Friday, 23 August 2013

Doll Customising: Monster High Dolls - Prepping and Rerooting

I've been fascinated by custom dolls far longer than I've been in love involved with the Monster High franchise.
I began collecting BJDs (Ball Jointed Dolls) back in 2009 and love how some come as a blank canvas for you to create your own characters. 
I have given multiple dolls face-ups, sewn clothes for them, bought shoes, eyes and wigs and despite my affection for these wonderful resin dolls, they're so expensive!

I currently only own 1 BJD after shrinking my collection. She's a Bobobie Isabella, 27cm/MSD sculpt and the first BJD I ever bought! Bobobie is a great company, with prices much much lower than others but the quality is still superb. I would attempt more complicated modifications but given their £100 minimum price tag, I don't have the confidence to attempt it! (Bobobie's dolls range from a tiny 10cm at $80, to a huge 70cm at $220)

[ETA: 30/01/2014: Since writing up this post I have added 2 more BJDs to my collection, a Doll Planet Riz and a Doll Chateau Ada!]

However, Monster High dolls caught my eye and their personality won me over. Their much cheaper price tag (of £13 - £25) was enticing from a customisation and collectors point-of-view so I took the plunge and bought my first MH doll (then I carried on collecting and can't stop!) 

I've customised a few dolls and this is the process I follow to prep them.

You'll need a few supplies:
  • cotton-buds (q-tips) 
  • and/or make-up remover cotton pads. 
  • Substance to remove factory paint (acetone, nail varnish remover, etc)
  • Reroot tool (or needles/hot glue dependant on the method you're using)
  • Hanks of hair
  • Paint for the scalp to match the hair
  • Paint brushes in various sizes
  • Tweezers or thin and long needle nose pliers
  • Superglue/nail glue (just in case)
  • Nude doll (Here is a Ghouls Rule Draculaura!)

Let's start!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Doll Review: Ever After High - Apple White

Ever After High (EAH) is a franchise which branches from Mattel's hugely popular Monster High line.
Before any official reveals were made Mattel registered several interesting sounding trademarks alongside Ever After High such as High Seas High, Robo High and Cosmic High, all keeping in line with the 'high school' theme they've become famous for. These potential lines were to stop competition (such as MGA and smaller companies) jumping on the fairy tale theme and distract them long enough for them to make their big reveal. I think the rest of the distraction-trademarks have been dropped now, but it would have been very interesting to see Mattel's take on pirates and mermaids and aliens and robots!

EAH follows the sons and daughters of famous fairy tale characters as they go through high school, learning how to follow in their parents footsteps to become the next 'insert-character-here' to keep their story lines going. The characters are grouped into 'Royals', who wish to follow their destiny, and 'Rebels' who dislike their given path and don't want their fate.
It is said that if you don't pledge to follow your story on 'Legacy Day' then not only the character, but everyone else involved in their story will cease to exist! 

Briar Beauty, Apple White, Raven Queen and Madeline Hatter.

Mattel introduced Ever After High through one of Monster High's existing characters, C.A. Cupid, who is said to be a bone elemental who was adopted by Eros. She is sent to Ever After High with a new project; to help the students.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

How To Fix: Monster High Dolls - Broken Pegs and Snapped Elastic.

Monster High dolls were originally produced with a small loop of elastic which attached the legs together at the hips. This elastic often snapped due to rough play, simple wear and tear or the old plastic pegs that the elastic was looped around broke.
This problem was resolved after, and including, Toralei's first release, when a new plastic peg system was introduced. 

However, older dolls' legs are still falling off! 
If you receive a faulty product there are often helpline numbers where you can ring the company and a representative will offer a solution. My personal experience of Mattel UK customer services is that it is somewhat lacking, and they generally say 'sorry, there's nothing we can do' unless the doll is in production right then and they may send out replacement shoes/accessories, so broken legs is a different story. 

Instead of trying to sell the doll on, or even throw it away, try fixing it up!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Doll Review: Monster High - 13 Wishes - Lagoona Blue

My previous post General Overview of Mattel and Monster High Dolls was originally intended to just be a doll review of Lagoona, but once I'd finished with the beginning section about the production company, Mattel, it was obvious I'd written way too much! 

So instead of chopping out important details, I decided just to split it and create a new post for the review.
The franchise is ever-growing, and one of the latest lines to hit the UK is 13  Wishes: Haunt The Casbah, with an upcoming CGI special which will be release on DVD.

The newest story revolves around Howleen Wolf, Clawdeen's younger sister, who is tired of living in her sibling's shadows. She dreams to become popular but ends up in trouble. As punishment she is sent to clear out the attic of Monster High and chances upon a genie's lamp! Enter Gigi Grant, who bursts forth from the lamp and grants (eh.. Geddit? *elbow nudge*) Howleen not 3 but 13 Wishes! We don't know at this point exactly who wishes for what but we know things don't go as planned: Howleen begins to hate the popularity she magically gained and Lagoona looses herself after changing into a Freshwater monster from a Saltwater one. We don't have any more details but I imagine hilarity ensues, lessons are learned, everyone wins and we all have a fashion show at the end. 
It's going to be brilliant!

Like the previous special Scaris: City of Frights, new characters and are introduced to promote their new dolls. 
Twyla (daughter of the Boogieman) makes an appearance alongside Gigi and she is adorable! We don't know anything about her role in 13 Wishes yet, but I assume she is watching from the shadows as the situation unfolds!

Look at how cute Twyla is! But that will be for another blog post!

I eagerly reserved Twyla and Lagoona at my local Argos store as soon as they were 'in stock' on the website. I'm still not quite sold on Howleen, but I may get her at some point. Gigi isn't being stocked in the UK yet, but will follow the same distribution pattern as Jinafire and will be sent out in cases later on. Clawdeen, Frankie and Draculaura (as pictured on the DVD cover) and a DJ booth/dance hall playset with Spectra haven't hit the UK yet, but a tie-in beachside playset including a Cleo doll has been spotted in Europe. 

These two, Howleen and Gigi retail at £16.99, with the deluxe dolls costing playsets at £25-30 when they're released, and I danced out the store as I picked them up. Happy Nuu!

Here's Lagoona!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Doll Review: General Overview of Monster High.

I like to take a look at the company behind the dolls that I'm reviewing before I start writing about the actual product. For specific doll lines that I've already gone over I'll skip straight to the product review, but if I come across a new franchise or company then I'll make an effort to research it!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Doll Review: Bratzillaz - Basic Yasmina Clairvoya

I usually take my dolls out of the box to display, but I've been saving some for the purposes of reviewing fully, from opening to display, and as a test-run I decided to go for something easy so picked a first wave doll from MGA's Bratzillaz line: Yasmina Clairvoya.

But before we jump in, let's look closer at the franchise as a whole!

Freaky Just Got Fabulo- I mean.. Glam Gets Wicked!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

What's New With Nuu?

So, my digital drawings went on the back burner due to my tablet breaking (Memo: electronics tablet + magnets = sad Nuu and broken stuff) and life got in the way of my silly blog. However, on my birthday I received another brand new tablet and got doodling straight away! But again, I managed to get busy doing nothing and forgot all about this place. 

Whilst I've been away a lot has happened. I've grown to learn that you should only do what really makes you happy. I've been pushed into wasting my time on things that won't help me or my passions develop and I regret not standing up for myself more. Now it's time for me to be selfish and do what I want, so I can be happy!

Nuu's new look!

In that time I've rediscovered my inner child and my love for old cartoons, anime, toys, dolls and games. I decided that as a small (but obviously going to turn into a huge) project I'd review in detail all the things I've rediscovered so I can see all the small details that often get overlooked and appreciate them more. 

In addition to random ramblings and doodles I'll be looking more specifically at: Sailor Moon anime, manga, toys, dolls and props, Monster High Dolls, Lalaloopsy, Cutie Pops, La Dee Da, Bratzillaz, Winx dolls and cartoons, Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, nostalgic movies, films and more!