Friday, December 16th, 2011...10:53 pm

MH Create-a-Monster Werewolf and Dragon

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Monster High Create-A-Monster Werewolf and Dragon Starter Pack
Manufacturer: Mattel
MSRP: $26.99 at Toys R Us, less at other retailers
Availability: Mass retail, now
Related posts: Monster High Create-a-Monster Vampire and Sea Monster Review
NOTE: This review was written about the first release of the Werewolf/Dragon Starter Pack. I wrote this on December 16 2011, but apparently forgot to hit Publish until now.

After reviewing Monster High Create-a-Monster’s Vampire and Sea Monster Starter Pack, I wasn’t sure if I needed to review the Werewolf and Dragon Starter Pack… I was afraid it would amount to “the same as the other starter pack, but with different items”. But swapping around the parts is a major part of the Create-a-Monster line, so I figured that alone made it worth a review.


By combining the two Starter Packs, you can create unique combinations like this! …But I’m getting ahead of myself.


The packaging for the Werewolf and Dragon Starter Pack is much the same as previously-reviewed Vampire and Sea Monster set. One odd thing that I hadn’t noticed until I opened the box: the Werewolf doll is shown wearing the green scaly outfit that seems more suited to the Dragon, and the Dragon doll is shown wearing a purple moon-themed outfit that seems designed for the Werewolf. This is pretty unusual in the Monster High line, which is generally pretty consistent in what patterns and colours each character/doll wears.


An aside: I figured I’d want to do a comparison of Ghoulia’s skintone and the Create-a-Monster Werewolf’s skintone. I was surprised and chagrined to discover that the parts are not swappable. I mean, you could thicken Ghoulia’s wrist post with epoxy or putty, and you could probably put something into the Create-a-Monster wrist hole to permit a wider variety of parts to fit, but out of the box, the parts are incompatible.


I started out by assembling the Werewolf doll, as her parts match the torso included in this Starter Pack. Looking at her green two-piece outfit, though, I couldn’t resist adding the Dragon’s wings.


The wings are made of a flexible translucent-but-opaque plastic (possibly rubber). They plug into the slots on the back of the Create a Monster torsos. They can also, as my husband pointed out, plug into the slot on the head.


The ears are made of a firmer plastic with two thin strips of plastic leading to the part that snaps on to the peg. The strips of plastic feel fairly fragile to me, and I’m worried that they could tear with frequent use.


The ears are clipped into the hair like plastic barrettes. The seeming fragility of the pieces and the tendency for the ears to slide down the strand of hair made me wonder why the ears were not on pegs that plug straight into the head.


I can think of a few possible explanations:
1. The wig cap material would not be stable if it had holes cut into it to allow ears to plug in.
2. The hair barrette system lets you give the ears to dolls that are not part of the Create a Monster system
3. The hair barrette system lets you put the ears in different positions.


Back when I was making my own 1/6-scale custom action dolls, I came across some Japanese doll customizers who had created and cast a variety of elf-ears, including super-tall pointy ears, medium-sized ears, and stubby little ears that stuck straight out to the sides or drooped slightly. By placing the Werewolf ears at human ear-height, I can replicate that look at a fraction of the cost!


Here’s the Dragon girl, dressed in the second outfit included in this Starter Pack. As previously mentioned, the dress and shrug have a sort of lunar motif going on.


The shrug or cardigan is made of a slightly stiff tulle-type material, and has a rectangle cut out to allow access to the holes on the doll’s back. I’m not too concerned about the material fraying, but I did think that was an interesting way of covering the arms while permitting wings and other accessories to be attached.


The Dragon girl is, quite frankly, gorgeous. She has textured scales on her lower legs, upper legs, upper arms, forearms, and hands… basically, everywhere other than her torso and her head. Her leg-fins are even painted, a detail that the Sea Monster girl sadly lacks. And her painted scaly eyeshadow is gorgeous!


The left upper arm and thigh have green scale detailing as well! I think it would have been even better if she had asymmetrical scale details (scales on the right upper arm and left upper leg) but that’s a matter of personal taste.


Just for kicks, here are all four Create a Monster starter pack heads. I was impressed to find that they all had different eye-sizes, cheek bones, noses, and ears. Mattel easily could have used the same head sculpt with minor variations in make-up and ears… I’m glad they went the extra mile and gave each girl a distinctive look.




Onwards, to the real fun… mixing and matching the parts!

(To be continued in part 3 of the Monster High Create-A-Monster Starter Pack review trilogy!)

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