First of all, I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year! I can't lie, 2015 was a really rough year for me, emotionally and mentally, so here's hoping 2016 is a bit better, or at least not worse!
In an attempt to get things started off on a good note, I'm digging into some of my Christmas loot, and reviewing some of the most exciting dolls (in my opinion) to come out of Monster High in a little while. They may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's hard to deny the innovation on display in the Great Scarrier Reef line. Just before Christmas, I bought myself Kala Me'rri, and was happy to find Peri and Pearl Serpentine under the tree from my mom! There's one more new character in this line, Posea Reef, who I don't have yet, but I decided to review Kala and Peri and Pearl together anyways, because hey, why not?
I'm going to review Kala first, but here's a quick shot of all of them out of their boxes. They don't come with stands, because their tails are designed to allow them to stand on their own, and they don't come with brushes. I have to say, I don't miss the brushes! They do come with diaries, and while they're typically limited due to being international, they still have some fun stuff in them! We'll look at them in a minute.
Here's Kala in her box, which is yet another new style of box. Honestly, I kind of hate it. You have to rip the plastic part away from the cardboard backing as opposed to it being held together with tabs, and I miss the big character art from the last wave of boxes. This art is small and glued to the plastic in a way that makes it very difficult to save, which is a real bummer. Also, a problem that is only going to affect those of us not in the US, check out that dismal logo on the front there. If I'd bought this doll in the US, the logo would've looked like this:
So you can understand how what we actually got is pretty disappointing. I'm very glad I'm not an inbox collector, because if I was, I'd be more than disappointed. I wish they could come up with a way to include all those different languages while also maintaining the integrity of the logo design. The art is always so good, it's a shame to lose it like this.
In her diary, we get her basic bio, which keeps her monster parent a secret! My money's on it being the kraken, but we'll see! With the new boxes, I appreciate the diaries containing the full character art too, so we can get a nice full view of it. I think Kala's attitude is pretty clear in her art, and I look forward to seeing what she's like in the movie!
And the one page of journal entries gives us a bit of a hint about what's to come in the movie, and suggests a history between Kala and Lagoona. Interesting!
And now, Kala! There's a lot of colour and pattern happening on this doll, and I kind of love it. Back when we first saw some of the dolls from this line at Comic Con, I remember thinking they were gorgeous and unique, and in person they're even more so!
Kala has an incredibly beautiful face, in my opinion. Her mold is stunning with full lips and a strong nose, and she is unlike any other Monster High dolls in my collection. There's something very arresting about her face, and the effect is only heightened by the bright, bold makeup. Her lips are done in a hot coral and there are subtle dots all over them. Her eyes are bright blue, and first framed by light markings on the inner parts that remind me of vitiligo, which I love. She has bright orange eyebrows that match the orange flaring out from the sides of her eyes, framed with long, long lashes. The orange almost doesn't look like makeup and more like it's meant to be part of her colouring, but either way, it's amazing, especially against the kind of deeper red-violet of her skin.
Her ears are round, kind of like little suckers, and she's wearing large blue hoops earrings, with spikes around the edges.
Her hair is mainly dark blue, with large streaks that are a blend of bright peach and hot pink. Together it comes across as a very bright coral, and the colour combination is gorgeous.
Her hair is pulled up into a high ponytail, and it's kind of fluffy as opposed to curly. It's that soft, airy texture like Jane Boolittle's signature doll, and I'm not positive how well it would respond to styling. This type of hair is resistant, in my experience, but I don't mind the fluffiness!
Her outfit is pretty simple, considering she only really has an upper body to dress. She's wearing a sheer, floaty open top over a coral patterned tube top, with the whole thing cinched together with a deep blue spiked belt.
The overshirt is yellow with a black squid pattern all over it, and bright coral trim. It has a high collar and it goes low in the back to cover her hips and butt, and really, it's kind of an awesome item of clothing. Very dramatic!
She's wearing a few bracelets on her many arms, which has got to be one of the biggest benefits of having so many arms! She's wearing the same large cuff bracelet in yellow and orange on two of her arms, and she's also wearing a large coral bangle on her top left arm. I have to say, I love when these dolls have different kinds of bodies like this, and I have to talk about top arms and bottom arms! While we're talking about her arms, I should also mention that at all of the joints, they have ridges that give the impression of her arms being "segmented", or divided in some other way. It's hard to describe, but that's what photos are for!
On her fingers, she has little suckers! They're subtle, which makes them even better to me. I love these little details that could go unnoticed, and I always make sure to look closely at any Monster High doll in my hands to make sure I don't miss anything!
Moving down, let's talk about Kala's tail and tentacles! Her lower body is deep purple, with a pattern of pink and yellow airbrushed onto the front. It's reminiscent of the shape of a squid, but in kind of an abstract way. She has small pink fins just below the curve of her hips. She's also jointed at the hips, so she could sit down, kind of. She has four larger yellow tentacles (which are apparently actually arms, according to my research!), which are attached to her body with a rotating joint. She can kind of spin at that point, though it isn't the most free-moving joint. She also has two additional pink tentacles (apparently these are 'feeding tentacles'), which glow in the dark!
The yellow tentacles are seriously articulated! Each is attached to the based with a ball joint, and they are ridiculously posable. It makes Kala really stable in a lot of positions, and on a lot of surfaces, and they are a lot of fun to play around with!
Underneath her clothes, we can get a better look at some of the other differences in Kala's body mold. Firstly, she has a torso joint like Avea or the larger dolls. Secondly, it should be obvious just from looking at her even on her own, but she is a lot bigger than the standard dolls in a lot of places. She has a much fuller bust, a thicker waist, wider hips...she's just bigger and curvier all around, and it's AWESOME!
I brought in Lagoona, potentially Kala's rival for comparison purposes, and the difference is even more clear. Kala even has a little belly, and it makes me so happy. This line was a great opportunity for Monster High to take a few 'risks' and play around with different body types, since they were already likely to be incompatible with clothes sharing, and they ran with it. People are always asking for larger dolls, or less skinny dolls, and this is a perfect way of doing it. She's visibly larger, and not just in the way that the big sister dolls are, but she still fits into the look of the Monster High line, and feels like a part of it. I love this so much, and I would LOVE to see more dolls with Kala's body size, maybe even with legs next time!
Kala and I also took a brief trip to my closet, so she should show off her glowing tentacles! Cool, right? They glow really well, actually.
Back in her clothes, Kala really is a vision! If I have one complaint, it's that I have a heck of a time putting her belt back on. It's a snug fit anyways, and it's made trickier by the torso joint, the velcro on the tube top, and the slickness and bulk of the overshirt. I got it done, but I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for tiny fingers.
It's all worth it though, because look at this face! God, I just love her!
Not to be forgotten however, Peri and Pearl are pretty great too! Excuse these photos of the boxes...I was eager on Christmas morning, and decided to forgo setting up my whole area before ripping into the boxes! They have the same basic box as Kala, and my earlier criticisms still apply!
Peri and Pearl are the daughters of the Hydra, and Peri is on our left with the blue hair, and Pearl is on the right with the white hair. They do share a bio, but in the rest of the diary, it's clear how different they are!
I'm interested to see more of what their personality is like in the movie, because all we get here is some sisterly bickering. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy that, but I'm excited to learn more!
And here they are! As I said, Peri is on the left, and Pearl is on the right. They are also exceptionally gorgeous, I think, both in their faces and in their design. They seem a big more toned down in a lot of ways than Kala, but they're no less beautiful!
Facially, they obviously have (nearly) identical face molds, but they're painted differently in ways that I think give them each their own personality. Peri has deep purple lips and very bold eye shadow, done in blue and orange...
While Pearl has much softer peach lips, and only one bold colour on her eyes. The lids are a very bright green, but the soft purple on her browbone blends nicely with her grey skin. Speaking of their skin, if you disregard the slight shimmer to their skin, these ghouls are a skintone match to Ghoulia, if you wanted to give them their own bodies. Honestly, I have no interest in that, because I think they're just so special as they are, but hey, to each their own!
Remember how I said their faces were nearly identical? Well, what I was referring to are these subtle scale impressions. Pearl has them above her right eye and below her left...
While they are reversed on Peri, like she's a mirror image of her sister. I love that! They also have slightly ridges on their noses, as well as adorable clefts in their chins. This face mold is really great, with a lot of detail, and just really gorgeous. Well done, Monster High with both these ghouls and Kala!
They're wearing earrings that match in shape, but not in colour, made up of dangling chains, pearls and coins. Their ears are also pretty elaborate little fins, with a lot of detail.
One of their best things about these ghouls is their hair. It is thick and smooth and soft, with a gentle wave, and it's just so nice. It's a joy to brush and to style, and it doesn't hurt that they used gorgeous colours! Peri's hair is very similar (if not identical) to the blend used for Avea and Garrott, though to my eye I see maybe a touch more green. It's also shot through with white streaks.
Pearl has a full head of that white hair, with the blue-green peeking out from beneath. When I was reviewing them, it was taking forever because I couldn't stop just brushing their hair and playing with it, and to me, that is a very high compliment!
Outfit-wise, they are wearing a fair bit of jewellery!
First is this piece pierced through their tail fin, a cameo and a skullette with dangling pearls and beads.
They're wearing a gold belt around their waist, again made up on pearls and beads, topped with keys and decorated with coins.
Their necklace is very similar to the belt, but what I love about it is that i goes around each of their necks. It's super unique, and just a cool piece.
Without all of their jewellery, their outfit is pretty simple; just a long shirt with a rounded dip hem, with a gathered neckline and tulle sleeves. The pattern is quite pretty though, with lots of bright colours. It seems to evoke snakeskin, but other than that, it looks pretty abstract to me.
Underneath, we can see more of Peri and Pearl's unique body. Their torso is more or less the same size as a standard Monster High doll, and that would be my only complaint about them. I wish the torso had been a bit wider to better accommodate the two heads, to allow them to move a little more freely. Regardless of that small nitpick, I really like all the details of Peri and Pearl's body. They have scales all over which grow larger the further down the body they go, webbed fingers, and large fins on their forearms.
They also have gills! These are hard to see when they're fully dressed with their necklace on, so it was a really fun surprise when I noticed them!
They're jointed at the hips just like Kala, and their tail has an additional three points of articulation. They have what amounts to a knee joint, and then two joints further down that allow them to stand on the coiled tail. The knee joint is a little bit loose feeling, and it doesn't seem to straighten out all the way, but they stand well enough, so I have no complaints.
And just like Kala, Peri and Pearl joined me in my closet to show off how the fins on their hips glow in the dark as well! As a sidenote, this photo is a little eerie, isn't it? I didn't notice until right now that you can just barely see their faces in the dark...
And that's it for Peri and Pearl! I'm sure that many of you have heard about the upcoming 'reboot' of Monster High, and while we're not sure what all that will entail, I'm glad that before whatever changes there may be take effect, we've gotten amazing things like this two-headed Hydra doll!
And what a gorgeous doll, right? If you're going to have two heads, it sure helps if they're both gorgeous!
All three of these ghouls together are pretty stunning, aren't they? Lots of colours and details, and I think they compliment each other really well. I'm still looking to get my hands on Posea, but it'll be awhile before I recover from the spending of the Christmas season! What do you think of Kala, Peri and Pearl? Will these lovely ladies be swimming into your collection, or will you leave them in the deep end?