Jane Boolittle

19 Jul

My Monster High collection is still giving me grief. Despite my best efforts to resist expansion, its increased by FOUR DOLLS this weekend alone (thanks to Mr Bat <3). I really like to post about each doll – or at least include every doll in a post – because for me, its a good way of valuing and appreciating my collection. And if I don't value and appreciate my collection, what is the point of collecting? Taking photos of and writing about each doll makes me feel like I'm doing this. I do have a few dolls who have missed out on a post, but not many, and there's always time to come back to them, I suppose. Its just that at the moment, I'm kind of feeling like I can't keep up, because I also have too many in-the-box dolls who are waiting to be taken out, examined, photographed and generally made a fuss of. I know that in these circumstances, I should just stop buying for a bit, but er, I never have much success with this, and at the moment I have my eye on two new additions in particular. No. Better to just catch up. If I can. So I'm going to make a start this weekend.

I got Jane Boolittle a little while ago. Jane is a new character and its not entirely clear what kind of Monster she is. This is part of her back-story – she was adopted by Dr Boolittle who found her in the jungle at a young age, and is still searching for details of her parentage. Personally, I'd suggest that at least one of them was Na'vi, doesn't she have an Avatar kind of look to her?

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There’s nothing explicit on her packaging, but the inclusion of a pen (secreted in her “staff”) and blank pieces of paper (in her handbag) make me think that she was designed to fit into the Secret Creepers range, a line of Monster High pet-shaped toys that can be used to hide things and communicate “secret messages”. As Jane does not seem to be attached to any other wave, and her blurb states that she is better at making friends with animals than with people, this would seem to make sense.

Speaking of friends, Jane is accompanied by one of the more original Monster High pets, a blue sloth called Needles. Needles is certainly super cute and I love the way he fits onto Jane’s back like a backpack, but I must say I’m a little confused by the fact that he seems to be “patchworked”, as if Dr Frankenstein may have had a hand in making him?? I remember that before she was released, there was a great deal of online talk about “the new character with the sloth” – Needles really seems to have caught the popular imagination.

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In the same way that Twyla seems to be lit by moonlight, Jane appears to be under the beam of one of those UV lights that picks out certain colours and makes them fluorescent. The contrast between the indigos in her skin and hair, the sharp blue of her eyes and her facial spots (reminiscent of tribal tattoos), and the vivid orange and reds of her outfit accents could have been confusing and messy, but it all makes visual sense. Like Cerise Hood, her tunic, skirt and leggings reach a nice balance between practicality and girliness, establishing her character nicely. One small complaint – she has two “feather” epaulettes joined between the shoulder blades which are made of plastic, and I took the clear band off that hold these in place, not realising that there is no fastening on them, they just rest there. Without the band, they drop off all the time. I don’t like this – outfits should be removable and have fastenings to put them back on again, especially on dolls who are designed primarily as playthings.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention the issue of race. Mattel have long given the impression that they don’t particularly like to talk about race, and would far rather make dolls who are racially ambiguous (like Lea and, arguably, Raquelle) than clearly identifiable (like the So In Style dolls, which are hugely popular but suffer from limited distribution, making them hard to find). Monster High must be a dream come true for them, as they can always truthfully say that they are producing dolls who are green and blue and purple, rather than black or white. But of course the issue of race is still there, underneath – I think that most people would identify Clawdeen and family as dolls of colour, for instance. I think that Jane is another one of those Monster High dolls of colour that they don’t make – although of course that is arguable. Personally, I’m glad to (kind of) see this, although I wish they wouldn’t be so coy about it … does anybody else have any thoughts on this? I’d like to hear them if so.

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13 Responses to “Jane Boolittle”

  1. bat6660 July 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Great pictures, I am glad you like the new dolls x

  2. Ian July 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Needles is THE cutest thing I’ve seen in some time. I’d buy him on his own!

    • barbielea July 23, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Isn’t he just, Ian? I forgot to mention – he’s hollow inside and squishy, presumably so you can put secrets inside him too. So he works like a real backpack!

  3. Andrea July 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    The picture wirh Jane in the fern leaves is just adorable and Needles is beyond cute. She has a very sweet expression. Hm, once again you make me contemplating if I shouldn’t have bought her. πŸ˜€

    • barbielea July 27, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

      Thankyou Andrea πŸ™‚ Haha, you know you want to!

  4. Blackkitty July 31, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    It’s funny how the hair accessory is shaped to sit like in the box art, yet nobody who reviews this doll puts it on the hairline. It’s the first thing I’d try to do if I had this doll πŸ™‚

    I often wondered about the ethnicity of the MH dolls. Aside from the obvious Wolf family, I see distinct black features in Abbey and Honey. Jinafire is evidently Chinese. I think part of the problem is that myths from exotic places are poorly researched and designers rely on well-known monsters (although there’s no reason vampires or ghosts should be exclusively white!)

    I’d love to see racial diversity in fashion dolls and I love that MH, in spite of their deficiencies, still offer a large variety of faces and colours beyond the confines of the human species. A little imagination and customisation can place a doll in any ethnic background πŸ™‚

    • barbielea August 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Ah, never even noticed that with the hair accessory – I’ll have to try it, I think it would look better. Thanks.

      I can see what you mean about the dolls you mention – especially Honey, with her fabulous afro’d hair. That’s certainly a look I’d like to see them use this look again.

      • Blackkitty August 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

        Honey’s hair is amazing, probably difficult to play with but looks very beautiful. On a slightly different subject, have you seen the Japanese character announced at the SDCC? Wow!

      • barbielea August 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

        Hmmm, I’ve seen the pictures from SDCC but nothing I would immediately identify as a Japanese character – did I miss something? There’s that beautiful doll from the Haunted Range, is her name Kiyomi? And a lovely Japanese-themed Draculaura too, but I don’t think that’s the one you mean. More info please!

      • Blackkitty August 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

        I’m sorry, I did mean Kiyomi! She’s modeled after some faceless spirits from Japanese mythology as far as I can tell.

      • barbielea August 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

        Really? Looking through the SDCC pics, she was one of the dolls I was most interested in. Now I know a bit if her back story, I am even more intrigued as I have a bit of a thing for Japanese-influenced stuff. Thanks πŸ™‚

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • barbielea August 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

        Ah, she’s super gorgeous. Haven’t seen a close-up of her yet, but I know I really want her πŸ™‚

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