An artist's rendering of MH fanatics clamoring for new doll goodness at SDCC. Also, Catty's box art.
Another year, another San Diego Comic Con frenzy for MH fans. Mattel has made SDCC their primary Con of choice for MH since the line first started in 2010, debuting more and more new lines and characters there every year. It's always a time of excitement and general mayhem for MH fans as we get to see some of the coolest goodies coming our way in the ensuing year. Let's get started!
I'm not going to bury the lead here: although she wasn't the first reveal, Honey Swamp was to me the best. A brand new character doll making her debut in the Spring 2014 Frights! Cameras! Action! line, Honey has a sea foam green skin tone, alligator eyes, and a massive fro of tight springs. Her hair is teal with mint streaks and she wears a pastel, vintage-y button up paired with a pleated, layered skirt featuring a fractured print of tiny monster faces. Contrasting textures will play a big part in the appeal of this skirt, with the top layer consisting of a parched knit while underneath hangs a layer of black "fur". Her pink shoes feature alligator detailing -- ridged skin and lots of sharp teeth. Honey is from New Orleans (in MH-speak: New Goreleans), and seems influenced by exploitation films of the 70's. Her arms and legs have moss molded into them. I'm guessing she will be the daughter of the Swamp Monster. (Has Mattel officially said yet? If so I missed it.) Basically she's "alligator girl" is what it comes down to. Honey is fierce to the extreme, and between her 70's touches and NOLA connection, this girl is appealing to me big time! In fact, to me she's easily the best-designed new character we've gotten since Jina and Skelita. Definitely looking forward to seeing this southern 70's chick on my shelf!
Next we have Clawdia Wolf, big sister to Clawdeen, Howleen, and Clawd. She is also part of the Frights! Cameras! Action! line. Since Clawdia is an "adult" she comes on the taller body (hooray!). She comes with MH's first ever smiling facemold, and wears massive black glasses. She also has day-glo yellow hair (not unlike 13W Lagoona), in a retro weenie roll, and a smart, stylish ensemble. Fitting since she's older than the other MH girls and has presumably moved beyond "hip" clothing fads. Okay, I'm going to try not to get too ranty here, but this doll has received a very mixed response from the fanbase. A lot of people are saying she's too "Barbie-ish" with her big smile and blonde hair. Okay, I do get a vague Barbie vibe from Clawdia, but it's not because of her smile or yellow hair. Her simple but stylish outfit looks very much like something Barbie would've worn in the early 60's (not a bad thing), but her smile is way too excited, nerdy even, to be Barbie. As for the yellow hair? Eh, Barbie generally keeps her blonde in a realistic shade unless it's for, like, Mermaid Fantasia Barbie or something. Clawdia is not Mermaid Fantasia Barbie. (I made Mermaid Fantasia Barbie up, but you get what I'm saying.) I don't know why I'm always surprised when fans have knee jerk negative reactions to anything new the MH designers try. So she's smiling -- big deal! She's the third Wolf sister at this point; a little differentiation via a smiling mold is a welcome change if you ask me. Plus, as I've said a million times, I love when they try new things with MH. It keeps us guessing, and guessing is fun! Who wants to know exactly what you're getting with every doll? Okay, guess I did rant a little there. Anyway, I think Clawdia looks great. Despite being the third Wolf sister in the line they've managed to make her unique. She truly looks like no other MH doll, including her sisters. And she's on the tall body! Definitely looking forward to Clawdia.
The first new character reveal doll we saw was Jane Boolittle. Curiously, she didn't have a tag telling us who she was so there was some confusion there for awhile amongst the fans as to what this doll's deal was. Finally Mattel officially announced her on Facebook. She's the daughter of a Witch Doctor and, while not as exciting or unique as Honey or Clawdia, she definitely has a charm all her own. In fact, the more I look at Jane the more I like her! She's incredibly pretty, with almost snake-like eyes and pouty red lips. Her black and red streaked hair comes in a bouffant leading to large, thick curls. Her witch doctor outfit seems to be a hodgepodge of various pieces, and she carries what looks to be a divining wand. She also has what appears to be a brace on her right leg -- she may be MH's first differently-abled doll. (This also means that divining wand may simply be a walking cane.) We don't know what line Jane is a part of yet but it seems likely she'll be introduced in next year's basics line. I think Jane may just be a sleeper hit among the upcoming new dolls -- she may not be as "cool" as Honey but everything about her definitely works. Like I said, every time I look at her she just gets better and better.
On Sunday we got our last reveal, the first ever doll for Slo Mo. He looks markedly different from his webisode design but he has an appeal that's completely different yet just as strong. Just look at his face -- so much personality! And he's a cutie, too! I feel Mattel is getting better and better with their MH males, and Slo Mo is a perfect example of that. There are some who aren't happy with the disconnect between webisode design and doll design, but for the most part Slo Mo seems to be going over extremely well! Which is all the more impressive considering he comes not in his basic outfit but a very budget-y t-shirt and board shorts. Overall, his doll is just really charming and brimming with life. (No, the irony isn't lost on me.) He'll be part of a Ghoul Spirit set.
On Friday Catty Noir was revealed. Catty was already officially revealed last month in Tokyo so if you're confused by her second debut at SDCC, well, join the club. Catty will be a special Friday the 13th doll, slated for a September release, though people have already been able to get their hands on her. She's an offshoot of the Ghouls Night Out line, the superstitious popstar the ghouls went to see that night in concert. Catty is the fifth werecat we've gotten now, and while this annoys some, I say bring her on! I love all the werecats they've released so far, and Catty is no different. Something about those huge, striking cat eyes they always sport just really works for me. Plus, their tails are really fun to play with. No, I'm not joking -- the werecat tails are always expressive and add to the posing options of the dolls. So even though making Catty Friday's reveal felt a bit like a cheat, I do like the doll quite a bit. I hope they release more werecats, multiple ones, every year! (Suck it, werecat haters.)
Thursday's reveal was Sweet Screams Frankie and Draculaura. This candy themed line is a Target exclusive so it's safe to assume at least one or two more dolls will join the lineup at some point. They're set for a Spring 2014 release. I love these dolls. They have a Japanese couture feel to them, very loud and brash and, well, sweet. They both contrast bright candy colors with black, and dripping, sugary details abound. Draculaura's extra-long pigtails are wrapped in licorice ropes while Frankie, for the first time ever, sports bold red streaks. Frankie's blue and red, diagonally striped lips have been blowing my mind since I first laid eyes on her. And check out Draculaura's eyes -- they're massive! Almost freakishly so! Love it! Also note her forearms and hands -- one side is black, the other pink. And both are wrapped in swirling white icing. They come with candy-face purses and reinvented, sugary versions of their pets. I can't get over how cool these two are; I'm honestly as excited about them as I am the new characters. I mean, look at them! This is how you do a modern fashion doll that has her eyes on both current doll trends and haute couture. They're just perfect! Okay, I'll shut up about them now. (But seriously -- wow.)
During the MH panel on Saturday it was announced that two further new characters -- Elissabat and Viperine Gorgon -- will be revealed at this year's New York Comic Con (in October). We already have a very low quality pic of these two. Elissabat is the little goth chick on the far left. It's hard to say due to the poor quality, but she looks like she may be the most straightforward goth doll MH has released yet. At the very least her skin looks extra-pale and her clothes look dark, dark, dark. Over on the far right we have Viperine. Her color scheme, hairstyle, and outfit all look very Blythe. Indeed, based on this pic she looks like she could pass as the tiny, distant cousin of my beloved Vinter Arden. Can't wait to see these two in high quality this October!
One last thing: according to MHInsider more Webarella dolls may be for sale at NYCC, followed by an online sale for all us plebs. My fingers are crossed because, seriously, I want that doll! Speaking of MHInsider, you can head over there to see even more awesome pics of all the SDCC reveals. Since we don't have official promo shots of these dolls yet I was only able to use the pics Mattel posted to Facebook and Garret to his Tumblr. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think of this year's reveals! Are you as excited for the new dolls as I am? Were you disappointed? Speak your minds, friends!