When the promo pic for Music Festival Clawdeen appeared it was met with a collective "meh". Even I chimed in with my disappointment. She seemed like a halfbaked rehash of elements we'd seen on Deena many times already. And considering her theme was disco, there really wasn't much to her that screamed poppers and Sylvester. So you can imagine my surprise when I happened upon a really fierce-looking, brazen, sexy doll at Toys R Us that was marked "Music Festival Clawdeen". I had to do a double take to make sure that really was her. But indeed it was, and indeed I was happy with this unexpected turn of events!
The idea behind Music Festival is that three of our ghouls have gotten backstage access to their local concert venue. In their corporate description Mattel said Clawdeen's choice of music is disco. Curiously, this isn't mentioned anywhere on Deena's box. There's a blurb that says she needs "a scary cool beat and space to dance", but no talk of mirror balls and disco whistles. Maybe Mattel meant Clawdeen is into EDM. (In which case, right there with ya, girl!) The back of the box features a large lanyard giving minimal details on the benefits of having one. Luckily our ghouls do, and judging by their box drawings they certainly made the most of them! However, the single best thing on this box back (which was also previewed on the box front), is the actual drawing of Clawdeen. She's not fierce, she's ferocious! Hips jutting out, her wild mane barely contained, Deena looks downright fearsome, glaring at you with flashing yellow eyes. She's thrusting her lanyard out towards you as if to say, "See this? Yeah, I am a Very Important Monster, and you need to deal." It's a winning moment, pure Clawdeen, all attitude. Is it my favorite Clawdeen drawing to date? I won't go that far, but it's way up there!
Encased in the box is a doll ("Duh, John!"), and not much else. Music Festival Clawdeen includes no extras. No stand, brush, collector's card (sadface) -- nada. Luckily the doll makes up for it. Clawdeen has a center part -- something we don't see often on her -- in front of her ears. Behind the ears the hair cascades down as usual. It lands just below the rear in a combination of curls and waves. In the promo pic her hair was straight until about her shoulders, where it went into a mass of tight curls. Not so on the manufactured doll. I suppose you could say the wave is a little more relaxed around the crown of the head but the wave's still there. But the biggest difference between the promo pic and the actual doll is the color. While most of Deena's hair is the standard brown color, interspersed all the way around the head is... wait for it... blonde streaks! If you're anything like me this new hair development for our favorite, but too often predictable, werewolf, made you very, very happy! Yes, Music Festival Clawdeen has blonde streaks and they're absolutely stunning! They contrast so beautifully with the brown hair. Sometimes brown and blonde together can look cheap or just plain fake, but not on Clawdeen. I think a big part of what makes it work is that the hair is parted in the middle. Middle-parted hair always looks a bit earthy to me, no matter the color, so it plays perfectly into her wolf-y nature. It's also a bit retro. Not disco per se, but not not disco.
I should point out that when I found Music Festival Clawdeen there were about 3 or 4 on the shelf. All of them looked like they had bristly, frizzy, messy hair in the box. I was worried about this but after I de-boxed her I occasionally, gently combed her hair with my fingers -- not a brush or comb -- and within a couple of days it relaxed into a groovy wave/curl look. So if you come across one who looks iffy in the box don't worry too much -- with minimal TLC it will relax into something I think you'll really love. That said, this hair is a tad prone to frizz so don't expect Jinafire-esque, silken perfection. Music Festival Clawdeen's look is tousled and carefree. And man is it fun to play with!
Music Festival Clawdeen has the smaller Deena eyes. I'm generally torn on those (what can I say, I like 'em big), but I think they work wonderfully here. She wears amaranth eyeshadow that encircles the entire eye. It is topped by a layer of goldenrod. Glitter lays over the goldenrod, but only along the lower portion. Usually MH glitter will cover the whole area of whatever shade it's on; this lowered application is unusual and stands out. Clawdeen's semi-matte lips come in carnelian.
Clawdeen's outfit isn't really disco. Sure, it's a bodysuit, and those were around for disco. But the colors place it more firmly in Solid Gold territory. So I guess we can say her outfit is post-disco. Think Xanadu, think Roller Boogie. These are all good things to me so I'm on board for this look!
Burn, baby, burn! Disco inferno!
So yeah, Clawdeen comes in a purple, sleeveless bodysuit. It has a black, lapeled collar and black, ribbon-hemmed sleeve holes. The pants end about halfway down the shin. Starting above the right breast and cascading down the right side to above the knee is a print of yellow skullettes, stars, diamonds, and dots. They're all outlined in orange, You'll notice a few white "starbursts" in there as well. It's a great effect, very retro. Again, think Solid Gold. Between Xanadu and Solid Gold, 1980 sure is getting some Mattel love, ain't it? Which works for me; disco and post-disco are two of my favorite fashion and music eras! Hopefully we'll see more of it popping up on the other MH ghouls.
Clawdeen's boots are a gold repaint of Scool's Out Clawdeen's zipper boots. They still have the wicked sharp heel, but all the wonderful detailing of the original boots has been painted over into one solid color. Disappointing, but the boots are pretty rad, any way you cut it (er, paint it?). She wears a solid black version of her Coffin Bean belt. A small touch, but it helps pull the look together. Her left hand has a black, fingerless glove painted on it. There's a small detail in the form of a gold "window" painted over a portion of the glove. Clawdeen wears three small bracelets on her right wrist -- two black, one gold. She also wears two gold hoops in her left ear. Her right ear has another gold hoop, plus a second hoop with three gold chains "dangling" from it. In my experience that last earring is more a hindrance than an accentuating accessory. It doesn't really add much to the look, if you ask me. But hey, at least it's there! The last thing she wears -- and the only thing here that truly connects her to the Music Festival theme -- is a white lanyard wrapped around her neck marked "VIM", aka Very Important Monster. It's a cute touch and matches the lanyard on the box art. I like when Mattel is actually consistent with these small details. (It doesn't always happen.)
Overall: Music Festival Clawdeen is one ferocious beast who clearly loves to dance -- to EDM or ELO is up to you! Her outfit is cool if not especially exciting. Probably the best thing here is the blonde-streaked, tousled hair. It's new for Deena and to say it looks gorgeous (not to mention way cool), is an understatement. Her faceup is eyecatching without coming across as OTT or ostentatious. It's just really pretty. And fierce, too! Her overall theme is vague (thank God for that little lanyard or we wouldn't know what the hell she's supposed to represent), but there's not nearly as large a disconnect here as there was with Dance Class. If you're only going to get one Clawdeen doll this year (not counting Scaris), I say go for miss Music Festival. She doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, she's just an all-around great doll.
Till next time...