28 Mar 2014

Monster High - Slo Mo

HELL YES SLO MO!




I um... suffered a moment of madness there. I appologise.

Wait.. no I don't. HE WAS DELICIOUS!


Amazon.de (that is, Germany) finally got my preorder in stock and dispatched him. 2 days he took to arrive, sweet!

Euro boxes obviously, so much smaller graphics on the back and the usual dozen or so languages.



In case anyone was particularly curious about euro boxes. It's not very interesting, just says "pep rally, come show your ghoul spirit", though I have to ask... ok, in the MH universe "ghoul" means both "girl" AND "school", is that not really confusing? Like "I really like this ghoul" could mean either "i really like this individual of the female persuasion" or "I really enjoy attending this academic institution". MH Language is just asking for misunderstandings.

"I was hanging out with my ghoul friends"

"Oh yes, she's my ghoul friend"

"We have to wear ghoul clothes today."

You get the idea.



Anyway, moving on.

Slo Mo! He comes with a random plastic pennant which is kinda pointless imo. Yay plastic crappy flag? Yeah, that's going in the accessory/tat box. (Edit: Scratch that, toddler took it and now it's lost to the ether. Dum de dum.)


Mo has really worried eyebrows, he looks so concerned. It's ok Mo! I'll get you off this backing card asap!

He has normal "human" style hands.


So let us begin.

Slo Mo looks first of all, pretty much NOTHING like his webisode self. This guy is skinny, he has ridiculous hair that makes him look like a painbrush and he's far too even featured. I suppose Mattel didn't want to fork out for a bulkier body sculpt and figured a lazy eyed boy might be a step too far but that said, Neighthan Rot has half his face decaying and they're releasing him!
Oh well. IMO Mo doll looks like a character from a Tim Burton movie or Paranorman or something.

He's dressed pretty simply, but then he IS a budget doll. I hope we aren't waiting too long for a signature version of him.
He needs pants and a letterman damnit!

His shirt is ok, it's a purple tee with the MH logo on the front and dripping black gloop on it. Yummy.
His shorts are thin, simple blue shorts. *YAWN* they serve their purpose I suppose, they cover his butt.

He wears a pair of pretty standard hi top sneakers. Most of the boys seem to wear similar sneakers or slip ons. Only Clawd ever gets boots. I like boots. I want more boy boots!
But yeah, we'll get to Mo's shoes later. 


Mo has this multi tonal dark blue hair sticking straight up like he's had a fright. The sides and back are flocked in grey.
Around his eyes he has a lovely mossy green, kinda like decay. Yum. It works well to give him a ghoulish kinda look (that's ghoulish, not girlish or schoolish.. got it?)
His eyes are a very pale blue/grey colour. His skin is actually a greyish purple tone. He's more purple that Ghoulia but nowhere near as richly coloured as Twyla. Against Twyla he looks grey, against Ghoulia he looks purple.

His lips are a frosty blue and make him look like he's cold.

He has a really long face and a quite strikingly large cleft chin. Look at that thing! That chin has it's own bloody post code!



Mo's ears are ever so slightly pointed. He also has an interesting very straight nose but it's kinda dwarfed by that big ol' chin of his. He's like Bruce Campbell in zombie form (or should that be Deadite?). Grooovy.


Mattel seem to have actually learnt something from their packaging of Clawd. My Forbitten Love Clawd has holes in his flock where they decided to jam those packing tags THROUGH the flock. Slo Mo's packing tags were actually attached in his hair line, above the flock.
However, because he was jammed pretty tight to the backing card, he does have a little bit of a rub to the back of his flock. Damnit Mattel, can you just put the heads into like a plastic cradle/pillow to keep it in place and avoid this kinda thing?


Mo's shoes are pretty unremarkable till you look at the soles. BRAIN TREAD! lol.
Very random, I mean, who looks at the soles of shoes? Still a cute though though. A few of the MH boys have unusual treads under their shoes.


I should probably mention that my Slo Mo has a lazy eye. A defect that for once, delights me. So many people were lamenting that their Slo Mo's face paint was a bit too perfect, that this is the one character where eye wonk would work and so i'm kinda pleased mine is actually wonky. It's subtle, but it gives him this slightly "off" look I feel.

He looks so perplexed though, he doesn't look like he wants to eat my brains, he looks like he wants to give me a hug!


Ghoulia swooped in to lay claim to her man.
Sadly Mo can't actually look DOWN. Like all the MH boys. He can look up and around and has a great range of head motion, but looking down at his girlfriend (or is that ghoulfriend with whom he attends ghoul?) is right out. A shame, because it means in photos he looks like he's either ignoring her, or fascinated by her forehead.


You can see the colour difference though. Ghoulia almost looks grimy alongside Mo who's a really pretty purpley grey.

Anyway, his paintbrush hair is bothering me. Even in the art on the box he doesn't have his hair sticking straight up like a broom!

I took a look at it and I honestly suspect it's not meant to be sticking up like that.

Let's see if I can sweep it forward.


A little hot water and a bag on the head later (I don't recommend this for styling your own hair, you know, in case you're wondering... ) and yes, I believe this is more what the designers had in mind. But then, what do I know? Certainly it seems closer to 1: a realistic hair style and 2: his artwork


 Mo's so happy with his new "do" that he did a little dance.


I lined him up with the other boys and you know what this did? Made it more obvious what a long face he has and also, what a bubble head Clawd has lol. Clawd's head is so fat and round ahahahaha. Slo Mo's on the other hand is narrow and long.

Gosh I love how different all the boys look from one another. (Except the "twins" of course. )

I do wish Mo had come with his letterman though. We need more lettermans! Mattel, give us lettermans NOW.

Anyway, overall I give Slo Mo... oh who cares, everyone will buy him anyway!
He's Slo Mo!

Loooove meeeeee


23 Mar 2014

Twilight Teens - Nemonia


TK Maxx gets some random things in, often in the form of Simba's latest "wtf" doll.
Simba are one of those companies who make what are, put bluntly, decentish quality knock offs.
Their biggest doll is Steffi Love, a poor man's Barbie doll who's actually not too badly made, just very... cheap.
 
So a while back they caught my eye with their take on Monster High. The Twilight Teens.

http://www.simbatoys.de/en/brands__products/twilight_teens.shtml

At £6:99 each, I couldn't resist picking up the three I found, and i'll get to reviewing them asap. They're in a box somewhere upstairs, other things kinda distracted me from that review.
They use the exact same face and body sculpt as Simba's Moxie girl-ish line, the Super Models. I have two of these and I wasn't disappointed by their quality for the price. Twilight teens are the same dolls just recoloured and monsterified. I kinda like that though, it means I can have humans and monsters hanging out and looking like they belong to the same franchise! Yay. 

But today while browsing the shelves, I spotted another Twilight Teen. A new one! Now I wasn't aware Simba had actually made a new wave, let alone new characters. Last i'd seen were the hilariously inappropriate teenage brides line. But apparently we now have another 3 new characters added to the line up.
All I can say is "awesome."


 So the new ones are £7:99, but it's still a price I can't resist.

The dolls come in oddly shaped boxes which are clearly inspired by the Monster High boxes, all angular and black and pink. The logo is a cute cat face, which I like. That cartoon cat is amusing.

So this girl is a... er... sea monster girl? I think.. maybe she's a shark girl, there's a random shark there. I'm actually not sure. The box doesn't tell me.


The only info in fact is her name. Nemonia... like Nemo but girly I suppose was the idea but... seriously? Say that out loud. Her name... is Nemonia.. Pneumonia!?? Excellent. I'm rolling with her being half fish, half virus now.


The back of the box shows us the three "new friends", Nemonia *snicker*, Pantheria the cat girl and Voodoona the uh... skeleton girl?


What I do like about Simba's boxes is that they are always a pretty good representation of what you're getting. Complete with the poofy hair and the iffy fabric choices. I do like that these are honest photos using the actual doll and not some superior more detailed prototype like MGA constantly bloody do. So thank you Simba for showing us clear shots of the REAL product.


Pantheria has a very odd tail. It's so skinny and why is the end of it like.. paddled? Confusing.


As for this one, she kinda looks like she's gotta poop. What is UP with that pose?
I really like her dress fabric though. Those comic skulls are adorable.

Anyway, let's actually open Nemonia. (I... I can't help but snicker every time I type that name)


The boxes are pretty easy to get open. Just peel the tape and the tabs pop out. I love easy to open boxes like this, it bothers me when I have to destroy packaging to get a toy out, even if I don't want to keep the box it just irritates me.


I should take a moment to remark on Simba's logo. One of the previous Simba products I bought, husband looked over my shoulder and enquired "Why is that elephant mounting the A?" and since then I cannot UNSEE this. It's a really good question. Look at that elephant's expression! He's clearly enjoying himself. Poor abused A. Then again, maybe A likes it.


Moving on from my smutty brain. Here's Nemonia (*Snerk*) out of her outer box.
I like the backing card, it's an underwater scene. I assume all three have a different backdrop and i'm curious now to see the others.

 
The doll itself is easy to get out of the box. Snip all those ties on the back, and she slides on out. However... her purse is in an impenetrable bubble! I'm not even joking here, that plastic bubble? There's NO WAY into it from the back. It's a blister pack, it's glued to the backing card! Wth? I had to kinda stab it and peel it off to get to the bag, tearing the backdrop in the process. Sad.


But Nemonia is loose! (wrap up warm boys and girls).

I'm actually quite surprised by her hair. It's very soft and not as frizzy as I expected it'd be.

It's also streaked with silver tinsel which I hadn't realised when she was boxed. Very pretty. The tinsel feels ok, it's not unravelling or anything so that's a plus.


Let's look at her face first. One side of her face has these scales and her eyes look like fish! Look at them! They're fishies! I didn't actually notice this till I took this photo and now i'm just like "how didn't I see she had fish for eyes!??"
VERY cute touch.


She has rainbow eyeshadow with silver just on the lids. then there's these little dots of colour. Her lips are painted in a similar style to Cupid from Monster High/Ever After high and are a kinda peachy colour.

For some reason she's wearing a crown/tiara. She also has a shark tooth necklace which is surprisingly detailed.

Her body is the thing that first caught my attention in the store. It's clear with embedded glitter! Much like the Monster High Create a Monster Ice and Blob girls, and the newest Midnight Magic dolls. Seems clear bodies are the IN thing this season lol.

Nemonia has these peachy orange stripes on her legs for... reasons. I think they're supposed to be fishy, they're the same colour as her lips.


She's dressed in a bizarre fish scale tail coat and hot pants. There's something kinda Magician about this outfit, and i'm really confused by WHY she's dressed like some sort of aquatic Zatanna.

 


The outfit is simple and made from oddly stiff fabric. It's very shiny. I kinda like the jacket though... heh.


Her shoes have a sort of diamond pattern on them with circular studs at the front and bows at the back. They're cute shoes and more detailed than expected.
These dolls have articulated ankles meaning they can wear flats or heels, but it really just makes them IMPOSSIBLE to get to stand. the joints are rather floppy so more often than not she just topples over on her weak ankles.


She comes with a red plastic trident and a purse that's kinda shaped like a crab. The purse is adorable. I like how it's kinda abstractly crab shaped.


The articulation on these dolls is pretty decent. The joints can be a little floppy, this girl had a really floppy knee which I fixed by winding an elastic band around and tucking it under the knee. She's articulated at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, neck/head, shoulders, elbows and wrists.
While it's not the most elegant of jointing, it does mean she has a decent range of motion which I always love.


Due to the hip mechanism this is as feminine as she can sit.


Of course the Monster High doll Nemonia (lol) most reminds me of is the Ice CAM or the Blob girl. You can see the inner workings of the doll through both of these, such is the problem with the semi opaque plastic.

As you can see, the Twilight Teens are nowhere near MH sized. They're significantly bulkier in just about every dimension.


They can't share shoes. They're too small for MH and MH shoes are too large for Twilight Teens. Boots kinda fit the twilight teens though.


Nor can Monster High fit Twilight Teen clothing. It's far far too big. Nemonia *snicker* can squeeze into stretchy MH dresses though.


But it won't fully fasten at the back.


While redressing her I noticed this little feature. Her arms come apart at the elbow just like MH!
Of course, this gave me an idea...


The MH arm won't really fit the TT socket, and things got odd when I tried the TT arm on the MH doll. The left arm slotted in perfectly, but the right arm would NOT fit into the socket at all no matter how much I shoved it. Hmmm... no idea why.


I snapped one more photo of Nemonia with her MH inspirations. She doesn't look much like Lagoona at all but they both have fun shiny fish scale clothing. Poor Lagoona looks so washed out here though (Excuse the pun). Nemonia (*hahahah*) is very blue. (da ba dee da ba dah?)


So I read someone's criticism of this line on the net saying they looked like Bratzillaz bodies with EAH heads.
The EAH head thing... totally. They both have giant, flat, round noggins.
I believe I mentioned in my EAH review that I felt the EAH heads had a lot in common with Moxie girlz and the Simba Super Models. So the fact Twilight Teens have the same head as the Super Models, it's hardly a surprise they also look like EAH girls with a monster theme.

the Bratzilla body thing though?

well...


Not even close.

Nemonia (*cough cough*) is still a lot chunkier and solidly built. She has shorter legs and a more in proportion torso, making her legs look really short alongside these leggy freaks.

they do share a wierd and kinda pointless clicky waist joint though. It's a really ugly, really strange joint that one.


Nope, can't share clothing.

So what CAN the Twilight Teens wear?


Skipper clothing.

Yes... that's right, Skipper. Barbie clothes are too big but old style Skipper clothing (as in, the shorter old skipper body) seem to fit pretty nicely.


Also the Monster High boy pants almost do up at the back... almost.


So after all that play, her hair is still holding up to constant redressing and me mucking about with it. Good to know.

Overall she's a fun little knockoff. Her joints feel fragile but then so do the Monster High joints. The only real weak point for me is those ankle joints which I can see snapping with very little force as you remove or put on shoes. Ankle joints, I see the idea but they just make the doll difficult to stand and considering these dolls do not come with stands, it makes for an annoying time trying to display them.

I have no idea why she's dressed like this, it's a bizarre outfit and I kinda feel like she needs to be redressed to be fully appreciated but her accessories are nicely detailed, surprisingly so in fact. The shark tooth necklace and crab purse are my favourite pieces, along with her fish eyes. It's a subtle touch but one that makes me smile.

The clear body is unusual and interesting. the quality of her hair and body is decent enough and when you consider that she was £7:99, I can't really gripe over the "serviceable" quality of her clothing. Clothes are always the bit Simba seem to scrimp on, but that said, they are finished and seamed, stitches are solid and velcro isn't coming off. The fabric choice is just odd and cheap feeling.
The trident is a bit flimsy as well, but it's a flat hunk of plastic, what do you expect?

I'm tempted to see if I can wash some detail over it. It has moulded detailing that just doesn't come out in pictures at all.
Same with her necklace, I want to paint that tooth so it stands out more.

Overall though, she's not a bad little doll. Her hilarious name just endears her to me all the more. Poor little fish virus girl. Either Simba didn't think about that at all, or Pneumonia is called something different in Germany. (Edit: yep, it is. Apparently it's Lungenentz├╝ndung, which probably explains everything)

As far as knockoffs go, you can't really go too wrong with Simba's attempts. They do put some effort in and the end results, though clearly a cheap wannabe, are still fun and cute.


Nemonia (*wheeze*) is settling in nicely with the other dolls.

I give her 7 horrible lung infections out of 10. Not bad Simba, not bad at all.