Scarah Screams was an early "backgrounder" in the MH webseries. Her blank eyes and distinct mod style immediately grabbed people's attention, and when it was revealed she was a banshee with telepath-like abilities, well, it didn't take long for fans to start clamoring for a doll of her. Mattel responded to the demand but in the worst way possible: they released a signature doll of her as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive. SDCC dolls are notoriously hard to get ahold of, especially at a decent price. Fans (including myself) cried afoul. Mattel now had a choice to make: wide release another signature Scarah doll, in the process robbing the SDCC doll of her "exclusivity", half the point of the SDCC dolls. Or release Scarah in another format; not a signature doll but one that would be a close proximity thereof. This second option seemed a bit of a win-win. Those who got the SDCC doll wouldn't feel cheated by the newer release, while those who couldn't get the SDCC doll would still have a chance at owning a Scarah that closely resembled a signature doll. Luckily Mattel made the right choice and went for the second option. And so we have I Love Fashion Scarah Screams.
Wicked logo! It perfectly sums up Scarah's look and theme!
The I Love Fashion line has quickly become one of my favorites within the MH world. Aside from the fact that you get a crapload of clothes and accessories with these dolls, there's also the matter that the clothes and extras always feel like real fashion. Not overly themed, never costume-y, just cool outfits based on real looks. Basically, the ILF dolls feel a lot like a signature doll, but with extra outfits and shoes instead of a diary and pet. And since the focus is on fashion -- it's literally in the line's name -- the clothes are almost always on-trend. The dolls themselves tend to be a little more adventurous than usual in their design. (I'm looking at you, ILF Frankie.) The only real downside is that this line is a TRU exclusive, but from what I hear the TRU exclusives tend to be a little easier to get ahold of overseas compared to other chains' exclusives. Here in the US, if you play your cards right you can find these dolls early in their release rather easily. (The key: get to the store before opening on days when you know they get new shipments in!)
I love her fashion philosophy. She knows who she is and she doesn't chase fads. Very cool.
But what about Scarah? Does she translate well as an ILF release? Why yes, she does! And for multiple reasons! Before going into specifics on her, I feel it's important to point out some key differences between her and the other ILF dolls. (Some, but not all, of these differences can be seen on the new ILF Clawdeen as well.) For starters, Scarah comes with a stand. Last year's ILF dolls did not. Also, while most of Scarah's accessories are repeats we've seen on previous dolls, some of them are brand new! Last year's ILF accessories were all repeats. One thing all ILF dolls have in common is brand new, previously unseen outfits. (Huzzah!) Scarah comes with three complete looks. Included are three pairs of shoes, two necklaces, a pair of tights, several bracelets, a pair of sunglasses, a belt, and a purse. She also comes with a midi coat. It's the piece de resistance of this set, unquestionably. All shoes and necklaces, in addition to her purse and striped bracelet, are repeats from previous dolls. Scarah's ears aren't pierced so no earrings were included with her. Before going into the outfits let's take a look at the banshee herself...
Scarah has a mint green skin tone, very similar to Frankie's, if just a tad bolder. She has blank white eyes surrounded by a thin layer of black eyeliner. She has small black lashes under the eye but none on top. Her eyeshadow is shimmering silver that surrounds the eye, outlining the shape of the black liner. She has no divider line unless you count her eyeliner. (I don't.) Her black eyebrows have a mild arch. Her lips are pure pink and come in a pouting frown. The blank eyes give her an intense, eerie look. But there's some fierceness there, as well. This is emphasized by the full lips in that frown I mentioned.
Scarah's hair is jet black saran. The texture is exactly the same as Skelita's, so if you own that doll you know what you're dealing with here. She has a part on her left, with the portion falling to her right banded above the ear. The rest of her hair falls loosely behind her. It's layered and has a gentle wave just below the shoulders. Unfortunately it doesn't flip outwardly nearly as much as it did on her prototype, but it's still good hair. After I first brushed it I had to trim a few pieces that were longer than the rest but otherwise it was fine. And even without the exaggerated flip it still evokes the 60's quite nicely.
Scarah's signifying monster feature is her eyes; her body has no modifications. But as I'm sure you've noticed, those blank eyes do a more than good enough job conveying her monster roots -- they're pretty hard to miss! As such, Scarah should lend herself well to many different looks. Her body is "standard MH" and the minimalism of her face and color scheme means she shouldn't clash with many outfits she may borrow from her fellow ghouls.
Speaking of outfits, let's get down to business on those! Scarah, lucky girl that she is, comes with three in her first ever (wide-ish) release! She comes wearing in-box a plain black pair of hotpants paired with a sleeveless pink top in a smooth knit. It has a print of black and lime overlapping skullettes. Paired with this outfit are white go-go boots with a silver in-seam zipper. The heels are chunky and match the silver zipper. She wears a black necklace borrowed from Lagoona, but it works with the look. On her right wrist is a pink and black striped bracelet. On her left wrist is a series of four bracelets, clunky square numbers in alternating olive green and white. The shape perfectly evokes the era she's emulating and the colors play off all three of her outfits nicely. Plus I just think they look super cool stacked on top of each other as they are. Perched on her head is an exaggerated pair of Jackie O's. Guys, I just can't. I mean, how to put into words just how amazing and perfect these are! At this point Jackie O's are timeless, but paired with this mod look there's no questioning what era Scarah is channeling here. These sunglasses are just too much, in the best possible way. LOVE THEM.
The last piece she comes wearing in-box is her white midi coat. It comes in ultra-soft "pleather" and has a raised collar and lime cinch. The cinch is framed by a white skullette buckle and held by two belt loops. It has a tailored look, with darting at the hips and rear to make the lower half flare dramatically. The inseams of the sleeves are gathered to emphasize the shine of the material and add a kinetic quality to the look. (A girl on the move!) Although the coat doesn't have lapels it does curve inward at the chest to create a similar visual effect. Everything is hemmed impeccably with white thread. The quality of the piece is evident just looking at it; it's an MH instant classic. It creates the illusion of motion when Scarah is standing perfectly still; no matter what she's wearing with it she looks smart, together, polished. If you can't see the brilliance and beauty of this coat then I don't think we could ever be friends. (I'm only half-joking when I say that.) Indeed, it really is the piece de resistance of this entire set.
Scarah's next outfit is a simple halter dress. It comes in sparkling green and shimmers nicely, especially under that fantastic midi coat. Including this dress was extremely smart on Mattel's part. It closely approximates Scarah's signature look without taking away from the exclusivity of the SDCC doll. Again, a win-win. It's probably thanks to the outfit's similarity to the signature outfit that this is my favorite of the set. Plus it simply looks great on Scarah. I really do love the shimmer, and the color plays nicely off Scarah's minty skin tone. Although I prefer the boots with this outfit, the hunter green heels work nicely, too. They also perfectly match Scarah's purse, whose green is accented by white dots and buckles on the handles and a strap that wraps the center, circling around to the back. On the front is a logo of a matching green skullette wearing a pink bow. I actually prefer the non-logo'd back as it feels a bit more authentic to me. It works with all three outfits without being matchy-matchy.
Scarah's final outfit is a smooth knit minidress baring alternating prints. On her left is white with a print of black, pink, and lime safety pins connected into a diamond pattern. In the center of the dress is a thin pink strip. It connects to a black base with grey skullette print on her right. I like the subtlety used here; the print is "spooky" but not ostentatious. The left sleeve has this same skullette print while the right sleeve is pink. The back of the dress is solid pink. Everything is hemmed in black except the Velcro in the back, which gets matching pink thread. Paired in the box with this dress is a pair of black tights. They have a "ripped-look" print of lime green. Also included is a belt, another new piece! It's solid white except for a black skullette silhouette buckle. Curiously, it fastens at the side, so I'm not sure if the buckle is supposed to be worn in the front or to the side. Honestly, it looks good either way. Scarah's last pieces are plain silver heels (repeats), and a white necklace (also a repeat).
Overall: All the clothes are great. They're well made and look nice, and the pieces can easily be swapped with one another. They're rooted in real (vintage) fashion and go a long way in giving Scarah a personality and vibe all her own. (It's not dissimilar to how Operetta is 50's girl, but in Scarah's case we're obviously dealing with the mod 60's.) The shirt/shorts combo is fun and skews young, while the halter dress delivers the mod and ties into Scarah's signature look. It was needed, since this is the first Scarah doll to reach "the masses". The final look mixes things up, still offering a mod vibe but updated with very MH prints and colors. The jacket is the real winner here above all -- it's truly remarkable; stylish and on-trend. And it looks great with all three outfits. The Jackie O's are nearly as great as the coat and similarly work with all three outfits. We also get a small handful of brand new accessories, something I know we all love. I imagine many MH collectors are going to get a lot of use out of the rather fantastic belt in particular. The chunky bracelets are really fun and add a lot to her overall look. My only complaint about them is that they're too big for the coat sleeve to fit over, leading to some bunching on that side. But that's minor, as the look works nonetheless. Aside from the boots I'm not blown away by the footwear but they get the job done. As for Scarah herself, she's fantastic. It's all about those hollow eyes -- so eerie yet oddly fierce. Her faceup overall is simple, clean, subtle -- three words you all know I love! The simplicity of her makeup lets her eyes do the talking. Her hair isn't as great as it looked on the prototype but it's still very nice. The mild wave lets you style it in many different ways, so in a way not having such a pronounced flip was maybe a blessing in disguise. There's a lot of variety to be found within Scarah Screams thanks to that subtle faceup and malleable hair. I predict she'll become a favorite among many collectors for that very reason. Well, and her general spookiness. Perhaps most importantly, she works wonderfully as a stand-in signature doll for those of us who couldn't get the SDCC one. Mattel got it right with this release.
One final note: I had hoped to take outdoor pics of Scarah for this review, but a combination of poison ivy infection and droves of mosquitoes made that impossible. I'm not entirely happy with these pics but I feel they get the job done. Soon I'll take Scarah outside for even more shots. Such a beautiful and unique doll deserves it!