Today I'm going to take a look at one of the Deluxe style toys, Princess (or in Equestria Girls, Principal) Celestia! Around the same time I picked up another set I was greatly anticipating- Ghoulia Yelps and Cleo DeNile Lab partners set.
I have to say that I really love the Equestria Girls packaging! It's so colorful, and while it's a bit odd having the pony character so prominent, rather than the Equestria Girls human character, let's face it- which form is more recognizable? It just makes sense to keep the focus squarely on the My Little Pony character and the personality/characterization we're all familiar with.
I'm not going to cover Cleo right now, but I definitely want to talk about her- and her AWESOME Egyptian themed vanity playset, in a future journal!
As you can see, Celestia comes with a really neat pony version of herself as well!
Both sets were $24.99 US. I bought Celestia at Toys R Us while Ghoulia and Cleo came from Target.
Here they are! As you can see, at 9 inches tall, Princess Celestia is quite a bit shorter than 12 inch Ghoulia. Ghoulia has 11-points of articulation- knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. Celestia has 5-points of articulation- hips, shoulders, and neck. Her feet/boots also pivot, but we'll get to the later. Pony Celestia has no articulation a molded and quite-beautiful mane and brushable tail. Ghoulia also comes with her own plastic stand while Celestia does not, I used a generic pink one in the photo.
As is traditional with Monster High dolls, Ghoulia has AMAZING shoes, a pair of platform sneakers with pantent-leather toes and wonderfully gruesome red brain matter soles.
Ghoulia's hair is wonderfully soft. I don't know what material Mattel uses for their doll hair, but it's soft and lush. I've had Monster High dolls packed away in boxes for a month or more, and when I take them out their hair is perfect and falls right into place. Sometimes they use a bit too much glue to hold more intricate styles in place, but it always looks picture perfect. While I was out taking photos it was humid and damp, but Ghoulia's hair never got frizzy.
Her labcoat has more of the sweet brain pattern for collar and cuff accents. Her headband also has a brain decoration on it and her glasses are nicely detailed with actual clear acryclic "glass". Her dress and earrings are my favorite part of this doll. The pattern of her outfit is a Monster high version of the periodic table, spelling out things like "Ghouls Rule" "Creepy" "Friends" and "Scary". Her earrings are also sections of the periodic table and spell out Gh F F (Ghoul Friends Forever, naturally.)
Ghoulia has a nicely scuplted face with her curious, wide eyes and some sparkly makeup accents on her eyes. As is to be expected with Monster High, everything about this doll is fantastic. Just look at the way her colors come together and the great themeing on her outfit and accessories. Being the class braniac and a zombie, everything about her designs screams brains- both in terms of smarts and diet!
All Ghoulia's joints are tight and she's super posable. She doesn't stand on her own, due to her posture and those crazy high-heels. All of her clothes are intricately stitched. Too often doll clothes are stitched and assembled in such a way that they look like...well, doll clothes. Ghoulia's outfit is assembled just the way you'd expect a labcoat and dress, with the exception of a Velcro fastener on the back of the jumper. Everything fits great and doesn't feel at all cheap or delicate.
Now that we've covered the Monster High honor student, lets check out the Canterlot High School principal!
I have to say that Celestia is a BEAUTIFUL doll. She's super cute and her soft-edges, curves, and pastel colors really make her pop. And let's take a moment to be ever-so thankful that we got a non-pink Celestia, at least in terms of skin (fur?) color! She can war as much pink as Hasbro can layer on, just as long as her base color is show/movie accurate...ish!
Celestia's outfit is...well, it's pretty cheap compared to Ghoulia's. It feels sort of generic with lots of mesh and sparkles to cover up a basic skirt and sleeveless top. The skirt part has a little detail in terms of a repeated sun pattern matching Celestia's cutie mark. But otherwise this outfit doesn't say much about Celestia as a character, princess, or High School principal.
Dem boots! Of course, Celestia is sporting the Equestria Girls-style chunky footwear. The boots are actually REALLY cute with nice detail on the lacing and bows. But once again they don't say much at all about who is wearing them. No sun accents, no flourishes or royal-looking symbols. Not even a color scheme that says she's older, more mature, an authority figure, or anything that sets her apart from any of the other dolls/characters. But the biggest problem with her footwear is this:
She's got a bit of a...thing going on there. This is the natural position her legs/boots want to fall into if you just pick up the toy and let her flop wherever. The problem is that the Equestria Girls Dolls don't have feet at all. If you are pregnant, suffer from any heart conditions, or are easily startled, I suspect you skip the next image as it's chock full'o nightmare fuel.
Okay, imagine that crawling up the basement stairs around midnight! She's like Slenderman's perky little sister. All kidding aside, this is a huge problem for me. Dolls should have feet. When you undress the doll for a bath or the beach or to admire her awesome dragon scales she should have all her limbs intact. It doesn't help that she has next to no posability or points of articulation, so no-matter what she's doing she looks stiff-limbed and awkward. Without elbows or knees, she's pretty much stuck with three modes:
"Hugs?" "I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands" and "Hitler"
Celestia has a really lovely face, and in that it seems to be somewhat distinctive compared with the other dolls. She still looks way too young, but at least she has her own expression. She also has a bit of an awkward Cutie Mark facial tattoo going on. Obviously the Canterlot School District has a REALLY progressive board! She has big expressive pink eyes with the same kind of sparkly blue eyeshadow as Ghoulia. I guess they shop at the same makeup store!
Celestia's hair is, unfortunately, a hot mess. Within minutes of taking her out of the box, it had become a frizzy mess. The brushable pony toys are the same way, of course, and require fairly routine washing, conditioning and styling to keep nice. One pink strand is EXTRA long and hangs down her back similar to those early concepts we saw. Thankfully the "pony tail" thing wasn't a part of the cartoon because it sort of looks like one of those rat-tail haircuts elementary school bullies wore in the 80s.
Principal Celestia doesn't come with any jewelry, but she does have a pair of crystal-y wings... crystal-y BUTTERFLY wings. Yes, her wings ARE so pretty but come on, Celestia doesn't even get her official feathered wings! Boo! Hiss! Angry words!
While the doll itself is a bit underwhelming, the pony toy she comes with is just lovely! Look at that mane. She has a detachable jewel cutie mark and a fancy little tattoo on her right foreleg.
The only downside is that despite the gorgeous molded mane, she has a McDonald's style brushable tail. Much like Human Celestia's hair, it turned into a frizzy jumble shortly after opening the package.
So now that I have the dolls to properly compare, I have to say I'm still disappointed in the Equestria Girls toys. I've actually grown to really like some of the EQG outfits and designs from the movie, and its disappointing that they didn't translate. I'd very much like a Twilight Sparkle doll featuring her outfit from Equestria Girls, but none of her doll counterparts wear it. The joints are loose and have extremely limited posability. No feet, relatively cheap feeling and looking clothes, and no real attention paid to the character's personality, style, status, or persona.
$24.99 is just too much to pay for one doll of this quality. The pony is a nice plus, but with the Monster High set you get two dolls of tremendous quality plus some cool little science lab accessories.
One thing I want to consistently emphasize is that as a concept, the Equestria Girls dolls could totes work. But if they were going to copy the concept of Monster High, I wish Hasbro would have also stuck to the things that really make it fantastic, chiefly the quality. I don't mind picking up a few EQG character I like here and there, and I'd certainly be more inclined if they start releasing movie-accurate outfits, but I don't see myself collecting them with the same fervor I reserve for the regular MLP toys and Monster High (and, I suspect, the MH spinoff Ever After High that will be out soon.)
Thanks again for reading about my plastic crack addiction! And if you have any interest in the EQG dolls, don't let me dissuade you! This is all just my personal opinion, and in the interest of full disclosure, and assuming her feet are pointing in the right direction, Celestia looks pretty good on the shelf! Whatever you do, enjoy the things you love, even if they're in desperate need of a hot-oil hair treatment and are missing feet.
After all, it could be worse!
In a week or so I'll take a look at Cleo DeNile and her Vanity/Elder God Altar playset! Till then, take care everyone!