Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Dead Tired Wave 2 Draculaura and Abbey Bominable

Last week I was flipping through the sale bill when I came across an ad for the Dead Tired Wave 2 dolls. Fred's Dollar Store was selling them for $9.95, the cheapest I'd seen them yet. I'd passed on these dolls already at a couple stores -- JC Penney (a bit overpriced), and Kohl's (ridiculously overpriced). But $9.95 seemed a bit more fair so to Fred's I headed.

Dead Tired Wave 2 is an odd line. It consists of Draculaura, Abbey, and Clawdeen. They're all sold separately. The line is exclusive-ish. They're not restricted to one store, but rather a limited number of stores. I don't know which stores exactly -- in addition to the ones I've already mentioned I've also come across them at Big Lots. The only stores I know for sure they're not sold at are Toys R Us, Target and Wal-Mart. The other weird thing about the line is that, well, Draculaura and Clawdeen were already released in Wave 1! Sure, these are new designs of them but there were plenty of other characters not in Wave 1 to go around. I suppose Clawdeen makes a little sense; her Wave 1 doll was only available with her bedroom playset. Anyway, I picked up all three but returned Clawdeen after I realized she was a virtual clone of the Coffin Bean Clawdeen doll, minus the ponytail and cool dress. So today we'll be looking at Draculaura and Abbey.

A weird thing's been happening to Draculaura in 2012 -- her eyes seem to be shrinking. It's a bit odd and off-putting (to me), but it's been accompanied by another change that's much more agreeable. Her skin has started to take on a translucent glow. It's not dissimilar to the pinky translucent skintone of Mod Barbie that collectors love so much (myself included). No doll exemplifies these changes as well as Dead Tired Wave 2 Draculaura. (God, that's a mouthful. Glad she doesn't have a last name -- that I know of.)

So yeah, Draculaura's eyes are really small here. Put her next to her other recent releases and the difference is subtle, but compared to her 2010 releases she's pretty much a completely different doll. I vastly prefer her original, larger eyes, but these smaller ones aren't unattractive or anything. There's also that translucent skintone I mentioned earlier. I'm definitely pro-translucence and it looks great here! She has a very predictable faceup combining light pink and magenta eyeshadow with lips in a brighter pink shade. I know Dead Tired is a budget line but that doesn't have to mean the dolls are virtual re-releases of dolls from different lines. I can't help but think of Gloom Beach Draculauara. She was a budget doll, part of a swimwear line, but her faceup felt unique. If nothing else, she at least had other colors on her face besides pink. I suppose it's unfair to compare them, though. Back then there weren't nearly as many Draculaura dolls floating around and I'm sure the designers weren't stretched as thin creatively. Happily, many of the 2013 dolls have been revealed and it does look like they're trying new things for her next year.

Draculaura's hair is pulled into a low ponytail to the back left. She has bangs with evenly mixed pink and black streaks. The rest of her hair is predominantly black; in fact, she has very little pink at all in her ponytail. The ponytail has a mild wave but overall it looks and feels a bit shapeless. It seems as though her hair wasn't designed for the ponytail so there are portions that are much shorter than others, leading to the shapelessness.

The doll is wearing a short nightgown in black with a print of hot pink hearts with bat wings. The straps are hot pink ribbon. Translucent white trim with a print of pink hearts covers the bust and runs along the hem.  She wears a matching sleep mask. Her shoes are in the standard Dead Tired slipper style. Hers are hot pink with a molded fuzzy hood in the shape of a heart flanked by bat wings. Each slipper has a little monster face drawn on the front. I like the dress quite a bit considering how simple it is. The print is cute, it has a few little bits of detailing that add interest, and in general I prefer the nightgown over the shirt and pants pj's the Wave 1 dolls wore. I know the Dead Tired shoes have a bit of a cult following within the MH fan community, and they definitely work as sleepwear, but I've never cared much for them. Outside of the the sleepwear look these shoes aren't very versatile. But this is just my personal opinion, of course. I don't use the pj's on my dolls so I don't have much use for the slippers, whereas someone who loves the pj's would probably love the slippers, too. They're undeniably cute in their own right.

Draculaura has one extra, a copy of Monster Beat magazine. Compared to the Wave 1 extras it's pretty chintzy but it's fine. It works as a bedtime accessory and I like to see what they use for the designs on these little magazines. This one has the werecat CAM on the cover, a nice self-reference.

And then there was Abbey. You know, I've always considered myself more of an Abbey apologist but looking over the blog I think I might simply be a fanboy. Her dolls have gotten a lot of coverage on Voicething, and she stands alongside Cleo and Lagoona as the only character whom I have every doll of (well, besides characters that only have one or two dolls like Spectra and Toralei). I haven't set out to collect every one of her dolls, it's just kind of happened, but there must be a reason. Not helping my case is the fact that her upcoming 2.0 Basic is one of my most anticipated 2013 dolls. There's also the matter of this particular doll, who despite being a very straightforward interpretation of the character, and having some problematic hair, I actually really love.

I know the biggest reason why I love this doll, though: she has the older style Abbey eyes. The newer Abbey eyes (Dot Dead Gorgeous, Ghouls Rule) have a sharper upward slant and seem shorter in width. The older eyes are longer, larger, and, in my opinion, look much more monstrous. It's simply a more interesting look that appeals to me greatly.

Considering Abbey is a Dead Tired doll who's supposed to be preparing for bed, she has an awfully bright faceup. Really all of the Wave 2 dolls have bright faceups, especially compared to the Wave 1 dolls. One of  my favorite things about Wave 1 was that it gave us dolls with somewhat more natural looking faces. Not what I'd want on every MH doll, but a nice change that gave us a chance to understand and appreciate the surprising mutability of these face molds. All that said, even though it breaks the theme somewhat, I like this Abbey's face. It's colorful, it's pretty, and most importantly, it's done in that older Abbey style. I hope Mattel continues to occasionally throw this faceup at us but I'm not holding my breath.

She has the standard Abbey hair -- white, tinseled, with blue, purple, and pink streaks underneath. As always, the tinsel is giving me problems by refusing to stay down. Compounding the problem is that there's one rooted clump in particular that is especially thick and sticks out like crazy. I'm probably gonna have to tweeze it. Really though, all of the tinsel on this particular Abbey doll is whackadoodle. It feels coarser than usual and several pieces have bends in them making them stick out even more. But like I said, I really like this doll. I guess it's amazing what a nice faceup can do.

Like Draculaura, Abbey wears a short nightgown. Hers is light blue and has a white snowflake print. There's a black ribbon bow at the collar with snowballs dangling down. (Doing my best to avoid some hilarious awkwardness there.) There's also some black detailing at the sleeves. I definitely like this dress! In fact, it's the only Dead Tired outfit from either wave that is actually being worn by one of my dolls. Abbey sports a sleep mask of white fur. Her slippers are light blue and have the requisite monster face. The molded fuzzy look is kind of an odd match with the ice monster motif they seem to be going for here, making the shoes look a bit random and weirdly shaped.

Abbey's extra is a tub of ice cream with a removable lid. There's a funny ghost face molded into the ice cream and I like the cool little drawing on the tub. This is a bit more in line with the Wave 1 extras.

Overall: Draculaura B- The doll gets major points for that translucent skin thing. I also like her nightgown. Even though I'm not that big on this theme in general, and the doll feels somewhat lacking in creativity, my overall feelings are positive, especially compared to other recent Draculaura dolls (Dot Dead Gorgeous comes to mind). Abbey B+ This would've been in the A range, that's how much I like the older faceup, but that hair is a big drawback. I love the nightgown. Oh by the way, these dolls don't include stands. It's the way of the future so I'm putting a moratorium on even mentioning it any more after this. But you'll always know how I feel.

So one of the best things about these budget dolls is putting them in different outfits you like more than what they came in! I took a few pics of them in their new looks for the heck of it. Draculaura is wearing Fashion Abbey's slip dress. This simple dress is fast becoming one of my favorites, and I feel it looks particularly good on this Draculaura. The colors match, the simplicity of the dress works with her pared down hairstyle, and overall I just like this sweet, feminine look for Draculaura. Abbey wears one of her fashion packs, although the black furry vest is on loan to Skull Shores Abbey.

Okay! One final thing, I promise! I had hoped today's entry would be a review of one of the Dance Class dolls, but I can't get my hands on one yet! I keep just missing the online sales, and I've done the rounds at my local stores but they haven't made their way here yet. I could go the Amazon route but I refuse to pay inflated prices for dolls that will be ubiquitous in a few months. But rest assured, the minute I get my hands on them, they will be appearing!


  1. DT Abbey is really weird compared to the rest of the DT dolls. While they're usually more subtle than their regular dolls, DT Abbey has very striking makeup.
    I'm on the other side regarding Draculaura, I prefer her original DT doll. The 2-piece pyjamas are really cute (I love how the lace cravat mimics her signature look). And her hair is hilarious! I guess it's a nod to how bats sleep hanging from the ceiling? So of course her hair is gonna be hanging upwards -or downwards, depending on how you look at it. :)
    Super happy that they're rereleasing her with the coffin/bed jewellery box! (even with the differences.)

    1. I think overall DT wave 2 was a pretty halfhearted attempt to cash in on popular characters that really weren't needed in this line. Even Abbey, for whom this is the first DT doll, is too made up and besides the outfit, doesn't look very "DT" at all. I admire DT Wave 1 Ula's uniqueness, but I just wasn't into her enough to actually get her. Speaking of the re-release DT Ula and bed, I hope the rumor they're doing the same for DT Frankie and her bed is true!

    2. Holy crap, really?! I *love* DT Frankie & her bed! It's so cool how it's a bed & mirror combined into one!

    3. Well, that's the rumor I heard. Not sure how true it is. I never got DT Frankie or her bed so if they do release them a la the Ula re-release, I'll be first in line to get them! (I actually once bought DT Frankie, but ended up returning her. That was before I became a full-fledged fanboy lol.) I've actually seen a couple of online retail stores (not eBay), still selling DT Frankie, so if the re-release isn't happening I may just buy her from one of them.

    4. I've got her now.

    5. Congrats! I never got the Wave 1 DT Draculaura. Not sure why, she's pretty damn unique with that hair! What do you think of the bed?

    6. It's good. It's a pity it doesn't have all the neat gizmos from the original, but that's okay. I can always make my own pillow, too. :D

    7. I didn't notice that it doesn't have all the doo-dads. Still cool-looking though!