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I've made several guest appearances on podcasts lately discussing the latest 100 megaton drama bomb to hit our community, codenamed Equestria Girls.  Don't worry, me borthers (and sisters.)  Your humble narrator has no interest in rehashing the history of the animated film.  At this point we all know what it is, quite a few of us have seen it, and most all of us have made up our minds one way or t'other.

What I do want to talk about is a subject I bring up frequently in interviews- the comparison between the Equestria Girls as a brand and toy line and it's spiritual cousin Monster High.  While its not something I participate in with near the time commitment or veracity of MLP, I am a HUGE fan of Monster High.  As a lifelong horror fan and borderline gothy-type girl, I was certainly baited by the dolls when they first came out.  However, the hook wasn't well and truly set until the lovely :iconegophiliac: sent me my first doll as a present.  Soon after, I began buying up the entire line of creepy cuties, watching the webisodes and spending even MORE time in the pink aisle of any store with a toy department. 

At this point, we've all seen the incredibad Equestria Girls toy designs 

EQGIrlsDolls by PixelKitties

Applejack is wearing a fedora.  A FEDORA.  Why is a cowboy hat such a difficult concept to grasp!?!  I mean her shoes are brown!  Why doesn't her hat match...argh!

Ahem... and we're all keenly aware that the entire Equestria Girls brand is built around the idea of Hasbro wanting a piece of the wildly successful Monster High doll market.  Many MLP fans throw around the comparison to Monster High with the assumption that MH is essentially on par with, say, Bratz (there is a z in there isn't there?  Like LIMOZEEN!) and thus it's the association with Monster High that is damaging My Little Pony.

The truth is, however, that Monster High is the most popular toy line in the world right now because of very specific reasons.  Hasbro's approach to Equestria Girls isn't bad simply because of the Monster High aesthetic but in fact they're missing out on all the key points that have made MH an incredibly well-designed, high quality, and intricately themed successful toy line.  

Over the next few days I'd like to look at three of my favorite Monster High dolls and demonstrate just what it is about them that I personally find so exciting and fun and that make them truly revolutionary in terms of not only girl's toys but toys in general.  Tomorrow I'll start by looking at my personal favorite character, Ghoulia Yelps, a zombie and the smartest girl...ah, GHOUL in Monster High!  The particular doll I'll be looking at is one of the cheaper versions on the market, Skull Shores bathing suit Ghoulia.  After that we'll look at Skelita Calveras, a Dia de Los Muertos-themed skeleton from the Scaris: City of Frights line and the following day we'll close with Jinafire Long, a golden dragon also from City of Frights. 

Mh 001 Sm by PixelKitties

Thanks for the patience and indulging my other toy obsession!  Also, a word of note/warning- I'm going to upload the pics at absurdly high res so folks can see all the fancy details I'm discussing.  I'll try not to crash Skynet with giant-sized Monster High images!
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:iconashtrol:
Ashtrol Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The books are my favorite. The author of them made the Clique series I believe, so they are very interesting, and has some really neat teen drama in them that makes the books more interesting.
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:iconacheron187:
Acheron187 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
YEAH! I have recently started collecting Monster High dolls, I very much enjoy them. I honestly get tired of people comparing EQG to MH...
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
My only regret is that I didn't start collecting them sooner! Now I'm having to pay top dollar for the Series 1 dolls!
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:iconbookishdelight:
BookishDelight Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013   Writer
Wait, Monster High ever needed "defending?" Since when? :O

No, really, this actually comes as a mild shock. I know an ample amount of folks with good heads on their shoulders who are into the series and dolls like you wouldn't believe. Looks like I'm adding you to that list. ;)

(Also thanks for providing a link to the websisodes in one easy place. Guess it's time I finally checked this out, eh?)
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's a pretty common judgment that folks see the big heads and long legs and want to lump Monster High in with, say, Bratz. It was especially obvious once the first pics of Equestria Girls were released and there were plenty of angry pony fans lamenting MLP turning into Monster High.

It's sad, because the truth is that MH is a toyline every manufacturer should strive to emulate, at least in terms of quality, detail, thematic dedication and value.
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:iconraya-lu:
raya-lu Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
I'm excited to read these! I love Monster High and the designs are truly incredible (Ghoulia is a favorite of mine as well - I cosplayed as her recently).

Despite being an huge mlp fan, I don't keep up much with the community drama or news, so I hadn't seen those doll designs yet. Applejack really makes me cringe...
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much! And it's SO AWESOME that you got to cosplay as Ghoulia! I've been wanting to do that for some time, but the only cons or things I go to are pony-related, so I think the reference would be lost on most!

You are a very very smart fan for keeping out of the drama! It's really not good for anyone's health!

Thanks for reading my little journals and taking the time to comment! <3
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:iconpaintingkitteh:
Paintingkitteh Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I want the equestria Girls dolls ;_;
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I suspect I will still pick up a few because...well, they are pony things and I must own them! And if they happen to release a Trixie doll...well, I'll pretty much have to buy them all and turn them into a giant Trixie Voltron!
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:iconender1200:
ender1200 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
It shouldn't be impossible to convert on of the dolls into Trixy. I know that there are some people who are good at converting MH dolls into customs and working with EQG shouldn't be too different.
Then again Maybe converting a MH doll into Trixie would be a better move.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Catrine would actually make a fantastic Rarity- [link]
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:iconpaintingkitteh:
Paintingkitteh Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
xD The great and powerful trixie!.. Needs some peanut butter crackers.
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:iconbluepaws21:
bluepaws21 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
i just got addicted to monster high dolls last fall... why couldn't they have these when i was a kid!
have you seen this custom MH fluttershy? [link]
so awesome!
i still plan on getting the dolls when they come out.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That is such a beautiful custom! Wow!
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:iconbothersomekitsune:
BothersomeKitsune Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Personally, I like Monster High. It can seem a bit too tame at times for something based on classical myths and horror film, but overall I do enjoy it. I personally can't wait for the spin-off, Ever After High. I've seen the royal/rebel webisodes and I do like the art conepts. Especially Maady Hatter and Raven Queen's designs. I think it'll get just as popular as MH
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I dunno, there's only so far you can push the horror themes with children's toys. As it is, I see more blood and gore on the MH dolls than anything in the boy's aisle!
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:iconbothersomekitsune:
BothersomeKitsune Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Yeah, that's true. I don't know, I'm a bit biased against it, but you are right there is defiantly more blood and gore than there was when I was a little girl.
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:iconamana07:
Amana07 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
If Hasbro had just told DHX to make a more teen geared movie from the MLP genre, they could have ended up with something awesome. The words are hollow anymore since i've pre-apologized for them being potentially hurtful, but I just can't view Equestria Girls as anything but a mountain dew and pixie stick fueled all nighter by a Hasbro Executive. They flipped on the TV during their escapade and came upon Monster High.

I just hope this "Equestria Girls" stays a movie. Only reason it looks, and apparently turned out decent, is through the talented crew of DHX, the VAs, and Daniel Ingram and his musically gifted people. I don't plan to see the movie, and Twilight being the cash cow of G4 is starting to irk me. I truly feel sorry for when that poor little pony is milked so hard that she can't produce any more milk, and then gets pitched into the garbage like some left over piece of food from way back in the fridge that has been in there for so long it looks like a science experiment gone wrong.

I'm also rather disheartened to see those awesome 3D printed ponies being quashed by a C&D from Hasbro. If they were to take a reasonable approach and try to consult with these people instead of instantly firing off a C&D, they could enter into a wonderful age of company consumer relationship. Guess the best we can get from it all is Welovefine, but that's pretty good on the T-Shirt/Poster side.
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:iconpuddingvalkyrie:
PuddingValkyrie Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The thing I say about Monster High dolls is: 'Finally, dolls I approve of!' XD I never liked dolls when I was little, and when I played with my My Little Ponies, any human dolls I had were always the bad guys... Though I don't have any MH stuff, I do like it and I like the idea of getting little girls to play with monsters! I always liked folklore and stuff, and I love crazy hair colours and whatnot, and I just think they're neat. :heart:
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I love them too! I really didn't need another toy line to sink money into but...oh well! Thanks for reading!
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:iconkartoon12:
KarToon12 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What makes Monster High appealing to me is the fact that not only are the dolls well made, they're also unique, and trying to send the message of just being yourself, and liking yourself and other people, despite yours and their flaws. Ghoulia, Frankie, and Abby are some of my favorite characters.

Have you read the chapter books? They're pretty good too. :)
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Agreed! I love the whole "be unique" message behind the toys!

I've been wanting to check out the books for a while! I'm still not caught up on all the CGI movies!
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:iconkartoon12:
KarToon12 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The first four books (which were written by the same author who wrote "the clique" books) were a bit more serious, and for a teen audience. The newer books are being penned by someone different, and it's clear it's for a younger audience now. I liked the first four books the best.
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:iconsalenstormwing:
SalenStormwing Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Personally, I like a few of the background characters in Monster High. They're REALLY interesting, and it's a little disappointing we can't get those characters as toys. Then again, I say the same about ponies as well, so... maybe I'm just like background characters.

Either way, they need a sphinx-ie... I'd also settle for an anubis-ie-type though.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm always a fan of background characters, and you're right, there are some VERY cool monsters wandering the halls of Monster High!
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:iconsalenstormwing:
SalenStormwing Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
I know, right! Like the Minotaur guy, he's so awesome! I'm always saying, "Why can't I get a figure of that guy? He's like AWESOME!" Then again, I say the same about Dr. Whooves and Derpy and Octavia and everyone else...

Also, I would like to see a few more monster species than just the few I've seen so far. Yes, there are werewolves and vampires, but how about OTHER stuff! Like Minotaurs, unique and interesting. Diversity is awesome! Then again, I also say the same about wanting more gryphons in MLP:FiM too, so... eh, I guess I just have a lot of hopeful wishing. I do that a lot.
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:iconwarewolves:
Warewolves Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Wow, talk about a big difference in quality.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Quality and dedication to the artistic aspects. Now I just wish I had an extra room to display them all at once!
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:iconwarewolves:
Warewolves Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Basement? No...they'd get mouldy...Attic? Too dusty...

Robbing a bank?
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:iconzsparkonequus:
ZSparkonequus Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For me, Equestria Girls movie was good, the dolls are/will not.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I still need to see the movie! Will probably wait for disk release.
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:iconjetjk3:
JETJK3 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
I won't judge, but I'll JUST stick with My Little Pony. Until I hear about the rage Bronster's I will stay being a Brony.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm not sure what a rage Bronster is?

As for judging, it's not about picking sides or giving up on being a pony fan. Obviously most of my time and energy is spent on cartoon horse-related pursuits and I still buy all the toys and merch. I'll probably by the Equestria Girls toys as well. But Monster High definitely gives me hope that toys can be both artistically and aesthetically interesting and of high production quality.
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:iconjetjk3:
JETJK3 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Bro + Monster = Bronster (Bro-ny)

See everypony the magic of friendship doesn't just reside in the TV show My Little Pony, it can also exist in other TV shows too. All we have to do is spread the word ... Now whose with Me!
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh! I get it now! Sorry, not sure how I missed that!
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:iconfoolyguy:
foolyguy Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Having never watched or followed Monster High, this was a very interesting read & I thank you for sharing~
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
No problem! Thanks for reading!
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:icon14-spades:
14-Spades Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
While I was never a fan of Monster High, I do like me a good ol' shooter. I think I can make some pretty good comparisons despite the seemingly large difference between an FPS and dolls.

I constantly keep hearing this argument that Hasbro NEEDED to make Equestria Girls to take some of that tempting market share Mattel has. I have not seem the film so I cannot and will not judge it, but I've heard the dolls are just not up to par. The whole point of Equestria Girls was most likely to sell dolls in Monster High's market. I would say it would be fair to use the sales of dolls as the barometer of Equestria Girls success in the market and not the feature film. With that said, I am willing to bet that Equestria Girls will 'under preform' in reports. Why? I believe I have a similar market example that outlines what will probably will happen.

I'm sure you folks are all sick of Activision's Call of Duty. The epitome of the brown, gritty FPS's everywhere; internet punching bag; and the guilty pleasure I finally managed to shake (Got hooked on Fire Emblem). Say what you will about the franchise and its shady business practices, there is no denying the influence it has on the game industry. Many franchises such as Battlefield, Crisis, Medal of Honor, Dead Rising, Aliens: Colonial Marines have tried/trying to emulate Call of Duty's success to the disdain of gamers everywhere. EA, just by itself has dumped millions of dollars into projects just to get some of that large, tempting marketshare Call of Duty has. So far, all have failed. Medal of Honor: Warfighter didn't sell enough to make it, Colonial Marines outright pissed of it's fans, and Dead Rising is catching flak for becoming to dark and gritty. Even Battlefield, the next closest thing, has not even touched Call of Duty in terms of sales.

With that being said, how come Call of Duty has not been topped in sales? With this large market to sell to, why has there not been anything to really challenge Call of Duty? Simple. Call of Duty's market has been already won. When we already have Call of Duty, we are not as likely to buy other things to buy other things that are not as good at being Call of Duty then Call of Duty. Meanwhile, there are other markets which are not getting enough attention. There is a decent indie scene, single player games such as Bioshock: Infinate and Skyrim are successful, and my beloved Fire Emblem has succeed sales expectations with sprites and lack of feet on the character models. Even Xcom, which was going to become a shooter to appeal to a bigger market, has become grounded in strategy after the success of Enemy Uknown. Still, many publishers still chase Call of Duty's market because it happens to be the biggest.

So, how does this apply to Monster High and Equestria Girls? I am worried that Hasbro's 'Battlefield' (EQG) is trying to hard to chase Mattel's 'Call of Duty' (MH). I am by no means comparing Hasbro to EA in terms of business practices, but I am in intent of chasing a won audience. I have a feeling that the audience that likes Monster High just wont warm up to Equestria Girls as they already have the Monster High girls that they like. Heck, if you are a parent, would you rather buy the thing that you know your daughter already likes and asks for or are you going to buy what looks to imitation? My guess you would go with the former.

I have no problems with Equestria Girls existing. However, I think Hasbro went the wrong way with it. Instead of creating something new and fresh for that group or using the MLP franchise in a new and fresh was for MH's market, I think will find the market will give an overwhelming 'meh'. If I am right though, I don't doubt Hasbro is alone in trying to fight for Monster High's Success. I think sales will be even more lackluster if that is true.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
As you said, I think Equestria Girls, as an idea for toys, had a lot going for it. It's profoundly disappointing that the actual product feels...well, kind of phoned in.
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:iconrhiss:
Rhiss Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
Pixel, I'm not convinced at all that Applejack's wearing a fedora there. You could sell me on "upside down flower pot with ear holes" though.

Also, I hate to say it, but it beats [link].
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
LOL Now I can't unsee AJ wearing a flowerpot! That's actually an improvement...maybe she's just been hitting the cider a bit hard!
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:iconpj202718:
pj202718 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
They also seem to want to preempt the upcoming relaunch of Bandai's Sailor Moon.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, is there a new Sailor Moon series coming out?
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:iconpj202718:
pj202718 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
Supposedly. They did plan to start it all over again this summer but it got delayed. They're putting the musicals back on, though.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sailor Moon is such a huge part of my childhood! Nostalgia overload!
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:iconpj202718:
pj202718 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
You're not alone there.
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:iconanzul:
anzul Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student General Artist
im all in for it.
always eager to know how stuff works.
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome! Thanks for reading!
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:iconholly--jolly:
Holly--Jolly Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really do want to snag some of these girls but I already get enough crap when buying blind bags so I'll just stick with ponies being my guilty pleasure.

But I look forward to what you report!
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:iconpixelkitties:
PixelKitties Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I hope you found it entertaining and informative! Thanks for reading!
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