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Monster High (Lexikon)!
Among all the content that makes up the Monster High brand, one could easily forget what Monster High revolves around: the dolls. All pieces of Monster High fiction are written around and therefore largely dependent on the needs of doll promotion, and while the other merchandise is no small cookie either, none of it leads the franchise like the dolls do.
The dolls of Monster High belong to one of four size classes: preadolescent female, adolescent female, adult female, and adolescent male. The dolls of each group share roughly the same body mold, ranging from 9.5 inches for the preadolescent female body mold, to 10.5 inches for the adolescent female body mold, to 11 inches for the adult female and adolescent male body molds. The bodies are made from ABS plastic, while the heads are made from soft PVC. Unlike with most of the bodies, each character has a unique head mold. The hair is made of saran or kanekalon fibers, though most of the male dolls have molded plastic hair. The dolls generally feature 11 articulation points. The female molds lack articulated ankles, while the boys rarely have articulated wrists.
The dolls and accessories are manufactured in Indonesia and China. The degree of noticeability of difference between dolls and accessories manufactured in Indonesia and dolls and accessories manufactured in China differs between releases. Also, prior to December 2011, all dolls were packaged with stands and brushes of appropriate color. Since then, stands and brushes have been absent from certain lines and packs and those that do have them have them all in the same color, usually black or grey.
Each doll comes with a unique haircut and unique outfit, though sometimes a piece of clothing or an accesssory may be reused with small alterations for another doll. Some dolls are only sold in multipacks or with a playset. Main line dolls and San Diego Comic-Con International exclusive dolls are always packaged with Tagebücher, an extra that is included only with some other doll lines. A variety of other types of doll logs is included with the remaining doll lines.
The first doll of a character released in the main line has the character's Haustier included as figurine, provided they have one, which prior to 2012 was a given. In rare and random instances, pet figurines are included with dolls released in other lines.
Dolls are released as part of assortments and, in the case of Main line dolls, sub-assortments. About 80% of the dolls and accessory sets are undeniably part of an assortment—a named assortment—and make searching for and talking about those dolls a piece of cake. Then there's the remaining 20%, divisible in items that belong to a defined but nameless line and items that seemingly don't belong to any line at all.
When Mattel releases an assortment, usually the items of that assortment have the name printed on the package. Expensive and elaborate lines have a name that is trademarked, whereas the bulk of other lines have an unprotected name. A handful of other lines, however, are thoroughly nameless. The most significant of these are the main line and its various sublines. Usually, fans create a name themselves for use of reference. The Monster High wiki uses these names too if no official name is available.
Since 2011, a number of items have been released that aren't (distinguishable as) part of any line. Depending on the fan, these items have been grouped with one line or another for thematical reasons or are considered line-less. The Monster High wiki operates with an amount of own interpretation in documenting the various assortments and individual releases too and lists items as part of a line based on the following reasoning:
- Is there indication of a name?
It almost goes without saying: if there's a name on the box, whether on the front or the back, then that's what line the doll or fashion is from and all dolls and fashions that share that name make up an assortment. Of all the means by which the content of an assortment can be defined, the Monster High wiki considers the on-package name the most important and therefore the one that automatically overrules the other two methods.
- Is there indication of an assortment number?
All individually sold dolls and fashions that are not exclusive have an assortment number. An assortment number consists of one letter and four digits, and all non-exclusive individually sold dolls and fashions that share an assortment number are part of the same assortment. For instance, all main line dolls are recognizable as having assortment number N2851.
There are two drawbacks to relying on assortment numbers to figure out assortments. Firstly, playsets, multipacks, and exclusive dolls do not have an assortment number, only a model number, and thus figuring out which lines they belong to cannot be done through assortment numbers. Also, assortment numbers don't always line up with the way assortments are formed if one looks at the names on the boxes. Scream Uniform and School Clubs have the same assortment number, T7980, while the Dead Tired assortment consists of assortment numbers V7972 and X4514. These conflict situations are rare though and, as explained above, the Monster High wiki believes the on-package names are more prominent and thus deserve precedence in defining assortments.
- What do the art and photos on the box suggest?
If both a name and an assortment number are missing, one more means to decide the item's line is available: the marketing. For instance, the box of the Coffin Bean playset shows photoshoots that include Frankie Stein and Lagoona Blue, dolls not included in the pack, in their Maul Session outfits. It would thus stand to reason that the Coffin Bean playset is part of Maul Session (an assortment that, by the way, is defined by assortment number). In case dolls from multiple lines are in the on-package photoshoots, such as those of the Monster High playset, precedence is given to the most notable line. In the case of the Monster High playset, this is Classroom, because those dolls are favored over the main line releases of those same characters.
There's currently two scenarios in which the above three rules do not allow an item to be considered part of an assortment. The first are the San Diego Comic-Con International exclusive dolls, which don't have a name, assortment number, or specific marketing. The Monster High wiki considers them as making up one exclusive line together. In the other case, only playsets are involved. These are not considered a line together, but for ease of documentation grouped together as Playsets.
Create-a-Monster is a series of doll parts, clothes, and accessories that was launched by the end of 2011. The line is divided in starter packs, add-on packs, and lab packs, each of which carries at least part of all materials needed to put together a certain type of monster. The dolls created such are design-wise the same as the regular dolls and thus can be used for the same kind of play.
When in July 2010 the first dolls were released, so too were the first plushies released. The plushies, appropriately named Friends, essentially are dolls aimed at a younger audience and each item contains a plushie of both a student and their pet. Like the main line dolls have profiles for the characters printed on the back of the box, so have the plushies profiles for the pets printed on the back of the box. The plushie line ended in June 2011.