Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kelsey's Christmas Present

Kelsey Opens Her New Our Generation Mini Doll

Our family tradition is to open gifts from one another on Christmas eve.  Kelsey has been waiting patiently to see what the package under the tree with her name on it is.  She hopes it is something fun!

Kelsey waits patiently to open her gift.  She is wearing a dress from the Espari line.
What could it be?  Is it a new outfit? Some shoes? a new toy?

Kelsey starts to rip open the wrapping paper.

Can't let the bow go to waste!

Almost there….what is it?

Oooo….a new doll!  Yea!

Look at my new doll!  She has red hair and freckles, just like me!

Oh…she is so cute!

I love her!

Thank you so much!  Kelsey plays with her new doll, very happy with her gift.
I hope that all of you have a great holiday season.  Be Merry…be thankful…and enjoy the people around you!  Happy Holidays!!!

Kelsey is wearing an outfit from the Espari line from Barnes and Noble.  Her new doll (Lana) is from the Our Generation line at Target.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Callie in the "Oh My Posh" Outfit

Journey Girl Callie Models a Polka Dotted Coat and Skirt

Callie is super cute in her jacket and skirt from Target’s Our Generation line.  The outfit “Oh My Posh”comes with a black skirt with dark pink and white polka dots, a matching jacket with big pink buttons, pink tights, black shiny shoes, and a pretty dark pink beret with a black bow on the front.  

Callie wearing the "Oh My Posh" outfit from Our Generation.
The jacket and skirt are made of a thicker wool like fabric that works really well for this outfit.  The inside of the jacket and skirt have a layer of satin fabric.  The fabric makes it a lot easier to get Callie’s arms in and out of the jacket.

Fabric on the inside of the jacket make it much easier to slip in and out of.
The skirt is really big on Callie, more than some of the other Our Generation outfits.  As you can see Callie can still wear the skirt.  The Velcro sticks to the skirt and can hold it up.  Since the jacket is longer it helps hide the fact that the skirt is loose. 

The skirt is very loose on Callie, but stays up because the Velcro can stick to the skirt.
When Callie wears the tights it also helps hold her skirt in place. I like the tights. They are a darker pink color, not quite maroon…but somewhere in between. The tights fit wonderfully on Callie.

The jacket is wonderful!  I love that the jacket is a little longer.  I like the big buttons on the front.  One of the great things about Our Generation outfits is that they do not all have Velcro; instead they use snaps, button or zippers.  I really like this about the Our Generation line.  It makes the clothes feel more authentic. 

Callie looks so cute in her outfit.
The beret fits Callie’s head well.  It can be pulled down so that it stays on her head as she moves.  I think the bow is a little big.  I’d like it to be a bit smaller.  Not bad though.

The shoes are the same old cloth shoes that every Our Generation outfit comes with.  I am glad that they aren’t the plastic ones (I hate those things).  These shoes are a little better, just because they are made with a stiffer shinny material.  I still can’t figure out why if the outfit comes with plastic shoes, they are huge on the Journey Girls, whereas the cloth shoes are tight! 

This is outfit is really cute…except for the shoes.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – The outfit has some good potential. The jacket can be used on it's own.  The tights are great! The beret can be used with  other outfits.  As well as the dreaded shoes.  The skirt could..but the out fit would have to cover the top of the skirt so the overlap is not seen.  There is a lot to the outfit for the price.

Fitment 7 – The skirt is one of the loosest Our Generation items I have.  It is even loose on my American Girl doll.  The rest of the outfit fits well.  The jacket even has room to put a t-shirt on underneath.  The only other thing that does not fit so wellthe shoes!

Versatility 8 – As I mention abovealmost everything can be used with other outfits.  That is awesome!  The colors are very easy to match with other outfits.  It's an overall great outfit for versatility.  It is a coat thoughso no summer outfits.

Cuteness 9 – Oh I like this coat!  It's such wonderful colors.  I love polka dots!!!  Plus how can you not like the big buttons.  The outfit looks casual and sophisticated at the same time.  

Overall 8 – This is a very well made outfit that has many parts that are very versatile.  The colors are great.  The design is cute.  Just a great outfit.  I wish it had better shoes.  And I wish that the shirt wasn't so big.  Since all of the other Our Generation outfits I have bought have been closer to the Journey Girls size, I do wonder if this one is an oddity.  If you are looking for a nice coat for your Journey Girl this winter…this is a good choice.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kelsey Goes for a Bike Ride

Journey Girl Kelsey's Bike Ride

Kelsey loves to be outside every chance that she can get.  She loves being out in nature.  Often times she will go for walks to see all of the wonderful things around the neighborhood.  Today she decided to ride her new bike around.
Kelsey went for a bike ride on some of the trails near her home.

An easy bike ride is so relaxing!

Kelsey loves this trail, because it goes through a beautiful forested area.  She sees squirrels, all sorts of birds, and sometimes there are deer!

Even riding on the sidewalk around the block is fun.

Ring! ring! Kelsey rings her bell as she pedals past.
Kelsey is wearing her meet t-shirt (from the Paris line), a sweater from Our Generation, and she borrow her friend Kyla's pants.  She is riding an Our Generation bike (which is awesome!!!).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Jordanna Tries on a "My Life As…" Dress

Does a "My Life As…" Dress fit Journey Girl Jordanna?

"My Life As…" is the line of 18” doll clothes from Walmart.  This summer I picked up a cute flowery dress.  Jordanna is modeling the white, flowered dress, with a glossy purple ribbon around the waist and at the bottom of the dress.  The dress comes with a mesh white sweater also.

I love the print on the dress and the light look of it.  I wish it had shoes.
"My Life As…" outfits are cheap; around $10.  This is not that much more than the non-deluxe fashions from Our Generation.  I wanted to really love this outfit…but it was not my favorite outfit.   I love the design!  I love the colors on the dress; I love the style of the dress.  It lacks quality though.  There are multiple places on the dress where the fabric is fraying.  The fabric is not stitched under so that the fabric will not fray.  The fabric of the dress is very light, which I don’t mind.  I think for $10, it’s not bad.  It is on par with Springfield outfits. 

Jordanna modeling the "My Life As…" dress with a pair of Journey Girls shoes.

The mesh…it’s more of a netting sweater, while I appreciate that it’s there, is just weird.  I like a little sweater with this dress, but the netting is just not good. I cotton sweater or the like would have been much better.
Cute dress…weird net/mesh sweater.
All ratings are out of 10

Value 6 – Although this outfit cost less than most other outfits it is also not as high quality as comparable dresses from Journey Girls and Our Generation.  Especially considering that it has no shoes and a goofy sweater.  Our Generation dresses are $3 more, have shoes, and usually two accessories.

Fitment 9 – The dress fits great.  No issues there.  It's not as form fitting as a Journey Girls dress, but it still fits correctly and looks good.

Versatility 3 – Ah…not much. You can use the net sweater for something (maybe a fishing scene)…but with no shoes or anything else with this dress, it is only a sun dress.  Cute…but not versatile.

Cuteness 6 – This is tuff, because the dress itself is very cute.  It's not made real well, so there are strings sticking out in places and (you guessed it) that sweater!  If it was just the dress, I'd probably give this an 8.

Overall 6 – Sad face.   I wanted this to be great, partly because it is a good price point and a cute dress. But after getting my hands on it I realize it is not as nice as I had hoped.  For the price buy an Our Generation outfit.  They will go on sale for $10 every so often.  This dress is not great quality, and does not have much with it.  I had hoped that this dress would be more like the "My Life As…" rain gear that I reviewed earlier.  Alas, it is not.  Hopefully other outfits from My Life As… mimic the rain gear, rather than this dress.  Super cute, just not made real well.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Callie Out in the Snow

Journey Girl Callie Takes Photos in the Snow

Callie was my first model for my photos.  I'm not sure that she was lucky to be the first.  She modeled the American Girl coat from last year.  For some reason I thought…a skirt with no tights goes well with this coat.  Poor Callie is probably freezing.  On the bright side she has some cute pictures of her in the snow.

Callie modeling the American Girl winter coat from 2013

Callie is trying to catch snowflakes on her hand.

Finally, it was too cold for her and she had to wear her hood.

Bye everyone!  Callie waves as she takes her last photos.

She immediately went in for a hot chocolate!
Callie is wearing the American Girl Winter Coat (which is awesome…here is a review).  She has on her London meet outfit underneath (a pink skirt and white t-shirt).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Espari: A New Journey Girl?

Barnes and Nobles "Espari" Kayumi vs The Journey Girls

I was at Barnes and Noble today and was surprised to find what at first glance looked like a Journey Girl in their toy section.  When I got closer, I saw that there were four dolls all resembling a Journey Girl.  Espari is made by the Lotus company exclusively for Barnes and Noble.  There are four girls in the line; Kayumi (Meredith), Marnie (Chavonne), Lily Ria (Kyla), and Annalyn (Kelsey).  There are also three sets of clothing that range in cost from $19.95 to $29.95.  The dolls are all priced at a hefty $59.99.  With a 30% off coupon, that comes in my e-mail every once in awhile, I was able to buy Kayumi for around $42.00: pretty comparable to the Journey Girls.

Kayumi doll from Barnes and Noble
I like the back of the box.  Pretty!

Upon looking at her I was surprised at how much she looked like Meredith.  There seemed to be something a little different between my London Meredith, my new sculpt Meredith and Kayumi, but I couldn't really put my finger on it.  After all the box she comes in is identical to the case that Mikaella arrives in.  Kayumi looks to have the same proportions as Meredith does.  She even has the same 1/2 vinyl breast plate that Meredith has.  So my hope was that she was a higher quality Journey Girl doll. Well….let's find out if that is the case!

There are tape circles that must be cut to open the box
Cut here to get the box open.

Cut the tape or the clear rubber bands where there is a red circle.  The blue circle
 is around twists that can be untwisted
Cut or unhook the clear rubber band to get Kayumi loose.
The twists stay on Kayumi's ankles, untwist them again and take them off.
The cardboard has I fasteners that need to be cut so that her dress comes off.
Cut the I fastener holding Kayumi's dress to the cardboard
One more I fastener to cut.

Kayumi comes dressed in a pink dress with layered, ruffles of tulle.  She has pink sparkly healed shoes on and a gold purse.  Like Meredith, Kayumi is blond with bright blue eyes.  Kayumi's hair is even pulled back in exactly the same way as Meredith's.

Kayumi out of her box.
The first thing I noticed when I bought her was that her eyes look a little different than Meredith's.  I looked at 5 different dolls, at two different stores and every single one of the Kayumi dolls had crossed eyes.  I thought this was the best of them.  I have seen this in the Journey girls also, but not as bad as in these dolls.  I will say that the three other types of dolls did not seem to have an issue with their eyes.

Kayumi kind of has crossed eyes.
After getting Kayumi out of her package I noted that the back of her dress was not closed.  It had velcro at the waist, but was open from there down.  My first thought was, "Wow, that is poor design."  Then I realized the taffeta was a skirt.

Kayumi's dress is open in the back.  It can be taken off completely for a different style of dress.
By undoing the velcro you get a whole new dress.  The underneath dress is knee length and is satin. The taffeta collar also unties and can be removed.  Kayumi comes with underwear also.

As I stood Kayumi for photos I noted that she stands pretty well.  The second thing I noticed is that her one leg joint was different from her other one.  The left leg joint you can see the ball socket inside.  This makes the left leg just a bit longer.  Her joints are tight.  Her neck joint barely moves.  It is very difficult to tilt her head; turning it is okay.  Her shoulder joints are also hard.  They seem to have a small amount more flexibility than do the Journey Girls, but not drastically more.

The leg joint is actually popping out from the body.
Kayumi must be modeled off of Mikaella and the new Meredith as far as her sitting goes.  If you want to read me complain about how horrible the leg joints are read my review of Meredith.  Suffice it to say…these are worse!!!  There is no way to get Kayumi to sit without propping her up on her arms or against something.  Once you get to a point the leg joint actually just turns the leg, making it look like Kayumi fell and broke her hip.  What is the deal with the bad leg joints?  Not good! That's all I'm going to say.

Kayumi can not sit on her own without her hands propping her up.

Kayumi compared to Meredith's ability to sit.

New sculpt Meredith, Kayumi, and old Meredith sitting not so lady like.
Kayumi's torso is similar to the new Meredith's.  Very firm, it's the same size (10 inches around compared to 9 3/4 of the old Meredith).  The Vinyl seems to be of good quality, or at least on par with the Journey Girls.  Kayumi had no staining on any parts of her body.

The three girls and their different body types.
The whole doll is similar to Meredith (both versions) but not really exactly the same.  Take her face for instance.  The eyes are a little bigger and set lower on the face than either of the Meredith's.  Her lips are painted wider, but they are also open, compared to closed on Meredith.

Kayumi has bigger eyes and a little smile
Meredith's eyes are wider apart and she has a little longer nose
Meredith has thicker eyebrows and closed lips.
Looking from the side, her neck is not as long, her jaw line is different and the bridge of her nose goes deeper into her face.  From this angle it is apparent that the aces are definitely different.

Kayumi from the side.
Meredith's new sculpt.
Original Meredith.
Kayumi's legs are shaped differently than the Journey Girls.  They are skinnier at the top and come out of the bottom of her body more then the side.  This may be what causes the issue with the sitting.

The different leg shapes of the girls.  Meredith (new), Kayumi, Meredith (old).
Her feet are slightly longer than the Journey Girls.  I think her toes are more pronounced.  Her fingers are not spread out as much and look more plastic than the Journey Girls.

Kayumi's feet are slightly different than the Journey Girls.
Meredith's hand
Kayumi's hand is not as defined. 

Her outfit does perfectly fit Meredith.  And this is a cute dress!  I like that the dress can convert to a less formal dress.  It makes it so that the outfit basically has accessories to use with other outfits.  Very neat!

Meredith wearing Kayumi's outfit

Kayumi has some great accessories with her outfit.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 4  - I won't rant about Kayumi's legs…just know that if you want a doll that can sit on her own, this one is not it.  The shoulder joints seem really good.  The neck is way too stiff and really can't tilt very well.

Quality - 6  - I was disappointed to find only one doll with eyes that seemed to look straight.  The eyes of a doll show the level craftsmanship and attention to detail more easily than any other part on the doll.  The difference between an American Girl doll and an Our Generation doll can easily be summed up in the way the eyes work for both.  I think Kayumi is still better than some of the other 18" dolls out there.  She's just not at the top.

Adorableness - 8 - Kayumi's face sculpt, though not as cute as old Meredith's, is much better than the new sculpt.  She really has an adorable face.  And her dress is awesome!  It is really frilly though.  I'm not sure if I like it more than Mikealla's, but it's not as nice as Jordanna's gown.  I do like that it is convertible.

Compatibility - 6 - The Espari dolls are thinner than an American Girl doll, so there are the same compatibility issues as the Journey Girls have.  Pants, skirts, and shirts are going to be big on her.  Shoes are wide, but fit lengthwise.  Some shoes from Springfield and Our Generation do not fit, because her feet are just a smidg longer.

Overall Score - 6 - I love Kayumi's face…but I can't get over the short falls of her body, especially the legs.  If she was less then $30, maybe I could forgive some of the issues, but she is twice that amount.  The Journey Girls go on sale for around $34…buy two London Meredith's (the old sculpt) you'll be very happy with them.  If you can get Kayumi for $42 or less, she is worth it if you like pink dresses (super cute!) or if she is just going to be displayed standing up.

Meredith, Kayumi, and Meredith.