REVIEW: Monster High “Frights, Camera, Action: Hauntlywood” Honey Swamp

What a week it has been! Not long after I finished my Clawdia review last week, my beloved red camera, dubbed Cherry Darling, gave up the ghost. Thankfully, my mother has a camera she never uses, so she gave it to me. I’m still getting used to it – it is not intuitive at all – but I’m getting there.  In addition to work related grumbles, (one of our machines we use for specimen processing gave up the ghost yesterday) it’s been one hell of a week, and so I was glad for the weekend to appear.

I headed to Target, as one does, for a little retail therapy, and I had to make a decision.

Did I want Apple White’s fainting couch? I did, but then I saw what else was there.

And that’s what I got.

So… have a quick review of Honey Swamp! And some ranting.

(And please forgive that my pictures might be a little wonky while I get used to my new-to-me camera)

honey001Since everybody under the sun – myself included – has reviewed Monster High dolls a number of times, there’s no need to go through a thorough debox. Yay for that! But, here’s a couple of pictures of her box once I freed her from it.

Daughter of The Swamp Monster

Daughter of The Swamp Monster

Back of the box

Back of the box

Thoughts on her… SHE IS SOUTHERN, Y’ALL. <3333  Raised in “New Goreleans.” She’s 115 in Swamp Monster years, which I’m not sure how that translates to monster years, but I’m going to guess that she’s older than the regular ghouls, probably around Clawdia’s age? I have no idea. According to the Monster High Wiki, each of the dolls in this line has a connection to an already released doll (Clawdia/Clawdeen, Viperine/Deuce, etc), it is highly likely that she is friends with/knows Operetta.

I was intrigued by this Honey Island Swamp Monster deal though, so I did a google-fu, and found a Wikipedia entry.

The Honey Island Swamp Monster is a legendary hominid cryptid reported to have been seen around Honey Island Swamp, Louisiana starting in 1963. Native Americans call this creature Letiche, and Cajuns call it Tainted Keitre. It is described as being bipedal, seven feet tall, with grey hair and yellow eyes, and accompanied by “a disgusting smell.” It’s footprints have webbed toes.

(Honey’s release is also mentioned in the Wikipedia article. Hee.)

So anyway, that’s where she comes from, that’s pretty cool! I like seeing Mattel digging deeper into maybe not as well known of monsters and legends. That’s really cool to me, so kudos to Mattel for that!

Full-Body shot

Full-Body shot

She’s remarkably cute! And the colors of her dress and her skintone and hair are all tied together wonderfully!

Headshot

Headshot

Her skin is aqua colored – and now you see why I didn’t take these pictures in the toy room! – and she’s got large, pearlescent purple lips with tiny fangs on both the upper and lower lip. Her eyes are green alligator eyes, and she’s got simple pink eyeshadow that matches the pink in her dress. On her head she wears a tiny (molded plastic) pink hat that is held on her head with a headband. Her hair, we will get back to. That’ll be the ranting section.

honey006Her dress is a one-piece job, lavender on top, with a black crocheted color and placket, with “pearl” buttons. Covering the seam between the blouse and the skirt is a (molded plastic) pink belt with a flowerish motif, and then the skirt has a largely unidentifiable design, but I definitely see some roses there, and a fur underskirt.

Lets get a closer look at those.

honey007 honey008My only complaint, really, is that fur. It’s a little sheddy. But the dress is gorgeous and it looks SO good on her. This is a dress that I will not be giving to any other doll to wear, it is Honey’s and Honey’s alone.

Now… one of my favorite parts of this doll is the extensive molding on her body.

honey010 honey011 honey012 honey013 honey014Is that not just the coolest? I liked what they did with Jinafire, and with some of the stuff in the CAM packs, but what they’ve done with Honey just takes it to a whole nother level. It’s so delicate and not over used, which I like a lot.

Pearl earrings hiding under her hair.

Pearl earrings hiding under her hair.

See? It’s just PRETTY.

honey016Her hands, similarly to Lagoona Blue’s, are webbed, which I like a lot.

honey017 honey018And her HAIR! Oh my goodness, you guys do not understand how much I adore her hair! That AFRO! It’s so soft and touchable. I’m not sure what the fiber is… I guess I’m going to assume saran or kankelon. But it’s so soft, and fun to sink your fingers into.

And this brings me to my rant.

When Honey first started being acquired by people, there were pictures. Pictures that made me recoil and stare in open-mouthed “WTF?!?!” shock. Fairly close to the reactions I gave when I’d see people de-Musliming the Hearts 4 Hearts Shola doll.

These pictures were of Honey dolls that had had their hair straightened.

This offended me. This offended me a lot. Honey Swamp is a doll that in practically every capacity, tracks as black.

1. Her birthplace/hometown plus her based on monster parental unit (especially given that there is a Cajun name for the creature), to me, puts her as being Cajun – in her case, it would be Creole.
2. Her facial features – wider nose, fuller lips – track as black.
3. And her afro. Unless you’re Bob Ross, a white person just is not pulling that off. Miss me with that shit.

Honey Swamp and Dot Dead Gorgeous Operetta

Honey Swamp and Dot Dead Gorgeous Operetta

Posed beside a doll who tracks as and is generally thought of to be white, it’s pretty clear.

In all ways, this is a doll who can be presumed to be black. Why, why, why on earth would anyone take away one of the features that makes her the most unique doll in the Monster High line so far just to make her look like everyone else?

Because it’s their doll and they can do what they want,” I can hear you saying. So? Certainly it is their doll, either by purchase or gift. Just cause it’s “their doll” doesn’t mean I can’t call them on it.  It being “theirs” isn’t a gigantic shield that protects them from being called on things. Same with “It’s just my opinion.” Again, miss me with that. Bigotry starts in small ways, people. And yes, straightening the hair of a doll that is very, very clearly a doll of color, is a racist and bigoted thing to do. And I will be damned if I’m going to cotton to that. This whole fandom seems downright terrified of curly hair in general and it’s rather annoying.

The other argument I keep hearing is that these “are monsters, not people. And they don’t hold to the same race constraints as a human bla bla bla.”

Uh… huh.

Okay then. So… All four of the members of the Wolf family that we’ve gotten so far are just brown for the hell of it? The De Nile sisters are Egyptian, and while not as dark skinned as I would like, fact remains they are. Robecca, Honey, and on the EAH side Briar Beauty, Cerise Hood and Cedar Wood. Even Jane Boolittle could read as a doll of color given where she’s from. Who’s to say? But, they are all clearly modeled so as to be dolls of color. Representation matters, and while I have some niggly things that bother me – about both lines – Mattel actually has done a decently admirable job at making – and moreover keeping – the two lines inclusive and something that little girls of any skintone can enjoy happily.

*jumps off the soapbox and kicks it into the corner*

So anyway. Here’s some more pictures of Honey Swamp.

honey019 honey020Bottom line? I think Honey is probably the most unique doll we’ve gotten yet, from her detailed body molding to her hair. While I can foresee some tears from little girls who ruin her hair by brushing it with those horrid little Skullette brushes (*shudder*), all in all I think she’s a welcome part to any collection. I personally am very happy to have her.

honey021

honeypose001EDIT: Comments have been disabled because people can’t stop being trolls. DO NOT go to another post because you “just have to” give me what for” for expressing MY OWN OPINION on MY OWN BLOG. Thank you and goodnight.

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