A Monster Competition

Yesterday, Wal-Mart had an ad which said it had $12.97 Monster High Dolls

Monster High are fashion dolls who are monsters, the offspring of Dracula and the Wolfman and the like. Some of my mom friends say they’re no better than Bratz. This had not actually occurred to me, though I have always been high on the anti-Bratz bandwagon.

Have my eyes become too accustomed to these types of dolls? Maybe I can no longer discern whether a doll is slutty.

I asked my husband what he thought. He said he the monsters are monsters, and not just random trollops dressed sluttily for no reason. These monsters dress sluttily for valid reasons! No, I’m just kidding. He said they are monsters, and not human, so he found them strange but not offensive. “The thing has fins coming out of her legs,” he reminded me of Little Girl’s doll. “It can’t wear pants.” Of course, Cadillac loves vampires and all the rest, so he probably really secretly wants to play with them. And the dolls do have oddly shaped bodies that bear no relation to real human bodies. But…I was just looking at the costumes available for real girls. Never buying those. Nope.

For Christmas, Little Girl got a Laguna Blue (or maybe Lagoona Blue) which took several trips to Target to find. These dolls get sold out as soon as the trucks are unloaded. At the time, I thought it was because of the holiday season.

Lagoona, you see, is not a bad sort of doll. She’s a scientist. She comes with a lab coat and experiments. Her tummy is covered.  I see no problem with Lagoona. Little Girl uses her with her Barbies, and Lagoona always bests them in scientific thinking. She has beakers!  And all the Barbies admire Lagoona for being different.

Yesterday, after seeing the Wal-Mart ad, I wanted to get her a Gil Webber doll for her Easter basket. Gil is Lagoona’s boyfriend, and the doll was in the Wal-Mart ad as if they actually had it in stock.

I went over to Wal-Mart to find bare shelves. Same at Target.  The employees confirmed the dolls sell out quickly. Then, it appears that the dolls are re-sold on eBay.Gil’s asking price is between $35 and $80. What?! I guess people buy the dolls for $12.97 and resell them. The Target people said they get shipments every day, and to call in the mornings. The online Target/Walmart/Toys r Us stores say they are NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE.

Keep in mind, these are cheaply made dolls, way worse in quality than Barbies. They’re almost more like statues than actual dolls.  They are extremely hard to dress, because their hands are permanently splayed and their coats have tiny armholes. Lagoona’s arm comes out all the time. In fact, it’s currently missing. They will soon go the way of Beanie Babies, sold in bulk at the swap meet.

But I am still determined to find one for $12.97 or $12.99 (the Target price). I called Mattel, and the rep told me the dolls are in production, but sell out fast, and they don’t know which stores have which dolls.

I feel kind of competitive about it. Not kind of. Definitely competitive. I know my kid won’t mind if she doesn’t get one– she has told me she wants this doll, but only in passing. If she gets one, the arm will probably fall off and his accessories will be lost in 2 minutes. But I still want to find it.


Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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