Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Frankie Stein Vanity Playset

Or as it's more simply known, Frankie's Vanity. This playset follows in the footsteps of last year's Cleo De Nile vanity set. That one must have gone over well because now we have this Frankie-fied one, analogous to the Cleo vanity but bright and electrified where Cleo's was luxe and ostentatious.

Frankie's vanity comes completely assembled in the box. You just open the box, slide it out, and cut the holding ties. When promo pictures of the set were released there were several small pictures of Frankie's friends adorning the backdrop of the vanity, one of my favorite elements of this toy. Once the set hit shelves early reviews said those pictures were nonexistent. I was bummed but picked the set up anyway. I'm happy to report that those pictures are included with the set; they come on a sticker sheet folded into the paper instructions and you have to apply them yourself. Of course, me being me, I still managed to get them wrong and put a couple of the pictures in the wrong spots. The directions are written to be so easily used that a 6 year old could follow them. Literally all it is is a diagram of big numbers and giant arrows pointing to exactly where each sticker goes. And I still got them wrong. D'oh! Oh well, the set looks good anyway. Even my dip-wad nature couldn't completely muss this playset up.

The vanity itself stands about 10 inches tall and is maybe 6 inches wide (I'm guesstimating on those, don't take those numbers as hard fact). Three of the legs are grey "bolts" while the fourth is an electric blue lightning jag that contains several compartments. Along the outside portion are molded designs -- a skullette, heart, lightning bolt, etc. The counter top is solid black; underneath is a wide, working drawer. It's fronted by "metal" utility gripping over which is a pink lightning bolt. The handle is a white skullette.

Backing the vanity is a large mirror in the shape of a lightning bolt. It is outlined in hot pink and opens to reveal three shallow shelves. Surrounding the mirror is jagged black plastic. It has several large, open spaces and feels vaguely Gothic. Behind it is a second layer of plastic, this time electric blue. It is much denser than the black layer, and here is where you'll find all those pictures of her friends. You'll also find a large skullette and several stars in outline. The two layers look really cool juxtaposed against each other, the black opening up to the pictures and shapes behind it. More of the blue plastic edges the sides of the counter top. Next to the mirror are four electrical outlets, two on each side. The outlets are shaped like a skullette; the prong receivers are the eyes. It's a great, subtle detail.

About those outlets: there are two accessories here that utilize them. First is a black blow dryer connected to a hot pink cord. The blow dryer has a small loop to put one of Frankie's fingers through so it looks like she's actually holding it herself. It's quite effective! The other "electric" accessory is even better: an electric blue charger that actually connects to the bolts on Frankie's neck! I love it! The knobs attach to Frankie's bolts perfectly (no weirdness with trying to get them to stay on or anything), and it just plain looks cool. And of course this ties into Frankie's theme perfectly. Of course she would need one of these on her vanity -- she requires electricity to live, what better time to recharge than when she's getting ready in the morning. It's such a great detail -- so clever, and pure MH. Both of these accessories actually plug into the outlets on the vanity. They're kind of hard to get in at first, but once in they stay in place pretty good.

A vanity is pretty useless without something to sit in while you use it, and Frankie's is no different. Luckily they've included a chair, and it's a rather good one. Rather than using four legs, it's a salon style chair that rotates on a center leg. I was skeptical of this at first (I could just picture all my dolls toppling right over in it), but it works great. The leg is a grey "bolt"; the swivel works well. The back and arms of the chair are done in the same "broken" style of the vanity and are electric blue. The seat is hot pink and features little lightning bolts molded into it. A white skullette adorns the seat back. I love this chair! The dolls sit upright very easily, and the "broken" style of the arms gives you plenty of places to rest their hands (aka you have tons of posing options here).

There are several small accessories included: a case meant to look like a car battery, a pink perfume bottle, and a makeup palette in the shape of a lightning bolt. There's one last accessory, a little blue thing, and I'm not entirely sure what it is. It has a small grip and a ring to put Frankie's finger through. The only thing I can think of is maybe it's meant to be attached to the charger cord, so when you put Frankie's finger through the ring it looks like she's holding the charger. I tried this and it works but I still have my doubts. If anyone knows for sure what it is, please fill me in!

Overall grade: A The vanity is well made and looks great. It has several small touches that are pure Monster High. The bolt charger in particular is clever, and it works well. The only real negative is that Frankie's vanity doesn't include all the extra jewelry that Cleo's did. It seems to have fewer accessories in general, actually. But taken on its own this is a great set -- clever, well-made, and cute. Perfect for a great character like Frankie.


  1. Great review, as always :) I think the little blue thing is actually a makeup brush. It has the little clasp thing at the end to poke one of Frankie's fingers through, and the other little loop to poke another finger through so she holds it realistically. I hope that solves the mystery :)

    1. Thanks, Demmy! I think you may be right! It would definitely make more sense than being a holder for the charger, which would be pretty useless since that doesn't need a holder anyway.

      Sorry for the delayed response by the way! Had to work all weekend. Yuck.

  2. I LOVE this vanity! I adore it and the style fits Frankie perfectly!
    It's really, really high on my wihslist as is Cleo's vanity and that's why I HATE the fact that I never saw them in stores.. neither of them! Can you believe that? :c