Monster High dolls circa 2016 | Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

Next year, Frankie Stein, Draculaura, and Clawdeen Wolf are heading back to class as the doors to Monster High swing open for a new generation.

Mattel Inc. and Nickelodeon have entered into a ghoulish partnership to reboot the franchise based on the kids of famous monsters and mythical creatures. As part of the deal,  Monster High will relaunch in 2022 with an animated series, and — for the first time ever — a live-action movie musical event.

“Monster High’s strong message of inclusivity is more relevant than ever,” says Fred Soulie, general manager, Mattel Television. “Nickelodeon shares our passion for the brand and its purpose having worked on the franchise when it first launched more than a decade ago. They are the ideal partners to bring these beloved characters and their stories to life through episodic television and the live-action television movie.”

Mattel launched Monster High in 2010 as a counter to the mainstream doll lines on the market at the time. Created by designer Garrett Sander, the brand quickly gained traction with kids and collectors alike that connected with Monster High’s overarching message of inclusivity and that “everyone is welcome.” Mattel’s hit toy line grew into a franchise that extended into animated specials and feature films, games, and a global licensing program. The brand received its first reboot/refresh in 2016 with redesigned dolls and softer features accompanied by an animated film, Welcome to Monster High. After an eight-year run and some shrinking shelf space at retail, Mattel quietly retired the line in 2018.

Monster High Skullector Pennywise | Source: Mattel Creations

Last year, the seeds were planted for a relaunch with the debut of Mattel Creation’s Monster High Skullector Dolls. The collector line led by product designer Rebecca Shipman debuted with premium dolls inspired by Pennywise from It and the Grady Twins from The Shining. The dolls sold out almost instantly.

The Monster High animated series is being developed by showrunner Shea Fontana (DC Super Hero Girls, Polly Pocket), under the guidance of Nickelodeon’s Claudia Spinelli, senior vice president, animation development. Executive Producer Adam Bonnett and Christopher Keenan, senior vice president of content development are overseeing the project for Mattel.

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The screenplay for the live-action Monster High musical movie is being penned by Jenny Jaffe (Big Hero 6: The Series, Rugrats) and the writing team of Greg Erb and Jason Oremland (Princess and the Frog, Playmobil: The Movie). Bonnett is overseeing the film for Mattel while Zack Olin, senior vice president, live-action and Shauna Phelan, senior vice president, live-action scripted content are overseeing for Nickelodeon.

“We could not be more excited to work with Ramsey, Claudia, Zack, Shauna, our writers, and the entire Nickelodeon animation and live-action teams to introduce Monster High to a new audience,” says Bonnett. “This property has always resonated deeply with fans and our reimagination of the franchise will focus on addressing important themes of identity and empowerment for kids today.”

Monster High joins a growing slate of Mattel Television projects in development and production, including series and specials based on Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, Barbie, UNO, and more.


About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.