Monday, 16 February 2015

Monster Exchange Draculaura

This review is very overdue! I actually took the photos over a month ago, and I totally thought I HAD posted this review, but...clearly I had not! Even though this doll isn't super new anymore, I still think it's worth posting, because she is just so cool!

And the "she" to which I am referring is Monster Exchange Draculaura! I picked her up just before Christmas (which is why her boxed photo is still taken under my tree...) when Toys R Us was having a sale on these and the Haunted dolls. Just this past week the Exchange dolls have shown up outside of TRU for the first time, so I'm hoping the Haunted dolls follow suit, since we've neither hide nor hair of them since before the holidays!

I already review Lorna McNessie and Marisol Coxi from this same line, so I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of this line, and I have to say, I really love it. Not only does it bring us new characters from new places in the monster world, it gives us the chance to see beloved characters like Draculaura here imagined in new ways, through the lens of a different culture. I love this Draculaura a lot, for reasons we'll get into, and I really love the Lagoona too, and want to get my hands on her too.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at Draculaura, dressed for her trip to Shibooya!

As I said, he's a look at Draculaura in her box, hanging out under my Christmas tree. (Which I promise, isn't up anymore!) As usual with these new boxes, I am really loving the design! I love the travel stamps on the front, and how easy it is to keep the character art from the front, if that's something you're into.

And here she is! I make a lot of noise about Draculaura always being black and pink, and being kind of bored by that colour combination, but it's really beautiful here, and I have no complaints! Draculaura also comes with a stand and a brush, in addition to what you see here.

Her passport has a really limited amount of info in it, thanks to being international (which strikes me as a bit ironic!), but I still like the snippet of story that we get. I can only assume that she finds her passport, since we know she makes it to Shibooya!

I love how big the purses are in this line! It really works for a travel line, since I know I take the biggest purse I own when I go on a trip. This purse is heart-shaped, but in an angular way. The front is quilted, and the sides are ruffled. There's a fan detail on the front of the bag, and for some reason, it looks like it would be expensive to me. This is a good thing for sure, and I bet Draculaura would love things with luxe fabrics in a way that some of the other ghouls just wouldn't really care. The bag also opens, and would definitely hold a few small things.

I think the Japanese influence on Draculaura is immediately obvious, and it fits her so well. Draculaura has often had hints of Lolita fashion in her style, especially with something like her Forbitten Love look. Shibooya seems like a natural fit, and the style definitely looks good on her! There are a lot of details in this outfit, so I'm going to start at the top and just work my way down.

She has a very large headpiece attached to her ponytail. It's two large fans held together with a pink fanged heart, with grey branches sprouting out of one side. What I love most about this accessory, is that the branches are obviously designed to resemble cherry blossom branches, but instead of flowers, there are bats dangling from the branches! So cute, and such a small detail, but one that I really appreciate.

Her hair is...kind of confusing from the side, honestly. The top section is pulled into a pony on the top of her head, which is kind of folded back around on itself to form a bun. The rest of the hair is pulled into a low pony slightly to the side of her head. Also, her hair is much more pink than usual, which is a fun change! The style of the hair looks mostly good from the front, so it works, but it does seem to be kind of a confusing way to get this basic look. I also don't really like that little abandoned ponytail on the top, the ends have a tendency to be visible from the front, and it can look messy.

Speaking of the front, Draculaura also has very cute baby bangs! She nearly always has bangs anyways, but these ones are much shorter than usual, and they really change a lot about her look.

Her face also has a bit of a different look, thanks to her brows. She usually has dark brows in a more traditional arch, but this time, they've given her thicker, straighter, hot pink brows, and honestly, I love it. It really goes a long way to making her look more unique, and both the bangs and the brows really speak to the Japanese inspiration in her look, I think!

Her makeup is simple, done in shades of pink. Her lips are done with the centre in a darker pink, clearly geisha-inspired, and her signature heart has sharp edges much like her purse. Overall, this is maybe my favourite Draculaura face ever, or close to it!

The Japanese inspiration is pretty clear in her outfit as well. Everything is done in shades of pink and black, and I like that they went with soft pink as opposed to hot pink. It gives the outfit a more romantic look, and makes it standout a bit in Draculaura's line up. The top is pink with a pattern of fans and cherry blossoms, and the neckline is definitely kimono-inspired. I would have liked to see them take it even farther, and maybe include the full sleeves, but I also understand why they didn't. The inspiration is clear, but it doesn't look like a costume, which is a nice balance. The belt is solid pink plastic, and very wide. The width makes it resemble an obi, but it's a very simplified version. The skirt is a straightforward a-line, with spiderwebs and fans as the pattern. There's a layer of tulle underneath to give it some fullness. I particularly like the detail in the fan part of the pattern on this skirt. It's really pretty intricate, and adds a lot of interest to the simple shape of the skirt, especially with the fan-shaped hemline.

Her shoes remind me of (very stylized!) geta.  The platform and heel are both very chunky, and definitely look as though they could've been carved from wood. The sole is light pink while the top part of the shoe is black, and much like the rest of her outfit, the main details on these shoes are fans. The platform is also shaped like a spiderweb, with spiderwebs carved into the little sections. These shoes are completely killer! They look impossible to walk in, but luckily, Draculaura isn't doing much walking!

Basically, from head to toe, this Draculaura is amazing! I love every detail, from the bats on her headpiece, to the pink eyebrows, to the kimono-inspired top.

Shibooya was the perfect choice of destination for Draculaura, and I love seeing more of the monster world. I can't wait for wave two of Monster Exchange to come out so we can meet the new characters, and learn about where they're from! Also, if you haven't watched Sayonara, Draculaura, the webisode where we see her go to Shibooya, it's worth it just for the adorable school uniform she wears at the school there. So cute!

So, what do you think of my new favourite Draculaura? Are you enjoying these glimpses into the rest of the Monster High world as much as I am?

What country would you like to see Monster High visit? I know I definitely want them to have a monster from Canada! Maybe from Vanboover or Goreonto? Let me know!


  1. After Sweet Screams came out I was so sure that no other Draculaura could top her, but Mattel pulled out the stops again. This is the most adorable Draculaura ever! I love just about everything about her. The whole outfit clicks together brilliantly; there are no extra or wasted pieces, nothing that overpowers or underwhelms. And it's such a neat design, blending past and present Japanese fashions. Like you said, it doesn't feel like a costume, but something that fits her like a glove.

    The shoes are crazy awesome too. They look kind of complicated and just a mash of zany shapes, but she stands SO well in them! I love having dolls that can balance themselves, and this is the most stable arrangment I've met yet. When I went to Japan I saw some actual geisha hair ornaments and you can clearly see where the inspiration came from for her headpiece! In fact I wanted to bring her along with me for my trip but I got so paranoid about losing her or damaging her I chickened out and left her at home. She would have made a fantastic travel companion, though.

    tl;dr I could gush about this doll all day

    1. I always want to bring dolls with me to take photos, but I also always chicken out! I'd be so sad if I lost an accessory or something like that. And yes, the hair ornament is definitely geisha inspired too, they really thought about every single item that she's wearing. The dolls where it's clear the designers really put a lot a thought into it, and where it was clearly a labour of love are always the most successful, and this is definitely an example of that!

  2. I wasn't planning on getting this Draculaura doll, but this review changed my mind :) She is absolutely stunning!

    Btw, what do you think of the Disney Descendants dolls by Hasbro? I like them, their faces look so Disney (if that makes any sense...) and I think I'll buy a few (or all... :D), but I'll have to see them live first before the final decision.

    1. She really is a gorgeous doll, and totally worth having!

      I think they're pretty cute. I love the faces and all the character they have, but I'm not sold on all of the outfits just yet...I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them in person though, new doll lines are always exciting!

  3. I have her (it was an absolute pain to find her, our Target never put ME on the shelves and then lost a box in the back), and I like the concept more than the idea, it's mainly the belt that throws me a bit. Other than that, she's perfectly lovely, but I'm not as attached as I want to be yet.

    1. What is it about the belt that doesn't work for you, do you think? I'm curious!

      I had no issues finding her, but I did have an issue with most of them having some kind of screw up on the face. It was a matter of finding the least bad one, honestly. That's really frustrating for me!

    2. I think it may be the combination of the wavy cut and outline of the dots...I leave it on because the outfit looks half done without it...then again I do have a spare Sig Duchess belt I could try.

      Mine was actually very stiff, so Mattel sent me...a super wonky one. Better stiff than wonky!

    3. That definitely makes sense! I think Duchess' belt might look good! It might even be better on Draculaura because of her longer waist, I think it look almost cramped on Duchess.