as Mattel has been wont to do, the Howleen and Clawdeen werewolf sisters giftset is an exclusive. Target had the monopoly on this set, but as usual, I never saw it in stores. and now I hear they are clearancing it. color me annoyed. (update 10/11: sounds like it is back to regular price now.)
the back of the box features cartoons of the werewolf sisters. Howleen's bio is printed on her side. instead of her bio, Clawdeen has written a letter about how annoying it is to have a kid sister. in the bottom right corner is a cartoon of the other 3 dolls in this wave.
removing the liner from the box shows us that despite all that extra room, Mattel did not include stands. or even a brush. or even a diary for Clawdeen. considering how wonderful the past giftsets have been, I kind of feel like they cheaped out. also note: Howleen is indeed shorter than Clawdeen. she features a brand new "younger" looking body mold.
so I'm going to dive right in and talk about Howleen, the reason I (and many others) bought this set. I have taken off her hoodie so we can get a better look at what's underneath. she wears an orange and black tanktop with the phases of the moon on it (love the detail!) and a pair of shorts so tiny I would call them denim underpants. she has a blue crosswise suspender with a tiny "buckle".
the above shot also gives a decent view of her bracelets. her right arm has 3 separate bracelets- blue beads, black wrist strap, and a smooth pink bracelet. her left arm has a single, bracer almost. it is yellow with blue buckles painted on.
her other jewelry consists of a yellow "safety-pin" earring in her left ear and an orange necklace. the necklace has a molded paw-print charm with an "H" on it. you can also see her hair, which is starting to grow on me.
now we come to Howleen's footwear, and discover she is a Pippi Longstocking fan. her right leg has a long orange/yellow/purple striped sock that nearly reaches to her denim underpants. her left leg has a red mesh knee-high sock. thankfully for my OCD, Howleen was able to find a pair of shoes that matched. they are black boots with blue straps.
here is Howleen in her hoodie. it has little holes cut out for her ears. the pattern is kind of cute in an "ow my eyes" sort of way. it is bright blue, with lighter blue, orange, and purple paw prints on it. and randomly placed yellow claw marks.
in place of a purse, Howleen has a little backpack. it is blue with orange straps. it has a yellow paw print painted on it (I will probably do a little corrective painting on mine). hanging off the bottom corner is an orange 'H' that reminds me of the keychains we used to clip onto the zipper pulls of our backpacks. the backpack does open through a slit in the top, but due to the rather stiff plastic, getting things in and out of it will be difficult.
finally we have Howleen's pet hedgehog, Cushion. Cushion is pretty cute, and even has a floopy right ear like Howleen. not really a fan of the painted orange mohawk though.
I'm not going to talk a whole lot about Clawdeen, because no one is going to be buying this set for her. I do think her dress is cute. it's empire-waisted with a mandarin collar. the top is a lime green with purple leopard spots and the skirt is made of the same black with gold "zippers" material as in her club fashion. she accessorizes with gold earrings and four gold bangles on her right arm. her shoes are the same mold as from her club fashion, but are molded in gold plastic.
I do like that her hair is curly, but I don't like that it is 3 different colors with weird striped bangs. I don't think the elements of her makeup go together. and I really hate the one sock, and especially not with sandals.
The Bottom Line:
The Good: basic Howleen!
The Bad: Target exclusive so it's hard to find, giftset so it costs extra to get a doll that is not really wanted, no stands
The Verdict currently this is the only way to get Howleen, so if you like her character, you have to buy this set. if you don't like Howleen, there's not really any reason to buy.