18 Aug 2013

Bratzillaz back to Magic

Oh Back to Magic...

Already i've reviewed Illiana from this series, but having picked up the other 4, it's time to look at the line as a whole. Aren't you excited?

Jade J'dore

Oh Jade...

First let me start by saying that first wave Jade was the subject of a great deal of amusement to myself and husband with her kinky nurse outfit and inexplicable knee pads.
So Back to Magic Jade is positively tame in comparison. No face mask, no knee pads, no easy wipe clean vinyl outfit.
Instead she ends up looking a little well.. festive to me.

 All red and white, add a little green and she'd be a bloody christmas elf! Maybe i'll rename her Noël heh.

Anyway, box is the standard horrible giant blister pack. Jade's subject is "fashion magic" which is pretty dull. 

She's packaged a little sloppily to me. her hat looks terrible and her dress is all skewiff. Man factory workers, you really don't give a damn do you?

Anyway, let's spend 15 minutes opening this bloody box. I sliced my finger open on one of these things recently, I HATE them. Who the hell thought "oh hey, let's make it so you have to destroy the packaging to get the doll out hurrr hurr"? I hope there's a special place in hell for them-_- grrr.

One mangled box later and here's Jade!

Look at her HAIR.. what a mess. We'll get back to that.

She's got a little lip smear and her eye makeup isn't totally even, but I can probably fix these things.

her hat is a cute little velvet beret kinda thing with a vinyl band. Dress is one piece, a cotton underblouse with vinyl collar and then a cute little tartan dress with the same vinyl trim. 
Over that she has a very thin little capelet in paisley type patterns, a ridiculous furry purse, knee high socks and the ugliest shoes i've seen since MH Spectra's first fashion pack.

Everything seems alright put together, though her dress is all skewed thanks to packaging. The stitching isn't totally straight on it either but ho hum. 
The capelet isn't line OR hemmed which I can see being an issue. 

 The little capelet attaches to the blouse part with two velcro squares. Underneath you see she has cute little puffed sleeves.

 I LOVE these socks. They're made of really nice thick cotton with a little ribbon on each and they're FULL SOCKS! not leggings as you usually see! YAY! They feel very good quality and the stitching on them is lovely. Love em. Hate those shoes. They're just white plastic blobs with a heart on them. Ew.

Now I said we'd get back to the hair didn't I?
Oh.. my.. god look at it!?
WTH? Was the person who cut this drunk? I hate how bobbed hair on dolls always seems to end up so badly asymetrical. My Monster High dolls have had the same issue before now. Do they just cut the hair while the head is tilted and go "eh, who cares?" or something?
I can't deal with her hair being this crappy, so i'll take some scissors to it.

Fibre wise, it's not quite as horrible as first wave Jade who's hair looked burned and frazzled out of the box, but it's still not great. It's mediocre nylon and it kinks out oddly. This girl needs a boil wash stat! There's a chunk of red that's sticking out really odd thanks to her packaging. Eugh.

Now THAT'S what I call hat head.
Poor girl has terrible hair once you take the hat off. Her hair is all squished up and kinking out in every direction. It's cut really haphazardly and it just looks a mess.

Interestingly, Jade's eyes are different again. Her first release has solid red with a black heart in the centre, these are more pink with a pale reddish/pink heart like her Magic Night out doll.
I prefer the red and black eyes but oh well. These ones, the pale "pupil" makes her look like she's got cataracts or something to me, it just looks like she can't see properly to me.

Anyway, I gotta fix that hair... it's terrrible.

One cut and boil job later, MUCH better. It's annoying that these dolls often seem to require that TLC straight out the box but at least they CAN be fixed up. I also repaired her lip smear. Her lip colour is an exact match for Citadel's Crimson Gore, which amuses me for some reason.

Her outfit was missing something to me. Those shoes HAD to go, I couldn't stand them and the capelet was adding nothing. Being unlined and unhemmed it just looked messy and hung oddly. So she stole some fashion pack boots and the jacket from Sashabella's fashion pack which is made of the same black vinyl stuff her dress trim is.

So much better!

Overall, Jade is a bit of a mess out the box but at least she's salvageable. While I do prefer first wave's eyes, I think the red undercut here really does look good. Also, her outfit is a lot less sex shop and a lot cuter. I definitely prefer this dress, both the fabric choice and the style. Her hat is cute and her socks are darling.

Quality wise, she's still not hugely improved over first wave which is a huge shame. But this line is a LOT cheaper than the first wave was and a lot less of a disappointment.

QC still seems to be an issue in terms of hair cuts, dodgy seams and smeared makeup but at least her hair doesn't look like it's been burned.

Overall, I give this Jade 6 heart shaped cataracts out of 10. She's alright, but she's not great.

Meyganna Broomsticks

(Note, some of these photos were taken by husband who's laid claim to all the Meyganna dolls. So that's why the photos are yellow, I have no idea how he managed that one ok? Apparently my camera only likes me.)

 Meygana yet again is dressed surprisingly girly for the "sporty chick". Her class subject here is "Broomstick Gymnastics" whatever that means.

 Straight out the box one thing strikes me immediately. Her HAIR! It's... it's not a huge ball of frizz consuming the doll like a mad ginger tribble!?? In fact, it's soft, it's sleek, it's gorgeously waved! Omg MGA, you've actually managed to make a Meyganna with curls AND decent hair!

Her hair has black streaks through the front and two little braids at either side. It's a simple but attractive style.

She wears a blue satiny cap, though i'm a bit disappointed it's a beret kinda style rather than the newsboy/bakerboy from her promos.
She has standard "MGA glasses". I swear they only ever use this one glasses mould. Bratz used it, Moxie girlz used it, Bratzillaz now uses it. Sheesh MGA, could we have a new glasses mould already? I mean, I don't mind this shape, it's very versatile for both genders but let's mix things up a little huh?

her dress is also a satiny fabric with a paisley print. I'm not sure why paisley and plaid are the theme of this line but oh well. I like both so it's all good. Just random.

The dress feels very 70s in style with those flared sleeves and mandarin collar. I like it, but it feels like it needs a belt or some sort of detail on the front.

Over this she wears a scarf/wrap.. thing.. I dunno what it is actually. It's a thick short thing that's too short to be a proper scarf.

 But omg it's LINED!?? The thing is actually lined and really nicely put together except the velcro which is just sorta stitched on there with no regard for the stitches showing on the other side. *sigh* Attention to detail like that isn't MGA's strong point obviously.
But I am absolutely delighted by the lining. It gives this piece a real luxury feel to it. it actually reminds me a lot of the wrap I wore for my wedding which was made from lined teal satin heh.

Underneath that wrap.. thing.. her dress has an adorable mandarin collar but feels like it's missing something. I think it needs a belt personally, it just feels incomplete. 
Her "socks" are your typical legging/footless affair and made from stretchy polyester.

You can see Meyganna's first wave frizz attack, and this is after I cut and conditioned it! Meanwhile, BTM Meyganna hasn't had anything but a loose brush through her hair and it's looking fantastic!

First wave and this Meyg have almost identical makeup, which is a shame. It'd be nice to see more makeup variation with this character but the blue eyeshadow is attractive enough. 

Back to Magic Meyganna is a lovely doll and a huge improvement over first wave. Though i'd like to see MGA trying something new with her eyeshadow. Hasn't every single one of her character so far released had the same makeup?

She doesn't come with a stand, none of the line do but that's a sacrifice i'm willing to make for a good haired Meyg.
She does however get a ridiculous blue fuzzy purse which does have an opening to put stuff into, but it's far too small for any doll accessories anyway. 

Overall I give her 9 inexplicable fuzzy bags out of 10. The best Meyganna yet in my opinion. 

Sashabella Paws

Sashabella is, oddly enough, my favourite of the Bratzillaz. Her original release felt like the most cohesive designwise, though she suffered terrible fishing wire hair. 
Her dance doll was disappointing despite having a beautiful faceup, her hair was messy and poorly executed and that 70s hooker outfit was just horrible. 
So it's about time the poor girl got a decent treatment damnit!

Well, i'm pleased to see that at least she's not looking like a streetwalker in the Back to Magic line. Like Meyganna, Sashabella seems to be rocking a retro style in plaid.

Sasha's subject is "exotic animal languages". Ok then.
Makes sense considering she talks to animals or whatever, but the curriculum at this school is pretty random don't you think?
But what do you expect from a school of fashion and magic who even feature a bikini on their school crest lol.

Anyway, Sasha's very green. But I love green so it's all good.

 Her boots look to be Yasmina's original boots with some green fur glued on. The fur trim looks really home made kinda, amateur job but at least it helps tie the green furry vest in with the rest of the outfit.

Her bangs are bizarre and look like they'd be an absolute pain in the arse irl. Can you imagine how much you'd be picking your hair out of your eyes just to see?
Other than these odd bangs, her hair is pretty similar in style to Illiana. It's a high braided ponytail. It's a shame two characters from the same line have such similar hairstyles, i'm sure they could have gone with something else here. Maybe just a regular high ponytail?
Though I admit it's nice to see Sashabella with a new hairstyle.

 Before we go on, I HAVE to address this. W.. t ever loving hell MGA? That there is a massive hunk of glue holding the plastic tags that hold the head in place. The glue covers the tags completely, meaning you can't get under it to snip the tags.
Now, I like to snip the tags from the cardboard side of the packaging so I don't risk cutting a chunk of the doll's hair in the process, but here i've no choice. I have to carefully snip the tags and let me tell you, her head is REALLY tightly tagged into the box, there's next to no give or space between tag and hair so it was a bit nerve wracking.

Stop doing this MGA! There is no reason to have glue here!

I do hope they start changing their Zillaz boxes because these blister packs are just a nightmare to open. The funny thing is, the Bratz and Novi boxes are pretty easy to open up but the Zillaz get these terrible plastic prisons full of glue and needless stitching. It's so frustrating. Get it together MGA!

Free at last. Sashabella really stands out. I know there's people who hate this outfit, but personally, I freaking love it. I adore ugly contrast and that blouse? I would SO wear that blouse if it was real person sized lol. 

So, hair feels pretty soft but like Illiana and Victoria, it's really frizzy at the ends. I don't believe it would look at all nice out of the braid. The quality is too iffy. But it works ok in this style and there's no frazzled bits which is a step up from first wave.

Sasha has little cat head earrings, which are sweet. I like that she has different earrings, I was getting a bit bored of everyone having those same dangly earrings in different colours. 
Her makeup is very striking. Those bright green eyes are back and framed with bright green and fushia shadow. It's a bold look and I love it. Just a shame you can't see her eyes so well thanks to those odd bangs. 

Her hat lets her down I feel. It's a recast of her original wave hat and it's grey. Boooring. It doesn't clash but it also doesn't really blend in with the rest of the outfit. Perhaps dance Sashabella's green pilgrim hat would work better lol. 

Her green vest thing is actually a separate piece, which is excellent. I'm so pleased to see a return to individual outfit pieces in MGA dolls. It's something I always loved about their lines, the attention to tiny detail having separate vests, sweaters, blouses etc instead of taking the easy "stitch it all into one piece" option.

The blouse has a stand up collar, a little ribbon bow and puff sleeves. It's made of rather scratchy, slightly see through fabric which isn't very nice to handle but the detail is awesome. The cuffs are shimmery satin like Meyganna's hat and trim, and the tailoring is spot on. 
Under that she wears a short pleated skirt with the usual integral panties. The skirt's made of quite thick fabric, much like you'd expect a real skirt to feel. 
I love this outfit, it's crazy in colours and patterns, but the actual tailoring is spot on and well executed. 

She comes with a fuzzy handbag as well, but unlike Jade and Meyganna's who's are pretty simple pouches, this is actually a proper bag with a velcro clasp. That vinyl part at the front unclasps and the bag opens. Of course it's a tiny bag but it feels like a more thought out design than the other fluffy bags. It's odd Sasha's is different to the other two. It's also not in her primary colour. Meyganna's is her signature blue, Jade's her signature red so you'd expect Sashabella to have a green tribble bag, but instead she gets this brown fur and blue vinyl. 
It doesn't really go with her outfit, but then, a green bag would have been even worse I think.
I do prefer this bag to the other two though, purely because it has a design to it and isn't just a fluffy pouch. 

Back to Magic stands up well against my other two Sashabella's. She suffers the same wobbly, twisted leg issue of ALL Bratzillaz, and her wrist joints feel a bit iffy but her hair is a massive improvement and her outfit is adorably insane. I'd totally leave the house dressed like that hahaha. 

My only real gripe is those shoes. I wish they'd put a bit more effort into them instead of just gluing strips of fake fur to Yasmina's boots. The Zillaz could do with a few more shoe moulds, a sculpt with sculpted fur or something would have worked well. 

Overall I like Sashabella. She has a few things that could be improved on, but on the whole she's a pretty awesome girl. 

I give her 9 radioactive tribbles out of 10.

Back to Magic as a whole

 While there's no denying the Back to Magic line is a huge improvement to the original wave, it's still not perfect. However, the price point is much more reasonable and in line with the competition now, the outfit quality is improving in leaps and bounds and the designs are really starting to get interesting in my opinion. 
I'm a sucker for paisley and plaid so an entire line featuring pattern madness makes me happy. 

However, there's a few questionable design choices and an inconsistency across the line that bothers me.

The tribble handbags feel like an after thought, and why do only three of the five dolls get them? 
Why do three of the five get new shoe moulds while the other two make do with recasts? 
The quality of the hair is great on Meyganna, and just "ok" for all the rest. 
The outfit quality and detail varies greatly depending on the character as well.

This is bothersome to me. I feel like a line should be consistent in it's quality and in terms of what you get. If you don't get a handbag, you should get some other accessory. Every doll should come with the same overall amount of stuff.

As it stands, Victoria gets the monopoly on detailed faceup, outfit and unique sculpts, followed closely by Meyganna.
Sashabella's more detailed purse seems to be an attempt to make up for this, but then she gets lazy shoes.
Jade gets unique, albeit ugly shoes, a tribble bag and terrible hair, but actual socks instead of leggings but her cape is unlined and cheap looking. 
Illiana gets a pretty basic outfit, frizzy hair, reused shoes, no accessory at all and a pretty but not overly complex faceup. She feels SO much more basic than Victoria which feels wrong to me. The two new girls should feel equal, but they don't. It's like all the money and attention went into Victoria and poor Illiana got ignored. 

I'd like to see more consistency across a line. I'd like to know I could trust that if doll A was nice, doll B would be equally so. As it stands I feel like Jade and Illiana aren't quite up to scratch. They both feel very basic alongside the other three who have more detailed outfits and more individual pieces to them. 

What's their secret? magic hats!

Ahahahah hahaha. 

Anyway. Overall is the Back to Magic line worth it? Well the answer is yes.. and no. The lack of stands is a shame when equivalent rivals are producing them in this price bracket, but they aren't a deal breaker. What is a bit of a deal breaker is the hair quality is still all over the place. The outfits may be better and the eye wonk less frequent, but the hair still suffers cheap nylon syndrome. Nylon can look good! As long as you use stuff with some weight to it. 
Some of the characters feel like better value for money than others, which is the biggest letdown of this line.
I recommend Meyganna and Sashabella, they're fantastic. (9/10 for both)
Then Victoria and Illiana because they're both beautiful but both have little gripes and issues. (8/10 and 7/10 respectively)
Jade comes in last in the race. (6/10) Mine had errors which was a real shame, but her hair was atrocious out the box and that is a common complaint with this one doll. Her dress is cute but the stitching is a bit iffy as well, it just lacks the quality of say, Sashabella's blouse. Her cape is cheap looking and her default shoes are hideous and boring. Jade is the doll I had to do the most work to, heck, she's the only one of the line I felt I couldn't just debox and immediately display. She's the only one who needed hair treatment, the only one who needed redressing/outfit tweaks and the only one who needed her facepaint fixed due to smearing. 
Maybe I got a real dud there, but it means I can't recommend her at full price. 

Overall, back to magic gets a resounding 7 out of 10. It's a vast improvement, but Zillaz, or rather, Witchez as they seem to now be known,  have a little way to go. 

4 Aug 2013

Bratzillaz Switch a Witch

Never ones to let a bandwagon go unleapt upon, MGA quickly decided to take a stab at the "make your own doll" thing.
Now, while hardly a new idea, Monster High sort of popularised the whole mix and match fashion doll thing specifically, so it's hard to look at the Switch and Witch packs and NOT see Create a Monster.
The packaging does NOT help matters.

I do however LOVE the little jabs at the Mattel product here.
"2 doll bodies" it proudly proclaims, a jab no doubt at the original Create a Monster packs having only one torso. "2 FULL dolls" it tells us, again, a dig at the Create a Monsters often only having one wig and one pair of shoes to share.

And honestly, yeah, the pack IS more generous. 2 torsos, 2 heads, 2 wigs, 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 wigs , earrings, full outfits... shoes..

I've been delaying getting this set however for one VERY big reason. Like with all the Bratzillaz, the price point. When the S.A.W packs showed up in the UK they were retailing at... wait for it... £30. Yeah.. that's right, THIRTY pounds.
For perspective, the C.A.M packs? They're up to £20 in stores, but usually closer to £17.
That price point is not just ridiculous, it's flatly insulting. Who in their right mind would pay that much over the odds for what is, effectively, the off brand Monster doll?
So when Argos got them in for £20, husband insisted we buy the set to have a play.

He's going to be helping me review these things, mostly because his commentary throughout the opening of the pack amused me so much.

First let's look at the back of the box. It claims 2000 mix and match combinations, a claim i'm not prepared to put to the test but it seems a bit of an exaggeration to me. But ahh well, whatever MGA.

So the other packs kinda confused me for a bit until i realised that the ones of the left are one starter pack and add on, while the coming soon ones on the right are the OTHER starter set (released at the same time!) and it's add on. I dunno, this just confused me as I expected the two starter sets to be pictured together and then the add ons together so I was all "wait, why is there only three dolls?" lol. Duuuh I is smart honest.

I think the crazy clown/black and white set is the better of the two if i'm honest. The other one is just a bit too messy madness.

Anyway, we don't seem to have got the add ons over here so it's a moot point regarding them.

So, before we start anything, we got to get this box open. I've told husband on countless occasions that MGA packaging is stupidly over done and like trying to break through armour plating, so I left him to open this pack all on his own bwhahaha.

Step one: Pry backing card loose. Lots of glue, involved a bit of force but "oh" he says "that's not too bad"
I just smile, knowing there's more to come.

Step 2: Pry the second layer of the backing card loose, remove inner box
Yes, that's right, there's a box within a box... it's just baffling to me. I assume the inner box is so you can close it up and store the parts or something? But you have the parts to make two full dolls, why would you not just do that? Why would you need to store parts? And why does this box have to be contained inside another box anyway? Argh... mga packaging you baffle me!
Husband is equally baffled but shrugs it off.
"i'm in!" he tells me.

So we take a look at the contents. We have a crazy cube-o-wig going on, the blonde and purple "why is this here?" wig that doesn't go with either doll's look, more mad clowness and those dolls.
Why MGA decided to go with two toned dolls a lot of people ask, I think I know the answer. It's another dig at Monster high's create a monster! "Our bits are SUPPOSED to be mismatched!" get it?
least that's my theory. But it's an act of madness that just doesn't quite seem wise.
Of course, a set in just human tones like the actual Zillaz would probably be really boring, but still. These dolls are just a bit "too much" for a lot of people I feel.

Anyway, I note the "easy wipe clean vinyl" fabric of the first wave zillaz which I mocked so much in my previous review. But at least neither outfit looks like it belongs in a soho sex shop. You have a ... clown outfit... and a 60s inspired little mod thing.

For some reason there's only 1 bracelet, despite there being 2 of everything else. Evidently crazy clown doesn't deserve jewellery.

The front of the box claimed there were "45+" pieces. There are, but you have to count each shoe/earring individually and the brush as a piece to gain that total which kinda feels like cheating.

So even in the box, you can see the leg pieces are a different length to one another. The black bits are longer than the pink/greens. The torsos are also different. Husband didn't notice this at first, and I probably wouldn't have had I not read previous reviews stating the fact.
I kinda like the idea of different sized dolls and different shaped torsos, only problem is it means you have to use each colour coded piece as a pair. 2 black upper limbs for 2 green/pink lowers, you can't mix and match completely or one leg is gonna be shorter than the other. Still, it does offer some interesting combos to have a shorter torsoed girl with really long legs or vice versa. I like that idea, but perhaps advertising this fact would have been wise. The pictures on the back of the box picture the doll with her limbs totally mixed up, but you'll notice if you look back up at that picture, she ALWAYS has one leg bent which hides the whole, leg longer than the other thing. Tisk tisk.

Anyway, we aren't done with the deboxing, oh no.. not by a long shot. The Zillaz, they fooled husband.

Step 3: remove the pieces that aren't stitched into the box.

These are the only pieces that can just be removed from the plastic slots, everything else is either sewn in place or elastic banded in.
What gets me is WHY is one wig easy to remove but the other stitched in? This makes NO SENSE.
Also, why are they stitched in anyway? They're in a box, inside another box! and the outer box you cannot open without destroying! how is anyone gonna get into it and steal bits without someone noticing? eugh.

At this point, Husband is just baffled and somewhat bemused. He keeps saying "what... why?" over and over. I don't think i'm helping by laughing at his anguish.

Step 4: find some scissors.

So all these bits now have to be removed. yeah, even the bloody hairbrush is elastic banded into the box. OH NO! Can't have anyone stealing the precious broomstick hairbrush! They can totally have that clown wig though.

These pieces were relatively easy to get out, they just had a very loose elastic band holding them in. Yay! the brush is ours! I can... barely contain my joy at being able to add yet another broomstick brush to the pile. (I have like 10 of them now, argh.)

The box now looks like this. Husband is becoming more frustrated. It's been quite a while now since he started trying to open this damn thing. I'm still laughing at him.

Everything... sewn.. in... whyyy!?

So it's taken about an hour, but they're finally FREE!

The dolls are actually pretty easy to put together. Much like the C.A.M sets, you just click em together. They're constructed just like the regular Zillaz, with those frustrating rubbery lower legs, but they're a bit floppier due to the whole coming apart thing. Does however make them a LOT easier to dress. I love the whole removable hands thing, it's a great idea for tiny dolly sleeves.

Monochrome girl (We're calling her Mona Chromatic) is substantially taller than Clown (Who i'm calling Columbine D'arlequin ) but also more um.. busty. Her outfit barely fits her! Which feels a bit of an oversight. It's very very tight around the bust area, it hardly fastens at the back.

Here's a shot of their legs. Both upper and lower are longer on the black leg, while the pink leg is a lot shapelier. Mona has a long, slender figure while Columbine is short and curvy. I like the different shapes, it lends itself to a lot of options mixing and matching but ONLY if you 1: only use each leg piece in pairs and 2: don't mind your doll being black, white, green AND pink lol.

Interestingly, neither doll uses the same torso or limbs from the default Zillaz dolls. Cloetta here is somewhere between the two in terms of height and build.

Mona was the doll I thought i'd love more, but there's a few design choices in her default "look" that I feel just really let her down.
First and foremost, that random purple. Her wig and cape both feature purple, but it's nowhere else. Nor is it anywhere on the clown girl so wth? Why couldn't she come with the black and white wig the add on girl comes with? And a black and white cape or just a plain black one? It would have looked a lot better. As it is, she just feels unfinished and sloppy.

The doll herself is attractive with one blue eye and one green, with vividly red lips standing out against her black and white face.
I do kinda feel it's a shame her body isn't the opposite way around with the colours, I think it would have looked cooler if her colours weren't quite so "right side is white, left is black" and more mixed up. I also can't help but feel the chequered bits would look better plain white but oh well.

Her outfit is a cute little 60s inspired number in some sort of vinyl fabric. The style works with the fabric choice here, though I can't say i'm a great fan of the plasticy feeling material. She doesn't have a belt, just a buckle stitched to the skirt which is odd.
She has square bracelets and earrings which fit the vintage theme, so it's a shame her hair style couldn't keep with that.
The wig obviously intended for her is a simple pigtail wig (husband braided it but otherwise, it's just a generic pigtail) and while it's a nice quality wig and fits her head very nicely without falling off (good to see they learned from the Moxie Teenz and their endlessly slipping wigs) it's really not suited to the rest of her look.
I get these dolls are supposed to be mixed and matched, but if that's the case, why make each outfit so specifically suited to ONE look. There's no way the clown wig would suit this outfit either.
the cape also just feels kinda thrown on in there. It's not BAD quality, it's actually hemmed but it's just kinda quickly put together and chucked in as a bonus or something. It adds nothing to the outfit, it doesn't go with it at all (a short capelet would have worked better perhaps)

Something like this?

Anyway, the actual cape is a cheap quick little piece that really doesn't add anything to either outfit.

Her shoes are pretty simple little strappy shoes (I think they're the same mould as Magic Night out Yasmina), one is black and the other white. They serve their purpose, though some boots would have been better I feel.

Poor girl needs some style tweaks!

Overall, she's not bad. She could be better but I expect that from a C.A.M so why wouldn't I expect it from a S.A.W doll? It's just that wig that really bothers me, it's totally wrong and just shouldn't be here. I think I know why they put the black and white wig in the add on pack though, it's so we'd buy that add on. Certainly I find myself wanting that add on JUST for the wig that suits this doll. Curse you MGA and your cunning marketing ploys!

So Mona Chromatic is cute and I love her taller body, but she's in need of a lot of work to make her really awesome.

I give her 5 out of 10, she's pretty average.

Columbine surprised me. In promos I was all "wth crazy clown girl!?? What are you on MGA!?" and thought she'd be the one to languish in a storage box, but in the plastic... she's awesome. Something about her screams personality, she's insane, she's vibrant, she's FUN.

Her wig is a bit crazy out of the box, I tied it into pigtails which seemed to work great. It's rooted straight down the centre as if it's supposed to be in pigtails anyway, I wonder if they just forgot to put the elastics in to finish it off or something.
The little hat is adorable and really adds to the whole look.

Doll herself is mad, she doesn't really come to life till you dress her in all this insanity. She's green down one side, pink down the other. It's a very strange colour choice and not hugely attractive, but it's certainly striking. This girl stands out.
One eye is pink, one is green and the makeup is done in a darker shade to the skin on each side. Dark green on the green side, dark pink of the pink side. It's quite extreme makeup and it really works well. Even her lips are split down the centre much like Cloetta's.

I'm sure her shoes are a recast mould but I don't know who's shoes they are. They're cute though and work well enough. I don't think you could make actual clown shoes chic no matter how hard you tried.

The outfit is again made from that strange vinyl, I don't know why MGA are so obsessed with this stuff. It feels like a table protector! Hell, I think this top and skirt IS a table protector cut down into clothes! I'm sure i've seen some in this checked pattern before now.

There's soft net poofy sleeves attached to the top, which are ugly but the overall hideousness of the outfit is appealing to me for some reason. If she was dressed tastefully she wouldn't be crazy clown girl!

Over the top of all this, she has a blue ribbon with netting attached. It seems to be able to be both a belt with overskirt/train or a cape. I like it as a belt/skirt and it's a much cooler piece than that lazy cape Mona had. It fits with the rest of the outfit, the netting ties it in with the sleeves on the top so it all comes together as one cohesive, if not ugly, outfit.

I love her, I really do.

I give her 8 out of 10, she's insane, she's not particularly pretty and I LOVE her for it. I have no idea what MGA staff were on when they designed this chick, but she's wonderfully nutty. Who can't love a totally random fashionista clown? What about that concept isn't fabulously insane?

And so, I end. Final thoughts? I don't regret this set. It provided a lot of amusement with Husband's anguish opening it (what can I say, his pain amused me ok? I'm a terrible wife) and the dolls were well worth the £10 each. Mona may need some work, but Columbine is taking pride of place in my "wtf" toy collection. She's got character, and the little misfit has endeared me to her.

Switch a Witch, for entertainment value was worth the money for me. I had fun with the dolls though I doubt i'll buy any others from the line. The other packs don't seem as interesting to me, they're just messy looking.

Are they worth the price being charged? Probably not. Unlike the C.A.M sets these do NOT come with stands, though they do come with 2 sets of shoes and 2 wigs which C.A.M is yet to manage (no, those plastic caps don't quite count though they are a step in the right direction.)
Like C.A.M they do suffer from very specific pieces. The mix and match aspect hasn't been truly embraced by either product due to each complete outfit being too obviously designed to go together (Who'd wear green and pink shoes with a black and white dress?) and the body pieces following that same "the green bits go with the green bits" thing. MGA have tried to make the mish mashed colours thing part of their design, but failed when they made each doll two toned only.
I still don't know why they don't release a monochromatic set of two dolls, where both sets of limbs were the same colour as one another so they COULD be mixed together without looking strange and incorrect. I'm sure there's a way to do it which would better encourage mixing, because as it is, I still don't know anyone who doesn't just construct the two dolls in the box with the pieces that are one colour for one doll and the pieces of the other colour for the other.

The S.A.W packs feel a bit more restrictive than the C.A.M purely because there's not quite so many places you can go with "witches" as you can with the much broader "monsters" so I doubt we'll see a second wave of Switch a Witch. The S.A.W girls are SO different in design to the regular Zillaz that they stand out like sore thumbs. Meanwhile the C.A.M dolls can fit right on into the regular Monster High collection quite comfortably.
So in the end, i'd have to say Create a Monster wins the "who did it best" contest, but Switch a Witch is still an entertaining little novelty. I can't see it being as useful for customisers though, the two toned bodies are a bit too specific and wacky.