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.

EAH is a multi-platform franchise with it's own dedicated website, online episodes, a book, it's own theme song and several doll lines.

The first wave of the doll line consists of Apple White, Raven Queen, Brair Beauty, Madeline Hatter and a multi-pack containing Ashlynn Ella and Hunter Huntsman. A 'Legacy Day' line is in the works, as well other lines containing more Royals and Rebels. Here are several other characters in the EAH Universe:

Briar Beauty - Daughter of Sleeping Beauty - Royal

Apple White - Daughter of Snow White - Royal

Ashlynn Ella - Daughter of Cinderella - Royal 

Blondie Locks - Daughter of Goldilocks - Royal

Daring Charming - Son of King Charming - Royal

Dexter Charming - Son of King Charming - Royal

Lizzie Hearts - Daughter of The Queen of Hearts - Royal 

Kitty Cheshire - Daughter of the Cheshire Cat - Rebel

Raven Queen - Daughter of The Evil Queen (from Snow White) - Rebel

Madeline Hatter - Daughter of The Mad Hatter - Rebel

Hunter Huntsman - Son of The Huntsman (from Little Red) - Rebel

Cerise Hood - Daughter of Little Red Riding Hood - Rebel

Cedar Wood - Daughter of Pinocchio - Rebel

C.A. Cupid - Bone Elemental/Daughter of Eros

Many other characters have appeared in episodes online, unnamed for now, and other trademarked characters we have yet to see. The story line is still in it's early days 

The first wave of dolls has hit the UK and USA, and I was lucky to find them in Debenhams! They aren't in any other stores yet, but I imagine this will happen before the christmas chaos. They retailed for £20 each, but Debenhams marks up by £1-2, so I imagine they will fit in line with a basic Monster High doll's price of approximately £18.

I picked up my favourite two dolls, Apple and Maddie. 
Here's Apple:

The box is designed to look like an ornate book. It's effective and the overall result is cute.

The side of the box is the book's spine. Under a royal wax seal (which is 'embossed' on the outer plastic) is a cameo portrait of Apple's box art, her name and heritage as the book's title. The book's 'publishing symbol' is the EAH logo.

The top of the card insert is printed to look like slightly curved pages. On the other side of the plastic window are more faux pages, with scrolling vines and 'Ever After High' printed to look like pencil scribbles.


The back of the box is a larger version of Apple's box art and an extended bio.

Small polaroid pictures of her friends

 And the address for their website, where you can create avatars, play games, decorate your room and other features such as 'spell binding webisodes' and blogs.

The key is topped with the EAH logo (a black and white stylised girl's portrait) and the key's teeth spelling 'e' and 'a'. The rest of the logo looks like a heart shaped lock, which also looks like a book that is locked with a decorative key-hole. It seems a tad complex.. 

The outer plastic was very easy to remove without the use of scissors. I simply pushed one side of the tab in, and the whole tab popped right out. It took less than a minute and the whole plastic case pulled right off.

I was curious as to how Mattel would package EAH dolls, and they've gone down the same simplistic route as MH. Simple plastic ties, clear elastic bands and rings hold down parts.

There are plastic ties around her ankles, waist and accessories, but that's it. No chunky twine, no string, no thread, no metal wraps, no extreme plastic molded parts. I like it; doesn't get in the way of the displayed doll, easy to remove and easy to recycle!

I snipped all the excess plastic from the card insert and was surprised at how little there was!

The backgound looks like an old and faded book page with water coloured sketches. 

 Strings of pearls and giant love hearts hang from the fairytale castle's turrets.

A giant red apple sits beneath Apple's slogan 'The most fabulous one of all!', underneath a cluster of bare looking, but colourful trees.

'Apple And The Giant Apple!'
A large red book mark hangs from the top right corner, which hides the rest of a small folded booklet. I found that the 'cut here' symbol and dotted line across the top and bottom of the booklet's cover were too close to the actual pages, so you risk cutting into them whilst trying to free the piece. I suggest unhooking the card tabs and freeing the whole piece to avoid accidental damage!

 The booklet folds out to reveal a deeper look into Apple's character and life.

There are some cute doodles and prints along the pages to make it seem more personalised than simply printed paragraphs.

Here's everything out of the box. It took me a short while to realise that a stand was in fact included, but it was hidden inside the cardboard insert! If I hadn't opened the fold on the side of the box to flatten it out, I might have accidentally thrown it away. 

She comes with her clothes, accessories and shoes, a booklet, a stand, a brush and a bag.

The brush is cast in the shape of an ornate golden key, featuring the logo in the centre of the handle. 

It has large, sparse bristles which seem strong but not particularly effective. A static charge is created between the plastic hair and the plastic bristles which causes fly-aways and frizzy hair.

The stand has the same set up as Monster High stands. It comes in 3 parts; a clip, the base and the post. 
The clip has a cross in the centre which the smaller end of the post slides through. The other end of the post features a clipping mechanism which, once slid into the opening in the base, keeps upright. The dolls waist is then pushed between the two arms of the clip and is held securely in place.

The clip, base and post.
Close up of the clip.

The base is the same design as the box art. 

 The base it a little taller than regular MH stands, but they end up at the same height.

The clip fits snuggly around the waist.

Apple is a very pretty doll! She seems like a well rounded character from afar. Let's take a closer look at her.

She has a cute head though the facial sculpt is somewhat lacking compared to MH dolls. There is little to no eye sculpting, a small button nose and small slightly pouty lips. Her expression is neutral, with a small hint of a smirk.

The screening is nice and neat. Her eyes are large with minimalistic make up. Her irises are baby blue with lighter definition lines to give depth. The 'shading' in her eyes is an odd mauve. She has light brown eye shadow to match her eyebrows, and a small strip of silver to accent.

It seems Apple's facial screening isn't always level, which means she is prone to an unfortunate eye wonk, with the left eye being higher. I picked up the last Apple in the store, and was lucky to get one with only an ever-so-slight misprint. 

Her lips are one matte shade of carnation pink, with three small 'gloss lights' on her lower lip, with the first slightly larger than the others. I've not seen this method before but it works.

What a cute profile!

Her hair is quite the opposite of what you'd expect from the daughter of Snow White. It's a shiny golden blonde with a light wave above some tight ringlets. She has a side part which usually falls into her face (I went on to adjust the headband and tucked the hair under to keep it in place) and the other side is pulled back and twirled to keep it tight. The piece is tied with an elastic band under a layer of hair to keep the style.

Unfortunately after a bit of handling the curls began to fall out or became very messy. I've brushed them out to make it more manageable but will boil wash some of the tight ringlets back in. 

Her accessories include a decorative ruby red headband which features a large molded bow and a reddish-gold crown adornment. 

Whilst trying to get a good picture of the subtle molded design on the band and crown, I noticed her hair was rooted particularly thin on the top of her head.
After digging around her scalp I thought that the softness of her hair more than made up for the the rooting (which is adequate for it's style.)

Apple wears a golden bolero with a white diamond-esque print. The bolero has a high collar and poofy cap sleeves which are finished with gold trim. All the edges are hemmed nicely and the stitching is solid. I would have liked for the collar to be lined so the 'wrong side' of the fabric isn't on display.

The dress is a sturdy one-piece. The red satin bodice has darts along the front and is trimmed with the same delicate black net which finishes the ornate peplum over skirt. 

The over skirt is made from a strong and stiff fabric which has a white to blush gradient, with scrolls, vines and flowers decorating the centre.

The underskirt is made from the same stiff satin with a shining gold swirl pattern. All the edges are finished tidily.

The piece closes at the back with a single piece of velcro, which is stitched in with red thread so it is discrete.

Under the dress Apple wear simple black fine fishnet tights. The material feels strong to withstand play and multiple dressings/undressings.

I feel that Monster High fans have been really spoiled by the amazing shoe molds, clothes, accessories and styles. I feel that EAH has a lot to live up to.
I really like these shoes; the colour is perfect, the design is cute and the apple leaf and stalk on the heel is a brilliant touch. However, I don't like the slighty-too-large toe bulge. It looks a touch clowny to me, but in the grand scheme of the doll's design it's only a small personal preference.

The heel is a swirl of.. something, I'm not too sure. A vine, a scroll, a unicorn's horn? Some colour would be helpful to differentiate but it doesn't seem particularly out of place in the design.

After a row of studs, the 3 straps across the front of the shoe are neat little bows in the same red-gold as her crown.

The heels have small slits in the back so the shoes can be removed and put back on easily. I noticed when putting the shoes back on that the toes have a tendency to get caught along the straps, however, the slightly flexible plastic allows for movement so the foot can eventually be wriggled back in.

Her purse is an oversized beaded apple, with a large golden leaf trailing from a golden stem. The handle is formed by a solid loop of golden beads. The handle can rotate all the way around the apple.

The top section of the apple pulls off to reveal a spacious inside. 

Apple wears bow mold earrings with single hanging pearls, a matching bow ring to fit over two fingers, a bangle with detailed patterns and a collar style tier necklace which is a mass of pearls with small bow tied on the side.

Everything fits fine, but the ring is a little loose. However, this is easily resolved by using one of the small clear elastic bands which is used in the packaging and tying it around the ring and securing it around the wrist.

The ring is really cute and suits the stylised sculpt of her hand.

Her hands are sculpted much more realistically than the 'elegant' Monster High hands

Daraculaura and Frankie hands. Image by 'KraftyKitsune' on MHD.com
 Her left hand is a very similar sculpt to her right hand, though the fingers are a little more curved.

There was much speculation before EAH's release about their body sculpts.  Some people thought they would have the regular Monster High body, others thought they would have the taller Nefera/Headmistress Bloodgood body, but as it turns out, it's an entirely new one altogether!

The new bodies are a little bit smaller, but their much larger heads make them taller. They have thicker proportions which look healthier compared to the regular MH body.

The lower legs have slightly thicker calves and more defined ankles. The bigger toe acts as an anchor to keep shoes on. The high arch of the feet stays the same though the EAH feet look a little bigger. This means most MH and EAH shoes can be swapped!

EAH thighs are a little longer and thicker.

EAH forearms are a little longer and thicker. EAH forearms, unlike MH, do not come out to allow for easier clothe changing.

The jointing system works the same so they have the same articulation.

Both hands come off to and they use the same peg system as MH hands. This means, despite non of the skin tones matching, that the hands can be swapped!

Uh.. Weird..

The torsos don't have such an exaggerated sway back, but still have a stylised arch. Her behind is a little larger and her stomach doesn't sway back like MH dolls. 

I did an overlay of the two torsos to give an idea of how the torsos differ (I'm not a technical wiz though..)

Their clothes can be swapped due to the similar body sizes!

However, some clothes don't quite close properly due to the larger bust and hips.

Strapless items may also be loose for the same reasons
The tights are a little slack due to her thinner legs
However, Clawdeen rocks this little rouge number!
Overall, Apple White is a beautiful doll. There are little set backs which are entirely personal preferences as opposed to lack of quality or poor design.

I feel Ever After High was created in response to consumers who had deemed Monster High 'too scary' or parents who viewed the body sculpts and costumes not suitable for children. Mattel have listened to their customers and filled in the gap in the market by creating a 'safer' idea and a healthier body sculpt.

Personally, the complaints about the clothes being too revealing or 'inappropriate' and such have never bothered me because 1) They're not revealing at all, 2) Who cares, I'm sick of slut-shaming which appears to be rampant amongst doll lines, and 3) This is a DOLL line so it's going to stylistic.

These people find something to complain about, which really ruins a great franchise that is all about embracing your flaws and loving who you are.

Regardless, I would certainly recommend EAH to people who are put off MH for whatever reasons. They're cute, have fabulous articulation for a play line doll but with the high quality of a collectors line, great personality, very reasonably priced and have all the charm and nostalgia of the beloved fairy-tales the line encompasses. 

And here's a sneak preview of an up-coming doll review: Disney Store's Snow White! 

'Oh I simply detest this bag, Apple!'


  1. Great Review Looking Forward to Getting my EAH dolls Especially Apple ;)
    Anyway seems like these dolls are only available to buy in London For Some Strange Reason ? I Have To Travel All the way to the London Hamley's JUST to get These dolls But I DONT care I cant Wait till October TO GET Them !

    1. Thank you! :) I can't wait for more EAH dolls to be released, they're super cute.

      Well I'm in East Yorkshire and they're slowly trickling into stores across the country, but it only seems that Debenhams stocks them around here :(
      I'm sure we'll see them in more places soon.

  2. Ever After High (EAH) is a franchise which branches from Mattel's hugely ... eeverafterhigh.blogspot.com