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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Monster High Reboot...WTF? Part 2

Some think that Monster High was a dated concept. That it was running out of ideas.

I have to disagree with those sentiments.

Yes, Monster High is over five years old.  But the product had a lot of life left in it. It didn’t need a reboot. And it doesn’t need the reboot that Mattel executed. The uninspired designs they presented stripped the heart and spirit away from the original concept. The way I see it, those dolls were just not good enough to sell to Monster High’s millions of loyal fans.

I’m not a fan of reboots. In most cases they split the audience. So half the audience is buying product and the other half is staying home. And instead of customers being united, they’re divided. Long-term that kind of discord kills a brand’s momentum. Instead of customers anticipating the newest product and counting down the days until they buy it, they’re bickering and arguing with each other.

I’ve seen that chaos destroy the DC Superheroes brand and the DC Comics brand ever since the New 52 Launched in 2011. And I don’t want to see that kind of animosity come to Monster High’s millions of fans. Monster High fans are great people who have a love for the brand that goes beyond age and gender. People just enjoy this line. And this reboot threatens that fan solidarity all over the world.

Yes product lines get old. And creative people can get tired. As a writer and a publisher I’ve run into those rough periods. But instead of giving up on a concept, like my 14-year old Isis series I persevered and found new ways to keep the stories fresh and unique for my readers. From what I see with the Monster High concept there are a lot of great storylines to explore, new monster characters they could create, and creative ways to sell more dolls and get new customers into a great product.

And I know when companies talk reboot it means that the creative people have become frustrated. That they’ve thrown up their hands and given up. From the way things look, Mattel’s executives have become frustrated by Barbie’s declining sales and the loss of the Disney Princess license. And instead of coming up with a strategy to get out of the hole, they decide to sabotage the one franchise that’s doing well for them.

That’s not smart. Long-term this Monster High reboot it’s going to hurt Mattel’s brand and its reputation the same way DC Comics damaged its reputation and brand with the New 52 reboot in 2011. In the last five years, DC lost 10 percent of its market share and alienated most of its core audience. Worse, the new customers DC Comics was banking on just never materialized and the brand declined to the crisis state its in right now.

I got a lot of inspiration from Monster High. Stories I’ve written like E’steem: No Good Deed were inspired by Monster high shorts I watched on You Tube in between breaks writing. And E’steem series stories like Demons Anonymous, Faerie Tale, and E’steem Undercover were inspired by the concept of Monster High characters being all grown up, with career and a boyfriend. I love this brand so much and I’d hate to see all the goodwill fostered by it destroyed by a bad business decision to reboot a brand that doesn’t need a reboot. 

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