I’ve bought more dolls this year than I think I’ve bought in the whole of my life. And they’ve pretty much – with the exception of a few – stuck to a few specific brands. I guess I’m more of a brand loyalist than I thought I was. On the whole, my fashion doll purchases seem to have stuck to Monster High, Ever After High and Equestria Girls. Are we surprised here, people? We shouldn’t be. I’ve ventured out a bit into other brands – Bratzillaz, La Dee Da – but mostly, I’ve stuck to my familiar ones. So, since I won’t be having any new reviews until after Giftmas, probably, I thought maybe I’d do a rundown of my favorites from this year. This basically counts for any doll that I personally bought from January 2013 til this week of December 2013. Bear in mind, some of them may have come out earlier than that and actually came out in late 2012, but if you’re going to quibble semantics, the door is to your left.
20. Scaris: City of Frights Catrine DeMew
I have such an addiction to the Monster High Werecats. I don’t know why, considering that in actuality, I rather hate cats (I am a dog person) and am, in fact, horrifically allergic to them. But something about these kitty girls just makes me so happy, and so I’ve worked hard at at least getting the “signature” release of all of them. And I’ve succeeded! Catrine, I find to be just gorgeous, with her cute little fashions and the way that she reminds me of a Persian cat. The only thing I’ve never cared for with this particular version of Catrine is the fingerless gloves on her hands. I don’t really see the point in them and they don’t really go with the outfit. I have noticed though that the New Scaremester version doesn’t have them, so that’s an improvement.
19. Frights, Camera, Action Lagoona Blue
Let me just be honest here: I’d kind of given up on Lagoona. Like… I dunno. Her dolls, for the most part stopped being any sort of exciting to me, the only Lagoona I have from this year’s releases is the Scaris one, and the 13 Wishes one makes me crabby-walk away sideways with one eyebrow raised so far it’s in my hair, while the other one is scrunched down far enough to make my eye close every time I’ve seen it – I did like her dress, but the whole freshwater thing and that neon yellow hair was just weird. But then this pretty girl got released and my faith was restored quite nicely. Her dress is pretty and basic without being busy and just much, her shoes are extremely cute, her hair is pretty, and her faceup is subtle and pretty without looking like she slathered herself with food coloring. I’m glad, because in a way, I missed her. I missed seeing her and getting all excited.
18. I ❤ Fashion Scarah Screams
When the initial release of Scarah happened, I have to say I wasn’t feeling her. I kick myself for that now, but I really loved the “Daughter of Arachne” doll that was another of the choices and so when Scarah won I was kind of disappointed. However, I’ve grown to enjoy her – not that I have her SDCC doll, too expensive for this pocketbook! – and so when TRU announced an I ❤ Fashion version of her, I was ready to snap that up. I think what I enjoy the most about her is that Scarah is remarkably creepy looking, while still remaining quite cute. Cute and creepy, that’s how I roll! Her mod fashions are extremely cute, and I would shank infants for a pair of those mod boots in my size. My doll needs a good hair straightening, because right now she looks like of Donna Reed-ish in the hairstyle, but I can take care of that at some point. What I’m really hoping is that they will keep this up, using the SDCC releases to then make other versions of, because if I don’t get a Wydowna Spider – again, way too expensive for my pocketbook – in my life, heads are going to roll and roll good.
17. Make a Splash Rochelle Goyle
Rochelle has emerged victorious as one of my very favorite dolls, and of the three releases (Three! We got three! Makes up for the fact that unless there’s lines we won’t see until ToyFair, we’re not getting any this year. That sucks.) we got this year, this is the one that beat back the other two to be my favorite. Something about her shorter hairstyle, her adorable and very girly ruffled swimsuit, and her sweet little expression (to me she looks a little worried that she’s going to be expected to swim, and I’m headcanoning this to be that she’s a little scared she might sink instead of swim) just moved her up above Ghouls Night Out and Dance Class. I can’t wait to see what more we get from Rochelle in the future, and I’m glad that Mattel is seeing that people like her, because I do very much love the little pink-haired gargoyle girl.
16. Classroom/Home Ick Abbey Bominable
The first of a few Abbeys on this list, I’m sure, is the Home Ick version! I actually don’t have Heath – I don’t tend to do boy dolls – and so I went halfsies on the set with a friend. And she is so worth it! She’s so cute, with her 50’s esque ponytail and her cute little clothes. She looks like she could go from her Home Ick class right into an after-school job at a 50’s-esque diner, where the waitresses are on roller skates. As far as I’m concerned, Abbey Bominable is the jewel in the crown that is Monster High, so seeing so many versions of her this year was just something that made me unbelievably happy – even if it made my wallet cry.
15. Equestria Girls Deluxe Rarity
I make no attempts to hide that Rarity Is Best Pony. So when I found the Deluxe version of her, I pounced on it like I had just found the Holy Grail, no lie. The thing that makes this one great – though the first release non-articulated one is adorable as well, and thanks to Nethilia I have her – is that because Rarity tends to be such a drama queen (“This is the WORST. POSSIBLE. THING!” “But I thought you waaaaaaanted whiiiininnnng?”) that having her be poseable opens up the photo opportunities. A photo of her on Apple White’s fainting couch is most certainly forthcoming, among with various others. In addition to the poseability being a major plus, the fashions are great too. They really do look like dresses that Rarity would design, and that makes me happy as well. I’d like to see more clothes for these dolls, especially actual cloth clothes, instead of more dolls with molded bodices.
14. Ever After High Basic Ashlynn Ella
The first Ever After High doll to appear on my list is Ashlynn Ella. I really wanted her as soon as I saw the pictures of her. I was a little dismayed that I was going to have to break my No Boy Dolls rule to get her, but I knew I wanted her so I sucked it up. Hunter is languishing in one of the Cubeical storage things in the toy room now. Don’t feel too bad for him, he’s got a bunch of other dolls to keep him company. Anyway, Ashlynn kind of vaulted herself high into my like list as soon as I read her diary. She’s remarkably sweet and sensitive. And the doll herself is very, very pretty. I love her brassy hair, and her dress, and her faceup just makes her seem gentler somehow. I do hope we get more dolls of her, as singles, because I’d like to see what else they come up with for her.
(Note: As of this writing, I have yet to obtain Raven, Cerise and Blondie, so my Ever After High supply is somewhat limited)
13. Catty Noir
You want to talk about a doll I fell in love with before I ever saw her in person? Well, you’ll hear this phrase again, but this girl here was definitely one of them. When I heard she was the Friday the 13th doll, you should have seen me talking with Neth. Making plans, figuring this shit out. I didn’t care. I was going to get her Day of Release and not a damn thing was going to stop me. It took stopping at two stores to do it, but I managed to get her at Kmart. I absolutely love this girl. I love that she’s a black cat, I love her sparkly pink outfit, I love that they painted the insides of her ears pink (something they should do for other kitty girls!)… hell, I even loved her saddle stand! To me, she’s just perfect, and she is the pièce de résistance of my kitty girls shelf in The Room. I’d love to see more versions of her – though I doubt we will if Cupid’s release the previous year is any indication – and I would definitely love to get more clothes for her. Some casual clothes would be nice.
12. Ever After High Basic Cupid
Okay, so technically I don’t have her in hand yet. I got a giftcard and let myself open one Giftmas present early and used it to order her as soon as I finished supper. She’ll be here the day after Giftmas, guaranteed Amazon says. Yay for an Amazon Prime trial. Going to keep it through Giftmas – I know I have another Amazon card in there and free shipping would be awesome on that – and then cancel the hell out of that. Yay, tangent! Anyway. Cupid’s another of those I fell hard for as soon as I saw her promo picture. I love love loved her in Monster High, but putting her in Ever After High just made so much more sense! And she turned out so unbelievably cute! I love that there is some crossover – her headband is in the heart shape from her Monster High release, her lipstick is that same style that makes her mouth look heart-shaped, but then, what we get new, is amazing. Her shoes! A real bow! And those pretty wings! Oooh, gah, I can go on. But I won’t. Either way, I’m excited she’s coming here, and I think I will review her when she gets here, if I’m not too tired after work that day!
11. Creature Creepers Adventures/Basic Jane Boolittle
Okay, so here’s where I admit when those first Instagrammed pictures came out, I wasn’t feeling her. I had no idea who she was, and she seemed really, really random. But then she started showing up in stores, and actual pictures of her started showing up and as a friend of mine would say ‘Eet was love!’ Her deep purple skin was so pretty and she had freckles! So I started keeping an eye out for her, and got lucky at Justice – just two weeks ago or so! Good gods, y’all. Pictures don’t do her any kind of justice at all, she’s so pretty. That deep, deep blue hair, her unique outfit… and that’s just looks! How about her story! Janey has two daddies! Inclusiveness matters, y’all, and even if this is just a small thing, it’s still huge! But Jane is definitely one I’m very happy to have on the shelf, even if she does keep dropping her staff.
10. Equestria Girls Pinkie Pie’s Boutique Pinkie Pie
How convenient, eh? I just reviewed her, and she’s in the Top 20? Hell yes she is! I love her that much, y’all! I just think this little addition to the already wonderful Pinkie Pie’s Boutique line was perfect. For one, I loved Equestria Girls; for two, I love Pinkie Pie’s Boutique; and for three, Pinkie’s just growing on me so much. This little doll has vaulted herself not just into my Top 20 dolls of 2013, but into one of my favorite dolls ever. Sure, Equestria Girls aren’t all perfect (pegged feet being one of the things that makes a sad trombone noise), but this one is about as close as you can get. Her happy little face and bright colors just make you smile when you look at her, cause her happiness is infectious. And this one has the added fun of the whole “Gothie Pie” thing and she’s so loveable.
9. Frights, Camera, Action Clawdia Wolf
Clawdia was my first foray into owning one of the “older sister” dolls in the line, and what a way to burst into that niche! She’s so utterly gorgeous. One of the things I love the most about Monster High is their commitment to making unique facemolds for every doll they release, and Clawdia, I think, is the best one yet with her big, gorgeous smile that just gives her so much personality. There’s so many things to just love about this doll, from her story to her personality to her clothes to everything! Glasses! I love that she wears glasses! I’ll shut up eventually maybe. No, I won’t. I have a blog. I’ll talk forever! Anyway. Clawdia rocks. End of.
8. Ghoul Spirit Spectra Vondergeist
The hardest part of this? Was picking WHICH Spectra! Cause Ghouls Night Out is cute, and so is 13 Wishes, and Power Ghouls is just cool as hell, but in the end, I have to give the edge to the recently released Ghoul Spirit version. For a few reasons. For one, this one has Spectra’s fun, whispy soft hair, and the addition of some killer black streaks. It also uses her newer, more angular face mold, which I dig because it gives her a creepier look, while maintaining her cute factor. Her little skirt is quite cute too, and anytime a doll uses a headband is a time when AJ is a happy collector. Basically, I just all kinds of love Spectra and have from the minute I got her Basic version home and saw her translucent hands and feet, and unless they somehow do something shit stupid, like bring her “back to life” or something, and make her lose that – I love translucence so much you guys, it’s not even funny – she’ll always, always find a home on my shelf.
7. Power Ghouls Toralei Stripe
I was a little scared for awhile there that we just weren’t going to get anymore Toralei dolls! I like her Basic doll, and it was basically repeated in the Fearleading pack, and my fear was that the little orange kitty girl was getting the shove over. But then! Then this girl was announced (and then the Coffin Bean one too!) and I was so happy I shrieked. I wish we’d gotten a Scaris one, since she tagged along with the Ghoulfriends, but this will do. I love this version of Toralei so much. Her longer hair, her Superhero look, her comic book. It’s just perfect. Not counting Weberella, since Can’t Afford That One, I have an almost complete Power Ghouls line. JUST GUESS WHO’S MISSING. *cough*
6. 13 Wishes Twyla
This doll made me happy for the reason that it reused the Little Sister body mold. I already had such a heart on for Howleen and all her cuteness of her ickle bickle body mold, seeing it used again was really pleasing! Plus, Twyla’s just really cute! Her story is adorable, and so is her friendship with Howleen (I maybe ship it.) Her clothes, too, are adorable, but I will say this… it was really surprising to turn off the lights one day after I got her and see that her eyes glow in the dark. I sat her with my Zecora pony for awhile, so they could bond over that. Heh. Anyway, Twyla is awesome. I hope we get more dolls of her!
Alright, so the first 15 here on this list… they’re just in no order, really. But my top 5? Oh, it so is, folks. It SO is.
5. 13 Wishes Gigi Grant
Gonna be honest, I really wasn’t feeling her when I first heard about her. She was largely “meh” for me… kinda like my reaction to Elissabat. But in the case of Gigi, I did change my mind once I saw her in person – that’s not happening with E-bat. Gigi’s pretty much adorable. From the little dimple in her chin and her freckles, to the use of the older sister torso (if not the rest of her) that gave her a thicker look for her size (she’s got some back and that is awesome!), and the fun molding on her legs, she really is pretty. Only problem I really had was that I could not fit her on my shelf, because the ponytail made her too tall! Woe! The ponytail had to be taken down, and I gave her braided headbands to at least still have some fun with that long, long hair. This weekend I’m going to practice boil straightening (there will, of course, be pictures!) and fix the rest of that a little and I think she’ll look really cute! We shall see! Anyway, considering how hard she was to find, and how much I like her now, she’s definitely an awesome addition to the horde here.
4. Ever After High Basic Briar Beauty
When I first got into Ever After High – as if anyone thought I wouldn’t? – I really thought that Madeline was going to be it for me, I just wasn’t going to get any of the others. But then I went and actually picked up Maddie, and at the same time I picked up Briar here for Neth. For one, she passed the Paper Bag Test, which meant she was Not A White Doll, and that made me happy. Plus, the more I looked at her, the more I realized she was really, really cute. I really dug her rose thorn tights! I resolved that I would get her. And that meant a lot of waiting for me, because it took a long, long time for stores around here besides Justice to get start getting Ever After High dolls, and I have mentioned before that I really, really hate going to the mall. Firey burning hate going to the mall. So, I pounced on her when I saw Ever After High start trickling into my nearby Target and I’m so, so happy that I did! She makes such a pretty addition to the top shelf with her dark hair and sweet smile.
3. Music Festival Abbey Bominable
C’mon y’all. You really didn’t think she wouldn’t be on this list, did you? Of course she is! What is there to not love about this doll? Okay, that one of her hands is not molded into a peace sign could be one thing, but that’s minor enough, and judging by a picture I saw on a google search, this is an oversight that is able to be remedied (anyone have any suggestions? I’m thinking boiling ’til soft and then rubber bands to mold it? Or maybe just super glue?). But everything about her is just loveable. Her outfit! Her translucent boots! Her long, beautiful, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen hair! Only thing is that hand, and I’m going to try and fix that myself. If ever there was an Abbey that was handmade just for me… it was this one.
2. Ever After High Basic Madeline Hatter
Love at first sight, honestly. I thought she was adorable, and that was only solidified when I got her in hand. Her polka-dot (I love polka dots more than just about anything) tights! Her cute uber-curly purple and aqua hair! Her cute little outfit and tea motif! Plus, Alice in Wonderland and I? We go way, way back. Way back. And my love of the Mad Hatter in particular just made her perfect to me. Just amazing and incredible. She’s so cute, and if there is one Ever After High girl who is my Gotta Get ‘Em All… it’s going to be this girl. I’m already on my way, having this release, and having just gotten Getting Fairest. Dunno where I’m going to put them all but we’ll worry about that when it becomes a real problem. Definitely the best choice Ever After High made was having her as one of the main characters.
1. Frights, Camera, Action Honey Swamp
Oh lord, y’all. Could a more perfect doll have been released this year? I don’t think so. Everything about her is just beyond what I could have dreamed Mattel would do with this line. Yeah, I love her that much. I really, really hope that she’s more than just a one shot doll for this line only, because she deserves to be seen more, and get more clothes and have more fun things to do. But even if she is, I’m glad we got this one, and I’m glad I managed to get my little hands on her, because she is just beautiful, cute, perfect, everything you could hope for in a doll.
So that wraps up my personal Top 20 Fashion Dolls for 2013! But…
I can’t do this post without mentioning one more doll. She didn’t come out in 2013, but eight years before that. You probably already know who it is… but I’mma do it anyway.
Of course, I speak of none other than my beloved Mari. I still thank my lucky stars every day that Neth bit down and got her for me, and shared the dollie love. Mari to me, is so much more than “just” an American Girl doll, or “just” the culimination of 20 years of wanting. She is the physical representation of my dear friend here in my house. I see her and I think of Neth, and though my heart finds my dear friend daily, it always, always finds her when I look at the amazing gift she gave me. Mari is settling in nicely here, especially now that Elyse joined us in July. Mari, though. She is the leader of the doll faction around these parts, and is far and away the most spoiled of any doll in this house. And to me, she’s as perfect as the day I pulled her out of a big FedEx box and started crying big ugly tears when I held her in my hands for the first time.
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back with a “stuff” roundup sometime after Giftmas!
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and amazing New Year!