Today, I set out to do another big Monster High post like the ones I did about my Scaris wave dolls. I had saved up the dolls I have purchased so far, and I planned to debox them and photograph them all in one go. However, I only got as far as Tywla. I wasn’t in the mood to do any more once I’d deboxed her. I had to stop and have a think about this doll.
Strange. I saw photos of Twyla and read reviews about Twyla and thought “interesting, load of great features there, think I’ll get her” (I love new characters). But I didn’t get that “got to have this doll RIGHT NOW” feeling. My boyf rang me up from the shops to tell me he had found “some new Monster Highs” when Thirteen Wishes was first released over here. From my target dolls, there was Twyla and one other on the shelves. He said he’d get me one, I hummed and haa’d and eventually chose the other – although he came home with both, bless him. Even when I got her, I liked her and I was pleased to have her but I didn’t get that urge to rip open the box. I wanted her, but it was all quite considered and laid-back and so-what. But today when I deboxed her, I found myself thinking “bloody hell!” The great thing about Twyla, the unusual and appealing thing about Twyla, is just how amazingly spooky she is.
Here is a doll who is designed to be viewed in the dark (her hair glows a little, her eyes glow a lot). Her character lives in the dark. Her colour scheme consists of that combination of twilight colours that is so popular in the Dollyverse at the moment. When she’s taken out of the bright packaging she comes in and put against a dark background, she looks as if she might be lit by moonlight. It’s really very clever – one thing the MH design crew are excellent at is this use of colour to create effects that are almost optical illusions (for instance Spectra and her eye-defying combinations of purple, the way that Frankie’s colour levels are constantly turned up and down like she’s being viewed through a monitor or a photo editing package).
It’s not just that. Twyla has that strange, unsmiling, slightly open-mouthed sculpt with a rather quizzical, far-away expression. Whenever I take photos of a doll, I like to try and get at least one shot that gives the illusion that the subject is looking straight into the camera , as these nearly always look pretty good. I found it virtually impossible to get the right angle with Twyla – she’s like the opposite of the Mona Lisa, wherever you stand she’s looking elsewhere. Now THAT’S spooky.
(I got so wrapped up in photographing Twyla that I forgot to photograph her pet, Dustin – o well, maybe another time).