Monday, September 11, 2023

Disney's Zombies 2 Movie Dolls by Mattel

September has not gotten off to a great start for me.  First of all, my newest rescue dog, Kit, was recently diagnosed with heart disease and bladder stones.  This involved spending a whole day at the emergency clinic with him, and stressing while he had surgery the following day.  Literally one day after the surgery, I had to travel (with all five dogs in tow) to take care of some family business, which was both physically and mentally exhausting.  These are not the worst problems in the world to have, but they're why I haven't posted anything for a while.

Needless to say, I was extremely happy to get back into the swing of things this past week.  I'm delighted to be sitting here typing up a new review, with Kit cuddled beside me--healing beautifully and filled with new-found spunk.

And of course rather than easing back into things gradually with the blog, I decided to jump in with a behemoth review.  The goal today is to look at six (yes, six) dolls from Disney's Zombies 2 movie.  I started researching these dolls because I thought they looked fun, not because I'd actually seen the Zombies 2 movie.  In fact, I hadn't even heard of the Zombies movie franchise before I found these dolls.  The movies are similar in style and with the same target audience as shows like High School Musical and Descendants.  Movies like this tend to produce interesting and popular dolls, which was enough to get me on board for a review.  Also, I've never been one to resist a good zombie doll, especially if he has green hair:

Zed and Addison dolls from Disney's Zombies 2 movie, $19.99 each (by Mattel).

While I was editing photographs for this review, I managed to watch all three of the Zombies movies.  I liked the first movie quite a lot, and actually watched it twice.  It's a campy Beauty and the Beast type tale from 2018.  It has lots of catchy, over-produced songs and elaborate dance numbers.  There were no dolls made for the first movie.  

The second movie (the one that the dolls in this review are based on) was made in 2020 and is not as good as the original--at least not in my opinion.  It has a werewolf theme and the howling werewolves are too silly and awkward for my taste.  I do like werewolf dolls, though, so we'll see a few of those in today's review. 

The third Zombies movie is from 2022, and it was my least favorite by far.  I like some of the new characters and the basic plot (and okay, it made me cry once or twice), but the autotune singing is almost unbearable at times, and there are no songs that really stuck in my head.  

The third movie has an outer space theme.  The dolls from that movie were made by Hasbro and do not look as nice as the Mattel dolls:

Zed and Addison dolls from Zombies 3, (made by Hasbro).

I own a few of the Hasbro dolls and can do a review at some point if anyone is interested.

I really wish there had been dolls made from the original movie (especially if characters like Bree, Bonzo, and Zoey were included) but this is what we have.

Today's review will focus on the two main characters from the movie, Addison and Zed:

Addison and Zed Zombies 2 dolls by Mattel ($19.99 each).
But you know I'm prone to overkill, so of course I own all six Zombies 2 dolls.  The other four characters will make a semi-brief appearance at the end of the review.

Let's start by looking at Addison:

She comes in a blister pack box decorated with bright neon colors.

The bottom of the box has a cardboard section with Addison's name, and a small photograph of Meg Donnelly, the actor who portrays Addison Wells in the movies:

The sides of the box are clear, but they have the Disney logo and "Z-O-M-B-I-E-S" in molded lettering:

The back of the box has another photograph of Addison, and some additional information:

The text says that Addison "cheers for everyone at Seabrook High to be friends!"

Which takes a lot of words to say in French, apparently.
There are small photographs of all five basic dolls in the series:

The two werewolves shown here, Wynter and Willa, play a fairly large role in the second movie, but I'll say it again: characters like Bree, Bonzo, and Zoey (who are in all three movies) are conspicuously absent in all of the doll collections.

For those of you who haven't seen the movies and have no idea what I'm talking about, can we agree that Bonzo:

And Zoey:

Would make wonderful dolls?  More zombie dolls = more better.

Anyway, the plastic portion of Addison's box pulled away from the cardboard very easily.  A bit too easily, perhaps.  A few of the dolls in the series came to me with their boxes already falling apart.

The backdrop has a purple and neon pattern with some Zombie lettering:

The zombies have their own language.
Addison was attached to the backdrop mostly with clear rubber bands that were easy to cut.  But of course she also had two plastic ties jammed into the back of her head:

Overall, it was easy to get Addison out of her box.  

She stands on her own really well, too:

It's those big sneakers.
She looks overwhelmingly like a Barbie doll to me.

She has waist length platinum hair.  The nearly-white color of her hair is an important plot point in the first Zombies movie.

The hairstyle is mostly loose, with small sections from each side pulled back into a rubber band.

The hair fiber is saran, so it's very soft, but it can look a little messy and has some kinked and matted areas at the bottom on the left side:

The hair looked better after I gave it a quick brush:

Like a cloud.
Addison's face is very similar to a few Barbie faces, but I believe it's a unique mold:

Addison has a big, toothy smile, bright blue eyes, and thick brown eyebrows:

Frankly, I don't think that the doll's resemblance to Meg Donnelly is very strong.  She looks more like Margot Robbie.  

Here's a side-by-side with a photograph of Meg Donnelly:

The resemblance isn't terrible, I guess, but the doll's eyes are so large!  They did a nice job with the eyebrows, but it's mostly the outfit that tells me what character this doll is meant to be.

On closer inspection, Addison's facial features are pixelated, and not as crisp and clear as the Signature Looks or Barbie movie dolls:

The pixelation is especially noticeable in Addison's lips.

I like the fun purple and yellow eyeshadow, though, and there's some hair detail in the eyebrows:

Addison comes wearing her cheerleading outfit, which consists of a dress, a jacket, and sneakers:

The pink jacket is emblazoned with a shrimp in boxing gloves, which is Shrimpy, the mascot for Seabrook High's Mighty Shrimp!

A shrimp might be the worst (or best?) school mascot I've ever heard of.  

Shrimpy inspired me to look up some other weird mascots, and U.C. Santa Cruz has a slug named Sammy, which is definitely worse:

But somehow cute.
Of course I fell down the mascot rabbit hole for a while at this point (no wonder I can't get anything done...) and also discovered that there's a high school with a Kewpie doll mascot!

I wish I'd gone to that school!
...or maybe not.
There's also a school (Evergreen State College) with a geoduck mascot.  A geoduck sounds like it should be cute--like a species of duck or something.  

But it's actually Panopea generosa, a burrowing clam that looks like this:

Geoduck held in two hands

So, um, why would anyone look at a phallic clam like that and think, "hey, that'd be a perfect school mascot!"

The reasoning is beyond me, but the mascot itself turned out pretty cute:

Like an anemic taco.
All of the schools that I attended have bear mascots.  Like, literally all of my schools: high school, undergrad, vet school--everything.  If middle schools have mascots then maybe that was something different, but I'm basically a bear through and through.

Go bears.
Now I want to hear what all of your mascots were or are!

Okay, where was I?  Right.  We were talking about Addison and her Mighty Shrimp jacket.  Sadly, the back of the jacket is plain:

Not so mighty.
Some elements of the jacket are nicely-done, like the delicate elastic gathering around the cuffs and along the bottom edge.  But the fabric feels stiff and cheap and it wrinkles easily (see the sleeve, below).  Also, all of the details are printed:

The construction is standard, with unfinished edges, but good seam allowances:

Underneath the jacket, Addison is wearing her cheer dress:

In the movie, the cheer uniforms are two-piece and more loose-fitting.  They look pretty comfortable:

Otherwise, the doll dress is a good approximation of the movie costume, with the right pattern of colored stripes, a pleated skirt, and even the shiny silver "Seabrook" decal on the bodice:

Unfortunately, none of the detail continues to the back of the dress.  This is okay on the top, although there should be a much smaller section of pink.  The bottom is bad, though.  Omitting the pleats on the skirt is just lazy:

When Addison is standing in profile, the difference between the front and the back of the dress is really obvious:

It looks like she has a skirt wedgie.
The construction of the dress is fine, and the interior of the fabric is white, which will reduce the chance of staining:

There's no velcro closure on this dress, which makes the back of the garment look smooth, but also makes it harder to get on and off.

The last piece of Addison's outfit is a pair of simple white sneakers:

These have some molded details, like laces and stitching, but no painted accents.

Underneath her shoes, Addison has fashion-heeled feet, which came as a bit of a surprise.  The feet look larger and more detailed than typical Barbie feet:

These are not Barbie toes!

Speaking of Barbie, Addison happens to have almost the exact same Gigi body as the Barbie movie dolls:

Zombies Addison doll (left) and Disco Barbie form the Barbie movie (right).
From what I can tell, the Gigi body is similar to the pivotal body, but it's missing a torso joint.

Because I've reviewed the Gigi body's articulation before (here), I won't go into all of that again.  Suffice it to say, Addison has great articulation, but I wish her elbows could bend a little bit more--like the Made to Move girls.

She can still dance and run with no trouble.

The body is marked with a 2019 copyright, which is strange because the other Gigi bodies that I have are marked with a 2015 date:

The Zombies 2 movie came out in 2020, so it seems like something about this body must be specific to Addison.

It's not the hands, they are identical:

Disco Barbie's hand (bottom) and Zombies Addison hand (top).
It's the feet!  Sure enough, Addison's feet are much larger than Barbie's feet:

Zombies Addison foot (top) and Barbie Gigi body foot (bottom).
This all means that Barbie can't share Addison's shoes, but she can wear her cheer dress!

Those shoes look huge!
And Addison can wear Disco Barbie's jumpsuit if she wants, too--but not her shoes:

I put Addison back into her outfit for a few more portraits...

But this wasn't easy.  The lack of closure in the back of the bodice makes dressing and undressing difficult.

I finally got the outfit back on, though, without any ripped seams:

So Addison can do some cheering!

We are the Mighty Shrimp, we wanna hear you shout!
There is a lot of cheerleading in the Zombies movies.

Turn up the volume now!
At this point I got a little frustrated with Addison's hairstyle.  Because there's a rooted side part, the sections of hair that are pulled back away from Addison's face aren't symmetric:

So I took the hair down and brushed it some more:

The side part causes a bulk of hair on Addison's right side that casts a shadow over her face, but it's easy to sweep the hair out of the way:

I think this looks a lot better.

The hair is rooted nicely, too, with a white painted scalp underneath:

I tried to put Addison's jacket back on next...

But it's really hard to get those bendable fingers through the gathered cuffs of the sleeves!

Whew.  Here we go:

She's a cute doll, and definitely conjures thoughts of the movie character.  But I find it hard to look at her without thinking that's a Barbie girl.

In the Barbie world.
Thank goodness she has a highly-articulated body, though, so she can do all of her acrobatic maneuvers!

Cheerleading is so athletic these days!  I was amazed by all of the leaps and flips in the movies.

I might have to give Addison's hair a boil wash some day, but for the most part she came out of the box ready for play or display.

For $19.99, Addison is a good deal and a great toy or collectible for fans of the Zombies movies.  Unfortunately, since she's been discontinued for a while, her price has jumped up into the $50 range on the secondary market.  This makes some of her flaws more glaring, like the fact that her outfit is made out of cheap fabric, is hard to use, and has design shortcuts.  Also, her face is overly pixelated, and generic.  It doesn't really resemble the character in the movie.

I love the Mighty Shrimp design on the jacket, though.
The more unique of the two main character dolls is Zed the zombie:

Zed is played by the charismatic Milo Manheim in the movie, and Mr. Manheim's photo graces the front of the box:

The back of the box has the quote "he's determined to become the first Zombie school president!"

I guess it's worth explaining a bit about the backstory of the Zombies movie universe at this point.  Don't worry, there are no spoilers.

The idea is that a chemical accident caused some members of the Seabrook community to turn into brain-eating zombies.  

All with green hair.
The unaffected members of the community had to build a huge barricade to stave off the monsters.  However, over time, technology offered a different solution: the Z-band.  

Like a fancy watch.
When zombies wear a Z-band on their wrist, it suppresses their flesh-eating desires so that they can walk safely among humans.

Despite the Z-band technology, Seabrook has kept the zombies segregated, not allowing zombie teens to attend regular schools.  All of that changes during the first movie, setting the scene for the zombie and human tensions that weave throughout all of the films.

First day of regular school for the zombies.
So, Zed gets to attend high school, where he does things like try out for the football team, run for school president, and fall for Addison Wells.

Here's the Zed doll:

Like Addison, he balances really well on his own.

His outfit has a lot of printed detail, and I love his red sneakers!

My Zed has a wonky eye, but overall I like his face and think he resembles the movie character pretty well:

Looking at the doll side-by-side with Milo Manheim, the resemblance is not as obvious, but when I look at the doll on its own, I feel like it's clear who he's supposed to be--regardless of the outfit.

My doll's left eye is set a little too far away from the nose, so he can't look straight ahead, but the paint is not pixelated like it was on Addison:

Zed's makeup is very simple, with brown shadows around his eyes, sparse eyelashes, heavy eyebrows, and very pale purple lips.  I don't usually like purple lips on dolls because they look sickly, but in this case it's appropriate.

Here's Zed's profile:

His chin juts out in an extreme way, but overall his features are distinct and fairly realistic.

The hair is molded, with a spiky texture in the front and a more tousled look in the back:

I like the mix of contrasting green shades in the hair; it helps create some depth and realism.

Zed's outfit copies the movie costume faithfully, but all of the details are printed:

He's even wearing a Z-band:

The shape of the Z-band is good, but I wish there was a sticker on the screen or some painted detail on the edges:

Here's a close-up of the movie Z-band for comparison:

The most intricate piece of Zed's wardrobe is his brown shirt.  It has mismatched sleeves, a collar, and tons of printed decorations:

After seeing Addison's outfit, I appreciate that the back of this shirt isn't blank.  There's a large "Z" printed to look like it has a lot of different textures:

The fabric of the shirt is stiff and feels a little cheap, and the construction is basic:

Here's a closer look at some of the printed accents:

I love all of the little stitches and buttons:

Underneath the brown shirt, Zed is wearing a dark green knit tee:

This shirt is a little wrinkled, with a strange scooped neck in back, but the color really suits Zed:

The shirt does not have a velcro seam in the back, so it has to be pulled off over Zed's head:

The shirt has a small seam allowance around the sleeves and at the bottom, so it's in danger of unraveling:

Also, the hem at the bottom tends to turn up, but I'm happy that the dark green didn't stain Zed's body:

Zed's jeans have an acid wash print...and they show off a muscular chest:

As with the brown shirt, all of the details on these jeans are printed:

And there's a small velcro closure in back:

Here's a closer look at some of the printed details, like a fly and two pockets:

There are also strange red patches at the knees that look like blood to me, but are probably not supposed to be blood:

The red high-top Converse-style sneakers are great, with both molded and painted detail:

They even have an elaborate tread pattern:

It's a pretty accurate Converse tread pattern!

Actual Converse tread pattern.
Underneath all of his clothes, Zed has a highly-articulated body that I assumed was copied from a Ken doll:

It's a great body.  Not only is it highly-articulated, but it has a nice shape that's attractive without being overly exaggerated.

The copyright stamp has a 2013 date:

Thanks to a wonderful anonymous commenter, I realize that this is an Ever After High body!  I should have figured that out since I reviewed that body in 2013.  Eyeroll, Emily.  Thank you, Anonymous!!  I miss Ever After High, too.

The only flaw I see with this body is that its color does not match the color of Zed's vinyl head:

The head is noticeably paler than the body.  I'm not sure what color to call this body, either.  It's a light grey with a hint of green.  Very appropriate for a zombie.

And the articulation is great!  The neck joint, in particular, is super-flexible:

Hi, ceiling!
Zed can look all over the place:

'Sup, floor.
It almost looks like he's going to flex his head right off of his neck.

He can tip his head back and forth to an extreme, too:

The neck joint feels a little loose, but it can hold all of its positions without trouble.

Zed has hinged rotation in his shoulders, and can lift his arms away from his body to about 60 degrees:

His arms also spin around:

He has hinged rotation in his elbows and wrists, and the movement here is good, but none of the joints can bend to a full 90 degrees:

So Zed can touch his forehead, but not his mouth, and he can rest his hand just below his hip:

He can also rub his belly and pat his head:

At the same time.
Zed's hip joints allow for some side-to-side movement of the legs, but he can't do full splits:

His front-to-back splits are much better, but his back leg rests at a funny angle:

Zed's knees have hinged rotation with good flexibility.  So he can kneel:

And sit in a chair:

The rotation in his knees even allows him to cross his legs:

Last but not least, Zed has hinged rotation in his ankles.  These joints are loose, but they hold their positions and can support Zed's weight:

For now.
Zed is a really fun doll to pose!

And as you can see, he can balance in a lot of different action poses with no support or camera trickery whatsoever:

I put Zed back into his outfit for a few more photos:

I really like how he looks with just the green knit tee shirt:

It's easy being green.

Zed and Addison look cute together, too, but she makes him look extremely pale!

In reality, Meg Donnelly is very pale.  Another inaccuracy is that in the movie, the height difference between Addison and Zed is striking.  I think Milo Manheim is 6' 3" and Meg Donnelly is a full foot shorter.  So it would have been awesome if Mattel had used the petite body for Addison.

As I recall, the petite body didn't have good articulation until mid 2020, which is the same year these dolls were made, so perhaps the ideal body wasn't even available when Addison was being designed.

There's so much dancing in the Zombies movies, Zed thought that maybe he and Addison should do a demonstration:

Addison is always happy to show off her moves:

These two are so much fun!

And very romantic:

We're gonna be someday.
I really like the Zed doll.  He has fantastic articulation and balance, although a few of his joints (neck and ankles) are loose.  Those joints hold poses now, but if they loosen more over time, the ankles, in particular, could get irritating.  Zed's facial screening is even better than Addison's, with no pixelation or glare.  My doll has a wonky eye, but it's not too noticeable in person.  Zed's clothes are easy to use, and they reflect the movie costume well.  Even though all of the details are printed and some of the fabrics are cheap, the outfit as a whole feels higher-quality than Addison's cheer ensemble.  And of course the best thing about Zed is that he's a zombie!  There aren't too many pale-skinned dolls with bright green hair in the world, and I'm happy to have one of them.

For the rest of today's review, I'm going to do a more cursory evaluation of the other four dolls in the Zombies 2 lineup.

The first doll I want to show you is not pictured on Zed or Addison's packaging.  She was a special release and has a singing feature.  

This is Werewolf Addison:

I don't want to spoil any plot points, but in Zombies 2, Addison feels a strong connection to a local pack of werewolves.  She befriends them and even changes her outfit and hairstyle to emulate their fashion habits.

You can see Addison with her new look on the back of the box:

Here's a close-up:

She's basically wearing some fur and has fancy eye makeup and a new hairstyle.  I think that the new hairstyle suits her.

I'm not sure what this doll's original price was, but now she sells for $40 to $60.

Not only does the singing Addison doll have an outfit that resembles the one in the movie, but she has a new face mold as well:

And she has really long platinum hair with a few twisted sections:

Unfortunately, there was an effort made to give the hair some wave, like Addison's hair in the movie, and this texture created a matted mess in the saran fiber.  

Not only that, but the purple color of Addison's jacket stained the back part of her hair:

What a mess.
I brushed the hair and it looked slightly better, but this girl is definitely going to need a boil wash.  Fortunately, saran boils out beautifully.

I like the new face mold quite a lot:

There's no toothy grin this time, which is an improvement, and I think there's a better resemblance to Meg Donnelly:

My doll's eye decals are shifted too far to the right side of her face--a similar problem to what we saw with Zed:

Also, she has the same pixelation in her paint that we saw with the other Addison.  And her lip paint does not match the mold of her mouth.  But I like the purple and yellow eyeshadow, and the eyebrows are nice.

Here's a comparison between the two Addison faces (sorry that these photos don't appear side-by-side in mobile view):

Another thing I notice when looking at these two side by side is that Werewolf Addison's eyes are brighter and more clear; her eyeliner and eyelashes are not as thick.

Aside from the wonky eye, the werewolf face is better--or at least more accurate to the movie.  It's also less like a Barbie face.

Werewolf Addison's outfit is more detailed than the cheerleading dress.  It has a purple suede jacket with a fur collar, a sparkling gold tee shirt, a belt, brown stretch pants, and black boots.  There are even a few bracelets:

Here's a better look at the belt and the gold tee shirt:

The belt is adjustable, but difficult to use.  The tee shirt closes in back with velcro.

The purple suede jacket has a fur collar that looks good, but from the back side you can see that the edges of the fur are unfinished, which might lead to some shedding:

The stretch pants have some printed designs on them, like these purple claw marks on the right side:

All of the werewolf dolls have a version of these legging-like stretch pants with printed claw marks:

The pants have a good amount of stretch and elastic in the waistband, so they're quite easy to use.

Addison's boots have some molded strap designs and gold paint on the toe:

Addison's poofy hair is distracting, but she looks pretty good overall:

I like how she looks without the purple jacket, too:

But oh, man.  That hair is really bad:

Like a storm cloud.
Addison's body is just like the cheerleading doll, except that it has a speaker and battery compartment for the sound feature:

The sound feature is activated by pressing a button in Addison's necklace:

The sound clip is incredibly short and is from Addison's Call to the Wild song:

That's ridiculous.  I thought perhaps it was just the testing version--you know, the short clip that's accessible before you open the box.  But there's no switch or button anywhere, and the plastic test tab was removed, so that pathetic clip is all we get.  There's also no way to deactivate the sound feature without removing the batteries, so Addison is always singing--even when I don't want her to.  Like a broken record.

Update: a brilliantly clever anonymous commenter suggested that perhaps the plastic tab was stuck inside the body and was preventing the full song from playing.  BINGO!  The clip is actually quite a bit longer...but still not very impressive.  I'll post a video of the full song at the end of the review.  What would I do without you guys?  Thank you.

Regardless of the sound clip's length, I would much rather have a doll with a normal body.  The ugly speaker and battery compartment and the strange-looking necklace are not worth it for that piece of a song.

Anyway, here are the two Addison dolls together:

Werewolf Addison (left) and Cheerleader Addison (right).
Looking at these two together makes me want to do some swapping.  First of all, I want Cheerleader Addison's smooth hair on Werewolf Addison's head.  Then I want Werewolf Addison's head on a normal body.  I don't like the permanent necklace or the sound feature.

Thankfully, Werewolf's Addison's hair problem was easy to fix.  A quick boil wash straightened the hair fiber and removed all of the clumpy bits:

The purple stains are still there, though.
She could use a haircut, but I'll save that for another day.

Here she is with the purple jacket:

Thank goodness for saran hair.

As cool as the werewolf outfit is, Addison isn't really Addison without cheerleading.  So here's Werewolf Addison wearing the cheer dress:

With that face mold and that outfit, I think she's a great representation of the movie character.

Zed likes this Addison better, too:

To have the perfect hybrid doll, I'll have to swap Werewolf Addison's head onto Cheerleader Addison's body.  The skin tones match, so it should be a fairly easy fix.  The only bad thing is that these dolls were not cheap, so it's difficult to think about using one of them for parts.

I wish Mattel had used the werewolf head mold for the cheerleading Addison.  That would have been an excellent Zombies doll--especially for $20.

The next two dolls that I want to show you are based on werewolf characters.  These girls are introduced in Zombies 2 and also have supporting roles in the third movie.  

The first werewolf is named Wynter Barkowitz:

Good name.
Wynter is a bit of a comic relief character.  She pretends to be fierce, but is actually goofy.  She's the best friend of the alpha wolf, Willa:

Wynter is played by Baby Ariel in the movie, and there's a photo of her on the box.

Wynter is one of the dolls that is still being sold for close to the original retail price.  I think I paid exactly $19.99 for mine:

Her balance is great and she stands very well on her own.

Like all of the wolf characters in the movie, Wynter has dark hair with a streak of white in it.  I don't think her hair fiber is saran, though, which is odd.  The hair doesn't feel very good and refuses to lay straight.

I think this doll's face bears a good resemblance to Baby Ariel:

The face paint is pixelated, which is too bad, but it's quite elaborate.  There's dramatic gold and purple eyeshadow that curves up all of the way to Wynter's hairline.  The brows are thick, with lots of hairline detail, and there's even a tiny tattoo-like pattern underneath Wynter's left eye:

The light green color of her eyes is pretty, too.

My doll has a stray fleck of paint underneath her lip and her right eye decal looks like it's peeling a bit on the bottom, but these things are only visible up close:

A wonderful surprise with this doll is that she has pointy ears!  I might not have even noticed this if I hadn't pinned her hair back to look at her profile:

Spock ears!
Wynter's clothing is even more detailed than Werewolf Addison's outfit.  She's wearing a vest with a fur collar and two buckled straps in front.  The straps aren't quite long enough to work with the buckles, which is too bad.  She also has a purple v-neck tee shirt, a necklace, a belt, two wrist decorations, stretch leggings, and boots:

Both of her arms have tattoo designs on them.  The right arm has purple geometric patterns:

And the left arm has some small designs that might be moon stones (an important item in the movie).  The fur-lined cuff on Wynter's left wrist is also impressive:

Here's Wynter without her jacket and fur cuff:

I like the printed laces on the right leg of her pants.

The neat thing about Wynter is that she has a different body from the other female dolls:

What is this body?  Does anybody know?  It's a bit like the Battle Ready Wonder Woman body that I looked at back in 2017, but it's not exactly the same.

Update: locktobre suggested in the comments that this might be a Wild Hearts Crew body.  I have a bunch of Wild Hearts Crew dolls in my stash, so maybe I should fast track that review!  Thank you for the insight, locktobre!

Here's the body from the back:

It has a 2019 copyright, which fits with the Wild Hearts Crew release:

You can see in this comparison that Wynter is roughly the same height as Addison, but her body proportions are quite different:

Wynter Barkowitz doll body (left) and Addison Wells doll body (right).
Wynter has more definition in her abdomen than Addison.  She also has a shorter torso and long, muscular legs.  It's a nice body, and it suits the character.  

I'd run through the articulation in this body, but I don't really have time to do that in this (already long!) review.  I can tell you very briefly that Wynter has the same number and style of joints as Addison, but she has more side-to-side flexibility in her hips.  Also, because her arms are shorter, she can touch her head a bit better than Addison, although her arm joints have a similar range of motion.  Her elbows stay aligned better than Addison's elbows, which is nice; I'm always getting Addison's elbows spun around the wrong way so that they won't move properly.

Here's a closer look at Wynter's elbow joint so that you can see what I mean:

And here's Addison's elbow for comparison:

There's a very different shape to the joint.

I put Wynter back into her full outfit for a few more pictures:

Wynter is a striking doll.  Her makeup and outfit are detailed and accurate to the movie, and I think her face mold offers an excellent likeness to Baby Ariel...although none of the goofiness of that character is apparent.  I also like that Wynter has a different body type--with arguably even better articulation than the Gigi body.  The addition of tattoos on both of her arms is a nice touch.  Wynter's flaws are that she has pixelated face paint with a few little defects, and her hair fiber does not feel very good.  Wynter does not have a big role in any of the Zombies movies, which I suspect is why this doll isn't much more popular.

The last werewolf character is Willa, who is the pack leader:

I found Willa for $7.99 on Amazon during Prime Days.  She was actually the first doll from this series that I purchased; I simply couldn't resist that price!

Willa is played by the beautiful Chandler Kinney, whose photograph appears on both the front and back of the box:

Like all of the other dolls, Willa has excellent balance and can stand on her own without any trouble:

She has wonderful, tightly-curled hair that looks great and feels silky and soft.  It has a few longer curls that stick out here and there, but those can easily be trimmed:

The designers did another excellent job with Willa's face mold.  She looks a lot like Ms. Kinney!

Like Wynter, Willa has dramatic, interesting makeup.  She has bands of purple and gold that extend to her hairline, and she also has smaller bands of purple that run from the inner corners of her eyes to her eyebrows:

I really like the claw mark design under her left eye, too.

Like all of the other female dolls, unfortunately Willa has pixelation in her makeup.  She also has a small hole defect on her chin:

And a smudge of black paint in her eyeshadow on the left side:

And of course Willa also has pointy ears, which is fabulous:

Unfortunately, on closer inspection of Willa's hair, I noticed that the rooting pattern is sparse:

The volume in the curls compensates for the thin rooting for the most part, but the hair wouldn't be able to tolerate a wide range of styles.  Also, throughout the course of my photo session, I noticed a lot of little pieces of hair shedding onto may table--some of which you can see in the previous photo.  This shedding slowed down slightly over time, but is still occurring to some degree.

There are quite a few little flaws with this doll, but I enjoy her anyway.  Especially for $7.99.

She looks so much like the character from the movie!

I own the night!
Willa has the same body as Addison, with extensive purple tattoos on her left arm:

 And a few smaller tattoos on her right arm:

Her outfit includes a sparkly purple jacket with a fur collar.  This is a lot like Werewolf Addison's jacket, but it has some elastic gathering at the waist.

Underneath the jacket, Willa is wearing a red tank top with a zig-zag pattern, a heart-shaped moonstone necklace, blue stretch leggings with red claw marks, and an adjustable vinyl belt:

The belt has a strap-like extension that runs down Willa's left leg to secure a small pouch.  The pouch does not open:

One frustration with Willa's outfit is that her shirt has an unfinished hem, and so it tends to roll up, like you can see in the previous picture.

Willa's shoes have the same design as Werewolf Addison's shoes, but they do not have the painted gold toes:

Willa is my favorite non-zombie doll from this series.  If I could start this review all over again, I would probably choose to feature her, Zed...and the last doll that I'm going to talk about.

Willa has good articulation, great-looking hair, elaborate face paint, and a highly-detailed outfit.  She looks a lot like the movie character, too.  As with all of the other Zombies dolls, the fabric and construction of her outfit can feel a little cheap in places, and she has pixelated face paint with several small defects.  As much as I like the look of Willa's hair, the rooting is sparse in some areas and little bits of hair keep falling out.  I feel like the shedding is not as bad as it was when I first got Willa out of the box, but only time will tell if the process will eventually stop.

I definitely saved the best for last with this review.  The last doll in the Zombies 2 series is Eliza Zambi, who is a zombie and one of Zed's best friends.  She's the requisite computer geek in the group, and a lovable rebel.  She's my favorite character in the movie.

I must not be alone, because Eliza's doll is also the hardest to find and the most expensive.  I was not able to afford the new-in-box options (some of them are close to $400), so I purchased a used doll on Etsy.  Here's a stock image of the packaging:

Eliza is played by Kylee Russell, and while there's a photo of her on the box, it's not a very good photo.  Here's a better one:

The clothing that Eliza wears in the movies is so cool, and this red jacket is one of the better pieces.

As much as I like Eliza's character in the movie, I like the doll even more.  She is so unique!

First of all, she's wearing the cool red jacket from the promo photos.  And I like the rest of her outfit, too.  But she also has rooted green and black hair, which is awesome.

The face mold beautifully captures Kylee Russell's expressiveness:

Like Zed, Eliza has minimal makeup.  Her eyes are ringed with pink and her lips are a matching shade (with pixelation, unfortunately):

But she has detail in her arched eyebrows, and I love the realistic shape of her nose.

I bet somebody could do an incredible repaint of this doll.  I would love to see that...but I'd be scared to see how much it'd cost.

My doll does not have any face paint defects, and her eyes are well-aligned.  She has a cute profile, too:

The red jacket has mostly printed details, but the zipper is made out of a silver ribbon, and there's a large silver vinyl epaulette on the right shoulder:

The epaulette is sewn in place with red thread.  It looks cool, but often slips out of place.

Eliza is also wearing a Z-band, to keep her zombie aggression in check:

Underneath the jacket, Eliza is wearing a purple fuzzy dress with a silver ribbon zipper down the front:

She also has a molded vinyl belt with lots of gadgets on it:

Peeking out from the neckline of the dress, you can see a red patterned shirt:

It's actually a fake shirt--kind of like a dickey.  Basically, it's a strip of fabric sewn into the neckline.  It gives the illusion of layering.

Eliza's long grey leggings are open at the top and at the ankle, so they can be slid down for a slightly different look:

She also has short black boots with some molded details:

Underneath all of her clothing, Eliza has the same body as Addison and Willa...but in a green shade.

This feels like the perfect time to show you all of the contrasting skin tones and bodies in this group of Zombies 2 dolls:

Zombies 2 doll bodies.
No two dolls have the same skin tone.  I wish there was some difference in height, but with the tattoos and Wynter's distinct body, there's a fair amount of diversity.  Also, there's a green-skinned doll, which is freakin' amazing.

One thing I really like about Eliza is that she has a darker green skin tone than Zed.  That plus the rooted hair makes her look very realistic when standing next to her pale friend:

Seeing the two dolls together, it's almost like they're from different doll lines.  Eliza's face is so much more expressive and accurate to the movie, and her outfit has a lot more detail than Zed's.  I like both dolls a lot, but Eliza is in a different league.

I don't think she's worth $400, but there's no denying that she's a special doll.

I almost didn't invest the money to include Eliza in today's review, but she really does bring something unique to the group.  The combination of her realistic face mold, her rooted green and black hair, and her pallid skin tone make her a standout.  Her outfit is also more detailed than either Zed's or Addison's, and the style of her clothing is more interesting and unique than the wolves' ubiquitous stretch leggings and fur-covered jackets.  Eliza makes me wish that Mattel had added more zombie dolls to this collection before they passed the license off to Hasbro.

I feel pretty lucky to have this green-haired girl in my collection, and of all the dolls in today's review, she's the only one who I'd have a hard time parting with.

Whew!  That was a lot of dolls!  I'm sorry I couldn't go into full detail with some of the supporting characters, but I hope there's enough information to be helpful.

And, as promised, here's Addison singing her full Call to the Wild snippet:

And here's a final group shot of the five basic Zombies 2 dolls:

Bottom line?  As is often the case with these longer reviews, I've included small summaries of each doll at the end of their section, so I don't need to do a long-winded analysis of each character here.  I have a few general things to say about the line, though.

First of all, the balance and articulation in all of the dolls is great.  Zed wins the prize with his super-flexible head and jointed ankles, but all of the dolls are good in this respect.  Also, all of the dolls have unique head molds, which is fun.  Some of the molds are more successful at capturing the likeness of the associated actor, though.  The least successful head mold is Cheerleader Addison, and the most successful is Eliza.  The other four dolls are somewhere in the middle--and all very well done.  The fabric quality and  construction of the outfits is also consistent across all dolls, although the level of detail varies.  On a spectrum, I'd say that at one end we have Cheerleader Addison, with her flat-backed skirt and no extras.  On the other end is Eliza, with her original, multi-piece ensemble that features a really cool red jacket with applied decorations.  The other characters fall somewhere in between, with the wolves winning points for their belts and extra jewelry.  One disappointment that's present in all but one of the dolls is the pixelated face paint.  All of the female characters have dotted, glare-prone face paint that detracts from the realism and intensity in their expressions.

I really love the diversity in this group.  It's fun to have two zombies, two wolves, and two humans (even if the humans are two versions of the same character).  I especially like the little details that distinguish the groups, like the zombies' green skin and green hair, and the wolves' elaborate face paint, tattoos, and pointed ears.  I find myself sorely missing some of the other characters from the movies, though, and wish that Mattel had been asked to make dolls for the original Zombies.  If that had been the case, I feel like we might have gotten Bree (Addison's best friend), Bonzo (another zombie), or even Zoey (Zed's little sister).  Those characters feel conspicuously absent in the existing lineup and I'm sad at the missed opportunity.  I'd take any excuse for Mattel to make another zombie doll like Eliza.

All of these dolls will probably appeal to fans of the Zombies movies because they capture certain elements of that world really well.  The movies also infuse more personality into the dolls than they would have in the absence of that context.  I mean, I can't even look at Zed without singing Do it like the zombies do in my head.  And every time I think about Eliza, I wonder what type of doll revolution she's plotting in the basement.  In short, I really enjoy how movies can enhance my appreciation for a doll.  But several of these dolls appealed to me before I had any knowledge of Zombies, which is good because I suspect some adults and older kids might not be interested in watching the films.

As I mentioned at the very beginning, I liked the first Zombies movie quite a lot, but the two sequels went the way of most sequels: they got cheesier and less focused...with increasingly mechanical songs and choreography.  But hey.  I'm not a movie critic.  There's a sad lack of mainstream zombie dolls in the world, and if it takes a series of Disney Channel movies to correct that problem, I will not complain.


  1. Very neat dolls, sorry to hear about all you have been dealing with lately. I was wondering whether anything was up with the break between posts, though you certainly shouldn't feel bad about taking as much time as you need, I completely understand that life comes first! I hope things get calmer soon. I find these dolls very intriguing, I agree that the last character you looked at had the most unique and cute doll. The clothing quality seemed a bit hit or miss but overall rather good! Thank you for the review and take care.

    1. Thank you so much for those kind words. Life can be complex, but all is well. :)

  2. Zed's body mold is I believe an Ever After High boy's body mold, when I compare it to your photos of Hunter Huntsman from one of your older reviews. I miss Ever After High, I hope it can come back like Monster High did.

    1. Oh, wow! I think you're right! What an incredible memory you have--quoting me back my own review, lol. Thank you so much!! :) And I agree. It'd be great to see EAH back again. I was feeling nostalgic about them recently.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about everything you've had on your plate lately! I hope you can have some peace and calm from here on.

    If it offers any giggles, I can offer some school-mastcot stories?

    My high school mascot was a viking, which I always thought was kind of lame tbh (I think the animal mascots are more fun and less uncanny in costume form, lol). At some point during my time at school, they erected a larger-than-life, metal viking statue in the courtyard.

    At first, he was holding a sword in one hand - apparently, high schoolers cannot be trusted not to mess with metal swords-attached-to-statues, and so one day it mysteriously had been removed from his hand and welded at his waist, leaving him kind of awkwardly gripping nothing.

    The second incident while I was still in school went as follows: one of the "extra" classes you could sign up for to fill out your schedule was "early childhood development". I never took that class myself, but it was mainly aimed at students who were interested in babysitting, or working in a nursery some day. One day, that class had the opportunity to make play-dough from scratch - one of the kids in the class decided the best thing to do with said play-dough was to model a new... attachment for the statue. So Mr. Viking got a floppy clay "member" for a surprising amount of time before any adults noticed! It was quickly removed after that, of course. (Rumor has it that they tracked down the student responsible via the color of play-dough used, because everyone had apparently made different colors.)

    (Also - I second the other Anon person that the body definitely looks like EAH boys, but it also has a lot of similarities to the BTS Barbie dolls, I think? I believe they have a bit more definition in their abs, but I'd be interested to see all three lined up, if you ever get the opportunity!)

    1. Ha ha!! Oh, my goodness. That's a great story! Of *course* somebody molded an embellishment for the viking, lol. You can't have nearly as much fun with a bear mascot, let me tell you.

      Interesting about the BTS Barbies! I've been curious about those. Maybe I should do a review? Judging from some online pictures, I think they're slightly smaller than EAH, but it would be nice to check that in person. Thank you for the tip--and the giggles! :)

    2. Yes, the BTS dolls have the identical 2013 EAH boy body. You can see it lined up with both MH boy bodies (G2 used that same body!) and a couple different Kens on the website of Requiem Art Designs. They are a great resource for doll comparisons and patterns!

  4. I believe Wynter uses a Wild Hearts Crew body. Addison's (and presumably the other girls') feet/lower legs look like Wild Hearts Crew as well.

    1. Oh, wow--you might be right! I haven't de-boxed any of my Crew yet, but the dates line up perfectly and from the pics I could find online, the bodies are definitely similar. I need to fast track that review now! Thank you so much for the help! :)

  5. My school mascots were bear, eagle, alligator, scout (just a brown dog), knights, and warriors.

    1. That is a LOT of mascots! Whoa! And we're fellow bears, at least in part. ;D I like the sound of the brown dog named Scout. That's super-cute. I was always jealous of friends who had dog mascots, like the UConn husky.

  6. Sorry to hear you had a lot on your plate recently! I'm glad that Kit is doing better.
    Cheerleader Addison looks more like a caricature of the original actress, but all of the other face sculpts seem pretty good. The zombie dolls are especially neat. There's just something about unique skin tones in doll form.
    Since another commenter mentioned the BTS dolls, I still see them occasionally at Five Below.
    My high school mascot was the Hurricanes; needless to say, there was no mascot costume. Decades before we were the VMAcats after the school initials. Much more original than the ubiquitous Wildcats of the school I teach at (and High School Musical).
    Also, I just heard of geoducks for the first time a few days ago in a podcast. Funny how coincidences work.

  7. If you want a really trippy school mascot, google Scrotie the Nads. He wasn't MY mascot, thank God (my high school ripped off Tulane University), but he is 100% real. Best wishes to your puppy dog; bladder stones are no joke.

  8. Did you know that geoduck is correctly pronounced "gooey duck?"
    My high school's (actually the whole district) mascot was a blue jay. I don't remember that it had a name, just the blue jay.
    My college mascot was a squirrel named Gladys. Personally I'd have named a squirrel Earl, but it was an all-women's college so maybe Earl wouldn't work. lol Maybe Pearl?

  9. I‘m so glad you and your puppy okay, I was really worried ❤️

    And thank you so much for that fun review! I has Willa in my amazon basket for ages cause she looked so pretty, but I never bought her in the end cause I never watched the movies. Stupid decision:) The Zombie girl looks adorable, too ❤️

  10. That Eliza doll is SO pretty! Sometimes there are such beautiful and unique head molds, I would love to see that face on a made to move Barbie in a normal human skin tone (sorry zombies). I actually think the Addison doll looks a lot like the actress too— it’s just that Meg Donnelly kind of looks like a Barbie anyway. What a cool lineup of dolls!

  11. It's possible that there's a bit of the plastic tab stuck in that slot in Werewolf Addison's back! If there is and you're able to tweeze it out, she might have a longer song, it seems strangely short otherwise.

    1. Oh, my gosh. You're a genius! That's *exactly* what happened. The plastic tab was jammed into her body and I had to (got to) do surgery with my pointy tweezers! Yay! I posted a video of the full clip at the end. THANK YOU!!!!

  12. Oh dear, I'm glad things have calmed down in your life and everyone is doing better! Rough time!

    My mascots were a knight on horseback (no mascot character, this was more of a logo thing), a leprauchaun, (again, no suit, I don't think that's as common in Canada for grade school?) And finally, in college, yet another bear to add to the pile lol.

    You were absolutely correct that the best doll was last! Wow! I feel like she got the most love from design to execution, everything from face to outfit to hair is fabulous. And I really like that the two zombies have different skin tones, it's such a nice touch. The diversity in only 5 dolls in general is quite refreshing.

    Have you ever seen Warm Bodies? If you're looking for lighter zombie fair, I'm really fond of that one. :)

    Zed makes me think about how far boy dolls have come! I saw the shape of his head and assumed he'd be able to swivel, but that's it. Instead, he's got the best neck movement in the lot!

  13. Poor little Kit, I hope the surgery helped her and I wish her a speedy recovery! I saw these dolls on Amazon and really liked Willa, but I saw "Disney" and was not sure what to expect. The Little Mermaid dolls for the same price had almost no articulation, and I had doubts about hair quality.

    To answer your question regarding school mascots, here in Eastern Europe we have no mascots, cheerleaders, and very few sports teams. For the longest time I thought cheerleaders, like zombies, only existed in movies. We have high schools named after famous people - mine was a writer/philosopher from the 20th century.

  14. They missed four more main people the wolf teenboy who found Allison ,the black teengirl who was with the zombie teen boy who couldn't talk,
    The little sister of zeds ,
    The teen boy who couldn't talk. .....Linda Kirk age58

  15. I actually have the version of Willa that you reviewed, as well as Zombies 3 A-spen, the doll that initially drew me to this line. I couldn't say no to a blue-haired, non-binary alien doll. To give a brief review if anyone is interested - A-spen has a nice head on a terrible body. Their face is appealing and a good likeness of the actor, but it's on a super skinny, stylized body that doesn't match the realistic head at all. It does make them look like an alien.... but not in a good way. Also the neck peg is molded on to the body, so their head can't move up and down, only side to side. If I didn't get this doll in the official packaging, I would think it was an AliExpress knockoff hybrid. The worst part is that Hasbro has a well-articulated, more realistic body sculpt they used for the Marvel Rising Secret Warriors dolls, and brought back for the Reiya and the Last Dragon one. A-spen's head looks very good on this body, but I don't have one that matches their skin tone at all. (Maybe Quake would work?) Currently they're on a BTS body, which looks okay, but is more muscular than I want for them. Eventually I'd like to get them a G1 Deuce Gorgon body; it looks like a better color match, and I like that it's not as buff.

  16. I really hope your September improves.

    K thru 12 mascot: a wildcat.

    College: a boll weevil.

    I was so tempted to buy that male doll, altho I've never seen those movies. My kid watched one with his college roommate -- I believe it was the third entry in the series -- and dubbed it 'an autotune nightmare' and one of the worst things he'd ever seen. Learning this doll has great articulation, however, again makes him pretty tempting. I do love his green hair. :)

  17. So sorry you had such a stressful beginning of the month, Emily. Hope dear Kit is doing well now <3

    I didn't grow up with Disney Channel (was a Nickelodeon kid), so most of their franchises went over my head (except for High School Musical, naturally). I don't feel any connection to their current movies and tv shows, though I have to say that the media surrounding MH and EAH, for example, never captured me all that much either. The dolls are where it's at for me. A while back, I actually thrifted a Descendants Audrey and though her hair is terrible, she looks really pretty up on my shelf, especially with Coronation Lonnie's dress on, which I later bought for her.

    The Zombies dolls all seem to have very hit-or-miss elements. The pixelation is definitely a shame (weird that Zed doesn't have it?) and I don't like how cheaply-made the clothes are. On the flip side, the body variety and articulation are great, and I like that Mattel didn't cheap out on the hair. I also wonder what doll customizers would do with all these unique face molds. Some of them are just so interesting and pretty! Overall, these dolls definitely seem better and more interesting than Mattel's classic Disney dolls, perhaps because the Disney Store wants to keep a tight reign on the classics (have you seen their new 'Story Dolls'?) In general, though, these are not for me.

    P.S. Willa's design reminds me so much of Clawdeen! I wish MH G3 went a bit of a darker route with her again, like Willa's doll. She's too cutesy and neon for me right now.
    P.P.S. I completely lost it at the phallic clam mascot LMAO

  18. I love your blog and I hope everything calms down a but for you! I have to share that the school I work at mascot is the Cougar. Needless to say my teammate and I had quite the giggle over some of the school shirts. Like one that proudly stated “In My Cougar Era” and other shirts that have COUGAR blazoned over the chest…