Monday, April 28, 2014

Journey Girls Jordanna Review

Introducing Jordanna

Jordanna is the seventh Journey Girl.  She was only available during the Christmas season of 2013 as part of the Paris collection.  She was more expensive than the other Journey Girls, costing about $50 rather than the usual $32.

Toys R Us describes Jordanna as "the newest member to the Journey Girls crew, who loves to shop and study the latest style trends.  This fashionista is ready to dazzle in her favorite gown this holiday in Paris."

Jordanna has hazel eyes, multi toned blonde hair, and deep, sparkling, pink lips.  She comes in a georgous navy blue, flower ruffled dress, with white gloves, a jewel necklace and jeweled bracelet, sparkling blue shoes, a blue flower for her hair to match her dress, panties, and a blue hand purse.  Jordanna's outfit alone is worth the extra money that she costs!

Most of the Journey Girls have the same face mold (Chavonne, Callie, and Dana seem to have different faces).  Because of this, Jordanna looks a lot like Meredith. A lot!  That's okay in my opinion, since Meredith is a very cute doll.

Jordanna's beautiful hazel eyes.
So what makes Jordanna special?  First off her hair color is unique.  All of the other girls have one color hair.  Jordanna has a mixture of light and dark blonde hair.  It sounds like it could be streaky, but it is not.  It gives a very realistic golden blonde color.  Her hazel eyes are beautiful, and are the most realistic looking of the group.  That is saying a lot, since, I think, the Journey Girls have some of the prettiest eyes on the market. The last thing that makes Jordanna different than the other girls is her lip color.  All of the other Journey Girls have very natural lip colors.  Jordanna's lips are a more vibrant pink with glitter.

Jordanna is built the same way as Kelsey (who I reviewed earlier).  So her arms go up and out the same way that Kelsey's do.  I wish that they went out straight to the side.   For playing, it's not that big of a deal, but for collectors, this creates posing constrictions.  My Jordanna doll's arms seem a little bit stiffer.  They don't get stuck, they just seem to stay in place better than with Kelsey.

Jordanna with her arms up and out all the way.
This is as far as her arms can go out to the side.

Jordanna is only able to sit with her legs splayed out in front of her.  While she is wearing her Paris gown this looks very cute.  Her legs are hidden under the dress as it billows out around her.

Jordanna, like all of the Journey Girls, has the half vinyl breastplate and cloth tummy.  I love that she has the vinyl breast plate, especially with her outfit.  If she had an all cloth body like the American Girl dolls or the Our Generation dolls the lower neckline and clear shoulder strap of her dress would really show off the difference in material.  I really believe that the breastplate gives the ability for the Journey Girls to wear outfits that look a little goofy on the other brands (that's just my opinion).

Since one of Jordanna's main selling points is her beautiful dress, lets take a look at it in more detail.  The dress is a wonderful color.  I'm glad that Toys R Us didn't go with a red or pink.  The dress looks very elegant and appropriate for the dolls "age" while still being modern and stylish.  I love the "flower" pattern in the ruffles.

The design gives the dress volume and makes it much more elegant.  To help keep the dress puffed out there is some tule underneath the fabric of the dress.  It's not a lot, but it is enough to help the dress flow around Jordanna.

As mentioned before Jordanna comes with a lot of accessories.  The other Journey Girls Dolls usually have one, may be two accessories.  Jordanna has her gloves, the necklace, bracelet, purse, and hair scrunchy, as well as her shoes and panties (that I consider part of her actual outfit).

The hair scrunchy is very pretty, with a jewel at it's center, and looks much more elegant than it sounds.  I love that it matches her purse and the flower on her shoulder strap.  

 Her gloves are pretty nice.  They are more like mittens, because they don't have individual fingers, (which makes sense. Imagine the frustration a little girl would have getting the gloves on finger by finger) but the are still very elegant and make the outfit more formal looking.  The bracelet is interesting.  It is made of a clear flexible plastic and has jewels glued to it.  It can come off of Jordanna's wrist, but it can be a pain to get back on.  It has two plastic "buttons" that go through holes on the other end.  You just have to press down on the end to get them to go together.  In my experience if you don't have it pushed all the way down, the bracelet pops off as the plastic goes back to it's original shape.  Some of the jewels have also fallen off.  They can be replaced with jewel stickers from Michaels, so not a huge deal.

 The necklace has a nice clasp on the back.  I was surprised at the quality of the class, since the "necklace" is just silver string.  It is a very pretty necklace though and again helps with the elegant feel of the outfit.

The nice necklace clasp.  You can also see the "Geoffrey LLC" stamp on her neck.

Jordanna's shoes are plastic (like most of the Journey Girls' shoes) which I like for the most part.  They feel a little cheap compared to the other accessories, but they are still very pretty.  They are a little different color than the dress, but not much.  Every once in awhile they will fall off, but not always.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 7  - Although she is pretty flexible, Jordanna suffers from the same flexibility issues as all
the other Journey Girls.  She is wonderful for playability, but if you are displaying her, she only has a few poses.  Jordanna was easier to stand then Kelsey.  I think this was due to better stuffing in her torso, which helped her stability.  Her dress also helps give more weight to the bottom half of the doll.

Quality - 9  - The vinyl on Jordanna is soft feeling and wonderful.  Her joints are nice and tight, but still move well.  Her outfit is awesome! The detail on the dress is great.  There are no loose ends at the end of the fabric.  Jordanna's hair is beautiful and thick.  Since it is rooted you can see her scalp in some areas, but not easily. The only reason she isn't a ten is that she is not as flexible as could be.  She makes a great play doll.

Adorableness - 10 - Jordanna is stunningly gorgeous!  Here eyes are so beautiful, especially with the "real" eyelashes.  Her dress is stunning.  She looks good in the box, but she looks awesome out of it.    I was not disappointed with the looks of the doll.  She is awesome!

Compatibility - 6 - Jordanna looks best in dressy outfits in my opinion.  She can wear some of the other outfits, but because of her lip color she does look better in dresses.  It could be that I am just used to seeing her in her formal dress…and she looks different in everyday clothes. Since the Journey Girls are made for Toys R Us exclusively the dolls are a little bit different sized than other 18" dolls.  However most accessories and clothes are compatible.  Dresses from American Girl and Our Generation lines fit, but are a little loose around the waist.  Pants and shirts from these two lines are too large.   Shoes from American Girl seem to fit fine, but the Our Generation shoes are a little tight.  All of the accessories, such as scooters, horses, pets, etc., fit great with the Journey Girls.  Jordanna definitely looks better in theJourney Girl clothes though.   Look for future reviews of the different outfits.

Overall Score - 9 - Jordanna is the princess of the Journey Girls line.  Her formal gown makes her one of the best dressed Journey Girls.  She has the same issues as the other dolls in this line (namely joint flexibility, hair being thin, and compatibility with other 18" dolls clothes.  These are minor things that are far outweighed by the cuteness of the doll, the wonderful outfit, and the overall feel of the doll.  If you can get your hands on Jordanna, she is well worth the money.  I hope to see her released again as a special edition with the new London line of Journey Girls Dolls. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Journey Girls Doll Kelsey

Kelsey's Review

I decided to do this blog after I bought my first couple of dolls.   These first few reviews will be missing some things that will be in later reviews.  Namely there will be no "box opening", because the girls are already out of their boxes.  Also in this review, my Kelsey doll has a few "cosmetic enhancements" that I gave her.  I'll explain that later in the review.

Let's meet Kelsey!

According to the Toys R Us website, "Kelsey is always looking for a new adventure and loves to gather the other Journey Girls to join her!  As the most fearless of the friends, she'll try anything from kayaking to rock climbing to zip-lining.  When the other girls aren't around, Kelsey is more than happy to grab her backpack and hiking boots and set out for a journey all her own!"

I love her bright green eyes and beautiful auburn hair.  Kelsey's "meet" outfit is jeans, a white t-shirt with the Eiffel Tower on it, a "tweed" jacket, a brown ribbon for her hair, brown flats, and a bag with the Eiffel Tower printed on it.  The outfit is cute on her, but is not one of my favorites.

Kelsey in her original outfit.

The reason for Kelsey's cosmetic enhancement
Kelsey with her bag

When I took Kelsey out of her original outfit and went to put her in a different outfit, I noticed small spots on her arms.  Some of them were brownish in color (like in the above photos) while others had a purplish hue.  Some information I found said that the spots would come off (they did not).  There was information that said the marks were from the dye in Kelsey's clothes (maybe).  One source that had talked to Toys R Us said that there was some bad vinyl that made it into a lot.  This discolored vinyl was actually in the doll and therefore could not be "washed out".   This seemed to be the case with my doll.  So instead of returning her (I hate returning them…I try to pick the one out I like the most in the store) I decided to give her freckles.   And I love them!!!

Kelsey with her freckles

 As I mentioned in my first post, the Journey Girls have rooted hair.  I like the rooted hair look.  I wish it was a bit thicker, but I like the look of it.  You can see in this photo that at times you can see Kelsey's scalp if her hair isn't in the right position.  Her hair does get full of static when she's played with, but is easy to comb out with a little water.  Kelsey's hair is pretty easy to keep tangle free.   The ends (where there is a little bit of curl) can get tangles, but if you use a doll brush (Walmart sells them in the doll section for about $3) and a little water the tangles seem to come out pretty easy.

Kelsey without her jacket

Kelsey with her arms out all the way.

Notice that Kelsey's left arm does not seem to go as high as the right one.  This is as high as either arm will go when you are trying to raise them straight out to her side.

Kelsey with her arms raised

This is with Kelsey's arms raised up as high as they can be and out to the side as much as they can be.  Her arms can also go right against her head.  I wanted to show the flexibility of the dolls joints.

Kelsey sitting

One of the main things that I dislike about most 18" dolls is the way they sit…spread eagle!  The Journey Girls are the same as every other doll.  The nice thing is that because of the soft lower body their legs do move closer together, but the doll can't really sit that way.  So this is the way Kelsey sits.

 FYI - Naked doll photos

You can see in the above photo that Kelsey's body is made up of a breastplate and then a soft torso.  I love the vinyl breastplate.  It makes for a better look when she wears dresses.  Plus it still gives a soft body if a little girl wants to sleep with her favorite doll.  The soft body makes it so that the legs can move a little more than just forward and back.  It also causes some issues, mainly it is a little floppy.  Kelsey's body is especially loose.  Her tummy is not stuffed very much, making it more of a challenge to stand her at times.

Another shot of Kelsey's pretty eyes and her cute freckles.

She even has freckles on her arms and shoulders.
The marks that were on Kelsey I changed into freckles and then added freckles to her face and shoulders. I did this by using "Bic Mark it, Permanent Markers".  I used the "woodsy brown" and then colored over it with "tiki hut tan".  This lightened the brown and made the color a little uneven.  I think it gave it a more natural look.  I then took some baking soda and water and washed all of the freckles.  This lightened them a little more, making them blend into Kelsey's skin.  I have to tell you…I was really nervous to do this.  I am so glad I did though.  I love the way Kelsey looks with her freckles!

I added a little nail polish to her toes.  I wasn't brave enough to do her fingers.

The Journey Girl tag is kind of large.
 I am a bit annoyed by the Journey Girl tag.  It can be in the way when you are dressing Kelsey.  And it's super huge!  I'm tempted to cut it off…but it's important to have on the doll.  So it stays.  It is in a place that it can usually tuck into the shirt/blouse easily.

Geoffrey LLC is stamped in the back of every Journey Girls neck.

As I mentioned before I am not super excited about Kelsey's outfit, but it is very useful.  It has a lot of great components that can be used with other outfits.  The jeans are very nice.  I wish they had real pockets rather than sewn in ones, but they are still cute.   The shoes and headband are great universal pieces that can go with a multitude of other outfits.  The bag is great for shopping or carrying books.  I'm sure I will use it in some of Kelsey's adventures.  I don't love the jacket…but I don't hate it either.  I would like to see a bit more color in Kelsey's outfit.  However this does somewhat fit her profile.  I can see her walking around Paris in this outfit, taking in all of the sights.
Kelsey's jacket.  Notice the fabric around the neck line.  This is also at the end of the sleeves.  I am not sure if it serves a purpose or is just decorative.

Kelsey's shirt has the dreaded Velcro up the back.  With her long hair it is difficult to but the shirt together without getting hair stuck in the Velcro, unless you turn her head around.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 7  - Although she is pretty flexible, Kelsey has a hard time getting into lots of different    poses.  For most this will not be a big deal.  She also hard to get to stand sometimes.   Once you get her up, she stays, but finding that balance can be frustrating (especially for a little girl).

Quality - 8  - The vinyl on Kelsey seems to be of good quality.  Even though there were some blemishes, over all it looks very good.  The vinyl seems to be staying very soft and has not shown any wearing from oil on the skin.  The cloth body is the weak point.  It is not stuffed very well and the stitching is not great.  There is no worry of it coming loose, it's just not great.  With the stuffing not being as firm as it could be Kelsey is prone to wiggle more when you try to stand her.

Adorableness - 9 - Kelsey is beautiful!  I like the fact that her eyes don't close.  I think that her eyes are very pretty (maybe a little light).   It is wonderful that she has "real" eyelashes.  Her hair, though thin in places, is very manageable and can be styled easily.  I love the face sculpt of the Journey Girl dolls.  I didn't give Kelsey a 10 because of the issues with the vinyl discoloration and the fact that she isn't stuffed as well as she could be.

Compatibility - 6 - Since the Journey Girls are made for Toys R Us exclusively the dolls are a little bit
different sized than other 18" dolls.  However most accessories and clothes are compatible.  Dresses from American Girl and Our Generation lines fit, but are a little loose around the waist.  Pants and shirts from these too lines are too large.   Shoes from American Girl seem to fit fine, but the Our Generation shoes are a little tight.  All of the accessories, such as scooters, horses, pets, etc., fit great with the Journey Girls.  Kelsey definitely looks better in the Journey Girl clothes though.    Look for future reviews of the different outfits.

Overall Score - 8 - Kelsey is a wonderful doll, especially for the price.  Her face is cute, her eyes are pretty, she has good movement in her joints, her hair is good quality, and she looks really cute in a lot of different outfits.  As mentioned there are a few issues with her. Kelsey is a great doll overall though.

Monday, April 14, 2014

So what is this blog about?

Well at the core of it…I guess it is about dolls.  Especially Journey Girl Dolls.

There are many, many, many, doll blogs out there.  Most of them are going to be a better read than this one.  However, I could not find one that specifically looked at the Journey Girls line.   I hope to post about once a week on everything related to the Journey Girls; the dolls themselves, their outfits, the accessories, other brands that fit the Journey Girls, reviews of some other dolls, and photos of their adventures.  Hope you enjoy!

Meet the Journey Girls

Journey Girls are exclusively made for Toys R Us.   As such you can only find the dolls at a Toys R Us store, at, or on eBay.  Right now there are seven Journey Girls.  Kyla, Chavonne, Kelsey, Callie, Meredith, and Dana are the six dolls in the repeating line-up, and Jordanna, the one remaining doll, is a special edition doll.  Jordanna was only available in the Paris line around the holiday season (look for a review on her later).   

From left to right: Chavonne, Meredith, Kelsey, Callie, Kyla, Jordanna, and Dana

When the dolls were first introduced there were only four dolls, Alana (now Kyla), Taryn (now Chavonne), Meredith, and Callie.  Kelsey and Dana came out soon after the initial four.  I can't tell you how many iterations there are of the dolls.  The history online is not so clear.  What I do know is that all but two of my Journey Girls are from the Paris collection, which was last years collection.  Toys R Us now has the girls traveling to London.

There are many great things about the Journey Girls, but one of the things that I like is that they are more modern than the American Girl dolls.  Now I know that is part of the charm to the American Girls, but I like that the Journey Girls are a bit more relateable.  A description of the girls from the Toys R Us website describes them as:

"…the best friends who love to travel and share their experiences and special talents with one another! No matter how far apart they are.  Journey Girls keep in touch by talking on the phone, emailing, texting and writing postcards.  Their friendship will last forever and their adventures are just beginning."

All of the dolls are 18" tall.  They are a bit skinnier than an American Girl doll.  Journey girls measure about 10" at the waist.  Their legs are about 8" long and their torso is about 6".  Their bodies are half soft body and half vinyl breastplate (technically I think they are considered 3/4 soft body, but as you'll see in my reviews…they look more like half). They have beautiful fixed glass eyes and "real" eyelashes.  Their hair is rooted.  They have 5 points of articulation; both legs at the hips, both arms at the shoulders, and the head at the top of the neck.  They can stand on their own…but do need a little coaxing sometimes.

So that's an introduction to the Journey Girls.  Next up will be a review of the first doll I bought, Kelsey!