Between emails from Doll Diaries reader Alyssa and hearing the endless commercials for Monster High at Justice today, I figured I needed to figure out what the buzz was all about. Dubbed the Addam’s Family meets the cast of Grease, Mattel’s new Monster High line is aimed at tweens and is now available  (you can purchase Monster High Dolls at Amazon already or through the Mattel site).

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From a press release Mary Ellen Lloyd of Dow Jones Newswire:

Mattel Inc. (MAT) is launching what some analysts say could be its most comprehensive homegrown toy franchise ever as it unveils “Monster High,” which will include dolls, apparel, books, an interactive Web site, and a movie.

The world’s largest toy company by sales is already shipping dolls to toy retailers for what Mattel has described to analysts as “Grease meets the Addams Family.”

Justice, a Dress Barn Inc. (DBRN) specialty retailer, will also have “Monster High”-themed clothing in time for back-to-school shopping, while Amscan Inc.’s Party City chain will carry a line of Halloween costumes, and Universal Studios plans a movie musical by 2012, Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni confirmed Friday.

A Web site already operating for the brand shows that “Monster High” is based on teenage children of monsters such as Dracula, Medusa and Frankenstein, blending freaky and chic in a school setting.

“I’d say it’s like a cross between Bratz (dolls) and goth,” said Caris & Co. analyst Linda Bolton Weiser.

Sterne Agee analyst Margaret Whitfield told clients in a note Friday, “Monster High looks very strong and will be a means to attract girls from teens to tweens who are too old for the core Barbie line.”

In addition to Barbie, Mattel’s brands include American Girl, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price.

Monster High book by Lisi Harrison Chidoni said teen novelist Lisi Harrison, author of “The Clique” series, is slated to write six books in a multi-year deal. The first book is already available for pre-order on

And Mattel said it has bought the YouTube home page for Friday, Aug. 13, where it will air a music and dance video. Chidoni said the details of that video are to be determined.

Earlier, Weiser indicated the video could feature “American Idol” cast-off Siobhan Magnus, but Chidoni said the former “Idol” contestant who will be involved in a separate venture tied to “Monster High” is Allison Iraheta. Iraheta’s music will be featured in a separate, half-hour program that will be broadcast in multiple ways, such as on the Internet or possibly television, Chidoni said.

“I don’t ever remember them launching a property like this, where they’re attacking it in a multimedia way,” Weiser said in an interview.

Wedbush Securities analyst Chris White said the line could drive multiple revenue streams for Mattel.

Based upon our observations, we believe Monster High will be an unqualified success, although its overall financial impact to the company is difficult to quantify.

UPDATED – more Monster High links from Alyssa:

More updates!
A video on products! It looks like they are making Monster High Ugly Dolls Too!
A Mattel press release!
It turns out thay are making a Monster High movie!

So, what do you think? Will Monster High be a hit or not?