Review: Ghoul Sports Spectra – MH doll

Ghoul Sports is a new line of Monster High dolls where the characters are all dressed for, and meant to be top players in, particular school sports.  There are currently three characters in this line – Spectra Vondergeist, Toralei Stripe, and Clawdeen Wolf – and the sports currently covered are tennis, soccer, and baseball.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband got me all three of the Ghoul Sports dolls; Spectra is the first one I deboxed, so she’s the first up for review. 🙂


Now, I should probably mention that I am generally not a Spectra fan – I don’t care for her character in the webisodes or books, and I usually find her dolls pretty easy to pass on when I see them in stores (though she does often have some clothing items and accessories that I’d love to have).  Her severe cheekbones combined with the blank white skin and purple sclera.. it’s a combo that just doesn’t appeal to me somehow; she often looks like a bitchy Angelina Jolie impersonator.  However, Mattel seems to have softened her face sculpt recently, or maybe it’s just the makeup, but it is a really good change – Ghoul Sports Spectra is soft and pretty and fun.



At the top of the US box  it says:

At Monster High, the spirit of competition has always haunted the courts, fields, and arenas where our athletic teams practice and play.  We believe that spirit guides our STUDENT ATHLETES as they learn the virtues of screamwork, discipline, and GHOUL SPORTSMONSTERSHIP, virtues which we believe will last an unlifetime.

That has to be the worst word replacement pun-thing I’ve ever seen on any Monster High flavor text. “Sportsmonstership?”    Also, the random italicizing and excited capitalization/underlining on that one particularly embarrassing phrase… it’s just kinda weird.  But it’s neither here nor there – Mr.Nerd has just got me noticing how bad the MH puns have gotten lately.

In the place where it says “ghoul sports” in four languages on my box, on the US boxes it is the back of Spectra’s sports card, which shows that the school’s team is called the Monster High Nightmares, says that Spectra is right handed, and then has a little paragraph about her involvement in the tennis team:

Spectra is the Monster High tennis team’s most dominant player.  Her effortless play and the uncanny ability to appear in the perfect position to return every volley make it seem like her feet never touch the court.”

She is the most dominant player!  That sort of language is almost never used on girls products and/or to describe female characters, and just… yay!  Go Monster High for actually having a little bit of genuine female empowerment of sorts on their product.  I know it’s a tiny thing, but also significant imo, and it makes me happy to be a MH fan.

PicMonkey CollageThe character art for Ghoul Sports is some of my favorite; the style is really nicely polished and actually looks like the dolls.  Anybody know who the artist is?

The pattern on the top of the box is really cute too; it’s done in a hand-drawn sort of style that looks like a teenager’s doodles on their notebook or something.  There’s a bunch of MH themed symbols all collaged together, like skullettes, vampire fangs, lightning bolts, Ghoulia’s glasses, and a spiderweb tennis racket and pennant to represent the sports theme.  I would totally buy products that were printed with this pattern, it’s pretty adorable.


The more I get into this doll, the more I love everything to do with her.   She looks even more vibrant and lovely with the outside box off.

In the box, the backcard was almost completely obscured by the doll, notebook, and outer box, but it’s actually pretty cool.


There are recognizable characters in the crowd… there’s Lagoona, Howleen, Manny Taur, Draculaura, Toralei, mysterious unicorn girl, and what I presume is Clawd Wolf.  It looks like Gil Webber might be in the background too, along with some other monsters with fins.


Spectra looks really nice against the blue, but it’s hard to take a photo without her face getting totally washed out.


This is the first Spectra doll to have curly hair, and it is really nicely done – there’s little to no product in it, and her ponytail is beautifully bouncy and soft.  My doll’s curls were nearly perfect when she was in the box, but they got a little mussed during deboxing because she had so many plastic tabs stuck in her head and the hair kept catching on them.

PicMonkey Collage2The hair is two shades of purple, mostly pale lavender with a darker plummy color rooted around the sides and back of her hairline.

The rooting around her hairline is really nice and tight, nearly perfect except for a tiny odd tuft of hair on her forehead; I’m not sure if I should try tweezering it or just cutting it as close as possible with an exacto knife..

PicMonkey Collage3The Ghoul Sports faceup seems gentler looking to me than Spectra’s other dolls, but I’m not really sure why.  Her eyeshadow is a bright banana yellow, and her lipstick is magenta, and both of them match her outfit beautifully.  Her eyebrows are an even paler shade of lavender than her eyes, which have more than a glint of pale blue in the iris (suggesting that her eyes were blue when she was alive?).20140707_162927

I’ve always imagined that her sclera and iris are actually clear because she’s a ghost, and the purple is because you can actually see the color of her hair through the back of her eyes/head.  No idea if that’s canonically true or not, and I don’t think they quite pull it off with the dolls if it is, but it’s a cool thought.


Ghoul Sports Spectra is wearing a knee-length white tennis dress that’s printed with a pattern of purple chains and is accented with black fishnet and pops of neon yellow, with a Monster High school crest printed on the bodice.

20140707_155141The skirt of the dress is asymmetrical and unhemmed, and there is a separate sheer slip underneath with jagged black and yellow fishnet around the bottom.

20140707_162721She has a neon yellow chain belt and matching visor and sweatbands which are also accented with sculpted chains.



She’s also wearing white sneakers with sculpted socks and chain accents; the soles of the shoes are painted yellow.


In lieu of the usual purse that Monster High dolls come with, GS Spectra has a case for her tennis racket and ball.  20140707_173036The racket is hard  plastic and its head is shaped like a skullette, with yellow paint around the rim and the “MH” school logo printed on it in black (though it’s hard to read).   Personally, I’d much prefer that the head of the racket was just normal, ’cause I don’t think the wierd shape of this thing really reads well.



The tennis ball has a creepy little face sculpted into it, just like the logo on the front of the box.


Ghoul Sports Spectra is the first doll of this character that has really wowed me.  The fantastic color palette sucked me in right away, along with the fabulous curly ponytail and that really cool mesh underskirt.

I don’t have any other Spectra dolls out of the box to compare, but this one is a little different from the others that have been made.  Her color palette is really fun and fresh, in contrast to the dark, adult-looking styles they usually put her in.  This doll is also the first Spectra to have curly hair, which contributes to the younger feel that I really like.


Hopefully there will be a second (and third and fourth…) wave in the Ghoul Sports line, ’cause these dolls are seriously adorable and there need to be more of them.   It’s awesome that they are including some rough n’ tumble kind of sports and not just stereotypically “girly” stuff like figure skating or gymnastics or whatever, and the dolls all have MH-ified but still mostly functional uniforms – no ridiculous mini skirts in this line thankyouverymuch.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. barbielea
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 15:45:40

    What a great doll. I generally like Spectra, but I think like you I prefer this softer sculpt to the earlier dolls. I love the idea of her purple eyes being her hair seen through her transparent head!

    I haven’t seen this doll in shops or anything and I hadn’t gone looking for any close-up shots – but I had wondered why her tennis racquet was oddly shaped. I thought it might be an old-fashioned, paddle-shaped one. I would have liked that better than a skullette.


  2. Blackkitty
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 04:13:15

    You keep saying that this is the first Spectra with curly hair but ‘m pretty sure the one in the Oasis playset was curly as well. You are right about the fuller face though, there’s the original “cheekbones” sculpt and the newer “hamster” sculpt which most Spectra fans hate, but I, on the contrary, hate the bony one. When Voicething wrote about the sculpt change I finally understood why some versions of Spectra appealed to me even though I couldn’t stand the doll from the beginning. I wish they changed the sculpt more to look like the box art.


    • DollNerd
      Aug 01, 2014 @ 12:40:35

      Oh, you’re totally right about 13 Wishes Spectra having curly hair – my bad! Gotta say I barely even glanced at that doll in stores. XD


  3. Zannah
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 20:41:16

    I don’t know who did this artwork, but I did run across the lead illustrator for MH?
    This Spectra is so gorgeous!


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