Saturday, August 20, 2016

A New Outfit For Dana

Review of New York Dana's Outfit

Like Mikaella, Dana is a rerelease with no changes to the doll herself.  Her outfit though is comepletely new.  

Dana comes with a navy blue pleated, knee length skirt, a plaid long sleeve shirt, a t-shirt, a sweater shawl/poncho, a light blue purse, white undies, some plastic boots, and socks.  There is a lot to this outfit, but is it worth buying the doll for the outfit?

One of the first things you notice about this outfit is the shawl.  It is a nice off-white knit shawl, with fringe along the entire edge.  There is a collar around the top of the shawl, opposite the fringe, that folds over.  The shawl is held on with a small piece of Velcro on the right corner of the shawl, with the opposite Velcro piece being by Dana’s heart.  Loose enough to allow Dana’s arms to move, but tight enough to stay on, the shawl is a great fit on Dana.

Take the shawl off and the next layer of the outfit can be seen.  Dan is wearing a long sleeve plaid, flannel shirt.  The shirt is mainly blue, but has thick red stripes and thin white stripes, running a checked pattern around the shirt.  

Cuffs at the ends of the sleeves and a nice collar make this shirt a stand alone outfit piece.  One thing that is missing is buttons.  The shirt Velcros up the front, but has no buttons, even for decoration.  There is a white fabric liner indies the shirt, probably to deter color transfer.

Underneath the flannel shirt there is a simple white tank top. In years past, the tank top would not have been part of the outfit. 

It would have come with just the flannel shirt.  It is nice to see that the out fits are getting more layers.  The tank top velcro up the back.

Dana's knee length  navy colored skirt, matches the flannel top.  There are two deep pleats on either side of the center of the skirt, with three silver embellishment buttons following the pleats down from the top of the skirt. 

The pleat also helps to fan the dress out when Dana sits.  There is a thin blue tule under layer to the dress, which is again probably there to help with color transfer.

The boots are similar to some of the other mid calf boots that have been released by Journey Girls over the years.  There is a small slit up the back to help get the boots on.  

An added bonus is the blue socks that come with this outfit.  Nothing spectacular, they are still a great addition.  Made of a stretchy material, the blue socks are very easy to get on, and make putting Dana's boots on easier.  

Because color transfer has been an issue there are white socks underneath the blue ones.  If they just made the clothes so they didn't stain the vinyl, there wouldn't be a need for these.

It's also nice to have the new dolls coming with underwear.  The underwear could be a bit nicer (even Our Generation underwear is nicer than these).  These undies feel like an afterthought and don't fit all that well.  Still nice to have them.

The purse is a small light blue "leather" material.  It has a flap with velcro on the front, so it can stay shut.  The strap is shoulder length.  There is a little tassel on the side.  Cute and simple, the purse is made well and is a great little piece.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 9 – It is amazing all of the pieces that you get wit this outfit.  The shoes are not perfect, and the quality of the socks and underwear are not the same high quality as the rest of the outfit, but this is still an amazing outfit.

Fitment 9 –  Everything here fits great, which is to be expected.  The flannel shirt can sit funny on Dana at times.  Maybe the neckline is just too big.  Not sure.  Still fits fine though.

Versatility 10 – There are so many pieces to this outfit.  Three tops that can be easily use with many different outfits, a skirt that is beautiful, but easily interchangeable, socks and shoes that are wonderfully universal.  Great versatility in this outfit.

Cuteness 9 –  When the first photos of the new Journey Girls came out, I knew that Dana was going to have to be purchased because of this outfit.  It is a great style.  I love the skirt, compared to a pair of pants.  Very cute and fashionable.

Overall 9 – What a great outfit.  Even if the only way to get this outfit is by purchasing the doll, it's still worth it.  Wait for a sale.  I got mine for about $26.  There are some things that can be improved on.  Don't use Velcro on sweater material.  The boots could be nicer.  Love to see better underwear.  But really, those are all minor issues.  the quality of this outfit is really good.  Better than most of the Journey Girls outfits.  If you see Dana on sale, pick her up.  The outfit alone is worth the money!

AG Note - As awesome as this outfit is for Journey Girls, it is that bad for American Girls.  There are three things that fit from this outfit; the tank top (barely), the poncho, and the socks.

None of the other things really fit.  If you have read any of my other reviews you know that the Journey Girls shoes do not come close to fitting American Girl dolls.  So it's no surprise that Lea is barefoot.  What is surprising is that the flannel shirt does not fit her.  The arms are just too tight.

Her right hand especially could nat make it through the sleeve.  I am sure that with much more tugging I could get it, but then it would be so tight, poor Lea would not be able to move her arm.  The skirt barely fits over Lea's butt, and that only happens with some squishing of said butt.

There is no way that you are going to get that velcro closed.  I would not suggest buying this outfit (doll) to put it on your AG doll.  Unless you just want a white tank top really bad, and a poncho with some blue socks.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

New York Kelsey Review

Kelsey's New Face

Last year when the new face molds were released, I was so glad that Journey Girls kept Kelsey with the old face sculpt.  I am disappointed to say that they have now changed Kelsey over to the new face mold. She is still very cute, but her old face mold was so endearing and beautiful.  Her face is now more round and her eyes look further apart.  

Her super light complection, bright green eyes, and auburn hair are still the same.  Her body is the newer body style which means her cloth body is stuffed well, the stitching is very straight on her torso, she has the clicky shoulder joints, and the more angled joints at her hips.  Apperently there has been an improvement with the vinyl also (for all the dolls, not just Kelsey), but it’s nothing that you can really see.

A few notes about the box; gone are the photos on the sides and on the back with the “real” Journey Girls.  Instead there is a spot on the bottom back of the box that has phrases about the girl in different languages.  

In Kelsey’s case words like “explorer”, “punctual”, and “smart” are on her box.  A little paragraph about Kelsey is also there.  It is kind of neat to know about the girls.

On to Kelsey’s outfit.  Let’s start with her jacket, a beautiful, heavy, blue cotton cordarouy, with two “pockets” and silver “button” embellishments.  

The jacket has an inside mesh layer that helps the jacket slide onto Kelsey’s arm more easily. There is no way to close the jacket, but it looks wonderful open.  The jacket is made really well, except the cuffs at the ends of the sleeves, they do not always stay cuffed and the inside fabric sticks out at times.  

The pockets are not really pockets, just flaps.  The button embellishments are a nice addition to the jacket.

Take the jacket off and Kelsey has on an elbow length navy blue stripped t-shirt.  The t-sirth is similar to many other Journey Girl t-shirts.  There is a white crew cut collar around the neckline.  

Velcro runs down the back of the shirt 3/4 of the way.  It would be preferable to have it run all the way down, but this is okay.  

The bottom 1/4 is open, which is better than having it sewn together, which would make you pull the shirt up over Kelsey's body, instead of just pulling it on her arms, which is the way you can do it the way it is made now.

The skirt is a simple light cotton with pleats around the waist that help the skirt flow.    There is no elastic around the waistband, but there is Velcro to keep the skirt snug on Kelsey.  The flower pattern is very similar to the one on Mikaella's New York meet top.  

There are bunches of roses in whites, pinks and reds, along with a few tiny blue flowers.  Somewhat busy, the pattern works great with the plain striped shirt.

Kelsey has a great shoulder purse for New York.  The long pink leather strap hangs off her shoulder and down to just below the tip of her fingers.  

Nothing new in design of the actual purse, but it does have a velcro closing flap, which is nice.  Just a note; the purse come with the shoulder strap folded up.  This creates creases in it, making it difficult for the purse to hang correctly on Kelsey's shoulder.  Hopefully that goes away with play.

Lastly, Kelsey comes with the good old Journey Girls plastic flats...this time with tassels! It's nice that Toys R Us tried to spruce the shoes up, but let's just get some new shoes....PLEASE!  Enough said.  Cute with the outfit, need a new design!


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 5 - Very sad that Kelsey received the "upgrade" to her body and joints.  Although there are some nice qualities to the newer body style, they are far outweighed by the ever present leg sprawl and balance issues caused by the new leg joints.  I do think that the new joints are more durable...or hope that they are.

Quality - 8 - A great outfit.  The jacket, especially, is made very well. That is not to say that the shirt or skirt are not made well, because they are, just that the jacket is a very nice material with good quality stitching.  As mentioned earlier there is a little bit of trouble on the ends of the sleeve, but only when putting the jacket on, and only because of how Kelsey's finger stick out.  This outfit doesn't get as high of marks, because of those darn shoes.

Adorableness - 7 - Very cute outfit.  Like Mikaella's outfit, this one is just as cute without the jacket. It is a really good ensemble. I don't like Kelsey's new face mold.  The old one is so much cuter.  This one looks older, which is maybe what Toys R Us is trying to do.  Wish she still had the old face mold.

Compatibility - 5 - An outfit that fits the Journey Girls well usually doesn't fit other dolls very well.  This is very true in this case.  Without an elastic waistband on the skirt it is difficult to use on other brands of dolls.  Shoes are exclusive to Journey Girls (not much loss there).  and the jacket and top are also tight.

Overall Score - 6 - If we were able to buy this as just an outfit the score would be higher.  Since Kelsey gets the new face mold and the new body style, she just isn't as nice, in my opinion.  She is probably made a little better, but not enough to make me want to get rid of her old face.  Plus the new joints are just not my favorite, mostly for the leg sprawl.  She is cute and she is a nice doll.  She will stay in my collection, but I will be purchasing some of the Italy dolls, to make sure I always have a few with the older face mold.

AG Note:  As mentioned in the compatibility note, this outfit is tight.  It does fit Grace, but you will have to fight with it a little.

The shirt has to be stretched to close with the Velcro and then it leaves on opening in the back.  You will have to squish the stuffing of your doll to get the skirt to close.

The jacket is extremely tight around Grace's upper arms and shoulders.  She looses almost all of her movement in her arms.

And if you've read any of my reviews you know the shoes aren't even close to fitting.  All of the being said, this outfit is super cute on Grace!

If you are thinking of getting Kelsey to share her outfit, wait until she is on sale.  The outfit alone is not worth the money, especially if you are mostly hoping to have it on your AG doll.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Mikaella Journey Girls

New York Mikaella Review

Since the Mikaella doll is no different than in years past, this review is just going to focus on her new outfit.  The new doll releases for the New York line have amazing outfits.  Mikaella’s outfit is one of the great designs that are coming out with this line.  The outfit gives us some new outfit elements and some very nice boots (you read that right…the boots are nice!)

Mikaella’s outfit includes a “leather” skirt, a black top with printed flowers on it, a light pink sweater, a purple purse, and some awesome “new” boots.  The pink sweater is a nice light cotton material that is sheer.  It wraps around, rather than having buttons or another way to fasten it.  Made extremely well, there are no loose threads to be found on this sweater.  A great piece for fall days in New York.

Taking the sweater off changes this outfit dramatically.  It looks more sassy without the soft pink of the sweater.  You also get to see the beautiful printed top that Mikaella has on.  The black top is a short sleeved, v-neck, with printed pink and orange roses on it.  

It Velcros up the back, making it easy to get on.  Again the quality of the top is very good.

When taking Mikaella out of her package, the skirt looks like it is tight fitting by her knees.  I fasteners hold the skirt together in the back, giving this deceptive view of the skirt when Mikaella is in the box.  

Once the I fastener is out, the skirt really flares out, creating a really cute, flowing skirt.  The skirt is tight around Mikaella’s waist, thanks to Velcro at the back, then flares out after the waist.

Purses are a great accessories, sometimes they are an after thought to an outfit though.  Journey Girls has been improving their purses over the past few years.  Mikaella’s purse is a beautiful purple leather with a small handle and a shoulder strap.  

There are three gold flecks of paint on the purses opening flap.  It would be awesome if these were actual jewels rather than the little paint flecks, but it’s okay.

Usually this is the area where I tell you about the same old same old shoes that come with the outfit…but hold your breath…this outfit comes with new boots.  Well kind of new.  The boots are the same style of boot that comes with many of the Journey Girl outfits, but these ones have a few new tricks.  

The most notable difference is that there is a felt/soft texture on the outside of the boot.  At the top is a fabric flap that folds over the boot.  In reality the flap is always down, but it still looks really nice.  Lastly the back has the same cut down that back that all of the Journey Girls boots do, but this pair has laces to tie the boot up after you slide your dolls foot in!  

Granted the laces make it a little more difficult to slide Mikaela's feet in and out, but having laced up boots is worth it.  Dare I say this is the best pair of boots I have seen from the Journey Girls .

Lastly, the outfit comes with socks!  I'm sure that they were included to help resist color transfer from the boot, but it doesn't really matter's awesome that they are included.  They are simple white ankle length socks.  Very simple, but a nice surprise to the outfit.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 6 - No changes for Mikaella with her joints.  She still sits with her legs way out to the side.  Her head tilts nicely and her arms move well.  She has trouble balancing because of the leg joints.  Once you figure out her place though, she is easy to balance.  

Quality - 9 - Another great outfit for the New York line.  The top is similar in design to many other Journey Girl tops, just with a different material.  The skirt is really cute.  Many leather skirts are form fitting, but this one has a wonderful flair that sets it apart.  The sweater is nice, but nothing super special.  It does change the look of the outfit though.  And there are the shoes!  Not entirely new, but definitely a large improvement.  Hopefully Journey Girls continues in this direction with their shoes!

Adorableness - 9 - This outfit is great.  Very cute...and sassy at the same time.  Much more fashionable than many of the meet outfits from the Italy line.

Compatibility - 6 - While the outfit does fit other dolls, it is very tight, especially the skirt.  The boots don't even come close to fitting.  Don't even bother trying.

Overall Score - 7 - If you don't have Mikaella, this is the one to pick up.  If you do have Mikaela, the doll is still worth buying for the outfit (just wait for the doll to go on sale!).  The boots are a great improvement, even though they are not perfect.  As mentioned, the outfit is really cute, with great parts that can be used with many different outfits.  It would be able to buy the meet outfits separately!  I would love to be able to buy this outfit, without having to buy Mikaela again.  Maybe eventually Toys R Us will do can dream.

AG Note - Most of this outfit is wearable by American Girls.  Julie has no problem wearing the top.  It fits great, but is form fitting.

The sweater also fits fine, just be aware that it is not as loose as it is on the Journey Girls.  Julie has to suck in to get the skirt on.  It fits, but it just barely fits.  You will have to squeeze the fabric belly to get it on.

The velcro does keep it closed though.  The boots do not fit.  They are too skinny to get Julie's feet into them.  So you'll have to use some from an OG or AG outfit.

As mentioned above this is a really cute outfit.  Because it fits decently, it is worth picking up.