Sunday, October 1, 2017

Journey Girls Limited Edition Celebration Collection Set 2017

A One Doll Celebration Set for the Australia Release

For the last two years, Toys R Us has released a Limited Edition Celebration Collection that included two dolls and an extra outfit for each doll.  These retailed for $99 but were sold as specials for much less (I bought my 2016 2 pack for $28!).  This year Toys R Us changed it up a little, releasing a one doll pack (with no name) that comes with 5 outfits (including the one she is wearing) and retails for $79.99.

The outfits the doll comes with run the spectrum; from pajamas to a full-length dress.  I'm going to review each outfit separately and the set as a whole, to give you a better feel for everything in this unique collection.

Nothing is extremely new with the doll.  She has bright blue eyes, similar to Meredith's.

Her hair is similar to Mikaela's in color and length.

Her joints are the same as every other Journey Girls doll; her legs go way out to the sides for her to sit, each shoulder joint behaves differently, one a little loose, the other tight, and her head tilts with a bit of finesse.  The vinyl and cloth body are similar to those of every other Journey Girls.  She has enough differences to feel like a different doll.  Personally, I would have loved to see her with brown eyes.

My doll's box was extremely squished.  The doll was okay inside, but this box went right into the garbage!

The cardboard that the doll and clothes are attached to slides out of the box, after you cut some tape around the handle.

Getting the doll out of the package is pretty easy; there is a rubber band around her neck that can be taken off, a piece of thread around her hair and into the cardboard that can be cut, twist-ties around her ankles, and a couple I-fasteners to hold her skirt to the cardboard.

Getting the rest of the outfits and accessories off the cardboard is a bit more challenging due to the staggering 41 I fasteners that hold everything on.  On one purse there were 5 fasteners!  Even on the outfits that are held onto the cardboard by body-shaped plastic, there are I-fasteners!  I guess it makes the packaging beautiful, but my goodness it is a pain in the butt to get all of the outfits off the cardboard, and even a bigger pain to find all of the I-fastener halves stuck in the clothing!

Outfit #1

Of course, before we can look at the first outfit, you have to find the 2 hidden I-fasteners on her coat.

Once those are clipped, it can come off.  The light pink wool coat is nice and thick, coming to just below the waist.  A strap at the wrists have a decorative button on them, making them look like they are functional, but alas, they are only for show.

Which is unfortunate, since the cuffs are tight when pulling the coat off.  A nice broad collar flows into the front of the coat.  Buttons on each side of the front imply that there is a way to close the coat, but, again, they are only for looks.  It would be amazing to have a coat that actually functioned the way a coat should.  Living in Minnesota, I have a few coats of my own and all of them fasten shut some way or another.  Why Journey Girls doesn't even make that an option on their outfits, I am not sure.  It is an adorable coat, even if it won't keep her extremely warm.

Underneath the coat is a knit stretch tank top, with wide shoulder straps and a high neckline.  The horizontal lavender and white stripes are really cute.  The top is an odd length.  With any other skirt, this top is going to show belly.  That may be the intent, it's hard to know.

I found myself continually trying to pull it down further as I took photos.  Luckily, the skirt can be pulled up past the belly button to cover her tummy.  Another oddity of this top is the fact that the velcroed back has a down area at the bottom that is less than half an inch.  Making you slide the top over the dolls legs and up her torso to get it on, instead of being able to slide it on her arms and velcro the back.

My only thought as to why Toys R Us does this is to keep the back closed at the bottom, but in this case, if they added half an inch of velcro, it would have done a great job.  One other concern with this top is that it is stretchy because it is knit.  If you put it onto a larger bodied doll (like and AG or OG doll) it will stretch and become loose on your Journey Girl.  Just be aware of this issue.  Again, even with the issues, this is a really cute top.

The silver fitted skirt sits high on the doll's tummy and comes to just below her knees.

Two front pleats make the fabric flare out at the hips, giving a mermaid-like shape to the skirt.  a piece of silver ribbon runs around the top of the skirt, almost like a belt, but more likely, just a pretty embellishment.  There is a simple embossed stitched pattern with alternating circles and four-petaled flowers, or "X's and O's".

Either way, it gives the skirt a look of lace, without having the second layer of fabric.  There are no issues with the skirt.  Just know that it is form fitting and does not fit well on other brand dolls (no matter what Toys R Us claims).

Rounding out the outfit set is a pair of lavender heeled, close-toed shoes and a wrist-worn purse.  The shoes are nothing new, first released two years ago.

There are no issues with fit as these plastic shoes are molded specifically for the Journey Girls.  The small white leather purse is accented with a light pink flap that velcros at the top.

The strap is very short making it impossible to do anything but put the purse on your doll's wrist.  This is one of the cutest purses that has been released in a while.

All ratings are out of 10

Fitment 8 –  Everything fits fine, although the coat can be difficult to get over the dolls hands, nothing is really tight.  The shirt is an odd length.  It would be nice to have it just a little longer.

Versatility 9 – Each of the pieces in this outfit is very versatile.  I especially like the skirt and I'm excited to use it with other outfits.  The coat will be great for dressy days out in the cold.  Even the plain old shoes will be good with other outfits.

Cuteness 8 – With great colors and good design, this outfit is cute and smart at the same time.  It would be amazing with a really great shoe.

Outfit #2

The second outfit includes a red striped, long sleeved shirt, cuffed jeans, plastic boots, and a purse.  All of these items we have seen before in slightly different iterations.

Like the purple shirt, this shirt has velcro in the back that almost goes down the entire length of the shirt.

So the stretchy cotton shirt cannot be pulled on, it must be slid on over the doll's legs.  Although the material is not as loose as the purple shirt, there is still a good amount of give in this stretchy cotton.  The shirt is a light red, more of a white shirt with lots of red flecks, with red horizontal stripes.  That is it.

The shirt doesn't have a collar or cuffs, or anything else.  It is just the shirt with stitching on the seams to make sure it doesn't fall apart.  Very plain, but functional and nice.

The jeans are very similar to every other pair of jeans that Journey Girls has put out.  There is elastic at the waist, stitching to portray pockets in the front, nothing in the back, and a nice blue color fabric.

The one difference is that these jeans are cuffed at the bottom of the legs.  Sewn in, the cuffs cannot come undone.  They are at a good height, right around the ankle.  With the boots on, I had to push the cuffs up a little so you could still see them.

Speaking of boots, this outfit has them.  A pair of silver, gray boots with the slit down the back.

Not bad shoes, but it would be really nice to have more color on them at least.  Make the laces a different color or the soles....something to make them stand out more.  The great thing about these boots is that they make your Journey Girls balance much better.  Standing the doll on her own in these is super simple compared to all of the other shoes.

This outfit also has a simple blue leather wrist purse.  A small piece of Velcro secures the top closed.  It's nothing fancy, but it works.

Again, it would be nice to have a different accessory; maybe sunglasses or a necklace, something other than a very plain purse.

All ratings are out of 10

Fitment 9 –  Fit is great.  The jeans can be difficult to get over the dolls feet, especially over the heal.  Other than that, the outfit is a great fit.

Versatility 9 – Even though there are not that many pieces to this outfit, everything can be used with other pieces.  These pieces are easily mixed with the last outfit to create more outfits.  I personally would like to see some different jeans.  I love that these ones are cuffed, but we need even more variety in the jeans for the Journey Girls.

Cuteness 7 – Not quite as cute as the outfit the doll comes in, this outfit is much more useful.  A good play day outfit, or work around the house outfit.  It is cute, but not one of the cutest outfits I have seen.

Outfit #3

The third outfit is a workout outfit with stretch pants, a short-sleeved top, and tennis shoes.

The bright pink top is similar to the orange top that came in last years Super Fashion Pack.  A mesh material makes up the shell of the top and then a cotton fabric is underneath that.

More of a lining rather than a complete shirt underneath the mesh.  The combination of the two fabrics makes for a fairly heavy duty feeling top.  The tiny little sleeves just curve over the doll's shoulders.  There is velcro down the back, but like all of these outfits, only partway down.

There is a half inch at the bottom that is sewn together, making it necessary to slide the shirt over the dolls legs.

My favorite part of this outfit is the stretch pants.  The navy blue pants have thin horizontal stripes that fade from white to yellow, to blue to red, going around the length of the pants.

On the left leg "journey girls" is spelled out in white letters vertically along the outside of the leg.  As would be expected with stretch pants, they are tight, but not so tight that you can't get them on.  The waist has elastic on it to hold them up.  These are fun pants.

There is part of me that loves the "Journey Girls" printed on the leg, and there is another part of me that wishes it was not there.  It definitely completes the stretch pants feel.  But it also makes them not as useful for other outfits.  Still...a very cute piece.

Plastic shoes...done better!  The tennis shoes that come with this outfit are not new, but they are done better than any of their over plastic shoes that Journey Girls make.

Instead of one solid color, the laces and sole of the shoes are a different color; in this case white, compared to the shoes bright pink color.  It would be awesome to have real laces or a non-plastic shoe, but these are a better shoe than the gray ones from the outfit before.  Not perfect, but better.

All ratings are out of 10

Fitment 10 –  No issues.  Everything fits amazingly well.  Even the tightness of the stretch pants was not an issue!  Great outfit.  Now be forewarned, that may not be the case for every person, as Journey Girls is notorious for having different fitment for many of the same outfits.  So don't be surprised if yours doesn't fit as well.

Versatility 6 – This may be a little harsh, as the top can be used with many different outfits and so can the shoes.  If the stretch pants didn't have "journey girls" plastered on it, I would say that they would be more versatile.  As it is, they are always going to be workout or lounge pants, not outfit my opinion.

Cuteness 9 – Maybe this outfit isn't as versatile as some of the other ones in this set, but it is extremely cute.  I love that we get a more active piece of clothing.  Something that everyone uses.  I also really like that the pants are cute and not pink or purple.  Good job!

Outfit #4

Each year the Celebration set has been released with a beautiful dress, and this year is no different.  The beautiful full-length lavender dress comes with silver sparkly shoes and a silver hand purse.

The entire dress is made of a lavender satin material.  At the empire waist, a piece of lavender ribbon runs around, separating the skirt from the bodice.   The top of the dress has a lavender lace layer on top of the satin layer.  A nice round neckline and wide shoulder straps complete this simple but elegant dress.

Now the issue; it doesn't fit!  Well, more accurately, it doesn't fit very well.  Although able to velcro the backup, I was barely able to make it stick.  In places, the velcro didn't even go halfway over the conjoining piece.

How can an outfit made for the Journey Girls not fit the Journey Girls?  Come on, quality control has to be better about things like this!

I'm sure most of you know what kind of shoes came with this outfit.  You guessed it...the plastic flats.

This time in a silver gray color with sparkles in them.  Shoes fit great, glad the dress covers them up for the most part.

A small over the wrist purse also comes with this outfit.  Made of silver leather the tiny purse has a piece of velcro to keep it closed.

The wrist strap is just big enough to fit over the doll's hand...just big enough.  Cute, but I feel like we have some other purses that are very similar.

The final small piece of this outfit is a tiny silver hair bow on a clear rubber band.  Nothing fancy, but it is nice for creating up-dos, or ponytails.

And if you do it right the bow is small enough to hide so it can be used with some of the other outfits in this set.

All ratings are out of 10

Fitment 6 –  Come on...the dress is so tight the velcro doesn't close all the way.  That is not awesome Toys R Us.  AS I mentioned before, fitment is an issue that varies drastically between each piece of clothing.  So your dress may fit perfectly.

Versatility 6 – A fancy dress is a fancy dress.  It can't be used with lots of other outfits.  The shoes can be used with other outfits, especially this color.  The purse and bow are also very versatile.

Cuteness 8 – This lavender is a beautiful color.  And the little bit of lace on the bodice of the dress is beautiful.  Better shoes and a different purse...or jewelry instead of a purse would be better.

Outfit #5

Like the dress, the last outfit is not as versatile as the others.  For the first time, a pajama set is included in a celebration set.

The outfit comes with a matching top and bottom, and nice fuzzy slippers.

Although the outfit is simple, it is well made.  The white cotton long sleeved top has tiny hearts in a random pattern.

There are aqua blue cuffs at the ends of the arms, at the waist, and a smaller cuff along the neckline.

Out of all of the outfits, this is the only one that Velcros all the way down the back.

The pants match the top, made out of the same white cotton, with hearts pattern, and aqua cuffs at the ends of the legs.

There is a little bagginess to the pants, perfect for pajama bottoms.   Elastic around the waist helps hold them up.  Very simple, exactly as pajama pants should be.

Slippers are an essential piece to all good sleepwear.  The Celebration set has aqua blue slippers that match the cording that makes up the cuffs on the shirt and pants.

Inside the slippers is a white, soft, furry material.  If you have had doll slippers before you know that they are not the best for staying on the feet because there is usually no heal on them.  Journey Girls' slippers are no different in design, except they did figure out a way to keep the slippers on.

There is a small piece of elastic that slips around the doll's heal, keeping the slipper from "slipping" off. A simple solution to a frustrating issue.

All ratings are out of 10

Fitment 10 –  No issues with this outfit.  Everything is a little loose, which is exactly what you would expect for pajamas.  Even the slippers fit great!

Versatility 6 – Uhhh...not much versatility.  Except maybe using the pieces with other pajama sets.  Well, I guess you could use the pajama bottoms...I have seen people wearing PJ bottoms at Walmart before!

Cuteness 8 – Super cute pajamas.  The fabric is a little thin, but not so much that it feels cheap.  The design, colors, and patterns are really cute.  I especially love the slippers!  It would have been nice to have something for over the doll's eyes since they can not close.  Not a big deal though.

Ratings for the Entire Set

All ratings are out of 10

Value 9 – This is a great deal, even at full price.  A doll and 5 outfits should be about $120 (that is assuming that all the outfits are $19.99...which is usually the case.) Basically, you get the doll for free.  AS I type this the set is on sale for $64.  If past years are any indicator we should see this set drop drastically toward Thanksgiving in the US.  At any of these prices, the set is still a good deal.  Pick it up before it is unavailable.

Fitment 8 – For the most part everything in this set fits well.  Surprisingly, the one piece that is a huge part of the Celebration line is the one piece that does not fit well!  As can be the case with many outfits some of the items have trouble getting over the hands and feet of the doll.  And, I will reiterate it again: each outfit can fit differently even though it is the same outfit.  Journey Girls' outfits are notorious for being inconsistent in their fit.

Versatility 7 – A few of the outfits have very specific uses and really can't be used for other things.  That being said the many pieces of the outfits have a lot of possibilities, even within this set!

Cuteness 9 – There is not one outfit that I don't like in this set.  I don't like parts of some of the outfits (see shoes in most of the sets), but overall all the outfits are very cute.  The potential of other cute outfits from all of the pieces in this set is also awesome.

Overall 9 – This is a great set with a lot of great pieces.  The price is reasonable for all of the things that you get.  Getting a new doll, with bright new blue eyes and Mikaella's pretty hair is awesome.  As always there is a wishlist that comes along with a set like this.  At the top of the list is always shoes!  Better shoes would be amazing.  Two purses would be great, three purses is too many.  Give us some different accessories; sunglasses, socks, jewelry, toys, cell phones, cameras, travel items, souvenirs from Australia...something new!  It would also be nice to get a non-white doll.  We did get an ethnic doll as the Holiday I will be okay with this, but I'd love to have another Asian doll.  Still, this set is awesome. Watch for it to go on sale if the price feels too high for one doll and some clothes.

AG Note

I bet you can guess the items that fit and the items that don't fit.  None of the shoes fit and AG doll.  The slippers do fit though!  The purple dress fits, but will not close.

Not surprising since it barely closes on the Journey Girls dolls.

The dress does look cute from the front and Maryellen's hair can hide the fact that the dress doesn't close.

The purple striped shirt closes but is stretched to its limit.

The skirt is tight on Maryellen's hips and will not close at all.

The jacket goes about halfway onto her arm before the hole gets too small for her hands.

So no jacket for Maryellen.

Not surprisingly the stretch pants fit on Maryellen.

They are tight...she is not going to be stretching much in them, but they fit.

The same is true of the shirt.

It fits, but boy is it tight.

Another tight shirt is the red striped shirt.

Again, it fits, but it looks a couple sizes too small.  The jeans don't even come close.

They can't make it around the bend between Maryellen's wider feet and thicker legs.  So she gets to wear a cute top, but not pants.  Eeekk!

The one outfit that fits is the pajamas.

They are still very tight, especially the top which just barely closes, but it does stay closed.

And as mentioned before those cute little slippers fit on Maryellen's feet.

This set is probably not worth getting if you are going to use the outfits only on American Girls.  If you are going to use the outfits for both types of dolls, then it worth the $80.  Plus you get a new doll!