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Prepare for the onslaught: Monster High

monster-highPress release today from Mattell, which is all adither over their big franchise rollout: Monster High. Soon, everywhere you look, the "frighteningly fashionable teenage descendents of the world's most famous monsters" will be lurking with their "girly pop-goth aesthetic that we hope you'll find drop dead… gorgeous!"

It's Bratz meets Scooby Doo...meets every possible media and retail outlet. Fun! Luckily, the stuff is not quite as offensive as I'd feared; here, have a look. Yes, the girls are WAY too curvy (legs are how long?) and not a "diverse body type" among them...and the clothes and make-up are way too slutty, sure. But the plot lines - of the movie, books and webisodes - promise to explore concepts of individuality (Dracula's daughter, Draculaura, is vegan) and diversity, which I can get behind. And there is something empowering about a girl being a monster...instead of being rescued from one.

But here's another high-school-based franchise that will be irresistible to 8-year-olds (and largely ignored by high-schoolers, natch); how much blithering about "crushing on a cute guy" and "having a cute figure for fashion" do second-graders need?

I do have to admit that some of it cracks me up. Here's Frankie Stein (Frankenstein's daughter) talking about one of her many flaws: "Sometimes my stitches come loose at the worst possible moment. Like the day my arm flew off at fearleader tryouts."

Monster High apparel goes on sale next week at Justice stores; books (written by Lisi Harrison of The Clique and Alphas fame), will be available starting in September.

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