Two days later I'm making my daily morning Wal-Mart run looking for Catrine and ask an associate to check and see if any had arrived. He told me that several of the "cat dolls" were put out about 30 minutes ago, and within a few minutes some guy came through and bought all of them. In a moment of frustration I came home, jumped on the desktop, and bought a Catrine doll from the seller my friend had told me about. I reasoned that the price wasn't too bad, especially since shipping was free. Of course there was that worrying no refunds policy...
Cut to three days later and the doll arrives. Yes, I was super excited and eagerly ripped into the shipping container. That excitement quickly deflated as I looked upon a beautiful Catrine doll... with a huge chunk of paint missing over her left eye. Cue the sad trombone music. I emailed the seller about it even though I knew it was useless. She sent a quick response outlining her policy, the one I had already agreed to. I was stuck with the doll. I looked at Catrine -- so pretty and stylish despite the missing paint -- and went into "lemonade" mode.
Since the missing fleck included some of her black mascara in addition to some of her lavender eyeshadow and blue divider line I knew I wouldn't be able to repaint it. So I pulled out my fine point Sharpie and made the mascara over that eye just a little bit thicker. She doesn't look "correct" but she looks better than she did before. She's at least good enough to work as a standby until I can pick out a Catrine in person... and she'll work for today's review, too!
A few provisos: The poor girl's been through a lot so we ask that you refrain from pointing out her deficiency (she's already well aware of it). More importantly, do please keep in mind that she's still a gorgeous girl! And lastly -- avoid scalpers no matter what! In the end you'll only get burned. Sigh. Now onto the review!
Ever since I first saw pics of Catrine at last year's San Diego Comic Con I was hooked. I instantly fell in love with her and have been eagerly awaiting her arrival for close to a year now. That's a lot of expectation to live up to; now that she's here does she meet it? How about we back up a little first...
Catrine DeMew is the third and final new character introduced through the Scaris line. She's also the only exclusive, available at Wal-Mart (in the US, anyway). When I wrote my Scaris Clawdeen review I whined that she was the last deluxe doll I'd get to write about -- luckily Mighoula over at MHD wisely pointed out that, Hey, there's still Catrine, she'll probably be a deluxe doll, too! And Mighoula was absolutely right. Catrine comes in a large box with a diary, a stand, and full bio on the box back. The only difference is that, instead of a travel case, Catrine carries a purse. (Being from Scaris she has no use for a travel case.) Speaking of box back...
I said Catrine came with a diary but that's not exactly true. Her booklet is actually a portfolio showcasing her beautiful watercolors of various Scaris street scenes. You'll also find her chalk drawing of Rochelle inside. There's no text at all in her booklet. Check out some of her paintings...
Beautiful, right? Hey, wanna see something even more beautiful than those paintings?
Catrine is a werecat, a monster many MH fans are growing tired of since we have a small handful of them at this point. My opinion? As long as they continue to make them as cool, gorgeous, and unique as Catrine I say bring 'em on! Catrine has pure white skin; unlike the other werecat characters she has no stripes or spots. She sports a tail but unlike Toralei's it's not bendable. Catrine's tail functions the same as Meowlady and Purrsephone's tails; it's also almost the exact same shape.
Catrine has huge, striking cat eyes in two-tone colors, baby blue and ice blue. She has light pink eyeshadow that surrounds the entire eye and a bright blue divider line. There is no shimmer or glitter around her eyes. Her eyebrows are lavender and she has a black beauty mark under her left eye. Her tiny cat nose is highlighted with just a touch of purple paint on the bottom. She has full, puckered lips in shimmering purple. They're outlined in darker purple, a very cool effect. This is one of the more mature-looking MH faces. The beauty mark goes a long way in giving Catrine a sophisticated, retro vibe. From the moment I saw her last year I felt Catrine was possibly the prettiest MH doll to date, and seeing her in person isn't swaying me to think otherwise. She's simply stunning.
She has purple hair with a few bright magenta streaks. It's parted just slightly to her left and falls to her shoulders in thick curls. The doll comes with her hair gelled into a helmet. Gently brush it out and it will relax into the curls the way it was intended. Once brushed the texture is very soft. Not silky, but definitely soft. In keeping with the tone her faceup set, this is a chic hairstyle, something you'd see on a stylish adult. Mattel can tell us this doll is 17 but I'm not buying it. No Howleen-esque fauxhawks or Venus-inspired buzz cuts (much as I like those hairstyles) for this girl -- she's wise enough to know less is more. This hairstyle is timeless and she pulls it off perfectly.
Catrine wears a short sleeve top with horizontal stripes in various shades of purple, plus some black and white. Her short skirt hugs her abdomen before flaring into two layers. The top layer is black and has purple, magenta, and white dots. The lower layer features the same horizontal stripes as her shirt. I'm having trouble gauging this outfit. It doesn't seem to reference a particular era, yet it doesn't exactly feel modern, either. Whatever, I quite like it nonetheless!
Her shoes are platform heels. The body is lavender and features several fanciful straps and a rose bloom. The platform and heel is light pink. She also wears black fingerless gloves that are molded onto her hands. Even though fingerless gloves are pretty timeless, for some reason on Catrine these most definitely do feel retro. Matching them are her sunglasses, black Jackie O's with odd earpieces that curve upward. They're very stylish -- again, these are much more sophisticated than the usual outrageous sunglasses you'll find on the other dolls. She wears an artist's belt in lavender. Attached is a case holding her various colored chalks; a second case holds brushes of all different shapes and sizes. A small skullette adorns the belt.
Cinched around Catrine's neck is a long purple and black scarf. I love the exaggerated length -- it's impossible not to notice the scarf when it has a habit of perfectly draping itself on Catrine's shoulders and cascading over her belt, purse, etc. Also, if you've been to Paris you know they take their scarves very seriously. This adds immensely to Catrine's authenticity.
Her last accessory is her purse. It's black with a large, curling handle and features a purple Parisian skyline lit by the nighttime stars. It has a pleasingly fanciful look to it. The skyline side opens on two hinges. I doubt it's big enough to hold much, but at least it opens.
Overall grade: A+ and then some! Even with a paint defect this doll's overriding high quality shines through! She ticks all the boxes I love: subtle, sophisticated, gorgeous, French, etc etc. (Rochelle better watch out!) Seriously though, Catrine may just be the single most beautiful MH doll to date. I won't say that definitively, but she's certainly in the running. What little I know of her characterization I quite like. There's almost an air of mystery surrounding this Scarisian street artist. The doll is just so beautiful (Jeez, how many times can I say that in one review?), she's really something to behold. She may not break new ground like Jinafire and Skelita did, but damn if she isn't a shining example of Mattel at their absolute best! Yes, I'm a fan! Yes, I hope we see more of her! Yes, she's perfect! (Even with that little paint defect.) C'est magnifique!
By the way, when I do get ahold of another Catrine, she'll probably be showing up on the blog, too!