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Friday, December 14, 2012

Monster High C.A. Cupid review..and something else

Given the terrible events that have gone down in Connecticut I feel almost ashamed to post about a doll.  In case you were unaware (and in the states I'm willing to bet everyone knows by now) some nutjob took a gun to a class full of kindergartners in Newtown and killed them all.  Last I heard the death toll was 26 or 27; 20 are children, and five or six are adults, including the shooter's mother.  Oh yes, the shooter is also dead.  The good-girl Christian half of me wants to find a way to forgive this man for what he has done, but the worldly, profane side of me can't help but hope he's burning in hell.

If any of y'all out there are from Connecticut, you have my prayers and sympathy whether you knew any of the victims or not.  My prayers are also with the families of the victims, and the family of the shooter as well, for they have to live with the fact that their loved one committed such a heinous act.  May God show his love and his mercy for them all.

I am continuing with this review because my newest doll is a toy, and what kindergartner doesn't love toys?  I also am continuing with this because my doll is C.A. Cupid, a symbol of love and affection for all of us.  This review is dedicated to the little ones whose lives were lost today and to their families.  If I sound overly chipper in places, that's because I've had this review in draft form since Monday.  So without further ado, here she is.
Okay, so that's not the best picture I took of her, but that is her.  It should be noted that photographing this doll is difficult; she is white, so getting the proper background and the correct flash setting is no easy task.  When I do get a decent picture of her, she's very attractive.

Before I get too far into the review, let's discuss the backstory.  Some folks appreciate that in a review, so here goes:  C.A. Cupid is the daughter of Eros, the Greek god of desire, affection, and..."erotic" love.  C.A. Cupid, however, does not do the same work her father does.  Where her father works with humans (or "normies," as the monsters call humans), Cupid works on monsters only.  She admits that she is a terrible shot, but makes up for it by offering advice on love and romance.  She considers herself a girly-girl, loves psychology and the color pink, and is not a big fan of math (like me).  In the U.S. she is a Wal-Mart exclusive; I understand that she's available in other stores outside of the States.  This is the first Cupid doll ever produced so she could be considered a first-wave doll.  I'm not really sure about that one yet...lemme get back to you on that.

Anyway, the Cupid doll is 10.5 inches tall, the height of most female Monster High dolls.  She's unlike most of the Monster High dolls that I own, in that she has heavily lacquered hair.  Sometimes these dolls have poorly-set hair; I paid extra attention to this aspect and picked the doll with the best hair.
Cupid's hair has two tones of pink.  The lighter shade is sort of a baby pink, and the darker shade leans more towards bubble gum.
The hairstyle is unusually elaborate, especially for a first-wave doll...or what I deem as such.  It is styled up in a tight, retro-style flip.  It also has a twisted section that goes all the way around Cupid's head, then loops up in a heart shape.  It's a little like a halo.
Her bangs are short, and are lacquered or sprayed to hold their shape, just like the rest of the hair.  From the front her bangs take on a shape similar to first-wave Operetta's bangs.
But from the side it's obvious that they are quite different.  Operetta's bangs curl back in an Elvis-like pompadour.  Cupid's bangs curve downward and toward her face.
Tell me, Cupid...why do fools fall in love?

One thing worth noticing is the back of Cupid's hair.
Flat!  Reminds me a bit of the back of Tristen's new wig!  The causes are the same; like Tristen's wig, Cupid's hair got smashed in the back by the way she was packaged.  Since she was probably tacked into her package before her hair was dry, it'll stay flat unless I decide to restyle it.  And I don't plan on that so...tough luck for you, Cupid!  Oh well, it still looks good from the front.

Moving along, Cupid's face.
Her vinyl is white like Spectra Vondergeist's.  They don't share a head mold, but they're the same color.
That's where the similarities end, though.  Like the other Monster High characters, Cupid has a paint scheme all her own.  Let's start with...oh, it's hard to pick a starting place here!  I'm going to start with the highest point on her face, that being her eyes and her eye makeup.  It's hard for me to capture the beauty of Cupid's eye paint on camera, but I'll try anyway.
Her eyes two-tone; the outer rim of her iris is a cerulean color, and the inner portion is sea-blue with a pale green crescent under the pupil.  Her pupils are black and round, and have tiny white hearts painted in them.  There are also some white lines, like natural eyes sometimes have.  Cupid's eyebrows are heavy and serious.  She almost looks annoyed about something...perhaps she missed her shot again.  Or maybe she's bummed because her eyebrows don't match her hair; the eyebrows are very dark pink, almost fuchsia.  Regarding eye shadow, Cupid has two colors.  The inner color is pale blue, and the outer color is a pale pink, the latter of which matches her hair much better than the fuchsia eyebrows do.  Her eyes are lined in black, and her eyelashes are black as well.  Cupid looks like she's gone a little overboard with the kohl, but all that black does help her eyes stand out from her otherwise pale palette.

The only other makeup that Cupid has is on her lips.  No blush or anything, just lipstick.  And even that's not a lot.
She has a small rosebud moth painted on; the rest of her lips are not painted.  I am unsure of whether this effect is supposed to look like a heart, or if it was inspired by the way a geisha paints her lips.
Notice that this geisha's lip paint does not fully cover her lips.  Such a feature is common among geisha, but I can only speculate if this was the effect Mattel wanted for Cupid.  I know that the original Eros was a Greek entity and not a Japanese one, but it is still an interesting idea!

But then again, Cupid's clothing doesn't look very Japanese.  It doesn't look very Greek either.  It looks...well, it looks like...like this!
Regardless of who or what influenced it, this is a simple but cute dress.  It is all one piece, but it has at least four different fabrics in play.  The straps are made of this soft, sheer, black material, and the bodice is a sparkly pink knit.  Both of these fabrics stretch.  The waist is wrapped in more of the sheer black material, helping it blend in with the skirt.
The skirt is a satiny, tri-colored fabric.  The top part is black.
This black print appears to be dripping or melting down onto the rest of the dress.  I'm not sure what that's supposed to symbolize.  Could it be cake icing?  Cupid is a part of a birthday line, after all.  Or perhaps it is candle wax, again echoing the theme of a birthday (though somewhat more vaguely).  Could it be paint?  Or slime?  Or...black BLOOD???  Nah, I doubt Mattel would put blood of any sort onto a toy like this.  That's just something that we'll have to speculate about.  

Underneath the black print the fabric is white.  This white deepens into a blush shade of pink at the hem of the skirt.
Printed on the pink area are these fancy hearts.  Some are inverted and some are right-side-up.  The hearts are mostly black with some gray areas mixed in.
Under the satin skirt is a black tulle petticoat.
In addition to the dress, Cupid has these cute shoes.
The soles are black, and the straps are pink and white.  The heel of the right shoe is a small bow, and the heel of the left shoe is an arrow.  Pretty cute!

Regarding accessories, Cupid is pretty well endowed.  She has some sort of do-dad on her right arm (probably an arm protector, something that archers tend to need), and this cute bow and arrow ring on her right hand.  It's a real ring, too!
A pair of earrings (a bow and an arrow, no less):
And a plastic purse:
The purse echoes the dripping black motif on the dress, and the bow and arrow theme is replayed as well; the purse's handles are little pink arrows.  It is elaborately painted on one side, but not on the other.
This is open, by the way.  It's not just a hunk of plastic that dangles from Cupid's arm.  It could carry some small items, like her jewelry, or an Icoffin if she had one (Icoffins are the Monster High equivalent of Ipods, seen on Dawn of the Dance dolls).

Cupid may have had plenty of trinkets with which to accessorize, but her extras are few and far between.  She comes with a pink three-piece stand and a card that tells her life story.
Part of that stand is still attached to Cupid.  It fits her very tightly and I was in no mood to wrestle it off again.  Notice that Cupid's card doesn't look a thing like the doll.
The doll is very serious looking, but the card portrays Cupid as a light-hearted, smiling sort.  

Oh yes, there's also this.  I'm not sure where this fits in on the review, but...Cupid has wings.
I love this particular feature, because Cupid's wings are made out of BONES!!!  They've been reshaped to look something like butterfly wings, but they're bones all the same.  If you look closely you can see ribs and a spinal column.  They're even yellowed and cracked, just like real bones look when they've been aged!  
These wings are held around Cupid's neck by a small white arrow.  The white arrow blends in well with the body and looks almost like a choker.
The stand even has a gap that accommodates the lower part of the spinal column, allowing the wings to hang straight when Cupid is on her stand.
That's a pretty cute little touch, but I have to wonder...where did those bones come from???  Is there a side to Cupid's story that we don't know about?  Hmm...let's not discuss that right now.  Regardless of where Cupid got her bony wings, I like those wings very much.

I want to draw your attention now to Cupid's paint job.  We've talked about her face, but her body is also elaborately painted.  She's mostly a snow white color, but her lower arms, hands lower legs, and feet are black.  Both the hands and the legs look like they're covered in lace, which is fitting because Cupid states that lace is one of her favorite fabrics.  She looks almost like she's wearing fancy stockings and gloves.  Woven into this "lace" are more hearts; each leg has three hearts, and each hand has one.
That's a lot of detail for a 10.5-inch doll that only cost twenty-one bucks in American money.  Furthermore, I see no paint flaws anywhere.  Not on her legs, or on her hands.  I don't even see any on her face, and that's saying a lot because these dolls sometimes have flub-ups with their facepaint.  I will note however, that the paint on her legs is very smooth.  I'm not sure if this paint can chip off or not, but I'm taking no chances.  Cupid will be treated with utmost care to prevent any chips that may occur.  Remember how that ring can detach from her finger?  I probably won't be taking it off much, lest I scuff the paint there...or lose the ring...OR BOTH!!!  LOL, I did admit that I'm a fumble-fingers, after all!

Now the verdict.  Would I recommend this doll?  Yes, I would...to a child aged appropriately, or to a teenage or adult collector.  She IS a toy, but if you're planning on giving this doll to your child, make sure to warn her not to brush Cupid's hair; it will become a complete rat's nest, and that style will be difficult to replicate once upset. Cupid's snowy body also could dirty easily, the paint could chip, and the clothes could snag (all the fabrics involved are the kinds that snag if mistreated).  There are also small pieces that could get lost or swallowed.  That being said, I still give C.A. Cupid two thumbs up.  Her facepaint is gorgeous, her outfit is adorable and well-constructed, and she's covered in little details that would make the heart of a collector (or a little girl) sing.  If you love pink but are tired of the same-old, same-old with Draculaura, then C.A. Cupid is for you.  The same goes for any child who loves pink or is a girly girl.  If your daughter is old enough and careful with her things, then she'll probably fall in love with Cupid.
What else is there to say?  I know that a doll review is a paltry and superficial way to pay tribute to little kids, but as I said in the beginning children love toys, and this toy represents a symbol of love.  It will be easy to politicize this tragedy, to start screaming for tougher laws on guns and such, but I'm not going to get on my high horse about that.  I'm just going to publish this and see what happens.  I hope it doesn't sound too superfluous or shallow.  If you have children or if there's a set of kids that you're close to, don't forget to hug them and tell them that you love them.  And don't forget that true to the song, Jesus loves the little children.  Just because children died today doesn't mean He stopped loving them.

God bless Newtown,

UPDATE, 9/24/2017:  I had no idea when I wrote this review, but Cupid and Ghoulia Yelps share a head mold.  See?
Seriously, it took me five years to figure this out, and it took another blog to help me see it.  Kudos to Purple Monkfish for this little tidbit.


  1. I don't think it's a shallow post at all. We cant stop continuing in the face of tragedy.

    1. You speak the truth, my dear. We can't stop.

  2. Hello from Spain: poor children! in my country we are shocked by the deaths of young children. Keep in touch

    1. Thank you for your comments, Marta. God willing, your country will never have to face something as heinous and tragic as the incident at Newtown.