It’s been seven years since Monster High changed the doll collecting world. Before Monster High, doll collecting as a hobby wasn’t discussed very often, especially with the younger set. That changed when Monster High hit store shelves. From that gothic line based on the children of monsters and other creatures came a wave of collectors who had never bought a doll in their life, but now found themselves addicted to these ghoul-themed fashion dolls. Of course, I wasn’t part of that ‘awakening’ of sorts, but I do remember the hype that surrounded Monster High’s first few years, especially when the first wave was hitting stores. My mom and I would regularly go from store to store to see what Monster High dolls were on the shelves (if any), trying to get the complete set for our collections. Keep in mind, we were doing this because we liked the dolls, not because we thought they’d be ‘investments’ for the future. (As we’ve seen recently, those that collected for investment purposes are finding it hard to make any sort of profit. This doesn’t surprise me.)
We bought our first two Monster High dolls at a Toys R Us. They had received a handful of dolls. Ever the budget collector, I couldn’t buy them all. In the end, I left with Lagoona. My mom left with Frankie. Those two dolls fueled the purchasing of nearly every doll in every line produced for at least two years, if not longer. I shudder to think how much I spent on Monster High dolls over the years. (Especially since most are sitting in wine boxes due to space issues.) The first few lines were released with rubber band legs, meaning that as they age, they’ll loosen. Eventually, the rubber bands will break and the dolls will fall apart. This happened to my mom’s Deuce. Thankfully, he was later released in a Create a Monster body in later years, so fixing the first wave Deuce shouldn’t be too hard.
While Lagoona was my first Monster High purchase, my favorites of this line are Frankie, Ghoulia and Holt. Holt being my absolute favorite male doll ever produced for Monster High. Sadly, Holt only had two releases: his amazingly detailed, awesome looking first wave look and a super boring, basic bathing suit doll sold at Justice clothing stores. I often wonder why Mattel only released Holt twice. Was it the hair that was molded to look like fire? Was it the eye brow piercing? What made them shelve this doll pretty much immediately after the first wave? (Yes, he was released again in 2013, but that was probably to appease us collectors who kept asking Mattel where new Holt dolls were!) Alas, we’ll never know.
Ghoulia is and always will be another favorite of mine. Her zombie look was perfectly done, especially when paired with character traits from the webisodes. Her outfit, too, was a true standout of the entire doll series. So many bright layers of clothing that gave her a punk sort of vibe that fit her face and styling perfectly. Her glasses complete the cool look. Ghoulia and Holt were hard dolls to get in the very beginning. They arrived later, along with the two set of Deuce and Cleo, than the rest of the ghouls. My mom and I had the majority of the first wave ghouls before we even spotted Ghoulia and Holt at Toys R Us.
Frankie is a favorite because she was freakishly fabulous from the start. Her face was great and her outfit super fashionable. Plus, as the main character, you kind of had to love Frankie! Frankie is pictured above with the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Black and White Frankie, the first SDCC release for the line. While I picked this up on eBay, a limited number of black and white Frankie’s were sold at Justice. (Later, Mattel released another Black and White Frankie, this one in a bathing suit.) I was disappointed when Mattel didn’t continue to release black and white versions of our favorite ghouls for San Diego Comic Con. I think it would have been pretty cool to see every doll done up in this style.
Cleo and Deuce were the first ever two pack released in the Monster High line. Unlike Holt, Deuce got quite a few releases of the years. The original release of Cleo is still one of my favorites. I think her design really speaks to the character in the web series. This doll has a ‘regalness’ to her.
I was sold on Lagoona, because of her face. While later releases of Lagoona would be disappointing, this release was spot on perfect. Her face was pretty, but still not ‘conventional’. I still love her big, round eyes and freckles.
Clawdeen and Draculaura, to tell you the truth, aren’t my favorite of the dolls. They were both over produced and over hyped. And don’t get me started on Draculaura being the ‘new’ Frankie in the 2016 reboot. (I just— I just can’t.) These original first wave releases of Clawdeen and Draculaura are nice and speak to their characters well, though.
Check out the video above to hear Barbee0913 and I talk about Wave 1! What are your memories of the original wave 1 Monster High releases? Do you remember which Monster High doll was your first purchase? Did you go on ‘hunts’ for the dolls when they were first hitting stores? Share your thoughts in the comment area!