Thursday, September 7, 2017

Australia Callie Review

A New Callie: Australian Callie Review

As the Australia Journey Girls are starting to be released we have been able to see the new dolls.  Although most of the dolls are similar to last years, just with new outfits, Callie is one of the dolls that received a little more of a make-over.  She has lighter skin, lighter hair, and a new hairdo.  She comes in a jean mini skirt, a white long sleeved blouse, a rust colored jacket, and has on over the knee boots.  The questions is; is she enough different to warrant the purchase of the new doll?

Side note:
My Callie was shipped to me from Toys R Us.  I have never had any issues with them before.  This time Callie's box was crushed.

She wasn't damaged, but the box was so smashed that her feet were actually loose from the cardboard.  The plastic twist ties had pulled through the cardboard!

The shipping box was in perfect condition, so Callie's box was squished before she was packed for shipping.  Okay...enough about that...on to the review!

There are two differences that you will notice immediately, compared to last years Callie doll.  The first is that her skin is much lighter, close to Kelsey's skin color.  I would love to know why Toys R Us decided to change this.  Personally, I don't mind the new color or love either color, I'm just curious what prompted the change.

You can see from the photos that her new skin color is drastically different than her predecessors.  I was hoping that since Toys R Us changed her skin color, they also fixed some of the issues with the joints and vinyl, but these still seem to be the same.

The second thing that is an obvious difference from years past is that Callie now has bangs.  The 1st year Callie was released she had bangs, but by the second year, they were gone.  On the original Callie, her bangs were longer, a little fuller, and wider.

The new bangs are obviously the opposite of these, only covering part of her forehead.  Also, some other fans have noted that their Callie's bangs were not cut well.  Not surprising as all of my short haired Dana dolls had horrible haircuts straight from the factory.  So you may have to trim up Callie's new bangs.  But they are cute!

Callie is the fashion guru of the Journey Girls group.  She enjoys picking up specific fashions from the regions she visits on her trips with the other Journey Girls.  I'm not sure that her outfit is the quintessential Australian outfit, but it is fashionable, cute, and practical.  The outfit starts with a rust orange thigh length vest.

Four pockets adorn the front of the vest, although none of them are true pockets, just upper flaps and stitching to look like pockets. a brand collar looks good down or up, depending on your mood.  

As you take her out of the box there are I-fasteners hiding at the top and bottom of the vest...because it might move....OH NO!!!

The sides are gathered at the waist, with an elastic band sewn on the inside.

This gives the vest a fitted look, while still allowing it give for other dolls.  Most of the stitching is well doll, with a few awkward stitches around the waist, being the exception.  As with all Journey Girls outfits, the quality can vary from doll to doll.

Similar to purple top that came in last years "Super Fashion Pack", the white shirt that Callie comes in has long lace sleeves, with lace across the top of the shirt on the front.

Beautiful as the lace is, getting Callie's tiny fingers into her shirt can be a bit challenging as her fingers want to get stuck in the tiny holes.

The back and bottom part of the front of the shirt is normal cotton t-shirt material.  Although the shirt is long, it does not flair like the purple shirt from last year.   Up the back is velcro, but unlike in years past the shirt is cut all the way down, making it possible to take the shirt off without having to go over Callie's head or feet!

YAY!!!!    It's great to have a fancy t-shirt rather than just a plain old white t-shirt.

Callie has a beautiful mid thigh jean skirt with three front pleats.  The middle pleat has brass buttons down the middle of it, with one extra button on the waist line.  Ruffles run down the outside pleats.  Fake stitched in pockets finish out the front of the skirt.

As intricate as the front of the skirt is, the back is just as plain.  The only thing on the back is the Velcro.  Like most Journey Girls outfits that are made of dark material, there is a white mesh material on the inside of the skirt to protect Callie's vinyl from color transfer.

The darling combination of the skirt and the shirt works perfectly with the more utilitarian look of the vest, making this a very fashionable outfit.

But wait...there is one more piece that really adds to Callie's outfit...her shoes!  What!  Usually, I glaze over this section of the review because Journey Girls gives us the same old boring shoes (i.e. plastic flats or sandals), but not this time.

Not only are Callie's boots new, but they are a part of the fashion of her outfit.  The over-the-knee "leather" boots are tan, with a dark brown plastic sole.  At the top of the boots is a shoe lace to tighten the boot, with the tie in the back.

There is just enough play in the leather to make it around Callie's ankle without too much hassle, but it's not so loose that the boot looks wonky.   The boots have a mesh layer inside also.

The best part is that the boot works perfectly with the utilitarian, cutesy vibe the rest of the outfit has.  Take the vest off and the boots look like Callie could go out for a fun time with the rest of the Journey Girls.

Keep the vest on and the boots make her look like she is ready to do some hiking in them.

So great to see new shoes!!!!  SO AWESOME!!!!!

Okay...calm back down.  The set comes with two more accessories.  To accent Callie's new hairdo, she has a brown leather headband with a double bow at the top.

The color comes close to matching the rust orange vest but isn't quite the same.  Finally, Callie comes with a little yellow snake skin clutch.  A leather wrist strap matches her headband and helps Callie hold her little clutch.

A fabric silver clasp hides the piece of Velcro underneath that actually helps keep the little clutch closed.  Altho tiny, the clutch is cute and adds some color to the outfit.


All ratings are out of 10

Poseability - 7 – She is better than the special edition dolls, but still not great.  Callie's leg joints are not as nice as Ilee's.  Her left arm is super stubborn and her head is down right difficult to move.  Why can't Toys R Us make a good doll joint?  I'm sure there is something with patents, but gee whiz...these things are not great.  I'm not going to complain about the splaying legs because honestly, almost every 18" doll has this issue.  What I do have an issue with is the hip joint does not move correctly to make balancing Callie easy.  Move the leg forward and it also moves out.  So to balance her she often has to have her legs in more of an open position.  The most frustrating part about the joints is that this doll is going to be different than your doll.  Ugh!!!  Why the 7 then?  Because she still has the ability, after some wrestling with her, to tilt her head, to balance (usually), and pose in positions that look natural.  So...still pretty good.

Quality - 7 – All of Callie's clothes are very nice quality, some of the better clothes Journey Girls has put out.  Callie herself is a mixture of good and not so awesome.  Not mentioning the joints, Callie has bang problems, with hair not being even or cut badly.  The new darker lower eyelashes are not always on the eyelid.  Check each doll as some are better than others.  And Callie is the doll with the worst wondering eyes of all of the Journey Girls.  It always seems like one of them is looking off to the side.  Out of a stock of 8 dolls, I found one that is even close to acceptable.  Maybe I am too picky.  Still, Callie has great vinyl and awesome clothes.  My doll's hair is nice and thick, but I know some other people have said that their doll's is not very thick.

Adorableness - 9 – I love Callie with bangs!!!!  I also like the new hair color and I even like her new skin color.  She is a very cute doll with a beautiful face.  I am so glad that Toys R Us has kept the original face mold rather than going to the new one.

Compatibility - 6 – So everything but the boots "fit"...meaning I can get them on an American Girl doll.  But boy are they tight.  The shirt just velcro and barely fits over the AG dolls hands.  The skirt JUST Velcro's., and I am sure that once you move the doll around it will pop open.  The vest fits great thanks to the elastic bands in the sides.  So not a bad outfit, but not one that can easily go on other brand dolls.

Overall Score - 8 – Australian Callie is amazingly cute.  Her bangs, her outfit, those boots!  All add up to a great doll.  Yes, Callie has some issues, most of which are inherent to the Journey Girls line.  Knowing that the joints aren't going to be perfect and that you are going to have to search for an amazing doll, is part of buying a Journey Girl.  Honestly, though, the last American Girl I bought, I had to search for a doll that had good eyes and great paint...and they are 3 times as expensive (and not as cute).  This iteration of Callie is definitely worth picking up, especially if you don't have an original Callie with bangs.  What do you think about her?  Do you like her bangs?  Comment here...or find us on Facebook.


I forget what name I used before said...

I personally think the bangs are super cute, and her outfit is one my favorite JG outfits ever. Still, the consistency issues you keep seeing between dolls are a little worrisome. It's too bad you can't tell what the joints will be like just by looking at the doll. >_<

JGMom said...

Both of the Ilee dolls I saw at TRU today had a slight case of lazy eye. I love the doll but not enough to buy one with defects. It seems like this year's dolls come with more problems than usual.

Farrah Lily said...

Great review! I also got this Callie from the TRU website and my only complaint is that her eyes seem a little wonky. She's already been opened and played with by my daughters so she's here to stay, lol, but I could see her as being even cuter if her eyes were perfect! Overall she really is adorable and I love the outfit. My girls were fighting over her boots yesterday and I hope they make a few more like that! We are so happy to finally have a Callie in our collection. :). I think the did a great job with this line and I'm hoping to get Chavonne next!

Melody Silverleaf said...

Great review! I too wonder why they changed her complexion so drastically. LOVE those boots. The outfit is super cute.