Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Parlez-vous Scarisien?

So there's a thing called Scaris: City of Fright, and if you're into Monster High at all chances are it's going to factor into your existence in some way within the next few months. The basic idea behind the line is that the MH crew is travelling abroad to Rochelle's hometown of Scaris, where mayhem and hilarity will surely ensue. The line's name is a pun on Paris, City of Lights. The dolls will all wear "travelling gear" befitting their Parisian theme, and some come with travelogues and a piece of luggage. The thing is, this line breaks from several MH traditions and is being released in a rather different way from the previous lines. As I researched the specifics of Scaris I came to see that, if a standard MH line is a pretty big deal, then this line is very much a Big Deal.

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.

Catrine DeMew

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!

Skelita Calaveras

Jinafire Long

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.


  1. First at all, you have an amazing blog, I got here by accident and now I can't stop reading it. I like the level of details you describe every doll and collection, it's very complete and makes me love each doll a bit more.

    I have to say that I completly share your love for Cleo and Lagoona, specially Cleo, she's far my favorite. :)

    Scaris line it's something that really caught my attention, they're absolutely beautiful, I just can't believe that there is no Cleo's version of this yet. It's kind of disapponting but it seems like they don't plan to release her... I've seen some pictures that includes her so I'm quite confused right know.

    I hope to read you soon.

    (Sorry for any mistake, I'm from Colombia, english is not really my thing)

    1. Hi Ann! No need to worry about your English, it's fine. Glad you like the blog!

      I'm disappointed Cleo isn't in the Scaris lineup, too. It's odd considering her own boyfriend is represented. Since she's in some of the Scaris drawings I wonder if she'll be part of a second wave. The only thing that gives me doubts is the fact that the line is already so big, would they even bother with a second wave? I guess time will tell, but a Scaris Cleo would be very cool!

  2. This is one of my favorite lines yet!
    Scaris hit the stores in the Netherlands about a month ago but yesterday was the first time I ever saw anything of it!
    It went like this:
    My mom and I got to the Intertoys, I went upstairs right to the dolls, keeping in mind that they probably didn't have anything new since I saw nothing there the last time and it's just a bad toy store (really dissapointed when I couldn't find PD Spectra the other day). I saw the dolls and I was surprised right away; 2 Scaris Draculaura's!! Ok, not the doll I was looking for but I saw it as a sign for more Scaris making it's way to toy stores here.
    After I inspected the dolls my mom and I made our way to the games and then to the stairs when suddenly I saw something from the corner of my eye... after a mini heart attack I ran towards the separate doll stand and there she was, my dream doll with a perfect face SKELITA! After hugging the box and putting it behind some basic bratzillaz so that nobody could see her (and after staring at Scaris Clawdeen, who was the only other deluxe Scaris doll they had, and re-release wave 1 Clawdeen) I walked away from her. And why did I do that? Of course, I didn't have my birthday money with me, which was just enough for 1 Scaris doll.
    Later on my mom and I raced back home after she convinced me that she could make it back to the store in time (in about half and hour the store would close). So, after getting my money, racing back to the store, running like it was the marathon and grabbing my dream doll I was in seventh heaven.. and still are.
    Sorry for the long story but I really wanted to share it, such a wonderful doll hunt experience.
    I was sad I couldn't get Clawdeen because I didn't have enough money for her but I'm going to save for more Scaris! Still hate the fact that we're not getting Jinafire and Catrine though.

    1. That's awesome! Finding the dolls you've been waiting on for forever is one of the best things about doll collecting! It's the payoff for waiting so patiently (or unpatiently in some cases lol) for them. With Scaris I didn't stumble upon the dolls but had instead called the store ahead of time and had them hold the ones I wanted -- but it was no less exciting when I finally got to see them in person!

      Congratulations on your Skelita! I'm sorry about Catrine; Mattel needs to figure out a better arrangement for exclusives. On the bright side, as far as I know Jinafire IS available in the Netherlands, so you should keep an eye out for her!

    2. Really? That's awesome news!
      Several Dutch collectors told me that she wouldn't be available here but you never know, I also thought Toralei wasn't available here until one day I saw her at a store and picked her up ^^