There are ten dolls in this line, more than any previous line has featured. The larger previous lines were broken up into two releases. The first wave of Dawn of the Dance contained three separately sold dolls. The following year a second wave was released featuring three brand new separately sold dolls, plus a 3-pack featuring two previously available dolls and a third only available in the pack. Dead Tired featured nine dolls released within two waves, and in the second wave two of the characters were repeats from the first wave (although the repeats were new designs). Skull Shores also features nine dolls; six were wide release dolls while the other three were available only as exclusives in a Target 5-pack. All ten Scaris dolls will be released in the same wave at the same time. It's unprecedented for Monster High.
There's another aspect to the Scaris release that is new for Monster High. The dolls are spread over two different price points. In the past, whatever price point was established for a particular line, all dolls in that line were designed for that PP. Budget lines have simple clothes and few accessories, while deluxe and collector's lines have elaborate clothes and plenty of extras. For Scaris five of the dolls will be deluxe releases featuring the previously mentioned travelogues and luggage. Four more dolls will make up a budget line; the tenth doll will be exclusive to Wal-Mart. This makes me think Mattel might be moving away from the multi-wave releases and instead focusing on larger doll lines that are spread across multiple PP's. Adding weight to this is the fact that recent line Dot Dead Gorgeous doesn't seem to have a second wave coming. Of course, it could just be that Mattel hasn't announced one yet. Nonetheless this release style is peculiar and may be a sign of things to come.
For me the most exciting thing about Scaris is that it will see the debut of three new character dolls. Mattel toyed with the idea of introducing a new character within a themed line with this year's C.A. Cupid, a Sweet 1600 doll that was exclusive to Wal-Mart. That character was directly tied to the series special that promoted Sweet 1600 and didn't have a diary like the other Basic dolls (she was later wide released and that version included a diary). Two of the new characters -- Skelita Calaveras and Jinafire Long -- will be deluxe dolls. It's assumed their travelogues will work as their introductory diaries. The third new character, a werecat named Catrine DeMew, will be exclusive to Wal-Mart. Not as much is known about her but my guess is she will be packaged and priced like a deluxe doll. These three characters all emphasize the intercontinental nature of this line. Skelita is the daughter of the Skeleton and hails from Mexico. Her look seems to have been inspired by Dias De Los Muertos celebrations. Jinafire is the daughter of the Chinese Dragon and is therefor from China. Catrine is Parisian -- I mean, Scarisian.
And then there are the extras. Sweet 1600 included a separately sold accessory -- Draculaura's pink and black roadster. A couple of the first wave Dead Tired dolls were sold with their beds. Ghoulia's scooter, the Coffin Bean, and the Monster High school playset have been released but not associated with a specific line. Scaris is upping the ante by having two separately sold playsets connected to it. First is a vehicle, so far being referred to as simply Scary Car, that comes in purple with wrought iron detailing. The colors and style look as though this may be Rochelle's car, although it's been pointed out that this could be Catrine's ride instead. There's also a playset called the Scary Caf, a Monster-ized Parisian cafe that includes a vendor cart, table with umbrella, bench, chair, and several small pieces including a coffee maker. Mattel certainly knows what they're doing -- I was never into the playsets but after having to get the beds, scooter and roadster to obtain the dolls sold with them I've become a bit addicted. I can't wait to get my hands on the Scaris car and cafe!
With such a large amount of dolls, the introduction of multiple new characters, and several new playsets, it's clear Mattel has big things in mind for Scaris: City of Fright. And I haven't even touched on the series special. The dolls are scheduled to hit shelves in January but a couple of them have already made their way into collector's hands. Hopefully you like the line -- if not, you may not want to be around any MH fans for a while. It's gonna be a Big Deal.