Friday, June 7, 2013

Is Mattel's New "Ever After High" Just Another Princess Line? Or Is It Even Scarier Than "Monster High"?

Are you a royal or a rebel? Is Apple White's destiny at risk? Will Raven Queen flip the script? Let the page turning tale begin...
No. I did not write the above. (!) These are the teaser quotes for Mattel's soon-to-be-released Monster High spin-off line, Ever After High.

Fantasy writer Seanan McGuire (no stranger to fairy tales) summarized the premise for the new toys this way:
"Ever After High, where the children of famous fairy tale figures go to school as they prepare to take the Legacy Pledge and relive the stories of their parents. Hundreds of generations of Wicked Queens and whiteout girls* passing poison apples back and forth between them like Valentines..."
The story, er, collection begins with two characters**, er, dolls: Apple White (Snow White's daughter) and Raven Queen (the Evil Queen's Daughter), playing out their dueling destinies while attending the same classes. (Dum dum daaaaah!)

They even have "Mirror Blogs" we can follow them on as they comment on events, rumors and more from their (opposite) POVs.
(From the official Ever After High website:)
Raven Queen: "Just found out I'm not rooming with Maddie. My new roomie is Apple White???"
Apple White: "Spellbinding morning - the perfect day for starting a charmed new school year. Consulted my magic mirror, and I'm..." (to be revealed) 

 

OK I'll admit it. I've been rolling my eyes for much of this blog post but the "twisted teens fighting crappy destinies"/"stereotypical fairy tale characters get giant doses of reality" concept is actually beginning to make a bizarre sort of sense to me, especially if the characters are referencing the grimmer details of their parents tales and follow basic logic through. If any of those aspects are allowed to play out I can actually see this being quite "high concept" (*wince* sorry) and catching on... In fact it took me all of two minutes to find other people (mainly teens and therefore the target purchase group) thinking along the same lines and already quite excited about the whole idea.

Take a look at an excerpt from one of the (many) comments in a dedicated Tumblr blog:
"...like how is this premise somehow creepier than the one with monsters
I’m getting over my initial aversion but this is giving me some serious NO REALLY THIS IS F***ING DISTURBING feelings regarding fate and free will and the fact that some of these kids are expected to have no choice beyond ultimately dying in unbelievably gruesome ways (go look up what originally happened to Snow White’s stepmom*. Or Cinderella’s stepsisters. I’ll wait here) is a lot scarier than the franchise is admitting so far.
_____
*You know, on reflection, a woman who’d make her former tormentor dance to death in red-hot iron shoes as wedding entertainment probably is a woman who’d name her daughter after that which almost killed her herself and will eventually almost do the same to said daughter."
Then I (re)realized this is actually about selling (yet another) set of princess dolls and not primarily a story, or a show. Nor is it about providing a tool to deal with grim(m) teen issues (although it would be SO cool if that were the case). Unlike the Monster High dolls and accessories (beloved by many fairy tale afficionados) Ever After High has no cool teen zombie designs with bonus frankenfish or adorable voodoo puppy pet accessories to hook you into the sell. Despite that these princesses have the potential to be pretty dark in nature (Twisted Princesses anyone?) it's not like they'll be at home on the shelves next to Gris Grimley and The Walking Dead swag. They're just too... princessy-looking.

And then this appears on the Ever After High Facebook page:

So... yeah. We'll see. The seeds are there but will they bloom into the greatness of their true destiny or will they wither and die like so many forgotten...?

Ack. Never mind.

The line was officially announced at the end of May and is releasing in July this year.
*aka Snow Whites.

** Characters so far are: THE ROYALS - Apple White (daughter of Snow White), Briar Beauty (daughter of Sleeping Beauty), Ashlynn Ella (daughter of Cinderella), Blondielocks (daughter of Goldilocks, also a royal, kind of - not too 'this' and not too 'that'). THE REBELS - Raven Queen (daughter of the Evil Queen), Cedar Wood (daughter of Pinocchio), Cerise Hood (daughter of Little Red Riding Hood, who's hiding a big bad secret), Madeline Hatter (daughter of the Mad Hatter, roommate Kitty Cheshire, she can also hear the narrators) And there are Prince Charmings everywhere, there's a giant named Tiny and the headmaster (Mr. Grimm) has a brother who is locked in a secret library underneath the school... and arguing male and female narrators.

26 comments:

  1. I have pretty mixed feelings about this whole concept, personally. Normally I'd say "ptui" and get annoyed at the marketing ploy of the doll/book combo, then write it all off. But since I discovered that Shannon Hale is writing the first one, I am tentatively holding in my judgment. I think Hale does a wonderful job in her other novels of presenting more complicated characters and writing beautiful stories. So I figure if anyone can save this bad idea, maybe she can. I'm not holding my breath too much though.

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    1. I WANT A KITTY CHESHIRE DOLL UUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG, WHEN WILL THEY MAKE HER!!!!

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    2. They just made one.

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  2. I'm excited by Ever After High, a lot of Monster High fans. I think we all started off being sceptical, thinking that it was some kind of inferior spin-off, but actually the concept makes sense. Although I think the aim from Mattel's point of view is to bridge the gap between Barbie and Monster High... there's an age group in between the two which could be the perfect market for Ever After High.

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  3. I just finished collecting almost all of the monster high dolls. I don't think I have anymore room for more dolls.

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  4. Maybe Ever After High and Monster High aren't so similar to each other as we all think. Maybe in the future we will all find out Ever After High is better, worse, the same, or different from monster high.Well, we won't know till we find out will we?

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  5. I think maybe after all the dolls come out, they will come out with a Ever After High video game?

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  6. I think it is up to our kids to choose monster high or ever after high and more money we have spend.

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  7. I;m not taking this 2 seriously - its just another way 2 make money. I'll just keep watching monster high & pretend this never happened, like the sequel 2 pocahontas

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  8. I don't know if it will be as successful... $36 is a pretty steep price tag per doll. They are beautiful dolls, but I can buy my daughter the 'basic' Monster dolls for $12

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  9. The doll I'm waiting for is cerise hood , because she is a cute monster in Ever After High

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  10. It's clear that Ever After High is here to stay but so far it's looking like it won't take over from Monster High when it comes to popularity. Had Ever After High been released first then I'm sure it would be the other way around. It'll be interesting to see which line of dolls Mattel really pushes in the lead up to Christmas.

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  11. Ever After High is quite interesting for me. Usually the whole princess thing is a total bore, and I get quite annoyed about it. This seems to be different. Ever After High has an ongoing storyline, and beautiful characters mixed with a bit fairy tale and a pinch of high school. To be honest, I prefer EAH to MH (not the dolls exactly, it's just that the storyline for MH is boring) and you have to wonder, have we given MH to much praise for what it's worth. I say we give EAH a try, and see what happens next.

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  12. eah is not like monster high eah has a story line. and anon how could you criticize mh which btw has no storyline

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  13. please make more blog on ever after high

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  14. please make more eah blogs

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  15. After completing my own personal collection of monster high, I don't think that I am going to start the process of creating a new doll collection

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  16. The monster high dolls I buy are the ones with the craziest outfits, hair styles, texture, skin color etc. That's just my taste. Barbie is boring IMO and I when I first saw the EAH dolls, my first thought was that they all looked the same. I can see the reasoning behind the new franchise though. A lot of parents don't want their kids with a "weird" doll and this is new, fresh and closer to the norm.

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    1. Exactly, this appeals to conservative audiences. I collect EAH rather than MH just because I didn't like the whole monster idea, but I've always loved fairytales, so this works for me, especially since EAH isn't just doll details, but also fairytale details. Mattel pays attention to a lot. However, conservatives may not like giving "monsters" to their children, which may be the reason Mattel started EAH, it gets them more money.

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  17. ever after high is my preferred of MH because after a while MH got to popular. And plus hear bout monster kids far too much.

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  18. I love mh and eah I collect both doll lines I don't care what the haters say they just like to troll blogs and say bad comments that could make kids cry

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  19. Ever after high is so much better because they have at least classes and study parties god, mh on the first episode she wanted to be in the cheerleading thing and WHAT?!?!?! You NEED a boyfriend?!?!? That is just messed up.

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  20. Here's what I think:
    I'm a twelve year old girl who likes dolls. Now you might be thinking, do I collect MH? The answer is no. I think they are scary and just plain inappropriate for young girls. I collect Ever After High, and I think they are sending a more positive message. Sure the EAH dolls only have cookie cutter faces, but they have been coming out with more face molds since Cerise Hood came out. Plus, they have curvy bodies, modest but beautiful clothing, and they like who they are. In fact so much, they want to be different and unique and follow their own story.
    Sure, you can be a little skeptical at first with the name "rebel", but it's not meant in the way that we perceive teenagers today. Ever After High shows that there is more diversity, and it makes me sad that the market is slowly going down. They've listened to complaints on the prices, and they've lowered them. If I were you, then I would slowly get rid of Monster High and its existence.

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  21. woo woo wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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  22. wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo woo
    u know it

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  23. I love this show Ever after High is my Favorite show and not only that on Netflix there is the Horror version of Ever after High it is the Sequal of the Orginal ever after High it is called Once upon a time since Legacy day after Raven Refused to write her name in the story book of Legends Thunder flashed and created the Alternate timeline in that Timeline Raven is the Evil queen and Apple was the Baby that was in the streets and after she grew up she had a Son called Henry but she got confused and she called her self Emma Swanson and she gave him up for Adoption and and Ravens real name is Regina first she Adopted Henry but then Apple wanted her son back so Raven as Regina stole the baby and plotted to Kill Apple to prevent her from seeing her own son then Snow white called her self Mary Margaret and gave Henry the story book of Legends and the Rebels waged a war to destroy the whole world of Ever after in its alternate version so the events of the Horror version of Ever after High called once upon a time takes place in the Alternate timeline it all started because Raven did not want to write her name in the story book of Legends in Legacy Day

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