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I wasn’t a girl who played with dolls.

In fact, any doll that fell into my clutches met with a tragic end.

When I heard about Monster High as an adult, I was so envious! Imagine being able to play with the daughters of Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Werewolf. How cool is that? These were dolls I would have appreciated back in the day. For once, Mattel–the creator of Barbie, the doll that launched a million body-image issues–had finally done something cool.

Though the Monster High girls were most definitely sexualized, with their teeny skirts, long legs, and heavy make-up, the message behind the line–to be yourself and embrace the “freaky” flaws that make you different–was admirable.

“Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster!” has been the battle cry of the franchise since its origins in 2010.

Then–in an act of complete hypocrisy and cowardice–Mattel bowed to the parents who complained that the dolls were “too scary,” “too dark,” and, most bewildering of all, “lacked a meaningful message.”

Since when do toys need a message? What on earth is Barbie’s message?

Call me crazy, but I think telling young people to be themselves and embrace what makes them unique is as good as it gets.

So what important message did the deep thinkers of Mattel come up with to replace “Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster”?

How Do You Boo?

Yep, How Do You Boo? is the new, meaningful message of these dolls.

Even worse is how Mattel has changed the faces of the Monster High crew. Gone is the edgy, punk-ish look of Draculaura’s safety-pin earrings and Frankie Stein’s prominent scars. Cleo, daughter of The Mummy, is no longer wrapped in bandages but instead appears to be covered in some weird transparent cape thing.

But are these changes really a result of parental pressure, or is something else afoot?

A wise blogger pointed out that Mattel lost the rights to make Disney Princess dolls to Hasbro in January. The Disney Princesses were Mattel’s second-best seller after Barbie, and Barbie sales are tanking horribly. The blogger suggested that Mattel is messing with Monster High to regain all the customers who used to buy their Disney Princess dolls.

Problem is, Monster High is for the kids who aren’t into the princess thing. Who like horror. Who love monsters. Kids like I was, who love playing with the “bad” toys the best. How many kids have felt comforted by the inclusive message of Monster High? Who loved hearing it was okay to be different?

Monster High perfectly bridged the gap between Barbie and dolls that are truly scary, like Living Dead Dolls and Undead TedsSure, the dolls are daughters (and sons) of monsters, but it was all in good fun and never crossed the line into disturbing or frightening.

If you ask me, these new Barbie-Anime hybrids are a lot more terrifying. Just another doll telling kids it’s not okay to be yourself.

What do you think of the Monster High reboot? Have you heard of Monster High? Would you have loved these dolls as a child?

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64 Comments

  1. Avatar

    When you find out what Barbie’s message is, would you please let everyone know? I too did not play with dolls. I preferred bats, gloves and balls. I was a tomboy. I am so glad I did not have any little girls to raise cause I would have had no idea what to do.

    Reply
    • JH

      Well, you might have had little tomboys. I think parents who fall into the gender stereotypes and insist girls be pretty little princesses are part of the problem…but that’s a whole ‘nother issue for a parenting blog. 🙂

      I suspect Barbie’s message is, “Be unattainably perfect.”

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Dumb move. They don’t look really scary to me. If boys can handle play with GI Joe and Frankenstein monsters, why can’t girls handle tougher looking figures?

    Reply
    • JH

      Good question, Alex. And they really weren’t scary at all. They were cute, with a little edge to them.

      In their world, humans are the monsters…they did some interesting things with racism in the movies.

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    I hadn’t heard of Monster High or the dolls. Enough with the Princesses! Too bad they aren’t brave enough to do something a little different.

    Reply
    • JH

      They were pretty awesome, Mary. I wish they’d been around when I was a kid! I would have loved Draculaura and her little pet bat.

      I’m so tired of the princess thing.

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    My niece posted something on FB about being yourself. I thought it was pretty insightful from someone 16 yo. I agree with you. We should not only cherish our differences we should show them off. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Reply
    • JH

      Exactly! It’s a great message for young girls (and boys–I assume there are boys who love Monster High too).

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    As a kid, I was told to be very conformist, but at the age of 9-10, I would have LOVED the original dolls.

    Yes, the originals. The freaky ones. The ones that made me feel less like the freak other kids said I was.

    These new designs are neither one nor the other, neither freaky nor ‘Barbie’. Just… sad, in a strange way. But this wouldn’t be the first time my tastes deviated wildly from that of the general public ;P.

    Reply
    • JH

      The thing is, the general public loved the original dolls. They’re the third best-selling doll in the world for Mattel. Nothing to sniff at.

      I’m sorry anyone called you a freak. Kids can be so cruel.

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    I started buying these dolls for my daughters several years ago, back when they looked “scary”. They were very cool, but very delicate. We lost Frankie’s hand somewhere in the house, but that was okay because her hand comes off in the cartoons anyway. Whatever. My girls outgrew them before they turned into princesses and that’s fine with me. They were great looking dolls, but quite pricey.

    Reply
    • JH

      I didn’t know there was a difference in price between Monster High and Mattel’s other dolls–are they more expensive than Barbies?

      But yeah, Frankie’s hand is meant to come off. 🙂 Adds to her charm.

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Yes, Monster High Dolls were several dollars more than a standard barbie. You could buy a simple boxed Barbie for $5-$7, but an original 1st Wave Monster High Ghoul or “Manster” could cost as much as $15-$25. I think It’s a real shame that they took away the very thing that made them so unique. Even my 5 and 10 year old nieces don;t like the new look. They said “They aren’t special anymore.” And they are so right. Out of the mouths of babes…

        Reply
        • JH

          Wise kids, Jennifer. So sad Mattel made this unnecessary change. I wonder if they’d bring back the originals if enough people complained?

          Reply
  7. Avatar

    Sounds like they’re either caving to the Conservative right brigade (or the ‘PC Police’ as my old boss liked to call the politically correct, hand-wringing, moral-values people who would get their shorts in a knot over anything. Tattoos? Scars? The horror!), or the decision is sales driven. Most of the young girls I know love their Monster High dolls and their cool, funky edge. Sad to see the dolls have their lovely rough edges filed down to near nothingness. 🙁

    Reply
    • JH

      It is sad. What will the monster-loving kids do? Barbie with fangs is still Barbie…with fangs.

      Reply
  8. Avatar

    How is not being unique and yourself not a meaningful message???????????

    Reply
    • JH

      Good question! That’s what I was wondering.

      Of course, How Do You Boo? is SO much better.

      Reply
  9. Avatar

    Well, that’s just sad. Like we don’t have enough harmful body-image messages going out to young girls as it is. Now, everyone just gets lumped in with the “beautiful” princesses. But my mom never liked horror and I had no horror-ish dolls to play with, but I never lost my love for all things creepy and ghoulish! In fact, due to TV series like Supernatural, Teen Wolf, etc., I think kids today find it far easier to join the horror crowd than in my day. It’s practically mainstream. But I certainly agree with you that Mattel (and so many other anti-diverse toy companies) should be ashamed of themselves and so should some parents. 🙁

    Reply
    • JH

      It may be almost mainstream, but Monster High were the only mainstream toys I know of that embraced it. Living Dead Dolls and the like are mostly for adult collectors–definitely wouldn’t call them mainstream.

      Reply
  10. Avatar

    I am just like you. As an adult, when I heard about the Monster High dolls I was so envious. Heck, I wanted them! haha I did play with Barbies because I had a big imagination and because my sisters wouldn’t play with me, but I was always different and liked the darker, gothic side of things.

    I think changing the Monster High dolls looks is a bad idea. They were so successful because they were for those girls who weren’t into all those girly things. I love the original Frankie Stein’s green skin and look. She’s too glamorous now. And what in the world does “How do you boo?” mean? How is that a message? *sigh*

    Reply
    • JH

      Good question. It’s just silly. I have noticed the movies have changed from intelligent, funny releases that adults also enjoyed to trite fluff pieces filled with silly musical sequences that mean nothing. They’re clearly going after toddlers now.

      How “son of the unicorn” makes the cut as a “monster” is beyond me. And if you think too much about his birth origins–he’s half human and half unicorn–it’s a tad disturbing. So they were watering it down even before this, but I assumed they were just out of good ideas.

      Monster High has a ton of adult collectors who will not be interested in the reboot, guaranteed.

      Reply
  11. Avatar

    Once a counter culture idea makes headway into the mainstream (weather it is *goth* style, or toys that embrace that not everyone is the same) there will always be an inevitable whitewashing. Every underground musical style that gets airplay ends up co-opted and made safer for the *normal* listener. I am actually surprised the toys lasted as long as they did. Those of us that want all ideas included, all sorts of people celebrated are sadly in the minority. Many pay lip service to that idea, but once all the freak flags fly high, the outcry begins. And any large company knows where its money comes from. They pacify, and all the freaky little kids suffer.

    Reply
    • JH

      So sad but true, Ryan. I’m glad we had five years where Monster High dolls were freaky. I suspect the originals are going to be snapped up from stores.

      Reply
  12. Avatar

    Hi J.H. I too was never into dolls as a kid. But I’m aware as an adult and as a mother, of the insidious influence of Barbie dolls on little ones all wanting to be princesses. A little more cloak and dagger and less dumbing down would be a better influence I think … I’m the mother of boys so haven’t had to confront this particular issue thankfully 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      Hi Susan! Thanks for commenting. I completely agree. Less dumbing down would be great for kids of all ages and genders.

      When I made my book trailer, I had to work with an 11-year-old, and I was taken aback by how intelligent he is. It’s so easy to forget how smart kids are. They definitely don’t need to be spoon fed.

      Reply
  13. Avatar

    This just continues to confirm that so many parents are stupid. These are probably the same parents who go to church on Sunday while waiving the confederate flag and a gun in the other and feel shoot to kill is one of the 10 commandments. I hate these types of parents..people who are truly hypocrites and just want to force their own views on others and love control. I had the old type of barbies with actual eyelashes and the body that no female could ever have and loved those grown up looking barbies. I also had the barbie van and I would place my barbies in them and pretend they careened out of control and watched them crash down the stairs. I would also fling them around my bedroom. I believe I invented the first punk haircut….done on my barbie. I cut her hair on both sides and got my mom’s dippidy doo and put the remaining hair up in the air after trying to colour her hair with blue magic marker

    Reply
    • JH

      So, basically, if you give a kid Barbies instead of Monster High dolls, they will make their own. 😀

      I agree with you, Birgit. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in the world. And a lot of insanity, if “How Do You Boo?” is seen as more meaningful than “Be Yourself.”

      Reply
  14. Avatar

    I loved the original dolls. They were the sort of dolls you would be happy to see a young girl playing with. As you said the message was that it’s not just ok, but good, to be different. Now Mattel have changed them, how many young girls are going to hear “actually it’s not ok”
    Debbie

    Reply
    • JH

      More than a few, I think. Sadly.

      Reply
  15. Avatar

    I always hate when any franchise comes out with the offspring of the originals. Heck, they are fiction!! They can always stay the age they are. I imagine the blogger is right, more licensing problems than parental response. I mean, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

    Reply
    • JH

      Exactly, Barbara! I agree.

      Thanks for commenting–always nice to see you here.

      Reply
  16. Avatar

    I’ve never heard of these dolls or Monster High. I had Barbies as a kid, but they never did the usual Barbie things. They were busy going on adventures, being chased by monsters, that kind of thing. 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      They would have gotten along well with Draculaura and Frankie. 🙂

      Reply
  17. Avatar

    This seriously bums me out. I’ve been resisting an urge to collect Monster High Dolls for quite some time, just because I’d rather buy books, but now I have no desire whatsoever! =( I’ve never thought they were too scary, though I did find them a bit sexualized for the demographic they were trying to reach but the whole concept of being the children of movie monsters was ultimately more appealing. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but this still sucks.

    Reply
    • JH

      Yeah, it seems we can’t have a female represented in toy form that isn’t over-the-top sexualized…except perhaps American Girl dolls. But when you watch the movies and the animated shorts, they’re not like that at all. I recommend the early ones.

      You can visit my collection! 🙂

      Thanks so much for commenting, my friend.

      Reply
      • Avatar

        You’re welcome!! ^_^ I never get notifications when I get replies, I’m still kinda new to all this blog stuff!

        Reply
        • JH

          For a newbie, you’re doing a great job. 🙂

          Reply
    • Avatar

      I don’t typically post comments on blogs, but I have to share this somewhere. I didn’t originally let my daughter get into Monster High largely because of the sexualized characterization. I’d only seen pictures of the characters at this point. But my 4 year old daughter begged and pleaded to buy her first Monster High movie, my not being aware of the dolls at the time. Why did I give in? Because my daughter was positively TERRIFIED of Halloween. It didn’t matter how NOT scary the costumes were, if it was a mask she freaked. Even knowing full well that they were costumes didn’t help. But her peers were into this “cute monster” fad and she wanted to be included. Much to my amazement, the movies were pretty good – engaging, creative, appropriate corniness to make parents giggle, and truly “Unique.” I forgot my spite about the sexualized cartoons (still think they could’ve been more appropriate in that regard), and found myself buying movies and dolls for myself as much for my daughter. The best part: my daughter now LOVES playing dress up, loves trick or treating, even loves vampires and other monsters. Years later I find her enjoying classic movies like “Creature from the black lagoon,” and “The Blob.” She still doesn’t like being scared, so I sincerely doubt she’ll go for the Chucky dolls ever. But she’s even told me that she’s learned that not all monsters have to be scary. SHE has told me how she’s learned not to judge people on they’re appearances or disabilities because “Frankie was pretty with all her scars. She was a brave a good friend, and how was it that her hand could come off and save the day!” I followed movies more than the dolls but immediately noticed that they changed the characters’ back stories, even some of the actors, the script was horrible, and the animation disgraceful. Obviously my daughter lost interest and so did I. I think the impact of the Monster High experience will remain with her, but it won’t be around to continue to have such a positive impact on other kids. She wants to be a doctor now. I don’t know if I can attribute any or all of that to Monster High since she has always had a big heart. But I have a feeling she’d struggle with that goal if she was still as timid as she used to be before Monster High. I think it truly helped her find self confidence and courage, to be herself and to face the world no matter what the world looks like.

      Reply
  18. Avatar

    My daughters aged past Barbie before Monster High became a thing, but they would have LOVED them. Our Barbies were constantly getting tied up and dangled over cliffs. They also got some rather non-standard hair cuts.

    I did buy some Monster High dolls for my niece, but I was not aware of the re-boot. I agree with your assessment. Scratch out unique and different and hammer those girls back into the pegs meant for princesses. 🙁

    Reply
    • JH

      It’s a sad moment for the freaks of the world, that’s for sure. And I mean “freaks” in a good way.

      Reply
  19. Avatar

    Hey, JH, thanks for referencing my article! It’s great to hear support from others who value the original motto to “be unique” and ” be a monster”. These dolls were my favorite line ever, and it breaks my heart to see them change. I collect Barbie and Disney dolls as well, so I have no need for Monster High to look like them, especially when it does such a bad job of making the dolls “cuter”.

    The sad thing to me is that this reboot went through without the company listening to the fans. Most fans say they hate the new look, but Mattel acts like if they put out this different look and also SEVERELY decrease the quality and detail work done on the dolls the fans will still buy them.

    Some say the dolls are more appropriate because they look “younger”, but to me it just looks like all the intelligence has been sapped from the characters’ eyes.

    If you want a monster doll brand that embraces freakiness and makes high quality toys, try onceuponazombie.com. They zombify princesses and other fairy tale characters, and have a pretty good novel out which gives the characters’ backstories.

    I reviewed the zombie dolls and the book on Culture Honey as well:

    http://www.culturehoney.com/a-little-princess-and-a-little-zombie-once-upon-a-zombie-dolls/

    http://www.culturehoney.com/once-upon-a-zombie/

    Whoo, that was a long post! Thanks for reading through it!

    Again, thanks for linking my article! Here’s to the continued search for quirky, unique dolls!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Laura! It was a great article.

      Reply
  20. Avatar

    With this reboot i feel MH dies with it, because for me and all the other kids who didn’t fit in seeing this change tell’s us we have no save haven. Monster high is the series i rejoiced and praised to the moon and back because you have Siamese twin monsters, monsters with one eye! relationships from different sides of the monster spectrum and for us it told us “It’s okay to be unique and weird! it’s okay to be yourself! if people call you a monster then be proud and wave your monster flag high!” but now?? all this reboot says to us is “If people don’t like you it’s time to change who you are and hide your freaky cute flaws!” and it really hurts. I’m 19 and i’ve suffered from depression, eating disorders, anxiety low self esteem and once monster high came out i had something i could enjoy because just like frankie i have scars! and just like clawdeen i have my own freaky fab style! and just like cleo i can be a bit of a spoiled but lonely princess and it goes on and it showed me it’s okay to be all of those things and to flaunt my scars because they show i’m a survivor of the things i’ve been through, but this reboot made me cry because once again all us freaky kids are being shoved to the dark corner of the classroom and being told that no one cares once again about what we think and to hide what makes us freaky and cool. “Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster.” was something everyone who loved MH lived by… because it showed us someone cared about us. “How do you Boo?” sounds like something you’d hear from a halloween barbie line and it has no soul or meaning…

    I’m so sorry this was super long, i just… i had a lot of emotions about this.

    Reply
    • JH

      Oh Danielle, my heart goes out to you. This is exactly what I was afraid of–and what of the even younger girls who are getting the same message? It’s so much crap.

      Keep embracing who you are. Love your original dolls and pretend they discontinued the line. That’s what I’m going to do.

      The world needs your freaky fab style. Trying to fit in is for wimps. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Avatar

    I was drawn to Monster High dolls, not because of the fact they were children of monsters, but because of the uniqueness of them. Such detail and thought went into the designs of the characters and their fashions. Barbie once had that same uniqueness. But, that was then, this is now….and MH has become more like “cutesy” and “girly” with bright colors, pink everywhere, and gimmicky themes. The ghouls look more like 8 to 10 year old kids rather than teens. The initial target audience was never intended to be little girls 6 to 10, but tweens. However the majority of buyers were parents of younger kids, and only a small number of adult collectors like myself. Over time, the quality of the dolls dropped, and so did sales…and thus, Mattel decided to revamp the line in hopes of turning a (higher) profit.

    I would like to know if the parents of these young kids, the same ones who moaned and groaned about the dolls being “hypersexualized” (sigh), too scary, too dark, etc. – if they have now changed their minds and buying these reboot dolls?

    And you were asking about what Barbie’s about? As a longtime Barbie collector, I can tell you….she’s about fashion, and being whoever you want to be. 🙂 Just like what MH *used* to be.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks for commenting, Catfancier. I didn’t realize the quality of the MH dolls had gone down over the years. It’s funny that organizations never understand lower quality = lower sales.

      From what I know, Mattel has gotten quite a bit of backlash over the changes. It will be interesting to see if the reboot improves sales, or if the MH line dies altogether.

      Reply
  22. Avatar

    Changing the dolls because a few people don’t like them takes away everything monster high stands for. Be yourself be unique be a monster the makers of these dolls took away everything that made them unique. Why change them because a few think they look scary? If a few people don’t like them don’t buy them or play with them problem solved! We miss the uniqueness of the original dolls and what they stood for. All they showed kids was that if people don’t like the way you are change so you will be liked better

    Reply
    • JH

      I agree with you 100%, Christy.

      Reply
  23. Avatar

    I would not say that all, or even the majority of, “Conservatives” (whatever connotation people give them) or Christians, were down on the original concepts of these dolls, as another user commented. I speak for myself as both, but I do believe other Conservatives and Christians to a large extent have no problem with these dolls in the same way that the Harry Potter series was a fun, magical story with many good messages. This is fiction with a good message. I like it, others like it. And it does not act against my religious values. A good doll is a good doll, and MH originals were good dolls. So please, don’t label everyone with a giant sticker. Honestly, there were a lot of negative things that user said that are truly offensive, but since it’s the internet it doesn’t really matter I suppose. I’m beyond getting offended. I just want to point out that wide judgments on groups looks hypocritical to me. No, no one is perfect. Not even “holy” people, but we are accountable for our individual actions and remarks, and we can do better as a whole society when comes to treating others eith respect. That is for everyone, not any single group.

    Ugh…That being said, I loved the original concept of the MH dolls and the series as a whole. I actually do like the Disney Princesses and their stories, but I also love the quirky take on the monster theme. The MH webisodes made it very easy and fun to jump into the undead side of Barbie. I had even bought a few of the originals just because this doll line was so unique, cute, and super detailed! (I’m over 30. Compensating for my childhood, ha.) A very few of the outfits may or may not be a little questionable, but after watching the webisodes it was utterly ridiculous to consider the characters as “trashy” or “sexualixed”. The Monster High characters are very sweet, have big personalities, and often teach morals to kids, while being funny and entertaining. Not to mention they are cartoons, so who cares if their proportions are unnatural. Aren’t they supposed to be unnatural anyway? They are monsters… And every parent knows you always monitor your children no matter what activities they are into or what programs they watch. So it is incumbent upon parents to explain the do’s and dont’s in life. Instead, it seems parents want to blame the rest of the world (i.e. Mattel’s creative MH line), but a child’s whole world is shaped by their home life. Teach them well and they will learn how to discern between make-believe and reality. Otherwise, anyone who has ever complained about the MH line may as well never watch another Hollywood movie, cartoon, or anything on TV. Aren’t they all fake? Sorry to go on that tirade… I’m not frustrated at the bloggers here, but more so at those who have misdirected the blame at the toy industry. Honestly, it all starts at home. Teach your kids and stop blaming others. The world will always have its share of horribleness, but we don’t have to be a part of it. Be in the world, but not of the world.

    As for Mattel, they went so wrong with the reboot MH. Absolutely not a fan of the reboot dolls or theme. I agree, they are trying to Princess-efy the MH brand. I have no problem with Princesses, but why can’t we keep them separate? This dilution of what made the dolls great I believe will be the downfall for the series. Not everything has to be the same. I don’t need to explain the reasons why the reboot is so bad, everyone has already stated it for me. Gone are the days of the meticulously crafted and designed outfits, accessories, articulation, and facial features of the Monster High line. RIP.

    Reply
  24. Avatar

    No way how do you boo is a way better message…
    The original dolls were so way better. They shot out a meaningful message.

    Reply
  25. Avatar

    This is a good piece, because it dares to question the choice of Mattel to bow to those adults who were against the original looks of the ghouls of Monster High.

    I am of the opinion that the re-boot is both good and bad. In many ways, the original dolls were too scary-looking for younger children, and when the suggested age range on the actual doll boxes is listed as being “3+”, many parents are led to be judgmental.

    While I truly appreciated the oftentimes Goth and old-fashioned good looks of the faces of the pre-re-boot ghouls, I tended to wish that they had been made to look more smiley at times, because I loved their facial expressions in the webisodes and the movies.

    When it comes to the re-boot, I am actually more upset about Mattel’s lack of quality control than about anything else, although you’re right when you say that that old edge is pretty much gone.

    I was a college student during the late 1990s, and I was searching for all things Goth online. I once customized a beach Lea doll into a Goth girl who drooled blood….and wore a black nail polish bodysuit; I hung her on my door for passersby to see.

    Pre-re-boot Frankie is probably my favorite, due to her old-fashioned face, which makes me think of the elegance of old Hollywood stars like Annette Funicello.

    On the one hand, the re-boot has been kind of silly, because there isn’t that edge, and because all of the colors are becoming way more….”cheerful”.

    On the other hand, I actually like some of the ghouls’ sweeter facial expressions, and I love the new trend of making their characters more kind and clawsome. For example, instead of being a real snob, Cleo de Nile is now a problem solver, and a fearless ghoul….who just happens to be rich and stylish. It’s like everyone’s characters have matured, just as they would’ve during high school, and that’s refreshing to see.

    I also like the new emphasis on family. In the newer movies, there have been hints that the families of Draculaura and Clawdeen might become one blended family, and I like the thought of that.

    In addition, the newer bodies of the dolls are less unrealistic, which allows a wider range of girls to see the characters as role models, and….Cleo has molded-on bandages, which make her look a little bit more realistic as the daughter of mummies!

    I am in agreement with some other MH fans, though, about the fact that it’s unfair to give every solitary ghoul little siblings; I agree that when every ghoul has at least one sibling, that situation might give only children the wrong idea about being only children.

    Overall, though, if Mattel can get the quality control to be back up to snuff, and if they can resist the urge to drop a little monster sibling into Abbey Bominable’s life….and if they can create more parent dolls that can join Count Dracula (I want that kitchen playset with Dracula and Draculaura), then I think that the re-boot can be off to a new good start!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much for your comment. It’s great to hear from someone who appreciates the reboot in some ways–always good to hear the “other side.”

      Reply
  26. Avatar

    Let me just clarify; that Lea doll’s “bloody drool” was actually just a combination of clear and red nail polish. 🙂

    Reply
  27. Avatar

    I have been a doll artist for 20 years. Doing ooak dolls. In my opinion the doll company is losing it . The quality is disgusting and so is the hair. The parts break off. And just imagine the potential if they took those face molds and made something pretty with decent hair. No, instead the doll comes in all gummed up with GLUE. No one wants them anymore except two year olds. sad .

    Reply
    • JH

      That’s really disappointing, Cindy. My hope was that the original dolls would increase in value, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Rather, people have just lost interest in Monster High altogether.

      Reply
  28. Avatar

    Original Monster High dolls were and are amazing. I always felt like an outcast growing up, and when one day found them shopping with my daughter, thought they were the most beautiful dolls I had ever seen. My little girl snatched them all up immediately, something clicking inside her to-she never ever played with Barbies. Well, that was over 10 years ago, and I have been collecting here and there only to find these very UN Monster High dolls. Ugh, all originality gone, the original message also gone. How sad…I found this article while searching if maybe they would go back to the “old style” 🙁

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    I loved monster high, hate the reboot and hate that they do not sell any boys or new charcters anymore. Just these washed out princess like ‘monsters’ that they make have teaparties and do ballet. From all of us who liked the Barton quality of these dolls. Booooooo

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    • JH

      They don’t sell boy dolls anymore? That’s insane! The male dolls were so sought after. What a bonehead move on their part.

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    No wonder Mattel is going bankrupt. Nothing original is coming out of the design dept anymore

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    Ok, I’m late on this, but since I found this article now, maybe it happens to someone else, right?
    Well, I also saw many of these MH dolls in the stores, they are VERY expensive in Brazil. I never paid attention to them, because I tought they were another line of Bratz dolls, and I hate Bratz, I think they are really ugly! LOL But these year I was searching on youtube how could I make a custom Sailor Moon Barbie doll, but instead of this, I saw SEVERAL repaints of monster high dolls, and I saw how cute and interesting they were! So I read their bio: “daughter of Frankenstein”, “daughter of vampires”, “daughter of the mummy”, etc, and I was like “WOW! These are cool, I’d love this dolls if I were a little girl!”. Now I’m a 30yr old woman, no kids, that loves horror movies and mythology. I don’t like all of the “ghouls” because some of them, I can tell which monster it is LOL There are some crazy hybrid that are really messed. But I already have my favorites and started collecting them. Have you seen the siamese twins with sea serpent body? Freaky, but hella cool! I don’t intend to have a big collection, as I said, only a few dolls. I get them 2nd hand. They are way expensive than Barbie dolls. And I don’t like the new ones, they are not unique, so that’s why I have to search for 2nd hand dolls, the good old ones. First Draculaura doll is so epic, her dark lipstick, her outfit, her hair, omg! But now the new dolls are too “pinky” and “girly”… Draculaura now has a smiling face!
    Mattel also released that “Ever After High” doll line, that I don’t like. Yeah, I love Disney princesses, but I don’t like this new line mattel released. The Hasbro dolls looks cheap and their faces and costumes are…wrong. Even the Barbie dolls are very generic, their hair is bad, I loved those big and wavy hair back in the 90s, now their hair look very basic.
    RIP Mattel.

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    I absolutely loved these when they first came out because I loved how they featured their flaws and differences! I’ve always loved monsters, and was super jealous I didn’t have these as a kid, so I started collecting them as a grown ass adult with no kids. Then I remembered going into a store to checkout if there were any new MH dolls, and saw the changes. I was shocked, and upset. How could they cheapen the look, and lessen their flaws like they were then ashamed of who they were?! I always figured if I had kids, I’d want them to be exposed to a toy that showed them to be proud of who you are, no matter what that it. I’m pretty sure Mattel’s sales have dropped drastically with how much rebooting they’ve been doing with Barbies, so hopefully they’ll change their Monster High dolls back to what they were, and what they stood for!

    Reply
    • JH

      Agreed, Courtney. I started collecting them for the same reason–I wished they’d been around when I was a kid. It’s a shame, and so disappointing, that Mattel did this to Monster High. Didn’t they think about the message they were sending? I’m not holding out hope that they’ll fix this mistake.

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    I mean, I think Barbie can represent some pretty great messages- the thing about her is that she’s existed for so long in so many different forms that lots of people tend to forget who she is now. Sure, in the past she’s had some problematic installments, but with all the different body types, skin tones, hair textures, and occupations she fills now (not to mention her YouTube ‘vlogs’ addressing sexism, depression, and more), I’d say she can actually be seen as quite the empowering figure. It is a shame that MH got redesigned, though. I was never into them but I thought they had a really neat look. 🙁

    Reply

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