Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Dot Dead Gorgeous 3-Pack

I bet you thought with that Dot Dead Gorgeous Spectra review I was finished covering this line. Alas, you were incorrect. Mattel decided to release three more dolls within the line, and what's more, they're all available in one handy package. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, there are a few catches. First of all, this 3-pack is only available at Wal-Mart -- yep, it's another exclusive. On top of that, these three particular dolls can only be purchased in this one pack. And there's yet a third catch -- these dolls are not created equal. To say that this is an uneven release is an understatement. They lure you in with a curly-haired, bone-shoed Ghoulia, and give you a lackluster Draculaura for your efforts.

To be fair, this pack retails for about $40. That comes to a little over $13 per doll, a reasonable price for a solo Monster High doll. Whether these particular dolls are actually worth that much is debatable. I suppose the left hand taketh what the right hand giveth; in the end these things even out (kind of). What Draculaura lacks, Abbey (in theory) makes up for. Speaking of, let's take a look at ol' bluey (I know, just go with it...)

Of the three dolls, she comes the closest to matching the solo DDG dolls in terms of design, accessories, and general quality. All of her accessories are done in a molded, blue style meant to emulate ice. This includes her earrings, choker, belt, purse, and shoes. She also has a molded piece attached to the only sleeve of her dress. Her dress fits with the solo dolls, in that it's layered and has a dot pattern. The bodice features a blue and white snowflake pattern; the snowflakes work surprisingly well as dots. The skirt has three tiers -- the top tier uses the same snowflake pattern, the middle tier is solid pink, and the bottom tier is the snowflakes again. The dress looks good and the material feels nice but I don't think it quite measures up to the solo dolls' dresses. Her last accessory is fur cuffs on each of her wrists. I like these a lot. They play into her theme and add visual interest. Plus they're just, you know, really cool.

Her faceup isn't unique but it's very pretty. She has silver and purple eyeshadow and bright pink lips. They're the same color as her Skultimate Roller Maze doll's lips, but just a tad brighter. Her hair is the standard Abbey colors pulled into a ponytail that rests to her left. As I mentioned, she comes closest to matching the solo dolls in design and quality, but she's not quite there. I like this doll, but would I pay $13 for her if she were sold alone? I'm not so sure.

Next we have Ghoulia (always a good thing, in my opinion). This particular one isn't her best, but it doesn't disappoint, either. Her dress is made of a satiny material and uses blue eyes dripping blood as the dots on the bodice -- very cool. She has a black belt attached and a puffy skirt in red with white skullettes dotted throughout. There is one sleeve, on her left, and it uses the same skullette pattern. This is my favorite of the three dresses, although it isn't layered in any way and therefor feels detached thematically from the rest of the line.

She has several good accessories. Her purse is made of bones and opens on a hinge. It's pretty brittle and feels a bit cheap, but it looks great. She also has a translucent grey molded cuff on her left forearm that's textured to look like it has a liquid of some kind running down it. This bit of gore nicely fits her theme. It limits movement of her arm but once again it looks good, so whatever. Her shoes are amazing -- white bones on a wedge of red brain matter. They're probably the single best accessory of this entire pack. She has large white glasses (I like the shape of these a lot), and red crossbone earrings.

Her faceup is good. She has shimmery pink eyeshadow topped by a layer of silver. Her lips are a pure, deep red. This makeup doesn't particularly stand out but it's not bad by any means. It exemplifies "less is more". She has bangs that curl under and a tight ponytail. A mass of tight, unruly curls rests behind her head. I love this hairstyle! It's unique to this Ghoulia (the only one that's similar is Dawn of the Dance but it's not in a ponytail), and comes across as fun and youthful. Even though she doesn't have quite as many accessories as Abbey's doll I like her much more. Then again I like Ghoulia much more than Abbey in general so maybe I'm biased. What I do know is I would pay $13 for this doll in a heartbeat.

The third doll in the pack is Draculaura. I'm just gonna say it -- this doll reeks of minimal effort. Her faceup is quite plain (not in the good way), and her dress feels cheap. She comes with an iCoffin (zzzz...) and a simple bracelet. Poor Draculaura doesn't even get a purse to carry her things in at the party. She has pink bow earrings and black and pink shoes. I'm pretty sure they're modified Dead Tired shoes. They're okay I guess. Her dress has a pink bodice with a print of white and black hearts. A black collar attaches to a black bow in the center top of the bodice, under which hangs three small layers of white lace. It reads much better than it looks. The skirt has a print of diagonal black squares with an alternating pattern of white skullettes and pink dots. The skirt is gathered in the front with two black bows. Once again, this reads far better than it looks. The gathering actually makes the dress look misshapen and the print is too small to work as a dot pattern.

Her eyeshadow is magenta (no glitter, no shimmer), and her lips are dark pink (these do shimmer). To her credit, she has good hair. It's pulled into a ponytail and has a light wave. The pink streaks are spread evenly throughout.

Of all the MH dolls I own this may be my least favorite. She feels cheap, and when you combine that with the fact that Draculaura dolls aren't my thing anyway, you can see why this doll just doesn't work for me. No way would I own this doll if she weren't already included in a pack with dolls I genuinely like.

Overall grade: B- My favorite doll from this set, Ghoulia, feels a bit lacking compared to the solo DDG dolls. But taken on her own she's a beautiful doll that I'm glad to own. Abbey is good as well, but not quite on the level of the solo dolls. Poor Draculaura doesn't have much going for her at all. Being exclusives, these dolls don't come with stands, a big negative for me. I would say as a whole this pack is pretty unessential, but then I look at Ghoulia and her cool dress and pretty hair and have second thoughts. Ditto on grading this set. I almost gave it a C+.


  1. I really love Abbey and Ghoulia from this pack. Since I live in the Netherlands, none of the exclusives are released here so I missed out on these (not that I have the money to buy them anyway).
    I feel bad for Draculaura, I think Ghoulia and Abbey are gorgeous and totally worth the money... Draculaura is just too simple and her outfit is badly constructed. I appreciate the idea for her dress with fun prints and all but it just didn't work out.

    1. It really surprises me that Mattel doesn't use "equivalent" stores for the exclusives in international markets. Not only is it unfair to collectors, it's also less money for Mattel!

      This Draculaura really is disappointing. Sometimes my opinion on a doll will change over time, but I still would consider this the weakest MH doll to date, and the one I like the least of my collection.

    2. Selling at equivalent stores would be an excellent solution!

    3. In Australia this pack was sold (I'm pretty sure exclusively) in BigW stores retailing at $60. So at least they partially made it outside of American shores.

    4. $60? Yowzers! Even here in the states, where it was about $40, seemed a tad steep. But as you say, at least they made their way there!

    5. Well I suppose it's not all that bad as most MH here are $30 each with 'budget' MH $20-$25 each. But yeah, it is a lot to pay. I only just bought this pack recently as they were on 1/2 price sale, and even that felt like a bit much to pay.

  2. It's a shame this 3 pack is rather lackluster, but at least the solo dolls are good.
    I agree with you about Abbey looking closest to the solo DDG dolls, but I feel like she could be better.
    As for Ghoulia, I think her DotD doll is better. I thought that dress was a subtle reference to Stephen King's 'Carrie', but maybe that's just me? Although, I think her upcoming GNO doll is going to be my favourite 'party' themed Ghoulia.
    Draculaura. *tsk tsk*
    Poor girl looks more like a dance class doll than a DDG doll. Those shoes are too bulky with that dress, and her hair is really boring. :(
    I kind of wish they did Cleo, Clawdeen & Frankie instead, like from the webisode.

    Overall, I'm not too sad about missing out on this 3-pack. Even if it were available here, it would cost something crazy stupid. lol

    1. Hmm, it's been a while since I've seen Carrie, but it's director, Brian De Palma, is one of my faves (Body Double and Dressed To Kill are two of my De Palma faves). But how cool if Carrie was the inspiration! And knowing the MH designers, it wouldn't surprise me one bit. I love the GNO Ghoulia too -- I'm surprised there hasn't been more excitement about her within the fan community.
      I would've been totally cool with a wave 2 of DDG, featuring Cleo, Frankie, and Calwdeen. I loved that line overall and the three solo dolls we got just didn't feel like enough, you know?

    2. DotD Ghoulia's shoes are another reason I love her. Metallic red & silver + bone heels? Awesome!

      I'm actually kind of glad GNO Ghoulia isn't the most popular. It should make it easier for me to buy her loose on eBay. She's the only one I'm interested in of the 4-pack - aside from Rochelle, who will be available separatley.

    3. I *love* DOTD Ghoulia's shoes! She's one of my most-wanted dolls, but she's so pricey on eBay :( I love that the shoes have that metallic sheen. Plus they're bones -- Mattel has yet to release any bone-related MH shoe that I haven't loved. (I'm looking at you, skeleton CAM!)