Friday, May 30, 2014

Journey Girls Doll Callie Reviewed

Come See Callie!

Callie is part of the original four Journey Girls Dolls that came out.  Callie is my only doll that is not from the Paris series.  I love Callie, but I hated her Paris outfit.  It reminded me of pajamas or loungewear.  It was not very cute (at least in my opinion).  I have her in her London outfit, which I think is much more fitting of her.  After all her passion is supposed to be fashion!  Maybe it was supposed to be a dance outfit.

Callie loves to explore new places and discover cool clothes she can't find back home.  All the girls count on her for fabulous fashion advice!  Callie's other passion is dancing - she enjoys everything from ballet to hip hop.  She's the comedian of the group who's always being silly and pulling pranks.  But underneath it all, she really cares about other people.  She knows that laughter is contagious and is always there to cheer up a sad Journey Girl!

Callie comes in a pink pleated skirt, with a black belt, panties, black flats with pink bows, and a two layered shirt, a black stripped shirt under a white t-shirt with a pink heart (made with British flag) in the middle of it.

Callie has a little bit different face mold than most of the Journey Girls.  In reality I think the face mold is probably pretty similar to the other girls (with the exception of Chavonne and Dana, who have very different faces).  Her lips seem to be painted a little bit thinner and her eyes are a little different.  Her hair is very straight.  Kelsey, Meredith, and Jordanna all have some wave to their hair.  Callie's is completely straight….and thick.  She still has the same issues with hair that most of the Journey Girls have.  If you part her hair the roots show very badly.  That wouldn't be an issue if the hair was rooted like it is in the front of her forehead, but it is much more sparse than that.  This makes certain hairstyles not quite as cute.  I will go more into this on another post at a later time.

Callie gets the same range of motion as all the other Journey Girls Dolls.  That means she can raise her arms straight up, at a slight angle from the body, but she can't raise then straight out to the side.  My Callie doll has great joints!  The move very freely with no points of grinding or looseness.  I wish that there was more movement out to the side…but it doesn't ruin the doll.  It just makes it more difficult to put her in different poses.  (I'll post photos of Callie out enjoying the snow later)

Callie has no issues with her, unlike some of my other Journey Girls.  There are no dye marks on her, (except a scuff mark on her forehead that I put there when I accidentally dropped her) no issues with her joints, or fitment of accessories.  She is pretty much perfect!  She is a bit overstuffed in her torso.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the Journey Girls…or this is the first one of my reviews that you are reading, the Journey Girls all have a half vinyl, half cloth torso.  Some of my dolls have been under stuffed and because of that have been a little wobbly on their feet.  Callie is actually a bit overstuffed, which makes her have a bit of a belly.

You can see that the cloth part of Callie's torso is much tighter and actually bulges out under the vinyl breastplate.  I think it makes for a cute little belly.  Below you can see the difference between Callie's and Kelsey's torso.  In the photo it looks like Kelsey actually has more of a belly, but if you look you can see the wrinkles in the cloth.  Those are there because she is not stuffed as much.  She actually looks a little shorter because her torso is squishing down towards her legs.

So why does it matter if Callie's torso is stuffed more than the other Journey Girls?  It helps make her more stable.  Her leg joints stay in place better, making her stand better.  Kelsey will flop over at her leg joints sometimes, because there is not enough stuffing.   I am hoping that all of the new London Journey Girls are like Callie in this respect. (We'll find out later when I open up my new Kelsey doll!)

Callie has the same "Geoffrey LLC" impression on the back of her neck as all the other Journey Girls, thus identifying her as a true Journey Girl!

And if that doesn't tell you she is real…the big huge Journey Girls tag sticking out of her side will remind you.  As I've mentioned in my other reviews, I'd love for this tag to be a bit smaller.  At least it is in a spot that you can tuck it in to all of the outfits.  No bikinis for the Journey Girls!

Callie's outfit is fairly simple, but is very cute.  I would have loved to see a scarf with it, or a purse, but it is okay on it's own.  I am glad that they gave her panties.  I hate having a dress on with no panties…especially in a place as windy as London!  Whoa!

Speaking of Callie's panties…they are a bit small on her.   They fit, but the don't cover everything and are a bit short on the top.  They are workable, and it is better that she has them than not!   The belt is attached to the back of the skirt, but it looks like it can be cut off.  The belt has a few frays on it…and it has an ugly "back" to it.  The side that is not out is ugly.  You can see it a little in the bow at the front of the  belt.  Not a huge deal…just could have been better.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 8  - Callie has the best motion of all of my Journey Girls Dolls.  I'm not sure that is Callie specific.  In my experience, each doll is different.  My Callie's stuffed torso also helps with her poseability, making her more stable when she is standing.  For most things Callie's joint rotation is more than adequate.  However if you like to photograph your dolls in realistic poses…the Journey Girls are not your dolls.  Callie is poseable enough to play with all day long though. 

Quality - 9  - My Callie was top of the line.  No issues with any of the joints, no dye marks, everything is great.  She doesn't get a ten because I just got her.  I think that the vinyl/plastic that she is made out of is wonderful.  It is soft and feels really nice to the touch.  I am worried that after playing with her (and the other Journey Girls) the vinyl will get ahine to it.  You'll have to check back in a year or so to see!

Adorableness - 9 - I love Callie's looks!  She has got a beautiful face.  I love her "real" eyelashes above her almond shaped brown eyes.  Her outfit is cute.   She is all around adorable!

Compatibility - 6 - There is no difference in the compatibility of Callie compared to the other Journey Girls.   American Girl and Our Generation accessories and clothes fit, but are a little big.  Look for a review of American Girl's winter jacket set, coming soon.

Overall Score - 9 - Callie is one of the best made Journey Girls Dolls that I own.  She is very cute, comes with a decent outfit, and is well made.  I wish she came with more accessories, but that is why they have the accessory packs.  She is close to a ten…I just wish her hair was a little thicker and her joints had more movement.   Otherwise Callie is a wonderful doll.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kyla: A Journey Girls Doll Review

Hi Kyla! 

Kyla was originally named Alana, but her name was changed when the 2nd edition of the Journey Girls Dolls was released.  My Kyla doll is from the London series, which was released at the beginning of 2014.  I like her bright colored outfit, it’s very summery.  Kyla is the artist of the Journey Girls as described by Toys R Us.

“Kyla is an amazing artist who enjoys making souvenirs and taking pictures to commemorate her travels.  She collects beads from all over to surprise her friends with beautiful handmade jewelry.  Kyla is really shy, but after getting to know her, the Journey Girls realized she’s the most loyal friend a girl could ask for.  Kyla always manages to see the beauty in everyone and everything around her.”

Kyla is pretty easy to get out of her box.  I like the Journey Girls boxes. They are fairly simple, but they are sturdy, and are nice looking.  There is part of me that wishes that you could touch the dolls, (especially since each one can be so different with the quality) but I am also glad that everyone is not touching the dolls.

To get Kyla out of her box you will have to cut two pieces of tape on the top of the box.  Kyla is connected to a cardboard backing.  The backing is strong enough that you can pull it from the top and it should slide out pretty easily.  

Notice the new London outfits

Once Kyla and the backing are out, there are a few places that you will have to disconnect her.  There are two places on the back.  At the bottom of the backing there is a pink plastic strip with two clear twisties.  Untwist these completely to get Kyla’s feet loose from the backing.  

About a 3rd of the way down from the top there is another pink plastic strip.  This one has a clear rubberband attached to it.  Cut the rubber band to free Kyla’s hair.  

Finally, turn the doll around.  Around her neck there are two clear rubberbands that you can either cut or pull off.  I am not very steady with scissors, so I pulled them off.  It can be kind of hard to loop your fingers under the rubberbands, but once these are off Kyla is free of the backing and is ready to be played with.

You will have to either cut the clear rubber bands or wiggle your fingers in there and pull them off the hook.

Kyla comes with a very simple outfit.  She is dressed in a colorful tunic, white Capri pants, and orange strapy sandals.  Kyla has brownish hazel eyes, “real” upper eyelashes, and long brown hair.  My Kyla doll is stuffed really well.  This seems to be the case with the London dolls since Callie is the same way). Kyla has the same face mold as Kelsey, Meredith, and Jordanna.  I really like Kyla!  She looks great in a lot of different colors and types of outfits.  I was surprised at how different she can look than the other three girls.  Don’t get me wrong, there is no way you can’t see that she has the same face mold as the other girls, but she looks enough different that Kyla seems like an individual.

Kyla is able to put her arms out to her side at about a 45 degree angle, either up or down.  She can also keep her arms close to her body and rotate them 360 degrees.  Her legs and arms are perfect as far as the stiffness of the joints.   She stands well on her own.  My dolls head moves really well (like Chavonne’s).  Kyla has the same movement for her hip joints as every other 18” doll out there.  Her legs stay straight if she sits at an angle, but if you want to sit Kyla up on her own, she has to sit spread eagle.  I really dislike this…but as I said most 18” dolls have the same feature.

Kyla has only two minor issues.  The first is that she had a small black mark on her cheek.  I was able to get this off with some backing soda, water, a wash cloth, and a little elbow grease.  

The black mark near Kyla's ear came off with some scrubbing. 

The second thing was that that there was a thread that was sticking out from Kyla’s torso, between the vinyl breastplate and the cloth torso.  I tugged on the thread a little just to make sure that it wasn’t going to pull things apart.  I ended up cutting the thread off as close to the body as I could.  Not big issues…no color transfer or issues with the her joints.

A loose end was easily cut to prevent any further issues.

The outfit that Kyla comes in is cute.  I still like Dana’s and Chavonne’s outfits better, but this outfit is cute.  The tunic is nice and bright.  It has Velcro up the back, that makes it very easy to put on, but can make it difficult to keep Kyla’s hair out of.  The fabric is a bit stiff.  I’m not sure if that will get better with time or if it is just the type of fabric.  It isn’t horrible, it’s just stiffer than the other clothes that the Journey Girls have.  Her Capri’s are great.  I’d like them to be a little higher, but they are still super cute.  They look longer because the sandals go up higher than normal.  

The strappy sandals match the orange colors in the tunic.  I like the design of the sandals a lot.  On the back of the sandals there are clasps that help hold the sandals on.  I wish these were on the front, but I am glad they are there rather than just being open like Dana’s boots.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 8 – Along with Chavonne, Kyla has the most flexibility and best joints of the Journey Girl Dolls that I have.  I wish that she was able to put her arms straight out to the side and that her legs could go straight out in front of her when she sat.  Neither of these things inhibit the playability of Kyla.  It is still easy to get clothes on and off of her.  She is still able to sit on her own or with something behind her.  The only thing is for collectors that like to pose their dolls, this may restrict the poses that you can put Kyla in.

Quality - 8 – The Journey Girl Dolls in general are made well.  Kyla has good quality vinyl, her hair is some of the best I’ve seen on the Journey Girls, the clothes are good quality, and the joints are solid and move freely.  I have mentioned this before, but my one concern is longevity of the vinyl.  Is it going to get shinny, loose color, get harder?  That could be many, many years down the line.

Adorableness - 9 – I love Kyla!  She has really become one of my favorite dolls.  She has such a cute face (all of the Journey Girls do!).  She looks wonderful in many, many different color outfits.  Very, very cute doll. 

Compatibility - 6 – Kyla has the same compatibility as all of the Journey Girls.  She fits great into dresses from American Girl, Our Generation, and The Queen’s Treasure.  Pants, shorts, and skirts are a little big on her.  Some shirts can be big also.   Shoes from all of the companies seem to fit, but Our Generation plastic shoes are big and fall off.  I will have reviews of different outfits from different companies later.  So keep your eyes out for that!

Overall Score - 8 – Kyla is an awesome doll.  She is versatile, well made, and just too darn cute!   Kyla has the same issues that all of the Journey Girls have (none of which are real issues…more like things I wish they had).  She is a great play doll, with lots of different clothing options.  She is also a great collectors doll, making a very cute display doll.  I would recommend her to anyone looking for a cute 18” vinyl doll!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Journey Girls Kelsey's Snow Days

Kelsey's Snowy Adventure

I love reviewing everything Journey Girls.  But sometimes you have to take a break and have some fun!  Besides…a blog that has the word "Adventure" in its title should have some adventures!

Being from the northern part of the states we still had snow at the end of April.  Kelsey got sick of staying inside and decided to venture out into the snow.  Luckily I had just received a new winter jacket and mittens from The Queen's Treasures.  

Kelsey out for a walk by the stream.

The outfit comes with the jacket, long sleeved shirt, mittens, and black pants (no boots).  The Queen's Treasures outfits are designed for American Girl dolls, so they are a little big around the waist for the Journey Girls.  So Kelsey is wearing Dana's skirt, Journey Girls boots (from a shoe accessory pack), and tights from an Our Generation outfit.

The mittens are a little big, but they work…and are really cute.  I love the faux fur hood on the jacket.  I also really like that the jacket zips.  I'll have a full review of the outfit at a later date.

Kelsey showing her adventurous side.
Posing with her cute hood up.

Do you want to build a snowman?
A beautiful sunrise on a fun snowy day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Journey Girls Doll Dana Review

Welcome Dana

There are a few things about Dana that I really like.  She is very unique in that she is the only Journey Girl with short hair, and she has glasses.  She also has a different face mold, that seems to be unique to her.  Her jawline seems to be stronger, making her face look wider, and her eyes look bigger.  Out of the six main Journey Girls Dolls, Dana and Chavonne's outfits are the most appealing to me.

Toys R Us describes Dana as a girl that "hates to leave home without one of her furry friends!  She's always sure to hit zoos, aquariums and natural animal habitats wherever she travels.  She loves volunteering at the local animal shelter where she feeds and plays with all the critters.  Outside of the shelter, she works hard at finding every animal a good home by putting up flyers and posting ads on the Internet.

Dana comes in a long sleeved grey shirt with a horse printed on the front, a soft white "lacy" shirt, a red belt with a bow on the front, checked black leggings, black boots, a "newsboy" style hat, and her glasses.  Dana looks very different with her glasses off.  Either way she is an adorable doll.

Dana came with a few issues.  Unlike Meredith and Kelsey, she has no issues with her joints.  Like Meredith she does have color transfer from her clothes, specifically her leggings.  The marks are not very dark, but they are noticeable.  They are also on both legs and in multiple spots on each leg.  I have read a few other reviews and this is apparently common issue with Dana's leggings.

Dana's leggings have some issues of there own.  The top of the leg gins are sewn well, no issues.  The bottom part of the leggings stop halfway up her calf.  They are not sewn at the ends and are very uneven.  So far there has been no issues with the ends fraying or the leggings getting a run in them.  Without high boots on the leggings ends are not covered and they look ridiculous.

Dana's short hair is one of her more unique features.  It's one of the reasons I like her so much.  But her hair is cut willy-nilly.  I trimmed her hair so that it is closer to straight across in the back.  The photo shows one end before I cut it.  Again, other reviews have found the same issue with their dolls.  It is a very easy fix, but it is still annoying, especially when the rest of the doll is so wonderful.

Like the other Journey Girls, Dana's arms go up and down, but not out to the side.  She sits with her legs out in a "V" rather than straight ahead.  She has a half vinyl, half cloth torso.  Her hair is rooted like the other girls, but because it is shorter it is not as thick.  In some places it is actually very thin.  You can actually see Dana's scalp and the roots more than with any of the other Journey Girls.

This is with Dana lying on her tummy.  I did not part her hair.  Because her hair is short I think it's easier to see the roots.

As I mentioned earlier, I love Dana's outfit.  I think it is the right amount of cute, functionality, and personality for her.  She looks like a girl that would go out and help every animal she could.   I love the skirt!  It is very easy to slide on (no velcro…yah!) and it is well made.  The belt can also double as a head band (although the outfit doesn't look as good that way).  I even love her leggings, even with all of their flaws.

The skirt has a nice cotton "slip" attached to the underneath.

Two things I should mention.  One is that the boots can be a bit of a pain in the butt to get on.  Because they are plastic and taller, they can stick on Dana's heals.  With a little wiggling they will slide on though.  Since they are plastic they have a long slit in the back to allow you to get Dana's feet in.  Once her feet are in there is no way to clasp the boot closed…leaving the slit open.  (You can see this in the photo where I talk about Dana's leggings)

The second thing is that Dana's glasses do not stay on well without her hat on.  They slide down to the tip of her nose.  So she is always glancing over the top of them.  If you keep her hat on, there is no problem, they will stay where they should.  If you take the hat off, the only way to get them to stay is keep the little clear plastic "rubber band" that wraps around Dana's head.  I couldn't figure out a good way to use this and keep her hair in a way that looked good…so Dana got contacts!


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 7  - Out of the four dolls I have so far, Dana has the best joints.  Her arms and legs move
very smoothly, with no issues.  She has the same poseability restrictions that all of the Journey Girls have.  Her ability to move is on par with similar 18" dolls.

Quality - 6  - Well…my Dana has a few issues.  She has horribly cut hair, black dye spots on her legs, the leggings themselves are not great, the thickness of her hair, and the fact that her glasses don't stay on all factor into her score.  On the other hand, she has wonderfully solid joints, she is stuffed really well, and she looks so darn adorable in her outfit!  At the price point that she is I can understand some of theses issues, but I would be willing to pay just a little more (in the $50 range) for a better doll without the issues.    Still, in my opinion the Journey Girls have some of the best facial features and the vinyl they are made of is outstanding.

Adorableness - 8 - Dana is adorable!  I wish her glasses stayed on better, because she is super cute with them on.  Without her glasses, Dana looks like her eyes are bigger than the otherJourney Girls (they aren't..but they look it).   She looks just as adorable with or without her glasses.  Dana's "meet" outfit is great.  It compliments who she is well.

Compatibility - 6 - Dana can wear all of the same clothes that the other Journey Girls can (See my other reviews for a list of those brands that fit).  Other dolls glasses do not fit well on her.   Look for future reviews of the different outfits.

Overall Score - 7 - Dana has some issues, but nothing major enough for me not to like her.  I wish that
things fit a little better and that the care for quality assurance was better, but overall I am happy with Dana.  I think she has the most unique face of the Journey Girls, with her bright blue eyes, strong jawline, and cute little glasses. Her hair being short also adds to her individuality.  Dana will make a great addition to your collection of Journey Girls.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Journey Girls Doll Meredith Review

Meet Meredith

Meredith is one of the four original Journey Girls Dolls.  She has not changed much since she was introduced.  I have Meredith from the Paris collection.

Meredith "is an awesome athlete that can beat all the boys - including her 3 older brothers!  Although she's great at every sport she tries, snowboarding is her favorite, so she loves to discover new places to hit the slopes.  Although Meredith is ultra-confident and always speaks her mind, she gets very nervous and shy around really cute boys."

Meredith has long bright blonde hair that has a little bit of curl to it.  She has vibrant, sky blue eyes and "real" eyelashes.  She comes in blue pants and a grey t-shirt with "I love Paris" printed on it.  She also has a pink sweater, a grey beanie, and pink and white tennis shoes.

Meredith's outfit goes along well with her persona of being very athletic, but it is still girlie enough to look cute on her.  I like her with her beanie off, but I am excited to have the beanie for outside adventures.  Her pants really bring out her vibrant blue eyes.

As I mentioned in my review of Jordanna, Meredith and her look very similar.  They obviously have the same face mold, as do Kelsey and Kyla.  To me Jordanna and Meredith look the most similar to each other.  You can see in these photos how Meredith has more of a "natural" look than Jordanna does with her bright lipstick.

Meredith has the same flexibility in her joints as The other Journey Girls Dolls.  My Meredith's left arm is very loose, especially as her arm is down.  Her arm still stays in the position that you put it, but if you put anything that had weight in her hand it would pull her arm down.  Her arms go up and out the same amount as Kelsey and Jordanna.

When I changed Meredith for the first time I noticed that she had some marks on her right arm.  Her marks were much less noticeable then the marks that were on Kelsey.  The pink marks were likely color transfer from her sweater, whereas the marks on Kelsey looked more like bruises and were in the vinyl body parts.  I used baking soda and some water to make a paste that was able to lighten the marks, but did not get rid of them.

The red circles show where the pink marks are on Meredith.  This is after I scrubbed them with the baking powder paste.
Meredith has the same half vinyl, half cloth torso as the other Journey Girls.  She has the same leg flexibility as the other dolls (which means that she has no flexibility).  Her legs go out when she sits on her.  If she is being held her legs can stay a little more straight, but she will not sit on her own this way, she needs something behind her to help her sit up.

I noticed that Meredith's seam in the back of her torso is a bit more loose and jagged than on Kelsey and Jordanna.  The body feels well stuffed and I can't see any stuffing coming out of the seam, but the seam does not look as clean tight as on the other two dolls.

Meredith, like most of the other Journey Girls comes only with her outfit.  In this case her outfit includes a beanie and a sweater on top of the basic pieces of her outfit.  All of the clothes are very well made.  The only thing that I am not sure of is the color transfer from the sweater.  I keep Meredith's sweater off of her, just in case.  I am sure that if I soak the sweater or wash it, it would not transfer the dye to the doll.  

Meredith's t-shirt uses velcro up the back to fasten it.  It is difficult to fasten the t-shirt all the way up without getting Meredith's hair in the velcro.  The other option is to turn her head around, so that her hair can't get snagged in the velcro.  Velcro is very easy for the kids to use, whereas snaps and the like are much harder for those little hands to get together. 

The Journey Girls tag is a bit large, but can fit under clothes.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 6  - Meredith is able to move pretty well.  Like all of the Journey Girls she can not put her
arms straight out to the side.  My Meredith also has some issues with her left arm being loose.  It's still pose able, but can not hold any weight.  I wish that her legs went straight when she sat down, but that is an issue with all of the Journey Girls.

Quality - 7  - My Meredith may have had more issues than others.  I actually purchased another Meredith and did not note the discoloration from her sweater, or the looseness of her arm.  That leads me to believe that each doll can be very different as far as the quality is concerned.  I rated the quality at "7" because Meredith is still made well, even with the few issues that she has.  Though the seam in her back is not very straight, it does seem tight and does not look like it will come apart.  Like all the Journey Girls, Meredith is a well put together doll.

Adorableness - 9 - Meredith's piercing blue eyes are amazing.  When she has a blue outfit on they look particularly beautiful.  Meredith was going to be the second doll I bought, because of how cute she is.  Her wavy blonde hair is very pretty.  Very cute!

Compatibility - 6 - There is no difference in the compatibility of Meredith compared to the other Journey Girls.   American Girl and Our Generation accessories and clothes fit,but are a little big.  Pants and shirts don't fit real well from these companies, however there is some fluctuation between each outfit, and some fit better than others.   Look for future reviews of other brands outfits.

Overall Score - 7 - Meredith is a really pretty doll.  She looks at home in pants and a t-shirt or in a beautiful sun dress.  I'm giving my Meredith doll a little bit lower score because of the issues with her arm and the discoloration that her sweater caused.  Overall, I would pick Meredith again over many of the other 18" dolls on the market.