One of the best things about Monster High is that there is a wide range of styles of the dolls. Like big hair and elaborate, costume-y outfits? They got you covered. Or maybe you prefer youthful looking dolls that come in specifically themed clothes like pajamas or skating gear. They have those, too! For me, I think Monster High is at its' best when they strike somewhere in between, with dolls that have colorful faceups and nice clothes that aren't limited by a strong theme. My favorite MH dolls tend to have bright yet subtle faces, nice, silky hair that isn't overly elaborate, and clothes that seem closer to genuine fashion than anything too costume-y. Which brings me to the deluxe Frankie Stein Scaris doll.
Ever since she's hit shelves I've seen some positive responses to her but the overwhelming majority seem to find her boring, bland, unexciting. When it comes to Scaris Frankie, I think the key word is subtlety. And I think the things that others find boring or bland with this doll are the very things that make me love her. The subtle details -- the nods to vintage fashion, the simple but expressive face, the loose but sophisticated hairstyle. When I look at my Scaris Frankie doll these are all things I see and they're the reasons I love this doll so much.
Like the other Scaris dolls Frankie has a portion focusing on her at the bottom of the box back. Her booklet functions the same as Rochelle's; it's more of a scrapbook/travelogue. She doesn't have any diary entries like Clawdeen, Jinafire, and Skelita.
Frankie has a simple faceup. She has yellow eyeliner and silver eyeshadow. A thin strip of silver also runs under the eye. The eyeshadow is topped by a very light shimmer that goes to her brows. Her lips are a fairly muted shade of navy blue and are mildly glossy. That's it for the makeup, very simple. And yet there's something about her face that seems so expressive. Scaris Frankie looks almost melancholy to me, in that glamorous, jaded way. Very Parisian. I don't think it was a conscious decision by the Mattel design team. But by the same token I don't think I'm imagining it. Whatever the case, I find this Frankie's face to be truly stunning.
Her hair is, well, glorious. The black and white streaks are your standard Frankie fare. The top has been pulled into a flat ponytail, similar to her I Heart Fashion doll. It's layered and lands just above her rear. It has an amazing wave throughout, very lush. The texture is smooth and very silky. I bought this doll at Toys R Us and there were several Frankie's on hand to choose from. Many of them looked like they had bad hair -- I chose the best of the lot. If you've gotten a Scaris Frankie with bad hair I suggest you call Mattel about it -- chances are they'll send you a new one. Because if you get a Scaris Frankie with good hair, well, it's not good hair, it's fantastic hair. I have no problems brushing it, and thanks to the large wave there are several different ways to style it without putting a single product in it. Throw her sunglasses on her head and you have even more options. In terms of style I simply love this look for Frankie. As I like to say, it's styled but not overly so. Between this and her SRM doll, I think I just have a thing for Frankies with mid-length, wavy hair.
Her outfit is 1940's by way of the 80's. She wears an electric blue top with a black print of tiny Eiffel Tower silhouettes, nuts, and bolts. It has a loose collar that can be worn up or down and short sleeves trimmed in black. The front of the top drops lower than the back creating the look of an untucked shirt. The hem is lined in hot pink and travels up the center of the bodice where it splits at the collar. There is a cinch above the navel of black ribbon. Despite being cinched this top fits rather loosely. The colors make this very 80's, but the cut and fit are pure 40's. Suffice it to say I love this top; I find it kind of extraordinary to be honest. It's sophisticated and reads as genuine fashion. It's haute. It's paired with a white miniskirt with a diagonal electric blue print of stylized stitches. The bottom is hemmed with black thread. Both the top and skirt are made of a smooth, silky knit. The skirt fits much tighter than the top making for a nice visual contrast. It's a great look -- fashionable without being overly fussy; dramatic in it's own subtle way. The colors, the fabric, the cut, it all works extremely well.
Frankie wears tall, black platform boots with a yellow lightning bolt down each side. There's lots of molded detail going on here -- straps, stitches, buttons, and little electricity bursts. The heels are jagged lightning bolts. The platforms, texture, and fact that they're combined with this specific outfit give them a fetish-y vibe. It's tres cool and a shining example of the subversiveness Mattel manages to sneak into these dolls. Just don't tell the kids. Or the parents for that matter.
The only accessories Frankie wears are her earrings and sunglasses. That's it. No bracelet, no necklace, no belt. And you know what? She doesn't need them! The outfit works great as it is, why muss it up by throwing in too many accessories? It'd just make this chic ensemble look busy. Her earrings are mismatched -- a cascading string of electric blue nuts on one side, a bright yellow screw on the other. Her sunglasses are matching yellow. I like how they did the colors on this outfit. Although blue is the standout color it's not overpowering. It's anchored by the black sleeve hems, cinch, and boots. The yellow works perfectly as an accent because it only shows up on the sunglasses, earring, and sides of the boots. The only pink is the trim of the top. This outfit was very well thought out. Oh and by the way, I like the sunglasses on Frankie but prefer them resting on her head.
Frankie comes with the requisite rolling suitcase. Hers is electric blue with a pink block baring a lightning bolt on the front. There's lots of molded details to make it look mechanical. The handle is yellow lightning jags. The back has the same print as her top molded into it while the inside has the standard pockets and padding.
Overall grade: A+ This doll exemplifies what I love about Monster High. She's fashionable, she's subversive, she's cool. Quality is high on this doll -- her faceup is near-perfect and hair quality is fantastic (not to mention the actual style is superb). She's not so overly styled that I feel I have to leave her on her stand so as not to "mess her up". She's pretty much perfect in her own subtle way.