Saturday, 8 June 2013

Doll Review: Monster High - 13 Wishes - Lagoona Blue


My previous post General Overview of Mattel and Monster High Dolls was originally intended to just be a doll review of Lagoona, but once I'd finished with the beginning section about the production company, Mattel, it was obvious I'd written way too much! 

So instead of chopping out important details, I decided just to split it and create a new post for the review.
The franchise is ever-growing, and one of the latest lines to hit the UK is 13  Wishes: Haunt The Casbah, with an upcoming CGI special which will be release on DVD.

The newest story revolves around Howleen Wolf, Clawdeen's younger sister, who is tired of living in her sibling's shadows. She dreams to become popular but ends up in trouble. As punishment she is sent to clear out the attic of Monster High and chances upon a genie's lamp! Enter Gigi Grant, who bursts forth from the lamp and grants (eh.. Geddit? *elbow nudge*) Howleen not 3 but 13 Wishes! We don't know at this point exactly who wishes for what but we know things don't go as planned: Howleen begins to hate the popularity she magically gained and Lagoona looses herself after changing into a Freshwater monster from a Saltwater one. We don't have any more details but I imagine hilarity ensues, lessons are learned, everyone wins and we all have a fashion show at the end. 
It's going to be brilliant!


Like the previous special Scaris: City of Frights, new characters and are introduced to promote their new dolls. 
Twyla (daughter of the Boogieman) makes an appearance alongside Gigi and she is adorable! We don't know anything about her role in 13 Wishes yet, but I assume she is watching from the shadows as the situation unfolds!

Look at how cute Twyla is! But that will be for another blog post!

I eagerly reserved Twyla and Lagoona at my local Argos store as soon as they were 'in stock' on the website. I'm still not quite sold on Howleen, but I may get her at some point. Gigi isn't being stocked in the UK yet, but will follow the same distribution pattern as Jinafire and will be sent out in cases later on. Clawdeen, Frankie and Draculaura (as pictured on the DVD cover) and a DJ booth/dance hall playset with Spectra haven't hit the UK yet, but a tie-in beachside playset including a Cleo doll has been spotted in Europe. 

These two, Howleen and Gigi retail at £16.99, with the deluxe dolls costing playsets at £25-30 when they're released, and I danced out the store as I picked them up. Happy Nuu!

Here's Lagoona!




I love Monster High packaging; it's simple and easy to remove the dolls, but holds them in sturdily and effectively.
It was pain-free, unlike the fiasco of my previous MGA Bratzillaz Yasmina review..

You simply slide the tabs out of the lid, fold back the top, pull the cardboard insert up. Sometimes the outside plastic window has tabs to trap the card in place, but hold those out the way and the inside slides out. 


I love the MH box artwork. It's so fresh and vibrant! The art is usually very accurate to what's in the box, granted minor changes of hair lengths or slight colour differences in make-up, but nothing drastic. It's a pet-peeve of mine..

Fabulous!
I dislike messy or cluttered packaging, but this is neat and straight to the point. It shows the box-art for Twyla, Lagoona, Howleen and Gigi in all their get-up and a short blurb giving details of '13 Wishes', all on top of a black background and a cute glossy printed pattern (which is easily visible on the left of the box due to my phone's amazing camera.)


And here she is still attached to the card.


Pucker up, ya' cutie!
Her hands and accessories like her pet are held with elastic ties, whilst the stand, base and diary are secure with simple cardboard tucks, folds and a plastic tie!


 The back of the box doesn't look hard to tackle at all!


The doll is held down with several discrete plastic ties. I find that snipping these leads to chaos as the ends can fly off into oblivion then turn up weeks later in slippers or handbags.


My solution is to stretch the plastic by pulling it to give you room to move it about, then fold one of the skinny stoppers on the back and push it back through the hole it was punched through in the first place!

Stretch!
And fold!
Some ties are easy to get around by bending a knee and pulling the leg out.



With this doll I managed to get the doll out with only cutting the ties which held her head into place. These guys are a pain and one of the only complaints that I have about Mattel's packaging.

Here she is with all her accessories out of the box.


First impressions: Wow!
I like Lagoona. She's been given a great back-story and has a multi-faceted character. However, her last few releases just aren't for me. I feel as though they're designing and dressing her for the target audience a lot more than the rest of the cast, despite being one of the most mature. I know the target demographic is young girls and pre-teens, there's too much pink and 'safe' going on for her. 

She literally has a WHOLE ocean of potential but they've gone for 'meh' hair styles and 'this-will-do' dresses. Where are the sea volcanoes and surfing themes, not just pretty bubbles and the occasional star-fish! 

This version of Lagoona has totally won me over because she's so strikingly different from the last few lines, and not in a bad way!

One of the wishes was something which resulted in Lagoona being changed from a Salt-water Monster to a Fresh-water Monster like Gilligton 'Gil' Webber, her boyfriend. His parents are narrow minded and disapprove of him dating Lagoona as she's a different species, but and that plays a major part of her change into Fresh-water.

The doll features a simple flower hair clip in fuchsia with a yellow centre, and opaque pink dragon-fly earrings. 


Look at the level of detail in those earrings!

She comes with another really awesome accessory: a large mask. This diving style goggle mask is framed by wrapping vines or reeds and tiny pink flowers


Her hair is vivid yellow, styled into a high pony tail. This is twisted and gelled on the ends to resemble a fish-tail! Her box art shows that the style is longer, and the 'tails' and flicked outward, as opposed to inwards on the actual product. This is easy to fix by simply brushing or washing the ends and restyling them. She has a full fringe with the centre third in a contrasting teal.

Her make-up is toned down but she still has a striking facial screening. Her eyes are slightly lighter green, with pale lilac eye-shadow. Her lips are a very similar colour to her skin with a slight gloss. Due to the subdued paint, her freckles pop even more against the pale blue.


She wears a bracelet and necklace in a matching set of opaque green plastic. They feature beads and adorable tiny fresh-water turtle charms.

Her dress is a short cocktail dress with a glittery blue netted single half sleeve, with black net collar. The sleeve is capped with black trim to finish the material and it ties the look together.

Under the simple cut of the cotton bust is a layer made from the same slightly stiff material as the sleeve. This is left open at the front and wraps around with a scalloped cut to finish the ends. The lower part of the dress is the same as the bust, with a contemporary 'scaled' design, with a zig-zag finish.

I dislike that the bottom of the skirt and floaty layer are not hemmed, and I hope this doesn't lead to fraying. Usually all the MH clothes are finished to a high level of detail, and all edges are hemmed. I think it's due to the complex cut of the bottom, but I'd take a straight, hemmed edge over some fancy, unfinished pattern.


Her leg fins are the same sculpt and opacity as her old ones, but cast in a deeper cobalt blue instead of light teal.


Her shoes are wedge slingbacks with open toes, cast in pale turquoise with subtle sculpted 'waves'. Sculpted and painted reeds sit on the sides of the shoes and form a strap across the toes.



Included with Lagoona is her fabulous pet piranha, Neptuna, who was also changed in the transformation. She is the same in terms of mold, but has transformed from pink with bulging blue eyes in her original release to purple and lilac with turquoise eyes.


She comes with a fish-bowl purse which is a recast of her original, but a clear body instead of transparent blue and a turquoise reed handle instead of gold.


The bowl-purse has a working plastic hinge and tab close. 


Most basic dolls come with diaries, and this one tells the events leading up to when 13 Wishes is set, from the perspective of Lagoona. 
It's.. Unsettling to read.

At first you think 'Hey, it's just changed how she looks, how fun!' but it gets pretty deep when you read into what she's written.
She sees things all new and different, and how looking back, she 'realises how the old Lagoona was wrong'. 


She plans to throw away all her old clothes and buy new ones which aren't as bright and flashy, get rid of her surf-boards, quit the surf team, sit back and not be loud and not be noticed too much. 
Interactions with her boyfriend change quickly, as she was once fun and challenging but now panders to him. He seems desperate and frustrated, and it's obvious he wants the old Lagoona back! She views a situation in the pool as him 'pestering her to race', when he's just trying to encourage her old competitive side. 

Her final entry in the diary talks about being a salt-water monster just feels like a bad dream.. And it's very haunting. Reading through you can really see how she seems to be loosing a grip on her old self and just.. disappearing. 



Here's a second wave/'School's Out' Lagoona! She's here to offer a side by side comparison to 13 Wishes Lagoona's!

Cobalt skin and fins. Silvery-blue skin and teal fins.


It's fin-swapping time!

I think if Fresh-water Lagoona was really aiming for a 'quiet' look, and wanting to blend into the background, she'd still have the subdued teal fins and webbing as opposed to bright blue style, but I guess it makes for more of an overall change.
Darker blue webbing and arm fins.

School's Out Lagoona with a few Fresh-water accessories.

''Boo~oring!''

''You still look fabulous Neptuna, don't worry!''
When pictures of this line were first released, I wasn't so happy. The rest looked great but Lagoona shocked me. The neon hair and dorky outfit was another Lagoona to add the to pile of 'kinda okay' releases, but upon closer inspection I changed my mind! She has all sorts of cute details that come together and really finish the doll off as a whole. 
My problem are the unfinished edges which are due the complex cut edges as opposed to laziness. Given the choice of material and the fact that this very rarely happens with Monster High clothes, I can sweep it under the rug this time!

Lagoona: ''You better stop eating that junk food, Brain-Loafs are bad for you!
You need to keep your strength up for school, Gillington.
Are you listening to me?
Why don't you have a mutant apple or banana instead?
You know, you should join a home-ick club; swim races are too dangerous!''

Gil: ''Please stop talking...''



3 comments:

  1. At first I didn't really like the shocking change in Lagoona, but after reading her diary I warmed up to her. I like this change, even if its only for one time :-)

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    Replies
    1. Same here!
      I can't wait to see how things turn out in the 13 Wishes special! :)

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