Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sk8ter Girl

Our Generation's Skateboard Set


This is the second skateboard set that I know of from Our Generation.  “That’s How I Roll” was released a couple of years back as a regular set.  It had a grunge feel to the outfit.  “Fashion on Board”, the new set is more mainstream and is also sold as a Deluxe Fashion pack, costing around $17.99.  The new set comes with the skateboard (of course), a two toned hoodie, leopard printed pants, skate shoes, and over the ear headphones.  Is the set worth the $17.99 asking price, or is it better to let this set skate on by?  Let’s find out.


Made of thick jersey fabric, the two toned hoodie is well made.  The long sleaves are white with a white and gray striped elastic cuff around the wrists.  A subtle purple/gray color makes up the body and hood of the hoodie.


Along the bottom of it, the same gray and white elastic cinch the hoodie tight on Ella’s waist.  A small functioning zipper runs up the front of the hoodie.  The fit is perfect!


Even with a t-shirt (not included…because I wear my hoodie without a shirt under it) underneath there was no issue getting the hoodie on.


Ella’s short hair cut made it a cinch to put the hood up, but dolls with longer hair will have a big lump at the back.


In many of the Our Generation sets recently released the pants are more leggings (a stretchy material) rather than actual pants.  This is not the case with the one included in this set.


Made of a thick, almost jean like material, these gray pants have an elastic waist and are patterned with a black leopard print.  They hang low in the back since the Journey Girls have no butt.  Otherwise they fit great.


These shoes are interesting, because they are plastic, but they have laces and a tongue.  The sole of the shoe is white with a black strip most of the way around, except at the front of the shoe where there is an added white rubber piece.


The tops of the shoes have a white toe area and the rest of the shoe is a mauve.  Although the tops are plastic, these shoes are better than other all plastic OG shoes…and miles ahead of the Journey Girls plastic shoes.  Like all OG shoes they are wide on Ella’s feet…but that does help her stand better!

A few years back Our Generation had little iPods with some of their sets.  These iPods had earbuds with them, which were really cute, but never really fit into the dolls ears without some tape.  Now earbuds have faded away a little and everyone has these ginormous over the ear headphones (think Beats or Skullcandy).  The neon orange and white, wireless headphones that come with this set fit perfectly over Ella’s ears and are still not so big that they look clumsy.


So Ella can rock out to her favorite music while she skates along, not having to worry about wires or her headphones falling out.  Oh…but she might need an iPod…and some pockets to put the iPod in.


The final piece of this set is the most important part of a set titled “Fashion On Board”.  The skate board is the exact same style of board that was released a few years ago (except for the sticker on the bottom).  Made of a nice thick plastic, the board has a black sandpaper like top, with a tribal design sticker on the bottom in shades of purple and blue.


Something that I found out the hard way with my last OG board…the sticker does not like tape.  Even though it is glossy, the tape can rip the sticker.  So be careful.  The wheels on the skateboard are plastic, but roll great.  The one thing that would be nice is to have a way to attach Ella’s feet to the board.


Although there is also part of me that likes the fact that there is not a way to attach her feet to the board…only because that is more realistic.  So…nevermind…the board is awesome!



Rating
All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – I feel like if the outfit didn’t have the headphones it would be a regular set.  Although the hoodie is probably a little too nice to be in a regular set.  The entire set is great.  Two things that bother me about the set: why is there no t-shirt/undershirt? And it would be awesome to have cloth top shoes.  Both very minor issues since most of us have t-shirts somewhere in our dolls woredrobe.  And the shoes are still great, even if they are all plastic.

Fitment 9 – This outfit seems like it was made for the Journey Girls.  As a matter of fact, there are Journey Girls outfits that don’t fit this well!  Like so many other OG outfits the shoes are wide and the pants have a little extra fabric in the back for the butt that is missing from the Journey Girls.  Still a great fitting outfit!

Versatility 9 – The pieces of this outfit can go with so many other outfits.  I especially love the pants, because if you put those with a fancy top, they are quite dressy.  The colors of the hoodie make it useable with jeans, leggings, and a variety of colors of bottoms.  The shoes will go with almost any casual/athletic type of outfit.  And I wouldn’t pair the headphones with a gown, they really can go with any outfit.

Cuteness 8 – For some reason I really love this outfit.  I think some of it is the color of the hoodie.  I really appreciate that it is not a full blown purple, but is really a gray with purple hints.  The pants have a really cute pattern.  The entire outfit is cute, without being too childish.

Overall 9 –Although I would like this set to cost a little less, it is well worth the $17.99.  The hoodie is extremely well made, as are the pants.  Even though the skate board is not new, it is a great accessory and is a blast to play with.  There really isn’t anything that is bad about this set.  It is a wonderful casual set.  It can be difficult to find, so pick it up when you see it



AG Notes

Like most Our Generation outfits this one is a bit big on the Journey Girls, but it fits well on American Girls.  Almost well.  The sweatshirt fits amazingly well.  There are no issues with it.


The same can not be said about the pants.  They are tight around MaryEllen's calves.  And they are very difficult to get around her heal as you pull them up.


She does have more padding for her butt, which helps the jeans fit better.


As is the case with many of the Our Generation shoes, these ones are tight.  It takes a little effort to pull them over the heal, but not much.


The headphones fit wonderfully, surrounding the ears perfectly.


Even though this skateboard is shorter and not as wide as the American Girl skateboard, MaryEllen still stands on it very well.


This is a wonderful set for both Journey Girls and American Girls.  It is well worth the price, and if you can find it on sale...it is even better@

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Canadian Doll Notebook Giveaway!

Win a New Journey Girls Doll!


Canadian Doll Notebook and I have teamed up for an awesome giveaway for all of the Canadian Journey Girls fans out there.  

We are giving away two brand new Journey Girls dolls from the New York line.   The winners will receive either Chavonne or Callie.





















For full details on how to enter visit:


Be sure to enter by May 17th!  Good Luck!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Journey Girls Super Fashion Pack

How Super is This Fashion Pack?



Journey Girls has had a few "Super Fashion Packs", most of which consist of mildly modified outfits that came out  last year.  And when I say mildly modified, what I mean is that they changed the color of the fabric.  I was happy to see that this years fashion pack actually has some "new" designs rather than just recolored outfits.  The set boasts "13 pieces" including a dress, 3 tops, 2 jackets, a skirt, a pair of jeans, a pair of stretch pants/leggings, a purse, a pair of tights, a headband, a chocker, and two pairs of shoes.  Pretty decent for $40.  Let's take a more detailed look at what you get for $40.

Once I opened the box and took out the cardboard backing that the outfits are attached to I figured out why this is called a "Super" pack.   You have to have a "super" amount of patience to find and cut off the ten million "super" small I-fastners that hold all the pieces on "super" tight to the backing.  



Pieces of the outfit were attached to each other, then to the backing.  The pink jacket had I-fasteners on the lapels of the jacket to keep it open, 2 to keep the arms pinned and then a few more to make sure it didn't jump off the backing.  It took me almost an hour to find all of the farm I-fastners and cut them off.  I understand that Toys R Us wants the outfits to look nice in a box that will be displayed standing up...but come on!  There has got to be $10 worth of I-fastners on this pack.  "Super" unnecessary!!!

Okay...I'm done complaining about the fasteners.  Let's get into the outfits.  I'll start with the "not so awesome" parts and move on to the awesome parts.  That means the shoes are up first.  Granted there is nothing wrong with the shoes, they are just the same old boring shoes that we have seen with so many Journey Girls outfits.  There are black flats with a little white bow across the toes of each shoe. 



The ankle strapped, close toed, silver, small healed, is a nice addition, but is still nothing new.  
And silver is a strange color that doesn't always go with every outfit.  Again, these shoes aren't bad; they fit well, they are cute, and can be used with many different outfits.  That's why the shoes are in the "not so awesome" category, not the "horrible junk" category (which does not exist for this set...because nothing is that bad in it).  Moving on....

Another "not so awesome" piece is the black and white stretch pants/leggings.  If you don't have the outfit that came out last year that has the exact same pair of pants in it...then these are awesome!  I love this material because it does stretch, and the pattern is funky and fun.  



The elastic waistband is great.  There is nothing to complain about with the pants themselves (although I would soak them...they do have black on them).  The issue I have is that Toys R Us basically took these pants from the overstock bin of last years outfit and shoved it in with this "Super" set hoping that we may not notice.  Okay, that was dramatic.  I appreciate that some Journey Girls outfits don't fully retire, meaning that you will see very similar pieces (usually a different fabric/color) a few years later, sometimes with a few very minor modifications to the design.  It's nice because if you missed the outfit, didn't love the color, or hadn't started collecting Journey Girls, you have another opportunity to purchase the piece without searching on eBay.  In this case the pants did not come out very long ago, they are nice, but not amazing, and these are exactly the same, making them a strange choice to add to the "Super" set.  I would have actually been happier to see a piece of clothing from the current New York dolls in this set.  That way you wouldn't have to buy the doll if you love the outfit.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's move on to the the okay things in the set...the "almost super" items.  These pieces have all been seen before, but are good staple pieces to any girls wardrobe.  So even though they are nothing outstanding they are good essential pieces that help build a nice collection.  First, the orange t-shirt is like many of the other short sleeve t shirts that Journey Girls has out.  It has Velcro ¾ of the way up the back, forcing you to slip the shirt up your dolls legs to put it on.  



Although it is tight in the shoulders, the shirt is loose around the stomach.  Unlike most t-shirts, this one is made out of a football jersey material, rather than the normal cotton that most t-shirts are made out of.  It has a second layer of the same material (except in white) underneath.  Nothing fancy, but a good solid t-shirt.  And it's nice to have something that isn't pink or purple or white!


Another familiar piece is the jeans.  Like most of the jeans that Journey Girls has released, these ones has stitching that mimics pockets in the front.  There is elastic around the back, making it easy to get the jeans on.  



The bright blue color is a bit different than any of the jeans I have.  Even though these really aren’t that different than other jeans that have been released, they are great to have in the collection.  Let’s be honest…you can’t have enough great looking jeans!

Although the print on the blue printed tank top is new (but not super different), the design of the tank is not new. like the t-shirt, the tank has a white mesh fabric underneath the cotton outer shell.  




Again I am assuming that this serves to lessen the chance of dye getting on your Journey Girl, as that has been an issue for many outfits.  Instead of the bottom of the tank going straight across, it dips down in a triangular shape in the middle.  The one thing that does not make sense with the tank is the velcro in the back.  



The cut goes all the way down the back and then stops an inch from the bottom.  Why?  Why doesn't it go all the way to the bottom and another piece of velcro gets added?  Again you have to slip this over your dolls head or slip it up her legs.  Silly design in my opinion.

A couple more things "almost super" pieces.  The jean skirt is super simple.  There is no taper, it is just straight up and down.  There is a small slit at the top of the skirt in the back to help easily get it on your dolls body and velcro it shut. Two interesting things about this skirt: one there is not lining in it and two there are some goofy stitched on ribbons that I am supposing represent pockets.  




It is interesting that the tank gets a lining, but the dark blue, notorious for dye transfer issues, jean skirt does not.  All I can say is...soak this skirt!!!  The pocket ribbons is even more perplexing because Journey Girls has usually sticked in a pocket (like on the blue jeans in this set).  It feels like one group of designers wanted to do the stitched pockets and another group wanted to flash the skirt up a little with some silver ribbon.  They couldn't agree, so a sewn in ribbon pocket was the answer.  It's okay, but not great!  The skirt fits great though and is very well made.

The last "almost super" item is the tights.  Tiny hearts adorn the black tights, but they can't make me love them.  The seem on these tights are just ugly.  It's not real straight, it's thick, it doesn't really stay at the back of the tights.  But that isn't the worst part about these tights.  




The worst part is they don't fit!  That's right...the tights for the Journey Girls Super Fashion Pack don't actually fit a Journey Girl! With lots of delicate pulling I was able to get them to cover Jordanna's hips, but just barely.  Her underwear stick up on top of the tights.  And then there is a goofy bridge of fabric in the crotch area because the tights are so tight.  



Just a strange fit.  And I can't emphasis this enough, make sure that these tights soak!  I have had two sets of dark tights stain my Journey Girls legs (one set came on the doll from the factory and the other was part of a fashion set).  In both cases I was able to get most of the dye off the legs, but it is a pain!  So soak your tights...and everything else, just in case!

Finally we are on to the namesake of this set; the "super" items.  That is not to say that these items do not have their flaws, because they do.  However, they are also either a new design or a really nice redesign.  Let's start with the piece that has the most flaws and work our way up to the best item.  


The "Super Fashion Pack" comes with two jackets, both of which have no way to fasten them...making them quite useless as a jacket.  The bright pink jacket is waist length, made with a heavy cotton fiber fabric, has no inner lining (soak it!) and a zipper on the front.  




Oops...wait...no it does not have a zipper.  It has part of a zipper.  The jacket has the teeth or the element (that is the white you see on the edge of the jacket), but it is missing the slider, the part that actually zips the teeth together.  Why put the teeth there, but not the slider?  Why not just some cording?  I thought mine was missing the slider and checked online at the photos and even checked other packages at the store, the next time I went, because I was sure that this jacket was supposed to have a slider.  



I'm sure it was done for style.  and it does look nice.  The white accent on the bright pink is great.  Like many jackets for the Journey Girls, it has shorter sleeves, that really get short when you raise your dolls hands.  Still a cute piece that adds to your collection.

The second jacket is longer, about hip length.  It has thin black and white horizontal strips accented with black and white polka dotted cuffs and accents on the "pockets".  




The jacket could benefit from a few buttons or belt to hold it shut, but doesn't suffer from the "what the heck" zipper issue of the other jacket.  Because of the black and white fabric, Toys R Us smartly added an inner mesh lining.  



The two "pockets" are open at the top, but only go as deep as the little patch of polka dotted fabric.  Would love real pockets, but since Journey Girls arms don't bend, they would be kind of useless anyways.  



The jacket is kind of busy with the warring stripes and polka-dots, but it works okay.  The jacket is nice and heavy and is made very well.



One of my favorite pieces is the purple, long sleeve, lace top.  From the chest down the shirt is a solid stretchy lavender fabric, but on top and down the sleeves the top is made with a lavender lace.  




At the bottom of the shirt there is a flare of fabric almost like a skirt, but definitely not long enough to be a skirt.  



Up 3/4 of the back is Velcro to secure the shirt.  



Velcro and lace always make me nervous, because inevitably the velcro sticks to the lace and makes it fuzzy at some point.  Like most of the new Journey Girls shirts, this one has the protective layer of white material on the solid fabric part of it.  



The great thing about this top is it hits right in the middle of casual and dressy.  Depending on what it is paired with it can really look different.

The final piece is a block color patterned dress.  The dress has wide shoulder straps, with a high curved neckline.  




The bodice is fitted to the waist then the skirt widens from there.  It is a cone style skirt, meaning there are no pleats or gathering. 



Lending to it's style is the bright white stretch fabric accented with black piping around the bottom of the skirt, the arms, and neck, and the blue strip down the middle of the dress.  



This is a great fashion piece!  Velcro up the back makes getting the dress on easy.  Out of all of the pieces this one feels the most solid and has the best design.  Very cute!

Three accessories come with this set.  The silver sequined headband is the exact same one that comes with the 2 doll pack from this year.  Sequins adorn the top, of the stretchy headband. 



Made of "leather", the little purse is white with 2 black stripes running horizontally broken up in the middle by 2 stripes running vertically.  It can velcro shut and has a silver cord for a shoulder strap.  Nothing really that new or different about the purse, but it is awesome that it goes with every outfit in this set.  



The last accessory is the most unique.  It is a black chocker with a beautiful triangular lace piece in the front.  The piece goes well with many of the outfits, and even though it is simple, it is very pretty and is one of the neater accessories that Journey Girls has.  



There are none of these accessories that are amazing, but they do help make the outfit set feel more complete.




Ratings
All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 - With four outfits and a price of $39.99 you may think this score should be higher.  The set has a good amount of pieces.  Most of them are made well. And at $10 an outfit, it seems like a great deal...and it is, except that I (personally) wouldn't buy two of the outfits.  They are decent, but not great.  The package is still a good deal, but I would shy away from "super".


Fitment 9 - Most everything fits perfectly.  The orange t-shirt is snug as is the pink jacket, but both are still functional.  The tights are not so good.  I would expect the tights to fit much better since they are made for the Journey Girls.  When American Girl tights or Our Generation tights fit better than the Journey Girls tights in this set, that is bad.  Still only three pieces have issues with fitment...not bad.

Versatility 8 - Now this is the "super" part about this set.  The outfits that I put together do not have to be the outfits that you put together.  There are many many combinations.  Except for shoes.  It would be great to see 4 sets of shoes.  Ahh...I take that back.  Only because my worry is that Toys R Us will give us four different colored plastic flats!  Seriously though, the set does have a lot of versatility in the outfits that can be created and the way these pieces can be used with your other outfits.


Cuteness 6 - It's hard to score this set because it is so large.  I love the dress, which was the main reason I bought the set.  I think it is adorable, modern, and very stylish.  The purple top is also very unique and pretty.  I like both of the jackets, even though they don't close.  Even the simple orange t-shirt is a great addition.  There are a few pieces that are "meh".  They are in the set, but are not amazing.  It also depends on what you like.  Some of the outfits that you can create with this set can be very cute!

Overall 7 - Not quite "super", but very good, the set has lots of good quality pieces and a few really neat pieces.  The rest are good fillers.  I think that is the issue.  The four outfits are not stand alone outfits.  If they were released as individual outfits they would not be able to sell for the $16.99 that most of the Journey Girls outfits sell for.   I guess that is to be expected, but I would love to see a really awesome set of clothing like this.  The mix and match idea is fantastic, it just needs a little fine tuning.  If there are pieces of this set that you love, then the set is worth it.  If you kind of like the pieces, I would skip it.  Save your money for the individual outfits, which have some really great designs.  And watch for sales!  I bought the set for $29, which makes it much closer to "super"!




AG Note


In most cases Journey Girls items do not fit American Girl dolls, or the clothes are very tight. With many of the items in the "Super" pack being the same or similar to other Journey Girls clothes, it is expected that they will follow this same pattern.  The orange top and blue top fit, but are tight, especially across the chest.  They are also difficult to get on American Girl dolls, because of how big the dolls but is and that the shirts do not open all the way!  The purple lace top fits the best, although it is still tight, with the velcro barley closing.  Another issue with this top is that the AmericanGirl's right hand is spread out wider than the left, making it catch in the lace as you pull it on.  It wasn't bad, but a careless tup and it may rip the fabric.  The white dress fits tightly, again only at the chest.  This material does not give as much as the others and so was difficult to get on the doll, but once it was past her bum...up it went with no problem.  The headband, choker, and purse all fit the American Girl dos well.  Unfortunately, the rest of the items in the "super" pack do not fit.  The skirt fits, but will not close, the jeans don't go past the knees, same with the black and white patterned pants, and don't even bother with the tights (they barely fit the Journey Girls...you'll just rip them as you pull them on an American Girl doll).  The shoes never fit and the jackets don't fit around the right hand.  With a lot of yanking they fit over the left hand, but then are a pain to take off.  Overall I like this set, but not for American Girls.  Only a few of the pieces fit, and none of them fit well.  Although each of the pieces that do fit would be at least $10...so maybe it's worth the cost.