Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Robecca Steam Basic

Look who just showed up, bustle out and gears spinning! It's our new favorite robot, Robecca Steam!

"Greetings all. Do you have the time?"

Robecca's profile was revealed back in February, simultaneously with Rochelle Goyle's and Venus McFlytrap's profiles. Of the three I was by far the most excited about Robecca. She's a steampunk robot! With thick blue hair -- I love blue! And her body has rivets and gears and all kinds of cool little extras! Does she live up to the hype? Let's go ahead and take a closer look...

Right off the bat you notice her face. Like the rest of her body, the skin is a deep, rich, shimmering copper color. Similar to Venus, she has a friendly, inviting face -- somewhere between sweet and fierce, but pretty non-committal to either one. She's also incredibly pretty. She has gigantic brown eyes that are shaped like gears (so cool). She has two layers of eyeshadow -- the bottom layer is lavender while the one above it is silver. Her lips are a deep plum color. Now that I'm writing reviews of these dolls I'm noticing that 2012 seems to be The Year of Purple Lips at Monster High. It's right about now that you'll notice Robecca has rivets surrounding her head. One row goes across her lower forehead while another row completely encircles her face, even under her chin. Each of her ears is surrounded as well. In fact her whole body has rivets all over it, seemingly connecting sheets of copper of various shapes and sizes. This is a very cool detail, and yet another reason why I love this line so much. These little details really do add so much to the dolls. But back to her face -- it's fairly elaborate. The screening seems a bit thicker than usual, almost too thick. But there's no arguing it's a pretty face. Her hair is thick and wavy. It's black with bright blue streaks spread throughout. It's in a sidepart on her left and falls down to about her rear. Although it looks like it might be prone to frizz I really like it.

She has an interesting outfit. Is it steampunk? Well, it's not not steampunk. Honestly, I'm neither here nor there on the whole steampunk thing. She's a robot, that's all I care about in that regard. She wears a one piece dress. The top is divided in two halves: the bust is knit and has a print in blue, gold, and brown that looks a bit like a tapestry or wall detailing. The straps are thin blue ribbon. The lower portion is made of a leathery material and has horizontal stripes in electric blue and black. Printed over them are gold and black gears and clock-like pendulums. It's an odd print, evocative of the era but not entirely pleasing somehow. I'm pretty neutral on it. Attached is a really short black skirt in the same leathery material. Over the skirt she wears a molded bright blue bustle. It's roughly the same length as the skirt and is deconstructed into a simple grid with subtle detailing around the bottom. It splits up the middle in the front and closes with a circular tab. I love just about anything in fashion that's deconstructed so I'm very much pro-bustle. She also has a small black jacket that looks like pleather. The sleeves are flared and have copper ribbon trim.

Steampunk? Eh, who cares?

On her right forearm she wears a bright blue molded cuff. It has a yellow digital display of the time (Robecca is stuck in a perpetual state of 8:00 -- am or pm is up to you!) and is surrounded by several different styles of clocks. She has a matching blue purse. It's molded and just the one color, a toy practice I'm not always a big fan of, but I love this purse. It's a round clock face with each of the numbers in a different font. On top, one side has an alarm hood while the other has an antenna. Between them is a molded strap. Underneath, it has a cool little pendulum that swings loose. The front of the clock opens on a hinge and closes with a clasp. It's a great purse, for sure.

It seems four minutes have passed since we looked at her arm cuff. Better get a move on!

Her earrings are a light, orangey bronze color. Each is a row of cascading gears, landing just above her shoulders. They're neat but they have a habit of getting caught in her hair. I've been pulling her hair back into a clip to avoid them, which looks great on her anyway. She also comes with a pair of goggles in the same color as the earrings. They have cool little molded details such as a buckle on one of the earpieces and paneling over the left lens. There's also a little antenna poking up on one side.

They look better on her than I thought they would.

I've saved the best accessory for last: her boots! These suckers are pretty incredible. They're the same bronze color as the earrings, and have tons of little details. The front features laces that go all the way up (they reach to just under her knees), and straps across the ankles. On the outside of each is a darkened portion with little engines and tubes that reach all the way down to the soles. The largest engine juts out significantly and has a wing attached. The inside of the boots feature more tubes and a smaller engine. The soles are comprised of several little rockets. These happen to be high heeled boots, so the heel is a longer rocket. Seriously, awesome boots!

I bow to your wicked boots, Robecca.

Robecca has two more body modifications worth noting. First, unlike the other dolls who all have a stopper at the front of the knee, Robecca's legs can swing as far forward as they can backward. She's a robot so this awkward movement makes sense. The other mod also involves her legs: in the back, at the top of each calf, is a little gear that actually spins. Does it serve a purpose? No. Is it cool anyway? Definitely.

This is Robecca's basic doll so she comes with a diary and pet. Her pet is a cute little mechanical penguin named Captain Penny. She has a jetpack and her right wing is raised in a salute, as if she's about to jet off somewhere, literally. Penny is riveted like Robecca so I guess they had the same builder. In any case Penny is one of the better pets of the line, in my opinion.

She's saluting Robecca's boots.

Overall grade: B So with all her cool details, pretty face, and bountiful extras, why just a B? Well, something about her feels kind of cheap. Not her design or the way she looks, I'm talking literally. Her plastic feels lighter and simply of lesser quality than the other dolls. I'm guessing this is due to the way they had to mold her body because of all the modifications. I really like the modifications so maybe it's unfair of me to let the seeming lightness detract. Also, my doll seems to have a stiff neck joint. It's hard to turn her head, and when I do turn it, she can't look down at all. I guess if it were that big of a problem I would have returned her. Still, it's pretty annoying, and makes taking natural looking pictures of her nearly impossible. Of course, a B is still good. Despite the neck problem and feeling a bit cheap she has too many cool accessories and body mods for me to dislike her. Plus, there's that awesome blue hair and pretty face. I can't wait to see what her doll for next year's dance line looks like. I hear she does the robot quite well...


  1. Thanks for the review. I agree she is amazing!
    Just got my Robecca today. Can't get enough of those details!
    I'm in love with her awesome boots too <3 sigh
    MH shoes are the best.

  2. Congrats on your Robecca! MH shoes really are amazing, aren't they! Robecca's boots are too cool.

  3. I recently purchased a Robecca doll and she also has a stiff neck joint. But otherwise I absolutely love her!

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure what's going on with the MH necks lately. I seem to be getting more and more dolls with that problem lately. Hopefully Mattel is aware of it and doing something about it.

  4. My robecca has a stiff neck too but her coloring and beautiful face makes up for it... i have the dance class robecca but i haven't taken her out of the box yet so i don't know if this stiff neck thing is just a robecca trend because a lot of people that have her say her neck is messed up i hope mattel fixes this issue because robecca is to pretty and cool to not be liked just for that !!

    1. It's definitely not just Robecca -- I've also had the neck problem with one of my Rochelles, plus several others. I do think the problem was especially bad with basic Robecca, though. I got a replacement for this Robecca from Mattel and she had a bad neck too. :-/