Friday, December 16th, 2011...12:09 am

MH Create-a-Monster Vampire and Sea Monster

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Monster High Create-A-Monster Vampire and Sea Monster Starter Pack
Manufacturer: Mattel
MSRP: $26.99 at Toys R Us, less at other retailers
Availability: Mass retail, now

Mattel’s Monster High line of fashion dolls has been taking full advantage of geek culture, releasing exclusive dolls for San Diego Comic Con since 2010 and debuting dolls and fashions on Facebook. It’s a strange new world where new product is shown off at a SDCC booth rather than Mattel’s Toy Fair booth.


Thanks to the online social media blitz, I’d been aware of the Create-a-Monster sets coming out, and that one of the sets was “Vampire and Sea Monster”. I was baffled as to why they’d release such a set when the Monster High core cast already has a vampire (“Draculaura, daughter of the Vampire”) and a sea monster (“Lagoona Blue, daughter of the Sea Monster”).


I thought I’d be passing on these in favor of the more-exciting “Werewolf and Dragon” set (the Monster High cast includes “Clawdeen and Clawd, children of the Werewolf”, but the Create-A-Monster Werewolf has a unique pale skintone). But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Create a Monster Sea Monster is also unique!

Each Create-a-Monster Starter Pack includes 1 torso, two sets of upper arms, two sets of lower arms, two sets of hands, two sets of upper legs, two sets of lower legs with feet, two heads, two outfits, a pair of shoes and one wig. Accessories include a comb and a stand and (for the Vampire and Sea Monster set) a hair clip.


The Create a Monster Sea Monster girl has molded-on fins on her legs, and sports beautiful “tentacles” on her arms. Although this makes it rather confusing as to whether she’s an icthyoid or a cephalopod, it means that the simple addition of the wings from the Dragon Girl will make it easy to create a customized Daughter of Cthulhu fashion doll.


Unfortunately, my lack of research meant that I hadn’t realized that the Create a Monster Starter Packs only come with one torso part, which only matches one of the two body part sets in the package.


Since the packaging boasts that there are over 250 combinations possible, it appears that we’re meant to mix and match without worrying about color-matching. But it’s a little hard to ignore the oddness of the purple and pink together. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if there was some sort of gradient effect going on, so that the sea monster’s thighs and upper arms were a shade between the torso and the lower limbs… or if the starter set had either a black or white/pale torso that complemented both sets of limbs without perfectly matching either one. Regrettably, that is not the case.


This leads to an unfortunate situation where it looks as though there’s one “correct” doll that you can make, and then a bunch of mismatched dolls you can make with the spare parts.


The doll itself is easy to put together. The body parts snap in tightly without requiring too much force. I did have some difficulty getting the wig to fit on the head. The wig is on a rubbery cap with a prong on the inside which fits into a slot on the head. I found that the prong was a bit wobbly, requiring firm application of the wig to the squishy head. The wig also required a good amount of styling to hide the rim of the cap.





Of the two dolls it’s possible to create with the Vampire/Sea Monster pack, the Sea Monster is definitely my favorite. Mattel could have easily recycled Lagoona Blue’s head for use in this set, but they chose to use a unique headmold with bigger finned ears and a unique nose.



I have a feeling that the pale body in the Werewolf/Dragon pack might be a better match for the Sea Monster parts. It would be wonderful if Mattel released a Bucket o’ Parts, similar to LEGO’s Brick Box… it’s very disappointing that the first series of Create-A-Monster packs consists only of two torsos with 7 sets of limbs.

This may be asking too much of a toy line that’s made a conscious decision to release character-specific uniforms and situation-specific fashion sets rather than generic fashions that suit all the dolls. But I can always hope!

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