First things first -- like the other Picture Day dolls Cleo's box is adorned with a school picture poking fun at her. In this case her pet snake Hissette is giving her bunny ears. I love this pic of Cleo -- she looks great, the bunny ears are funny, and you just gotta love Hissette's big, satisfied grin.
Picture Day Cleo comes with the requisite Fearbook, highlighting her votes for different character personalities in addition to that awesome composite picture of all the MH characters. She also includes a sticker sheet of 16 different MH characters (love this!).
I love this Cleo's faceup. Her irises seem a bit brighter than usual -- less grey, more turquoise. She has the usual Cleopatra-inspired mascara; her entire eye is surrounded by gold shimmer. She has a blue divider line at the lid. For some reason her eyes seem a little smaller than usual but I've compared her to my other Cleo dolls and they look to be the same size. Anyway, my favorite thing about this faceup is her lips -- super glossy and in a beautiful deep blue shade. Although there's nothing particularly unique about this Cleo's face for some reason she looks like a bit of a departure to me. I just can't put my finger on it. In any case I love this faceup -- Cleo is certainly as pretty as ever here!
Like the other Picture Day dolls Cleo's outfit is unique and a bit of a departure for the character while still feeling pure "Cleo". She wears a shirt-dress in a base color of Catalina blue (yep). It features a very busy print of stylized wraps in turquoise, black, and shining gold. There's also an occasional jeweled necklace printed in gold. The sleeves go to her elbows. Under the bust is a hem where the top splits and overlaps in the front. Under the shirt-dress Cleo wears black and gold striped tights that end just below the knees. She wears a wide gold belt of molded wings under the bust. In the center is a black scarab. Coordinated with this is a gold bracelet also baring a black scarab.
While we're on the scarab tip I might as well go ahead and discuss her purse, my personal favorite of the Picture Day dolls. It's translucent turquoise, very thin, and has a strap for the handle. Molded onto the front is a fairly large scarab painted in gold outline. In one of those cool little MH details I love so much the arms of the scarab are raised and "clutching" the clasp to open the purse. Yep, unlike Abbey's backpack and Spectra's purse, this purse actually opens! Of course it's so thin I doubt you're gonna get much in there, but who cares? It opens and that's all that really matters to me in this case. The scarab on the front is repeated on the back but minus the cool gold outline. Looking at all these scarabs I can't help but think of Nefera -- aren't scarabs her thing? Somehow I doubt she's gonna be down with Cleo hijacking them for this outfit. To Cleo I can only offer one of my favorite movie quotes (from Ghost and said by Whoopi Goldberg) in warning: "You in danger, girl!"
Cleo's shoes are strappy sandals in Catalina blue. They rest on a wedge of phoenix wings while the soles are layered bricks. I love these shoes although they don't have a patch on 2.0 Cleo's hourglass heels. Actually while I love this entire outfit in general I feel it doesn't come close to her 2.0 basic outfit. Ditto the face and hair.
Speaking of, here comes the bad news. My Picture Day Cleo has awful hair. Yes, major sadface. I picked the Picture Day dolls up at Wal-Mart and while the shelves weren't loaded down with them I had several Cleos to choose from. Unfortunately they all had bad hair. I picked the best one but that's not saying much. Her hair is dry, stringy, and frizzy. When I combed it several strands came out and had to be trimmed. Her bangs were uneven and had to be trimmed as well -- and they still look pretty bad. I've seen other Picture Day Cleo's on Flickr who look like they have great hair so I guess I just (un)lucked out. It's really disappointing because Cleo was one of the few characters whose dolls could always be counted on to have nice silky hair. Even her Skull Shores doll, whose hair looked terrible in every box I saw on store shelves, was a really easy fix - a quick brush and slight trim and it was ready to go! It was short but still just as silky as her dolls with longer hair. This dry, frizzy Picture Day hair has taken a lot of the fun out of this doll for me. Like I said, good or bad hair can make or break a doll.
Cleo's last accessory is her folder, a gold number featuring molded papyrus and phoenix wings framing the snap. Oddly, Picture Day Cleo doesn't come wearing earrings. In the past they've released dolls without earrings but it made sense -- SRM dolls can't wear them with their skating gear; Dance Class could've used them (and Howleen does have her signature safety pin earring), but that was a very budget line so I get it. But Picture Day isn't a budget line. And the other dolls in the line have them (well, Abbey only wears one, that infuriating hair-grabbing ice thing), so why not Cleo? Pretty odd if you ask me.