Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Pop Culture League Voltron Mega Post: Top 10 Monster High Ghouls featuring an Alien and a Zombie!*

So even though I was only on holiday for a total of 15 days, these 15 days were spread over three weeks meaning I’ve missed three Pop Culture League challenges, here are the three I missed:

Aliens Among Us: “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.” –Stephen Hawking

Listicular Fortitude: Top Ten…

Here there be Monsters: ‘Tis the Halloween season!

And of course we have this week’s League challenge:

Zombies: The dead have arisen!

I was going to write one long post that had a section for each, but I am fucking sick of zombies and Aliens Among Us would just be me working through another of my childhood traumas, this time about how much the Mars Attacks theatrical film scared the living shit out of me, then I realised that I could – much like Voltron – combine all four topics into one Top 10 list. It’s perfect, I do less work, get to talk about something I like rather than bloody zombies and I do less work. So I present to you my Four Week Pop Culture League Voltron Post:
I’m a genius. 
Please note that all of this based on pre-reboot things as I am out as of the reboot.

10. Astranova
Boo York, Boo York, 2015
Why? With the original ghouls being based on the Universal Monsters it took far too long to get an alien to act as an equivalent to the Mentaluna Mutant, whom Universal have been telling us is a Universal Monster for some time now. I was ever so keen to see what Mattel would do with a Monster High alien, what they did was make her a bright purple guitar playing glam rocker from inside a comet – didn’t expect that, and that’s pretty much why she’s here – she’s cute, she plays guitar and Mattel managed to produce something completely unexpected for such a tired concept as ‘alien girl’. Actually it’s not completely unexpected because Monster High have gone to ‘pop star’ as a way of introducing big new dolls before, but unlike adorable, confused Astranova they were kind of horrid – Catty Noir looks like fucking blackface and while Casta Fierce looks awesome she’s based on Beyoncé and it’s hard to divorce Jay-Z’s favourite sexist bitch queen and her horrible, horrible music and lyrics from poor Casta, which is a shame as Monster High needed a witch and got a good one, just one associated with a terrible music act. Astra’ has none of these problems, she’s just lovely and needs hugs – oh yeah and the heels of her shoes are based on 50’s retro-futuristic style rayguns.

9. Toralei Stripe
Basic Series, 2011
Why? My favourite of Monster High’s bad girls, Amanita Nightshade is a gorgeous doll and Nefera is a far bigger bitch (god she’s a bitch) but neither of them wear leather trousers…my inner monologue’s not working today it seems…what I mean to say had nothing about teenage girls’ choice of leg wear, I assure you, though they are some nice trousers. Why I actually like Toralei so much is the second series of webisodes treated her like such a believable bully I was completely shocked, every time the ghoul friends tried some standard reaction to bullying that would usually work in American fiction they instead got the exact response that you would get in real life form a gang of girl bullies – they got laughed at and dismissed, I loved it and it made me believe Toralei. And it always makes it worse when you fancy one of your bullies, one of the hottest girls in our year bullied the shit out of me and it was very confusing.

8. Abbey Bominable
Basic Series, 2011
Why? I love this sort of character, the one who’s blunt no matter what and takes no shit from anyone, it just pleases me to watch them; I also find ice and water themed designs very pleasing to look at, I guess I just like cool colours; I also like big, tall girls (I also like little cute girls too, I guess I just like extremes?) and the tough chick with the soft centre archetype – Abbey has all of this plus a fun accent and an adorable trouble with English AND she has the best pet with Shivers the tiny white mammoth, Shivers is my spirit animal. So yeah she’s on her because she has loads of things I like wrapped up in one doll, who’s actually taller than the other dolls to fit in with her being a yeti, that’s the sort of attention to detail I like and wish they’d use when making Draculaura dolls. Also they made a swimwear Abbey Bominable which fascinates me, not because I’m a perv although I am and it should be taken into consideration at all times it’s not the main reason this time but because who looked at the available characters and picked the ice-themed one for a summer themed sub-line?

7. Gilda Goldstag
We Are Monster High, 2014
Why? Yeah this is solely because I find every single thing about Gilda’s design physically attractive. I’m dead serious it’s like Mattel reached into my mind, found the file marked ‘Things I Find Attraction in/on Women Who Aren’t Part of a Counter-Culture’, and a couple from the larger counter-culture file too and a couple that’s in both (they cross referenced, it’s sensible), and then used that to inform every single design choice for Gilda. I’m not going to go into this too much because it make me sound odd evne though everyone has these little preferences I’m sure, but from the non-white skin and died hair to calf-high boots and sleeves that cut off just below the elbows to the size of her belt and jacket, it’s all stuff I find extremely attractive, it’s weird. Also just so you know I don’t have like, a Notepad document with a list called Things I Find Attraction in/on Women Who Aren’t Part of a Counter-Culture or something, in fact such things rarely become conscious thoughts, honest. I do have a Notepad document with my mum’s birthday on it though, because I’m a terrible son and can never remember when it is.

6. Frankie Stein
Basic Series, 2010
Why? This makes me sad, Frankie was my first Monster High love as it were and it was my complete infatuation with her Ghoul’s Alive! doll that turned me into a Monster High hoarder/fan but Mattel insist on giving her these garish outfits with loads of hot blues and yellows and it makes her look like a Jem & The Holograms groupie – in 2016. It’s so completely contrary to the black and white/low contrast aesthetic that attracted me to the character and it bothers the fuck out of me. Sure technically the neons are ‘correct’ for her character because Mattel’s designers are her designers and they get to say what she likes to wear and I should in no way expect them to co-toe to my whims but because she has so many ugly-ass outfits that make her look like furniture in a fleshpot disco in 1988 one of my favourite characters in the franchise gets bumped down to number 6. It’s cruel Frankie but I have to use something – no anything – to put these lists in order, blame whoever at Mattel has the fetish for Miami Vice, I love you as a person and a character and I thought the time you covertly dressed up as your mum for Halloween was all kinds of awesome and your bed is also all kinds of awesome, but your wardrobe sucks, talk to Clawdia, please.

5. Draculaura
Basic Series, 2010
Why? Quick tangent, why did Mattel decide to make things far more complicated by naming her Draculaura rather than Draculara? Draculara is just so much easier to grasp. Anyway Draculaura is a living funny background event, and just watching her bob across screen, well just under the screen, makes me laugh. I know she’s a very divisive character – some people like me find her funny and adorable while other people who are WRONG find her annoying – but I adore her, I wouldn’t have thought something as unoriginal as a vegetarian vampire could make me chuckle so much but every time she passes out I laugh. She also has, pre-reboot, the best style of the main ghoulfriends, hot-pink and black Gothic Lolita with shoes that always look like New Rock made them and her amazing black and pink striped hair, I really, really HATE the rebooted look for her, she’s lost all of her alternativeness, Mattel does know that that undercurrent of counter-culture fashion was why a big bunch of adults got into the line and why their sales were extra good right? Oh well, they’ll find out, or the intended audience will keep sales good and I’ll just seethe and writhe in my own hatred. Incidentally Draculaura is the opposite of Frankie when it comes to later dolls, keeping her basic colour scheme and style has made me like her more and more.

4. Operetta
Basic Series, 2012
Why? In a desperate attempt to stave of talking about Operetta’s arse for as long as possible let’s discuss the more politically correct, or at least more Tumblr-friendly, reason for her being so high because it is actually the main reason, shortly followed by her arse. Operetta is scarred, she’s the daughter of the Phantom of Opera (don’t think about that for too long) so she has to be, she has scars over her arm, her body and her face, they’re actually neatly designed scares that look a bit like ivy but at no point are the scars considered something gross or unattractive, in fact Operetta is introduced as a very attractive ghoul, tempting Deuce Gorgon away from Cleo (though given what a rampaging cow Cleo is I think an ice-cream and a cuddle should be able to tempt Deuce away). It really affirmed for me that Mattel were practicing what they preached with their ‘treat no one as different’ message and leading by example, here they had a character who was clearly counter-culture (whether she’s Rockabilly or Gothabilly is up to you) and clearly physically scarred being presented as, if not more, attractive that Cleo De Nile, Monster High’s equivalent the ‘top blonde’ in the school.. Also Operetta has the nicest arse of all the characters, Google at her official artwork if you don’t believe me that someone paid special attention to making sure she had a great arse to fit in those three-quarter-lengths.
3.  Luna Motthews
Boo York, Boo York, 2014
Why? Because she is an awesome Goth chick who is willing to work for her success and is based on my favourite cryptid, and she has a fucking sweet dress with a cityscape on it that I would wear every other day if I was a woman. That’s it, I’m done, that’s why, me and Luna Motthews need to hang out, listen to music and discuss shoes, her dad and the undeniable appeal of girls wearing their hair in bunches. And then possible do rude things in the back of an off-Broadway, sorry off-Bloodway, production, she’s be totally up for that, if she wasn’t distracted by one of the lighting hands or something, and how cute is that that she’s easily distracted because she’s a moth, a Goth Moth no less. That got pervier than I anticipated…

2. Elissabat
Fights, Camera, Action!, 2013
Why? Who was going to get the number one slot was a bit of a struggle between the character who I found the most physically attractive and the character who I just all round liked the best, it appears I’m not as shallow as I thought because Elissabat ended up in second place. Elissabat is gorgeous, whoever designed this, I owe you a pint, I don’t care if you don’t drink beer I will buy you a pint of whatever your preferred tipple is. That’s wholly why she’s so high, I just think she’s gorgeous, her default outfit is the peak of gothic perfection, I can’t believe Mattel based an entire sub-line around someone so obviously counter-culture and she’s also really quite sympathetic for an actress character – she’s a runaway and has crippling stage fright, funnily enough Kirsty MacColl had crippling stage fright and I think she’s wonderful too. Flaws are very important, they make you seem human and likable, so long as your flaw isn’t y’know, an uncontrollable urge to kill children or something like that, but I don’t like Elissabat kills children, she just has great taste in boots and needs a hug.

1. Ghoulia Yelps
Basic Series, 2010
Why? Because me and Ghoulia should be friends that’s why, she’s a massive nerd, she cosplays, she’s adorable, she has great hair, she’s exceptionally patient, she rides a scooter, I bet she gives good hugs and when she comes out of herself for parties and such she dresses like the hottest girl in the diner in 1956, there isn’t a single bad thing about Ghoulia and she should be here right now, hanging out with me and watching The Flash. I’m not alone in this, I’m pretty sure Ghoulia’s the most popular character amongst the periphery demographic – almost certainly because she IS the periphery demographic, every part of it can relate to Ghoulia in some way and all us want her scooter. Ghoulia just exist, exist and be my friend, you are delightful.

There you are, you’ve been exposed to me just skirting the rim of inappropriate about fictional teenagers, many of whom are reanimated corpses, or in Frankie’s several reanimated corpses in one, I hope you have been emotionally scarred and have realised the Ghoulia Yelps is the best and now want her to be your friend too.

Because I’ve combined posts I’m just gonna link you to some League members’ sites rather than a specific post:
Green Plastic Squirt Gun - who has Big Loo as their logo so is instantly cool
20 Years Before 2000  - who’s choice for Zombies was perfect and has met Trash and thus I now hate
2 Minute Toy Break  - who I always spend more than 2 minutes reading
Alexis’ Universe - who knows a good font when they see it
The Nerd Nook - who’s love of McDonald’s Halloween Pails forever marks them as the sort of person you want to know
The Toy Box – who I use for reference A LOT
And Mr Smith’s Plastic Bubble - who I will admit I don’t go on much but they like Zombieland and Godzilla so I can’t see any reason to dislike them


  1. Nice to see another Monster high collector! Great list. I managed to miss getting Gilda Goldstag so its nice to see her here.

    1. Excellent, another Monster High fan. I didn't buy the We Are Monster High set, I got her loose from eBay and I fully recommend that :)

  2. Nice and comprehensive- I see these in the store and the design fascinates me, so it's good to meet someone who KNOWS them.

  3. Whoever created Monster High got a big bonus at Mattel. The MegaBloks figures and sets are cool too.

    1. It was Garret Sander!! He is sitll at Mattel, I hope they'll keep releasing his designs!!
      (Yep, I'm just another pre-reboot MH fan)

  4. Whoever created Monster High got a big bonus at Mattel. The MegaBloks figures and sets are cool too.