even though I have several dolls waiting to be reviewed, Venus McFlytrap jumped to the top of the list. why? because I actually found her in a store instead of having to order her online! I think I have only bought three monsters in store this year: Cupid, the CAM seamonster set, and Venus.
she comes in the standard coffin-style packaging. in her conceptual phase there were a few possible monster parents thrown around, but "plant monster" is official. her avatar is a little potted venus flytrap, but I'm not sure I would have been able to guess that just by looking at it.
the back of her box features her cartoon and her bio. I am guessing that the sparkles coming out of her mouth are her persuasion pollens. there are also cartoons of the other three dolls in this wave and an ad for the Ghouls Rule DVD.
removing the liner from the box we get a better look at what all is included. we get Venus herself, her pet Chewlian, a hairbrush, and a stand. the base of the stand is behind her diary. the little quote on the front of her diary says that if you read it she will "be allergic to you." as a big sis who used this line to try to get away from her brother, this made me laugh.
I had the worst time trying to get the color balance of these pictures to come out right, even with my computer software. as you can see below, Venus is cast in a bit of a pink tone. the colors of her clothes are correct, except they are brighter in person. her shirt is off the shoulders and is plenty long enough to cover her midriff. it has a black background with magenta and lime/yellow squiggles, skulls, and the words "ECO PUNK".
she wears a black miniskirt, which is a separate piece from the leggings she wears underneath it. they use the same colors as her top, but are in a more abstract pattern.
over her top, Venus wears a cropped "denim" vest. the right side has a skull with "ECO PUNK" written just above it. there are three silver colored "buttons"
in the above picture you can actually see one of her monster features pretty well- her lips. she has little white lines on them that mimic the hairs on the mouths of venus flytraps. great detail Mattel! you can also see her green viney necklace.
Venus definitely has a unique shoe mold. on the front of her shoes where the uppers meet the soles there is a gap filled with green teeth. her shoe laces are painted in the same limey green as the teeth and mimic her vines. the vines are not molded onto her legs, and I think they could be fairly easily removed if so desired.
while we're talking about her vines, lets go ahead and take a look at her arms.
she has vines on her arms that are also not molded on, and can be easily removed like bracelets when her hands are taken off. her hands actually show another of her monster features. they have a mottled texture that makes me think of roots in dirt.
another of Venus' monster features is her ears. they are molded to resemble leaves. her right ear is pierced 4 times with (Parental Warning!) tiny green loops. in the picture below you also get a good look at her most unique feature- her hair.
the right third of her head is "shaved." Mattel achieved this look by using magenta flocking instead of rooted hair. the rest of her head is rooted in lime and magenta, and is very long. you can actually just see the ends of it in the shoe picture above.
her left ear has a standard earring that is molded to look like a vine. while this picture is closer, the colors are still not quite right. Venus has a yellowy tint to her skin (as opposed to Frankie's bluey-mint color).
it kills me to say this, but Venus' purse is a piece of junk. it is a simple rectangle folded in half, and the fabric feels so cheap that it wouldn't surprise me if it busted open the first time anything was stuffed in it.
while I like that the skulls on her bag are filled in with blue and green to look like the globe, the rest of the pattern kind of creeps me out. the skulls alternate with pink bones, and pink drippy hearts with ribcages in them.
finally we get to Venus' pet venus flytrap named Chewlian. with his dull black eyes and big teeth, he reminds me of a shark from the front. I really don't know what he's smiling about. I think Venus scalped a couple of his brethren to make her shoes.
Chewlian has lots of molded leaf details, and I really like that his orange "terra cotta" pot has cracks molded in. he has one huge flaw though- he can't stand on his own. you can probably tell in my pictures above that I had to prop him up against the wall. so much of his weight is on the back of his head, that he will fall backwards every time.
The Bottom Line:
The Good: new character, modest clothes with mix/match potential, very unique look.
The Bad: contains small parts, cheaply made purse, pet cannot stand alone
The Verdict: with her yellow-green skin and magenta hair, Venus McFlytrap will definitely not be mistaken for another Frankie. if you can live with the minor flaws I've pointed out, you'll probably love this Venus doll. I have heard that there will be a swimline version of her next year, so if you want one of every character and the basic isn't striking your fancy, you could try to hold out a few more months.