I found Ever After High during the Justice 60% off sale, so I picked up both Apple White and Raven Queen, as they were the only dolls the store had. Therefore, this comparison post is only ‘regular sized’ dolls to ‘regular sized’ dolls. When I get my hands on a Maddie, I’ll do shortie-to-shortie comparisons!.
Apple White is… Barbie. Without a tan. The tan-lacking part is what appeals to me most, because I don’t know how many people are aware of this, but “pale” American dolls tend to be as dark as “black” Asian dolls.
(Brunette Barbie has the same skintone as Blonde Barbie, just a different hair color)
So I’m quite intrigued by a doll that hasn’t spent her whole life on a tanning bed. It’s as refreshing a change as Monster High dolls having the only “natural” skintoned girls be medium-dark skinned. And of course, Apple has wonderful shoes!
Here’s Apple and Cleo, Princess vs Princess! At first glance the bodies are similar. They seem to be about the same size, only EAH dolls look less skinny. The skinniness of MH dolls doesn’t bother me. MH dolls seem to be less ‘idealized’ than ‘stylized’. EAH dolls look like they’re trying to put some realism/a healthier body shape back into the dolls. Just ignore the sky-high legs.
I drew some reference lines across points on Apple’s body to help show off the proportional differences: She is slightly taller (Cleo’s ponytail makes her look taller), but she actually has a shorter body because of her gigantic head. At the same time, her legs are even longer than MH’s crazy long legs! Her torso is short and curvy, which is why MH doll clothes don’t fit on them. It’s not that she’s bigger (she is, but only slightly), it’s that her butt is where Cleo’s navel is, so where MH doll clothes are still fitting to the narrower waist, EAH dolls already have the full width of the hips. So while EAH might appear to be more realistic… it’s really not. No more than MH.
Leg differences. I didn’t pull out my tightest MH shoes to put on EAH dolls, but in general the shoes seem to be swappable. The mold seams are placed on the side instead of on the front with EAH dolls, which looks nicer, especially since their mold lines are worse than MH (or at least that’s how it is with the ones I got).
It’s already been observed that EAH dolls all have the same head mold and the same faceups with different colors. Not going to go into that. What I am going to go into is the head shape. It’s a very flat face, with hardly any chin/jawline. At only slightly turned, Apple’s nose and lips disappear into her smooth, undefined features. Cleo (though she has more bone structure than most) is a completely different story. She has lots of definition in the face from all angles, even at a full 3/4 angle, much more like a real person.
So here are my final thoughts:
EAH, while putting a quirky (but hardly new, with all the recent fairytale reboots) spin on the Fairy Tale doll line, isn’t really doing anything new. They’re populating their toy line with a bunch of princesses, and princesses have been the doll standard since dolls were first made. While I enjoy the lack of Tan on Apple, she is still Barbie. She is perfect and girly and a princess in every aspect of the word (from the cartoons). At least every now and then Cleo has self-doubt.
EAH will be limited by the plethora of princesses. While there are other characters, they all adopt the same general lolita/princessish clothing style. I’m sure it will be popular, but in the long-term it won’t allow for as much variety as you can get with MH and its alternative fashion influences. I liked the dolls much better redressed, but they don’t take to other clothes and make them look good like MH dolls do. Raven looks GOOD in my school uniform outfit, but she doesn’t own it like Frankie does.
…However, EAH may be the more popular line. Why? Because it’s so Barbie. Barbie has owned the doll market for over 50 years. The parents who don’t let their dolls look at/play with Monster High dolls for fears that they’ll turn into satanists (I exaggerate a little, but not that much, sadly. Everyone has seen/heard the parents in the toy aisles telling their daughter they can’t play with trucks, or their son that he can’t play with ponies. The Wal-marts near me relocated Monster High dolls to the back of the aisles, despite their popularity, I think so that no one’s children is exposed to them accidentally while looking at the proper girl’s toys) will happily buy their little girls EAH dolls. In the end, these are still toys primarily marketed towards little girls.
Remember the Flavas dolls? No? They were city-styled Mattel dolls where all of the dolls, male and female, were jointed and had different head and body sculpts and sizes. Parents hated them because they thought their children would turn into gangstas if they played with them. How about My Scene dolls? Large-headed, and way more conscious of current fashion trends, these other Barbie-alternatives (also made by Mattel) weren’t afraid to wear black, had awesome shoes, and are the staple of my doll clothes collection even now. They don’t make those anymore, either. But they still make Barbie…
So… yeah. I like EAH dolls well enough, but Monster High is still #1 for me. I just hope that MH doesn’t get eclipsed by its spin-off. The world is full of princesses. I think it would do better with a few more Abbeys.