Ever After High

Apple WhiteThe Ever After High dolls were first available in Germany by the end of 2013. It is a spin-off - or rather a sister - to Monster High. Both series are connected by C.A. Cupid who transferred from Monster High to Ever After High (and in the process graphically exchanged her bone wings for golden angel wings).

The Ever After High is visited by the decendants of famous fairytale characters. So we meet Apple White, the daughter of Snow White, for instance, or Briar Beauty who is the daughter of Sleeping Beauty. Contrary to Monster High the Ever After High is a boarding school where the pupils live.
Still, they seem to enjoy some degree of freedom, e.g. Ashlynn Ella (daughter of Cinderella) runs a shoe shop in her free time.

Schoolmaster Grimm prepares the pupils for the most important day in their lives: Destiny Day.
On this day everyone ceremonially vows to follow their fairytale legend and accept their fate to relive their fairytale.
If they refuse, so they say, their fairytale will end, vanish from the books and in the worst case the pupil in case will vanish into nothingness too.
However, the other brother Grimm who is confined to the hidden library and can only talk in riddles tells the desparate Raven Queen (daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White) that she can choose to shape her own destiny too. Raven Queen who in no way wants to become an Evil Queen but a helpful, nice person in turn refuses to take her vow on Destiny Day, turning it into a horrible day especially for Apple White who now has to fear for her own Happily Ever After.

The pupils now devide into two groups: The Royals and the Rebels. The Royals are for the most part princesses who can look forward to their fate with joy while the Rebels are pupils who wish for a different destiny for themselves. These include totally different characters. Besides Raven Queen the Rebels include e.g. Madeline Hatter, daughter of the Mad Hatter, who just thinks this is too funny and who wants to help her friend Raven, and there's also Hunter Huntsman, son of the Hunter, who can't accept that his relationship to Ashlynn Ella is forbidden because she's destined to marry a prince and he's just a simple hunter.


Now for the dolls themselves.
Ever After High dolls have the same height as Monster High. Still, the clothes can only be mixed in very limited ways because they differ in body proportions. The Ever Afters are more massive overall, with wider hips, a fuller waiste and slightly thicker legs. I like this very much because it makes them look more grown up and normal. Monster High dolls can wear some Ever After clothes but they fit very loosely. The other way around is almost impossible, as Monster High clothes are too small. This doesn't go for shoes though. Of five tested pairs of Monster High shoes Apple White was able to wear three pairs. So it's a bit of a lucky dip but it's worth to test your MH shoes on your Ever Afters.

Ever After High also comes with dolls of different sizes already. Madeline Hatter is way smaller than her friends. Whether this reflects on her clothes size too I haven't tested yet but I can imagine that like for Monster High her feet might be a bit smaller. With Hunter Huntsman the first male was published too and he turned out very good. There are also variations in skintone, although not as extreme as in Monster High, of course.

Mattel took a giant step back when it comes to the heads though. While Monster High dolls all have individually shaped heads all Ever Afters so far have the same head. This is very sad, especially since the heads are - in my opinion, veeeeery round and flat. They all look a bit like they ran into a wall with their moon faces. With their very wide heads they look to me like a cross between a Monster High and a Pullip, as if they wanted to give them oversized heads but then didn't quite pull it off.

As for the outfits, those are very creative so far. The fairytale in question reflects fine in the outfits and accessoires but is always modernized and trendy. The dolls come with many small accessoires like rings, earrings and bracelets. Especially the rings easily get lost so I'd recommend to leave the little rubber band on that they are packaged with.
There is a certain... creative freedom, though. I still wonder why Apple White has blonde hair when she is the next Snow White. Her hair should be black as ebony, as we all know. I suppose they wanted a stark contrast to Raven Queen but the way it is Apple always reminds me of Goldie Locks (who with her screaming yellow hair would surely gladly have taken Apple White hair colour).
So far each doll comes with a doll stand in a matching colour. The base is shaped like the logo of Ever After High. The doll stands are hidden within the box and are sometimes overlooked. Keep in mind though that Mattel eventually stopped giving each Monster High doll a stand and that all stands (and brushes) are black these days. A similar development will surely happen to Ever After one day too.

The first series contained the most important characters, with the man only being sold in a set with his girlfriend. The second series repeated some characters in their Destiny Day outfits. From then on Mattel kept pumping out new series and expansions and just like with Monster High you have to decide one day which dolls to buy and which ones to skip unless you're a millionaire. There are also several sets of furniture and/or locations, some of which are sold with a special doll. There are no fashion sets yet. Since Mattel didn't publish any for Monster High either for the past few years they probably decided that those don't reek in enough money and so they stopped making them.

Raven Queen / Madeline HatterMy opinion on Ever After High:

Ever since I bought Raven Queen Monster High was as good as dead for me. I enjoy Ever After High much better. For once, I love princesses and fairytale characters, and furthermore I like the boarding school much better and also the story with the Royals and Rebels and e.g. Apple White trying to get Raven Queen back on her destined track. The little diaries tell much more exciting stories that also fit better together than those of Monster High.

Sadly it's not all gold that glitters, not even here. Since I own six or seven of some Monster High characters I took a vow to be very, very critical of all new Ever After products and to only buy duplicate characters when their outfit literally knocks me out of my socks. Contrary to the cute product shots the Destiny Day Apple White was a disappointment with her shower curtain cape and the wobbly plastic jewelery. By now I also own the Destiny Day Briar Beauty and I'm shocked at how bad her face is. (Smeared mascara, misprinted lipstick, carved lines in her face as if someone punched her while she wore glasses.)
Furthermore I really don't like the shape of the faces much and I hope that Mattel will rethink this and publish some dolls with new head shapes because else I'll be even more critical with my buys. That Cherise Hood comes without her wolf ears is a pet peeve of mine.Since (luckily?) there are lots of outfits and/or patterns that I disliks I'm able to skip many dolls. I do like almost all furniture sets so far, however. Tipp: If you buy the shoe shop set you can get a few extra shoes, at least.

In any case, I will sew for Ever After High too and especially for these dolls my fingers are itching to replace their plastic jewelery with beaded or otherwise higher grade accessoires.


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