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.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Journey Girls Limited Edition Celebration Collection Gift Set

Journey Girls Two Pack Review

Last year Toys R Us released a two pack "Value Set" with Kara Rose and Alana in it.  This year Toys R Us released another two pack, this one from the Journey Girls Celebration line.  There is a brunette doll with bright green eyes and a blonde doll with brown eyes, neither have a name, allowing your child to give them a name.

The set comes with four outfits: a beautiful short, sequined purple dress, a long blue, "Frozen" inspired dress, a knee-length pink and white dress, and a flowing full length pink dress.  Each comes with a pair of shoes and a purse.  There is also a silver headband that matches a bracelet on the blonde doll.  Is the price of this set justified by the items in it?  Let's find out.

At $99.99 (USD) this set is the most expensive thing that Journey Girls sells.  If you were to buy the items separately (2 dolls and 2 outfits) you would spend closer to $120.  Taking this into consideration, the set is a pretty good deal, if price was the only factor.

Toys R Us has been putting the Journey Girls on sale up to 30% off, so keep your eye out for a great deal.  Price is not the only thing to consider though.

The box is a bit of a challenge to open.  Pull open the top by pulling the tabs and then pulling the box top up.  There are three pieces of tape to cut, one on each corner of the white cardboard, and one under the handle.

Once you cut the tape you can pull the piece of cardboard with the handle down.

Now you can pull the cardboard back that the dolls are on...then the real fun begins.  There are at least 20 I-fastners that you have to cut to get the dresses, purses, and the dolls' hair loose.

These things are such a pain to get undone.  Really wish that Toys R Us would find something else to use rather than the I-fastners.  Loosen the straps around the dolls' necks and feet and you will finally have everything loose.  Now we can review this set.

Last years dolls were very similar to Journey Girls that are already released, with Kara Rose looking like Meredith's twin sister.  Although this is a new trend for the Journey Girls, American Girl has been doing it for years.  The nice thing about similar dolls with variety in hair, eye, and skin color is that a girl can get a doll that looks like her.  The blonde doll in this set is the first blonde to have brown eyes.  Meredith, Giovanna, Mikaella, and Ilee all have blue eyes.  Jordan comes the closest of the released dolls, with hazel eyes.

The blonde's hair is also different than many of the other dolls in that it is layered and curled at the ends.  Her face sculpt is the same as Giovanna's (from last year), which is similar to the now normal face sculpt of Meredith, Kelsey, and Kyla.

She has very pale pink lip color.  Her bottom eyelashes are more pronounced then on Giovanna.

My doll also has a very small dot on her forehead (barely noticeable, but there).  Her joints and body are identical to all of the Journey Girls out right now.  That means her shoulders click a little as they rotate, as does her neck.  Her legs splay out when she sits.  My doll is more difficult to balance due to her leg joints being a little too far forward.  She has to bend back to not fall over face first.

The brunette doll has hair that is very similar in style to Alana's hair, but with no variation in color.  It is a deep brown, with a hint of auburn.  Her hair is parted so that it drapes in front of her right eye if it is not swept back.

She has amazing deep green eyes, that still look real, which can be a challenge with green eyes.  Her lips are a nice pink/mauve color.

Again same strengths and weaknesses as all of the Journey Girls right now.  One thing to note is that both dolls have a mark on their neck (very light...more of a shine than a mark) that looks like it was caused by the rubber band and tube that hold them into their box.  The brunette balances much better than the blonde doll.

Each doll comes in a "meet" outfit, and has a second one to change in to.  The blonde's outfit is a beautiful intense blue, full length gown.

There is a layer of satin blue fabric as the base of the skirt and the bodice.

Over this is a sheer voile blue fabric, the same color as the satin.  The voile is attached up the back of the skirt and is attached completely to the bodice of the outfit.

The skirt is gathered at the waist with a white flower lace "belt" separating the bodice.

The blue fabric ends with a semi-sweetheart neckline, but the dress has a jewel neckline made of a sheer white fabric with small silver accent flowers.

The sheer white fabric creates nice elegant shoulder straps.  The dress has an underlay of tulle to help give it volume.

Accessories to this outfit include the always wonderful plastic shoes, this time in a light gray.

She has a fabric silver bracelet.

And a very simple silver purse.  The purse is a strange combination of should purse and hand bag.  It doesn't quite fit either way well.

Great thing about it velcros shut!  That is nice!  And it makes complete sense with a fold over purse like this.

The brunette doll comes in an amazing purple dress.  The knee length dress, has a fitted satin layer under a flowing purple tulle layer.

The tulle has sequins sewn into a floral/vine pattern that continues from the skirt onto the bodice of the dress.

The tulle is nicely hemmed all around and attached to the back of the dress up the middle.

A square cut neckline is accented with tiny tulle shoulder sleeves.

Unlike many of the recent Journey Girls dresses, this one does not have an inner liner to help deter color transfer to the dolls vinyl.  This may mean that Toys R Us has started to take care of this issue.  For safety, I am still going soak this dress...just in case.

Like the blue dress's accessories, this outfits accessories a mixed bag of good and bad.  Let's start with the good: the shoes are sandals with one glittery purple strap across the toes and one around the ankle.  They are cute and work well with the outfit.

The front strap needs to be moved back just a couple of millimeters to make the sandals fit better on the dolls feet.  Now the "bad" accessory: The purse.   This is a hand bag that I thought at first was made of purple glitter covered cardboard.

It is thicker material with purple glitter on it.  There is a silver rope wrist strap and the purse does open and Velcro shut.  The side edges are not so awesome and this purse is flat.  With no give in the fabric it's flatness can not be fixed by stuffing it with items, because then it won't close.  Just a strange choice in fabric to make this purse.

Like the meet outfits, the extra outfits are a mix of formal and casual.  The first dress is a shimmery pink balloon dress with a square neckline.

The fabric has a simple leaf pattern of light pink, pink, and dark pink leaves (that is not a great description...but it's all I can think of...the picture makes more sense).

Around the waist is an attached silver glitter belt.  It would be nice to have the ability to take the belt off.

There is a liner of white fabric to make the balloon part of the dress.  This also cause the dress to be very tight on the doll.  This is probably just a problem with my dress as there is some variation in sizes in Journey Girls dresses.

Accessories include three strapped sandals, a very pretty shoulder bag, and a silver sequined headband.  The sandals are a dark pink glitter that doesn't quite match the dress, but looks okay with it.

They have an ankle strap and two straps over thetas.  The one to the front of the sandal needs to be moved back.  The dolls toes will not fit through it no matter what angle I tired.

Unlike the little purple purse, this purse is amazing.  It is made out of a shimmery pink leather that matches the dark pink in the dress.  The shoulder strap is perfect length.

The purse does not latch closed, but that is fine with this style of purse.  Finally the headband is similar to the fabric of the bracelet, but not an exact match.  There are sequins sewn into a zig-zagging pattern on the top of the fabric.

An inch of elastic makes it easy to get on.  It is cute, and can be used with all of the outfits in this set.

The final outfit in this set is a light, flowing, pink, floor length (well almost) gown.

Again the base of the dress is a pink satin skirt with pink voile fabric on top.

This dress has three overlapping, offset tiers of voile.  The tiers are only on the front, sewn into the stitching on the sides.  One issue with the voile is that it shows the holes from the I fasteners, even if you carefully cut the fastener off (oh by the way...there are more I-fastners holding the dress  together).

An attached pink ribbon, with a bow, separate the skirt from the bodice of the dress.

The bodice is similar to the blue dress, with a semi heart neckline from the underlying pink satin fabric and a square neckline from from the voile.

The dress has velcro up the back, which is not always ideal with their type of sheer fabric on tends to snag it.

Well, this outfit comes with plastic shoes too...but at least they are different plastic shoes.  The darker gray strapped "wedge" comes with this outfit.  Not awesome, but okay.

The purse is a wrist purse made from the same satin fabric that the underskirt of the dress is.  There is a silver rope wrist strap (which broke when I tried to put it on my dolls wrist) attached to the side of the purse.

A silver glitter flap velcros at the front.  It's an okay purse, nothing outstanding.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 10 – This is a ten because I got the set at 30% off.  If it was its normal $99.99 I would give it an 8.  You get a lot for the price (especially at 30% off).  Although the outfits are not quite the same caliber as a true Celebrate outfit, they are better than the normal outfits.  They are made well, with good material, and have decent accessories. The dolls are wonderful!  The eye and hair color are great.  They seem like they should look identical to other Journey Girls, but they don't.

Fitment 9 – Everything fits well, except for the pink leaf dress.  Really tight for some reason.  One other thing that bothers me is the fact that the gowns down't touch the ground.  It would be nice for them to actually be floor length.  Minor complaint for otherwise great fitting dresses.

Versatility 5 – Two of the gowns are really never going to be used for anything other than formal gowns (the blue and the pink gowns).  The purple and pink leaf dress have the ability to be used as more formal dresses, but also as everyday outfits.  The shoes are all good colors that can be used with other outfits (even the dull gray plastic shoes).  And the purses can be used with lots of different outfits (although the purple is not very pretty).  The headband and bracelet are very versatile and would look great with many outfits.

Cuteness 9 – This two pack has a lot more potential than last years, especially with the dolls.  The brunette doll is quickly becoming one of my favorites (second of course to  my freckled Kelsey).  The outfits are all very cute, even though they aren't as versatile as last years.  Even two of the pairs of shoes are cute (no, I am not talking about the plastic ones!)

Overall 8 – Wait for a sale...and get this set.  There is nothing horrible about this set.  Last year Kara Rose was so similar to Meredith it was a bit ridiculous, but both of these dolls are similar to other Journey Girls, but unique enough to make them their own.  The outfits are great.  The accessories are mostly good.  And the ones that aren't great, are easily replaced by others (purses and shoes) in your collection.  There is a chance that Toys R Us will put this set on sale for half off near Thanksgiving (like they did last year), so it may be worth it to wait.  Just make sure you don't wait too is a limited edition (how limited, I don't know.