Thursday, 1 January 2015

Monster High "Haunted" Vandala Dubloons

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, for those who celebrate, and a wonderful New Years! I know my Christmas was really great, busy, but really good. Of course, I got a few dolls, and the first one I'm sharing with you is Vandala Dubloons, from the new Monster High line 'Haunted'. All of the new characters from this line look really interesting, but Vandala is the first one to come home with me. She was a gift from my mom, so thanks, Mom!

Not much more to say at this point, so let's get into it!

On Christmas morning, I was too excited to open my dolls to take proper box photos of them, so I took some quick photos under the tree! There's not much super exciting about these boxes anyways, though I do like the new styles of box that Mattel is using.

And of course, I filmed a quick video reviewing Vandala! I tried a new style, so if you watch it, let me know what you think!

And here she is! The Haunted dolls come with stands, brushes and diaries, and as you can see, the brushes and stands are a bit different! We'll have a closer look at the stand in a moment, but we're going to start with the diary.

As usual, there's not a whole lot in this diary since it is the international version, but I do at least appreciate having the bio! I think Vandala kind of looks like a riot, based on the Haunted trailer, so I'm excited to see her in the movie!

The stand is really cool though! It's translucent blue and made of chain, but the coolest part is the stand clip. Instead of clipping around the dolls waist, it supports her just around her ribcage, and it has a few positions at the top that it clips into. It makes it so that the doll looks like she's floating, and it's really cool! With the standard Monster High stand, you can definitely make dolls look like they're floating if you fiddle around with it a little, but this new stand makes it so easy, and it's perfect for these ghostly dolls!

Vandala's purse is really incredible too, actually. It doesn't open, but the design of it is just great. Vandala is a pirate ghost, so this anchor purse covered in seaweed is totally the perfect accessory for her!

And now, finally onto Vandala herself! As usual for Monster High, there are a lot of details happening with doll. Overall, they definitely come together into a great look, but we're going to break it down a little. Let's start at the top, shall we?

She's wearing a great big translucent peach hat, with a wide brim flipped up in the front. The folded edge is held with a large ornament made up of a pirate ship, a feather, and a net covered in sea creatures. It's a bright turquoise blue, and it's pretty fabulous!

What I really like about Vandala's face is how simple it is. Her skin tone is a really interesting translucent aqua shade, which really adds to her ghostly appearance, and Mattel kind of decided to let that skin tone shine. Her lips are a soft peach, and her eyes have a touch of aqua shadow on the lids. Even her eyes themselves have kind of  soft focus look to them, with pink irises and soft purple pupils. It really gives her a spooky look, but in a very pretty way. I love this ghoul's face!

Her hair is a nice mix of colours, a deep turquoise and a soft white. It's kind of a mess though, in terms of texture. It's tangly and really full of product, though I have high hopes that it would wash out well and dry into soft waves. I'll have to try and see though! I'm not sure I want to remove the tags holding her hat on, so that would definitely complicate things.

The most striking thing about her outfit is of course, the pink...overpiece. I have no idea what to call it, but it's part belt, part chestpiece and part shoulder situation. It's all awesome though! It's baby pink, and up on her shoulders, it resembles the fringed epaulets you'd see on a military jacket. There's a lot of chain detailing down the front, and then it becomes kind of a mass of tentacles, with one acting as the belt around her waist. The tentactles dangling down from the belt are gripping chains that hang in a way that really gives the illusion of movement, and there are charms like keys and anchors hanging randomly off the chains. It's all one piece, but it's pretty simple to get on and off; it just slips over her shoulders and attaches around behind her waist like a belt, so it's a dramatic look without being a really complicated accessory.

Underneath that piece, she's wearing a dress, with a striped scarf tied around her waist. I think the dress is actually really pretty without the belt thing, though she definitely looks more badass with the belt on! The overall pattern of the dress is a blend of turquoise, aqua, white, grey and a bit of pink, and it's kind of abstract, with ship wheels and sea creatures and boats throughout. It's kind of a flowy style, and that is just heightened but the sheer flowy sleeves and underskirt. The sleeves and underskirt are made of the same black tulle with a metallic pink net pattern.

She's wearing one bracelet, a dark grey cuff that looks like it's made of rope and chain.

Her earrings are large, grey fish hooks, and I LOVE these. They're simple, but for some reason I just think they are PERFECT!

And of course, probably the coolest thing about Vandala, is what's going on down on her feet. She has a peg leg! I mean, come on. What a cool design feature! And yes, it pops off just like the Create-A-Monster legs, leaving the possibility wide open for Vandala fashion packs that come with different legs. How cool is that?? Monster High has always been a very diverse doll line, and this just amps it up. Here's a gorgeous doll who is totally fierce, and she has a prosthetic leg! I can imagine there are a lot of kids out there who are going to be pretty excited to see themselves in a fashion doll this way, where her "disability" is just part of who she is, and not a selling point.

The shoe on her other foot is pretty amazing as well! It's translucent teal, and the heel is a treasure chest that is open and spilling gold chains and coins over the back of the shoe. Very pirate-y!

The leg itself is carved with intricate patterns all the way down, and the heel is carved like the figurehead of a ship. It's just so neat! It would present problems if you wanted to redress Vandala and she was wearing a shoe with a different height, but that's a small price to pay, and I likely won't redress her.

So, there is Vandala Dubloons, the captain of the Salty Spectre! Also showing off how the stand works to let the doll float. Pretty cool, right?

In the beginning, I wasn't sure how I felt about the Haunted line as a whole, because it really is a LOT of pastels, but seeing them in person, the pastels really work. They don't like juvenile or Easter-y like I'd worried they might, but instead they give the dolls a sort of desaturated look that goes along with their translucent skin and really gives them an amazingly ghostly look!

So what do you think of Vandala Dubloons? Is this pirate ghost going to sail into your collection? I know she only makes me more excited to get the rest of the Haunted dolls, especially River and Kiyomi!


  1. Just quietly including the removable prosthesis is kind of awesome.

    She's very pretty, and I think some of the reason the pastels work is that Mattel went for kind of Pinterest/hipster/mod color schemes rather than for obvious pinky-pink-pink. She looks up-to-date and trendy rather than baby-ish.

    1. Yes, I think you're right about that! Also using the pastels but not giving them cutesy, young outfits helps too. Vandala has baby pink in her outfit, but she still looks mature because of the style of the clothing. River Styxx using a lot of pastels combined with a younger styled outfit, but I think it works for her since they kind of gave her a pastel-goth style with some hints of Lolita, so it still doesn't read as baby-ish.

      They did a great job on this line, overall, I think!

  2. Great review!

    I really love all the details they put into this doll, but I find it maddening that the shoe is sculpted onto the prosthetic leg. It's interesting stylistically sure, but given the awesomeness of some of MH's other shoes, it's a shame that they made this doll unable to trade shoes with the other dolls (without swapping her leg with one from a create-a-monster at least).

    In any case, it's great fun to see all your photos - I picked her up a couple of weeks ago and have had the worst time figuring out what light works best for capturing her, so I'm extra impressed on that count! :)

    1. I can totally understand why that would be frustrating. I get it, because like I said, if you were to switch the shoe on the other foot, she would possibly not stand evenly, which would be really annoying. But for me personally, I think it's so much cooler that it's all molded and carved as one piece, that I can deal with the inconvenience.

      And thanks! I'm lucky enough to have a ton of window in my kitchen, and we get really great natural light that's good for photos.