The Rise and Fall of Monster High

Aidan Topolinski, Staff Writer

Our childhoods were being shaped by the things we have grown up with. Examples being, many kids grew up with Barbie and Bratz dolls. Luckily for those of us unusual children, 2010 surprised the world when Mattel introduced the children of famous horror movie characters. Frankenstein and his bride, Dracula, Mummies, and even Werewolves sent their children to high school giving us kids a fashion doll brand that was freaky fabulous! Unfortunately, around 2018 these unique dolls were taken off the shelves and many children and collectors were left to wonder: what happened to Monster High? 

Monster High was a fashion doll line designed by Garret Sander; beginning his career in packaging, he moved on to become the design manager for the Polly Pockets fashion line. Until the fateful day he pitched the line to Mattel, and won an In-house Design award for his work on the Monster High box set designs. He then came out with the first three Monster High dolls ever. The world was introduced to Frankie, Draculuara, and Clawdeen.

The stories and mediums of storytelling only grew from there. The mantra, or monstra, of loving oneself “Freaky flaws and all” resonated with many people. Not only was it a good lesson for kids, but a lesson that everyone should learn. That the things one may be ashamed of aren’t reasons to be down on themselves. So what if people don’t fit the social norms, the only thing anyone should be judged on is their character. 

Chaos. Public outcry. The scandal. Mattel dare take Monster High off the market. The people were outraged and took to social media to demand an answer. Where was Garrett to come to our rescue with a surprise collectable, or artwork for a new monster? Garrett came through with an explanation. He had left Mattel due to creative differences which resulted in the original decline in dolls. Creative differences? What does that mean? Well it means that parents were unhappy. Unhappy with the look of these accursed dolls. These vile toys were too cool for their precious children, they couldn’t let their kids see teenage dolls in black miniskirts, high heels, or the dreaded fishnet stockings.

So yes, the product had to change, resulting in smoother face shapes, but the fashion is something Garret couldn’t budge on. Leading to decline in content and quality. Garret was more focused on his other work to devote more time to Monster High. The parents continued to complain and wouldn’t purchase Mattels’ Monster High product. So long answer short, parents ruined it, like they ruin everything. This explained why he couldn’t stop the second coming of Monster High. 

In 2018 Mattel came forward with excellent news. A reboot. The company had reimagined Sander’s original story and planned to bring it to the big screen (In a made for tv movie.) “Welcome to Monster High.” That is the Monster High reboot film that enraged the world… of the doll collector community. This movie is genuinely terrible, that is not just an opinion either, that is objective fact! But after that? Dead.

Mattel had tried after the creator left, but the fandom was just disappointed. Disappointed with Mattel, with Garret, with Monster High in general. It’s hard to express how much the toy line meant to people. What does one say when some hunk of plastic they played with as a kid just disappears. How do they get their old dolls fixed when broken? Or reconnect with their childhood once they have sold, or lost them? From 2018 to 2020, nothing. Not a collectors’ item, not line, not a word from Mattel about anything. Then from the darkness came hope. They posted nine images to their Instagram that when viewed in Gallery contain the Monster High logo. Just months before Christmas they came out with three collectors dolls for fans to buy. Then, we got it!

Monster High was back! Or is coming back anyways. Rejoice! A choir of angels sings as the Mattel executives give the hungry fans the nectar of content. It is nearly impossible to express emotions when one’s interests are so… bizarre. Talking about something so special to someone who does not understand, or worse thinks it is just plain weird, can feel like no one wants to help. A hunk of plastic that one used to play with as a child does not seem like something adults want to get emotional over. These small things can hold forgotten memories of, worlds created, friendships lost, the innocence of childhood.

The most important thing in life is to be happy, so buy a kids’ toy, watch cartoons, do not let people who embrace the social “norms” put people down for things they love. Be a better person and remember to always “Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster!”