Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cheap Thrills

Although there are 4 Family Dollar stores within a 10 minute drive of my house, shopping there used to be as scary as walking through a graveyard on All Hallows' Eve.  There were always homeless beggars camped in front of the entrances and the one closest to my house had a height chart painted next to the exit so that the cashiers could give the police accurate descriptions of the armed robbery suspects after yet another stick up.  Yet, when D7ana posted about the Midnight Magic dolls a few weeks ago, I knew I had to have these $5 Monster High clones even if it meant combing through every seedy Family Dollar in Atlanta.

From pictures of boxed specimens I could see that the dolls had articulated elbows and wrists and I wondered what the legs were like.  I ventured to the Family Dollar that is a block from my house last weekend and was pleased to see that the parking lot of the strip mall where it is located was being re-paved.  I still had to pass some vagrants to enter but they were at least two yards from the door.  Inside I found a fresh case of the Midnight Magic dolls and was intrigued to see that they are manufactured by the Lovely Patsy company.

Apparently monsters and vampires have become so popular that even the purveyors of princesses and fairies are eager to join in the danse macabre.


What is even more amazing is that this line of clones has a background story and each doll comes with a secret code, which is supposed to unlock games and other special content on the Midnight Magic website.

The website is slow, the game doesn’t seem to be up and running yet and the graphics are so close to the Monster High logos and motifs I’m surprised Mattel hasn’t slapped Lovely Patsy with a lawsuit.  Once I opened the cute, coffin-shaped box (a neat touch that Mattel didn’t think of), I discovered the similarities between these clones and the Monster High dolls are even more striking.

    The Midnight Magic dolls are taller than the regular Monster High girls but they are almost the same size as Nefera de Nile.  I was glad to see that because Mattel hasn’t produced any more outfits for her and while she could easily shake down les soeurs Garoul for some of their fashions, she wouldn’t be able to fit into them.

Nefera sniffed when she first saw Pippa’s tacky silver snakeskin dress and cheap, blow molded boots but since she doesn’t have any other options, she decided she had enough personal panache to make it work.

Given that these days Lovely Patsy dolls usually have hollow plastic bodies with stiff legs, I was impressed to see that Pippa has vinyl legs with click jointed knees.  


Her knees are very stiff, however.  Indeed all of her joints are very stiff.  I suspect they are also very fragile.  Still she is more poseable than a $5 Barbie.  Her hair is not as thickly rooted as Mattel products usually are but it has a luscious, silky texture. 

    Yet, the more I looked at Pippa and Nefera, the more I came to suspect that Mattel and Lovely Patsy may have reached a secret agreement that allows Mattel to profit from the inevitable discount clones of their popular Monster High line.  

Pippa’s pelvis is slightly deeper than Nefera’s.  

The shape of her bosom is a little different and her feet are just a tad bit wider.

 but the hands would be even more similar if it weren't for the extra flash on Pippa's fingers.  

I believe that Mattel should use creativity rather than lawsuits to bury the competition, but I have to admit that the Midnight Magic dolls are blatant copies.  Nevertheless I hope that Lovely Patsy will keep giving us these cheap thrills for some time to come.

À Bientôt and Happy Halloween!


  1. Wow! I didn't think the boots came off! I will have to get one now! I love the boots and I like this clone better than the original.

    1. Hi Ms. Leo,

      It's not hard to take the boots off but putting them on is another story. The doll's toes keep getting stuck in the ridges. Eventually I was able to work them on by twisting the boots sideways.

  2. Ah... there's nothing like a cheap thrill... even if you have to risk being in the presence of unseemly characters to find them.

    Great post... love the comparison. Dolls like these do make you wonder how knock-off manufacturers can come so close to major manufacturers' products without being slapped with a law suit. I guess the big boys know the knock offs are really not a threat to their profit margin. But pit two majors against one another (MGA Entertainment/Mattel) and you'll have an entirely different legal scenario.


    1. Hi Debbie,

      Glad you enjoyed the comparison. Now that monster clones are appearing I think this theme is about to blow up like the princess stuff. Maybe that will make for some more interesting fashions.

  3. I love Nefera! I like she's taller and have a more mature body of the other MH girls! These clones are fun! I wonder if they will come here in Italy?

    1. Hi Sergio,

      I hope you do get the Midnight Magic clones in Italy. Then you could do a sequel to your Attack of the Clones Halloween story. I really enjoyed that!

  4. Perfect post for today. The seedy characters are perfect for today, too. Nefera looks nice in her new outfit.

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      It was fun doing a seasonal post even though I didn't go all out and stage a Halloween party like you and some of the other bloggers. If Nefera is suitably grateful for the new outfit, she may get to wear the outfits that came with the other three girls some time.

  5. Thanks for the mention, P! Great post. I love your comparisons and how you make the inexpensive dolls look classy.

  6. Hello from Spain: dolls clones look good. I really like the comparison you do. As always a very good buy. We keep in touch.

  7. Hi!:)
    Wow what a great comparison between the two dolls,you have a great eye for details!!That makes me wonder whether you write reviews for dolls in a doll magazine or not!!! :)
    I loved the ghosty pics!!;)