Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Original Ghouls Cleo DeNile

I still remember, wayyyy back in 2010, wandering through the toy department at my local Wal-Mart while doing groceries, and seeing an end cap full of dolls that stopped me in my tracks. I'm a lover of horror movies, especially classic horror movies, a lover of dolls AND a lover of collecting things in general, and from that first moment I saw Monster High dolls, I was a goner! That day I came home with Draculaura, and soon after, Frankie and Lagoona followed, as did Ghoulia, as soon as she hit shelves. At the time, I didn't pick up Clawdeen, though I got her a few years ago second hand, but until recently, I'd never bothered to get myself a Cleo. Interestingly, despite my love of Ancient Egypt, Cleo was never a doll that grabbed my attention. She's not as "monstrous" as some of the other ghouls, and I think the fact that she originally came in a two-pack hurt her chances of joining my collection. Now I don't blink at buying a two-pack, and I love the boy dolls, but back then, that was more commitment then I was prepared to make!

That's a very long story to get to here...I recently purchased the re-released basic Cleo, and I am very glad to have her join my collection! I've been feeling the gap left by her lately, as I've really grown to love her character. I saw her numerous times in stores before I finally decided to take the plunge and grab her, and she is definitely worth it.

Let's have a closer look at the queen bee of Monster High, shall we?

 The Original Ghouls come packaged in the new boxes, which everyone who reads here knows how much I like! As a heads up, if you're wanting to pick up Cleo, take a good look at her face. She's quite prone to crossed eyes (as is Frankie, actually).

I'm including a picture of her on her stand here, because I was so surprised when I took her out of the box! I know they came with stands, but I didn't realize they came with coloured stands, that match the colour of the stand they originally came with! They're even the shape of the original stands, which is a crazy attention to detail that very few people are going to notice. Nowadays, the vertical part of the stand is shaped like a cross, but back in the beginning, they were shaped more like a T with a flat back, and that's how this one is. It doesn't really make any kind of difference, but it made me smile anyways!

I can't believe I went so long without having this doll, to be honest! I've always loved Cleo in the movies and webisodes, I think she's hilarious, and I'm so glad to finally have this version of her represented in my collection. Yes, there are differences between this doll and her original version, but the differences are pretty minor, and don't affect my enjoyment of the doll at all. One of the biggest things to mention is that these re-releases don't come with pets or purses. I definitely don't miss the purses, as I rarely display my dolls with purses, but I do miss the pets! Honestly, I hardly ever display the pets either, but I love having them, and I would have loved to add Hissette to my collection. It makes me a bit sad that Mattel seems to have done away with the pets entirely, but if they're going to eliminate something to save money, that's definitely the way to go!

As per usual, I'm going to start at the top! Cleo's face is gorgeous, as always. She has purple eyeshadow and deep red lips, with nearly black lipliner outlining her full lips. As I mentioned earlier, Cleo is prone to crossed eyes, and while the eyes on my doll aren't perfect, they're pretty good compared to some of the ones I've seen. So, just be careful when picking out a Cleo!

She has thick bangs, as Cleo usually does, and her hair is a mix of black, dark brown, and gold tinsel. 

I love the mix of brown and black, and predictably, I am not a fan of the tinsel. Way back when we got images of these re-releases, Cleo was shown without tinsel, and I was pretty excited! I actually was going to remove the tinsel from this doll, but my husband balked at that and told me I should leave her as she is, so I haven't done it yet. I did give her hair a quick dip in hot water (but not boiling, tinsel hates boiling) to help smooth out some box kinks, but her hair overall is pretty good! One of the differences between this doll and the original is the lack of paint on her headband. The gems are painted blue on the original doll, and lack of paint on accessories is the biggest difference between this doll and the original.

Her outfit is made up of a strapless body suit in a bandage pattern, and a sheer blue wrap over top. The black trim on the top is another difference between this and the original doll. On the original, the trim is loopy and has a pattern to it, while on this doll it's just straight serging over the edges. She also has a bandage on her right arm, and a small one around her neck, like a choker. 

Her shoes are also different, and this is a difference I really like! The shape is the same, but on her original doll, the soles are painted black and the gold is a lighter colour. I prefer these, to be honest, because the shade of gold matches the gold of all her other accessories, as opposed to being a different shade. I'm all for mixing colours in outfits, but I don't like having two shades of gold, so I'm happy about this change. And if you wanted to (and I might!) you could easily paint the soles black to more closely match the original look!

She also has this cool thigh holster for her cell phone. This is a really neat accessory, ad we haven't seen anything like it since Cleo's original doll! Originally, some of these details were painted black, but now it's just solid gold.

The little phone is very 2010, honestly! It looks like a Blackberry or something similar, and even though Cleo would absolutely have the newest and flashiest iCoffin ever, I like that they kept her original phone! It has a little hook on the back, so she can actually hold it as well, which we all know, is something that I love.

She's wearing a gold cuff around her upper arm, with a criss-cross pattern.

And large gold, dangling earrings. I'm not sure if these are supposed to resemble something in particular, but I like them!

 Her last accessory is a big, gold belt. We've seen this belt since in other colours, and I think it's pretty flashy in gold!

I think this doll is really gorgeous. She's simple, but really well-designed, and I'm so glad they brought her back!

I also brought in vinyl Cleo for a few photos, since I didn't have Original Ghouls Cleo yet when I reviewed my vinyl figures. This vinyl figure is still one of my favourites of the six that were released first, and I'm glad to have the doll to compare it to now!

 I think they did a pretty good job! I will say though that I almost wish the doll's hair was the same brown, or at least had more of the brown streaks throughout. The brown looks gorgeous with the gold! Either way, the details are pretty spot-on between the figure and the doll, and I continue to be obsessed with the vinyl figures, and think everyone needs them!

 And that's it for beautiful Cleo DeNile!

I feel like I need to apologize for all the things I've said about Cleo's dolls being boring, because I have definitely seen the light in the last few months! I'm also SUPER looking forward to the Cleo/Deuce two-pack from the upcoming Boo York, Boo York movie. They both look amazing!

What do you think of these re-release dolls, and Cleo in particular? As someone who missed out on Cleo the first time around, I think they're a great idea, and while they are missing some details, I don't think it's deal breaker. Especially for kids, I think, who watch the webisodes and movies, and want to have the dolls in those signature outfits, this is a great opportunity to pick them up at a much more reasonable price than going to the secondhand market!

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you back here next time! Also, as always, you can check out my latest videos on YouTube, linked in the sidebar or at Christina Articulates!


  1. Great review! As a late-coming to Monster High, I appreciate seeing the new release Cleo as I have been holding off on the high Ebay prices of the 1st wave Cleo and am so happy to see that she's just as pretty as the first one. I'm glad you mentioned that about tinsel and boiling...so hot water is ok..just don't use actual boiling water? Thanks!

    1. What I do is boil the water and let it cool for just a few moments. It'll still be really hot, but not quite boiling, which is alright. The tinsel goes a bit wacky if you use boiling water, it can kind of shrink and shrivel up, but it reacts fine in hot water. I've never tried to boil curl hair with tinsel though, just to flatten it out to remove box kinks!

      And yes, she's definitely as pretty as the first one! I actually think she's one of the best of the re-releases, the changes bother me less with her than with some of the others.

  2. I don't really like Monster High dolls straight out of the box (more of an EAH girl here!), but I've been doing customs on ones I have found for cheap. For example, a thrift store Skulltamate Rollermaze Ghoulia became Staciella Sister, one of the stepsisters' daughters from Cinderella! Anyways, Cleo's really cute! I might pick up a basic Lagoona from this line. I have a great custom in mind... :D

    1. I love finding thrift store dolls and turning them into something different! You can be really creative, and it's a lot cheaper than buying them brand new, that's for sure.

  3. I had a couple of the 1st release MH dolls but never had Clawdeen, Cleo, & Lagoona. I think I was and still am thrown off by the glitter strands in her hair. I do have at least 2 Cleo's in my collection

    1. I'm definitely not a fan of tinsel anytime it's used in doll hair, but I've come to accept that it is usually going to be a part of Cleo's look. It just always looks messy to me!