Saturday, July 30, 2016

New York Chavonne

How New is New York Chavonne?

Toys R Us has the Journey Girls travel to a new place each year.  This year the girls are traveling to New York.  Each girl (Kelsey, Mikaella, Callie, Meredith, Kyla, Dana, And Chavonne) are all released again, the only change from the last year being their outfit and maybe their shade of lipstick. This year Chavonne and Kelsey had actual physical changes to the dolls.  Today we will look at Chavonne and review the changes that she has gone through.

Chavonne comes in a new box, with a different design than in years past.

There are no photos of real girls on the box anymore, the sides have windows and the back has a picture of the dolls (which is no different than in years past), but at the bottom of the box there is a collage of words that describe Chavonne in different languages.  Kind of a neat new thing.

Obviously the most noticeable change to the doll is Chavonne's hair.  She has long, dark curly hair, rather than the short, tight curled hair that she has had in the past.  Her hair is similar to Dana's hair in color and texture.

Because her hair now frames her face differently, it seems to change her appearance, when in reality she has the same face mold that she has had since she was released.

Chavonne has the new joints (which are balls rather than cups), which means there is a slight click in her arm joints and she splays her legs when she sits.  Nothing new, but no improvements.  Her seam up her back seems much more straight than some of last years dolls (half of them had the new body and joints, half had the old one).

The New York inspired outfit is cute.

Her bright red leather jacket has great stitching on the outside.  The inside does not have a liner, but the other side of the fabric is a yellow/tan color that is soft and non-abrasive.

Inside the jacket, the edges of the leather material is loose and shows some fraying. hemming the edge would reduce this issue.

The denim skirt is a lighter blue with stitching up the front in a tan thread.  Velcro holds the skirt on in the back.

There is little give to the skirt, which is expected from denim, however it makes it difficult for Chavonne to sit on her own.  Mine always has a little buckle in the fabric in the back, maybe from the way the velcro is positioned.

It's a nice skirt that goes well with this outfit.

The white top may look familiar.  That's because it came out this past year as a top with the Italy line.

Okay so it's not exactly the same.

Toys R Us had the sleeves taken off so that it is a tank top rather than a shirt, and there is ribbon hemmed around the neckline and arm holes,  but essentially this is the same top.

A nice added bonus is the scarf that comes with Chavonne. It's a simple sheer scarf with muted leopard print on it.

It can be used around her head, or around her neck.  It adds flare to the it matches her shoes.

So the shoes are the same old plastic flats that we have seen with every Journey Girl since their release.

These shoes happen to have a leopard print on the front of them.  Yay!  They are cute, just want some nicer shoes!

Two finally pieces to this outfit.  One is a small plastic hair clip with a red plastic flower on it.  It's very simple, but cute, and brings the red from the jacket together.

The other piece is the purse.  It is a black purse with handles and a shoulder strap.   It opens, but there is nothing to keep it closed, which is okay for the design.  Shoulder strap purses are so nice.

They are easier for the doll to hold and look more natural.  the strap has some kinks in it where it was folded for shipping, but those should go away with time and play.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 6 - Nothing  different from any of the other current Journey Girls.  Chavonne's legs don't splay as much as Ilee's, but as I have noted in the past that doesn't correlate to the different dolls, more likely it is a difference in each doll.  Two Chavonnes may have very different joint feel.  

Quality - 8 - The most impressive thing with the new dolls has been their outfits.  All of Chavonne's  clothes are well made.  Some of the outfits in the past have been very uncreative, but this one has many great elements that can be used with other outfits and dolls...just wish the shoes were better!

Adorableness - 9 - Chavonne looks amazing with long hair.  She looked amazing with curly hair too.  It's good to get a change in style.  I'm glad that Chavonne still has the old face mold.  It suits her perfectly.  And her outfit is awesome on give us so neat accessories that make sense for her.

Compatibility - 6 - Most of the time parts of a Journey Girls outfit will fit American Girl dolls, but in this case, nothing really does.  The shirt, scarf, and hair clip are really the only parts that can be used with other brands of dolls.  That's not necessarily bad, since this outfit would not look right if it was loose on Chavonne.

Overall Score - 7 - With a new hairstyle, the New York release of Chavonne is worth picking up.  Her outfit is very cute and the individual pieces can be used with many other outfits.  The clothes seem to be higher quality.  The only thing that is not great are the shoes,  They match and are cute, but it would be great to see something different.  Pick Chavonne up when she goes on sale...she is well with it.

AG Note  Outfits from the Journey Girls do not consistently fit American Girls.  With this outfit only a few pieces of it fit American Girls.  The white top is the only thing that fits Alexis.

It is still tight on her, but it does fit.

As does the jacket, it is very tight on the shoulders and arms.

I had a very hard time getting the jacket's cuff over Alexis's fingers on the left arm, but only the left arm.

The jacket is so tight that it impedes Alexis's ability to move her arms up and down.  The shoes don't even come close to fitting, which is not a surprise.

What is a surprise is that the skirt does not fit at all.

The Journey Girls are thinner and the skirt barely fits on Chavonne, so it's reasonable to think that it won't fit well on the AG dolls.  It doesn't even come close to fitting though.  Obviously the scarf fits perfectly.

Buy Chavonne because you love her, do not buy her for the outfit if you want to use it on your AG really does not fit. It is a very cute outfit though.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Journey Girl Ilee Review

New York Holiday Edition Ilee

For the last three years Toys R Us has released a special Holiday Edition doll.  The Holiday edition dolls are more expensive than a normal Journey Girl at $49.99 rather than $39.99.  For that extra cost you get a fancy dress, jewelry, and a unique doll.  This year Toys R Us released two dolls, identical outfits, but two different dolls, both named Ilee.  This review is for the brunette Ilee, although the assumption would be that both are the same (except for the actual dolls physical attributes).

Ilee has a new face mold.  Her mouth is closed, similar to the older dolls, with a slight upturn at the edge, giving her a smile.  Her lips are a shimmery soft mauve, with a rounder top lip than the latest dolls.  She has hazel eyes, that show up more green than Kyla or Alana's.  Her eyebrows seem to be painted thicker than on past Journey Girls.  Her skin tone is similar to Kyla's, but with more of a yellow hue.  Her face mold looks similar to Mikaela's, but it's hard to tell.  It kind of looks like a tweaked mold from Mikaela and Giovanna.

Ilee is wearing a beautiful gray/silver dress that at first looks like it has three layers, but is actually a dress with a waist cape.

 If any of you have dresses from Espari, you will recognize this design, although the Journey Girls cape seems more a part of the dress than Esprari capes. 

The waist cape actually has three layers.  The top layer is gray lace with a sequined wavy ribbon accenting the pattern of the lace.

Underneath that is a solid gray satin fabric.  The final layer, made of tule, helps fluff the waist cape.

A jeweled twist and through clasp is both functional and decorative.  It makes the cape easy to get ton and off of Ilee, while adding continuity with the jewels and a little extra sparkle.

The fitted gray dress is made of a thick, stiff material. with a thin tulle over it.  There is a swirled design in glitter on the bodice and skirt.

The back of the bodice is void of tulle, which is good since the dress fastens with Velcro.  Tulle snags easily on velcro, so it's a wonderful design for this dress.

Thick shoulder straps complete this elegant gown.

I was pleasantly surprised to find beautiful shoes on Ilee's feet.  In years past there has been no upgrade to the special edition dolls' shoes, so it is nice to see a different style of shoe.

The low healed shoe is similar to the one that comes with the "tribal dress".  Across the toes is a looping silver ribbon.  The same ribbon wraps around the ankle, velcroing on the side.

A piece of silver "leather" creates a heal on the sole and holds the ribbon around the ankle.  It is a simple shoes, but much more befitting of Ilee than the stock low heal that usually comes with the dolls.

Ilee has a white faux fur shrug that drapes across her shoulders.  The shrug is very fluffy and soft on the top, with a satin fabric on the back.  Unlike Giovanna's round shrug, Ilee's is straight.

It has a through clasp on one side token it on her shoulders.  It's cute and super soft, but not necessary to the outfit.  But it makes sense for a girl in New York to have something on her shoulders in the winter.

The last part of the outfit is a wrist purse.  This is one of the better made purses that Journey Girls has released, even though the design is similar to many of the others that are out.

The purse is a little puffy, due to the gray shinny material it is made out of, having an inside layer of soft gray jersey material.  The flap of the purse is made of the same material as the dress, with a piece of felt sewn to the other side so that the velcro clasp can fasten anywhere.  And that leads to an awesome part of this opens!  There is space inside for a few little trinkets.  A braided silver strand wraps around Ilee's wrist to keep the purse on her.

Ilee is the second Holiday Edition doll to have pierced ears.  Nine petaled silver flowers adorn Ilee's ears.

A bracelet with matching flowers around Ilee's wrist stretches so that it can come off.

Ilee also has a barrette with a similar design as the glitter on her dress.

Ilee is the first Journey Girl to come with an up-do.   Her hair is parted on the side.  The right side is braided by her ear, wrapping around the back of her head, than tucked into a fancy side bun on the left.

Like all of the newer dolls, Ilee has the new joints in her arms and legs.  This means that her arms "click" a little rather than have a smooth rotation.  The same issues with arm lift that all Journey Girls have is present in Ilee as well.  The arms came maybe go to a 45 degree angle out to the side of her body.

Sitting Ilee is similar to Giovanna, she spreads her legs quite wide because of the way the leg joints are situated.  This can also become an issue when moving her legs back and forth.  The joints angle to the outside a bit, making it difficult to stand her at times.  The good thing is that the joints twist a little, negating some of the outward angle.  This isn't a new issue.  All of the new sculpt dolls have these same joints and the issue plagues all of them also.  The leg spread is really no worse than an American Girl's though.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 6 - The issues that Ilee has with her joints are not new.  All of the Journey Girls have these same issues.   They aren't horrible...but it could be better.  No doll should have to do the splits to sit on her own.  There is play in her cloth body, making it so if Ilee sits against something she doesn't have to sit spread eagle. The neck joint on Ilee is perfect and makes it wonderfully easy to tilt her head for adorable photos.    

Quality - 8 - Journey Girls has made some improvements to their clothes.  The seems are higher quality, there are layers on the colored items to prevent color transfer, the material is high quality.  The dolls themselves are the same quality for the last few years.   The joints are not great (not bad, but could be better...especially the leg joints).  Lee's hair is nice and thick.  Her vinyl looks good.  Her eyes are gorgeous, but are not quite straight (another issue that plagues almost all dolls).  Overall she is very good quality.

Adorableness - 9 - Each year the Holiday Edition doll is cute.  Jordan is still my favorite, but Ilee and Giovanna are close behind.  I love this iteration of Ilee because she brings some diversity to the line.  Her face is adorable!  Her hairdo is stunning as is her silver dress.  So very cute!

Compatibility - 8 - As I have discussed with most of the other Journey Girls reviews, Our Generation and American Girl doll clothes will fit Ilee, the pants may by a little big.  Accessories will work great with Ilee.  It will be neat to see her in different outfits.

Overall Score - 8 - Ilee is a beautiful doll with an amazing dress.  It's great to have the ability to change the dress from super formal to a more casual dress.  Like all of the Holiday dolls, the dress is the main portion of the doll, although in this case Ilee is a great doll.  I don't know if I will ever be able to take her hair down, as it is such a beautiful updo.   Lee is a beautiful doll with many great accessories and a wonderful dress.  Adding her in either iteration to your collection will be well worth it.

AG note - Since this dress is fitted, I did not expect it to fit on American Girl dolls...but I was wrong...kind of.

The dress fits, but is very tight in the back when you velcro it.  The velcro comes together fine at the bottom, but as you get to the middle and the neckline of the dress, it becomes increasingly difficult to close the gap.

Grace had a squished back when I put it on her.  Once close, it stayed that way, without popping apart.

The cape fits tight also, but really not much tighter than on Ilee.  The clasp is a bit of a challenge with the cape being as tight as it is.

The shoes don't even come close to fitting!  Not really a huge surprise, since Journey Girl feet are much more narrow.

The jewelry fits as dos the fur shawl and barrette.  If you buy Ilee to have her share her dress, it's okay, but not a great idea.  The dress is too tight to make dressing an American Girl doll in it easy.  Little girls may get frustrated with it not being able to close in the back, or that it is difficult to close.  But it is a beautiful dress, and even though things are tight, they fit...well except the shoes.