No, I'm not trying to subliminally tell you guys to go toke up. That's just how the cropped scan came out.
The very first thing I noticed when I unpacked Clawdeen was that the box is considerably smaller than the usual basic doll boxes. It's not budget doll slim but it's definitely scaled back compared to the signature boxes of yore. (Not that I'm complaining. This box was far easier to scan than the ginormous Picture Day boxes.) As for the box art, it's pretty fantastic. Clawdeen looks a little different here, and I'm not talking about the hairstyle. Something about her face. Definitely different. Again, I'm not complaining, as Clawdeen looks as fierce as ever, strutting her stuff as she checks her iCofiin or tablet or whatever it's supposed to be. Her hair is pretty poofy in this drawing, something that doesn't come through on the doll. (Thankfully. I like it for the artwork, but am glad the doll's hair is different.) The line's name appears over a locker dial and says simply "Scaremester", leaving me wondering if the name of the line is actually New Scaremester, or simply Scaremester. I'll go with the former for now.
The box back features Clawdeen's full length drawing and a page from her planner. We learn Clawdeen will be the Goodwill Ambassador (MH speak: Ghoul-Will Ambassador) to new students Catrine DeMew and Jinafire Long. I like this setup a lot. It's thematically fitting for all three characters, gives the line a stronger sense of identity, and gives us some nice continuity within the MH universe. The storyline is elaborated on in Calwdeen's included diary, which is actually a full planner. I really have to hand it to Mattel in this regard. The first two basic waves included diaries, Picture Day had Fearbooks (which offered no story but brought focus to the wide array of characters), and now we have planners. So clever!
That entry about Wydowna has me wondering if we'll be seeing her in a wave two for this line this spring. Hmm...
Amidst all these planners and drawings and logos is a doll. Would you like to see her?
Ever since her NYCC debut I've been all but salivating at the chance to see this doll in person. Through multiple comments I've made it clear that based on pics she was my favorite of the NS dolls. I have another doll from the line on the way to me, but Clawdeen made it here first. It's not surprising that I'm glad it was her. The running theme of this particular Clawdeen is zippers, while her color scheme is purple, green, black, and gold. None of these are new for Clawdeen. But with these dolls it's all in the execution. And the details, the subtle stuff. Does she succeed? Let's take a closer look...
NS Clawdeen has the larger Deena eyes. Lime green eyeliner gives way to lavender eyeshadow that encircles the eye. There's no glitter or shimmer to be found, nor is the makeup matte. There is, however, one very important new addition to this Clawdeen: laid over her shadow are purple leopard spots! This is a very cool, very unique addition. Yes, we saw some spots wrapping one of her Ghouls Rule eyes, but that was silly, over the top, and costume-y. It was camp, not fashion. On the NS doll, it's used much more subtly. Paired with her shiny, blood red lips, it gives the look just the touch it needs to stand out, without being overbearing. It's perhaps a tad out there but rooted in reality nonetheless. There's something else I'm picking up on in this Deena's face as well. Remember in my Scaris Frankie review how I noted that there was a sort of melancholy expression on her face? I'm getting something similar from this Clawdeen. And as with that Frankie, I simply can't put my finger on what it is here. Sure, this Clawdeen is fierce and fun, but there's just a hint of that melancholy vibe. It's very subtle. Suffice it to say I absolutely love it, and this faceup in general.
Clawdeen has two-toned (or is it three-toned?) hair. It's a slightly side-parted pageboy that curls inwards above the shoulders. Purple hair falls to her right while neon green falls to the left. Underneath, her hair is the usual chocolate brown. It's layered underneath so it all lands at her shoulders. Contrary to the box art the purple and green streaks do, in fact, fall behind her ears. Actually, the colored streaks behind her ears are pretty thick. There's a lot of purple and green back there! Clawdeen's hair comes gelled into a hard helmet. A warm water rinse and light brushing fixes it right up! Once it dried I was met with some of the nicest, silkiest hair I've ever seen on a Clawdeen doll. It's just so soft! I literally can't stop touching it, even as I'm writing this review. Sooo nice. And of course, what kind of fan would I be if I didn't mention that this hairstyle is brand new for Deena. It's a great look for her, and the fact that the texture is so incredibly lush makes it even better.
There is some oddness with the rooting around this ear. Looks like those strands got double rooted or something.
This side's fine.
Some pretty thick streaks in back.
All things considered, this is a pretty simple outfit for Clawdeen. She wears a tunic dress paired with a pleather-look jacket and the usual accessories. Compared to some of the wacky Picture Day ensembles we got last year it's downright pedestrian. The dress has a lime green bodice with neon green and white leopard spots. It features simple ribbon straps in green. Below the hips it flares into a pleated black skirt with a shiny, purple zipper print. Under the skirt is a short layer of black netting. The collared jacket comes in black and has three-fourth length sleeves. The breast pieces are split between black and gold on each side, giving way to a non-functioning gold zipper. The gold "pleather" features a non-functioning black pocket on each side. MH has really been bringing it with jackets in their fashion lately. PD Operetta and Frankie got great ones, and even lame-wad Howleen got a good one for her 13 Wishes doll. Clawdeen's is super cool, what with the extra-shiny pleather and that gold thrown in to give it just the right amount of "1978". Love it!
Clawdeen's boots are solid black but feature lots of great molding. Too bad none of these details are painted in. The heels are purple and, well... see for yourself...
Uh... how do you even describe these heels? I'm at a loss. They sure are wicked, though!
Her purse is a shell tote that, like her boots, has so much fantastic molding of which none is actually painted. Regardless, this is a fantastic purse! It has huge gold handles meant to look like zipper tabs. They swing freely, creating an eyecatching kinetic effect. And unlike most of the Picture Day purses, this one actually functions! It's big so you can fit a lot in there, including the iCoffin/tablet/whatever she comes with. These are the epitome of an "empty accessory". They're filler at best; I'd be just as happy without them. Her belt is solid gold and continues the zipper theme, with the actual belt being the teeth while the buckle is the tab. It's the same shape as the tabs on her purse, and like those, it's kinetic (though it's mobility is a tad more limited). In any case, it's very cool. Her necklace is solid gold and matches the belt, while her earrings play around with color asymmetry. Her right ear has a black, studded hoop and gold zipper tab; her left has the same earrings, with the colors reversed. Her bracelets are very simple: two plain black bangles on her right wrist; a gold, studded hoop on her left.
This pic makes me laugh. (Because I have the mind of a ten year old boy.)
Overall: It's funny. I definitely love this doll. I had incredibly high expectations for her, and she met them. And yet something feels redundant about her. I'm not talking about the reused color schemes and zipper theme. I'm fine with them using these again for this Clawdeen because the doll is absolutely gorgeous and everything here is well made and perfectly executed. No, the problem is this doll has come so soon after her I Love Fashion doll. And with the exception of her face and hair, everything seen on the NS doll reminds me in some way or another of the ILF doll. And obviously face and hair are extremely important so if those are different then that is enough. But considering that the ILF dolls already feel like basic versions of the characters, I wonder if Clawdeen's slot in the New Scaremester line could've gone to a different character. Say, Ghoulia, for instance. Don't get me wrong -- I love this doll. I'm so glad to have her. She's so beautiful and that face and hair are wonderful and the outfit is so cool and the purse gives me life and oh how I adore her. She really is a slam dunk for Mattel as far I'm concerned. I'm just starting to wonder about some of their decisions. Hopefully Ghoulia shows up in a wave two for this line. Anyway, NS Clawdeen is pure win regardless and hey, if you love Clawdeen chances are you're gonna love this doll a lot. Seems like that magic that made almost all her 2013 dolls keepers hasn't run out because 2014 is off to a great start for the ghoul.