Saturday, July 27, 2013

Only Hearts Club for Monster High, and a look at some Equestria Girls

Made a special trip out to one of the Not!Local towns today, all because I had a dream about finding some new Monster High dolls where the "monster" part of their theme was cranked up. Instead of wild, over the top party outfits, these dolls were done as just being "more monster-y". The Abbey in the set was amazing, she was on the "older" body style, and instead of glittery cyan skin, she had lightly pearly white skin. Her hair was super-long, and was a mixture of white and pale, pale cyan with faint streaks of darker cyan/blue, purple, and light, light pink. She had a long, floor length white fur coat, too. I don't remember the rest of her outfit, as the coat covered it up. There was also a pretty amazing Lagoona in the lineup, iirc.

Anyway, I knew I wasn't going to find THOSE dolls, but thought I might find something really cool. I made a trip to the Tuesday Morning store, and found another Only Hearts Club doll, which I bought to test the theory that Monster High could wear their pants. Also there was a very sweet backpack.
"Today's victim... Uh-Visitor! Yes!"
Truth time. The backpack is what convinced me to buy this particular doll.
Such a cool backpack. Almost worth the $7 for the set, right there!
Seriously, the little drawstring works, there are mesh pockets on the sides.. if you somehow suffered a tv cliche and were shrunk down to doll size, you could really use this backpack!

D'awww.. now imagine him as a red panda. D'AWWWWWWWW!
Oh, and also I bought a LHC raccoon. I'm pondering taking markers to him and turning him into a red panda.

Left the hat on the LHC doll, Lily Rose. (Her parents must like flowers.) I didn't much care for her face (more freckles than I like), but thought the little braids woven into her hair were a nice touch.
"I'm a clothes thief!"
So here's Nii in Lily's clothes. Everything looks pretty good at first, other than the unhemmed cuffs on her sleeves.
One size does NOT fit all!
But here's the bad news. The top is just as huge as the nightshirt from the previous set was, and you're doubling it over a LOT to get it to hang "right". And as you can see, the LHC pants fit about the same as Bratz ones.. that is, they're a little short in the crotch, which means that if you try to get your MH doll (or body) seated, the back waistband ends up sliiiiiiiding down until the velcro pops open.

Oh well, it's nice to have an extra option, I guess. I think I can take in the top a bit.. or maybe just relocate that velcro!

More victims! Er... Visitors!

I also (finally) found some of the Equestria Girls dolls at Toys R Us. I found them to be a bit overpriced (especially the slim box dolls, who only have a skirt instead of a full dress/outfit!), but interesting. While chatting about them on the phone with a friend, she mentioned that she thought Twilight would work for a custom idea she has. I mentioned being kind of interested in the other doll in the box, and so we're splitting this pack. (Yay!)

You can see in the box that both dolls come with a full dress, shoes, earrings, an additional accessory and the crown that they're fighting over in the movie. The background of the box is pretty cool, and features the colors/cutie mark of each character.

The sides of the box have a crown, flanked on each side by the girls' cutie marks. Sunset Shimmer's mark looks like a fiery sun/yin-yang, which I think is a really cool design.

The back of the box has movie art of the characters, and a brief synopsis of what's going on with this crown business in the film. You'll note that their outfits in the art aren't similar to what the dolls wear. I think Twilight has another doll that has a more movie-accurate look, but I believe that this is the only release so far for Sunset Shimmer.
"Release us!"
The background card and attached dolls slides easily out of the box.
The back of the card looks a bit intimidating until you realize you can just unwind the twine on the flower-like pieces securing the dolls by the neck. Then you just slide their arms free and snip the clear elastic bands holding the doll to the backing. Easy!

"Once again, Twilight Sparkle, I escape you!"
Here's Sunset Shimmer, looking like a biker rock star princess from the 80's. She has a faux leather jacket (held closed with a single basting stitch, an easy removal), a shiny shiny metallic dress, and heavy-duty boots with lots of buckles. Sunset Shimmer also has bi-color hair, an odd, yellow leg, flames on her right thigh and under her right eye, and flames on her right boot.

Those are stompin' boots if I ever saw some.
The shoes on these dolls are all very interesting, some of them have nearly as much detail as Monster High shoes. The heels of Shimmer's boots look like unicorn horns.

"Once again, Twilight, you see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away!"

The crown can fit either doll, and is cleverly designed to curl around the erect "pony ears" atop their heads. (No, there are no "human" ears on the sides of their heads). Oddly enough, the legs on the dolls in this set do not bend. At all. Ever. That was a little disappointing, as I thought they would be Barbie-like in that aspect. The deluxe doll sets have articulated joints at the elbows and knees, it would have been nice to have had that here in the "giftset dolls".
"Jerk, I will HARM you...!"
So then a brawl broke out over who got to wear the Pretty Pretty Princess crown.
"Hi folks, pay no attention to the massive head trauma behind me..."
Twilight won, handily.

Twilight's doll is really pretty. Her purple hair has lilac and pinkish tones interspersed throughout. She wears a sleeveless dress with tulle overskirt, with a pattern of purple and plum diamonds. Her boots have silver bows on the toes, and her smile is bright and engaging. Though her knees don't bend, she has a good enough range of motion to putt off some winning poses.
Both dolls have a slot in their back with allows them to wear the single set of wings in the package.
It's a better fit than my 1980's flutter pony's wings, that's for sure. Adding the wings, you'll notice, brings out the pale gold in Twilight's dress.
Biker chic?
Opening up Sunset Shimmer's jacket reveals that it is unlined, and her designer probably worked for Jem and the Holograms sometime in the 80's.
Unlike Twilight, Shimmer can walk like an Egyptian... sort of.
Taking off her jacket reveals two things. One, her dress is short sleeved, unlike Twilight's. Two, she actually has articulation in her arms!? I had assumed that her stiff-feeling arms were molded in the position they were in when in the box, but they actually do bend at the elbow. I checked Twilight again just to be sure she wasn't hiding something, but she doesn't have this feature. (Why not!?)
Cirque du Soleil escapee, coming through!
Adding the gold wings to Shimmer does her no favors. They just look over the top on her.

Both girl's dresses are only finished at the top edge, which is rather a shame. I can foresee Sunset's dress being prone to fraying with that metallic fabric.

"Ahh! Shimmer, you've got a yellow leg?!"
"Jealous, much?"
Undressed, you can appreciate another unique feature of these dolls.. they each have their own distinct torso mold! No idea if the other deluxe dolls share molds with these two, but I wouldn't be surprised. Twilight's wearing a molded-on bustier type top that works with her sleeveless dress. Shimmer has a cami.
Hand me downs
They have pegged legs and can share shoes with Bratz dolls. Monster High clothes are a bit big on them.
"Go... team?"
Bratz clothes are a bit hit and miss. I don't know for sure, but I think that top is from a "Lil' Bratz" doll.
The 'Laundry Day" look.
Some Bratz skirts seem to work, but tops seem a bit big. Moxie Girls shoes can also fit.
Almost a passable outfit!
This Chelsea clone dress makes a cute top and fits pretty well, and this particular pair of jeans fit almost perfectly. The Moxie rain boots look pretty good, too.
"Gimme my dress back!"
"Aw, you weren't wearing it, it was just laying there!"
Equestria Girls dresses *can* fit Monster High, but they are VERY short.
Very. Short. There's some kind of Botticelli "Birth of Sailor Venus" thing going on, here.
"That's PRINCESS biker chick to you, buster!
Twilight is keeping Shimmer's coat. It's an odd, yet good look.
Here's the rest of the loot, plus a random hairbrush. Each doll gets a photo card, a pair of earrings, and an extra accessory. Shimmer got a saddlebag/fanny pack that has a slot in the top that you might get one of her earrings in. Twilight got a purse that doesn't open. There's also a pony-decorated brush, a sheet of stickers, and a booklet showing the other dolls in the line. I'm disappointed that Rarity apparently didn't get a deluxe doll.
"I'm keeping your coat."
Here are both girls with their extras. You'll have to take my word for it that Shimmer is wearing her flaming sun earrings.
"Seriously, you're not getting this thing back."
The earrings just hook onto the ears. Twilight's are designed very cleverly to fit with her crown. Shimmer's work okay with it, but not as awesomely.

I'm fairly pleased overall with the set. I am disappointed that only one doll had additional articulation, and that their legs don't bend. Being able to swap clothes between smaller dolls is good, but you're pretty limited as to what you can swap with, due to their size. I'm also a little baffled as to why the one yellow leg on Sunset Shimmer. I get that it balances out her two-tone hair, but really? A yellow LEG? Couldn't we have given her a cheap stocking or something?

The dolls are VERY cute, and very fun to pose and play with, though. The unique outfits and shoes help breathe more personality into them.

I think I'm done buying Only Hearts Club clothes for Monster High. I do love that backpack, though. And it looks like I'm not the only one.
"AGHH! Hitchhiker!"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nii's New Shoes (Bratzillaz Fashion Pack test)

Bratzillaz shoes fit Monster High very well, from what I've seen. The clothes... not so much. It's a combination of "too big around" and "too short" for everything but the jacket sleeves. Those are some LONG jacket sleeves.

This hat is just terrible, but I may keep the stretchy headband.

Fun fact: I actually put the "pet clothes" on Nii as well as the doll clothes, in an attempt to hide some gap. They still gap.

The skirt has this odd drape thing coming off the side, which doesn't compliment the weird bunched up way it's sewn at all.

These boots are fantastic, though! I found a basket of 2/$1 Barbie and Barbie-knockoff clothing at a thrift store while I was out, and picked up a few things, like this pair of shorts with the HUGE Barbie tag. I think these must be Skipper's, because I don't think Barbie could get them on.

The fit on them is great for Monster High bodies, though.

I think this "skirt" is actually a one piece dress with a Barbie tag, but it's a bit big for Nii. It makes a decent MH skirt.

These knockoff doll shorts are a little too big for Nii, but maybe they'll fit a MH male?

Nii also got a bunny! (the purse is from the Bratzillaz pack at top) I don't know what the bunny is from, but he now lives with Nii and her dragon on the shelf.

This is what "spoiled" looks like.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bed (and Bath?) Time for Nii

"Yay! I escaped from the store room!"
A trip to one of the Tuesday Morning stores I'm not really close enough to recently revealed that they'd come up with a shipment of Only Hearts Club dolls from somewhere. I vaguely recall seeing these on the shelf at Wal-Mart, but that's about it. I'd heard that their clothing fit Monster High, and for $7, I was willing to take a risk. Not too big of a risk, because I know my luck, but a risk nonetheless.

Olivia was the doll who ended up coming home with me, since I reasoned that if her clothes were too big, a pajama shirt would be an okay thing to have in the too big range of clothing.

I was also intrigued by her bag full of bath stuff. There was another doll with a really nice looking backpack, but I noticed that the edges on her shirt looked unfinished, and I found that cheap. Olivia's package was missing its protective plastic sleeve, so I was able to ascertain that her shirt seemed to be finished at least at the collar and tail.

Looking fashionable, Nii.
As you can see, Nii still hasn't gotten a haircut yet. She has had emergency horn treatments, though. I discovered that the Liquitex varnish I'd used to seal her horns had gone gooey, letting her hair stick to them and pull the paint free. Her horns are not removable, so I ended up having to patch them up and then coat them with spray gloss sealant.

They seem to be holding steady now, but I check them every day. I've started work on her counterpart, Ree, and you'd better believe his horns are getting the full spa treatment before I begin putting hair on him!

There was just screaming, fuming and cursing during this process, I don't mind telling you. Screaming because one of my cats likes to get into everything and knocked Nii off the countertop at one point ("NOOOO! BAD KITTY!"), fuming because I couldn't believe I'd been dumb enough to leave the sealing to the Liquitex, and cursing because I varnished my hands, the plastic I was using as a hairnet TO the horns, and just... lots of stuff going everywhere.

Good, clean, wholesome and fun-loving?
Here's Olivia, free of her cardboard prison. You can see that she has vinyl hands and a vinyl head, and all the rest of her is a soft plush over a wire armature that allows for limited posing. Her hair is in a crimped style that reminds me of my trendy friends in the 80's, but has a very nice, soft texture. She also has teeny tiny little inset eyes that are decently lifelike. She seems like a lovely girl... let's rob her of all her stuff!

"I'm like Robin Hood! I steal clothes and give them to myself!"
As I suspected, Olivia's nightgown is a bit big on Nii, but like I said, you probably want that in a nightgown. She also had a pair of panties that match the nightgown, which were a perfect fit on Nii! Only Hearts Club pants *might* fit Monster High bodies really well, if they're long enough!

What's in the bag?
Here's the rest of the loot. The fuzzy purple bathrobe has a little inset panel around the neck that matches the nightgown. The belt is loose, and not attached to the robe.

That's a lot of accessories!
I had to know what was in that bath bag. In the outer mesh pocket was a little foam yellow duck. Rolled up in the main part of the bag as a purple washcloth and a heart-shaped sponge. Is a sponge redundant when you have a scrubby poof? This bag was amazing. The little drawstrings on it really work!

Good, clean, but perhaps not so wholesome.
Snipping a couple of threads unrolled the towel on Olivia's head to show it was a big, triangular piece that will actually fit around Nii's head with no problems. Isn't she adorable in this? She couldn't wear those fuzzy bunny slippers to save her life, though. Maybe I can find her some purple Monster High ones?

"This is my uniform for the weekend!"
Meanwhile, Nii thinks wearing heels to lounge around makes her look sophisticated and glamorous. Who am I to tell her different?

"Finally, shoes I really like!"
Don't worry about those bunny slippers though, someone else has already claimed them. It took some doing, but Rapunzel got them on her feet. She won't take them off. Something about sinful comfort.