Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Same Old New Callie

New York Callie

Callie, like Meredith and most of the other Journey Girls, has not really changed for this year.  She has the same face mold (Yay!), the new joints (Boo!), and the same hairstyle and body as in years past.  So like many of the dolls this year, I purchased her for the outfit; a white v-neck t-shirt,a jean jacket, a maxi skirt, a leather frilled purse, black sandals, and a flowery headband.

The maxi shirt is the first ting you notice about the outfit.   With it's intricate pattern and pink color, it is a stark difference compared to the plain white t-shirt.  Made of cotton, the dress has a patterns going around the dress in lines horizontally.  Two tone pinks, white, and black are the main colors in the geometric lacy patterns, but there are a few hints of blue in the dress.

The dress does not quite touch the floor when it is around Callie's waist, allowing for her sandaled toes to peek out just a little.  There is velcro in the back of the dress to hold it up.  I think an elastic band would have been better, since the velcro sticks to the sheer lining inside the dress.

Toys R Us has been doing this in the last few years to help with the color transfer issue that they have had in the past.  It's a decent solution to the problem, but doesn't solve the issue that the dye still transfers to the doll sometimes.  Soak every piece of clothing!!!

With the skirt being pleasingly busy, the top has to be a complimenting simple design.  The v-neck tee is as simple as it gets.  With short sleeves, this white tee is nothing special, but it works great for this outfit, complimenting the whites in the dress.

The t-shirt velcro three quarters of the way down, then has a sewn bottom, similar to Meredith's tee.  So the shirt has to be put on over Callie's legs rather than just putting it on and velcroing it.  Give us a full velcro shirt!

Typical of Journey Girls, the jean jacket is cute, but is always open.  With silver "buttons" on the front of the jacket, it would seem that you would be able to close it, but you can not.  It is perpetually open.  Cute...but it would be nice to have the option of closing the jacket.

The jacket is made of a darker blue denim, with with or very light tan stitching.  It looks great. Unfortunately the jacket's sleeves are extremely tight.  I had a hard time getting it off of Callie.  Putting it on required squeezing her hand together to get it through the end of the sleeve!  To me the jacket also seems a little short on Callie's arms, like she grew out of it last year, but still loves it so much she's going to wear it one more year!

I don't know why, but the leather fringed purse reminds me of a biker.  Callie doesn't really struck me as a Harley girl!  Anyways....the purse is made of a black leather.  It has a short strap that just fits around Callie's shoulder as she has her jacket on.

One one of the broad sides of the purse are vertical leather fringes.  Not all the way around though, because that would be too much!  Not my favorite purse, but it's okay.

The headband is nothing new.  it is a pink leather strap, matching the pink in the maxi skirt, with an inch of elastic at the back to make it easy to get on and off.  There are three fabric "roses" on the leather band, the same pink as the band.  Simple and cute.

As with the headband, the sandals are not new either, but they are nice, and are much better than flats!.  The have black leather straps that criss-cross across the toes and a strap that goes around the ankle.  They are perfect for this outfit.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 - Why 7?  Well if this outfit was sold separately, it would be higher, but you have to buy the doll.  Not an issue if you don't have Callie, but if you would be awesome to get this outfit separately. Otherwise it is a nice outfit.  It would be nice if the jacket closed.  And if they didn't have to have a sheer piece of fabric in their clothing, that would be nice.  Solve the dye transfer issue!!!!

Fitment 5  - The t shirt is loose  (but not horrible), the jacket is so tight that once it's off you may not ever put it on again, the jacket should have longer sleeves and the purse should have a longer strap.  The last two are little gripes that really don't take away from the rest of the outfit.  The tightness of the jacket is a big issue though.  Come's your outfit made for your dolls!

Versatility 9 - Some good pieces.  The Maxi skirt is my favorite and the reason to buy this doll.  Pairing this with other colored tops should make for some really neat outfits.  When can't you use a white tee!  And the jacket is nice, but it seems to be a go to when Journey Girls needs some outerwear.  The sandals will be a great addition to your collection; more useful than some of the other sandals though, because of the color.  And once I find a 18" Harley the purse will come in really handy!

Cuteness 8 - I am a bit biased on this outfit since I love full length skirts.  I think this is a great outfit. The colors are cute.  The pattern on the dress is cute and fun.  It's not a "Celebrate" outfit, but it's still very cute...and more useful than a full length gown!

Overall 7 - The outfit has very few issues; really only the jacket issue, but that is enough on an outfit designed for the Journey Girls.  It would also be nice to know that Toys R Us and Journey Girls has finally done something about the color transfer issue, other than putting another layer of cloth between your doll and the outfit.  But for right now...that works.  This isn't quite the maxi skirt (not even close) that was released on Kelsey as a special edition in Canada a few years back.  Different in style, this outfit fits the New York theme very nicely.

AG Note

A few things we know right off the bat: the sandals don't fit, the headband does fit, and the purse fits.  Surprisingly the t-shirt fits really well, although because it's a v-neck you see the soft cloth neckline of an American Girl.  Not a big deal.  

The skirt fits really well too.  There was no need to squish the doll to get it on and it sat in the right spot.  

The jacket had no chance of fitting.  American Girl's hands are bigger than Journey Girls, so there is no way that the jacket fit.  

Even without the jacket this is a really cute outfit on Madison.  With the shoes and the jacket not fitting an American Girl, this outfit would have be sold separately for me to buy it.  But I do really like it on Madison!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dana in Her "Sweet Strawberry" Outfit

Our Generation's New Outfit

A few weeks ago Our Generation came out with six new outfits, one of the outfits is called “Sweet Strawberry.” This is the outfit that we are looking at today. The outfit is one of the normal outfits which means it's comes in at about $12.99. The fairly simple outfit includes overall style jean shorts, a simple green T-shirt with dragonflies on it, plastic shoes, a strawberry shaped leather purse, and sunglasses.

The overall shorts are made very well. The jean material is thick and has good stitching. The top of the overalls has a heart-shaped pocket that is open so your dolls can put things in it. The overalls straps crisscross in the back then go over Dana’s shoulders, and attach to the vest with metal, slip through buttons. The shorts are large on Dana, but only around the waist. However, the length of the shorts is perfect.

The T-shirt as mentioned before is very simple. It's a nice mint green with fireflies all over it. It's very short-sleeved almost like a tank top rather than a T-shirt. There is Velcro up the back to make it easier to get on.

The shoes that come with this outfit are the standard shoes that always come with the regular outfits for Our Generation. They're just red plastic and have a little white soul. Nothing special but it goes well with this outfit

The sunglasses that come with the outfit are similar to many other Our Generation sunglasses. There is a rim at the top of the glasses, but nothing at the bottom. A semi-rimless pair of glasses. Again nothing different than what we have seen with other outfits, but a nice addition to this one.

The thing that caught my eye when I was looking at the set is the strawberry purse. It's a cute fake leather purse with a long strap, hanging down by the dolls hips rather than up at their midsection. The purse is perfectly shaped like a strawberry with green leaves at the top of it. The green leafy part opens up so that you can put things inside of the purse. There's a little piece of Velcro to help keep it closed when you want it to.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – Overall this outfit is worth the money. The jean shorts/overalls are wonderful. Even after washing the jeans there is no fraying that sometimes plague Our Generation outfits. The shoes would be nicer if they were cloth but it's to be expected that we get little plastic shoes with this price of outfit. That being said, the shoes do go very well with the outfit and look cute. The strawberry purse is awesome!

Fitment 6 – Like many Our Generation outfits this one is loose on Dana. The shirt is not too bad, but the overalls/shorts are definitely big around her waist. They are the right length but are much too wide at Dana’s hips. The shoes are obviously too wide, but do fit her feet okay, like all other our generation shoes.

Versatility 8 – The outfit has a few pieces that can be used with other outfits. The T-shirt is definitely able to go with almost any outfit. The shorts overalls are a wonderful addition that can be used with almost any other shirt. Because the shoes are kind of the standard issue, obviously they could be used with many outfits but you're probably going to want to use some nicer shoes rather than these little plastic ones. The strawberry purse is so much fun, it goes with many different outfits, especially if you want it to be kind of a playful outfit. And the sunglasses are nice. The light pink on top can go with many outfits also.

Cuteness 8 – Such a simple outfit, but so cute. The colors are great. Nice to have a different color top, not pink or purple. The purse makes this outfit even more cute! The overalls are very cute, especially with the heart pocket in the front.

Overall 8 – This outfit is well worth the money. It's made well and it has great versatility. It's well worth picking up if you see it, especially for the price. And if you can get it on sale it's even better. You may want to switch out the shoes, but honestly even with the shoes this is still a great little outfit. It can be used for school outfits or playing outside and the little heart shaped pocket is just so darn cute. Pick this up when you see it at Target

Saturday, January 7, 2017

New York Meredith

Meredith's New York Outfit

It has been about 6 months since the New York line of the Journey Girls came out, and I am finally reviewing a few more of the girls.  Meredith is the only Journey Girl to have an outfit on that actually has something to do with New York!  There are no changes to the doll itself; she still has the newer (not so awesome) joints in her shoulders, hips, and head, as well as the new (now two generations old) face mold.  

Still does the splits when she sits.  Yikes!

She is made out of the same vinyl as in years past.  She still has a half breast plate, half cloth body.  So the doll is no different than in the last two iterations, but the outfit, is brand new.  It comes with tennis shoes, socks, a jersey cotton skirt, a “New York City” t-shirt, a jacket, a backpack, and two barrettes.

Meredith’s jacket has a maroon red nylon puffy vest, with flower patterned cotton sleeves, and cuffs that match the vest.  Although the jacket looks wonderful, there are a few things that would help improve it.  First off, let’s make it a jacket!  The thing has a zipper up the front, but it is missing the actual slider that zips it up.  

Meaning this will always be an open jacket.  Also, the puffy jacket isn’t so puffy since it only has the ouside layer of nylon.  

The patterned sleeves are a great look, for what could be a very boring jacket.  The white sleeves have blue and maroon flowers patterned on them.   The jacket fits well, although I had some difficulty getting Meredith's hands back in the sleeves (the cuffs are tight).  Love the look of this jacket!

The skirt is a super simple jersey cotton navy colored skirt.   Although it looks like the skirt is held up with a pull-string there is actually a lighter blue fabric with an elastic band inside to hold the skirt up. 

Elastic is better than the draw string waist in my opinion, but then why put the draw string on the front.  The skirt would look fine without it...maybe even better!

Following in the theme of simple, the t-shirt is a nice white cotton short sleeve tee with the words "New York City" embolden across the chest.  

The shirt velcros part of the way down Meredith's back.  For some reason the last inch of the shirt is sewn together.  Why...I don't know.  

This makes it so that the thirst has to be put on and taken off over Meredith's head, or pulled up from her feet.  The cotton the shirt is made out of is not as nice as in years past (or maybe it is just my shirt - which could be the case).  There are small frays and ragged edges on parts of it.  This is a cheap street vendor t-shirt, perfectly New York!

Similar to shoes that are already out from Journey Girls, Meredith get some ankle tennis shoes...made of plastic.  I've had this argument before.  It would be nice to see some cloth shoes with rubber soles, but these plastic ones are well designed and are cute, so...okay. 

Better then getting the small heels that come with every other outfit!  Meredith also gets some tube socks.  Yep, stripped tube socks!  For some of us moms and dads, this may bring back some nostalgia. 

Meredith's socks are white with three navy blue stripes around the top.  Super cute!

At our house there are two drawers full of purses that don't get taken out very much, so I was glad to see Journey Girls gave Meredith a backpack instead.  Well kind of a backpack.  It looks like this backpack started it's life as a purse and was modified.  

The pouch style backpack is made of denim, with two accent pieces of silver ribbon from the bottom of the pack to the sides.  The straps come out of the middle top, and out the bottom corners.  Long enough to easily get around Meredith's arms, the straps remain a little loose once the backpack is on.  With a jacket, it fits well, but it will be loose with just a shirt.  The top is a small pice of denim that folds over and velcros shut.  

The strange part about it (and one of the reasons I think this was a purse before it was a backpack) is that the tab is only in the middle.  The edges of the pack are open on top.  Different design, still super cute and well made.

The last thing to talk about are the barrettes.  Flower shaped blue metal, the barrettes match Meredith's eyes more than her outfit (which is fine).  To use them, press down on the middle edges and pull up on the outside edges.  The barrette will bend upwards and come out of Meredith's hair.  Cute accessory!

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 - Although this outfit has a lot to it, some of the pieces are not amazing.  I feel like the skirt and tee could have been nicer.  And where is the zipper on the jacket?  The outfit does have some really nice pieces though.

Fitment 9 - Everything fits well...except the jacket.  The cuffs are just too small and are difficult to get Meredith's fingers through all the time.  The backpack is loose, due to the design, but it won't fall we'll let that slide.   The rest of the outfit is a perfect fit, exactly as expected.

Versatility 10 - A lot of great pieces that can be used with other outfits.  Actually every single piece can be used with other outfits.  That has got to be the best part about this is very versatile.  Take away the jacket and it is a summer outfit.  Keep it on and it is a spring and fall outfit.  Different shoes and tee and it can be dressy.  It's got a lot of neat potential!

Cuteness 9 - The jacket makes this outfit for me.  I love the jacket (even without the zipper).  And those tube socks!  How fun!

Overall 8 - Some good why an eight?  Because there are just some goofy things I'd really like to see changed.  Put a zipper on the jacket.  Make the shirt velcro all the way down.  Make the tee better quality.  And as always...get some nice shoes for the girls.   Still love this outfit, just want to see it be a little better.

AG Note

If you also own an American Girl and want to share clothes...this may not be the best outfit to share. 

The best parts of the outfit do not fit American Girl dolls.  The jacket barely fits on Meredith's hands, and will not come close to fitting over one of Julie's hands.  

Again, with Journey Girl outfits there could be some difference from outfit to outfit.  So if you buy this outfit, yours may fit.  The socks fit...but are very tight and can not be pulled up all the way.  

The t-shirt fits, but is now a fitted tee rather than loose (as it was one Meredith).  

The skirt and the backpack fit great!  

And obviously the shoes don't fit (JG dolls have much thinner feet than AG dolls).  

So great outfit for Journey Girls dolls....maybe not the best outfit for American Girl dolls.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Journey Girls Bistro Table Set

A Review of the Journey Girls Bistro Set

Recently the Journey Girls line has been coming out with new accessories that can go with the dolls. This year one of the sets that came out was a very cute cafĂ© set. It includes two chairs, a table , two plates, two cloth place mats, a couple cups,  a stand for treats and then a few macaroons and little finger sandwiches.  Journey Girls accessories can be very hit or miss, with some being high quality and others being low quality or poorly designed.  Which one is this set.  Well, let's take a look and find out!

Let's start by looking at the table. The table is made of four molded plastic pieces the need to be assembled to complete the table.  

Putting the table together is simple if you follow the directions that come with the set.  Once the table is together, you may notice that the table is a little wobbly.  It won't break without some force, but is is not as stable as similar tables offered by Our Generation or American Girl.  This is most likely due to plastic being a hallow or curved out mold, rather than being solid.   

Doesn't mean that the table is bad, it's just not going to hold a lot of weight. Quality aside, the table is absolutely cute as can be, with an imprinted design on the top that makes it look like wrought iron.  

The chairs are very similar to the table as far as the construction and material. Make sure you follow along with the directions though because they are a little bit more difficult to put together. "Difficult", probably isn't the right word.  It is tricky to get all of the pieces to click into place.  Once together the chairs are sturdier than the table but still disappointing as far as quality.  Each chair has a nice cushion on the top that is has a pretty striped print on it.  

One thing to note is that Toys "R" Us has again put their huge tag on the chair.  Rather than putting it on the bottom, where it would be less obvious, it is on the top side of these chair.  If you are going to take the tag off, be careful.  Don't try to pull it off, cut it off.  I tried to pull mine out a little bit to cut it and I pulled part of the cushion out of the chair.  The back of the chairs has a beautiful curl wrought iron design. The legs are also a curled design. 

The place mats match the seat cushions.  With no hems, they look more like small swatch of fabric  cut into a rectangle, than place mats. Nothing very fancy but it is kind of nice to have the place mat specially since it matches the seat cushion. The plates are a simple pink plastic plate smaller than some of the dinner plates the Journey Girls have out.  They are a great size for tea time though. The cups are the same color as the plates.  A very simple teacup.

The treat stand is a nice silver gray color and has three tiers each with small plates that go on to it. The plates fall off fairly easily especially if you tip the stand. Keep it upright and the plates should stay on just fine. There is enough room on the plates to put all of the macaroons, cookies, and cupcake that come with the set. The food items feel more plasticy and are hollowed out compared to the Our Generation food, which are solid.   Still good quality; they look great and fit well in the dolls hands

Getting your doll to sit at the table is a bit of a challenge, partly because of how the Journey Girls legs spread as they sit.  The size of the table makes it so that you can have one doll sitting there, but if you add a second doll, her legs will be all the way across into the other dolls lap. 

Or if you have their feet touching the ground, their butt won't quite be on the seat and they slide off fairly easily. So you can make it work, but like many of the other tables that are out there, your dolls feet will be in each others laps.  

All ratings are out of 10

Playability 8 – Though the quality of the table isn't extremely high, it is good enough.  The set comes with everything you need to have a little tea party (well except a tea pot)  The table and chairs are very cute.  It would be nice to have macaroons that aren't the same color as the table though.  The macaroons fit nicely in the dolls hands, as do the cups (with a little wiggling)

Value 8 – At $24.99, you get a good amount of items for that cost.  The set often goes on sale for $19.99, which is really where it should be priced anyways.  Although the set isn't quite the same quality as an Our Generation or American Girl set, it is costs less than a comparable set from these two companies.  For the price, it is a good set, and the design of the chairs is just super cute!

Quality 5 –I could tell from the photos that this was not going to be a super sturdy table.  The quality is okay, but not amazing.  The table is able to twist, the chair cushions are not held to the plastic with anything but friction, the food feels dollar store quality.  All of that being said, for the cost, this is a good set.

Overall 7 – Although it isn't the highest quality table set on the market, it is a good quality, and is similar in quality to all of the other Journey girls items.  Only when you compare it to other companies accessories does it not look so amazing.  The design of the chairs and table are very cute.   It is a perfect look for a bistro set.   If you can find it on sale for around $20, it is well worth the money.  Just know it's not perfect.