To build anticipation for the upcoming Scaris line Mattel has given YouTube MH reviewer KittiesMama a preview copy of the Skelita Calaveras doll, in a specially designed one of a kind box no less. This isn't the first time Mattel has done something like this; they often send advance copies of new dolls to prolific YouTube reviewers. Not surprisingly this tends to upset MH collectors who are eager for the doll's themselves and feel like YouTube reviewers are being given preferential treatment. I don't really have a problem with it but I can see where people are coming from; they're aggravated seeing someone else holding the doll they so badly want, plus it was a freebie. None of this is to take away from KittiesMama and her daughter (I guess it's her daughter that got the doll? I don't watch or follow YouTube reviewers.) From what I understand they review lots of products, not just MH, and if you go to their YT page it does look awfully snazzy.
My opinion? I think Mattel is going about this all wrong. It's great that they like to promote their new products in grassroots-y, social media driven ways. But just giving these advanced dolls in specially designed boxes away to YouTube reviewers feels arbitrary and, yes, a bit unfair. I think a far better solution would be to hold contests that can be entered by anyone to win an advance doll. Mattel could spread the word through their YouTube page and official website. The contests could vary -- write a short essay on why you love MH, or film a video about your favorite doll, or even shoot a mini-webisode using your dolls. Mattel judges the entries and the winner gets the doll. This approach would invite interactivity from ALL fans, and help promote the new product through social media in a much bigger way than just giving the doll to one reviewer. And since the contest would be open to all, everyone would feel they had a fair shake at getting the doll. If everyone felt they had the chance to win the doll I don't think there would be any controversy or hard feelings at all.
Moving on, KittiesMama shared a few pics of Skelita over at Monster High Dolls. Ordinarily I wouldn't post this pic here, but the whole point of Mattel giving her the doll was to promote the new line, so sharing it online is kinda the whole point. It's a great closeup of Skelita's face. She has even more detail than I expected -- notice how the eyebrow curls fancifully at the end, and the light blue shading around the dots under the eye. Her eyecolor is redder than I thought it would be, and the puckered lips make her look like she's blowing a kiss. If my excitement level for Scaris was at a 10 before, it's officially pitched to 11!