Monday, March 11, 2013

Robecca Steam Deluxe Fashion Pack Review

I think Robecca and I got off on the wrong foot. It wasn't that I disliked her. Quite the opposite, actually. I just felt overall that she didn't quite live up to the hype. To me she seemed a bit cheaply made. I went through not one, but two basic Robecca dolls who had faulty necks. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. But I've always thought she was gorgeous. And unlike others, I didn't hold her somewhat lacking steampunk theming against her. Over the last few months I've gotten more and more MH dolls with the faulty neck problem. So basic Robecca has been exonerated of that charge since it isn't just her dolls suffering from this.

How could anyone get off on the wrong foot in such fabulous shoes?

In a nice little bit of irony, her second doll, from the tepidly-received Dance Class line, immediately became a personal favorite of mine. While others were writing DC Robecca off as a weird-looking cheapie doll that paled in comparison to the basic doll, I was admiring her exaggerated eyes, her colorful face, her all-around uniqueness. It took a few days from when I first bought DC Robecca to realize what she really reminds me of: an anime character. The gigantic eyes (enhanced by the pulled-back hair which puts more focus on them), the bright lips, the overall cartoonish look she has; all seem a bit anime-ish. Mostly it's the eyes, though. They look huge on DC Robecca! Especially from a distance she looks like a Japanese cartoon character come to life. In other words, she's loaded with personality and I absolutely love her. Also, she doesn't have a funky neck. That helps a lot, too. But we're here to talk about her deluxe fashion pack. I just wanted to share my current thoughts on these dolls before I begin.

Robecca's a lucky girl in that her first ever fashion pack was a deluxe one. Fellow character-reveal cohorts Rochelle and Venus didn't get any fashion packs, much less a deluxe one. Then again, considering Robecca's dolls came in either a halfhearted steampunk getup (basic), or a simple leotard and wrap (Dance Class), she probably needed some new clothes far more than anyone else. Her pack includes a dress, separate top, shorts, "shrug", earring, earring/eyepatch/headband (yep), purse, belt, and pair of shoes. We need two models to show these outfits off; seeing as there are only two Robecca dolls, model selection was easier than usual for a deluxe review. In the first outfit will be basic Robecca. DC Robecca will take on "B outfit" duties.

The first outfit is a halter dress in Catalina blue. It hugs the middle before flaring into a skirt that ends well above the knee with a ruffled hem. The skirt swoops a little in the front. It has a high Victorian collar fronted by a simple ribbon bow in light blue. The print is amazing. It features scattered, shiny bronze gears hanging from dripping liquid; sometimes the gears have a skullette in the center. Mixed in with these are light blue, smoke-like wisps; the wisps also have the occasional gear connected to them. Holy crap, y'all, I'm loving this dress so hard! Everything about it works: the Victorian collar (swoon!), the fun and flirty cut, the eyecatching, unique print, the colors. It all comes together so perfectly. Seriously, love it.

Paired with this dress of life is a bronze belt of molded rivets, chains, and clock faces. The chain portion droops a little and hugs her thigh, creating a nice visual effect. She has a matching bronze tote. It looks mechanical, with rivets and two spouts (or are they antennae?). The tote opens on a hinge. Best of all is that one side has blue painted detailing, giving the purse the look of a face. Give it up for anthropomorphized purses, y'all!

Robecca wears a lone earring that's a bronze gear with a larger bronze gear dangling below it. Why the lone earring? Because the other one is more a contraption than an earring. Plus, it's completely different from the gear one. So Robecca's pack includes an accessory that brings new meaning to the word multifunctional. It's a translucent blue headband of chains. It's also an eyepatch. And an earring. I'm being pretty glib here, but honestly, it's very cool. The earring portion is a gear (of course) that connects to the headband; at the front of the headband is a patch that covers her left eye. The patch is a simple circle surrounded by beads. Since the entire piece is translucent you can still see Robecca's eye a little when she's wearing the patch. Although it closes with a tab in the back, it's not really needed. The headband fits perfectly. Once you've got the earring portion in just slide it over her head and you're done! The piece can be worn without the patch covering her eye and still look great, to me anyway. I like it both ways, really. All in all, it's a really cool, unique accessory that functions extremely well and looks very good.

Next we have the shoes. Man, Robecca seems to have a lock-down on amazing shoes! Even Operetta, our previous fab-shoe go-to girl, has had a dud pair at this point. But so far every pair of Robecca shoes have been rather stunning. After the rocket boots of her basic doll (best MH boots to date, period), and the surprisingly detailed and whimsical gear-tap shoes of her DC doll, come these gorgeous little numbers. They're open-toed heels with a blue body and brown heels. But let's talk details, because that's where things really get interesting. The body is tall, ending well above the ankles. It has straps that cover the foot and rivets holding the front portion on. The back portion of the body is molded piping. The soles are bronze piping, giving way to matching bronze heels. The heels are made of tiny sheets riveted in place. Another bronze piece frames the actual heel of the foot and is also riveted in place. What I love about these shoes, besides the beautiful colors of course, is that they feel like a true update of Victorian shoes. They're tall, piped, and have a riveted front -- all authentic. Yet, thanks to the super-high heel and extra-thick sole, they also feel very modern. On top of all this, the rivets and copper sheets play into Robecca's theme. These are stunning shoes -- no hyperbole. They work on so many levels, and just plain look gorgeous. Although basic Robecca's boots are her best shoes overall thanks to just how unique and well-made they are, from a fashion standpoint these are easily Robecca's best shoes to date. In fact, these are some of the best MH shoes to date, period, up there with the Skeleton CAM shoes and SO Clawdeen's boots. Great job, Mattel! Truly, well done!

Okay, after all that gushing I've gotta gather myself before we continue on... Okay, I'm ready. For the next outfit we have DC Robecca taking on modelling duties. You may notice that she's an extremely cool-looking doll. Or you may find her weird and cheap-looking (your loss). The only things included with the pack here are the top, "shrug", and shorts.

I can't be the only one who finds that face to be at least a little cartoony. 
I also can't be the only one who loves it... right?

I'm not gonna lie: this outfit is ridiculously simple, perhaps the simplest fashion pack-related outfit we've seen to date. Luckily, the colors here are pretty luxe and the prints are interesting. She wears a black, short-sleeved top in a smooth knit. The neckline is hemmed with electric blue thread. It has a large diamond print of turquoise and purple chains connecting gold rings. Basic but pretty. Over this she wears the shrug. Well, it's not really a shrug, I'm just calling it that for lack of something better. But it works pretty much like a shrug. Anyway, it's also made of a smooth knit and has a print of alternating blue and lavender diamonds. Again, basic but pretty. With these she wears shorts in vertical pinstripes of blue, lavender, gold, and black. Gold gears line the front and it has a hemmed waistband. Should I say basic but pretty again? Well, I just did. The key to making this outfit work is accessorizing. Even with the nice colors and good prints there's no denying this outfit is pretty boring. But with the right extras I think it works remarkably well! I didn't use the accessories included in the pack with this outfit because they felt much more right with the dress.

Seriously, look at that face. So adorable! So much personality! What's not to like?

Here are a few pics of the second outfit without the "shrug", and a couple without the belt.

Overall: The dress in this pack is really amazing -- in fact, I'd say it's probably my favorite Robecca outfit yet. That's including her basic and Dance Class outfits. I really love her in it! It's eyecatching, fashionable, touches on her theme nicely (the collar is especially impressive), and simply works for this character in ways her previous outfits should have but didn't. The second outfit is lacking on it's own, but with the right accessories it totally works. The extras here are very good, especially the headband eyepatch piece. The shoes are mindblowing. 

For some reason these two strike me as sisters rather than two dolls of the same character, and I think they look great together. I couldn't stop taking pictures of them! Take a look...

Til next time!


  1. Replies
    1. Hi FrankenGhoul! Robecca hijacked the belt from Power Ghouls Clawdeen. She really likes it, and PG Clawdeen wasn't wearing it, anyway. ;)

  2. Omg, you're so right! She does look like an Anime character! That really adds something totally new and awesome to her personality.
    I really like this fashion pack, I think Mattel really showed that even after so many dolls and so many outfits, they haven't lost their creativity yet!

    1. It's one of those things that, once you notice it, you can't un-notice it! It really stands out and gives her a lot more personality. I look at DC Robecca as a cartoon character come to life, but in robotic form.

      I love the FP, too. It's not really steampunk, but it does touch on the Victorian era, and it definitely looks good. I especially love the eyepatch headband and purse!

    2. I love the steampunk style but Robecca proves that it doesn't have to be 100% steampunk to be perfect ^^

  3. Mind if I ask which pair of shoes are a 'dud' for Operetta?

    My favourite items from this set are the belt & shoes. Is that sad? I just think Robecca is already so detailed, it would be better if her fashions were more simpler in terms of patterns.

    1. I was talking about her SRM skates, which I guess is sort of cheating since technically they're not shoes. As well-made as the SRM skates were, I will always prefer shoes of just about any kind over them.

      Those are some pretty rad shoes, so no, it's not sad at all!

    2. I think her Dance Class shoes are my least favourite. :-/

    3. I thought it was pretty cool how they did an update on the saddle shoe for the DC doll, but I do think of her actual shoes they're one of the simpler pairs.