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Monday, April 18, 2016

Monster High Reboot...Good Gravy.

Just when I thought I could go a day without hearing about another reboot….Mattel decides to reboot one of my favorite toy franchises, Monster High.

What is it with people fixing what ain’t broken?

Monster High was a major influence on my writing. The E’steem series is based on the concept of Monster High characters all grown up. And supporting characters in E’steem’s series like D’lilah and Claudius are inspired by Torelai and Clawd Wolf. And Isis series stories like Isis: Night of the Vampires and Isis: Bride of Dracula are partially influenced by Monster High.

Even my adult romance Spinsterella has some influences from Monster High. A Goth executive? That’s what every Ghoul aspires to be when she grows up!

I practically watched every episode of Monster High on YouTube when they came on. It was two minutes of fun that could make a dreary day that much brighter.

The way I see it, five years in Monster High was perfectly fine. Not broken at and in no need of fixing. It could have gone on for another ten years as is. Monster High had a LOT more miles in the tank before it even thought of getting stale. Like Batman before it, the line could have sold re-issues of characters in the catalog for the next five years without skipping a beat. 

But someone at Mattel thinks they have to FIX things. Make them better. Make the characters softer, friendlier and more approachable.

Er…they’re monsters. And part of the charm of the dolls were that they were hideous. Hideoulsy beautiful.

What made Monster High great was that it showcased the beauty in being different. That flaws and imperfections were what made us perfect. That everyone had beauty in their own way and that the content of people’s character made them great, not their external appearance.

Y’know what I would have loved seeing? Monster University. Or Monster High all grown up like I do with E’steem’s series. A monster out in the world with a job, a boyfriend, and a fabulous wardrobe of designer clothes.

And shoes. Because shoes are awesome.

I sell a lot ofbooks with that kind of story featuring E’steem having adventures while working in the corporate Hell known as Morris Phillips, a company filled with employees who are vampires, demons and monsters. And I think Mattel could too. Goths and Ghouls like imagining having different careers, so there’s a whole new market of customers there to appeal to.  Imagine Frankie, Clawdeen, Ghoulia, and Cleo De Nile working in their dream jobs like E’steem does. Having adventures in between coffee breaks, office work, and shopping. It’s a recipe for a million selling toy line.

But Mattel lacks the vision to do something like this. So they throw crap at a wall. Still Smarting about losing the Disney Princess license to Hasbro and still reeling from declining Barbie sales, they decide to ruin the one property that was consistently doing well for them.

By applying the same failed approaches that are impeding Barbie’s sales at retail right now. Cheap low-grade clothes, uninspired designs, and a story that no one relates to. Doing the exact same things and expecting a different result. Mattel’s insane executives think it’ll cost out in the short-term, but like DC Comics and its New 52 relaunch all it’s going to do is damage the brand in the long term. It’s a lot harder to get customers back when they’ve left a brand, and harder to get new customers into a product when everyone raves about how great the older one was.

I’m really sad to hear about this Monster High relaunch. This is another great product line that has had its momentum cut by insecure people who can’t trust the customer to keep buying what it likes and then tries to tell them what it wants. If you ask me companies these days are a little too reboot crazy. If something’s not broken then don’t fix it. Let that product keep going strong and go out and search for that next concept. Hey Mattel, how about an E’steem line of dolls? I'd be eager to sell you a license.... 

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