Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Princess Apocalypse On the Horizon (New Toy Line For Girls Who Like Princesses AND Zombies)

This hasn't been on my radar at all and I didn't pick up any note of it around ComicCon time either BUT prepare to see some new fairy tale dolls - with an undead difference - entering stores in the near future: from the toy company that brought you Angry Birds, meet the princesses of Once Upon A Zombie. (Aimed at girls aged 6+ yrs.)

Initially released in Brazil (and received with great enthusiasm!) these dolls  - and corresponding game - are designed for little girls who love princesses but also love monsters, or more specifically, zombies. It's Monster High meets Ever After High.

Rather than talk about them at length I'll just show you the marketing and a bunch of released images as well as an introductory video. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

The marketing in the US appeared to begin at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) this year, with cos-players carrying the dolls and posing them in various locations for photo ops, as well as a booth display.

I have no doubt there's a market for these. I kept seeing little girls  - 5, 6, 7 years old in the store around school supply buying time, preferring Monster High backpacks and folders to Barbie products, much to the chagrin of their suburbanely-coiffed* mothers (I fully admit to giving these kids a thumbs-way-up behind their parent's backs when I see this happen). The only problem is the quality of the doll design isn't quite up to Mattel's standard so they may seem like a poor substitute.

While they're clearly taking their cue from Disney movies as to which zombie heroine to do next, we may see some surprises. Here are some teased designs from their Facebook page:

They've even started designing some male zombies for the princesses to have adventures with.

I will admit, my reaction on seeing these was "you've GOT to be kidding" which quickly turned into "Well I can understand Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid being turned into zombies but why the others?" which goes to show you I may think about these things a little differently to most others... Heh. My six year old on the other hand: "Once Upon A Zombie? That's funny. They definitely need a zombie Big Bad Wolf..."

While it's most definitely news-of-the-weird** for fairy tales, it's interesting to see the current fascination in pop culture with zombies trickle down to kids - and include fairy tales in the process. Although Disney princesses have been getting the zombie treatment on mass in illustration (especially deviantArt) and on Tumblr for a little while now, and little boys have had their corresponding zombie toys and games since Plants vs Zombies took off in popularity (and won Game of the Year), this is the first overtly undead toy line for girls we've seen.

There are currently six dolls available for order and more coming. No word yet on when they will be hitting stores (ToysRUs, Target, Walmart, Walgreens for starters) but we can expect: a game, story books, notebooks, stationery, backpacks, trading cards, dress-up costumes for Halloween and probably more. If you can't wait you can download the "zombiecam" app and zombie your princess-self to share with your friends...

(If there were ever a time for Pixar  - and other companies - to get moving on their as-yet-untitled Day of the Dead movies, this would be it.)

* "suburbanely-coiffed" - I should copyright that...
** This blog has had some truly odd content recently!  I blame it on the news. And society. What can I say? I'm just telling it like it is.


  1. It seems like a strange way to call little girls to "Rise, Empower, and Claim Their World Back." What do they eat -- Pretty Ponies? Smurfs? I suppose my daughter might have enjoyed it -- she love Nightmare Before Christmas -- but it feels sort of off -- like Bella from the Twilight series happily proclaiming "I never felt so alive as when I was dead."

  2. Have to admit that I like the illustrations, but, the dolls themselves.... not so much. What is with all the shiny fabric for the dresses?

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  4. As a mom I love Monster High. Barbie is too hard an image to live up too. Monsters are beautiful no matter what they look like. Anything that tells girls everyone is accepted and has a place is OK with me. You mentioned the moms that are "coiffed" well I say that is the saddest part of the scene. I pray all little girls learn that they matter no matter what they look like. As a female I can tell you that cutesy pink stuff only limits girls Let them like whatever and they will be stronger. I will try not to ban Barbie but she is a part of American culture that limited woman and it will be hard.