Monday, February 27, 2017

An American Girls Mega Blocks Set

 Jordanna Puts Together a Mega Blocks Set

While at Toys R Us looking at outfits, Jordanna came across this cute little American Girls Grace building block set.  Mega Blocks are now made by Mattel, so it makes sense that they would have American Girl sets, especially with the recent success of the  Lego Friends franchise.

 Jordanna really like the packaging, especially the fact that she can see the Grace figure from the outside.  She looked at a few packages to find the right one, since some of the figures eyes were not printed correctly.   Jordanna also likes how simple it is to open the back of the box and get bags of pieces out.

She cuts open the plastic bags and spreads out the pieces on the floor.  This is a smaller set, with only 84 pieces in it.  Jordanna is very careful though, since some of the pieces are tiny.

Following the easy instructions she builds Grace's pastry cart, with only a few issues.  Some of the pieces the cart pull apart when adding other pieces onto them, but nothing too bad.  Everything fits together nicely.  Before she knows it, Jordanna is finished with her new set and is ready to play.

What a cute little set!  Jordanna loves the looks of the set.  It doesn't stick together quite as well as some of her Friend sets, but it's still really nice.  And it's fun to play with!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Silver Sequin Celebration Dress

Chavonne Wearing the "Silver Sequin Dress with Blue Tulle Overlay"

Yes that is really the name of the outfit.  Yes, it is a good explanation of the outfit.  Yes, Toys R Us needs to put some creativity into naming their outfits!

Okay, let's move on to the review.  Like most of the Celebration outfits that Toys R Us has put out, this one comes with very little other than the dress.  There is the dress, a headband, some fancy sandals, and a clutch.  Is this pretty little outfit worth the pretty pennies it costs?

Before reviewing the outfit let's take a quick look at the packaging.  Like all Journey Girls outfits, this outfit comes in a box with a plastic window on the front.  When you pull the cardboard backing out of the packaging you will notice that the dress is held on to the backing by an exorbitant amount of I-tabs.

Finding them is a bit of a challenge.  The fabric is so delicate that if you don't cut the I-tabs you could ruin the fabric.  So be careful and find all of the I-tabs.

At first glance this dress looks to be one of the simplest "Celebration" outfits that has been released.  It is basically an a-line top with a tule skirt.  The reality is it is a silver sequined knee length skirt with a light blue tule skirt over that.

Adorning the entire cloth part of the dress, the sequins are a silver cheerio shaped.  The bodice of the dress has a light blue, almost white over lay of tulle.  I love this because it keeps the sequin from snagging on other material.

At both shoulders there are gathered tulle ruffles.  There is a silver sewn in belt that goes around the waist and starts the tulle dress.

The pale blue tulle is in fact two layers about mid calf length. You can see the skirt through the tulle, which is a neat fashion.  Wish the tule skirt came off so that this outfit converted.

The headband is a flat, wavy, silver multiple cord band, with cheerio sequins sewn into the middle of it.  There is a small section of elastic sewn into the back of the headband to allow it to stretch over Chavonne's hair.  Very simple, but pretty.

I can best describe the clutch as a clam.  Yes...a silver, sequined clam. It is a 1/3 circle that is folded over on one edge and clasped together with velcro on the open edge.

The fabric waves back and forth making this clutch look like a clam.  Open it up and the only thing you can fit in is a small single pearl.  It's tiny!  The wrist cord is a rope like material.  It would be nice to have more of a ribbon, but this looks okay.

Sandals have become the new flats for Journey Girls.  Meaning, the majority of the outfits come with some fancy sandals.  These sandals have silver sparkly ribbon that matches the dresses belt.  It goes around the ankle and then two straps across the top of the foot.

The strap around the ankle has velcro and attaches to the sole by way of a silver piece of fabric that covers Chavonne's heal.  The same style of sandal that comes with  many of the outfits right now.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 - Even though there is not much to this set, it is still worth the money.  It would be awesome if the tulle skirt was removable (similar to Ilee's skirt), but it's not necessary.  A good purse would be nice also.  Or get rid of the purse and give us something else.

Fitment 10 - This outfit fits perfectly.  No issues, which is how it should be for a Journey Girls made product.

Versatility 7 - Like all of the "Celebration" outfits this one has limitations.  Although I think this dress could be used as a dance outfit just as easily as it can be used as a fancy dress.  The shoes and headband can be used with many other outfits.  And the purse is versatile, but it's not really the best purse.

Cuteness 8 - I love this outfit on Chavonne.  It looks amazing on her!  It looks great on the other Journey Girls also, but it really shines on Chavonne.  Simple in design, and a little different than many of the other "Celebration" outfits, this one stands out as a fashion piece.  Very nice, cute dress.

Overall 8 - A solid 8!  The outfit is very pretty, is made well, has a cute design, comes with decent accessories, and fits!  If the tulle skirt came off this would be an amazing outfit!  Plus maybe a different purse. would be nice to see some new shoes, but I've made my piece with adding shoes from other companies for my Journey Girls.  Overall a great piece to pick up on sale.

AG Note
This dress is form fitting for the Journey Girls...actually it is a little tight to get on and off.  The dress just barely fits on an AG dolls waist.   There is no way to close the back of the dress and the skirt is so tight that you won't be able to sit your doll or move her legs.   

The headband fits (no surprise).  The purse can be held, but can't go around your dolls wrist.  As with all of the other Journey Girls shoes, they do not fit AG dolls.  

This outfit is not a good outfit to buy if you want one for your American Girl and your Journey Girls since it is really only going to fit your Journey Girls.  If you love the outfit, it is worth it just for your Journey Girls though.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Intense Game

Jordan and Megan Play Ping Pong

On a cold, wintery, February day, when the wind was howling and the air was so cold it froze the air inside your lungs, Jordanna sat at home trying to figure out what to do with herself.  

"I wonder if Megan would want to come over?" she thought to herself.  Getting on her cell phone she called her friend up, hoping that se would save her from the pit of boredom that she was in.

"Sure, I'll come over." Megan told Jordanna with enthusiasm.  Minutes felt like hours as the time drug on until Megan arrived.  After some contemplation of what to do the girls decided that a spirited game of ping-pong was in order.  "As long as I get to serve first", teased Megan.

"Okay...I'll let you get a few points, before a decimate you!"  Jordan ribbed.

"Oh!  That's how it's going to be", Megan joked as she served a rocket of a ball across the table at Jordanna.

The ball cruised past Jordanna without her even trying to swing at it.  Her eyes widened as she trash talked Megan.  "Dang Daniel! Do you have a bionic arm?"

"Oh sorry..I'll slow it down for you.  Maybe that way you can hit it."  They both laughed as Megan served again.  This time Jordanna was ready and chopped the ball back to her.

A volley ensued that rivaled the Iliad in length.  With Megan coming out the victor again as Jordanna made a costly mistake and hit the ball into the net. 

Soon it was Jordanna's turn to serve.  Not a strength server like Megan, Jordanna knows how to curve the ball and hit the edges of the table.  Her first serve barely clears the net and then slides low on Megan's side, making it impossible for Megan to get under it.

"Ace!" Jordan exclaims.

"Did you know that "ace" means "one"?" Megan asks.  "As in that is the "one" point you are going to get this game."  Both girls laugh, Jordanna preparing for her next serve.

Back and forth the ball goes, along with banter between Megan and Jordanna.  The laugh at the good natured teasing as the score goes up.

Back and forth, back and forth.  Over the net.  Barely on the table.

Back and forth.  Back and forth.  The ball taps the net and limps over for a point. A volley that makes both girls have to catch their breath afterwards.

Back and forth.  Back and forth.  A loop from Jordanna, that makes Megan shake her head.

Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Megan drives the ball hard down the line forcing Jordanna to lean forward to return the ball.  To which Megan replies with a simple little flick that puts the ball in the opposite corner.

But Jordanna comes back on the next serve with a smash that makes Megan exclaim, "I think you broke the ball with that smash!  That was awesome!"

Jordan smiles as she serves for match point. Her ball corkscrews over the net, hitting the table and veering to the left.

Somehow Megan gets there and puts some english on the ball that makes it spin the opposite way that Jordanna had curved it.

Jordanna returns the ball with a push shot that has so much backspin the ball almost comes back to her after hitting on Megan's side.  Megan has no chance to hit it.

"Woo hoo!" Jordan screams, jumping up and down.  Suddenly stopping, with a sullen face she puts her hand out to Megan, "I mean...good game.  Good game."

"You are such a dork." Megan says, rolling her eyes.  Both of them begin laughing.

"Come on let's go get something to drink.  You took it out of me!" Jordanna puts her arm around Megan's shoulders and leads her upstairs to get a drink.  "We'll have to play again...and this time I'll let you win."  Megan shook her head and rolled her eyes as the climbed the stairs.  The both laughed again.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New York Overalls Outfit

Jordanna Squeezes Into a New Outfit.

There is an interesting array of outfits that were released this year for the Journey Girls.  One of the outfits is a jeweled pair of overalls with a stripped shirt, headband, shoes, and a purse (well more of a clutch).  It is not the fanciest outfit, it’s not super original, but it is cute!

The t-shirt is pretty standard.  It is a light gray base with black horizontal stripes.  The sleeves are a strange length, coming to just below Jordanna’s elbows.  Not quite a long sleeve shirt, but not really a long sleeve shirt.  It looks like it has been rolled up, without a cuff.  

The shirt goes on easily since it is Velcro all the way up the back.  In my opinion all of the shirts should be this way.  It’s so nice not to slide the shirt up Jordanna’s leg to put it on.  The bottom of my shirt always flips up on the back corner, probably because of how it was packaged.  I would suggest soaking this shirt since it has black in it and Toys R Us still has an issue with dye transfer.

Toys R Us has improved the overalls…a little bit.  The color of the denim is a beautiful light blue.  There is brown stitching accenting on the seams and outlining the pockets on the front of the overalls.  All of the pockets are fake, except the one on the front, which can hold one small item.  There are three small red jewels on the pocket in a wide “V”.  

Unfortunatley the straps are sewn to the front flap.  It would be amazing to have buttons, snaps, something to hook the straps rather than having them attached all the time.  The most disappointing thing about the overalls is that they barely fit (or at least the pair that I have barely fit).  Pulling the overalls up became a huge challenge as the lower part of the pants got to the bend at Jordanna’s ankle.  

Pulling on the overalls’ leg at Jordanna’s calf was the only way to get the pants on.  That should not happen with an outfit made for the Journey Girls!!!

Included with the outfit is a simple black jersey cloth headband.  The fabric is twisted at the top with a band of elastic at the back to easily put it on Jordanna's head.  Simple but very pretty.

The purse that comes with the outfit is a very interesting little purse.  I would call it more of a clutch than a purse.  It's made of a leather like material with three different colors; red, silver, and black.  It also has a small little handle made to go around Jordanna's wrist, which it barely does.  The tiny flap folds over the top, latched with a piece of velcro.  It's a cute little clutch, but it is so flat that it cannot hold anything in it.

This style of shoe has not appeared with many outfits, but it's still nothing new.  The low heeled shoes have a high back and a strap around the ankle, all done in a bright red plastic.  They go very well with the outfit, really bringing out the accents on the overalls.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 6 - For the amount that you pay for this outfit and since it is from Journey Girls, it is disappointing that it doesn't fit the way that it should.  You are getting quite a few pieces; the t-shirt, overalls, clutch, headband, and shoes.  But without the main piece fitting well it's not worth as much.

Fitment 5  - Journey Girls outfits have consistency fitment issues.  This outfit, the overalls are so tight they are almost impossible to get around the ankle of the dolls.  Again, because of the consistency issues that I have seen in the past it's hard to tell if the outfit in general doesn't fit or if it just this one.  The rest of the outfits pieces fit wonderfully.  But the overalls should fit too.

Versatility 7 - The outfit has pieces that would go with just about anything, including the t-shirt and the shoes.  The headband is also a very universal piece that will go with anything.  Unfortunately the glaring fitment issues with the overalls makes them very frustrating to use with any other outfit.

Cuteness 8 - Though the overalls are a pain to get on, they are very cute, with the pretty blue denim color and the jewel accents.  It's great that the front pocket is able to hold something.  Separate the outfit is not extraordinary, but all together it makes for a very cute outfit.

Overall 6 - A low score for a Journey Girls outfit.  Fitment has been an issue in the past with Journey Girls outfits, but this time it is much more than a small inconvenience, it is a pain.  A sleeve being tight around the cuff is understandable, but the whole pants leg and cuff being so tight it can barely be put on, is not.  When the outfit is on, it is very cute, getting it on is no fun.  If the overalls fit, this would have closer to a 9 rating.  It is a really cute outfit that has great pieces and can be used for many occasions.  Hopefully the fitment is an issue with just this set, which is very likely the case.  It is still worth picking up, just know that if your little one is playing with this outfit, you may need to lend a hand to get it on.

AG Note - With all of the issues that this outfit has on the Journey Girls, it is expected that the same issues will show up with the American Girl dolls.  Plus the fact that Journey Girls shoes do not fit American Girls.  This outfit is not a good pick to share with your other 18" dolls.  Besides the headband, the only other thing that fits is the shirt, and even that is tight.  Not worth the money if you are only going to use it on a non-Journey Girls doll.