Saturday, April 15, 2017

Journey Girls Super Fashion Pack

How Super is This Fashion Pack?

Journey Girls has had a few "Super Fashion Packs", most of which consist of mildly modified outfits that came out  last year.  And when I say mildly modified, what I mean is that they changed the color of the fabric.  I was happy to see that this years fashion pack actually has some "new" designs rather than just recolored outfits.  The set boasts "13 pieces" including a dress, 3 tops, 2 jackets, a skirt, a pair of jeans, a pair of stretch pants/leggings, a purse, a pair of tights, a headband, a chocker, and two pairs of shoes.  Pretty decent for $40.  Let's take a more detailed look at what you get for $40.

Once I opened the box and took out the cardboard backing that the outfits are attached to I figured out why this is called a "Super" pack.   You have to have a "super" amount of patience to find and cut off the ten million "super" small I-fastners that hold all the pieces on "super" tight to the backing.  

Pieces of the outfit were attached to each other, then to the backing.  The pink jacket had I-fasteners on the lapels of the jacket to keep it open, 2 to keep the arms pinned and then a few more to make sure it didn't jump off the backing.  It took me almost an hour to find all of the farm I-fastners and cut them off.  I understand that Toys R Us wants the outfits to look nice in a box that will be displayed standing up...but come on!  There has got to be $10 worth of I-fastners on this pack.  "Super" unnecessary!!!

Okay...I'm done complaining about the fasteners.  Let's get into the outfits.  I'll start with the "not so awesome" parts and move on to the awesome parts.  That means the shoes are up first.  Granted there is nothing wrong with the shoes, they are just the same old boring shoes that we have seen with so many Journey Girls outfits.  There are black flats with a little white bow across the toes of each shoe. 

The ankle strapped, close toed, silver, small healed, is a nice addition, but is still nothing new.  
And silver is a strange color that doesn't always go with every outfit.  Again, these shoes aren't bad; they fit well, they are cute, and can be used with many different outfits.  That's why the shoes are in the "not so awesome" category, not the "horrible junk" category (which does not exist for this set...because nothing is that bad in it).  Moving on....

Another "not so awesome" piece is the black and white stretch pants/leggings.  If you don't have the outfit that came out last year that has the exact same pair of pants in it...then these are awesome!  I love this material because it does stretch, and the pattern is funky and fun.  

The elastic waistband is great.  There is nothing to complain about with the pants themselves (although I would soak them...they do have black on them).  The issue I have is that Toys R Us basically took these pants from the overstock bin of last years outfit and shoved it in with this "Super" set hoping that we may not notice.  Okay, that was dramatic.  I appreciate that some Journey Girls outfits don't fully retire, meaning that you will see very similar pieces (usually a different fabric/color) a few years later, sometimes with a few very minor modifications to the design.  It's nice because if you missed the outfit, didn't love the color, or hadn't started collecting Journey Girls, you have another opportunity to purchase the piece without searching on eBay.  In this case the pants did not come out very long ago, they are nice, but not amazing, and these are exactly the same, making them a strange choice to add to the "Super" set.  I would have actually been happier to see a piece of clothing from the current New York dolls in this set.  That way you wouldn't have to buy the doll if you love the outfit.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's move on to the the okay things in the set...the "almost super" items.  These pieces have all been seen before, but are good staple pieces to any girls wardrobe.  So even though they are nothing outstanding they are good essential pieces that help build a nice collection.  First, the orange t-shirt is like many of the other short sleeve t shirts that Journey Girls has out.  It has Velcro ¾ of the way up the back, forcing you to slip the shirt up your dolls legs to put it on.  

Although it is tight in the shoulders, the shirt is loose around the stomach.  Unlike most t-shirts, this one is made out of a football jersey material, rather than the normal cotton that most t-shirts are made out of.  It has a second layer of the same material (except in white) underneath.  Nothing fancy, but a good solid t-shirt.  And it's nice to have something that isn't pink or purple or white!

Another familiar piece is the jeans.  Like most of the jeans that Journey Girls has released, these ones has stitching that mimics pockets in the front.  There is elastic around the back, making it easy to get the jeans on.  

The bright blue color is a bit different than any of the jeans I have.  Even though these really aren’t that different than other jeans that have been released, they are great to have in the collection.  Let’s be honest…you can’t have enough great looking jeans!

Although the print on the blue printed tank top is new (but not super different), the design of the tank is not new. like the t-shirt, the tank has a white mesh fabric underneath the cotton outer shell.  

Again I am assuming that this serves to lessen the chance of dye getting on your Journey Girl, as that has been an issue for many outfits.  Instead of the bottom of the tank going straight across, it dips down in a triangular shape in the middle.  The one thing that does not make sense with the tank is the velcro in the back.  

The cut goes all the way down the back and then stops an inch from the bottom.  Why?  Why doesn't it go all the way to the bottom and another piece of velcro gets added?  Again you have to slip this over your dolls head or slip it up her legs.  Silly design in my opinion.

A couple more things "almost super" pieces.  The jean skirt is super simple.  There is no taper, it is just straight up and down.  There is a small slit at the top of the skirt in the back to help easily get it on your dolls body and velcro it shut. Two interesting things about this skirt: one there is not lining in it and two there are some goofy stitched on ribbons that I am supposing represent pockets.  

It is interesting that the tank gets a lining, but the dark blue, notorious for dye transfer issues, jean skirt does not.  All I can say is...soak this skirt!!!  The pocket ribbons is even more perplexing because Journey Girls has usually sticked in a pocket (like on the blue jeans in this set).  It feels like one group of designers wanted to do the stitched pockets and another group wanted to flash the skirt up a little with some silver ribbon.  They couldn't agree, so a sewn in ribbon pocket was the answer.  It's okay, but not great!  The skirt fits great though and is very well made.

The last "almost super" item is the tights.  Tiny hearts adorn the black tights, but they can't make me love them.  The seem on these tights are just ugly.  It's not real straight, it's thick, it doesn't really stay at the back of the tights.  But that isn't the worst part about these tights.  

The worst part is they don't fit!  That's right...the tights for the Journey Girls Super Fashion Pack don't actually fit a Journey Girl! With lots of delicate pulling I was able to get them to cover Jordanna's hips, but just barely.  Her underwear stick up on top of the tights.  And then there is a goofy bridge of fabric in the crotch area because the tights are so tight.  

Just a strange fit.  And I can't emphasis this enough, make sure that these tights soak!  I have had two sets of dark tights stain my Journey Girls legs (one set came on the doll from the factory and the other was part of a fashion set).  In both cases I was able to get most of the dye off the legs, but it is a pain!  So soak your tights...and everything else, just in case!

Finally we are on to the namesake of this set; the "super" items.  That is not to say that these items do not have their flaws, because they do.  However, they are also either a new design or a really nice redesign.  Let's start with the piece that has the most flaws and work our way up to the best item.  

The "Super Fashion Pack" comes with two jackets, both of which have no way to fasten them...making them quite useless as a jacket.  The bright pink jacket is waist length, made with a heavy cotton fiber fabric, has no inner lining (soak it!) and a zipper on the front. it does not have a zipper.  It has part of a zipper.  The jacket has the teeth or the element (that is the white you see on the edge of the jacket), but it is missing the slider, the part that actually zips the teeth together.  Why put the teeth there, but not the slider?  Why not just some cording?  I thought mine was missing the slider and checked online at the photos and even checked other packages at the store, the next time I went, because I was sure that this jacket was supposed to have a slider.  

I'm sure it was done for style.  and it does look nice.  The white accent on the bright pink is great.  Like many jackets for the Journey Girls, it has shorter sleeves, that really get short when you raise your dolls hands.  Still a cute piece that adds to your collection.

The second jacket is longer, about hip length.  It has thin black and white horizontal strips accented with black and white polka dotted cuffs and accents on the "pockets".  

The jacket could benefit from a few buttons or belt to hold it shut, but doesn't suffer from the "what the heck" zipper issue of the other jacket.  Because of the black and white fabric, Toys R Us smartly added an inner mesh lining.  

The two "pockets" are open at the top, but only go as deep as the little patch of polka dotted fabric.  Would love real pockets, but since Journey Girls arms don't bend, they would be kind of useless anyways.  

The jacket is kind of busy with the warring stripes and polka-dots, but it works okay.  The jacket is nice and heavy and is made very well.

One of my favorite pieces is the purple, long sleeve, lace top.  From the chest down the shirt is a solid stretchy lavender fabric, but on top and down the sleeves the top is made with a lavender lace.  

At the bottom of the shirt there is a flare of fabric almost like a skirt, but definitely not long enough to be a skirt.  

Up 3/4 of the back is Velcro to secure the shirt.  

Velcro and lace always make me nervous, because inevitably the velcro sticks to the lace and makes it fuzzy at some point.  Like most of the new Journey Girls shirts, this one has the protective layer of white material on the solid fabric part of it.  

The great thing about this top is it hits right in the middle of casual and dressy.  Depending on what it is paired with it can really look different.

The final piece is a block color patterned dress.  The dress has wide shoulder straps, with a high curved neckline.  

The bodice is fitted to the waist then the skirt widens from there.  It is a cone style skirt, meaning there are no pleats or gathering. 

Lending to it's style is the bright white stretch fabric accented with black piping around the bottom of the skirt, the arms, and neck, and the blue strip down the middle of the dress.  

This is a great fashion piece!  Velcro up the back makes getting the dress on easy.  Out of all of the pieces this one feels the most solid and has the best design.  Very cute!

Three accessories come with this set.  The silver sequined headband is the exact same one that comes with the 2 doll pack from this year.  Sequins adorn the top, of the stretchy headband. 

Made of "leather", the little purse is white with 2 black stripes running horizontally broken up in the middle by 2 stripes running vertically.  It can velcro shut and has a silver cord for a shoulder strap.  Nothing really that new or different about the purse, but it is awesome that it goes with every outfit in this set.  

The last accessory is the most unique.  It is a black chocker with a beautiful triangular lace piece in the front.  The piece goes well with many of the outfits, and even though it is simple, it is very pretty and is one of the neater accessories that Journey Girls has.  

There are none of these accessories that are amazing, but they do help make the outfit set feel more complete.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 - With four outfits and a price of $39.99 you may think this score should be higher.  The set has a good amount of pieces.  Most of them are made well. And at $10 an outfit, it seems like a great deal...and it is, except that I (personally) wouldn't buy two of the outfits.  They are decent, but not great.  The package is still a good deal, but I would shy away from "super".

Fitment 9 - Most everything fits perfectly.  The orange t-shirt is snug as is the pink jacket, but both are still functional.  The tights are not so good.  I would expect the tights to fit much better since they are made for the Journey Girls.  When American Girl tights or Our Generation tights fit better than the Journey Girls tights in this set, that is bad.  Still only three pieces have issues with fitment...not bad.

Versatility 8 - Now this is the "super" part about this set.  The outfits that I put together do not have to be the outfits that you put together.  There are many many combinations.  Except for shoes.  It would be great to see 4 sets of shoes.  Ahh...I take that back.  Only because my worry is that Toys R Us will give us four different colored plastic flats!  Seriously though, the set does have a lot of versatility in the outfits that can be created and the way these pieces can be used with your other outfits.

Cuteness 6 - It's hard to score this set because it is so large.  I love the dress, which was the main reason I bought the set.  I think it is adorable, modern, and very stylish.  The purple top is also very unique and pretty.  I like both of the jackets, even though they don't close.  Even the simple orange t-shirt is a great addition.  There are a few pieces that are "meh".  They are in the set, but are not amazing.  It also depends on what you like.  Some of the outfits that you can create with this set can be very cute!

Overall 7 - Not quite "super", but very good, the set has lots of good quality pieces and a few really neat pieces.  The rest are good fillers.  I think that is the issue.  The four outfits are not stand alone outfits.  If they were released as individual outfits they would not be able to sell for the $16.99 that most of the Journey Girls outfits sell for.   I guess that is to be expected, but I would love to see a really awesome set of clothing like this.  The mix and match idea is fantastic, it just needs a little fine tuning.  If there are pieces of this set that you love, then the set is worth it.  If you kind of like the pieces, I would skip it.  Save your money for the individual outfits, which have some really great designs.  And watch for sales!  I bought the set for $29, which makes it much closer to "super"!

AG Note

In most cases Journey Girls items do not fit American Girl dolls, or the clothes are very tight. With many of the items in the "Super" pack being the same or similar to other Journey Girls clothes, it is expected that they will follow this same pattern.  The orange top and blue top fit, but are tight, especially across the chest.  They are also difficult to get on American Girl dolls, because of how big the dolls but is and that the shirts do not open all the way!  The purple lace top fits the best, although it is still tight, with the velcro barley closing.  Another issue with this top is that the AmericanGirl's right hand is spread out wider than the left, making it catch in the lace as you pull it on.  It wasn't bad, but a careless tup and it may rip the fabric.  The white dress fits tightly, again only at the chest.  This material does not give as much as the others and so was difficult to get on the doll, but once it was past her bum...up it went with no problem.  The headband, choker, and purse all fit the American Girl dos well.  Unfortunately, the rest of the items in the "super" pack do not fit.  The skirt fits, but will not close, the jeans don't go past the knees, same with the black and white patterned pants, and don't even bother with the tights (they barely fit the Journey'll just rip them as you pull them on an American Girl doll).  The shoes never fit and the jackets don't fit around the right hand.  With a lot of yanking they fit over the left hand, but then are a pain to take off.  Overall I like this set, but not for American Girls.  Only a few of the pieces fit, and none of them fit well.  Although each of the pieces that do fit would be at least $ maybe it's worth the cost.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Dana Dazzles in a Blue Our Generation Dress

The "Heart of Summer" Our Generation Outfit

Deluxe outfits from Our Generation are usually fancier materials, or have some larger accessories.  "Heart of Summer" does not have amazing accessories, but the dress is very nice.

The set comes with  with a beautiful two layered dress, some slip on shoes, a nice summer hat, an ice cream cone, and the obligatory pair of sunglasses that seem to come with most of the Our Generation outfits released this year.  The dress is the main piece of this set.  Is it nice enough to make the set worth it's price of $16.99?

Since the main piece of this set is the dress, let's start with a look at that first.  Made of a beautiful cornflower blue material, the dress has circular holes throughout the dress.  Each hole is decorated with a wispy flower, or a dead dandelion design.  So that your doll doesn't show off too much skin there is a 2nd lighter colored blue layer underneath the holed layer.

The sleeveless top has a polo style collar, with three non functioning buttons up the front and Velcro up the back.  Little pieces of black cloth at the end of the sleeves, used for the stitching, stick out.  You should be able to trim them so they don't stick out.  The bottom edge of the skirt has a scalloped design along it.

Gathered at the waist, the loose skirt flows off Dana's waist beautifully.  A very simple yellow "leather" belt accents the corn blue dress.  The belt is extremely large, but can be adjusted, it just has a very long tail.  Pieces of thread stick out from it all along it's length.  Trim them, and they will come back again.

Though it is not a super fancy dress it is a beautiful dress that is worthy of the "deluxe" name.

The sunglasses are simple, two toned blue, plastic.  They fit well on Dana's face.  Mine have flecks of paint/plastic on the lenses that were difficult to get off.  I finally had to use a razor blade to scrape them off.

It seems like the ice cream cone was an afterthought.  I guess it goes with the outfit because it is a summer outfit.  It is a little small for the size of the Journey Girls.

The cone fits in Dana's hand perfectly though, even if it is small.  It's nice to have, it just seems like Our Generation said, "We need another accessories...what should we throw in?"

The real accessory is the woven straw hat.  It has a yellow piece of fabric around the brim of the hat.  Throughout the hat there are flecks of pastel colors; peach, teal, blue, purple, and some dark browns.

The hat is a perfect fit for Dana.  It can sit high on her head or back on her head.  Straw hats always make me nervous because they are somewhat frail.  If they get squished they can crack.  So be careful with the hat.

Our Generation has many different styles of shoes available.  The shoe is not a new style, but is still a nice design.  All one color, these light pink shoes are all plastic.  The shoes have a small heel, a closed toe, with an open heel.  A cute plastic bow adorns the back of the strap that goes around the heel.  These shoes are huge on Dana, and stay on some of the times.  Placing a piece of double sided tape on the bottom of Dana's feet help hold the shoes on.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 7 - Even though the dress is made well and the hat is nice, the shoes are very simple (but cute), the glasses are okay, and the ice-cream cone is an after thought.  It is similar to other deluxe outfits, but compared to outfits like the kite outfit, it just doesn't seem quite as nice.  That and the fact that the belt has fraying issues and the black fabric sticks out of the dresses sleeves makes the outfit not quite perfect.

Fitment 7 - The dress is big on Dana's waist, which is to be expected, as is the extra length on the belt.  I was surprised at how large the shoes were.  They fell off overtime I picked Dana up to move her.  Not bad, but not perfect.

Versatility 6 - Not a lot you can do with the dress other than use it as a dress.  I am glad to see that OG has given us a hat instead of the obligatory sweater that was last years mainstay.  The sandals can be used with other outfits and would make a very cute addition to some outfits, but the problem with fitment may prevent you from using them often.  The hat is great and can be used with many summer outfits, as can the sunglasses.  And everyone can use some ice cream!

Cuteness 8 -  The dress is adorable.  This was the first outfit I saw of the new releases and a little, "aaah!" escaped my lips.  The color is amazing and rich and really brings out the blue eyed dolls eyes.  The hat is an added bonus and is cuter than most straw hats included in OG sets.

Overall 7 - I think there are a few issues with this set, especially for your Journey Girl wearing it.  That being said, it is still a beautiful, well made dress, with a cute design.  Wish the shoes fit better (but they fit on OG/AG dolls perfectly), wish the belt was a different, less fray prone material, and get rid of the glasses and give us an awesome accessory rather than the tiny ice cream cone.  That sounds like a lot of complaints, but really it is just if I could make the set perfect.  Let's be honest for this price in a Journey Girl outfit we would not get the glasses or the ice-cream cone and we would have another pair of flats to add to our collection.  So, when a sale comes up, pick this outfit up (make sure to soak it as it is a dark color and they have a tendency to stain our beautiful Journey Girls!)

AG Note

This outfit is a good fit for both types of doll, fitting Julie just a little better than Dana.  Around the waist and bust the dress really fits Julie well, where on Dana it was just a little loose.  

It actually might be a little tight, but since each AG doll can be a little different on the amount they are stuffed, it will more than likely fit most of them correctly.  On my Julie it was tight and the Velcro in the back barely closed, but never popped open.  

The issue with the black fabric around the sleeve was much more prominent with Julie than with Dana, mostly because AG dolls have slightly larger arms.  

There was no way to tuck the fabric back into the sleeve.  The shoes fit perfectly on Julie with no issues of slipping off.  

The hat fits well as did the glasses.  Sometimes glasses fit the Journey Girls but then are too tight on American Girls, but not these, they fit perfect. 

Even the ice-cream cone fits perfectly in Julie's hand...even if it is tiny.  This is a real a great outfit for both American Girls and for Journey Girls.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Hula Hooray" for Jordanna

Hula Hooping Girl Jordanna

Our Generation sets are of two types; either regular, which retails at $12.99, or "Deluxe" outfits, which retail at $16.99.  Surprisingly this outfit is a regular outfit.  Surprising because the outfit has a lot to it.  There is a short sleeved cotton top, stripped sweatpants, cute pink plastic sandals, cat ear sunglasses, a paddle ball, and finally a hula hoop.

Even though this set has some amazing accessories a bad outfit can break a set.  So lets take a look at the outfit.

Although the top is a simple cotton fabric, the beautiful yellow sleeveless flared shirt is very cute.  It has shiny star iron-ons that are placed in a heart shape on the front of the shirt.

At the waist there is a little bit of gathering and a flare of fabric.  A small fabric tied bow accents the front of the shirt.  There is Velcro half-way down the back, holding the shirt together.

A simple top, but perfect for this outfit.

Sweatpants have the image of being big baggy and not cute.  Google sweatpants and you will find that there are many new styles of sweatpants that are very cute.  Jordan's sweatpants are considered "skinny sweatpants".  They are a little tighter and much more stylish.  Gray with tiny white horizontal stripes, the pants have a sewn on white and pink stripe on the outside of the pants.

With only elastic around the waist, the pants are loose, but not enough that they will fall off.  There is a tiny piece of fabric sewn on the inside of the bottom of the pants that sometimes peaks out.  The fabric helps prevent Jordanna's toes from snagging on the stitching.  Just tuck it back into the pant leg.  Very cute pants that are perfect for a hula hoop  outfit.

Like all the Our Generation shoes, these ones are wide on Jordanna's feet.  The plastic pink sandals still fit well.  At the front of the sandals there is a wide piece of "fabric" that covers the middle toes.

Three straps come across the top of the foot and the a strap comes around the ankle from a solid piece of "fabric" at the back.  On the outside of the sandal is a small post that the strap pushes on.  This is not a new style for Our Generation, but it is a cute style.

Another OG set with sunglasses.  This sunglasses are a bit different though.  Circular lenses are nothing unusual, but these glasses then have little open "ears" on the top corners.

These little cat ears give a very different look to the glasses.  Unlike some of the other OG glasses, the temples (earpiece) are just the right length to hold the glasses on Jordanna's face.  Cute glasses that are different than other sunglasses we have seen.

Now, on to the accessories.  First the paddle ball.  The tan plastic paddle has an ice cream cone printed on the front of it, and fits perfectly in Jordanna's hands.

A hard plastic ball is attached to the paddle by an elastic band.  If you want to actually play with the paddle ball, you unfortunately will have a very hard time, as the plastic ball does not bounce well.  Let's be honest though, none of my dolls are actually going to be able to make this work (that's's just for looks).

This set's namesake is awesome.  The transparent pink hoop with glitter throughout has a metallic silver stripe wrapping around the entire hoop.

It is just the right size to fit around Jordanna's waist and be held up with her hands.  Obviously there is not much to the hula hoop, but it is still a really neat accessory.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 - Even though the outfit is fairly simple, it is perfect for an active playful outfit.  It has great accessories in the hula hoop and then the not needed, but much appreciated paddle ball.  The sunglasses are cute and different than many other glasses.

Fitment 8 - The shirt fits perfectly.  The sandals are wide, as usual, but stay on well.  The pretty sweatpants are loose on Jordanna's waist, but do not fall off.  And all of the accessories stay in Jordanna's hands easily.

Versatility 8 - Both pieces of the outfit can be used with many different playful outfits.  The sandals can be used with many outfits also.  Accessories are not really limited to a particular outfit...just that a hula hoop doesn't really go with a gown.

Cuteness 8 -  This is a perfect little girls outfit.  It is cute and playful with the heart on the shirt as well as the flare at the bottom.  Even the sweatpants are cute with stripes and accent stripes.  Very cute!

Overall 8 - I love this set.  I want to give it a higher score just because of the nostalgia of the hula hoop.  It brings back so many fond memories of trying to get the plastic hoop to spin around my waist for as long as I could make it.  Nostalgia aside, the hula hoop is still really cool.  I love that the set has the added accessory in the paddle board.  The cat glasses are very cute and different.  The sandals are great.  And the outfit itself is a perfect playful outfit; cute and functional at the same time.  For $12.99 this is a wonderful set.  If it goes on is an awesome deal!

AG Note

Like the kite set, this set is really awesome for it's accessories.  But interestingly the accessories don't fit well with AG dolls.  The kitty sunglasses don't stay on Gabriella's face unless you put them through her hair.  More interesting is the fact that the accessories do not fit as well with Gabriella as they do with Jordanna.  Journey Girls hands are smaller and have a different design to them, which allows Jordanna to hold the paddleball without any tape.  Gabriella's hands are two big and can't hold the paddleball.  

She also can't hold the hula-hoop up on her own, which may not be a huge issue as it's being played with.  

It would be nice if Gabriella could hold the paddleball and the hula hoop like Jordanna and the other Journey Girls can. Like most OG outfits, this one has a few small issues, but overall it is a great outfit.  The sweatpants have elastic around the waist, making them fit on Gabriella wonderfully.  

The legs are fitted on Gabriella's thighs and calves, but not too tight. there is a small piece of fabric that sticks out the bottom of the sweatpants legs.  It's not easy to tuck the piece back in the pants, so it may be worth cutting it off.  

It looks like the fabric is there to protect some of the stitching...maybe.  As expected the top is tighter on Gabriella then on Jordanna, again I would say it is fitted rather than tight.  

The velcro easily closes in the back and the shirt flows correctly on Gabriella.  For some reason the right shoe is tight on Gabriella's foot.  I had to really pull and stretch the strap around her ankle to get it to go over the little post.  

This set is really awesome for the Journey Girls and is pretty good for American Girls.  At $12.99 it is a great dealt be able to use for both dolls!