As the Wonderland theme continues, we have some of the characters from last springs Netflix movie, Spring Unsprung! It took a while for these characters to arrive compared to the Spring Unsprung range, and they really ought to have been available with them. It’s still relatively early days for Ever After High, and Alistair is only the third male doll released. I was fairly miffed when he was revealed, as there were at least three other males (Daring, Hopper and Sparrow) who I felt were more deserving of this slot. And as the only male this year (other than Hunter repeats), it’s an especially coveted slot. As a Royal, he’s slightly less interesting than Dexter Charming, and there’s a discrepancy between his cartoon appearance and the doll once more. In the cartoon he’s a bit stouter, whereas the doll has him looking more girlish basically. His jacket in the cartoon is also much longer, but here it looks more like a shirt over a t-shirt. Whilst the patterning on it is nice, I find it a bit cheeky that it is an all-in-one piece with the shirt instead of separates. Other than the canteen as his accessory with a compass added into it subtly, there aren’t many interesting touches to him – he could really be from any line at all. A pocket watch, or something to hint towards Wonderland would have been an interesting addition, but whilst it’s great to have another male in the line I can’t help thinking he’s a stale design and more interesting ones could have taken his slot instead. Maybe they simply wouldn’t have been as cheap to produce as Alistair?
So I caved and bought another playset, oops. I really wanted this for the diorama opportunity and the included Raven doll, she was totally put in this set as bait for people who collect her. Starting with Raven herself, she kind of got the raw deal out of the dolls, her outfit is very basic compared to the others and it makes her something of a sore thumb in the set unfortunately. Her collar isn’t as obnoxious as Lizzie’s, and like Lizzies if you totally dislike it then it is easily discarded. The outfit and shoes are simple, and don’t say much for the character. I’m assuming her role in the story is not as large as the other 4 characters, or at least I hope they don’t suddenly give her a better one.
The playset itself is designed in the shape of the timepieces that come with the dolls, the pocket watch of the original story. It’s less a playset really and more a selection of backdrops with some furniture to place in front of it. The storage, like the Thronecoming set before it, is very clever. Most things plug onto the front, like the teacup seats, or inside for easy travel. The playing card tables are quite novel and give some choices in terms of display as you can mix the colours up a bit. There’s also a rather cunning stand to place Raven onto so she can stand inside the playset for display purposes. It sort of looks like she is stuck in the vortex, which is quite cool. Overall, it’s a good set and even better if you can get it for a reduction, wait long enough and it’s bound to happen!
The last of the core Way Too Wonderland dolls (Raven and the playset and a Walmart exclusive Briar yet to come) and it’s the Queen of Wonderland herself, Lizzie Hearts! Like Kitty, she’s had a good spate of releases with her Spring Unsprung one and the upcoming Fairest on Ice version. Her key look of complicated hair-do and use of red are intact, and despite her oversized plastic collar, she probably has the most understated outfit of the set. Her flamingo crown is a bit on the nose, and could easily be lost to make a better, less extreme look. The collar detaches well if you really don’t like it, so you aren’t stuck with it. It does make the hair look odd as it can’t sit too well behind it. Talking of which, I found her hair came away very easily when brushed in quite large clumps, which although it made it less thick it did cause some concern. The necklace/shoulder guard hinders the upward motion of the hands, preventing any ‘off with their head’ type poses. To me, she could have used some kind of jacket or cloak as her arms feel a bit bare and unfinished to me, especially for royalty. My only other grouse is the turquoise top, it kind of stands out as the only splash of that colour on her, and may have been better in black. I also found that for some reason in photos her head looks massive, though it looks in better proportion in person weirdly. She’s probably the least interesting of the Way Too Wonderland dolls as it just feels like she is lacking something.
I took far too long over the Zeries 4 Zelfs, so I thought I’d make Zeries 5 a bit quicker with a few thoughts on each!
Zebbie – A missed opportunity for an actual black and white zebra, but the colours work well and she’s certainly vibrant. The print on my Zebbie’s hair isn’t printed so well and looks like it will flake off in time annoyingly. I’ll give her *** out of 5 – fairly average, but not pink at least!
Talleen – A nice companion Zelf to Zebbie, and the pink is actually not ‘too’ OTT. Yellow Zelfs have tended to kick around stores for a while, so I suppose that’s why they didn’t stick with an actual giraffe colour scheme. I’ll give her **1/2 out of 5, even though her hair is printed much better than Zebbie I feel she’s a bit on the bland side for this set.
Wizzkas – If Zelfs had knock-offs, I’d kind of suspect Wizzkas was one. She’s a winged kitten, which is weird, but it kind of works in the crazy world of the Zelfs. Obviously, she’s very pink but the white offsets some of this. In fact, the general pastel pink used in the Zeries 5 Zelfs so far is just a bit less intense than the almost fluorescent lurid one used throughout Zeries 4. I like the multiple tone in the hair, and because I like her zaniness more than Zebbie, I’ll give her *** out of 5.
Koolah – the highlight of this little set of 4 to me. Minus the hair, this is a cool looking koala, even with the hair, which isn’t as obnoxious as some, this Zelf looks fun. I love the tiny purple nose and green hand and print on the leg of a eucalyptus leaf. It’s a simple but cool little sculpt, and the odd bumps around the hips mark this one as an individual torso. As a standout for this set, I’ll give Koolah **** out of 5.
The final new character for the Boo York line is Elle Eedee (unless I bite the bullet and pay the ransom for Astra Nova and succumb to my ‘first version of every character’ obsession, stay tuned I guess). When I first saw her teeny tiny leaked reveal picture I thought it was Spectra in a fabulous outfit. I was a little sad my favourite ghost wasn’t in this line, but hey ho we have Elle instead! She’s actually very different to Spectra up close. She has tons of detailing as she is supposed to be a robot (monster? Hmm). I’m guessing a lot of the tooling and design work went into Elle and Luna here basically. Her expression is a little blank compared to the character artwork on the packaging, which is a shame as she seems quite jolly in her picture. Her outfit is amazing and the fabric used is simply gore-gous. Her dress is somewhat concealed by the oversized belt she has on, and it does hinder the movement of the legs. That is of course if you want to display her doing high kicks I guess. She’s a star in this line, and I’m pleased my initial opinion was proven wrong.
Monster High Monday is taking a little break while I await new products soon!
Sooo, third Kitty in a year – that’s quite the litter isn’t it? I was quite down on her ‘signature’ doll and so were many other people. Although I didn’t get around to reviewing the Spring Unsprung Kitty, it was a massive improvement over the original one. Similarly the Way Too Wonderland version is another solid version of the character. She avoids the overuse of large plastic features like the others (Apple, Lizzie and Raven’s collars and Maddie’s hat) and the only major use of this is her ears which are quite unobtrusive. I’m not entirely fond of the highlighter yellow in her hair and clothing, but it creates a nice shocking effect against the more muted purple tones. I like the way her top ties her into her signature look, and the fur collar is a pleasant addition. The lop-sided/asymmetrical line of the skirt makes it difficult to sit well, and I’m quite tempted to cut out the garish yellow layer if it wouldn’t leave her a little indecent. There’s always some leggings on Etsy I guess! As far as Kittys go, she’s in 2nd place to me after her Spring Unsprung version, but as this one is likely to be more widespread (maybe not in the UK sadly) she’s entirely preferable to her first one.
Angelala was first released way back in Series 1, and she hasn’t been made again since. It’s good that this decision was made, as the Series 1 Zelfs are quite difficult to come by now in stores. I had a lot of trouble finding her around this time last year in fact. She looks less Christmassy now, gone are the blue and white tints, replaced with pink. It’s a shame as I liked that mix, but they needed to ring the changes in design I guess. Her two tone wings and silvery accents are particularly lovely, and the bold blue gem heart in the tummy perhaps stands out among the Crystal Gemz Zelfs as it isn’t the same colour as the tummy. Her harp is also my favourite of the Crystal accessories. I love a bit of musicality!
After the disappointment of Mousedes, Luna is a change of pace. Sure, she looks recycled from the Bee Lady build a monster from a while back, but after Skelita and Casta Fierce that is hardly unsurprising. She looks a lot more fabulous and ready for a gala, with her black accenting striking out against the black in a fiendishly funky way. I’m not a huge fan of the plastic used to keep the headdress in place as it spoils the look and becomes more noticeable once you have seen it, but it sits far back enough that it may not bother you too much. Her arms are subtly different and have the aesthetic of an insect even if it doesn’t stand out in the sculpt as much as it could have perhaps. Somewhat unusually for MH these days, her legs are entirely covered by her tights, which does mean you have a bit more outfit and justification for the price tag. Her wings are beautiful and have a lovely sculpt to them, and although she’s a moth they still look as pretty as a butterfly’s. I’m more taken with Luna than Mouscedes, but I was prepared to be – this is one Goth Moth who has earned her place in the line. Maybe I’m bitter about the fact the other new character, Astra Nova, is playset exclusive and Mouscedes wasn’t. Isn’t that always the way?
Next down the rabbit hole – Madeline Hatter! Maddie hasn’t had much representation in the deluxe EAH lines compared to some characters like Apple, but she’s always something of a highlight whatever line she is in. That also means the bar is set quite high, as her Legacy Day doll was one of the best made in my opinion. Her Way Too Wonderland incarnation doesn’t quite hit those heights, but she’s pretty great nonetheless. Starting from the top – her hat is posed oddly in the box, and needs to be removed by the plastic ties to be properly positioned on her head once out of the box. Luckily, it stays in place well and the barrette it is attached to is quite solid. Her hair is quite thin like Apples, but it doesn’t brush through quite as easily leading to some frizziness. The necklace is also quite tacky like the one Apple has, you could lose it without too much pain or paint it gold to match her nicer earrings. The cuffs around her wrists are designed to make it look like she is wearing longer gloves, but if you raise her hands they tend to slide down her arms losing some of the effect. Her dress opens to reveal a less interesting outfit underneath, but its there at least. The dress/jacket itself is fun and has some Wonderland themed patterning, and it ties her in with the others in the range even if it isn’t as nice as Apples dress. Finally, her tights are vivid and tie the outfit together, and because they are full length they stay up very well, which is always handy. She comes with a time piece accessory and her playing card brochure. In closing, Maddie isn’t as great as Apple, but it’s probably because I prefer her Legacy Day look, whereas I wasn’t that keen on Apple’s LD doll. You can’t go to Wonderland without a Hatter though, and Maddie is certainly up to the job!
So-anne arrives in Medium Zelf form! She’s changed considerably since her Super Zelf release, not just because she’s shrunk in size but she’s also swapped palettes for something gentler and more, well, pink. It’s not too obtuse and the colour mixes work well together. Her ears have even changed to become gem shaped! I’m not too sure what the chest gem is supposed to be, it looks a bit like a game of noughts and crosses to me, which it might well be. I think the thing I like most about So-anne is her ‘thrown together’ look, she’s all patchy and unfinished. The wavy hair and straight hair mix is repeated from her Super release, but other than that she’s quite new. Her ‘rockin’ bear chair’ is one of the nicer Crystal Gemz accessory pieces, as it can be used functionally and doesn’t obscure the Zelf itself.