Doll Review: Monster High – Clawdia Wolf

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Clawdia Wolf is part of the Monster High “Hauntlywood” assortment, which is the main doll line connected to the Frights, Camera, Action tv special that is supposed to be out in 2014.    Part of the premise is that the Monster High characters are making a film or the film is about them or something, and Clawdia here is the screenwriter.

There are four (new) characters in this particular doll line, all with different roles in the film production – Viperine Gorgon is a makeup artist, Honey Swamp is a cinematographer, and Elissabat is an actress.  In addition to being the screenwriter, Clawdia also happens to be the older sibling of previously existing MH characters Clawdeen, Howleen, and Clawd Wolf – despite her not existing in any other MH canon until now.

This commentary is on the Monster High wiki:

In general, the character theme of Frights, Camera, Action! seems to be familiarity. Clawdia is Clawdeen’s and Clawd’s older sister, whom are both confirmed characters to be featured. Viperine is Deuce’s cousin, whom also is confirmed to be present in the TV special. Elissabat is a childhood friend of Draculaura and the two used to be mistaken for sisters constantly when they were little. And Honey is from the same city as Operetta, who will also appear in Frights, Camera, Action!.

I thought that was interesting, since Clawdia’s doll sculpt really does look just like a smiling version of Clawdeen.  At least she has the larger “big sister” body – Elissabat’s doll is literally almost identical to Draculaura.

As seems to be the new trend with MH, the box art for the dolls is art from the cg movie.  Obviously it’s cheaper for Mattel to just reuse the models from the movie instead of paying someone to create new 2-d art, but damn I hate it.  If only the cg characters weren’t so godawful ugly..

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I mean, I guess it could be a lot worse, but the usual MH 2-d art style is charming and fun, and the outlandish proportions of the bodies just come off as acceptably cartoonish exaggeration – in contrast, the 3-d comes close to hitting the uncanny valley to me, because the dolls’ proportions are so odd that it just looks weird and unnatural in a quasi-realistic animation style.  That’s just my opinion though; to each their own.

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Anyway, back to the doll reviewing.  Mattel seems to be doing some new things with the packaging on MH – it felt like there were less bullshit doo-dahs holding the doll to the back card this time and not even any tape at all, which made deboxing Clawdia quick and easy.

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They’ve also eliminated the paper insert that had all the warnings and the little illustration showing that the dolls’ arms and hands are detachable.  These things have been moved to the bottom box flaps – smart!

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Below is the box insert with everything removed.  I had wanted to take some pics of Clawdia posed in front of it, but somehow that didn’t happen; I’ll get around to it eventually..

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Here’s Clawdia right out of the box:

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Clawdia’s diary describes her style as “tribal prep,” and she’s wearing a metallic gold mini-dress w/ black printed designs, a red suit jacket w/ black trim, and red knee socks with high-heeled gold mary janes.  She also has oversized glasses, a gold necklace, black earrings, and a black bracelet, along with a red “icoffin” tablet, a red book, and a black pen.  Clawdia also comes with a black stand and brush, and the aforementioned diary.

stuff

The accessories are fully sculpted on both sides.  I love when toys have this level of detail!

I love that the skirt of Clawdia’s dress has a British flag design (and it’s visible even when she’s wearing the jacket), a nod to the fact that she’s supposed to be in college in Londoom, England.  It’s cool that the design is obviously there but subtle enough to also work with the rest of the print on the dress.

Unfortunately, Clawdia’s outfit really does not work without the jacket – the red socks and yellowy accessories look out of place with the fancy metallic gold dress.

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This is doubly a problem because the jacket restricts almost all of the doll’s arm movement, and it’s very hard to pose and photograph her while she’s wearing it – but she doesn’t look right without it.  Clawdia is also only the third doll created with this body size, so there are very few mix ‘n match options available when it comes to clothing.

Her elbow will only bend this much when she's wearing the jacket.

Her elbow will only bend this much when she’s wearing the jacket.  Now I get why her arm was rubber-banded in place in the box.

Clawdia has some cute accessories.  She’s wearing a different earring on each ear; the right one is shaped like two crossed bones, echoing one of the design motifs on her dress, and the left earring is a spiral hoop.  Her necklace evokes the shape of the moon, which is also a design motif on the dress, and her shoes are spiky mary janes with the crossed bones again on the strap.  Her glasses are accented with a sculpted pattern of “rhinestones” on the arms.

clawdia accessories

I really wish they had made Clawdia’s gold accessories actually metallic like Catty Noir’s instead of this pearly color, because not only do they look less than awesome with the shiny dress, but the combo of the yellowy shoes with the red socks really echoes the look of Clawdia’s hair against the jacket – which is a bit of an unfortunate color scheme, reminiscent of fast food advertising.

They really ran with the yellow & red thing on this doll.  Clawdia has canary yellow hair and eyes, and she’s wearing eye makeup in – you’ve got it – yellow and red, topped off with a pale shimmery silver.  Her lips are a similar dark red to the eyeshadow.

PicMonkey Collage

Clawdia is the first Monster High doll to have a sculpted smile, and it’s what makes her especially interesting and unique to me.  My husband finds it ugly and “so unnecessary,” (he thinks the sculpted smile is forced-looking and “unnerving”) but I think it’s neat and they did a great job of it – unlike most fashion dolls with open-mouthed smiles, her teeth are actually sculpted with some detail so it’s not just a strip of white color inside the lips.

teeth

Aside from the smile and pointier ears, Clawdia’s head sculpt is virtually identical to Clawdeen’s.  Because of that, I was originally hoping that I could swap heads and do a repaint so that I’d have an alternate smiling Clawdeen for photo shoots; however, Clawdia has a darker skintone, probably closer to Clawd’s than Clawdeen’s (sadly I do not own a Clawd to make comparisons).

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Clawdia is the darkest-skinned Monster High female doll so far, aside from the jet-black Catty Noir.  The difference between Clawdia and Clawdeen’s color is even more pronounced than the difference between Clawdeen and Howleen.

It’s pretty awesome that Mattel is making the older Wolf siblings darker – in real life everyone’s skin darkens a bit as we age (especially those who spend time in the sun), and people with naturally dark skin tones seem to have that happen to an even larger degree, so it’s niftily realistic that MH is doing that with this doll family.  It’s also nice to see them introducing darker-skinned dolls in general.

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Like I already mentioned, Clawdia has the MH “big sister” body, which means that she’s taller and thicker than the average MH dolls – basically everything except her head is enlarged, including her feet, hands, and boobs.

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This is the first doll I’ve owned with this body type, and I’m honestly surprised by how much larger she is!

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Clawdia’s hair is lovely and soft, and her curls are wonderfully fat and bouncy; she’s one of very few dolls I own that had nice hair right out of the box.  This is exactly what Blondie Lockes‘ hair should have been like!  I don’t want to take Clawdia’s hair down since it looks so nice as-is, but as far as I can tell the rooting is nice and thick.

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For those looking for other clothing options for Clawdia, the best fit seems to be Bratzillaz; their clothes fit Clawdia almost perfectly.  I do want to dig out the Bratzillaz pants and if they work as well, since I didn’t get a chance when I had the camera out, but the dresses and skirts are great.

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It’s almost a perfect fit – the only issue is that the velcro doesn’t quite close at the top, across her shoulders.  This is the best fit of all the other brands’ clothing that I tried on Clawdia.

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Bratz clothes also fit Clawdia quite well, though they tend to be a bit short (the ones for the taller Bratz dolls work best obviously).

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Stardoll clothes also sort of fit on this body type, depending on the style, though I found them too large to want to use them myself.

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Moxie Girlz clothes are a decent fit on Clawdia, though I only have outfits with stretchy tights; I have no idea what the fit of non-stretchy legwear would be, though I suspect it would work.

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You just have to overlap the hell out of the velcro at the waist to make Moxie Girlz clothes look nice on the large MH bodies:

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Midnight Magic dolls are fakie knock-offs of Monster High, and their clothes fit this body type really well; it’s a shame the clothes are so cheap and crappy.  I couldn’t find the shirt that goes with this outfit, but the pants fit like a dream and I’ve heard elsewhere on the internet that Midnight Magic clothes do all fit.

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Disney VIP doll clothes also seem to be a good option, though the pants are reportedly very tight.  Other doll lines with clothes that will fit ok are Ever After High,  Mystixx Vampires/Grimms (or so I hear), and weirdly enough, Baby Alive Crib Life.

There are even fewer shoe options than there are clothes for the MH “big sister” body type. Midnight Magic boots fit ok, though they sit at a slightly odd angle; they’re also really cheap, being thin, blow molded plastic.  They look alright in photos though, so considering how few footwear options there are for Clawdia, I’m actually glad I have a pair.  20131130_133032

Open-toed Harumika shoes also reportedly fit these MH dolls, and I’ve also heard that Ellowyne Wilde ankle boots will work (I confess to not even knowing what those are though).  The best option might be making your own shoes – here are some tutorials y’all can try.

Overall, I’m really happy to have the Clawdia Wolf doll!  Her head sculpt and larger body are unique and really cool, plus she has nice hair and some great stock items.  Let’s just hope Mattel starts making some fashion packs for the larger dolls, now that there are three of them!

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