Its been a while since I've had the pleasure of reviewing an Operetta doll. I was tempted to do Picture Day Lagoona first, but between Swim 2013 and Scaris (not to mention Dance Class), she's been hogging the spotlight, something for which Operetta just can't abide. And so today we'll be discussing pompadours, corsets, and masks that are not what we were promised.
Continuing the running theme of the line, Picture Day Operetta comes in a box showcasing a school picture poking light fun at her. Her 'do is mussed and she's blowing the errant strands out of her face in frustration. It's a funny pic, and even with the messy hair and aggravated facial expression Operetta still manages to look quite pretty. The picture is repeated on the back of the box in black and white along with her abbreviated bio.
As expected, Operetta includes a Fearbook and sticker sheet. Since she's part of the new line we get new stickers of her, Lagoona, and Frankie. As always, I love these! Check out Lagoona -- what a beautiful drawing of her!
But we're here to talk about Operetta. Let's take a look...
For me the first thing that immediately jumps out when looking at her is that hairdo. Wow! This time around Operetta sports a huge pompadour. I like this for several reasons. First and foremost, it simply looks great! It's dramatic and eyecatching. It ties perfectly into Operetta's rockabilly theme, and since this is a new basic version of the character it works as a compliment to her original doll's victory rolls. I also really like that thick black streak running right up the center. The rest of her hair is pulled into a simple ponytail. The hair held by the ponytail has a mild wave. The quality of Operetta's hair is generally fair-to-poor. This Operetta's hair isn't horrible but it's not great, either. Mattel finally caught on with Lagoona and lately her dolls have had amazing hair; hopefully the same happens for Operetta soon. We've seen ponytails on Operetta dolls more often than not; it's no secret that I'd like to see Mattel ditch them for this character. That said, the pompadour is rather fantastic and pretty much makes up for the ponytail. And it's not like the ponytail looks bad, I'm just really bored with it.
This is a very pink-heavy face for Operetta. None of her other dolls have had this much pink used for their faceups. Hot pink eyeliner surrounds the entire eye. Her eyeshadow is magenta and topped by a silver shimmer. Her semi-glossy lips are pure red. I tend to prefer Operetta when her makeup leans more heavily on darker colors but this version is undeniably pretty. There's a sort of eagerness to this Operetta's face. She looks a little younger than usual; full of life, expectant, a little mischievous even. While on the subject of her face, I may as well discuss the mask debacle. In the promo pics and box art Picture Day Operetta wears a brand new mask. It's a sort of abstract, partitioned web thing. It looked extremely cool and, after a steady stream of heart masks, fans were incredibly excited about it. Unfortunately, the manufactured doll comes wearing the heart mask. To Mattel's credit they've at least spiced this one up a little. Usually the mask is one solid color, but here the spider that rests over her ear is red while the webbing and heart are black. It's not much, but at least it has a tad more visual interest than these masks usually do. I've heard there's a chance we may see the newly designed mask eventually. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one, but you never know.
For her school's picture day, Operetta picked her most bad-ass ensemble and she wears it like nobody's business! This outfit is totally wicked! She wears a "strapless" red cocktail dress (it does have straps but they're the clear kind), with a print of black musical notes and leopard spots. The bodice is fitted, giving way to a flared skirt that ends above the knee with pleated netting in purple. Above the hips, laying over the red skirt, is another layer of netting. It's translucent and features textured black polka dots. Operetta has paired this dress with a black corset with white printed strings. From the promo pic I thought the corset would simply be printed onto the dress, but nope, it's a separate piece! Very cool! The vintage-y dress and corset skew a bit older; Operetta gives the look a youthful kick by pairing it with a letterman jacket. But this isn't your standard jacket: the length is raised so it lands a little below the bust, and the sleeves are three-fourths length. The jacket comes in purple pleather and bares the "MH" logo in black and white on the left breast piece. It has an abbreviated collar of black knit. The sleeves are solid white and made of faux leather. The purple jacket and white sleeves are hemmed in wide black knit with purple ribbon running through the center. It's an impressive piece -- there's a variety of textures, everything is hemmed nicely, and the colors play off the rest of the outfit without being too matchy-matchy. I tried this outfit in a few different configurations, basically removing the jacket, then the corset. I liked the look every time. No doubt, this outfit's a winner, one of the best yet from MH.
Picture Day Operetta's shoes probably belong in the Monster High Shoe Hall of Fame. At the very least, they're instant classics. She wears white booties with black, curling heels. The heels have spider webs molded into them. The front of the booties show heavy vamp influences, with three black buttons adorning both sides of each shoe. The hood is solid black while an inner red seam travels above the sole before before separating and running upwards towards the ankle. Molded stitching runs along all the edges. The fact that most of the molded details have been painted should be enough to send all us MH fanatics into a frenzy! We've all been complaining about the lack of painted shoe details -- this time, Mattel came through on this big time! With these beautiful shoes Operetta wears black fishnet short stockings. They're hemmed with thin black ribbon. Aside from the fact that in general I'm a big supporter of short stockings (see also: Basic Rochelle), I love how these play off the netted texture of the purple and translucent embellishments of the skirt, and of course the color syncs up perfectly with the black already scattered sporadically throughout the entire outfit.
Operetta's purse is a small black heart with dripping liquid hanging underneath it. The center of the heart is a deep, almost blood, red. The handle has a clef jutting to one side, also dripping liquid. The black portions feature molded spiderwebs. The back of the purse is solid black. For an MH purse it's surprisingly small, and I've noticed it has a tendency to slip off Operetta's hand quite easily, but it looks great! It's dark and Gothic and plays into her Phantom theme perfectly. I approve!
The only other accessories Operetta wears are an earring made of cascading, solid black records (very cool), a simple black bracelet on her left wrist, and a beaded red bracelet on her right wrist. She also comes with the Trapper-Keeper style folder all Picture Day dolls come with. Hers is purple and features molded spiderwebs and a spider that rests over the clasp.
Overall: There are two things I don't completely love about this doll: the ponytail and the overly pink faceup. But those are mitigated by other factors. In the case of the ponytail, well, it's fronted by that amazing pompadour! It's a striking look that's loaded with personality; in other words, it's pure Operetta. And like I said before, it's not like the ponytail looks bad. I'm just bored with it. As for her faceup, it's overly pink and not particularly distinctive, but something about it just seems so full of life. It's hard not to be charmed by such an eager face! Everything else about this doll is pure win. The outfit is detailed, unique, and genuinely stylish. There's a variety of textures, colors, and layers. There's even a corset! I love corsets! The shoes are as detailed as the dress and they've actually gone to the trouble of painting in the molding. Perhaps best of all, the overall look is a tad retro while still feeling completely modern, and all while playing into Operetta's theme. In terms of being a new basic Operetta, I feel this doll is a more than worthy successor to her original release. Fingers crossed that awesome mask from the promo pic shows up eventually...