"Dude, you're such a nerd!"
These are two of the more interesting releases this year. They're not part of a line but instead stand alone dolls (they're sold separately by the way) that are wearing slight variations to their most recent fashion packs. The actual dolls are rather different from their other releases (Operetta more so than Clawdeen). This is similar to last year's Killer Style Frankie and Draculaura dolls, who were sold wearing variations on their Day at the Maul fashions. These two are exclusives so they don't come with stands (you know how I feel about that), and they are also missing a few of the accessories that came with the fashion packs. So no bonuses at all for these two. Even the boxes are simpler than the standard MH box; they have an illustration on the back but none of the glossy texture over it. Luckily this cheapness doesn't transfer over to the dolls themselves. Let's look at Operetta first.
This is different...
Right up front you'll notice she's wearing the earring mask (Ear mask? Mask ring? Eh, I'll just stick with earring mask...) that her Dot Dead Gorgeous doll wears. If you've read my review of that particular doll you already know that I approve of this development. This one is a translucent dark grey, otherwise it's exactly the same as the DDG one. The other thing that immediately stood out to me as I de-boxed her was her hair. In the box it looks like it's gonna be the usual rattiness that is Operetta's hair, but once loose from the box this hair is bouncy and soft. You could even call it silky. This is easily the best hair on an Operetta release so far. It makes me wonder why her Skultimate Roller Maze hair is gelled into oblivion if they can get it to be this nice. Although all the Operetta dolls look fairly different from one another this one especially stands out. They've gone for a monochromatic look that is very unique. Her eyes are the usual steel blue, and they're topped by a thin strip of eyeshadow that's the exact same color. This is surrounded by a layer of grey-ish light purple eyeshadow that goes partway up to her eyebrows. Very light yellow shadow goes the rest of the way up. It all has a very light sheen to it. Her lips are a beautiful deep purple. Her skin is the usual color for Operetta but a little less bright. The overall effect is, as I mentioned, monochromatic, and gives her a muted, ethereal vibe. I really like this look for her. It's dramatic and mature.
If you own Operetta's fashion pack you're already familiar with this outfit. The only differences are in the shoes and purse. The look is very late 50s, very vixen-y (new word alert!). It's one of my favorite fashion packs so I don't mind seeing it repeated on the doll. She wears a black tank top with purple trim over the bust. The straps are black and white stripes and there's a matching stripe down the center of the bust. There's a molded red cobweb attached to the right strap. The skirt is a separate piece that goes over the tank top, covering her abdomen and stopping a bit above the knee. It's white with black music notes mixed with a leopard print. Over this goes a molded red cobweb belt in an interesting symmetrical pattern. The shoes are platforms with a white hood and black leopard spots. The soles are solid white and there's a strip of red in the middle that also covers the heel. This is where you'll find a difference from the fashion pack outfit. Those shoes feature black stripes on the sole and the heel is black instead of red. The fashion pack shoes are more visually interesting but the shoes with the doll are nice too.
The other difference is the purse. First I have to say I really love this purse -- it's easily one of my favorites from the entire MH line. It's circular and has grooves, similar to a record. (It looks to be a 12" LP based on scale.) It has two molded straps. The fashion pack purse features red trim, red cobweb detailing over the grooves, one white stripe, and a white skullette in the center. All details are repeated on both sides of the purse. The purse with the doll has the red trim and cobwebs but no white stripe or skullette on one side, the other side is blank except for the red trim. Like the shoes, the fashion pack purse has more details and looks more interesting. The doll doesn't come with the sunglasses you'll find in the fashion pack. This is disappointing as the sunglasses are one of the best parts of the look, but since the doll comes with a mask I guess it makes sense she wouldn't have sunglasses.
Overall grade: A+ I love the doll. She's unique among the Operetta releases, and the look itself is very interesting. The best way I can think to describe her is dramatic -- she just really stands out and grabs your attention. The outfit is a repeat but like I said earlier, I love this retro, vampy look on Operetta. Not including a stand is cheap on Mattel's part.
Now let's take a look at Clawdeen.
There are some bigger differences here from the fashion pack than there was with Operetta's outfit, but I'll get to those in a bit. What really attracted me to this Clawdeen was her hair. It's not particularly unique among the various Clawdeen dolls but something about the placement of the green and the loose waves really appealed to me. The hair is nice on this doll; it's silky and smooth and the curl is big and lush. The green is rooted all the way around the edge of the scalp making for a great contrast with the brown hair. Her face is nice, too. She has the usual bright yellow-brown eyecolor. She has a thin strip of deep green eyeshadow, a reddish-brown line above that, and then a surrounding layer of lime green. It goes all the way up to her eyebrows. It has more of a matte finish but is still a bit shiny. Her lips are a deep purple that's a shade brighter than Operetta's lips. This faceup is very similar to her Dawn of the Dance doll. The green here is a little brighter though and stands out a lot more. She's very pretty. I tend to prefer simpler faceups like this to the more elaborate, Ghouls Rule-style faceups.
One of these is better than the other.
Her outfit is taken from her most recent fashion pack but with one big difference: she wears a dress instead of a top and pants. The jacket -- a lime green bolero with purple faux-fur collar -- is exactly the same between the two. Ditto the shoes, gold open toe platforms with an extra-thick sole. They're just the one color and molded to look like they have zippers and a mesh-like cover. The heels are open as well.
The purse matches the shoes; it's the same color and molded to have a bit of texture. There's a molded strap on one end that loops around the hand. For the fashion pack she wore a knit tube top with a camouflage-like print of black, purple, and lime. This was paired with black knit harem pants with purple and lime spots. Those two pieces have been completely replaced on the doll; now she wears a cocktail dress made of the exact same material as the pants. The dress is ruched at the seams so that it hugs her body and creates a rippling effect. It appears strapless but actually has clear bands holding it up. It looks great on her; definitely a huge step up from the odd looking harem pants. Unfortunately the sunglasses in the fashion pack aren't included with the doll. It made sense not to include a pair with Operetta since she has her mask but Clawdeen's would've looked just as good with this dress as they do with the other outfit.
Overall grade: A- She's very pretty and the bright makeup really grabs your eyes. Her hair is silky and shiny. The outfit is an improvement on the fashion pack. Although this Clawdeen is gorgeous she's not especially unique. Also, there's the stand problem again. Have I mentioned how much that annoys me?
All images: yours truly.