Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review: Toralei Stripe as Cat Tastrophe -- Power Ghouls

When we last left off, Polterghoul was toying with metaphysics and getting in touch with her inner superhero. Today things take a turn for the ferociously fierce worse, as none other than Cat Tastrophe has come onto the scene! She's here to wreak havoc and eat catnip, and she's all out of catnip...




Without getting too spoiler-y, let's just say that in Cat's included comic book (which is, of course, beautifully illustrated), we learn she has been the catalyst for much of the previously seen mayhem. But would you expect anything less from a woman whose name is literally "catastrophe"?





The entire setup of the Power Ghouls line has been so clever. I love how they incorporated various superhero elements into each of the characters, and having Toralei take on the role of super villain is such a natural fit. I also like how a full story with an arch and character development took place throughout each of the doll's comics. Power Ghouls was a well thought out line and it seems Mattel knows it, since Sweet Screams seems to be taking the same approach. I hope we continue to see lines like these far into the future for MH!




The doll itself takes heavy cues from the Catwoman of the original 60's Batman TV series, as portrayed by Julie Newmar. Some have said the doll is based on Anne Hathaway's recent portrayal of the Catwoman character, but alas, such is not the case. Hope I didn't burst any bubbles there. (Or maybe I do -- meow.) Cat, your fierce beauty is influencing me in ways I never saw coming.






"If I were to kiss you, would you think I was a bad girl?"


Speaking of fierce beauty, let's take a closer look at this doll. Overall her faceup is actually pretty similar to the basic doll's, just with a few color changes. She still has her massive, striking green cat eyes, subtle facial spot, and cheek stripes. Her eyeliner is now a beautiful lavender, while her eyeshadow is a light shade of magenta.The shadow runs under the eye as well, in an extremely thin strip. Overall the shadow isn't as detailed as the basic doll's, simply due to the fact that it doesn't have the multiple layers that doll has. But no matter -- it's still a very striking look. Her lips are nearly the same color as the basic doll's -- a deep-ish purple, but for Cat it has red overtones that make it considerably brighter in comparison.









Cat wears her long, straight hair in a ponytail that wraps her ears before being pulled tightly behind them. The sides are a fairly dark orange while the center is a much lighter shade. The center portion runs between her ears into the ponytail, where you'll find black stripes lining the streaks. In it's ponytail, the hair lands right above her rear. The texture is very soft, silky even. This hairstyle was directly inspired by Julie Newmar's Catwoman, a perfectly fitting reference. And given the current domination of vintage 60's fashion and style, Cat's hair is also completely on-trend. Good job, Mattel!


"With all your many attributes, you haven't learned the first thing about good manners."





Julie Newmar rears her feline influence again on Cat's outfit. She wears a formfitting bodysuit of horizontal stripes in red, orange, and black. In an extremely clever touch, the black stripes feature tiny grey dots -- mimicking the print of an old-school comic book. I really love this kind of attention to detail, plus it relates directly to the entire theme of this line. Printed over the bust is an orange "cat skullette", Cat's super villain symbol and a direct tie to Toralei herself. Now you may be saying, "Wait a minute, John! Julie's Catwoman suit was solid black, how is this related to Cat's outfit?" Well, it's not in the colors but rather the cut. The length of the sleeves, the shape of collar, even the way Cat's utility belt hugs her body -- all very Newmar.


"Let no one say that Cat is not the best-dressed woman in the world."









Cat comes with some great accessories -- or are they weapons? Whatever the case, they're extremely cool. Most notable is her nifty utility belt. It comes in silver and wraps her waist tightly. It's detailed with another cat skullette, some studs, and a pouch, from which hang two orange feathers. (I guess the cat really did get the canary, but she must've dyed them to match her outfit. Even a super villain knows how to accessorize.) Around her neck is a red, studded choker, featuring a dangling silver cat skullette charm. She wears a silver, studded cuff on her right right forearm. On her left wrist is a silver studded bracelet featuring a tiny mouse on top. Is this a hidden weapon? Can the mouse fire bullets? Who knows, but it looks great and is yet another small touch that adds immensely to the detailed theming of this doll.









Cat wears a solid black mask outlined in studs. I love the design but to be completely honest I actually prefer the doll without it. It certainly makes a statement -- it's just not one I personally always want to hear. But I can see why some swear by it. She kept it simple for her earrings. She probably didn't want them getting hung up in her hair. (Thank you for that, Mattel.) In her right ear is a simple black stud; in her left is another stud, accompanied by a small black hoop. She wear black fingerless gloves on both hands, although the left glove has some silver studs to add a bit of visual interest (and remind us that this Cat is dangerous). Last but far from least are her boots. They're knee high, stiletto'd numbers in red, with a silver inseam zipper. Cat scratches are molded into them throughout. When villainy calls she's gotta dress fast, and she doesn't have time to worry about nicking the boots. The scratches only add to the look anyway. The soles and heels are solid black and outlined in studs. The actual stiletto comes to a sharp point -- very cat-like.








Overall: If you've read my Top 10 MH Dolls of 2013 list you already know I think extremely highly of this doll. Toralei was a natural fit for the Power Ghouls line, what with her love of general villainy in the first place. As with all the PG dolls, her setup is elaborate and fun. Cat Tastrophe succeeds on multiple levels: as a reference to her obvious doppelganger, Newmar's Catwoman, as a fitting counterpart to her basic doll (all those studs and stripes and colors inform the personality of both dolls), and simply as a gorgeous doll in her own right. It's time for Cat and I to let you go... ferociously fun trouble is calling...






"You can brush my pussy willows before you leave. And don't go against the fur."

14 comments:

  1. Im so jelly... she looks great john and you really found one that has purrfect eyes !! i have been searching and searching for cat tastrophe and have not even seen her in person yet anywhere !! i really need to find her because she is the only PG i don't have (well except for DF ghoulia... and she isn't really a PG... but she kind of is) i just got webarella and my collection would look FIERCE with the completion of cat tastrophe... i really enjoyed your review but then again i always do !! :) OHHH YEAH i dont know if you have seen yet but EAHdolls facebook page has posted the offical promo pics of new scaremester wave 2, freaky fusion, a new sports line with clawdeen and spectra (i don't know what it is called) and a new high school... they also leaked a video from youtube that has the official dexter charming doll for EAH... you should go check it out it is all on EAHdolls facebook

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    1. Thanks Ricky! Even though she's not technically part of the PG line I consider DF Ghoulia part of the Power Ghouls since in the comics she's the one who puts the team together and is the leader of their ring. She's one of my grail dolls, love everything about her. But hey you've got Webarella, and she's one of my grail dolls, too. So if you're jealous so am I! ;)

      I've seen all the new pics and my feelings are mixed. I'm hoping better quality, larger pics will prove the dolls worthwhile. I haven't seen the video of the Dexter doll, though! Is he as hunky as Hunter? Gonna have to investigate.

      Btw, check your email! :)

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    2. A Dexter doll?
      As in Dexter Morgan, the serial killer? Awesome!

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    3. Here ya go, Tristan! Enjoy! ;)

      http://brian.carnell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/dexter-action-figure.jpg

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    4. yeah i would love to get DF ghoulia (maybe next christmas... if im a good boy:)) she is just way more expensive so thats why i ask for webarella instead but i might ask for her next year :) because to really complete the collection i need to get her she is the beginning of it all... if her and webarella are your grail dolls then i think when you get a little more set with your job situation then i say she and they are worth the money... i always say don't buy from scalpers but when it is a comic con exclusive and there is no other way then i say find the cheapest one you can and get it... the most DF ghoulia should be is around $250 tops and if you really love her then she would be worth it i mean think about you will spend the money anyway so why not treat yourself when you have the means to and with webarella i think the one i got was $150 and that is not really that bad but the only reason i say do it is because if you are a serious collector and i believe you are, then you will feel so great when you open that box from the mail and pull one of them out (i don't think i would open the doll package) because any of the comic cons are so rare that it is worth it yeah i dont know how i feel about the FF line but i really like the NS wave 2 line so far although from reading wydownas diary i really thought that ghoulia would be in it as the guide like clawdeen was because even in NS catrines diary she mentions being hosted by ghoulia so maybe she will be in wave 2 but so fa i really like gigi, twyla and catty... they look great !!

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    5. Oh... My... Goddess!!!
      Both creepy AND sexy! Woohoo!

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  2. Love her! I knew as soon as she was revealed that she was the Toralei for me. She's just magnificent in every way!

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    1. She really is, Shari. Love all the thought they put into her. Not sure if you have the basic Toralei, but Cat looks great in her outfit. At this point I'm kind of going back and forth on which of the two I actually prefer. They're both so fab. :D

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  3. She better purr while she can... Polterghoul is gonna kick her furry little orange ass. Little kitty is gonna get tamed, ghost style! Lol! ;-)

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    1. I knew you weren't the biggest Toralei fan, but this takes it to another level! Yowzers! lol

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  4. She's a great doll, congratz! I agree she's Newmar inspired and not Hathaway (I don't like her anyway). Love your review on her.
    Best wishes for the new year, and I look forward to another year of awesome Voicething articles!

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    1. Thanks, Mighoula :) Happy New Year!

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  5. Hey, long time reader, first time commenter :3 I know this comment is way late but I had to comment on this awesome review.
    I just picked up this pretty kitty last week along with Sweet Screams Frankie and I'm in love. I actually got lucky, someone else had her and she was the last one, we happened to strike up a conversation and I mentioned that I'd been looking for Cat Tastrophe and she said I could have her if I wanted. Got to love the generosity of others...Faith in humanity restored that day :D

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    1. Hi Claire! Thanks for taking the time to comment! And thank you so much for the kind words. :D

      That's a great story. Very kind of that woman to let you have her instead. I too occasionally start to lose my faith in humanity as a whole (especially lately, for personal reasons), so your story gives me hope, too. There are still good people out there! Congrats on your dolls! Isn't SS Frankie pretty much *everything*? LOVE that doll!!!

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