Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Frights, Camera, Action! - Hauntlywood - Elissabat

Elissabat was the second doll my boyfriend bought me - she was a 'get well' present and he picked her because he liked her gothic look.

I probably should have brushed her hair more...

Elissabat is an actress with the screen name Veronica Von Vamp. Apparently she has terrible stage fright and is always playing the role of Veronica when in public - which I guess means that when she's acting she's Elissabat playing Veronica playing a character. Confusing. I was puzzled as to how she manages to be a film star when Draculaura can't even show up in her school photos, so I did a shout out to Tumblr. Apparently:
It’s a technology thing. Notice how Draculaura only doesn’t show up on class photos, which, in one Webisode, is shown to be done with one of them old-timey cameras with the *Poof* thingy and everything. But for the rest? She shows up perfectly fine on digital media, like, say, ICoffin footage. (It even says on some Dawn of the Dance images; there’s an app for that)
So, old film stock? Won’t show a Vampire. Digital media? No problem.

I feel much happier for knowing this.

I think Elissabat as a doll looks much better than her box art.

The box itself is pretty cool and features a scene of her on the, er, grey carpet. Belatedly I realise it would have made a pretty nice background for photos.

Anyway, a few people have said they're not that keen on Elissabat (presumably named after Elizabeth Bathory, which is a bit creepy) as she looks so similar to Draculaura. Maybe it's just the angles I have the dolls' heads at, but I don't think they look *that* alike.

Vampire cousins.
I pretty much love Elissabat. I love Lala too, but there's something particularly appealing to me about Elissabat's darker aesthetic. Her dress is a sort of Elegant Gothic Aristocrat/Gothic Lolita mashup. The top part of her dress is actually a bolero jacket, while the dress is sleeveless, but I left it on because, well, I'm still new to HM dolls and the thought of popping their hands off to dress and undress them terrifies me.

She also has some pretty badass boots with moulded laces and a wedge heel - and double pierced ears.

Her hair was 'okay' out of the box - you can see I haven't brushed it that much here - although her fringe was a bit gappy with an odd kink on one side as I have yet to train the boyfriend in the art of 'picking the one with nice hair and no wonk eye'. I have had limited success dealing with that so far, but she looks okay when on display. I'm a bit worried I'll make it worse instead of better! 

Elissabat comes with some cute accessories. She has an award, which is a silver clawed hand on a roll of old film, and a coffin shaped DVD case. The case has a picture of her on the front and actually contains a tiny DVD.

I was so excited I showed my boyfriend. His only comment?
"A DVD case that shape would be really annoying to fit on a shelf."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wave 1 Apple White

Apple White - the daughter of Snow White and slightly self-obsessed pawn of Milton Grimm. She seems to be turning into a bit of a Marmite style love her or hate her character among the fandom. Personally I don't mind her - I can see why she acts the way she does, having grown up believing that if she didn't follow her story she would cease to exist. It's pretty hard to break out of social norms.

Anyway, on with the doll stuff. I actually bought Apple at the same time as Raven, so was at the mercy of the Wonk Eye Fates. As it turns out her eyes seem mostly straight but her eyeshadow appears to be under her eyelid and on the whites of her eyes. Which is kinda weird and makes it look like she hasn't had much sleep lately. Or maybe she's just been crying over the loss of her Happily Ever After. 

I didn't expect to love the Apple doll as much as I do - I mostly got her because a) there was a sale b) the store didn't have Maddie and c) she seemed to go well as a pair with Raven. Her detailing is fantastic though - they're really ramming home that apple theme (which seems slightly odd as she's destined to be poisoned by it. Little bit morbid there Apple. And little bit morbid of Snow to call her daughter Apple, while we're at it.).

Apple is incredibly pale. I forgot to take a shot of her with Raven to really show that up, but trust me. Or Google it. 

Once again the box design is gorgeous and once again I forgot to take a picture of the spine. However, Apple did come out of the box with slightly manic hair. Not only is it a bit frizz-tastic, but near her scalp it had a weird, almost greasy, look to it. Like she's used too much styling product.

Way too much gel Apple.

I have since washed and re-curled it and I think it looks a lot better. 

Out of the box, but pre hair salon trip.

I found Apple a bit stiff to pose. Her arms had restricted movement and I did wonder if it was her bolero. However after taking that off, I noticed that the elastic band holding her necklace in place had somehow slipped into the arm joint and after getting rid of it she has more freedom of movement there. Her legs are pretty stiff too. I assumed it was her tights, which were riding quite low, but removing them didn't seem to help. I have read elsewhere that the shape of her thighs intersects with the hip joint. I've also read that gently forcing the movement can help loosen them up, so I'll see how she fares after some dolly yoga. What's the worst that can happen? I mean, other than snapping her legs right off...

Apple comes with this incredibly cute little bag, which looks like a beaded Apple. It's adorable. It also opens up and is surprisingly roomy, which is a very neat touch. Her ring, which fits over her two middle fingers, is a tiny gold bow - a detail echoed on her shoes and earrings - but does have a tendency to slip off quite easily. If I was giving this to a child to play with, I'd definitely want to remove it first. 

Her earrings are tiny apples!
Also, you can see her wonky eyeshadow in this pic.

I have to say that, despite the bubble head and wonk eye that Apple seems prone to, I'm really loving the Ever After High dolls, and I think she looks a lot like her cartoon self. I also much prefer the webisodes, although we'll have to see if this trend continues. 

I have promised myself I won't buy any more dolls until I catch up with the ones I have - but Maddie? I'm coming for you!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wave 1 Raven Queen

Raven Queen

Raven Queen was the first of the Ever After High dolls I picked up along with Apple White (there was a sale at Duncan's Toy Chest (where she was just £9.36), and I am weak). The EAH dolls have much larger, rounder heads than the MH dolls, which initially put me off. However, as I love fairy tales and folklore, and the dolls have such lovely styling, I had to cave in and get one. Or two. Or... Now I have her, I must say she's a very pretty doll and I'm glad I bought her. Raven is definitely my favourite character from the webisodes so far, and I really like that she has a dark aesthetic and yet is not the bad guy.

The EAH boxes are incredibly pretty.

Design-wise they resemble storybooks, down to the 'pages' on one side of the box and spine on the other (which I failed to get a picture of... oops). I really like the key detail you can see on the back of the box, which links in to the legacy day theme. The back also features the webisode artwork of Raven and a few details about her.

The bookmark storybook that comes with the doll is adorable, featuring little pictures and notations by Raven. 

Anyway, here she is out of the box:

Strike a pose.
She actually came out of the box with her incredibly long hair in reasonable condition, although I boil straightened it anyway just to remove a little bit of frizz. It comes styled with two twists forming a sort of laurel crown of hair, with her spiked headband nestled between. And she has a bit of a widow's peak!

Salon quality hair. And lots of it.
On to the details. Raven's moulded accessories are heavy on the feathers and mirror themes. The most striking is her collar, which comes strapped to her body with clear elastic bands. I've left those on place because you can't really see them from a distance, and I was concerned about the collar potentially going skew-wiff if I removed them.

I really think this collar piece makes Raven's outfit - although I wish the centre decoration wasn't solid purple. I can't decide whether it's just a gem, or whether it's supposed to be a continuation of the mirror theme. Anyway, you can see that the silver parts resemble raven feathers. The collar does limit her mobility quite a bit should she want to make any dramatic hand gestures. 

She also comes with a pretty impressive waspie/belt. I have no idea what that thing hanging off the bottom of the chain is supposed to be though. Raven skull? It kinda looks like a little bear head, which is weird. Answers on a post card... 

This is her handbag, which has the magic mirror up front and centre. Again, it came attached to her hand with a rubber band, which I've left on because it looks like it's quite precariously balanced in her hand there. She's also wearing a ring-bracelet thing, which looks really impressive in the box. However, on unboxing her it transpires that it's not attached to her finger, meaning it has a tendency to rotate on her arm and look weird unless she's carefully posed.

Raven's shoes are pretty awesome though. How she walks in them I will never know. Again, a close look reveals feather details on them. 

All in all, I'm glad I got her. She's a very pretty doll, despite the flat and round head thing the line has got going on. 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Picture Day Draculaura

Finally free of her box and posing on my shelf.

Picture Day Draculaura was the doll that started it all off. My boyfriend bought her for me for my 33rd (yes, you read that right!) birthday. I'd been cooing over the dolls in a local shop, and especially liked Draculaura as she shares my name. I was very amused to find out she's so short as I stand a towering 5ft 1ins myself.

Picture Day Draculaura in her box.
I have to admit that I kept her in her box for several months. Somehow I convinced myself that if I did that I was a 'proper collector', which seemed way less dorky than being a grown up who happens to like dolls. However, my boyfriend finally convinced me to embrace my doll collecting urges and I have to agree that she looks far better out of the box!

Picture Day Draculaura's box features a snapshot of her Fearbook photograph - as she's a vampire and can't be captured on film, all it shows are her clothes and floating earrings, which is a pretty neat touch. It also features her name signed in her own handwriting, decorated with hearts. The back of the box features pictures of some of the other monsters, with 'BFF' written next to Clawdeen and a heart around Clawd. Bless.

Draculaura comes with a Fearbook that is a few pages long. Inside are her picks for the Fearbook's 'most likely to...' categories, the signatures of all the dolls in their signature colours, a group photograph and space to personalise the Fearbook complete with stickers.

Draculaura comes in a cute pink and black outfit that is heavy on the bat and skull motifs. Her skirt is edged with little bats that are echoed in the decoration of her purse.

Cute little bats!

Her shoes have tiny little skull buckles. See the cute little bows on their heads? These are also present on her earrings.

Who knew skulls could be so cute?

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