Sunday, January 14, 2018

Review of Australian Kelsey

A Brand New Kelsey

Two of the journey girls this year are new or updated. Callie was reviewed earlier and today we're going to look at Kelsey. Kelsey has new hair: a brighter red colored hair rather than the auburn that she has had since she came out. She also now has freckles on her, at the bridge of her nose and her cheeks, similar to my original Kelsey.

The Australian Kelsey comes in flowered pants, a striped white and gray T-shirt, a frilled sweater and cute pink soft leather boots similar UGG boots. This Kelsey has the new face mold.

Kelsey's sweater is a wraparound sweater. When taking Kelsey out of her box, watch for I-fastners holding the sweater on.   They are hiding in a couple places.

The sweater angles across her her body and has frills along the edge. There is Velcro to hold it together in a couple different places; up by the shoulder and then at the mid waist. 

The only thing that's bad about this is that the frills like to get stuck in the Velcro and you have to be careful with that. It's also a little bit challenging to figure out how the sweater goes on. 

If you put it on upside down or the wrong arm in it can be a little bit of a challenge. The gray is a nice solid middle tone gray. It's long sleeves help Kelsey keep warm. The design with the wraparound the front is really cute. I love that the frills, even if they do get caught in the Velcro. Very cute, very nice sweater, especially compared to what we normally see for a sweater.

The T-shirt underneath is very simple. It's very similar to most of the T-shirts that Journey Girls has released in the past. 

It's basically white with very thin gray stripes that are a little lighter then the sweaters color. It has Velcro up the back, but like most Journey Girls T-shirts it doesn't go all the way up the back. So you do have to slide it up Kelsey's legs to get it on. You could argue that this top is more of a tank top then a T-shirt it has no sleeves so we could call it a tank top.

The pants that Kelsey comes with are super cute. They're made out of a form-fitting cotton material, almost like leggings, but actually made of more of a soft jean like material. 

They're a very light gray with pink and yellow flowers printed on them. Around the waist is an elastic band to help hold them up. There's a small cuff at the bottom of the jeans. but they are usually hidden by the cute boots.

Speaking of those cute boots; the pink soft leather UGG like boots are awesome! They have a nice hard plastic sole that has absolutely no grip. 

Which means that on carpets or even some hard surfaces it is very slippery and the doll has a little bit harder time standing then if this was more of the rubber sole. The tops of the the boots are made out of a soft pink leather like material, with the inside of the boot having an almost sheepskin material. Velcro runs up the back to make it easy to get the shoes on and off and little bows go across the top that Velcro to give it a cute look. 

Unfortunately, like the fringe on the sweater, the bows get stuck in the Velcro at times. One of the bows on my boots is fairly ripped up because of that. They are super cute and really make the boot look nice, just be aware that the Velcro can ruin them. 

As I said earlier these boots remind me of an UGG boot which makes sense coming from Australia. Kind of a neat little tie in to Australia. What would have been awesome is if Journey Girls could have actually gotten UGG to give them sponsorship so they would have real UGG boots! Probably one of the best shoes that have come out from Journey Girls in a long time.

As with all Journey Girls outfits, this one comes with a purse. A maroon handbag with brown leather handles and a leather latch (with Velcro underneath for securing the top).

Although it's not extremely fancy, this purse is really cute, and goes well with this outfit. A great addition to the set.

The last thing that Kelsey comes with a very simple bobby pin type of of hairpiece with a cute crocheted pink flower on it. It really looks like something that you would pick up from a craft sale or that you would make yourself, which is great. 

The bobby pin stays in her hair well although you do have to get enough hair in it to to make it stay. If you don't put enough hair, it won't stay and if you put too much it kind of squeezes its way out of her her hair. It is a nice little addition.

So let's look at the doll itself because Kelsey is new as far as her face is concerned. Her body is exactly the same as it has been for a few years now. So she still got the upper vinyl torso, her joints are the same, they're still kinda sticky like a lot of the Journey Girls joints. No real difference with her body. Her hair is a much lighter red/orange rather than the dark auburn that she's had since she was released. 

In photos I wasn't sure that this hair color would actually look good. It looked very orange, kind of fake. However, in person, it is a beautiful color, and actually suits Kelsey very well. One thing that I don't like about the hair is that it doesn't match her eyebrows now. 

With the old auburn colored hair her eyebrows were similar in color to her hair. Now because the hair is so much lighter her brown eyebrows really kinda stick out and I think that makes the hair look a little bit more fake. I feel like in the last few years Journey Girl's hair has changed. It feels very silky, but also seems to be easier to get tangled and seems to get very frizzy very easily. If you use water and a nice metal brush to comb it after Kelsey gets played with, it'll help keep her hair nice for a longer period of time.

One of the neatest things that I think has happened with Kelsey is that she got freckles. When I got my first Kelsey that was one of the things that I did to her within a few weeks, was put freckles on her face. She looks right with freckles and I've gotten so used to her having freckles I actually forget that she doesn't when I buy new dolls. 

So I'm glad to see that Toys "R" Us has added freckles to her face. I really like how they've done her freckles. They are a very small light freckling compared to dolls like American Girl (they have a little bit bigger freckles, these ones are are fairly small). As a matter of fact in many pictures because of Kelsey's light skin it's difficult to see her freckles. I personally would like to see even more freckles on her, especially since these are lighter smaller freckles. But this is very cute and again I'm glad that Journey Girls has added freckles to Kelsey. 

Just another note, this Kelsey does have the darker eyes that showed up about two years ago and again that really accents her new hair color and the freckles. If you don't have a Kelsey doll or even if you do this is a great addition since she does look so much different then her predecessors.

All ratings are out of 10

Quality - 7 – The outfit is made well.  Similar quality to all of the Journey Girl items.  I would suggest soaking the clothes to make sure there is no color transfer to the vinyl.  The doll has issues with her joints, as many of the dolls do.  They are tight and click into place.  The tightness makes me nervous as many people have had the joints break after having this issue.  Each doll can be very different though.  So one Kelsey may have tight joints, while another one would have loose joints.  Hopefully Journey Girls makes some improvements to the dolls to address this problem soon.

Adorableness - 9 – This is the Kelsey that should have been released initially.  She is adorable with her light freckles and bright hair.  Although I do have some fondness for the old auburn hair, I like the way that Kelsey looks with this new hair color.  The outfit is very cute, especially the boots.  The new design of the sweater is nice.  A great outfit!

Compatibility - 7 – All of the pieces of this outfit can be used with other outfits.  I love all of the unique items that can be used for other outfits, especially the boots and the pants.  Not everything is compatible with other dolls, such as American Girl dolls.  The sweater fits, but that is about it.  The pants are very tight and really don't fit, neither does the shirt, and of course the boots don't fit at all.

Overall Score - 8 – This new Kelsey is awesome...well pretty much.  The new hair color and the freckles are adorable.  Her outfit is made well and is very cute.  There are a few design issues with the Velcro and cloth that sticks to it, but other than that it's a great outfit.  The doll itself is made well, but suffers the same issue all of the Journey Girls do (stiff joints, okay hair).  Besides these issues, Kelsey is definitely worth picking up.  She is an adorable addition to the Journey Girls collection.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Suprise in the Woods!

A Wonderful Winter Adventure

With the sun shining high in the sky, glittering off the white blanket of snow, Kelsey and Dana strap on their snowshoes, heading out for a sightseeing adventure. 

They trod along, making their own path through the forest, Kelsey leading the way, even though she has no clue where they are headed.  As Kelsey surveys the landscape, Dana comes alongside her and points in front of them.

"Look at that!" she says, pointing to a squirrel happily balancing on a branch. 

He watches Dana and Kelsey suspicious of what they are doing in his forest.  The girls watch the squirrel as he chitters at them, warming them to keep their distance.

Suddenly he turns and runs away.

"That was cool!", Kelsey quietly exclaims to Dana.  "I hope we see some more animals."

Dana begins walking, "Me too!"

They walk through the leafless forest, silent, listening for sounds from animals, but they only hear the swishing of their own snowshoes on the snow.  They still enjoy the beautiful scenery, the fresh air, and the bright sun.

In the distance, Kelsey sees a massive hill, with boulders of ice surrounding the base.  She heads towards it with Dana following close behind.

"Do you think we can make it up there?" she asks Dana, taking out her binoculars and surveying the hill.

Dana looks towards the top of the hill, as well as the boulder-laden way to the top, "Uhhh...I don't think so."  She finally responds to Kelsey.

"Here," Kelsey says, handing Dana the binoculars "Do you see anything?  Any animals?  Or just the boulders?"

"Just the boulders." Dana pauses, then looks at Kelsey and continues, "But it's pretty cool looking."

Kelsey nods takes a couple more looks at the hill, then starts on her way again.  Not far beyond the hill, Kelsey freezes in her tracks. 

She motions to Dana.  A tiny gray rabbit is sitting in the snow, looking around for something to eat. 

Out of the woods hops another rabbit, this one brown with big white ears.  The two rabbits look at each other, their noses wiggling, as though that is how they communicate. 

Kelsey and Dana stand there for what seems like hours, watching the two rabbits, until finally, they hop away into the forest.

Kelsey and Dana start to head back home.  Dana again stops quickly.  "Look over there!" Dana exclaims, pointing towards some tall grass and reeds.

"I don't see what you're looking at,"  Kelsey complains.

"Over there behind the reeds...." says Dana, waiting for Kelsey to find what she is looking at.  "It's a deer!"

"Oh my gosh!" exclaims Kelsey as she sees the deer through her binoculars.  The two marvel at the deer.  With no warning, the deer jumps up and scampers through the grass.

"Come on, let's follow it!" Dana suggests, starting off through the grass before giving Kelsey time to respond.  They follow the tracks through the grass, catching a glimpse of the deer before it bounds away again. 

Approaching a large patch of grass the deer jumps over it and disappears.  Dana runs as fast as she can in her snowshoes to the patch of grass and gasps as she gets there.

Concerned, Kelsey asks, "What?  What is it?"  But Dana just looks with wide eyes without responding.  Kelsey comes up behind Dana and gasps too.

A man dressed all in red is petting the deer and putting a harness on him.  Two more deer are harnessed behind the lead deer and behind that is a sleigh with a huge sack in it. 

Kelsey leans forward, breaking some of the grass, making a cracking sound.

"What's that?", the man in red says, turning towards Dana and Kelsey.  "Well, well...come out here," he says waving them closer.  Kelsey and Dana hesitantly come forward.

"Don't be afraid Kelsey. Come on Dana." he pleads.  The girls inch forward hesitantly, trying to figure out how this man knows them and what is going on.

" do you know our names?" Kelsey sputters out.

"Now Kelsey, you know how I know your name." he chuckles.  "I know all the nice children's names.  But nevermind that.  Come see my deer.  You were chasing after Prancer here."  He pats the first deer on the snout.  "Come on Dana.  I know you love animals!"

Dana's face lights up, her eyes as wide as saucers.  "Can I really pet him?"

"You sure may." turning to Kelsey the man says, "Kelsey, this is Dasher, and that is Vixen." 

Both Kelsey and Dana pet the snouts of the deer, barely comprehending what is going on.

"Well girls." the man starts, "I must be on my way."  He says as he climbs into the sleigh and takes the reins. 

"We have to complete our training.  These guys are getting ready for the big day in a few weeks.  We just stopped for a rest."

Dana and Kelsey just nod, still shocked at the reality that they find themselves in.  "Off we go!"  He hollers as the deer start to prance, then runs.   Dana and Kelsey step back.

"Bye Santa!"  Kelsey yells as she waves frantically.  Dana stands beside her waiving slowly, still not able to grasp what is happening. 

The sleigh glides along the snow, gaining speed, until finally, Prancer jumps into the air, followed by Dasher and Vixen, and finally, the sleigh holding Santa and the sack.

"Ho! Ho! Ho!  Merry Christmas" he bellows as the sleigh lifts above the trees. 

Dana and Kelsey look into the sky to watch Santa and his reindeer.  They soon lose track of him in the bright sun.

"Did that just happen?" Dana asks, turning to Kelsey.

With an expression of pure exultation, Kelsey exclaims "YES IT DID!"

The girls giggle and snowshoe home, talking the whole way about their encounter and the amazingness of their day.

Hope you all have an awe-inspiring Christmas!