When it comes to children’s toys, dolls are one of the most popular among many countries and cultures where they are said to have existed since as early as 200 BC. The dolls are molded in the image of young or teenage girls and come in all shapes, sizes, colors, styles, materials, and outfits which make them a hit amongst girls who love to be kept company. From the 1950s until the present, dolls became even more popularized with the Barbie doll franchise that promoted the typical American blonde girl image to young girls around the world. Decades later, a new era of dolls was launched and became the next big hit in America and the world because of their creativity, colorfulness, variety, and element of fantasy that played with the imagination of children – and they became known as the “Monster High Dolls”.
Launched by Mattel in 2010, an American fashion doll franchise that popularized Barbie, Monster High dolls star characters inspired by monster movies, mythology, and popular culture that center around the adventures of teenage children of monsters and other mythical creatures attending a high school of the same name. Interestingly, designer Garrett Sander revealed that the dark aesthetic or style of the dolls was mainly inspired by their encounter with young girls in the mall who were wearing goth fashion. He also added that, unlike ordinary kids, monsters had more freedom and capabilities. With this, he created Monster High dolls with the goal to inspire creativity and imagination in young girls by granting them a fun way to express themselves through fashion.
They were eventually loved by children between the ages of 6 to 18 because of their fashionable outfits and colorful personality as each character comes with their own unique style, body type, abilities, and cultural or racial backgrounds that makes them shine and be appreciated more compared to other dolls in the industry. It has been continuously praised for valuing diversity and the acceptance of one’s unique self.
Monster High has around five unique main characters who were introduced as the earliest “ghouls” or female characters, namely:
Frankie Stein – The daughter of Frankenstein’s monster and his bride, is the central character and has white hair with black streaks and mint-green skin
Draculara – A vampire who is the daughter of Dracula, has sharp fangs and usually dresses in pink, black, and white
Clawdeen Wolf – The daughter of a werewolf, has wolf ears and multiple piercings;
Lagoona blue – The daughter of a sea monster, has scales all over her body and webbed hands and fins on her lower arms and legs
Cleo de Nile – The daughter of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses de Nile has black hair with brown and gold highlights, burial wrappings around her body, and mocha-colored skin. In addition, these dolls have movable arms, legs, and even hands.
Aside from the elaborate details, these dolls also come with various accessories and even pets. Prices usually range from $20 to 40$, but collector’s items which are very rare are priced around $75 each and feature rooted eyelashes for each character. To make things more exciting, Monster High also produced male dolls referred to as “mansters”. They include characters such as Manny Taur who is a half-bull, half-man with sandy blonde hair, a muscular build, and tan skin or fur in his body; and Hexiciah who is half-robot, half-man, with tan skin, a copper robotic arm, and one robotic eye. Other signature dolls include Finnegan, the blue merman; Hoodude Voodoo, a living voodoo doll made by Frankie Stein, and Gooliope Jellington, a 15-foot tall blob creature born from a laboratory.
But of course, Monster High Dolls don’t stop at producing just dolls as their merchandise. More creativity spawns from this franchise through its fashion packs, playsets, and other related products. Fashion packs style characters with more accessories such as set wigs, clothes, and shoes that follow a certain theme and is styled according to each character. The “Scream Uniform” line for example features four Monster High sports uniforms where each of the main characters is dressed differently according to their sport. Other fashion pack themes include, “A day at the Maul (Mall)”, “School Clubs”, “Maul Session”, “To Howl For”, and “My Wardrobe and I”.
Playsets, on the other hand, include thematic accessories such as houses, furniture, and even vehicles! This became a great addition to the already huge wardrobe provided by the fashion packs and made playtime more fun with Monster High dolls. True to their branding as a diverse, colorful, and creative brand, the playsets are very vibrant and detailed to fit the monster and goth vibe. This 2022, playsets have become even more personal they even included a makeup set for girls in Draculaura’s Gore-ganizer.
Other products complementary to the Monster High dolls that girls and even young adult women can collect are the Create-a-Monster and Inner Monster which is a series of doll parts, clothes, and accessories that can let you assemble a custom doll. These sets were designed to give children or even young women, the freedom to play with their imagination and express themselves through their dolls. Meanwhile “Ever After High” dolls cater to a diverse group of young people by representing young girls who are much broader, shapely, and have large feet to suit differences in height and age range. Lastly, the “Skullectors” is another set of dolls under the same brand that partners with popular movie franchises to transform iconic movie characters into their Monster High form. The first skullector items launched in 2020 came from famous horror movie films including Pennywise from “IT”, and the Grady Twins from “The Shining”.
Whether you’re a young girl, a teenager, or even a full-grown woman, Monster High dolls can make you feel accepted in their community and give you a sense of belonging because of how it promotes individuality and uniqueness through their products. As Monster High’s famous slogans say, “Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster”, because “Everyone is Welcome”!