Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monster High: 13 Wishes Walmart Exclusive DVD Gift Set Review

No worries, I'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. ;)

The outer packaging for the Walmart Monster High: 13 Wishes DVD gift set with included lunch bag.
Whenever a new toy, game, movie, etc. that interests me is announced, I always scope out any potential retailer exclusives. Monster High in particular churns out exclusives like no brand I've ever seen, so of course I did my research on the "13 Wishes" DVD and Blu-ray release. As it turns out, Walmart once again offers the best deal (in 2012, Walmart's release of "Ghouls Rule!" included a bonus DVD containing webisodes) in the form of this "gift set".

The gift set includes the regular DVD release of the feature film and a thermo-insulated lunch bag featuring artwork of Frankie, Draculaura, Clawdeen, and Abbey in their "Haunt the Casbah" attire. Since the bag is the only exclusive piece in this set, I'll talk about it first.
The Walmart Monster High: 13 Wishes DVD gift set.

The exterior of the lunch bag features a textured vinyl material with a fold-over Velcro closure. There are graphics on the front and back, as well as the Monster High logo on the sides. The bag is surprisingly good quality, and I could see it holding up to a lot of use and abuse. As I'm past my school years and have no children of my own, it's unlikely I'll have the opportunity to test my theory, however. If you're in the same boat as me, or your kids prefer a lunch box,  it would also work as a lovely storage bag for extra MH brushes, clothes, shoes, diaries, and the like.
The Monster High: 13 Wishes lunch bag sold exclusively with the Walmart gift set. (front)The Monster High: 13 Wishes lunch bag sold exclusively with the Walmart gift set. (back)
Front (left) and back (right).

The DVD includes three webisodes that are (at least currently) NOT posted on MH's official website or Youtube channel: "Department of Monster Vehicles", "Royal Pest Sitter", and "Cookie Creeper". There's also an Ever After High teaser, but it doesn't offer anything more than what you can already see in the videos at EAH's website. Though it's not listed as a "special feature", a short preview of the Spring 2014 MH film "Frights, Camera, Action!" is included as well.

One of the coolest bonuses is an advertisement flyer inserted in the DVD case, which gives us a first peak at Viperine Gorgon! She can be seen on the cover of the upcoming Monster High film "Frights, Camera, Action!", alongside Draculaura and Cleo in their new outfits. Clawd's there in a tux, too. :)
Our first peak at Viperine Gorgon! Cleo, Draculaura, and Clawd also sport new looks in this advertisement for Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! DVD.
There's Viperine on the leftmost; aren't her pink hair-snakes cute? =3 Cleo and Draculaura appear to sport early-Hollywood chic.

I have to say, this has been my favorite of the Monster High specials. The new characters were likable, the old characters had some development (Howleen, Cleo), and the story, though drawn from a classic concept, still felt fairly fresh. I was never bored with it.

There were lots of cameo appearances, including those by Wydowna Spider, Catty Noir, Clawdia Wolf, Invisibilly, and Scarah Screams. Interestingly, there were also a few references to Ever After High... some of which served as vital plot points. This hints that the two series might be more closely intertwined than previously expected.

Very slight spoilers for "13 Wishes":
It's a shame Whisp wasn't made in doll form. :( I also find myself really loving the design of the first "Finder" of Gigi's lamp (a werecat?) in the prologue... Most bizarrely, the film features "Haunt the Casbah" outfits for Cleo and Ghoulia, which are also unavailable as dolls. Cleo's "Skulltimate Roller Maze" design also got the shaft for doll production last year... Poor ghoul. :( It's possible the marketers felt a second Cleo doll being released within the "13 Wishes" line (her first being included with the "Oasis" playset) would be overkill. No rationale for the lack of a "Casbah" Ghoulia, though.

Bottom Line: If you've enjoyed previous MH specials or webisodes, this one should prove a real treat. :) As for the gift set, I'm glad I bought it. The bag is attractive and sturdy, and will make a nice storage for my vast MH brush collection. The gift set only comes with the DVD RELEASE of the film, however. If you're dead-set on getting Blu-ray, you'll have to go without the bag.
This is the textured slipcover of the Monster High: 13 Wishes DVD.

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