Ever After High is a franchise owned, developed, and promoted by Mattel. It follows from the success of the company's 2010-launched Monster High and works according to a media franchise model very similar to its predecessor.
Preparational development of the franchise began in 2012. Ever After High is touted as being "from the makers of Monster High, but who these makers exactly are is yet unclear. The franchise was launched a year later in May, June and July of 2013. Ever After High originally was marketed virtually solely to the Monster High fanbase and so far, its fans are embracing Ever After High.
Ever After High, as a spin-off of Monster High, furthers Mattel's goal of getting a hook in the tween girl demographic, which for Ever After High is defined as 9 to 13 year old girls. Of particular interest to Ever After High are those who do not find Monster High interesting, though the franchise makes sure to not lose sight of the potential for Monster High fans to become interested.
The earliest suggestion of development on 'a' franchise like Ever After High came shortly after the launch of Monster High in 2010, when a new team of Mattel executives was created whose sole job was to concoct future franchises based on the Monster High model. Specific development of Ever After High started in 2012, with the earliest trademark—Ever After High—being filed on May 10, 2012. Little is currently known about the development period, but the first step of Ever After High's introduction occured during the Mattel Analyst Meeting of November 13, during which Mattel subtely announced a franchise akin to Monster High to come out in 2013.
Marketing of the new franchise technically began on December 19, 2012, although it was not recognized as such back then. As part of the new year events of Monster High, the Boo Year's Eve Countdown Calendar was released. The December 19 entry belongs to C.A. Cupid, a character introduced to Monster High in Late 2011. The entry's exact words are "I want to continue to help others navigate the thrills and chills of love in 2013--not just at Monster High but around the world. By branching out, I scream of learning more about myself! Where do you want to go in 2013?" On April 23, 2013, this was followed up by an in-fiction announcement of C.A. during On the Air with C.A. Cupid that she would be "starting a new chapter in an enchanting place where [she] can help others follow their true heart's desires. The radio show is going on break while [she packs her] stuff and [gets ready for her] clawesome new adventure." Along with this announcement came the reveals of three websites: Village of Book End, Rewrite Destiny, and Royal or Rebel. Due to a sound file ripped from the websites, it was early on understood that the websites were related to the Ever After High trademark.
Throughout the following month, each website received an update per week that kept the audience hooked until the big reveal. As such, for most of the marketing period of Ever After High, it exclusively targeted Monster High enthusiasts. It wasn't until May 13, 2013 that due to Justice's own marketing another audience was incorporated. Eventually, the big reveal occured on May 30, 2013, with the simultaneous launch of the Ever After High website, the Ever After High YouTube channel, and the franchise's Facebook account. The first dolls subsequently hit stores in Early July of 2013, whereas the Ever After High website underwent a second launch on July 16 to allow visitors to register.
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Mattel's expertise and market lies in the toy industry, and to make Ever After High a multimedia success, companies with complementing expertise and a foot or two in other interesting markets have been approached for partnerships or supporting functions.
- Justice - This company has been contacted to sell merchandise of various kind that wouldn't do in a toy store.
Ever After High currently has four sources of fiction: the cartoon, the books, the website, and the profiles. So far, the four pieces of fiction fit in one continuity, though small contradictions exist here and there. It is expected that over time, the four's timelines will grow further apart.
Ever After High takes place in an alternative universe where fairytale figures are real, in the sense that they exist but are aware of their status as characters in a story. In the world of Ever After High, the continued existence of these figures depends on the preservation of the story. And the preservation of the story depends on the figures' ability to provide new figures, their children, who will relive the story. As such, each child has their destiny already laid out before them the day they are born. For some, this is a beneficial situation, while others can only look forward to a gloomy future.
Ever After High is a high school founded in 1812 where the children gather not only to follow classes, but also to be prepared for their destiny. Every aspect of the school is designed so as to push the children in the proper direction. Ever After High is managed by Headmaster Milton Grimm, who has no regard for the students with less fortunate destinies except for their obligation to fulfill their destiny. He has a brother, Giles Grimm, who does not agree with Headmaster Grimm's beliefs and promotes choice through what few channels he has. Giles Grimm is the keeper of the Vault of Lost Tales, a secret library underneath Ever After High. Supposedly, he has knowledge of the fates of tales that ceased to exist that makes him more certain of the possibility of change.
At Ever After High, the student body has split in two sides: the Royals and the Rebels. The Royals are generally those with a luxurious destiny, and who thus are eager to obtain their much-promised Happily Ever After. The Rebels, on the other hand, are generally those with a negative or inconsequential destiny, and who thus are interested in the idea that their futures would not depend on destiny. The main figures within this conflict are Apple White, the future Snow White, and Raven Queen, the future Evil Queen. Raven's open rejection of her destiny is at the start of the conflict, while Apple White is tasked by Headmaster Grimm to convince Raven that her ideas are wrong. All the while, the two are roommates with an uneasy friendship going on between them and many friends who are all affected by the conflict in their own way.
To finish up the theme of Royal vs Rebel, there are two narrators present in the world of Ever After High, one female, one male. The female one sympathizes with the Royals, while the male one favors the Rebels' argument. The two bicker a lot, much to the annoyance of Madeline Hatter, who can hear and speak with them.
The universe of Ever After High is in contact with the universe of Monster High, as C.A. Cupid transferred from Monster High to Ever After High. There exists at least one portal that allows travel between the worlds.
Three Ever After High product types are available or will be available very soon. They are dolls, currently sold at Justice, Toys "R" Us, Target, Walmart, and other major retailers, along with books, and other merchandise.