Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Lagoona Blue Swim Line 2013

Another year, another Monster High swim line. This time with a twist: the line has no name! Continuing the trend of trying new things in 2013, Mattel is releasing the new swim dolls without an official name, the first themed line to do this. I figured this would happen eventually; there are only so many "creepy" puns you can use to name a beach-themed doll line. To be honest with you I actually like this approach. After the oddness that was Dance Class, a line that emphasized "dance" in name only, it's refreshing to see Mattel cut right to the chase by just putting the dolls out there sans signifiers. You don't have to be a genius to see that the dolls are beach-inspired so there's really no need for a name, anyway.

The lack of a name isn't the only thing different about the new line. Compared to previous swim lines this one is pretty small -- only three dolls are featured (so far). And the dolls are exclusive to a certain degree. Like last year's Dead Tired wave 2, they're only being sold at certain stores. I don't know exactly which stores are included, but I do know K-Mart and Kohl's are among them. You likely won't see them at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, or Target.

With her headband and large sunglasses there's a strong retro vibe to this Lagoona. Over at the MHD forums I posited that she was somewhat inspired by the original 1971 Malibu Barbie. That idea never got any traction but I stand by my theory. Although not a direct repeat of that doll, this Lagoona has similarly large sunglasses and a very similar hairstyle. The cut of her swimsuit is vaguely reminiscent of Malibu Barbie's and their color palettes tread similar territory. Take a look...

This is the Malibu Barbie reproduction from a few years ago, but she's completely true to the original doll.

In any case, we have another new Lagoona this year! Like Spectra, she seems to be taking priority in 2013, with what seems to be renewed interest in the character on Mattel's part. I love me some Lagoona so I'm all for it! When the swim dolls were first revealed I was really taken by all three of them, but Lagoona grabbed my attention the most. Once I got my hands on the dolls and had them de-boxed she was still the standout for me, and so she's the first I'm covering for the blog. Woo-hoo!

There's nothing particularly different or new about this Lagoona's faceup. That said, she's quite pretty, as Lagoona dolls always are. She has hot pink eyeliner topped by a purple divider line. Aqua blue shadow surrounds the entire eye while silver shimmer goes to her brows. Her lips are pure pink. What is new about this Lagoona is her hair. It's parted in the middle and is straight except for an extremely mild wave at the neckline. For Lagoona it's fairly short in length, landing just above her rear. Her blue streaks are spaced evenly and are rooted only at the part except for a couple of streaks in the front. At the front the hair is twisted on each side and wrapped to the back where it's banded into a thin ponytail. The texture is nice, especially compared to the curly-haired Lagoona dolls, but it's not as silky as Dance Class Lagoona's hair is.

Lagoona wears a one piece, one-sleeved swimsuit. The body of the suit is white knit with a paisley print in aqua, pink, and black. The paisley is done in a whimsical sketch style, very unique. We never see paisley in MH fashion so it's presence is welcome here, for me anyway. The sleeve is made of translucent, hot pink plastic. Two knit ruffles in aqua with pink polka dots hang below the plastic; more plastic appears at the hem of each leg. I'm totally loving this swimsuit! As I mentioned, the paisley print is new for MH and simply looks great, while the plastic sleeve and hems gives the look an edge. The smooth texture contrasts nicely with the knit. The ruffles give the swimsuit an interesting silhouette and the polka dots are just plain cute.

Lagoona comes with hot pink wedge sandals; they're the same color as the sleeve and hems of her swimsuit. There are some minor molded details but nothing to write home about. More interesting are her other accessories. She wears a hot pink headband molded into the shape of a tentacle. Two smaller, curling tentacles dangle on one side, similar to feathers or beads on a "regular" headband. It fastens closed in the back, similar to the eye patch in Robecca's deluxe fashion pack. Lagoona also wears sunglasses. They're translucent aqua and have tentacles wrapping the lenses, creating a horn-rimmed effect. I like them quite a bit but they're so large I have trouble keeping them in place when she's also wearing the headband. The headband has a habit of pushing them down her nose. Matching the sunglasses is a large clam shell-shaped tote. It has a flat bottom (it can stand up), and seahorses connect the handles to the tote. The plastic is pliable so it opens very widely. Lagoona's last accessory is her beach towel. It's pretty small, about two inches by four inches. It has the same paisley print as her swimsuit. The new swim dolls don't wear wraps -- I'm guessing the budget for them went towards these towels. My only complaint here is the small size. I wish it were just a little bigger so it could be used as both a towel and a wrap. As it is, it's simply too small to be cinched around the doll's waist.

Overall grade: A Aside from a few minor qualms with the accessories I'm very happy with this Lagoona. Her swimsuit looks fantastic and has several interesting elements -- the print, the plastic sleeve, the ruffles. It's a very "Lagoona" outfit but doesn't feel predictable or like a retread. It's easily one of the best MH swimsuits to date. This is a new hairstyle, something I always welcome on these dolls; the texture of the hair is very good. Her faceup is nothing new but Lagoona is always pretty so, for me at least, this isn't a big deal. The combination of the sunglasses and headband give Lagoona a hippie vibe, a fitting look for such a kind, open-hearted character. This is a budget doll so she doesn't come with a stand or hairbrush.


  1. Glad you made a new post, I really enjoy a lot reading your reviews, but I was kinda thinking you were being bored of doing this... at least it seems that what you wanted was new dolls to cover.
    But if you don't have new dolls to cover, I do like reviews of old great dolls. I don't know if you have dawn of the dance dolls, but I would love to read reviews of them, they are my fav line anyways.

    I enjoy a lot your reviews, you can make such little details soo special and I enjoy that, it is one of the things I loved of monster high, we can pass years and years and not knowing all the details that mattel has put on them :)

    1. Thank you so much for the compliments, Cammie! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! You're absolutely right -- the wider gaps in new blog posts has more to do with being extra busy with work, and wanting to get ahold of the new dolls to write about those. I'm definitely not bored with writing about them! :) I started a series focusing on the older dolls called Deja View because some of the first lines are still among my favorites. I've only written one entry so far, looking at Gloom Beach Cleo, but there'll be more pieces in the future -- and Dawn of the Dance will definitely be covered! :D

  2. I love this Lagoona (heck, I love this whole line!) Everything about her is perfect to me. Her outfit is amazing and her accesories are great!
    I just don't get why Mattel would make them only available at certain stores.
    If this makes them harder to find in the US it will make them impossible to find here, if they even get released here!