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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kyla Wearing The Queen's Treasures Pink Jacket

Journey Girl Kyla Preparing for the Winter

Sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen, and going on sleigh rides; these are just some of the great things that can be done in the winter.  To play outside, a girl has to have the right outfit.  The Queen’s Treasures helps out with a beautiful warm pink jacket.  The jacket comes with a white t-shirt, that velcro’s up the back, black pants, pink knit mittens, and a sleeveless puffy pink jacket with a fur lined hood.  Not pictured is a hanger and a plastic garment bag that are also included  Kyla is wearing boots from a Journey Girls shoe pack. 

Kyla wearing The Queen's Treasures pink winter jacket.
This is a great winter outfit.  The jacket itself is wonderfully made.  All the stitching is high quality.  The jacket looks like a puffy jacket you would get for any little girl.  The zipper works really well.  It is a little big, but not horrible.  I like that the Queens Treasures used a zipper rather than Velcro, like the American Girl doll jacket.  The hood fits well.  It is difficult to get all of Kyla’s hair in the hood and pull it up where it looks okay.  You can put Kyla’s hair down the inside, back of the jacket, if you don’t like it out the side.  I like the “fur” on the hood.  I would like white fur, but I like that the Queen’s Treasures decided to do something different than American Girl and everyone else.

The shirt is big on Kyla.  It still fits, but it is big.  The Queen’s Treasures items are made for American Girl dolls, which have bigger torsos then the Journey Girls.  The pants are also big.  The pants fit better than the shirt, though.  The pants won't fall down, they just aren't as fitted as Journey Girl brand pants. With the jacket on you really can’t tell that either the shirt or the pants are big on Kyla.  The mittens are awesome.  Again they are a bit big, but still fit.  The color is different than the jacket.  The colors don’t clash, they are just a little different.

Comparing this jacket to the American Girl jacket is hard.  The American Girl jacket is so, so cute.  It’s a different style than this one.  I think the American Girl jacket is a bit more dressy.  I can’t see the girls going out and having a snowball fight in the AG jacket.  The Queen’s Treasures jacket can be used for playing, but without sleeves, it’s probably not a dressy jacket.  Over all I would pick the Queen’s Treasures jacket.  It is a full outfit, rather than just a jacket.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 9 – This jacket is awesome!  Especially since it is an outfit rather than just a jacket.  It's not as puffy as the American Girl jacket, but nothing that makes it feel cheap.  Everything is well made.  At under $30 this is a great outfit.  Two things that would have made it a ten; shoes or boots included, and sleeves.

Fitment 9 – The jacket fits perfectly on Kyla.  The pants and shirt are big, but still fit okay.  As you can see in the photos, you can't really tell that the shirt and pants are big.  The mittens are great and fit well. 

Versatility 9 – Just like the American Girl coatthis is a one hit wonderas far as the jacket is concerned.  The shirt and pants are wonderfully versatile.  The jacket is more of a playtime jacket, rather than a dressy winter coat.  That is good, the girls need something to wear while playing in the snow.

Cuteness 9 – This outfit is great! The jacket is really cute.   I love the fur accented hood.  The mittens are awesome!  It's a grab ensemble.  Againwish it can with boots.

Overall 9 – This is definitely a 9.  No issues, great design, cute looks, good versatility, and great value! Watch for specials on the outfit to get it 40% off.  That is a steal!!!  If you are looking for a great winter play outfit, this is the one I would suggest.  Keep warm!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Journey Girls at the Beach

Kyla, Dana, Meredith, and Kelsey Spend a Day in the Sand

 The girls decided that before the weather gets too cold, they would go to the beach one more time.  It was a beautiful day, with lots to do.

Meredith playing the sand
Meredith started building a sand castle.  When Kelsey saw her building the castle she came over to Meredith.  "That looks like fun.  Can I help you build the sand castle?", asked Kelsey.

"Sure," said Meredith with a smile.  "We should make it really big!"

"Let's get Dana and Kyla to help," suggested Kelsey.  
They hollered to Dana and Kyla and they all helped each other build a castle at the edge of the water.

Meredith, Dana, Kelsey, and Kyla building a sand castle.
 "Wow!  That is an awesome castle!" exclaimed Dana.

"Yeah," replied Kyla, "It really is cool.  I think I'm done with sand castle building…I'm going to go look for sea shells."  So Kyla let the other three girls and walked along the lake shore to look for sea shells.
Kyla walks along the lake shore looking for shells.
She spots some in the sand and starts digging.  These are really pretty!

Kyla finds some sea shells.
Meanwhile Kelsey decided to play with the beach ball for awhile.

Kelsey playing at the beach.
While Dana relaxed in the sun.

Dana catching some rays!
After awhile it got too hot in the sun and Dana decided to go swimming.  She wasn't a very good swimmer yet, so she brought her left vest.  She puts on her goggles hoping to see some fish as she is swimming.

Dana in her goggles

Dana wading out into the water.
Kelsey has a different idea about being in the lake.  She gets her lounger and takes a nice leisurely float around for awhile.  There is nothing better than floating around the lake on a nice sunny day.

Kelsey relaxing on her lounger

Kelsey loves floating around the lake

Oh, what a beautiful day!

Meredith decides to join Kelsey and Dana in the water.  She has brought a ring to swim in.  She wades out into the water before plunging in and floating on her back.  She decides to go out a little deeper in the water.  She kicks out until she's past the point that her toes can touch the bottom.

Meredith wades into the water.

Meredith floating on her back.

Meredith goes out until she can't touch the bottom, then decides to come back in to shore.
Meredith decides that's far enough and comes back in to shore.  The other girls follow her.  They sit on the shore for a few minutes drying off in the warm sun.

"This has been a great day," says Meredith.

"This has been an awesome day!" Kyla says smiling.  Everyone agrees.

What's everyone wearing?

Kelsey is wearing the Journey Girls swimsuit from the London line.
Meredith is wearing an old Journey Girls bikini.
Kyla is wearing a swimsuit from the Springfield Collection.
Dana is wearing the swimsuit from the Our Generation set that I reviewed.