Ever After High – Raven and Cupid

10 May

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The last time I wrote about an Ever After High doll, I wasn’t completely convinced that this line of dolls was going to capture my interest in the longer term. However, I tried very hard not to get too cynical too quickly, as I suspected that eventually, I would get drawn in – which would mean, of course, that then I would be required to turn my high horse right round 360 degrees and start galloping in the other direction. Sure enough, the first wave saw me very interested in just one doll (Maddie) and kind of interested in another (Raven), but with no intention of purchasing the other core characters, who I just wasn’t attracted to. I have not been tempted by any of the re-released characters either (Legacy Day, Getting Fairest). However, then we got to the new characters and I was completely overwhelmed. I hesitated for the longest time, because I had a “must-have” hitlist of three and another couple I was tempted by, and, given my other dolly purchase commitments, I couldn’t have all of them at once but neither could I make my mind up about which one to get first … I ended up locked in a vicious cycle of non-EAH-buying which only ended when I forced myself to stop overthinking it and just bought Cupid at random.

And isn’t she adorable?

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I loved the concept and design of the Monster High Cupid, but her “fish-lips” Cupid’s bow was a deal-breaker for me so I never got her. In the EAH version, the bow is still present but she no longer looks like she’s sucking the inside of her cheeks. This is partly because she has the rounder, softer EAH face and partly because her Cupid’s bow is still there but the rest of her lips are also coloured, in a lighter pink – so she has a “normal” size and shape mouth. Phew! I doubt I would have got her otherwise, and she really is amazingly good. The other two EAH characters I own are just as good, really, but for some reason it was Cupid that brought it home to me how detailed and high-quality these dolls are. EAH must be one of the most intricately designed and manufactured playline ranges ever? I think that even Monster High can’t quite compare – my main issue with MH being the cheap, plasticky look of some of the accessories on the fancier dolls, which isn’t really an issue with EAH. And although I have grown fond of some of the Bratzillas, put them next to an EAH (who have a similar RRP) and there is clearly no comparison in terms of detail and quality of materials.

Anyway, what do I like about Cupid? A lot of it has been said before in “proper” reviews, so I won’t take you through every feature, but basically:

* Two-tone pink hair – due to the tiny plugs used on these dolls, the lighter pink highlights she has been given are really fine and look really good. She did have a bad case of box hair when I first got her out, and we have the same fluffy/ gelled problem here that we have seen in other Mattel ranges, but overall, the colour and the style is wonderful. I love her heart-shaped fascinator, too.

* Contrasting eyes in a vivid sea-blue – with a heart reflection spot! No, its not a new trick, most doll ranges have been using shaped reflections in the eyes to theme dolls for many years, but I still like it.

* The wings. It was the wings that really sold me on this doll. I think that the molding and the gold highlights work really well to give the impression of feathers, and I think that attaching them to a “necklace” rather than expecting the owner to faff around taking them out of holes in the back when changing outfits is an improvement on the design of winged dolls in the Monster High range. Plus, anybody with a winged Monster High knows that you only have to look at these dolls the wrong way and their wings fall out. No longer an issue!

* The outfit – love the cloud and arrow pattern on the skirt. It would have been so easy to go over the top with this doll by using heart patterned fabric everywhere, but they avoided this with great results.

* The bow and quiver. They could have scrimped on the molding of this and done a plain quiver. This probably wouldn’t have impacted on sales. However, they chose to make everything look very detailed. Its not plasticky-looking, no suspension of disbelief is required. Its a great prop for photos. Cool beans.

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* The shoes. Can I just say, my God? I love these shoes. Of course, being a complete geek I’m in a position to tell you that it was Hermes, not Cupid, who owned the winged sandals in Greek mythology, but I get the idea. Cupid. Wings. Winged shoes. They look great.

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Anyway, on to Raven, who I actually bought late last year. I’ve kept hold of her without writing about her because, while I like her Evil Queen getup, I really want to try her in a more dressed-down look as I think it would suit her. I’ve not got round to it yet, though, so I thought I might as well include her in this post – maybe one day.

I wasn’t as sold on Raven as I was on Maddie at first. I thought the outfit was a little unsurprising and clichΓ© for an Evil Queen – a bit, um, Goth by numbers. Sorry, Raven fans – if it makes you feel any better this is probably more about the years I spent dressed as one of the Living Dead and my subsequent move away from this look as I drifted towards middle age, rather than anything to do with this doll. Suffice to say, twenty years ago this doll would have made me hyperventilate – I would have worshipped her.

Its Raven’s face and her wonderful eyes that really decided me. I don’t think that she photographs as nicely as she looks in the plastic – I was certainly surprised when I saw her in person for the first time. Also, while I could see that she had all the right elements there (the widow’s peak, the pallor, the High Goth design) it took me a while to see the resemblance to the Evil Queen, but I got there in the end. A NICE Evil Queen isn’t an easy thing to pull off, when you think about it, is it? Amazing – I actually think they succeeded.

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Things I like about Raven:

* The widow’s peak – a reference to her Mother’s outfit that works really well, and her plugs are tiny and pretty tight so it looks smooth and realistic.

* Her ring- bracelet – another nice little detail (and I used to wear these, so this made me smile). Raven’s handbag is pretty cool too.

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* Her pallor – I love a pale doll, and they don’t get much paler than Raven. If only these doll’s necks weren’t so long, I would probably be stealing Ravens’ bodies for rebodying various pale dolls who would benefit from the wonderful poseability of this body type (I’ve seen Kurhns rebodied to EAHs, and although I thought it was a great idea, the length of the neck put me off trying it myself).

*Her detailed violet eyes, which give her such great facial expression.

* The use of a range of shades of purple, warm in her hair and colder in her outfit, which is quite striking. Its the same kind of visual effect that I really like in MH Spectra – it really makes her colours pop.

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One thing I don’t like about Raven, though, is her huge, ungainly neck collar. It LOOKS alright while she’s boxed (again, its a reference to her Mum’s outfit) and I can see how it would have been hard to make out of fabric, but the hard plastic goes down over her shoulders so that when she raises her arms, it sort of rides up around her neck. I don’t like it when designers compromise playability for the sake of looks – a doll’s first function should be as a plaything and outfits should not compromise movement like this.

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Anyway, that’s it for now – sorry this has been such a long post! Maybe I should have written about Cupid and Raven separately, but they looked so nice together on the photos … anyway, a final special mention for the box art on the EAH dolls. I am always interested in box art and I think that recently, I have preferred MGA’s art for Bratzillaz and Novi Stars to anything Mattel have done. However, I’m really not so sure now – just look at these …

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11 Responses to “Ever After High – Raven and Cupid”

  1. tagidoll May 11, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    They are stunning dolls, I love Cupid. Super big sad face they are not on sale in my country (took them forever to get MH here too).

    • barbielea May 12, 2014 at 12:25 am #

      Hi Tagi – I know, I’d heard they hadn’t reached some countries, yours included! Unbelievable! Hopefully, when the line expands (which it doubtless will) they’ll change their minds. Fingers crossed :-/

  2. Blackkitty May 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Damn. I thought I didn’t need EAHs until I saw your post You take some wicked photos. Now I have to wait until Raven comes to my country 😦

    • barbielea May 12, 2014 at 12:26 am #

      Haha … well and truly enabled πŸ™‚ Thanks Blackkitty. Hopefully you won’t have too long a wait.

  3. kewpie83 May 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    I’m not too excited about many of the re-issues, either. They, to me, look too similar to the original dolls. I’m looking forward to Lizzy Hearts, though.

    • barbielea May 12, 2014 at 12:31 am #

      Hi Kewpie πŸ™‚ yeah, I was very excited about the re-issues, until I saw them. There’s such creativity in this line, I don’t know why they didn’t do something more interesting and varied with the repeat characters. Maybe once they have the brand established a little, we’ll start to see some variety … until then, I can’t see myself buying more than one of each character. Lizzy Hearts!! I know! I read a rumour that they have given up the copyrite on Kitty Cheshire, I don’t know if that’s true or not … I’m hoping not 😦

      • barbielea May 12, 2014 at 12:33 am #

        copywrite? copy-write? Dammit, I really need some sleep …

      • kewpie83 May 13, 2014 at 4:55 am #

        Really? Why would they give up the copyright?! I hope that IS just a rumor!

      • barbielea May 13, 2014 at 8:51 am #

        It might not be true, I can’t even remember where I read it now … And anyway, it doesn’t mean ” never ever” (pardon the pun). There was a similar to-do about Chandra from the SIS range and she turned up again, eventually. Fingers crossed, eh?

  4. Andrea May 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    I love the pic of the girls lying in the grass. I do like EAH Cupid much more than MH Cupid and Raven is so far my favourite EAH character, followed by Maddie. The distribution of Mattel’s dolls is wicked and sinister. I hate it, when I have to hunt high and low for a doll.

    • barbielea May 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Thanks Andrea πŸ™‚ Did you end up getting Raven too, then?

      I just don’t understand how Mattel could miss a whole CONTINENT off its distribution list. “wicked and sinister”, I like it πŸ™‚ …

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