Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Journey Girl Kyla Review

New Kyla Doll

Two weeks ago I posted about the release of new outfits from the London line of the Journey Girls.  One of the things that was really interesting was that on the back the photo of the Journey Girls had different outfits than there London meet outfits.  And Kyla looked as though she had a new face sculpt!

Well…it is true.  Kyla has a new face sculpt.  I picked up the new doll to see if there were any other differences.  I was surprised by some of the changes and glad that others happened.  So let's take a look at the new Kyla doll.

Both of my Kyla's are from the London line.  New Kyla's box at first looks exactly the same as the one released at the beginning of the year.  The back however has the Journey Girls in their new outfits, and shows Kyla with her new face sculpt.

New Kyla's box front is identical to
old Kyla's.
Kyla's box front from the beginning
of the year. 
Notice that Chavonne and Callie's outfits
have not changed from the December
The back of Kyla's new box has the girls
in different outfits as well as having
Kyla's new face sculpt.

Opening the box is identical to all the other Journey Girls.  Find the 4 pieces of tape on the top, cut them (or peel it back), pop open the top, and pull out the cardboard backing that Kyla is attached to.

The red ovals show where the tape is on the box.  Cut or peel these back to get the box open.
Kyla attached to her cardboard backing.
On the back there are three plastic twists,
four plastic I-hooks, and a clear rubber
band that will need to be taken off.

There are three plastic twists (2 on Kyla's ankles and one near her head)that you will need to take off by cutting away the tape and then twisting the twists apart.  Also near the middle of the box there are four plastic I-hooks that will need to be cut, after removing the tape that is on top of them.

I've circled the I-hooks that you need to cut in order to get Kyla's jacket free.
There is a clear rubber band in the top left corner that is holding Kyla's hair to the backing.  You can cut this, or remove the tape and save the rubber band.  I saved mine; these work great for keeping items in the girls hands for photos.

Slip the gray piece out from under the clear rubber band to save it or just cut the rubber band. 
Turn the box around and undo the clear rubber band that goes around Kyla's neck.  Again you can cut this or take it off and save it.  I hate trying to cut it…I feel like I am going to cut hair, scratch the doll, or cut her clothes.  So I pull mine off.  No matter how you get the rubber band off, it is the last thing holding Kyla to the backing, so she will come free now.

The clear rubber band can be taken off or cut to free Kyla from her backing.
The twists around Kyla's feet are in her boots.  Yes that's right.  You need to take off her boots (which is real simple) to take the twists off completely.  I'm not sure why they did the twists this way… but okay.

Take Kyla's boots off to get the twists completely off of her.
Finally there is one more I-hook holding her coat together.  It is at the bottom, where the coat separates to take it off.  It is on the inside of the coat, making it very difficult to see. And it is very tiny, making it difficult to cut.  Once you have the I-hook cut, Kyla is ready to play with.

The I-hook is hard to see since it is on the inside of Kyla's jacket.  Once you cut this, she is ready for play.
Here is Kyla in her new meet outfit.  She has on black knee high boots, blue "spandex" pants with a black stripe running down the sides, a white tank top, and a beige cloth trench coat.  Completely fits the London theme.  This coat is different than the one Meredith is wearing in the London line.  Kyla's coat is not quite as cute as Meredith's, but it is very versatile.  And I like the little ruffles under the waist…I do wish they went all the way around (they go a little more than half way around the back).

Kyla's new London meet outfit.
The jacket has Velcro to close it.  Because of how the coat is made, the Velcro is off to the side. The  coat is made of a nice thick material.  I would be nice if it had a lining.  The stitching inside is a bit messy looking.   No big deal though.

Here you can see the Velcro that holds Kyla's coat closed.
Kyla is wearing a white sleeveless t-shirt under her coat.  It's not quite a tank top…not quite a t-shirt.  It is kind of see through.  I'm glad she has it though, it can be used with so many other outfits and accessories.
Kyla is wearing a t-shirt under her trench coat.

When I took Kyla's pants off, I got my first surprise.  She has on white footless tights under her pants.  At first I found this strange.  One of my concerns when I bought Kyla and saw the bright blue pants was color transfer.  About half of my Journey Girls have some color transfer from their meet clothes.  Most of the color transfer is small and in areas that the girls will always have clothes on, but not all of it.  I think that these tights are Toys R Us's solution to the color transfer problem.  Now that is just my speculation, but it is the only reason I can think to put tights under spandex.  No matter what the reason for the tights…I'm glad she has them.  I am always a little bummed when a doll comes without proper under garments.  I do wish they had feet on them…but again if they are mostly for color transfer, then why put feet on them.

Kyla with her surprising tights.

Be forewarned…Kyla is going to be naked for the next pictures as I compare her to the older London Kyla.

When I first put New Kyla next to my old Kyla, I thought that new Kyla was shorter.  When I actually measured them though, they are the same size.  New Kyla may be an eight of an inch shorter, but I kind of think that the discrepancy was because of my measuring skills.

The first thing that I noticed that was different was Kyla's cloth tummy.  It is made out of a different material.  The new material is slicker…maybe water resistant (I didn't try this theory).  It definitely has a different feel though.  It doesn't seem to make a difference as far as how the doll stands or looks. The top torso is the same, as well as the arms and hands.  The joints click, which is new.  Even after some moving around they still clicked in certain positions.  Unfortunately there is no better arm movement.  Also Kyla is plagued by the same problem that many of the Journey Girls have; one arm moves more fluidly than the other.  It's not loose, one is just harder to move than the other.

Here you can see the difference in the fabric between new Kyla (left) and old Kyla (right).
The second thing that I noticed is that Kyla's legs are different.  Specifically at the hip joint.  You can see from the photos that they flair out more and seem skinnier at the bottom.  I think this makes her look older in age than before.

Kyla's hip joints are different now.  Her legs have a little flair to them at the hip (left) than the more straight look of older Kyla (right).
A closer view of new Kyla's legs.  Notice her hips seem to flair and
 I think her legs look skinnier at the bottoms. 
Old Kyla's legs don't have a flair at the hip, which makes them look
stockier at the bottom.  I think they are actually the same at the bottom. 

The hip joint seems different also.  To me it seems like the joint makes Kyla's legs go out wider when she sits (which was already an issue).  Now she is definitely doing the splits when she sits on her own.

The girls do the splits to sit.  New Kyla (left) seems to do a larger split with her new hip joints.
The last thing to note as the girls are naked is a new stamp on Kyla's back.  She has a "Geoffrey LLC" stamp on her lower back, right before the cloth torso, as well as the stamp that is on all of the Journey Girls necks.  Plus the huge tag that says Journey Girls…I think it will be easy to identify if the doll is a Journey Girl or not.

Kyla's new stamp to make sure you know she is the real deal.
So lets talk about the most obvious difference in the Kyla's and the main reason for this review…her face.  I really like the new face sculpt…but I am a bit saddened by it also.  I think the face sculpt makes Kyla look more mature, more grown up.  The day I found Kyla, Toys R Us had some of the new accessories for the Journey Girls.  One of which was a hair styling studio.  The photo on the box shows Kyla with her new face sculpt with a blond haired blue eyed girl with the same face sculpt.  Now it could be that this photo was taken with prototypes and Toys R Us decided only to release Kyla with the new face sculpt.  Or it could mean that most of the girls will get a new face sculpt.  Or (the most unlikely scenario) it could mean that they are releasing a brand new girl to the line up.

Anyways, lets look at the faces.  New Kyla's head is actually a bit more round.  Her hairline is different, not as much forehead and less arch to the hairline.  New Kyla's eyes are a little different shape as well as being set wider apart.  Her nose is a little thinner and seems to be further from her eyes.  Lastly her lips are in a bigger smile and not quite as pursed.

Kyla's new face sculpt.
Kyla's old face sculpt looks younger in age to me.

You can really see a change in the face from the profile.
Both dolls are very cute!

To me the vinyl seems to be a bit different also.  It seems softer.  It's not that it is squishy, it's more that the texture of the vinyl is soft.  It could just be that Kyla is so new.  I noticed it the most on her face, but her arms and legs seem to be the same way.  Hopefully it is a good high quality vinyl that doesn't shine after a few years are become really ridged.

I hope that Kyla is the only Journey Girl to get a new sculpt.  It brings diversity to the group by having a different face.  I like the new smile she has and the shape of her eyes.  If you get a chance pick up an old Kyla and a new one.  Both are awesome.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 7 – The poseability did not change much for the new Kyla sculpt.  Her arms still do not go up all the way when they are out to her side.  Her head has great rotation.  As I mentioned earlier the joints seem to click in place.  I'm not sure if that is because she is so new and with time they will smooth out, or if it is a new feature.  The clicks seem to be in positions that would make sense for posing. The thing that brought Kyla down more than some of the other Journey Girls was her splaying  legs.  Her legs are so far out to the side when she sits that she looks like she is doing the splits.  There is no way for her to sit normally on a chair or the floor.  It looks goofy and very un-lady like.

Quality - 7 –  I feel like this newest iteration of Kyla is a little cheaper.  And honestly that is just a felling.  There is nothing on the doll that looks worse or gives a feeling of cheapness, especially compared to the dolls in past lines.  It could be that I have a few other brands of dolls now and comparatively Kyla doesn't feel as solid.  That being saidThe Journey Girls are the best value out there.  For the money you can not find a more adorable doll.  As I have mentioned before, the quality of the vinyl seems very good, the joints are solid (but seem to differ from doll to doll), and the quality of the cloth body is better on Kyla this time around.

Adorableness - 9 – I love Kyla's new face!!!  I liked Kyla's old sculptbut it is the same as Kelsey's Meredith's and Jordanna's.  It's nice to get a different face.  I think this sculpt stays true to the Journey Girls looks and feel for the line.  I do think it make Kyla look more mature.  Very cute!  I was excited to get her when I saw the photo on the outfit box a few weeks ago.

Compatibility - 6 – As with all of the other Journey Girls, Kyla is skinner than an American Girl doll ( which is what most other companies clothes fit).  So clothes from Our Generation, My Life, American Girl, Springfield Collection (JoAnn's and Michael's), and the Queens Treasures, are all a little big.  Dresses fit great, but are not form fitting.  Pants and skirts are loose and will sometimes fall off.  I have reviews of many of the different outfits hereso checkout what fits better than others.
Overall Score - 8 - I think that Kyla is a good solid 8.  She has some of the same issues that all the Journey Girls have (namely poseability restrictions and joint discrepancies).  Toys R Us has made  efforts to address the dye transfer issue (I would rather see them wash the fabric so that the dye can't transfer rather than put a barrier between the doll and the clothing) and has done a great job with diversifying the look of the Journey Girl line.  I love Kyla's new face.  I like this outfit; it fits with the London theme really well.  I like much more than I dislike.  If you get a chance, buy Kyla!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Have read lots of your blog now, I have finally been able to buy my own Kyla. I got her at Toys R Us on a recent trip to the UK and she is very cute. I did think that I preferred the older version but now I have my new version girl, I'm happy with her. I picked the one with the best eyes, though I have to say that all the girls in the store had quite good eyes, and although I wasn't able to take her out of the box in the store to check her hips, fortunately they too are good, her hips don't appear to be splayed out at all.
Now all I need is time to make her some new outfits as she is currently in her summer outfit that she came in, and although it's still lovely and warm here, she does need to be prepared in case we have a cold snap! ;)
Hugs Sharon in Spain