Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ever After High

Some of you may have noticed that one thing I've never mentioned on this blog is Monster High.  That has been a deliberate choice on my part.  For one thing, I'm not really into monsters myself, and while I think most of the Monster High stuff is actually well-written and clever (aside from a bit too much focus on typical high school romance), I don't appreciate the fact that it is something else focusing on the creepy and macabre.  I know that the show itself isn't really scary, but it will naturally pique little girls' interest in monsters and not everything out there is so innocent.  It seems like you can't go anywhere without running into vampires, zombies, or some other monster-themed book or movie.  I've never really been a fan of the spooky and scary...or falling in love with someone who wants to suck my blood, but he's sparkly and he's dreamy, so it's all okay.  Ahem.  But I digress.

Once again, I realize I'm probably in the minority here.  I don't think you're a bad person if you're into Monster High.  And honestly, if I didn't have kids of my own, it's probably something I'd enjoy a little more (I personally think Lagoona Blue is pretty cute).  But because I didn't want my girls getting interested in monsters, I've just avoided the whole line.  I've often thought, "I wish it was Fairy Tale High instead of Monster High.  Now that would be cool." :}

So the other day I was browsing the web and came across this post on the "Confessions of a Doll Collector's Daughter" blog.  And I have to admit, my interest was piqued...which led me to check out Ever After High's YouTube page and Official website.

Yes, it's pretty much the same thing as Monster High with Fairy Tale characters.  Yes, some of the "good" characters are annoying, and they all still wear little mini skirts and clunky high heels.  No, this is not something I will let my girls watch yet.  But there is a possibility that I might watch...with caution.

One thing I appreciate is that the "rebel" in the story is basically the daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White and doesn't want to follow in her mother's evil footsteps.  I prefer this story line to "Once Upon a Time's", where the Evil Queen herself keeps going from baddie to goodie.  I realize they're trying to show that everyone has the potential for good or evil, and I think it's an interesting idea, but there are times when I feel that in trying to get this across, the show makes things a little too morally ambiguous.  That, and it's just so dark.  Yes, I know many of the fairy tales were originally dark.  I get that.  I just don't think it's something they needed to add to a "family show".

I thought it was interesting that Ever After High is using the same idea for their Red Riding Hood character that Once Upon a Time did.  Is every Red now going to secretly be a werewolf?  That could get old.

Overall, I have mixed thoughts about this upcoming series.  The Disneyish, fairytale-loving fangirl in me is rather excited about the show and the possibilities it has.  And if they come up with a cute Beauty doll from Beauty and the Beast (or rather, their daughter), it will be sooo tempting to add her to my shelves.

However, I've seen enough of this stuff to know to proceed with caution.  I'm already a bit turned off by the fact that Apple White is a bit of an annoying ditz (and side note here, why on earth would you name your daughter after the thing that poisoned you?), the one Prince Character is just Gaston in Prince's clothing, and Briar Beauty is a little too eager to "live things up" before she goes to sleep for 100 years.  There's obviously going to be a lot of teen romance in this (which is why I won't be showing it to the girls...they don't need that in their heads right now), and the short skirts and other immodest styles are not what I would choose.  I'm sure that magic will also come into play quite a bit (it kind of has to with fairy tale stories, after all), which I may or may not be comfortable with depending on the direction they take it.

On the plus side, there are some characters who look interesting, like Raven Queen, Madeline Hatter and Dexter Charming.  There will probably be a lot of clever references to well-known fairy tales, too, which would be enjoyable.

So I guess my main thought at this time is that I'm interested to see where they go with this series, but I'm not ready to embrace it with open arms until I've seen more.  It has the potential to be really fun and another "guilty pleasure" for me (I figure if my worst guilty pleasures are My Little Pony and possibly Ever After High, I'm doing okay), ;) or it could go south pretty quickly.  I'll be keeping up with it for now, though.  I'd like to see what Mattel's plans are for the series and the inevitable doll line to go with it.

How about you guys?  Any thoughts?  Are you looking forward to this new line?  For you Monster High fans out there, does it feel like too much of a copycat line, or are you excited to have another set of characters to enjoy?  


Anonymous said...

Sigh, this is really stupid i mean, how many "highs" does Mattel need? I prefer Monster High to this any day, I mean what's up with all the ditsy girls and glittery short skirts? I know I will be buying them when they first come out and keeping them then selling them on eBay when they've been out for a long time, seriously Mattel needs to be more original.

beastsbelle said...

Hi, Ari. I thought this might be the mindset of some of you out there. I mean, it is pretty much the same thing as Monster High, just with Fairy Tale characters. I think it's definitely a case of, "Hmm, Monster High is making a lot of money...let's try Fairy Tale High!" ;)

On the other hand, for people like me who liked the concept behind Monster High but didn't appreciate the subject matter, Fairy Tale High could be a nice alternative.

Like I said, I'm not ready to fully embrace the line yet, but I'm interested to see where it goes.

Jordy said...

I think they're kind of funny! Monster High was creepy! I like these much better! Though I doubt I'll buy any...:D

olivia said...

i agree with you,at the time they mite be sweet and cute,BUT the fact that they have that 'dark' sid to them.


you sound alot like my mom!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the comments, girls. :)

Olivia, I'll take that as a complement. ;)

beastsbelle said...

Just a reminder: I understand that not everyone will be a fan of this line, but if we could keep our comments polite and edifying, that would be great. :)

Ashley/Kewpie83 said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts about this Ever After High line. It seems people already either love or hate this line. Even on my post about it, some praised it, while others were very much against it. So weird how that happens with doll lines! :)

Anywho, great post! (BTW, I'm going to add you to my blog's sidebar in the 'other doll blogs' area, if that's okay with you!)

Gods Girl said...

I kinda doubt I'll be much interested in the tv show, but the drawings look like they'll be pretty cute dolls! I'm a little excited to see what they'll look like and to see if I'll want to add a few to my collection. Thanks making a post about this, I hadn't heard of it until now. :)

Michele said...

My daughter is 14 and has been a fan of the Monster High dolls. She tried to read the first book "Monster High" but did not enjoy it and did not finish it. But she loves the dolls for how they look especially Lagoona Blue. With that said she showed me the new line just a couple of days ago and she loves them and said she wished they had come out with these first. We love fairytales and I have to agree they are adorable. I think they can just represent the old fairytales we know and love without watching or reading the new version they are trying to project...I hope this makes sense. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about these dolls, as always, I enjoy your blog :)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much, Ashley...I'd love to be on your blog sidebar! :) I'm a fairly new follower to your blog, but I've really enjoyed your posts. I love seeing pics of your collection and your mom's would be so fun to go play at your house! ;)

I noticed the very strong opinions on this line as well. It definitely seems to be a love it or hate it thing right now. :} It will be interesting (and hopefully fun) to see where Mattel goes with it.

Hi Gods Girl. :) No problem...I thought it would be something my readers would find interesting. :) I'm looking forward to seeing the dolls too...I hope they're cute! :)

Michele, I'd completely forgotten there were Monster High books. I haven't read any, but I watched a couple of the webisodes when I wanted to figure out what this "Monster High" stuff was all about. I thought the episodes were cleverly written, but like I said in the post, I didn't really want my daughters getting into monsters. I do agree with your daughter, though...Lagoona Blue is a cutie. :)

Your thought about the dolls representing the old fairy tales made perfect sense, by the way. I knew what you meant. :) I'm sure there will be many doll collectors (like Gods Girl) out there who will feel the same way and just enjoy the dolls without getting into the series.

Thanks for all of the lovely comments! :)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE Monster High (though, I'm also an eleven year old girl who has grown up around vampires and zombies and all that jazz.), but I dont totally disagree with you, Beastsbelle. There's just too much teen drama. But, I do think that Raven Queen looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!


beastsbelle said...

Raven's character looks interesting to me too, Ava. :) Thanks for commenting.

Jen said...

I think I'll reserve judgement for the actual dolls here. I mean, I was pretty "meh, whatevs" about Monster High, and now there are four of them around the house. I also don't know anything about the MH characters aside from the box blurbs and what I've picked up from fan chatter - I don't do the episodes or books or any of that, I just pick the most visually interesting dolls! So we'll see what Mattel comes up with to wow me.

(Also, you are absolutely right on Lagoona being the cutest. Three of the four MH dolls in Casa Nachos are various Lagoonas!)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for commenting, Jen. Always good to hear from you. :) It's funny how doll lines can kind of grow on you, isn't it? The LIV dolls and Moxie Teenz were that way for me.

I'm just so excited to finally find out about a new line at its beginning! Usually I'm discovering doll lines right as they're being discontinued. :} It's fun to be at the forefront for once!

And yes, if it wasn't for my daughters, there would probably be a Lagoona at my house, too. ;) Merida and Tiana would probably be here as well... ;)

BlackKitty said...

Sorry dear... it looks like they will be MH with normal skin tones. I found out about this line from your post and then googled the leaked doll pictures and watched the webisodes. I'm very thrilled about them because I like MH, but as an adult I can't understand why they are marketed towards children. I think they belong with the likes of BEGoths on the shelves of adult collectors. Plus, children always lose their hands and forearms (drives me crazy when I look for used dolls!!!). I like these dolls for their body features that I want to customize; I don't care for a doll's "personality" or "background". This is not true for children though -they just want to play with their doll!
I think it's wonderful that your daughters aren't interested in inappropriate toys. I'm sure they have seen or held MH, but as long as they don't request them, you shouldn't worry! If I had children, I'd buy them lots of Kurhn dolls, they seem so friendly and adorable :)
Anyway, concerning all these "high"s: why oh why are Americans obsessing over high school like it's the single most important thing in life? All this drama about being the most popular and finding THE date for prom is giving children wrong life directions. I enjoy nonsense like "Mean Girls" to the point of happy tears, but teens watch this and they believe this is life. I don't think another series that puts high school "problems" in the spotlight is what children need now. I hope to be wrong. If the dolls turn out pretty, you can buy them as regular fairy tale characters (not their daughters/sons) if your children want to play with them.
p.s. I've been meaning to write a reply a long time ago but I fell asleep...

Cindybin said...

That's interesting about the Ever After High--I hadn't heard about that. I've just recently learned a bit more about Monster High, after my daughter-in-law showed me some YouTube clips. She and her 4-year-old daughter (my granddaughter) enjoy the show but my dil doesn't really want the dolls in the house because of the immodest outfits. Unlike you, though, she does like the spookiness and macabre, lol. At first that part turned me off to the whole idea, but then I thought about how I was a kid in the 60's and loved The Munsters and The Addams Family, and is that really so much different? So I warmed up to it a bit, and even ended up buying two dolls--Draculaura and Lagoona Blue. I'm not crazy about the others, though, so for now, it's just these two, and I let my granddaughter "borrow" them so we can play together, lol. My dil did let her get a Monster High fashion sketch pad thing with stencils and stickers, so she can create her own fashions on the pictures of the girls that are already drawn on the pad. She used to have the same thing only Barbie, but used it all up, so she's been having fun with this new one!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the comments, gals. :)

BlackKitty, I think you hit the nail on the head. America does seem to be obsessed with high school and its drama. I had some great memories from high school (and some horrid ones, too), but it was definitely not the most defining stage in my life, and I wouldn't go back for anything. ;) This is precisely why I wouldn't have my girls watch the show. High school is great, but there's so much more to life than that particular stage. I find it enjoyable as an adult because I can remember going through it and how important things seemed at the time, but I don't want that to be the only thing my girls look forward to in life. ;)

Like I said in the post, I'm cautiously looking forward to this line depending on what they do with it. And the look of the dolls will determine whether I'm interested in owning any of them. :)

Cindybin, it's funny how different things are issues for different people, isn't it? :) I agree that some of the outfits on Monster High are pretty immodest, and it looks like Ever After High may follow suit. Immodesty is a big issue in our house as well, so I'll just have to see how the dolls look and go from there. :)

I agree that the show in and of itself isn't all that gruesome. Like I said, I probably would enjoy it more if I didn't have daughters. My main concern for my girls is that it would get them interested in some of the more hardcore horror stuff or *shudder* Twilight. :} Of course, every family is different, and like I said before, I don't think anyone is "bad" for liking Monster High. ;) I can see how it would be very appealing, especially if you grew up watching The Munsters and The Addams Family. :)

It's always nice to hear from you. :)

BlackKitty said...

OMG Twilight! God forbid! I just realised how easy a child could go from Draculaura to Twilight. Definitely keep away from MH and let's see how the Ever After dolls turn out. They could be suitable for children's play with handmade or borrowed outfits.

beastsbelle said...

Yeah, I figured transitioning from Draculaura and Clawdeen to Edward and Jacob would definitely be within the realm of possibility, and that's not a direction I want my daughters to head. :}

Good idea...if the dolls themselves are pretty enough, maybe we could find some more traditional princess attire for them. ;)

Candy said...

Ever After High is a spin off of Monster High. The character C.A. Cupid from Monster High is transferring to the school but I'm still not sure how she fits into the fairy tales exactly. The idea is interesting and I think it could be very well done. However... I'm a little disappointed that they had to put High after it... we get that they are in high school so you really don't have to put that in the title. That annoys me a little. I also agree that the Royals seem a ditsy and annoying... this might get old fast but we will see... If the dolls are pretty enough I might get them but I have to think about it because Monster High dolls are not very good quality. Thanks for posting this and I totally agree that this could go one way or another.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the info, Candy. Shortly after this post, I discovered the spin/off/C.A. Cupid plot but never got back here to update my post. They released a new video on their YouTube channel today, too.

It's definitely going to be interesting to see what happens with the series and the dolls. I guess we just have to be patient. ;)

Clay London said...

What is the exact date these dolls are going to be in stores to nuy?

beastsbelle said...

I haven't found a specific date yet. It's been rumored that there may be some information at the San Diego Comic Con (which I believe is the weekend of the 19th, 20th and 21st of this month).

Hollys Dollys on Facebook found pics of the actual dolls on someone's Tumblr account today. Apparently they were found in Saginaw, Michigan. Other than that, I haven't heard anything. The best way to stay informed of an actual release date would be to like their page on Facebook and bookmark their website (I have links to both in the post).

As soon as I find out more information, I'll be sure to post about it. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about your objection to Tiana and Merida...

The EAH girls look to be more modestly dressed than the MH girls. Almost all the skirts hit their knees, and the random exception is wearing tights. This particular storyline seems well suited to the high school setting since it's basically about dealing with adult expectations for your future and figuring out who you want to become.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. I actually really enjoyed "The Princess and the Frog" overall, and there were some parts I enjoyed of "Brave" as well. My main objection to these stories when it comes to my girls is the scariness factor. Dr. Facilier and his evil shadows/voodoo guys would be enough to keep my girls in nightmares for months. And Brave was way too scary for my girls as well, especially with the emotional intensity of her mom being turned into a bear, then going bear and forgetting her humanity. My girls would freak out at that. Merida also has some attitude issues at the beginning of the movie, and while some of it is because her mother is so unyielding and while she apologizes at the end, my girls (especially my youngest) are at an age where they quote movies and emulate what they see on the screen, so I try to be really careful about what I let them watch.

I was thinking about the Ever After High modesty the other day. I do appreciate that all of their tops are modest. The skirts are technically to their knees...I wouldn't mind if they were at least a smidge longer, but I'm rather old-fashioned that way. ;)

I think the storyline is what I've been the most interested in. It could be really promising. Like I said, I'm just hoping they don't overplay the magic too much.

Thanks for commenting. :)

Awesome said...

You can call me awesome. I agree. My mom said that she would let me get them, but my seven year old sister might "borrow" them. Aka steal them. But why do they have to add high in to it? But if you are looking for toys, I highly suggest shopkins. There are several other blogs about them. They are very fun collectables. But lagoona blue is cute!!!!!! But why don't you like Merida?

beastsbelle said...

Hi Awesome! Thanks for stopping by.

I think the whole "high school" theme is really big right now, and so toy companies are using that idea since they're seeing it succeed.

We actually have a LOT of Shopkins at our house! :) I did a blog review on them HERE. They are super cute! :)

Brave isn't one of my favorite stories. I realize that Merida learns her lesson at the end, but I found her to be a rather unlikable character for most of the movie, and I also felt they went a little far on the scariness of the film for a kid's movie (my younger girls would have nightmares if they saw it). Let's just say there are other Pixar movies I like better. :)

OlafDucks said...

I agree. Why do they have to add high into everything!it is a form that is widely popular, but there are also other kinds of dolls that are popular that don't have high school involved. Like American girl dolls, Barbie dolls, our genaration dolls, all that good stuff. But I have opened up my shelves to ever after high dolls! They areso cute in person. But I don't get why they have to add fishnet, pumps,short dresses and attitude to it?

TheMommyAndGracieShow said...

This blog is awesome!!! As I have no smaller kids myself, my daughter and I have enjoyed collecting monster high and every after high, shopkins, vinyl figures, thing like that. But my daughter is around 11 so I'm not to worried.

P.S. Check out our you tube channel the mommy and Gracie show😊

beastsbelle said...

Hi OlafDucks! I'm with you. Some of the styles they've incorporated on the dolls aren't my favorite. I think the main thing that disappoints me about some of the later releases is they all look so severe. I'd love to see happy smiles on Apple, Briar, and the others' faces. I really enjoy the web series and some of the dolls, though. :)

Hi, TheMommyAndGracieShow! Wow, thanks so much for stopping by! I've enjoyed watching your YouTube videos in the past, and I'm honored that you've found your way over here. I love the way you and your daughter review things together. In the past year, I've started having my daughters (ages 10, 8, and 6) help me with my reviews, and I enjoy it so much! :)

Have a great day!