I do plan to get all the Monster Family kids, with the possible exception of the littlest Blue sister. The last time I was in Target, they'd finally started stocking the de Nile clan-- they had Pharrah (well, they had two, and both had wonk-eye), they had the three-pack, and they had...



Sandy, solo. And I'll be honest, I'd planned to get the three-pack, for Lux and for Cleo's comfy dress, and I will 100% freely admit that Sandy de Nile is a tiny little hot mess... but this high chair, oh my god I could not pass up the high chair. (Plus I was in a nine-dollar kind of place, budget-wise, not a twenty-dollar place. I'm saving up $5 Target gift cards for the Vampire Kitchen, I can wait a little longer on the three-packs.)

Okay, I know I'm not gonna sell anyone on Sandy, but let's review the little cuss, anyway. Follow the cut for more pics! )
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.

I took so many pictures. )
So my mother spent this year DESPERATE to see the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade before it goes away again (August 20th), but our usual sort of Disney trip (five to seven days at a Residence Inn, with one or two guaranteed Break Days where we don't do anything, just sit in the nice air conditioned pet-friendly hotel with our feet up, eating sandwiches, because I like Disneyland but not direct sunlight and Mom is in her 70s) was... not in this year's budget. The trip we just got back from (two nights at the Motel 6, one and a half days in the park and 16 hours in the car with a cat) wasn't exactly in the budget, either, but like I said, Mom was desperate. The parade was part of our Disneyland experience through basically my entire childhood, and we were there for the original farewell season back in 1996.

So we went on a financially ill-advised little vacation that did not leave us relaxed and well-rested but exhausted and laden with photos.

And naturally, I took dolls. It's a stupid little thing that makes me happy, and I'm definitely going to have to make some easier carrying cases for future trips, because my choices so far have been gallon-sized storage baggie (worked well for Twyla, acceptably for Abbey and Heath, not so great for Mouscedes's hair) and an old My Scene Barbie wardrobe case (worked for Neight and Elissabat, barely fit Hexiciah alongside Robecca, easy to search!), but this time I wanted something sturdy AND close to the right size, and opening a cardboard box slows down the bag search line. Annoying.

Who did I take and what ridiculous dialogue story am I telling with them?



'Recently-reconciled sister selfie!' )
So yesterday I ran my usual errands, dropped eBay stuff off at the post office, did a quick Target run (my nephew broke a plunger and... look, it's really important that the number of toilet plungers equal or exceed the number of toilets in your home, especially if you have a toddler around), checked out the toy aisle (still resetting-- but I saw First Day of School Clawdeen and Fangelica! I held off), and went to Toys R Us because I had a $5 reward. I was about to use it on Lagoona and the least-wonky Kelpie when I said to myself "Wait, let me check this endcap," and lo and behold there was the $9 doll I really wanted to use that $5 coupon on.



Check it out, I got me a Pawla!

Okay, first things first, I frickin' love the Monster Family dolls, I plan to get all of them except maybe Ebbie and she could still grow on me (if I ever find one who doesn't have her pigtails covering her face). Weredith is cuter in person, Dracula is cuter in person, at this point I'm even assuming Sandy is cuter in person, they're all cuter in person. I love the concept of the Monster Family line and while I agree the execution could be a little better, the execution is still really good.

But I have like fifteen more pics, so click the cut to see if I can't sell you on Dead Tired Pawla. )
Exactly what it says on the tin, really.

Because I love the idea of Cleo having molded-on bandages, but the execution-- having them all the same color as her skin-- leaves something to be desired.

So because apparently a doll isn't Mine until I've messed with it somehow, I grabbed my paints and attacked poor Reboot Cleo.



Super-basic before-and-after, that's Ghoul's Beast Pet (Pet Beast? I get those wrong every time) Cleo on the left, unpainted, and the body of Dance the Fright Away Cleo on the right, doin' a HHM Bloodgood impression. I used acrylics straight from the bottle, as is my wont, did a wash-and-wipe in a dusty brown darker than Cleo's skin, dry-brushing in a creamy color, and then just sort of scrubbing a thin, thin coat of metallic gold, because Cleo. Sealed with my artist's matte sealer.

Detail shots behind the cut! )
Okay, so virtually every Monster High doll I get, I get Because Reasons. Sometimes those reasons are things like "Hot damn, so-and-so's getting a doll!" or "At this point it's just weird not to have a Main Character," or "Curvy doll curvy doll curvy doll! Okay so she's a squid I don't care look at her HIPS!" or, sadly, "Oh, hey, what's-her-face is on super-clearance." Occasionally, though, the Reason for getting a doll is something like...

"Welp, Prom 2014 and CreamoDreamo's art made me ship Jackson/Toralei, I guess I need a Toralei doll now."

Or

"... How did Mattel find out about Aerocorn because this Zombie Unicorn looks like her alternate-universe son, I never posted any of that fic because I never finished any of it..."

Or

"Wow, this Puff Pink gal sure makes cute art and whoops now I need Bonita and Wydowna."

And since I've re-written my thoughts about eight times, let's just skip straight to the inspiration and what I did Wednesday night, which was this:



A few more pics and a lot more rambling behind the cut. )
The Ghouls Getaway dolls are just about tied with Gloom & Bloom for being covered in ridiculous amounts of beautifully-sculpted accessories that cried out for paint. This is only Jane's third doll, and although I do plan to list the nudie this week on eBay, I held onto her long enough to do a full photoshoot.



So this is Jane Before-- great colors, but detail largely obscured by Bright Teal and Neon Lime.

Only one picture outside a cut, this isn't Tumblr and I don't know what your connection is like. )
As I was going through my pics, I did find the photoshoot from the last time I took MH dolls to Disneyland-- which is the last time I've been to Disneyland recently, actually. Sadly, it was baking hot in Anaheim last September, so although I carted my dolls around quite a bit, I only pulled the dolls out of my bag to take photos once. Actually I hardly pulled my camera out at all-- seriously it was so hot. Always check the weather report before you go anywhere.

So since there's only one pic (I only did one pose, and this was the best one), it goes outside the cut.



The Steam Family Vacation was supposed to be so cute but the weather foiled it. Well, foiled me. I even promised myself they'd be my tourist dolls if I snagged the two-pack before my next trip. So instead you get them posing proudly in front of the castle. At least Robecca is dressed for the weather.
So, recently, I got the Very Last Doll I needed to consider my Monster High collection-- not complete, exactly, but I now have one of every single currently released character (except Zomby Gaga, who is going for 'haha no what?' prices on eBay). And although the lighting in my bedroom is kind of terrible for taking pics in certain areas, I really wanted to show how my collection has grown.

See, okay, a friend in another fandom got me watching the Monster High webisodes probably in 2011. I'd seen the dolls but at the point they were brand new, I was still mostly a Tonner doll collector, and the stylized proportions and paint jobs didn't appeal to me until I started watching the webisodes.

In March of 2013 (which I remember cos I wrote to Mattel about The Glue Issue that I now know how to fix myself), I got Scaris Rochelle, because the particular Rochelle I spotted at Target had a particularly charming spread of freckles. I was not, at this point, doomed. I wasn't even doomed when I hit eBay and started looking for Rochelle's basic outfit. (I was astonished at how cheap everything was, though, since I was coming from collecting MUCH more expensive dolls. Those were the days-- when eight dollars for a pair of shoes didn't seem like highway robbery.)

My doom began when I got Rochelle's signature diary, read it, and discovered she had a crush on Deuce. I hadn't seen any of the specials at this point, let alone the Scaris movie (where we find out Rochelle has a long-distance boyfriend who suddenly stopped writing to her), and Cleo, in the webisodes, was only partway through her character arc from 'rich, controlling bully with a few good qualities' to 'vain but gracious princess with some control issues.' I liked Deuce, but was not a fan of Cleo, and suddenly I was intrigued! So I scoured eBay for a reasonable price on Signature Deuce, complete, with his diary. This... was not an easy task, but I did it. I figured as long as I was getting my favorites, I might as well get Abbey, who I loved all to pieces, and embarked on a search for The Perfect Abbey (who turned out to be Skull Shores Abbey). ... And frankensteined up a body with relatively even glitter distribution for her. Abbey was a process.

I got Bloodgood on sale because Abbey was living with her during the week for school. I got the Gorgon-Mummy CAM pack and the Gargoyle Boy singly on eBay in case I felt bad about breaking up a canon couple later. I accidentally won a Jackson on eBay. (Seriously I put in a bid thinking I'd never get him while heading in to a Burger King.)

And as of July 2013, my Monster High collection looked like this:



Gargoyle Boy not shown as apparently I was still searching for his wig. I take it back, you can just see his sneakered feet clinging to the mirror, I forgot I made up for my lack of boy stands by making him climb-- and I sure didn't get him in the shot.

Also that's a super-terrible picture, I acknowledge that, it was taken in a dark corner of my room under natural lighting with the built-in camera on the cheapest smartphone I could find.

So I got a couple DVDs, watched Skull Shores and Fright On and Why Do Ghouls Fall In Love and Friday Night Frights and Ghouls Rule, fell for a couple other characters, got Skelita because skeleton fashion doll, I would've loved Skelita when I was six almost as much as I love her now, and decided okay, I could buy all the clothes I wanted, but I had to limit myself to one of each doll. 13 Wishes came out, and Twyla is my Haunted Mansion Baby, I love her. I got the Dance Class five-pack because Gil and a new Rochelle outfit, and snagged a Music Festival two-pack-- with Gil, Clawd, Deuce, and Jackson, I had the whole gaming group. I sold MF Draculaura before realizing it was weird not to have any of their girlfriends, though. Which meant I had to find Draculaura, and The Perfect Lagoona, and I held off on Cleo because I still didn't like her yet (and also because she has so much gorgeous stuff. If I only loved minor characters, there was a cap to how much clothing I could get, right?)-- but I somehow managed to get Holt. And, look, once you have Jackson, Holt, Clawdeen, and Draculaura, it's just weird not to have Frankie.

I was still doing okay! Particular faves only, only one doll. (Howleen, because I had Clawdeen and Twyla. Invisibilly because he's Twyla's friend, and a boy, and a stage manager. Operetta because Picture Day hit Costco and she was a stunner. Heath because of COURSE Heath.) I dragged Twyla to Disneyland for photographic proof that she's my Haunted Mansion Baby. I finally landed a Phys Dead Ghoulia, rebodied Clawd onto a Texas A&M Ken body for height and buffness, and when Prom 2014 hit, suddenly somehow I was shipping Jackson/Toralei. So I had to hunt down a Toralei. ... And I also needed Neighthan, for the world's most ridiculous reasons-- if you took the OFC I made up (twenty years ago) for a very different toy-driven cartoon, paired her off with the canon character I made her up to pair off with, translated them both into the Monster High universe, and gave them a kid, that kid would be Neighthan Rot. I don't super-ship him with Frankie, but I love him for himself and for the fact that he genuinely appears to be my Fanfiction Lovechild. I got Sirena as a gift. Field Trip Gigi made me go "Oh wow a Gigi I like!" and I got her. Art Class Robecca was devastatingly lovely, so I got her too.

Things were still reasonable at the end of 2014-- my doll shelves looked like this:

As a holdover from my LiveJournal days, it still feels rude to have more than one pic outside the cut. )
Okay, this is the last of the accessories I've painted up for now-- I need my Paintin' Desk for other things until at least mid-September.

Skelita! )

Ghouls Getaway Jinafire )

Cleo and/or Deuce )

Signature Werecat Twins! )

Assorted accessories! )
Honey Swamp and Robecca Steam's Gore-Geous Accessories dolls are just delightful, but I just can't leave well enough alone with most accessories, so... well, I painted them.

Pics behind the cut! )
I'm not actually a huge fan of Amanita Nightshade, but I saw her at Marshall's on clearance for $10 and went, "... Yeah, no, I'm not going to get a better deal than that on her in the box, with all her stuff," and caved.

Her character may not thrill me and her doll may not connect with me, but golly her accessories were fun to paint. Thirteen pics. )
And because I have enough of her stuff for a whole post all to herself, Jinafire.

Twenty-two pics. )
I cleared out my display case for to put things away properly, and I figured as long as I was doing that, I should snap some pictures.

... Yeah that turned out to be 74. I'm splitting this into three posts. First post: random stuff! Sixteen pictures. )
Gooliope is a great toy, I love her to bits. Sure, I wish the other MH dolls were as poseable as she is (as much as I wish they all had hands like River's), but it also kind of makes sense that she NEEDS the extra flexibility to fit through doors and hallways that are too small for her because they were scaled for Deluxe Class and she's Ultra Class.

But even more so than most MH dolls, Gooliope's accessories needed paint-- they're SO BIG, comparatively, that they just looked kind of flat.

26 pics behind the cut )
By request (by Celaeno), I brought Neighthan. He's a favorite of mine for several slightly stupid reasons-- somehow Mattel managed to make a monster doll who passes as the alternate-universe offspring of my favorite character and a twenty-year-old OC from an entirely different toyetic fandom.

So here's Neight's trip to Disneyland-- with a special celebrity guest star! )
I never do anything fun with this blog, despite doing the occasional fun thing in reality. I'm going on a trip to Disneyland starting Friday, and the most agonizing decision isn't what to pack or what to ride or where to eat or how to deal with the cat in the car (the cat goes with), but which doll(s) to bring.

This started simply enough. I wanted to prove to some folks that Twyla is basically the Haunted Mansion souvenir shop in doll form. )

So that was in May of 2014. I was supposed to go to Disneyland again in October of 2014, buuuut sadly that was when my aging cat sort of developed lymphoma and had to have surgery and the family I had planned to go with went without me while I spent a few days sleeping three hours at a time between medication, feeding, and the medication that had to be given an hour after feeding. By the time July of 2015 rolled around, we were gearing up for the kickoff of Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration, and Harley (said sick cat) was recovered enough to go with us (pet-friendly hotels are the best)-- and so were Abbey and Heath! )

And then we packed up the dolls and the cat and went home. I'm glad I got to take Harley on vacation with me, because it turned out that trip was my last chance. Mom and I went at the very beginning of December as a pick-me-up from losing Harley, and this time I brought Mouscedes. )

But WHO LEAVES WITH ME ON FRIDAY? I have two days to decide and all I know for sure is that Luna, Sirena, and Bonita are out because I don't want to break/lose any of their bits, and Gooliope is out because I don't have a purse that big, and Robecca doesn't get to go to Disneyland until I can bring her AND Hexiciah (I'm getting that two-pack. I will sell my eye teeth for it). River doesn't photograph super-well, Elle has wiggly hips, I'd feel bad taking one Wolf sibling without taking the other three (and I don't have a purse that big, remember), Vandala photographs better than Porter but couldn't bring her obstacle of a hat, I don't want to crush Honey's hair... Maybe I'll bring Neight. Or Draculaura, to show off her new Bunny Blanc body (I have a Bunniculaura). Or Toralei. Or Jinafire, I've painted a lot of her stuff.

This is a hard decision!

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