Review: C.A. Cupid – EAH doll

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C.A. Cupid (full name Chariclo Arganthone Cupid) started out as a Monster High character.  In that world she was a bone elemental and is the adopted daughter of Eros, the god of erotic love in Greek mythology (weird choice for a kid’s toy line, eh?). Her doll was introduced in the Monster High world near the end of 2011 as a Wal-Mart exclusive in the Sweet 1600 line, and she was part of the cast until early 2013, when she became the crossover character to Ever After High.

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I don’t really understand why they chose her as the crossover character, since she doesn’t fit into a storybook world at all really, whereas some of the other MH characters might have – of course she doesn’t exactly fit into the Monster High world either.  I imagine it also probably had something to do with the fact that her MH doll seems to have been meant to be a one-off, as it was a store exclusive and one of the few that shares a head mold with a previously existing character (and a core one, at that).  Her character background is also pretty ambiguous, which lends itself to re-imagining in a new franchise.

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Anyway, to make her more palatable to the target customers of Ever After High, Cupid’s appearance changed a bit when she walked through the mirror from Monster High to Ever After High. Her skin now has a pale human tone, her wings are feathered, her hair is longer and has a headband instead of the weird hair-heart, and there’s less black and more pink in her outfit, plus the EAH version has a full-size bow and a quiver instead of a purse.  They also traded in the monstery goo-drips and whatnot in favor of leaning heavily on the ancient greek/roman theme.

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Personally, I think the bone wings and blackened limbs of the MH Cupid are really cool, but I am not sad about what they did with her for EAH ’cause she is really just so cute.  The face in particular is an improvement, in my opinion, though that has more to do with the shape (and the shape of her hairstyle probably) than anything else.

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They really did keep the faceup quite similar to the original MH Cupid, just with the different sculpt and skin tone mostly.  She still has turquoise eyes with heart shaped glints, pale pink eye shadow, and the heart-shaped/cupid’s-bow lipstick (only it’s over a pale pink lip tone so it’s less garish-looking than on the MH doll).  The EAH doll has brown eyebrows though, whereas MH Cupid has pink.

These dolls are very prone to eye wonk, so I am totally thrilled with the faceup on my Cupid.

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Like all the EAH dolls, Cupid comes in a box made to look like a storybook with its cover ripped off, and attached to the backcard is a “bookmark” diary.  Zireael2005 on flickr has nice scans of the full-text American version; it looks like they’re choosing to forget that Cupid was a bone elemental, and now her background is just a total mystery.  The rest of it actually follows the MH character canon surprisingly well – thumbs up to the folks on the writing team.

PicMonkey Collage2As always, there are some cute details on the box art:

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The doll itself is almost as pinkalicious as the packaging, but with with enough black accents that she keeps a little bit of the Monster High edge and doesn’t slide into total simpering girlishness.

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Cupid’s skin tone is on the pale side, between Blondie and Maddie’s; she has pink hair in a blend of two or three different shades.  Cupid’s hair is a gorgeous color combo, but it’s not as long as it ought to be going by both the artwork and the stock images of the doll; it is clearly supposed to come down past the bottom of her wings, and on my doll it clearly does not.

One of my friends was very disappointed that his Cupid’s hair is so short and while I’m not really mad about it, it is kinda stupid and frustrating since that was one of the things they made an obvious point to change about the character design from MH to EAH.

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My Cupid’s hair is a total mess, actually – it’s not curly at all (which means it’ll become even shorter if I try to curl it to reproduce the look of the character art) and it’s gelled into two messy, crispy chunks (makes me think of Hagrid in Harry Potter XD).  I will never understand why they put so much hair product on dolls that have no hairstyle to speak of.

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Cupid wears a gold headband with a pink heart & arrow on top, a pink wrap-front dress, white & gold wings w/ necklace attachment, a bracelet, a ring, earrings, fishnet stockings, and gold shoes.  She also comes with a bow & arrow and a quiver.

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The heart on her headband is sculpted to look like a laurel wreath.  She also wears a laurel wreath bracelet:

20140530_124406aOr maybe it’s feathers?  The same theme is continued on her belt as well:

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And speaking of feathers, her wings are pretty:

PicMonkey Collage4The inside is glazed with a metallic gold that’s meant to show off the sculpted feathers; it’s a little heavy-handed on mine though, which means it doesn’t pick up quite as much detail as it’s supposed to; I know this is super picky of me, but I’ve seen photos of dolls with nicely glazed wings and they look so much better to me.

The wings don’t really attach to her back – they just kind of hang on with the arrow-shaped necklace.  It seems to work pretty well, though personally I’d have liked them to have a more solid attachment point, since they are supposed to be part of her body and all.

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Cupid’s other jewelry consists of a matching arrow-shaped ring:

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…and some basic black heart-shaped stud earrings with a polka dot sort of texture:

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Both of those jewelry pieces are pretty meh – the ring is a cute idea, but it’s hard to make out what it’s supposed to be, and the earrings are just a little boring.

Her dress is super cute though – the wrap front with the draped tulle overskirt and the little epaulet sleeves are nods to ancient roman dress…

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…and the skirt is printed with clouds, and heart-tipped arrows in metallic pink:

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It’s great that they’re giving all the EAH dolls tights or leg coverings of some sort – fashion dolls always have such long legs and it can be hard to get their clothes to cover their little plastic buns sometimes (I’m looking at you Monster High).  Slutty dolls are totally fine, but only as long as they’re not all forced into that sexualized mold by the clothes Mattel puts them in. EAH is great about keeping the characters pretty modest, probably because they’ve had a lot of criticism about MH in that regard.

Cupid’s tights are a little baggy in the knees, which seems to be common amongst the EAH dolls manufactured in China:

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Her shoes are gold with little wings on the ankles (more Mercury than Cupid, but maybe they were a gift from her “uncle,” hurr hurr), more laurels/feathers and big hearts on the back, with arrow-shaped heels and a filigree sort of design sculpted into the fronts.  The only painted details are the hearts on the outsides of the shoes.

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Cupid also comes with a bow & arrow, which has a lot of sculpted detail continuing the leaf/feather theme:

PicMonkey Collage6The bow and arrow are fused together.  There’s a loop on the back of the bow for her hand to hold onto it, which actually works quite well, though it isn’t where an archer would actually hold a bow at all.

The  little pink-painted charm hanging off the bottom of Cupid’s bow is a cute detail though:

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The quiver takes the place of the purse these dolls usually come with:

PicMonkey CollageIt’s one solid (well, two halves fused together) piece of gold plastic with a sculpted filigree texture similar to her shoes, and it has an attached black strap.  Cupid can wear it on her shoulder quite nicely, as long as she’s not wearing her wings:

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 All in all, EAH Cupid is a lovely little doll; she’s pink and cute and girly, but in the best way (and I usually don’t go for that kind of stuff).  Her faceup is one of the best in this line so far, her hair is a wonderful color, and her dress is so cute and thematically appropriate.  I’m super excited that I was able to pick this doll up here in Canada (and one with a perfect faceup no less!), as she has proven to be very elusive – I only saw her on a store shelf once and that was the day I bought her.

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After looking at pics online, it seems that the two small things I have a beef with on this doll – the short hair and sloppily glazed wings – are apparently flaws that not all Cupid dolls share, so make sure to check if you’re shopping for a Cupid and you care about that sort of thing.

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