Saturday, November 19, 2016

Journey Girls Bistro Table Set

A Review of the Journey Girls Bistro Set

Recently the Journey Girls line has been coming out with new accessories that can go with the dolls. This year one of the sets that came out was a very cute cafĂ© set. It includes two chairs, a table , two plates, two cloth place mats, a couple cups,  a stand for treats and then a few macaroons and little finger sandwiches.  Journey Girls accessories can be very hit or miss, with some being high quality and others being low quality or poorly designed.  Which one is this set.  Well, let's take a look and find out!

Let's start by looking at the table. The table is made of four molded plastic pieces the need to be assembled to complete the table.  

Putting the table together is simple if you follow the directions that come with the set.  Once the table is together, you may notice that the table is a little wobbly.  It won't break without some force, but is is not as stable as similar tables offered by Our Generation or American Girl.  This is most likely due to plastic being a hallow or curved out mold, rather than being solid. 

Doesn't mean that the table is bad, it's just not going to hold a lot of weight. Quality aside, the table is absolutely cute as can be, with an imprinted design on the top that makes it look like wrought iron.  

The chairs are very similar to the table as far as the construction and material. Make sure you follow along with the directions though because they are a little bit more difficult to put together. "Difficult", probably isn't the right word.  It is tricky to get all of the pieces to click into place.  Once together the chairs are sturdier than the table but still disappointing as far as quality.  Each chair has a nice cushion on the top that is has a pretty striped print on it.  

One thing to note is that Toys "R" Us has again put their huge tag on the chair.  Rather than putting it on the bottom, where it would be less obvious, it is on the top side of these chair.  If you are going to take the tag off, be careful.  Don't try to pull it off, cut it off.  I tried to pull mine out a little bit to cut it and I pulled part of the cushion out of the chair.  The back of the chairs has a beautiful curl wrought iron design. The legs are also a curled design. 

The place mats match the seat cushions.  With no hems, they look more like small swatch of fabric  cut into a rectangle, than place mats. Nothing very fancy but it is kind of nice to have the place mat specially since it matches the seat cushion. The plates are a simple pink plastic plate smaller than some of the dinner plates the Journey Girls have out.  They are a great size for tea time though. The cups are the same color as the plates.  A very simple teacup.

The treat stand is a nice silver gray color and has three tiers each with small plates that go on to it. The plates fall off fairly easily especially if you tip the stand. Keep it upright and the plates should stay on just fine. There is enough room on the plates to put all of the macaroons, cookies, and cupcake that come with the set. The food items feel more plasticy and are hollowed out compared to the Our Generation food, which are solid.   Still good quality; they look great and fit well in the dolls hands

Getting your doll to sit at the table is a bit of a challenge, partly because of how the Journey Girls legs spread as they sit.  The size of the table makes it so that you can have one doll sitting there, but if you add a second doll, her legs will be all the way across into the other dolls lap. 

Or if you have their feet touching the ground, their butt won't quite be on the seat and they slide off fairly easily. So you can make it work, but like many of the other tables that are out there, your dolls feet will be in each others laps.  

All ratings are out of 10

Playability 8 – Though the quality of the table isn't extremely high, it is good enough.  The set comes with everything you need to have a little tea party (well except a tea pot)  The table and chairs are very cute.  It would be nice to have macaroons that aren't the same color as the table though.  The macaroons fit nicely in the dolls hands, as do the cups (with a little wiggling)

Value 8 – At $24.99, you get a good amount of items for that cost.  The set often goes on sale for $19.99, which is really where it should be priced anyways.  Although the set isn't quite the same quality as an Our Generation or American Girl set, it is costs less than a comparable set from these two companies.  For the price, it is a good set, and the design of the chairs is just super cute!

Quality 5 –I could tell from the photos that this was not going to be a super sturdy table.  The quality is okay, but not amazing.  The table is able to twist, the chair cushions are not held to the plastic with anything but friction, the food feels dollar store quality.  All of that being said, for the cost, this is a good set.

Overall 7 – Although it isn't the highest quality table set on the market, it is a good quality, and is similar in quality to all of the other Journey girls items.  Only when you compare it to other companies accessories does it not look so amazing.  The design of the chairs and table are very cute.   It is a perfect look for a bistro set.   If you can find it on sale for around $20, it is well worth the money.  Just know it's not perfect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Autumn Bike Ride

Kyla and Veronika Ride Through the Woods

On a beautiful, crisp, fall day Kyla and Veronika decide to go for a bicycle ride around the neighborhood trails.

The trail winds around a small park then dives into the woods.  They cruise down the trail, giggling as they glide down the hill parallel the stream.

Kyla looks over at Veronika, "The trees have lost so many of their leaves."

"Yeah, but I love to ride through all the leaves on the ground.

Kyla laughed, and Veronika joined in as they continued riding through the woods.  Suddenly Veronika rides ahead of Kyla, lifts her feet off the pedals, kicks her legs forward, squealing, "Ha ha! feet!"  She giggles wildly as she cruises ahead of Kyla.

Kyla races in front of Veronika and hollers back, "Oh yeah....look at this!"  Kyla throws her hands up in the air, peddling her bike furiously.

"No hands!"  The bike wiggles a little, but Kyla keeps the bike upright.  She laughs nervously.

Veronika comes alongside Kyla, "I saw you wiggle as you did that."

Smiling Kyla responds, "Maybe a little, but I totally was in control."  They both laugh.  Following the trail, they come out of the woods and back into the neighborhood.  A great ride through the woods on a beautiful fall day.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Journey Girls Celebration Chiffon Dress

Alana In a Beautiful Celebration Outfit

A favorite part of the Journey Girls collection is the “Celebration” outfits, which come out each year before the holidays.  This year three outfits were released including the red outfit that we are going to review today. The outfit comes with the dress, a pair of sandals, and a purse.

The dress is always the main part of the Celebration outfits, usually made of higher quality materials than the regular Journey Girls. This dress has a red chiffon overlay on the top and on the bottom. The red chiffon is tied in a knot at the middle of the halter neckline. 

There is silver braided string that wraps around Alana’s neck and has a piece of Velcro in the back to hold it secure. 

The gathered chiffon flows from the knot, to the side of the dress right underneath the arms where it is sewn into the  side seam.  The chiffon that makes up the skirt is sewn into an inverted V shape right below Alana's breast plate.  Around the waist of the skirt there is more chiffon that is sewn into two wing like pieces of fabric. 

The chiffon wings start about an inch in from Alana’s side and wrap all the way around the back to the center. They curve down from the front all the way to the back so that the back is almost the full length of the dress. Underneath these wings is another layer of chiffon that stays right with the dress. Under that layer is a layer satin fabric that is just a plain straight satin dress.

The sandals that come with this outfit are almost identical to the ones that come with the pink outfit, the only difference is the color. The sandals are black with black sparkly straps across the toes and around the ankle. It is nice to have black sandals rather than red sandals, especially since the black will go with a lot of other outfits.

A cute little black hand purse accompanies the dress.  It is made of satin material, with a bow at the top. A piece of silver, glitter ribbon is wrapped around the middle of the bow.  Although Alana has no trouble holding the purse in her hand, there is a silver braided rope loop that can be wrapped around her wrist also.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 – Similar to the pink dress, this is more of a simple dress then some of the Celebrate outfits we have seen in the past, however it is still a very nice dress.  Again, would like to see different shoes, but these aren’t bad.

Fitment 10 - Dress fits beautifully.  As do the sandals.  Each time I look at this dress, I think that the knot is just a little off to the side.  Even when I move the dress, it still looks off.  I think it’s just my eyes.

Versatility 5 - The shoes and purse can be used with other outfits.  The dress can not.  Adding a sweater can change the feel of the outfit, but the dress is still a formal dress.

Cuteness 8 - The style of this dress looks more mature than the pink Celebrate dress.  It is still a cute dress.  Love the wings on the side of the dress that add another layer.

Overall 8 -  Not blown away by this outfit, but I’m not disappointed by it either.  I feel like the dress is a nice dress, that is made well, just wish for a little more.  The Celebration outfits are so beautiful and are meant to be formalwear…then go all out.  This would be an amazing dress if it was floor length and had a small train.  Still the outfit is beautiful and the shoes are nice.

AG note- The purse is the only thing that fits on an AG doll, and even that is difficult to get on her wrist.  

The dress will stay on and can be Velcroed, but just at the very top.  

And your doll will not be able to sit…ever!  The silver rope just fits around Annie’s neck. 

The whole outfit looks uncomfortably tight.  This one is only for Journey Girls!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Journey Girls Rosette Sleeveless Gown Review

Kelsey in the New York Celebration Outfit

One of the best things to come out of the Journey Girls lineup is the “Celebration” outfits. These outfits are usually fancier gown style outfits that are made with a little higher quality material, have great embellishments, and are made to go with the holiday special edition dolls.  This year there are three different outfits: a red outfit with a halter top, a light blue sheer short dress and the dress that we're looking at today, which is a beautiful pink floral top dress.

Celebration outfits do not come with very much, usually shoes and a purse or shoes and a headband.  This is true with this outfit.  It comes with shoes and a handbag, and of course the dress.   You're really paying for the dress when you get these outfits.

The dress is a “strapless” dress with a long flowing skirt that goes just to above Kelsey's feet. The top part of the dress has fabric roses around the whole top of it made out of a very light sheer fabric.  

There are clear plastic straps to help hold the dress up, although they're probably not needed.   You may want to keep them on though just to help hold the dress up.

At the waist there is a half inch pink ribbon that matches the dress, going all the way around, and stitched at the sides and at the back. The ribbon separates the top, which is an empire waist and the bottom which has a long two layered skirt.

The top layer of the dress is a see-through pink fabric that is gathered at the waist right underneath the pink ribbon. Underneath of that is a satin pink skirt that is ankle length. The satin layer is a bit more form fitting then the top layer which is very flowy. Together these two layers make for a very beautiful dress.

Lately Toys R Us has been giving us a few different shoes rather than the normal plastic low heels. In this case we get sparkly gray sandals with silver straps. There is one strap that goes across the toes and another that goes around Kelsey's ankle. The sandal is nothing special but it does look very pretty with Kelsey's outfit.

Purses with the Journey Girls outfits are very hit or miss; sometimes they can be amazing and other times they are definitely a quick add on. In this case the purse is fairly nice but doesn't quite make it into perfect. It's made out of the same material the top of Kelsey's dress is, with fabric pink flowers adorning the entire thing. It is a hand purse with no way of closing the top. 

There is a little piece of silver fabric that is made to look like a clasp on the front. Then there is silver rope ribbon for the handle. Not quite big enough to fit around Kelsey’s wrist easily, but it does fit. You are just going to have to finagle it on there. Kelsey is able to hold onto the purse with just her hand, not the strap.

All rating are out of 10

Value 7 - Celebration dresses are very beautiful and this dress is no exception. There's not a whole lot to the set; you are definitely paying for the top of the dress which is quite intricate. Overall a good outfit but for $20 I would hope for better shoes and a nicer purse.  Still a great outfit.

Fitment 10 - This dress fits perfectly which is to be expected since it is a Journey Girls outfit,  made specifically for them. I do wish that the dress was just a little bit longer, it just barely touches the floor, this dress would be amazing with a small train. A minor complaint when viewing the dress as a whole.

Versatility 5 - A formal dress is a formal dress. There is really nothing that this dress is going to be used for other than a formal occasion.  The sandals could be used with other outfits which is nice. The purse can also be used with other outfits, since it's fairly simple and the pink is a nice color that goes with a lot of other outfits.

Cuteness 9 - This dress is adorable.  The little fabric flowers that make up the top of the dress are just gorgeous. The color is nice and will look good on almost all of the Journey Girls. The flowing fabric on top of the skirt makes a wonderful dress. Overall this is a beautiful and cute outfit.

Overall 8 - A great outfit a very cute dress, okay shoes and an okay purse. Not the best celebration outfit that Toys R Us has put out but it's definitely not the worst.  I think the cuteness of this outfit really brings the rating up. It’s just so darn cute! This is a wonderful dress that is well worth adding to your collection.

AG note - This dress does fit American girls. It is very tight in the back and around the arms. I had to squeeze in Leah's butt to get the dress on. 

You'll also probably end up stretching the little plastic straps that go around Leah's shoulders. It's okay if you're going to use this just for an American girl doll but if you are going to use it with your Journey Girls it may stretch it. 

As with all of the Journey Girls outfits the shoes do not fit the American girls at all. The purse does work, however getting it around an American Girl’s wrist is very difficult. Like many of the Journey Girls outfits this one is great if you have the Journey Girls but if you're buying it just for the American girl dolls it's probably not the best way to use your money. 

However if you can find it on a good sale and you just want to use it with your American Girls it might be worth it. If you're going to use this with your Journey Girls and sometimes with your American Girl doll this is an amazing outfit. It'll look great on your Journey Girl and it fits pretty decent on your American girls.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Giovanna In a New York Outfit

Journey Girls Giovanna Tries on a New Outfit

With the release of the New York Journey Girls comes new outfits.  Today's review is on the beautiful black dress with white strips.

Like many of the Journey Girl outfits this one has a dress, shoes, a headband, and a purse. The top is a simple black cotton with gold “necklaces” embroidered into the jewel style neckline. 

The three gold necklaces hang around the front of the dress, but end at the shoulders.  It would be nice to actually have real necklaces on the dress rather than embroidered ones but it's still a nice addition and really makes the dress looks very sophisticated.

The skirt of the dress is attached and has two layers. The bottom layer is black cotton and goes just below Giovanni's knees. 

The top layer is the sheer layer of fabric that has white stripes that make a crisscross pattern on the dress. If you look closely you will see a similar pattern of intersection black lines.  Fairly simple but still very elegant. This dress really reminds me of a business attire dress; something you might find in an Ann Taylor store. 

The sandals on with this outfit are very similar to all the other scandals that come with journey girls outfits. The big difference is that they are gold rather than the normal colors. 

Very pretty, but nothing really that different than we've seen before.  zThe have a pair of crossed straps at the toes and a single strap around the ankle.   

The yellow purse is made out of a leather type of material, it's very simple but goes well with the outfit and really stands out. An open style bag, the purse has no clasp.  

There are gold fabric squares around the handles connection points with the purse.  Made to be a hand held purse, it can go on Giovanna's shoulder, but it is difficult especially to get it to stay, especially if the outfit has sleeves.

The last thing in this set is the headband. It is made out of the same type of leather material as the purse. The gold material wraps most of the way around Giovanna's head, with a 4 inch elastic strap stretching the rest of the way.   

In the top middle of the leather there is a leather flower, again made out of the same gold material. It's very pretty but it doesn't necessarily go really really well with this outfit.  More of a plain band would work better, one that is maybe thinner and without the flower. 

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – Great dress.  Very nice quality.  Could have had real necklaces, rather than embroidered ones.  The headband is cute, but looks a little out of place with it's flower.  Still, you get a good amount for the cost of the outfit.

Fitment 10 – Everything fits great.  Even the sandals are a perfect fit.  Wish the handles on the purse were a bitt larger to accommodate placing the purse on Giovanna's shoulders, but it works great as a hand purse.

Versatility 8 – The dress itself is such a versatile dress.  It is elegant enough to be a semi-formal dress, but not so fancy that it can't be an out on the town outfit.  There are no "parts" to the dress, being that it is all in one, but it still can be used in different situations.  The sandals, purse and headband all have great potential to be used with other outfits.  That yellow purse will add some pizzaz to any outfit!

Cuteness 9 – Giovanna, or any of the other Journey Girls look great in this dress.  Great design!  Love it!  Again, wish the necklaces weren't just embroidery.

Overall 9 – This outfit is great; it's very, very pretty, it's made well and has some pretty good accessories.  The business style of it fits what I think of as chic New York style.  It would be nice to see the outfit with a real necklace accessory and a different headband.  Still very cute.  Out of all of the outfits that were released with the New York line this is one of my favorites. Partly because it really shows the elegance and the style of New York. I would definitely suggest getting this outfit as it's very nice. As with most Journey Girl outfits I would also suggest making sure you soak this outfit. I know that Toys R Us and Journey Girls has worked hard at making better quality outfits, but I'm not quite sure that they have reduced all of the issues with the dye transfer onto the vinyl.  So I would suggest soaking this outfit before you put it on your doll.  

AG Note - Like many of the Journey Girl outfits this one doesn't fit extremely well on American Girl dolls.  

It is tight, barley closing in the back with the Velcro.  The straps are also tight, squeezing the underarms and making it challenging to move Serafina's arms.  

The skirt part of the dress is a great length, fitting well.  The headband fits perfectly, of course why wouldn't it be. 

The sandals do not fit at all.  The Journey Girls feet are much skinnier than the American Girl dolls feet, making it impossible for the shoes to fit well one both of the dolls.  

This is a beautiful outfit for the Journey Girls, but not great for American Girl dolls.   If you are thinking of buying the outfit for your American Girl doll, this is not the best outfit to buy.