinado. la muñecas son asi por una razón. Esa muñeca no me gusto, la cabeza con caras dobles es siniestra.

  9. translation of what spherable wrote:
    hello when that happens, submerge the doll's head in hot water, the plastic will soften and this way the wig can be put back without cutting anything. The best thing would have been to try out the hairstyle mechanism before removing the wig, or better yet not to remove the wig or undo the hairstyle. The dolls are like that for a reason. I didn't like that doll, the two faced head is sinister.

  10. Don't know what to think of the creators of this doll line: trying to hard? Losing touch with their project? I don't think I've ever come across a doll line more off-putting, repulsive and yet somehow intriguing only to be repulsive yet again. Leave it to you Emily to find bring us something to think about.

  11. I'm having a hard time understanding how that face is zombie-like. It looks like an evil mime or a variation on a geisha. The shape of the head is just disturbing and that hair is a mess of nonsense! I can see why these dolls haven't made it big.

  12. Oh, I wish they had taken this and ran with it! As a HUGE history nerd, I love the whole rococo aesthetic. Like Aria said, they should have made the face paint a mask! I also think that maybe they should have included two wigs and eliminated the hair change feature. Oh, and lightened up the hair. I can just imagine the beautiful towering pastel blue wig. And the dress could have been more elaborate. I love the box, but when I saw the doll I was completely underwhelmed.

  13. Reading your review, I remembered that I had stumbled across both the Rococo Zombie dolls at Tuesday Mornings a while back and picked them up (in case my Monster High dolls needed more clothes, shoes, and possibly even wigs) but never got around to opening them. So I thought I'd see how Talin compared, and opened her up.

    It doesn't help that mine is slightly defective: one of her knees won't bend, and one her eyes on the creepy white mask side missed the sunken eye placement area, and is actually much lower on her face. Her joints are all incredibly loose, too, (apart from the one that's fused and doesn't work) but I get the feeling that may be uniform across the Rococo Zombie set.

    I tried using the "up-do" feature, but what happened when I pulled on the braid was more of a ponytail than an up-do:
    Back view:

    When I tried a second time, the wig popped right off her head! My wig post was also deformed:

    I think that was actually done to them in the factory, after the wigs were placed on the doll's head, to try and keep the wig from flying off while you're pulling on the braids. (It might have helped if they hadn't used such soft plastic for the posts!) I tried putting it back in, but of course it didn't fit, so I clipped just the sides of the flattened part, to make it narrow enough to go through the hole. But now it flies off even more readily when I pull on the braid. (Which is not a huge deal, since I don't plan on doing this again...)

    Once I finally got the wig working again, I pulled the braid again, and then decided to try to help it along by moving the raised portion on top of the head and wrapping the dangling braid around it, using the little clips to try and keep it in place:

    I don't think that was what it was supposed to look like. :( Actually, looking at the photo on the box of the "up-do," I almost wonder if they wanted us to turn the wig sideways...though that wouldn't actually work any better, as it turns out.

    Interesting concept, poor execution. :( And you're right that the box art is so much better-looking than the dolls. And that the concept art would make a great Pullip.

    One thing about Talin that's really nice, though. Her boots! The heels are crazy soft, but the overall look is really nice, and should look great on my Monster High dolls. :)

    1. BTW, I tried to use the dropdown box to sign on with my WordPress ID, but no matter how many times I hit "publish" it just sent me to a preview, and when I hit "publish" on that, it just showed me the preview again. So I had to go with Anonymous instead. :( (At least it worked, though!)

  14. I bought, I think the first wave of the Mystixx. I was so intrigued by the fun concept, however the doll itself kind of fell flat, as you will remember from your original review none of the dolls limbs could bend. I also found the wigs not to be of great quality. However, I love the ability to change the faces, and I have kept mine with my collection of other dolls.

    On a slightly different and related topic, Mystixx shoes do fit moxie teenz, one of my favorite lines of dolls which never quite made it.

    I'm such a fan of the blog Emily, long, long, long time reader, first time posting!

  15. "Azra has a little smile on her face and would seem friendly and trustworthy...except for the creepy extra mask face that appears on the back of her head if she's caught in any kind of a profile shot... "

    I laughed extremely hard at this lol.

    This seems like a complicated and ambitious doll....something they couldn't really keep up with, I see. I don't think I ever saw these (Just the witches still sit on TRU shelves here).

  16. The paint on the zombie face reminds me a lot of the Monster High version of CA Cupid, though I think it looked a lot prettier on Cupid. It's a shame these dolls are such a let-down from their box art. I love the idea of a zombie styled like Marie Antoinette, but these dolls fell apart in the execution, it seems.

  17. Lovely review! This picture of Azra in particular -

    might be my favorite of any mystixx doll ever. when it comes to these girls it's all just disappointing because they were largely marketed badly and, frankly, the super wide double head never stopped bothering me. It's disappointing because playhut has made great dolls before - Mystikats 'half girl, half cat' - but feel very, very short with these. They should've used one head and color changing eyes-makeup to make the zombie features or, if we needed two heads, done something like the 'lots of looks' my scene girls:

    with multiple face plates. since longer hairstyles/wig caps would've hid the seam on it nicely. I'm not sure what it to become of Playhut and mourn their going down in flames instead of prospering in glory but will always have my mystikats memories to cherish instead (as well as that hilariously bad music video for the mystixx, WOOF!)

  18. When Azra has her "normal" face, she almost look like an EAH doll, but the other side (the one with the mask ) is really creepy, and her head mold really gives me shivers. This is a extremely scary doll (specially with that other face looking through the wig), but in the hands of a skilled customer it can end up into something amazing. These are the things I would change:
    - give her a true gothic 19th century dress.
    - let the other face look thru the wig.
    - give her a bottle that is supposed to contain poison.

    A true item for adult horror-loving collectors can be made out of this doll, the potential is almost infinite!

  19. Her outfit would probably look good on MH Rochelle Goyle

  20. Could you very please do a video of how the pull braid thing works? Very thank you!

  21. You should look into the Made to Move Barbies. There are three girls so far (Barbie, Neko, and Theresa I believe) I just received mine from Amazon. The articulation is amazing and I think you would very much appreciate these new Barbie bodies.

  22. Hi,
    I love your reviews!. I think these dolls are horrible!! Can I just say about that new Barbie, just put a Barbie head on a spinmaster liv body! ( only problem is finding shoes! )


  23. Why do you think that children and young y/a are interested in this type of theme in dolls and playing? Is there more horror typed filming and books in children's books and film?
    I read another blogger's view that it is the time in which we live.
    I like this presentation and plan to tell my friend about the content of your writing for it is excellent. Reminds me of people who have interests beyond hate and savagery? atk

  24. The vamp Siva has those shoes, I know for a fact, and the indentation could be a leftover from the "tongue" that they (at least at one time) had. My guess for the hole is to attach it to a stand?