In 2010 the world was taken by storm with the release of the first Monster High (MH) dolls. The initial release of the Mattel subpart included 6 dolls, 3 of which went on to become the most popular and main characters in Monster High films and TV shows. Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf and Draculaura have remained staples in the MH world, and this year they’re getting a revamp with collectors’ edition, modern dolls.
When Monster High dolls emerged, there was nothing like them in the market, making these children’s toys marketed to young ghouls everywhere a huge success. These past couple of years, Mattel Creations has been creating MH collectibles, or ‘Skullector’ dolls, targeting the same market as in 2010, only this time they’re nostalgic adults. Young adults who grew up with MH know their value and love their aesthetic, buying into these high-priced, high-value products. With the revamp of these 3 dolls, I thought it would be interesting to compare the original dolls to the new ones, exploring how their fashion reflects the trends of the times.
Frankie Stein, an obvious take on the monster Frankenstein, has a blatant air of modernity to her. From the hair down to her ankles and half up-do, to the flare in her skirt, she screams 2022. The new doll is consistent with the original colour scheme of blue, green, red, black and white, with a larger focus on metallic blue.
2022 Frankie features more high-fashion elements such as balloon sleeves and more detailed branding; from the MH logo on her shirt to her earrings, there’s no mistaking this doll for any other. Her original tie, very reminiscent of the 2010’s and Avril Lavigne, is switched out for a more trendy silver harness. This new doll even has more references to Frankenstein than the original, such as the wrist cuffs and shoes, which have a working pull-lever heel for added effect.
As for her makeup, the original doll features the dreadfully thin eyebrows of the 2010s, contrasting with the new Frankie Stein’s trendy, thick brows. Not to mention, the eyelash and lip shapes dramatically alter the face of the new doll, cultivating a more high-fashion look overall.
With Clawdeen Wolf, the biggest changes are the silhouette and her makeup - now, she looks like a high fashion model, versus a 2000s music video extra. Changing the shape of her skirt gave her a more modern feel, not to mention the fabric! By switching to a leather (or pleather), it creates a more ‘expensive’ look, I can definitely see this skirt sold at Topshop.
We can’t talk about luxury without mentioning her new fur coat flowing over her shoulder. Her change in hair also adds to the high-fashion vibe, with volume that could kill. Her crop top is very trendy, being swapped in instead of the tiger print tank top which reads as childish to an older audience. If any of the dolls were to be in Euphoria, it would be her, with dramatic makeup and style to match.
By changing Clawdeen Wolf’s sparkly eyeshadow to a darker, more smoked out eye, they change her face entirely. This, I think, is a major difference in the last 10 years. In the 2010s pastel, glitter eyeshadow was everywhere, now, makeup is sharper and with intentions of lifting the face. While her eyebrows remain fairly similar, they appear to have moved down slightly closer to her eyelid, deflecting the early 2000s ‘high-brow’ trend.
Thankfully, MH retired Draculaura’s 2010 pigtails for a more modern goth hairstyle - blunt bangs and long black hair. I hate to say it, but she’s giving Aria from Pretty Little Liars with her pink streaks and bubble skirt. Even so, she is my favourite of the three dolls.
The 2022 version of Draculaura walked straight out of Hot Topic with her pink embroidered beret and frilly tights. The balloon sleeves and chunky bat necklace really scream classic vampire, which I appreciate. Perhaps the biggest time period indicator is the shift from a vest to an under bust corset.
Her pink eyeshadow was upgraded to a neutral smokey eye, lifting the face much like with Clawdeen Wolf. The pink heart on her cheek was modernized by being simplified to an outline, making it look more high-fashion and less like an afterthought. The addition of a beret was a great way to add more pink without overdoing the pink hair streaks, like in the original doll.
This drop warms my heart with its intersection between fashion, dolls and nostalgia. These dolls are bringing alternative fashion more into the mainstream, showing people that spider webs and skulls aren’t just for Halloween.
If you want to get your hands on any of these dolls, visit the Mattel Creations site and stay tuned for updates, as each doll is dropping separately. Good luck, ghouls!