Monster High Reboot – A Collector’s Thoughts

Monster High Draculaura New Face

Monster High Draculaura New Face

Mere days before the New Year rolled around, Mattel released a sizzle reel, one that could change the future of Monster High forever. Monster High is officially getting a reboot in the summer of 2016, with new faces being made for the dolls and new stories told for the characters. Response from Monster High fans was so virulently negative that the sizzle reel was taken down the next day. This is not a change that the Monster High community wants to see, and I personally have serious doubts of its success.

Welcome to Monster High

“Welcome to Monster High” Draculaura

Monster High has been a huge hit since its advent in 2010, rising up to become the third best selling line of fashion dolls in the world behind Barbie and the Disney Princesses. The problem is, Mattel lost its license with Disney to make the Disney Princesses doll line, effective January 1, 2016. That honor has gone to its greatest competitor, Hasbro. With Barbie sales continuing to fall and the loss of their second best seller, it seems that Mattel is making this change to Monster High in an attempt to regain all the customers who used to buy their Disney Princesses dolls. My fear is that all these changes will achieve is the loss of current Monster High customers.

Monster High Collection

My Monster High Collection

I love Monster High. I have been collecting the dolls since 2011, and have almost a hundred in my personal collection now. I am also 22 years old. This is not unusual. Monster High has a huge adult fan base, from collectors to customizers to fan-art makers. Monster High partly sells so well because adults, those with plenty of money to spend, buy the dolls for themselves. Fans have always raved over the detail of the dolls, from their clothing to their accessories to their freaky fab faces.

Monster High Reboot Frankie

Monster High Reboot Frankie Stein

It’s looking like all of this may be gone in the new reboot. The photos that have been released or leaked of upcoming lines for 2016 are unimpressive at best, the clothing and accessories a hollow mockery of what has been produced in the past. Perhaps Mattel has limited Monster High to the 6-10 year old demographic and has decided that it is fine to skimp on quality or ingenuity. Such a move will lose not only adult collectors but also the respect of parents who buy Monster High dolls for their children.

Monster High New Animation Style

Monster High New Animation Style

This is not to say that the rebooted faces are ugly. They are in fact rather cute, especially Draculaura, the most “kawaii” member of the main cast. However, this look does not capture that fierce fashion that the dolls have had in the past. These look like dolls you could find anywhere else on the toy market. Monster High’s motto, “Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster”, has been replaced by “How Do You Boo?” a phrase as meaningless as this new reboot. The fact that Mattel is changing Monster High’s look because some people find them “too scary” is the ultimate act of hypocrisy toward what this line has come to stand for.

Monster High Frankie New Face

Monster High Frankie New Face

You may wonder what the big deal is. After all, they’re only dolls, right? Monster High is so much more than that though. As I’ve scoured the Internet in order to hear what other fans think of the reboot, I’ve found stories of how Monster High has helped them with anxiety, low self-esteem and even depression. These dolls mean a lot to collectors because of the message behind them. It’s OK to be different; in fact, your differences should be celebrated, because they’re what make you special. Monster High has been a different doll line from all the others, made for those who are tired of not fitting into a cookie cutter sort of life. The characters in this world are each beautiful in their own way, whether they have one eye, two heads or detachable limbs. Monster High isn’t scary; it removes fear from people’s lives by showing them that they don’t have to be afraid.

I’m heartbroken at the thought of having to end my Monster High collection. I certainly don’t want to. Monster High has been a huge part of my life for years now. However, if it’s not the same line I fell in love with, I may have to do what many fans plan to and focus my collection on older dolls or customization projects. I believe Mattel might be losing customers rather than gaining them this summer.
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9 Comments

  • Lilyd73 says:

    Hi! Thanks for this post. It’s now 2018 and the MH AND EAH dolls are disappearing from the stores… a mere foot display and shrinking. The dolls that have joints are pretty much gone from new collections and the quality declining (don’t get me started with the fashion aspects). Do you have any idea of the future of our lovely dolls? I’m about to cry…

    • Thank you so much for your comment! Unfortunately, I have to agree with you that things don’t look promising for Monster High. At this point, I almost hope that the line will be put to rest and hopefully experience a revival after a few years. Getting nothing new at all is better than most of the designs we’ve seen in these past few years.

      On a happy note, the customizing community for Monster High dolls is still going strong! Although they are certainly more expensive than store-bought dolls, I’ve found a lot of joy expanding my collection with these one of a kind creations!

      I hope a day will come when the grandeur of the original Monster High dolls returns, but I’m glad to see that the original designs continue to capture people’s hearts to this day and even bring new collectors into the hobby!

  • ayushchan says:

    I started to follow Monster High franchise, mainly its movies after the reboot of the characters. I like the appearance of the characters, but as you have also said that the originals were the most suitable; they used to reflect the concept of Monster High. What I like is the fresh start of its films’ form “Welcome to Monster High”; it is the original script too.

    Being a follower, I have posted about Monster High movies on my blog that also includes information for new fans. Would love to have your views about it: http://www.filmyearth.com/monster-high-movies-complete-details/

    • It’s awesome that you’ve written about all the different MH movies – they really are wonderful! I agree that the Monster High universe needed a fresh start to redirect the stories they were telling. I only wish the quality and innovative design of the original Monster High dolls was still present in the lines we get today.

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  • Thanks for commenting! 🙂

    I do agree with you that the story needed a reboot. While I loved the original webisodes and the first few movies, Monster High had begun to lose its mojo on the last few movies and was unfocused with its new characters. They should have established more of a world outside of Monster High for the characters, with multiple schools around the world that they could maintain relationships with as sister schools and with new characters appearing infrequently there.

    However, as time has passed and the reboot has started, I maintain my position that making the dolls “cuter” was a dumb move. Not only are the dolls less edgy, but their eyes seem vapid and unintelligent now. You know what they say: the eyes are the windows to the soul. So if you lose them, you lose everything.

    On top of that the quality of the dolls has gone down, both in clothing design and articulation. The only doll I’ve seen so far that looks promising is Moanica, since her face is much more crafty and intelligent, and her accessories are still thoughtful, like a brain purse and worm earrings.

    Who knows? Maybe MH will turn it around, but so far my wishlist for new Monster High dolls remains very short.

  • TinyWhiteTiger says:

    To be honest, I think we need the reboot. In some ways, the reboot would be a good thing such as the consist different stories that keep popping up. Monster High started becoming repetitive and boring. Ever After High rose because their characters were consisted and relatable. I do agree with the characters from monster high being relatable but they are too the same. We don’t see them change, adapt or develop and in each movie they introduced five different characters that they never use again. Although, I do want the logo to be the same. Sounds better.

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