Sunday, August 20, 2017

Australia Ilee

Review of the New Journey Girls Ilee Doll

Toys R Us has slowly begun to release the next line of Journey Girls in the US.  This time the girls are visiting Australia!  Because the girls are visiting down under, Toys R Us released the dolls there first.  From what fans have posted, Australians have all (or most, depending on the area) of the dolls available to them first.  That is awesome as they are usually the last.

Next year maybe the girls can visit Canada or the UK again so they can have the dolls available to them.  Back to the US.  Here it has been a slow process with only one doll being released in stores (Ilee) and a few more being released online.  The US has seen a variety of accessories released online and a few that have been in-store, but not online.  Accessories are another day...let's look at Ilee!

Ilee, the doll, is very similar to last years Special Edition Holiday, with a few exceptions.  First, her beautiful hair is down, which makes it easier to see the streak of slightly darker blonde hair in the middle of her head.

It looks beautiful, giving dimension to her hair.  The second thing you'll notice is that Ilee does not have pierced ears this time.

Not surprising, since the only girls with pierced ears have been the specialty dolls.  Lastly, her joints feel different but are probably the same.  Every doll can be so different, due to the lack of consistency within the Journey Girls line.  If the joints are new, I like these ones much better than past years.  Ilee's arms move better and her legs don't splay quite as wide.

Knowing Journey Girls though, I fear that this is just a coincidence with my Ilee doll.  When the other Australian Girls arrive later this week....we will have to compare.

The rest of Ilee is the same as last years doll.

The Australian outfits for the girls are fabulous!  Although all of them are dresses (except Kelsey's outfit), they seem much more unique than in years past.  Last year's New York outfits had some outfits that were quite unique, but others were blah.

I am excited to see them in person, especially the outfits with the new shoes!   Something that has not changed from last year is TRU's (or Lotus's) use of the infuriating plastic I-fasteners.   They are every where!  On Ilee, they connect her outfit to the box (which I kind of understand.  It helps keep the outfit in a nice position).  Then there are two at the bottom of her dress holding the sweater on.

Two more at the neckline holding the sweater on.  And then the craziest her hair, attached to the rubber banded flower.

Talk about unneeded!  Once you find them all, carefully clip them and Ilee is free and ready to go.

Ilee's sweater is the first thing I notice when I look at her.  Unlike any of the sweaters I have seen from Journey Girls, it hangs down to her calves, with frill along the bottom edge.

The white lace has three patterns that intertwine; a diamond pattern on the top and bottom, a ribbon pattern around the waist, and then swirling flower pattern between the ribbon and diamonds.

A beautiful piece.  There are no sleeves on the long sweater.  The arm holes are big enough to get Ilee's hands through without snagging her fingers on the lace.

Mine had no loose threads or bad seams, which is awesome because that usually is not the case.

I was surprised at the feel of the material for Ilee's dress.  The pattern looks as though it would be a heavier, rougher cloth, almost like burlap.  It is a thinner cotton that has a little texture.  Pink is the main color of the dress, but that is melded with red, white, brown and orange stripes.

The thin, different size stripes subtly flow into each other, creating a mixture of colors rather than stark contrasting lines.  The dress is mid calf, with a sweetheart neckline, and broad shoulder straps.  The standard Velcro up the back is there for easy dressing.

Like most of the recent Journey Girls dresses, this one has a thin white liner.

I love this feature, except at the neckline.  The liner is not sewn in properly so it sticks out at some angles.  It can be tucked in with easy, but it shouldn't show in the first place!

The last thing on the dress is an orange rope belt that is sewn on just above the belly button as a great accent.

Purses have been a lame add-on at times for the Journey Girls, not really adding anything to the outfit.  Ilee's purse or satchel is a great addition here and really rounds out the outfit.

It is one of the only purses that I have purposefully brought with to my outside shoot.  The long brown leather strap connects to a small dark brown bag with orange frills off the bottom.  There is no latch or clasp on the bag, it's just open, but that works for this bag.  I don't feel like this type of bag would have any clasps.  It's a toss in and go type of bag...perfect for exploring Australia with!

Two other accessories come with Ilee; her sandals and a small flower hair binder.  The hair binder is made with one of the clear rubber binders attached to a bright pink flower with a sparkly silver stone in the middle of it.

Nothing fancy, but a great little accent piece for her hair.  The sandals are the same sandals we have seen many times before.  Made of orange leather, they have a strap around the ankle and across the toes, adorned with a leather flower on top.

My sandals don't fit well as the toe strap is too far forward.  They still look pretty, they just don't fit perfectly.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 7 – Although the Ilee has better motion in her joints than the special edition doll...she still has some issues.  Her head is way too tight and is difficult to turn or move up and down.  Her legs still splay apart, just not as far.  And the arm joints still don't go out to the side much.  She stands well and her leg joints seem to have a few more points of articulation.

Quality - 8 – As with all Journey Girls, there are some issues with the joints.  Lee's hair looks wonderful.  There are a few shine spots on her arms, but no marks!  And the quality of the outfit is good.  Better than many of the outfits last year.

Adorableness - 9 – She is cute!  This outfit is just perfect for her.  This face mold is very cute for the light eyes and bright blonde hair.   The long sweater is really adorable as is the simple dress.

Compatibility - 4 – Most Journey Girls outfits are tight on other 18" dolls.  This outfit doesn't fit at all.  You can pull it on, but that is it.  Plus, as with all Journey Girls shoes, these don't fit.  So the sweater fits, and so does the purse and hair binder.

Overall Score - 8 – As the new doll this year there is no surprise that Ilee brings a lot of the old with her.  She has identical vinyl, similar joints, the same hair, and with those things some of the same problems.  Her outfit is awesome and fits well with someone exploring such a vast place as Australia.  Even if you have last years Special Edition Holiday Ilee, this one is worth picking up.  She has her hair down and her outfit is worth the price!  Pick her up when you can!

AG Note

As mentioned in the "Compatability" section, not much fits American Girl dolls.  The shoes never fit on the account that the Journey Girls have very narrow feet compared to the American Girl dolls.  It was suprising that the dress didn't fit.  It looks like it is loose on Ilee, but when I tried to put it on Samantha, it definetly did not fit.  

Not only does it look weird on the chest (partly because of the fabric body), it doesn't velcro at all up the back.

The sweater fits perfectly though.  No issues getting it on or it not fitting.

It you are buying Ilee just for her outfit, buy her only if you are sharing with the Journey Girls.  This outfit is not worth it for the American Girl dolls.


JGMom said...

I just love the new Ilee! I've been waiting on your review and it didn't disappoint. :)

Melody Silverleaf said...

Ilee is pretty. I like her outfit and hairstyle a lot.

Nonna @ said...

The Australia outfits are great

Unknown said...

Awesome review, you are very thorough. I just bought her today as well as Chavonne and Meredith. I have not opened the boxes, as I am trying to justify the purchases after just buying AG Lindsey and Mia on our second hand market- not mint and way over priced . But I can see Id like to keep them!!
They really are stunning dolls .
Those eyes !!
I'm a little concerned about the footwear not being compatable with AG- as that's all I own. Oh, and the Maplelea doll Saila. This seems to be the nicest Journey Girl line I've seen to date- probably why I over did it ;) I think I would like Kelsey as well.