Almighty Hat ([personal profile] hat_plays_dolls) wrote2017-09-13 10:19 pm

Doll Review: Monster Family Fangelica

Okay, I'm a little behind in posting this (I've had the pics for a while now), but the day I picked up Pawla at Toys R Us, I also saw Fangelica at Target. Still, I knew I was going out of town, and I really wanted to get Pawla first, so I promised myself that if the Fangelica with the good eyes and the tiny black mark on her face was still at Target when I got back home, I'd grab her next.

And she was!

This time I remembered box pics. The single-pack five-inch Monster Family dolls come carded like action figures, although there's really a lot of empty space left in the boxes. (Which bothers me at the same time as I understand it-- it's like potato chips, all that air is for packing.) So let's head behind the cut to get a nice deboxed look at Fangelica.

Back of the box! The single-packed dolls are themed to fit whatever their ten-inch relatives are doing, and in Fangelica's case, that's baking-- so we get a blurb about that and some inset images of Dracula, Draculaura, and Fangelica at work in the kitchen.

Inset 1 | Inset 2 | Blurb

Because I was fighting with my lamp, apparently, so the linked pics are those details without glare.

Only one small tab at the bottom of the boxes keeps the blister attached to the card, so they're very easy-open-- Monster Family kids seem... if not more kid-friendly than full-sized ghouls, because frankly those accessories are still very swallow-able, then at least somehow easier. I personally like that about them; there's no struggle to get the box open or the doll out, and if I do tear that background, I never feel like I'm wrecking something irreplaceably awesome. (Yeah, my Cleo-Ghoulia not-quite-SDCC two-pack is still in the box.)

On the card, without the plastic glare.

And here's Fangelica loose, with all her accessories! (And I just noticed all these pics say Elissabat on the URLs. I blame the purple hair.) Okay, so, Fangelica stands about five and a half inches tall, six if you count her ears. Her dress is one piece, her fur collar is removable, she comes with a bowl, a hand mixer, and a finished cake, and she's wearing shoes, which is a delightful development.

As I said, my Fangelica has a small drip of black paint under her eye, which is a very easy fix for me. Her purple hair is nylon, though, which I find super disappointing-- nylon is an okay fiber for very large dolls, because it holds its shape well and can be heat-set with human styling tools (so if your doll is too big to dip in a Pyrex cup of near-boiling water, nylon is a godsend for curls). For small dolls, it's awfully stiff, and I honestly just don't like the feel of it. I'm having trouble keeping it as low around Fangelicas ears as I'd like.

The fur collar is nicely detailed; Fangelica has turned up in enough webisodes now that I think the collar is supposed to be just that, a collar, and not a bat-feature Fangelica can't fully shift out of.

The print on Fangelica's satin skirt, unlike on Pawla's nightgown, is larger in scale and better suited to the grain of the fabric (although my camera picks up that grain like nobody's business). Fangelica's color scheme so far only seems to pick up pops of pink and black from Draculaura's color scheme, though hearts and bat wings are pretty prominent for both girls.

SHOES! Ahem. Fangelica comes with black sandals with a sort of rocker-platform sole, detailed with hearts and bat wings. Sadly, they don't fit Pawla.

Fangelica's another kidlet who has more monstrous traits than her older counterparts; in her case it's ears on top of her head, batty feet, and non-removable bat wings, which I thought I had a picture of, but don't. As tricky as Pawla and Barker's bent arms will make dressing them, Fangelica's attached wings mean that her tops and dresses have to be very low-cut in the back. On the other hand, I've had enough pegged-in wings pop out to appreciate fixed wings. (Rochelle and Garrott are the worst offenders, followed closely by Batsy and the dragon CAM. Cupid's wings rotate and slip around, not being fixed at all. Oh, Bonita and Luna, why can't everybody have nice wings like you two?)

Lucky Fangelica also has straight arms and nice, normal hands with a very elegant sculpt, I think.

And I have to say, her accessories are really cute. Sure, okay, they pale in comparison to Pawla's storybook, but not everything can be that awesome. What we have here is:

A spiderweb-ribbed mixing bowl, complete with convenient ring to serve as a handle...

A two-tier cake that makes me think of Flora's attempted cake in Sleeping Beauty, though this one has eyes and may also have a tongue...

And my favorite accessory, a skeleton-handed hand mixer. Sure, it needs a hot water bath to relax straight again, but I'm an absolute sucker for skeletal anything.

A detail shot of Fangelica's ears, plus my fingernail shoving down on that stiff nylon hair. Her face is one of those more luminous vinyls I like-- not shimmery like Boo York or truly translucent like Haunted, but just a little translucent, looking much more like skin.

Fangelica's body, sadly, doesn't share that quality, and is a warmer pink than her face. I'm also not really loving her lip color-- it's sort of a wine-black that would look fantastic on an older character, but it's a little much for someone who should definitely still be attending Monster Elementary.

Fangelica does have five points of articulation, at the neck, shoulders, and hips, just like Pawla. And speaking of 'just like Pawla'...

The little ghouls together. In principle, they can share clothes-- but they can share clothes like Jinafire and Bonita can share clothes, mind the wings and tail. (I did restyle Pawla's hair a little-- well, I washed it, then gelled the wet pigtails and separated the curls.)

In conclusion, Fangelica is cute, and I'm glad I got her, but she does share all of Pawla's minor flaws while introducing a few of her own (though nylon hair may be a matter of opinion). Fangelica has a stiff head, but I can't tell if that's glue or nylon; she also seems more prone to eye wonk than Pawla, so again, if you can, shop for her in person. Being adopted-- or something-- it's reasonable that Fangelica doesn't look any more like Dracula or Draculaura than, say, Elissabat, Batsy, Valentine, the CAM Vampires, or Gory and Bram do, but so far there hasn't been much said about Fangelica being adopted. It's in the short blurb on the back of the Vampire Kitchen playset, but so far the webisodes just have an inexplicably-older Fangelica roaming the halls as a student.

On the other hand, that's a storyline issue, not a problem with the doll, and Monster High has always had continuity snarls. And while I do understand some of the complaints people have about Fangelica (she's Pink Vampire #8 as dolls go, et cetera) I certainly understand it from a marketing point of view-- the original five ghouls were a Frankensteinian construct, a werewolf, a vampire, a sea monster, and a mummy (sorry, Deuce and Ghoulia), and that's where the Monster Family is starting-- for all Alivia is going to be fashionably late to the party.

I'll probably paint her accessories, but while Fangelica isn't going to turn into a surprise favorite anytime soon, I am glad I got her, and her price point is pretty reasonable, at $9. That's well worth it if you like her, and not a lot of money to blow if you need to handle her before you figure out how much you like her.