I haven't the foggiest why people were so worked up over her...
As with Jinafire, there's a lot to cover here. Did someone say box back?
So there we see our deluxe characters, all fierce and cool and fronting a rather wicked interpretation of the Eiffel Tower. We're given the set up for the general Scaris storyline up top while down at the bottom are some details on Skelita. She's a skeleton girl from Mexico, all about familia, fiesta's, and expressing her artistic self. Inside you'll find her diary/sketchpad. It's set up in the same way Jinafire's is, giving us a few diary entries to further familiarize us with Skelita, as well as some beautiful sketches to feast our eyes on. Rather than immediately throwing Skelita into the Scaris storyline, her upcoming adventure is only hinted at. I like this a lot -- it lets us focus on Skelita and her personal life while teasing us with a promise of more to come. Plus, if you're a person these dolls are actually aimed at -- that is, not a grown man like me (ahem) -- I imagine this leaves open lots of opportunities for imaginative play since she's not just wedged right into the Scaris stuff right off the bat. Anyway, here's some pretty pictures!
Note to Mattel: this needs to be a fashion pack. Actually, while you're at it go ahead and make one for that awesome matador outfit up there, too.
I have a confession to make -- when I first de-boxed Skelita, rather than immediately feeling pure admiration for the doll, I was a bit... mixed. Before you go hitting that X up in the corner and swearing off Voicething forever, let me explain. Skelita came out of her box with some pretty ratty hair; a bit stringy in the back, and pretty flat to boot. Those curls framing that lovely face were held by the dreaded crispy gel. But I continued on, reminding myself that fresh box hair often works itself out while simultaneously pushing away those thoughts saying, "But just as often it doesn't". I immediately loved her clothes (we'll come back to that), but was obviously eager to see what that skeletal frame underneath looked like. Skelita comes in the box wearing under her clothes one of those clear plastic body forms you see on all the fashion packs. A bit odd, but I removed it and found myself amazed at the detailed skeleton in front of me (we'll come back to that, too). I started to pose her and found that her joints were nearly impossible to move. I was put off by it and those mixed feelings were setting in good by then. I looked at her paper diagram and saw that, unlike other standard dolls, she could be separated at the knees. I pulled the legs out, worked on the joints a bit and voila! Her legs suddenly could bend! I found that this was the case with all the joints -- they're extremely stiff at first, but once you warm them up they're ready to go! Two days later her hair has settled in well, no longer stringy and flat, and those gelled curls actually look better once they've loosened up a bit. As for the body form, at first I kept it on her, and I just wasn't liking it at all. It kept getting twisted around and messing up the bodice of her dress. Finally I just stopped using it and I realized she looks so much better without it! Her clothes hang loosely, but they're supposed to, she's a skeleton. I have a feeling the body form was only meant for the doll as she's displayed in the box, not for actual play and display. All of the pics you'll see in this review are form-less, and to me at least, she looks great! So all those mixed feelings have turned to purely happy ones as I've gotten to know this doll. Huzzah!
Skelita's face is done in the style of a sugar skull. It's elaborate, painterly even. She has huge brown eyes. Her pupils are massive, the biggest on any MH doll to date (off the top of my head, anyway). They almost create an effect of her eyes glancing in different directions, they're so big. I actually like this a lot -- it gives Skelita a fun, goofy, happy vibe. She has a white reflective dot and streak in each pupil. Above each eye is a strip of brown in the same color as her irises. Curiously, this strip goes over the white of her eye rather than the eyelid. Above it is another thin strip, this one on the lid, in sharp electric blue. Now here's where things really get interesting. Surrounding each eye is a large layer of very light blue, so light it almost looks like it was dusted on. Surrounding this are tiny brown dots. There are a few more dots actually in the dusted blue and these are surrounded by darker blue starburst shapes. Stunning. Her eyebrows are a dark chocolate brown color and lead into fanciful curlicues at the ends.On the sides of her face, under the edges of her brows, are more fanciful curls and lines. These are in a light brown, almost golden, shade. Below these, framing her mouth, are three more tiny brown dots. Her lips are a pure pink color and outlined in black; black lines also cover the actual lips. Framing the lips to each side are brown "smile" lines, done in a style that looks like stitches. Her lips are molded into a small purse, as if she's constantly blowing kisses to all those she comes in contact with. I really love this detail. On her nose is a simple black diamond, meant more to subliminally signify she has a nose than be decorative. This is such a creative look; colorful and eye catching without being tacky or garish in the least. Perhaps best of all, she really does look like she's made of sugar. Perfectly fitting for a face that's so happy, so full of life. Some dolls have a faceup while others have a FACEUP. I'll let you guess which I feel this one is.
Skelita has jet black hair with orange streaks that frame her face. It's parted on her right and has a very mild wave, although the orange streaks have been gelled into curls that fall around her face onto her shoulders (nice). A little bit of the hair in the back has been pulled into a ponytail to give her a bump. It's a great touch -- retro-modern and youthful. As I mentioned earlier, at first her hair was all stringy and flat, besides the stiff curls. As I've posed her and changed her clothes and just moved her around in general, it's completely relaxed into it's style, even the hard curls. This is a loose, carefree look; somewhat styled but not overly so. If you just let it do what it's supposed to naturally you'll see what Mattel was going for here. I absolutely love it now.
Skelita's clothes were designed to reflect Dia de Los Muertos. I'm familiar with DDLM but not enough to say what the exact inspirations were. I'm going to describe these clothes to you as I see them. Her top is a sleeveless black number featuring a swirling print in light grey. It's lined with ribbon, one side pink, the other purple. The shirt is long and could actually be worn as a shirt-dress. Those unfamiliar with MH would look at it and say, "No way! That's way too short." Those of us in the know will look at it and think, "Eh, I'm surprised they didn't go shorter." Over this she wears a tiered skirt in a multitude of colors -- pink, orange, blue, purple, green, red. They all have a black print over them in several different shapes. Some look a bit like webs, some like window panes, and others hint at flowers and hearts. The texture feels a bit like parchment. I love unexpected or unusual textures and this skirt delivers just that.
Her shoes are neon green sandles with a brown wedge. The green has molded diamond shapes and stripes while the wedges have cool little skulls and flowers molded into them. She also wears an orange necklace that's molded to hang just perfectly over the bust. She has a brown belt that looks like "leather" to me; molded into it are more skulls and flowers. Her last worn accessory is a matching bracelet.
I love the way the clothes and accessories hang on her skeletal body. Between the relaxed, curly hair and this bright, cheery outfit, Skelita comes across as happy yet endearingly awkward. Her body is willowy in a realistic way. It's totally charming.
Speaking of that body, yeah, it's really something. I'm a social worker eight years out of college -- I'm not an anatomy expert. Obviously the bones of her chest and rear are highly stylized. Her arms, legs, hands, and feet look pretty accurate to me. But I really wouldn't know. What I do know is this is a very cool looking body. It boggles the mind that a corporation would spend the money and time it must've taken to design and manufacture this one of a kind body. Think of all the special molds they had to create for this doll. It's amazing, really. I love the way this body moves, how the legs automatically cross into a natural looking pose when you bend the knees, how the arms naturally splay when you move them forward, how she rests into a slight strut when placed in her stand. It's so unique and interesting that when viewing it you don't even feel like you're looking at a naked doll, just a body form of some kind. Yet when posed it looks so natural and lifelike. Take a look...
Skelita comes travel-ready with her rolling suitcase. It's hot pink and features an extremely detailed front, including flowers and curlicues that echo the ones on her face. In the center is a skullette, reinvented as a sugar skull. The back features a simple grid pattern and the rolling wheel, while inside is molded padding and pockets. Unlike Jinafire's and Rochelle's, Skelita's suitcase handle really is retractable. The handle is a stylized bone shape while the bar has simple ribbing. When slid into the suitcase it mimics a spine. Extremely cool.
Overall grade: A+ This is another resounding success for this line. Skelita has an interesting personality and background, her face and outfit tie into her theme perfectly, and she has bountiful extras that all emphasize her personality. Her unique body is a marvel of doll design and functions extremely well. It poses beautifully and emphasizes her almost awkward nature (in a good way). If we had to sacrifice some creativity in the Dance Class line to get these robust new characters that's fine with me because Mattel is on fire with Jinafire and Skelita. As with Jinafire, Skelita feels a notch above the other dolls, something special that you just don't see every day. I really love her -- that's the simplest, most honest way I can put it.