Doll Review: Monster High – Catty Noir

Catty Noir is a teen pop star in the Monster High world, their 5th werecat character, and the Friday the 13th doll this year.

She was depicted in the Ghoul’s Night Out dolls’ diaries, and should be featured in the upcoming dvd special of the same name.  I believe she is also mentioned in at least one of the 13 Wishes diaries, so we should expect to see her in that movie as well.  Personally I hope she’s in the webisodes too, ’cause I’d love to see her drawn in that style (and I hate the crappy CG in the movies).

I have been excited about this character ever since there were whispers online about a black cat doll, and she does not disappoint.

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catty 005Even the box for this doll is fantastic; it’s made to look as if she’s in the midst of a performance, with the doll standing on a cardboard stage in an action pose with speakers and lights printed on the backdrop behind her; the outside of the box has silhouettes of a crowd of fans that subtly includes many of the main MH cast, and the plastic window looks like cracked glass.  The box is even “signed” by Catty herself.

The box art is really fantastic, and I love the little stage!  Usually my doll boxes end up in the trash, but this is one I’ll be keeping; the insert makes a great background for photos.

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catty 006Miss Noir is the “daughter of a werecat,” and she shares Toralei‘s head mold.  She has jet-black skin and very long, ponytailed hair in two blended shades of bright pink.  Her eyes, eyebrows, and lips match her hair, and she has a pale pink kitty nose and sparkly silver eyeshadow, and the inside of her ears are pink.

Her “strapless” dress is metallic silver and hot pink, with a cracked mirror print and a big glittery pink “13” on the silver bodice; there’s a spangled, layered tutu skirt and a veritable pinksplosion of a train in the same fabrics.  Her boots are meant to look like they’re made of broken mirror, and they’re unique in that they are made of hard plastic and can split in half to be taken on and off.

The doll also comes with a metallic pink microphone, metallic pink & silver bracelets (recasts of the werecat twins’ bracelets), a metallic pink choker, and pink earrings.  A saddle stand, diary, and the requisite useless brush are also included.

They really ran with the Friday the 13th bad-luck thing, in the delightfully kitschy way that Monster High is really good at; not only is she a black cat, she has a cracked mirror pattern on the bodice of her dress, her boots, and choker as well.  The dress, choker, and one of her earrings also have the number 13 on them, and the flavor text declares her to be a very superstitious character.

PicMonkey Collage

I actually came very close to not buying Catty.  I saw her at TRU a week before her official release date, and examined all 5 of the ones on the shelf; not being a fan of her outfit, my judgement was solely on her face and hair, and man was I disappointed that day ’cause she just did not excite me.  After poring over her at the store for a while I kinda decided that I wanted a Catty, but mostly to customize and only if I could get her for less than $20.

catty 010On the 13th I looked again, and found a single Catty out of a pile of them that just somehow has the perfect, pouty-sweet face, and she’s just super pretty.  Just that one Catty though, none of the others at the store were compelling, even the ones without obvious flaws.

The more I collect dolls, the more I realize that eye screening affects my opinion of a doll more than anything else.  I used to just look for the doll with the most perfect face paint that was centered the best on the sculpted eyes, but now I’m seeing that sometimes the slightly imperfect ones sometimes “speak” to me more, because even a half-millimeter difference in the eyes really changes my perception of the expression on the face, and for some reason this seems to apply even more to Catty.

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My Catty has a beautiful face, and I flippin’ love her; even her dress is less awful to me now after having so much fun deboxing and photographing her.  The long pink train on its own is really quite horrible, but on this over-the-top diva it actually kinda works.  She is supposed to be a famous pop star after all, and the huge, long train is definitely dramatic.

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Her boots are a new experiment for Monster High; unlike the usual rubber footwear, Catty’s boots are made of hard plastic, and come apart in two pieces.  The sculpted cracks hide the seam pretty well, and so far I haven’t had any problems with the boots coming apart unexpectedly.  They do make a hollow rattling noise when you move the doll, which is a little weird but not a problem.

catty 011I’m so glad she comes with a microphone, because it’s hella fun posing her as if she’s performing.  The microphone is made with a piece that kinda wedges between her fingers, and she holds on to it pretty well in her right hand – a recast of Howleen’s curled hand.  Her left hand is flat, a recast of a Clawdeen hand, and can’t really hold on to the microphone.

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Honestly, my Catty Noir doll is virtually flawless.  Her arms and hands are shinier than the rest of her body, and her shoulder joints are a little stiff, but those slight issues seem to be common with all the Catty dolls and otherwise she’s just perfect.  Her head even has more movement than any of my other fashion dolls; she’s pretty much the only one that can actually look down.

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Last year was the first time Monster High did a Friday the 13th doll, and it was kind of a big deal.  The doll was a black and white version of Skull Shores Frankie Stein, set to be released the same day as the dvd – April 13, 2012.  I wasn’t collecting seriously back then and was a newlywed in a foreign country, so I wasn’t paying all that much attention at the time; I think there were a bunch of stores doing promotions for the B&W Frankie, and she was sold for only $4.13 at several different places, including Amazon.

Considering last year’s deal and the very thoroughly executed Friday the 13th theme going on with Catty, I and a lot of other collectors expected that there would be a bunch of hype and some excellent sales on her release date; many stores in the States even had plastic place-holder signs advertising Catty’s release weeks beforehand.  There was a lot of hopeful speculation about her being priced at $9.13, which would have followed last year’s date-matching thing.

It seems like somebody dropped the ball though, because there were very few sales for Catty’s release, and even less hype.  I am actually lucky to be a doll collector in Canada for once, because my Toys R’ Us did it up right; they’ve been having “Monster High Day” on the 13th of the past couple of months, where they have one-day sales on certain dolls – September’s special was obviously Catty, and they had her for $13 off on the 13th only, and had plenty of her in stock with a buy limit of 3 per person.  In contrast, many collectors in the States could not find her at all on the 13th, and the best sale on her was only a couple dollars less than I got her at the Canadian TRU.

I also have to say, it’s awesome that Mattel made a playline doll with black skin. Toy companies really don’t seem to like making non-caucasian-looking dolls, and when they do they’re even deliberately short-packed in many instances.  And you almost never see a truly dark-skinned doll – so, right on, Monster High; maybe some day we’ll even see a chubby character.  Ha.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Doll Review: Monster High – Clawdia Wolf | Doll Nerd
  2. metarune
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 23:27:50

    Cool review! I’m also in Canada and I wonder if my local TRU has Monster High events on the 13th… That would be awesome 😀

    This character reminds me a lot of the Sheryl Nome character from Macross Frontier, what with the ‘diva with fans and oodles of pink hair’, and her stage outfit is in a similar style, too. Probably just coincidence though.

    Also, I feel ya on the ‘maybe one day we’ll have a chubby character’. More diversity of body sizes in dolls would be great!

    Reply

    • DollNerd
      Apr 11, 2014 @ 17:12:58

      My TRU has stopped doing the MH events on the 13th, that must have been a thing just for 2013 – oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

      I’ve never heard of Macross Frontier, I’ll have to look up that character now. 🙂

      Reply

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