Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Australian Kyla Review

Kyla's New Australian Outfit

Kyla isn’t new for the Australian release, but she does have a new outfit. She is wearing a knee-length white dress with a pineapples print, a yellow knit sweater, a wrist purse, cute sandals, and a headband with a matching pineapple on it. Is the outfit worth the cost of the doll (if you already have Kyla)?

Somehow familiar, the dress is new but feels very similar to other Journey Girls dresses. Made of a thick material that feels like silk on the top printed side, but a thick cotton on the back is used for the entire dress. 

The bodice of the dress has a liner on the inside also. A squared neckline with thick shoulder straps creates the fitted -top of the dress. Just above Kyla’s hips the dress has pleats that flair the dress out and give it volume. 

The pineapple print is a simple two-toned random print throughout the entire dress. The back of the dress has Velcro from the waist to the shoulders. A very cute dress that is made really well.

The sweater/shrug is a familiar design made of a different fabric. The tight-knit yellow sweater has a raised pattern knit into it. 

With short sleeves and no way to button the front, this sweater is more of a shrug for fashion than a useful warm piece of clothing. Still, it adds a splash of color and help ties in other pieces of the outfit.

Shoes can be hit or miss with Journey Girls. Kyla’s shoes are not a new design, they are the same plastic bottom, "leather" strapped sandal.

For added flair, these sandals have two yellow flowers that match the sweater.

There is Velcro on the back strap to make it easier to get the sandals on and off.

A small tan "leather" purse with a gold strap comes with the set. Unlike some of the purses in other sets, this one actually fits well around Kyla’s wrist well. 

Although it isn’t quite long enough for her to have the strap on and for her to hold the purse in her hand. A small gold strap with Velcro closes the top of the purse. A cute little purse for this outfit.

The final accessory is a headband. It is made of gold threads weaved together and a piece of elastic at the bottom to stretch it around Kyla’s head.

There is a sparkly, sequined pineapple sewn on the top, bringing the entire outfit together. It fits great and sits really well on Kyla’s head.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 – As with Meredith, this outfit is great, but it would be nice to be able to buy the outfit on its own.  The fit is really good and the craftsmanship is excellent. Even though the sandals are similar to other sandals, they are still cute.  If the outfit came on its own it would get a 9, because of the quality of the dress and the number of accessories.

Fitment 10 – Everything fits perfectly.  The dress is great, the sweater is great, the sandals fit perfectly and the headband is the right size.  The only thing that could be changed a little is the purses strap...but that is just mine feeling.

Versatility 7 – All of the accessories can be switched out, but the dress, since it is one piece.  Still,, there is good versatility in the dress as the design is flexible.

Cuteness 9 – I love this outfit.  At first, I wasn't sure about the pineapples, but they grew on me.  The print is not my favorite, but it goes well with Kyla, and I love how the entire outfit flows together.

Overall 8 – Even though I am not excited that I have to buy another Kyla doll to get this outfit, I still think it is worth it.  This dress is one of the highest quality pieces Journey Girls has put out.  The fabric is just amazing.  The accessories go really well with the dress and help complete the ensemble. With three Kyla's I don't really need another one, so the $40 for the doll and outfit is a bit much.  At $30, I think it is a good deal.  And even though the pineapple design
is a little different, that is why the outfit is so great.  It is different than other things that Journey Girls has released.  Great outfit to get.

AG Note

As with all Journey Girls outfits, the shoes don't fit.  The dress almost fits.  It is such a cute dress and looks so good on Rebecca.  Unfortunately, the back does not close at all...not even close.

The sweater fits, but is tight.  Rebecca can barely move her arms because the sweater is so tight.  If you are purchasing Kyla for the outfit and hope to use it with your American Girls, it is not going to work....well it kind of works, but you won't be able to Velcro the back, which means it will snag you poor doll's hair. Too bad...because it is a cute dress!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ilee As An Ice Princess

Ice Princess Ilee

No story with these pictures.  Just Ilee wearing the special edition Our Generation Oriana outfit.

Ilee looks amazing in this outfit with her bright blue eyes.

The crown fits perfectly on her head.

It is a simple covered wire crown with clear plastic jewels that stick up to create a crown look.

The dress has a beautiful off-white color to it.  With the bottom part being a soft almost fur feel to it.

There is a layer of satin fabric underneath the top layer.

The top of the dress is made of the same off-white satin.

 It has a straight neckline with invisible straps.

There is a vinyl/plastic wrap that does around the bodice of the dress.  It is a light blue, ice looking piece.

 There is a ribbon all the way up the back to keep it on

 As you can see there is a high slit in the dress.  It has a light blue translucent material across it, but it doesn't hide anything.

I made the staff from some items I bought at Micheal's.

In the last four shots, Ilee lost her head and her right arm to the cold.  Her joints were stiff, to begin with, but in the -10 degree weather it was too much, and they snapped when I moved them.  So her head is balanced on her neck, and her arm is just being held on by the strap of her dress.

I guess I'll have to do a post on reattaching heads now.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Australian Meredith Review

A New Outfit For Australian Meredith

The Australian Meredith was released with a long-sleeved, form-fitting, black top, a beautiful floral skirt, a headband, a purse, and new black shoes.  Like Mikaella, the Meredith doll is the same as she was for the New York release and the Italy release before that.  So this review will look at her outfit, rather than the doll itself.  

For those of you that are new to Journey Girls or to the blog, just know that Meredith has inherent Journey Girls issues.  Her joints are tight.  My doll's left arm is down-right difficult to move.  The joints do get looser as they are played with though.   Meredith's legs seem to be different lengths.  They aren't, but the joint is somehow off inside the doll and makes her difficult to balance.  But, her face is still super adorable, her vinyl is good quality, she has a 1/3 breastplate, and overall is a great doll.  Now...on to the outfit review!

Meredith's top is made of a form-fitting material, similar to swimsuit material, but with no stretch.  The sleeves start at the collar rather than the shoulder, giving the illusion that the sleeves are part of a shrug almost.

At the end of the long sleeves, polka-dotted black lace is wrapped around each sleeve like a cuff.

The same black lace adorns the narrow neckline of the top, making it more dressy.  To make it easier to get on and off, this top Velcros all the way down the back.  If it didn't this would be a difficult top to get on.  It is very formfitting, with no give.  The top goes to just below the waistline.  It would be nice for it to be a little longer, but the skirt works well with the length of the top.  This top should really be looser.  Not only does it just barely fit on Meredith, the cuffs make it very difficult to get over Meredith's hands.  That should not be the case with an outfit made for the Journey Girls!

Made out of cotton, the black pleated skirt, has a beautiful red and gray rose print on it.  There is a sheer white slip sewn in, underneath the top layer of the skirt.

I think it is there to help keep the fabric off of the vinyl, but it does provide a little puff to the skirt.  So maybe that is why it is there.  The slip is sewn into the waistline and at the back seam line of the skirt.  A small piece of Velcro at the waist makes the skirt easy to get on and off.  Nothing very fancy, but it is made very well and is quite cute.

Both the headband and the tiny hand purse are ridiculously simple.  I mean...come on!  The headband is a black ribbon with a gold edge sewn to a piece of elastic so that it can stretch around Meredith's head.

It does the job, and looks good, but is nothing fancy.  The purse is simple but cute.  Made of black "leather" the tiny hand purse has a strap that can fit around Meredith's four fingers, but not around her thumb, so it has to stay on her hand.

The top folds over, held in place by a small piece of Velcro.  A red and pink rose is printed on the front, tieing in nicely with the skirt.  Neither accessory is bad, they just don't wow either.

Now, on to the shoes.  Many times the shoes are the least liked piece of the Journey Girls outfit.  They often times are the same plastic flats that come with every other outfit, but with this out, we get some new shoes.

They start out with the same hard plastic sole as was on Kelsey's boots, with no tread and a super smooth surface, these shoes would be deadly in real life.  As they are, it is still difficult to get Meredith to stand in some positions because there isn't any fiction on the sole of the shoe.  And that is it for complaints.  This shoe is gorgeous.  The front of it is made of a soft black velvet, cut in a reverse triangle.  There is a "leather" strap that goes across the top of the foot and another strap that goes up the foot to an ankle strap.

The ankle strap is attached to the back of the shoe with a "leather" heel.  To ease on and off, there is a small piece of Velcro on the ankle strap, covered by a gold buckle (made of the same "leather" like material).  Very pretty, easy to get on, and different than all the other shoes we have seen from Journey Girls in the past.  I am concerned about the black velvet and leather.  In my experience, they do not hold up well when they get wet.  So be careful.  If they get wet there may be some color transfer.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 – The skirt and blouse themselves are made really well.  And it's awesome to get new shoes. But why do I have to buy another Meredith doll to get them?  I would love to see Journey Girls offer the meet outfits for each year separately.  If they sold them in one of the mega packs...I'd totally buy them!  If this outfit was sold on its own, it would be an 8 or a 9.  That being said, if you do not have a Meredith doll, then this should be a 9.  It is a great outfit that is made really well.

Fitment 5 – Although the blouse fits, it is extremely tight.  It would be nice if it had a little bit more stretch to it. Maybe it was a designed this way.  The sleeves are so tight that it takes a good amount of wiggling to get the cuffs over Meredith's fingers.  The skirt fits fine, as do the shoes.  There is no excuse for the sleeves being as tight as they are.

Versatility 8 – If there were no issues with fit, this would be a very versatile outfit.   Black tops are always great for many different outfit combinations.  And the skirt has many options also.  It's also wonderful to have a new style of shoe available!

Cuteness 9 – Even though the top does not fit well, the outfit is adorable.  I love the design of the blouse, with the lace on the cuffs and neckline.  And the skirt's print is very cute.   The new shoe design is really neat.  Simple, different, and cute!

Overall 7 – As mentioned, I'd love to see the "meet" outfits sold separately, as this outfit is awesome, but not as great when I need to buy the doll also.  The other thing that I just can't get over is how difficult it is to get the top on.  If the outfit was made by a different company for a different doll, I get it.  But this is a Journey Girls outfit for a Journey Girls dolls.  It should fit better.  The details on the blouse and the print on the skirt really do make for a beautiful outfit though.  And don't forget about the shoes.  A wonderful new design that is simple and elegant.  Much better than the plastic flats we usually see.

AG Note

When there are fit issues on the Journey Girls with their own outfits, you can guarantee there will be fit issues with the American Girl dolls.  No surprise, the top does not fit the American Girl dolls.

Abby can't even get the top halfway up before it won't go any further.

The skirt fits fine though.

The only other thing that fits is the headband...and the purse, of course.

The shoes are way too narrow.  If you want an outfit just for your Journey Girls, this is great.  If you are thinking of sharing, this is not the outfit.

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.