Sunday, August 26, 2018

Dana's Australian Hoodie Outfit

A Different Hoodie Outfit 

With the release of the Australian outfits this past year we saw a wide range of different style outfits. The neat thing about most of them is that they're very new, unlike years in the past, where we've seen recycled pieces and then a few little new pieces.  The outfit that we're looking at today is a jogging suit.   It comes with leggings, a windbreaker with a hood, a tank top and shoes. Unlike many of the journey girl outfits, this outfit does not come with a purse it only has the outfit.

The jacket is a very lightweight material, exactly what you'd expect it to be made out of for a windbreaker.  With pink sleeves, a dark gray chest area, and a light gray hood the jacket is fun and looks very realistic as far as a windbreaker goes. It has little white pockets sewn into the jacket on the front.   

They're really only as deep as the little pieces of fabric, but you can put the doll's fingers in them if her arms bent,  which they don't, so they are just for decoration…again. 

This jacket comes with a zipper.   Woo Hoo!!!!   It's wonderful to have the jacket actually be able to be zipped up with a real zipper. The zipper is easy to get up and down.   

A great feature especially for this jacket since it makes so much sense that a windbreaker would have a zipper. The hood is also very neat in that it is big enough to hold the doll’s hair. Oftentimes the hoods are a little bit small and so you have to tuck the doll’s hair down their back.  

With the hood on this jacket, you could actually wind it up and get it to stay in the back of the hood without the hood looking like it's in a goofy spot on the doll’s head.   Two drawstrings make it possible to tighten the hood so that it really stays in place.

Similar to every other tank top the Journey Girls has released, this bright orange one is made out of a nice thin stretchy material.  

It has Velcro all the way up the back.  Why all of the tops aren’t this way I am not sure.  It’s such a great thing!  You don't have to slip the tank top up over Dana’s feet just put it on her arms and Velcro it in the back! That's really it for the tank top there's nothing really special about it or different, it's made well, the material is great and makes a lot of sense for this outfit, but, it's just kind of a tank top.

On the other hand, the pants are a very fun wild pattern made out of a similar material to the tank top.  The stretchy material is a little bit thicker, similar to some of the stretch pants that we've seen from Journey Girls before. 

These ones are mostly black with white markings on them that go back-and-forth. The design really makes me think of birch bark or almost like a camouflage but without the rounded pattern.  Elastic around the waist holds the leggings up.  They fit very well; they are not too tight to make it hard to put on and off, but they're not so loose that they look goofy with this outfit. 

Now, the shoes are the standard familiar plastic tennis shoes that we've seen in sets since the Journey Girls came out. However, they're okay to have in this set.  

The bright orange color goes well with the tank top and lends themselves to the overall outfit.  It would be great to have shoes that are made of fabric or a material closer to real tennis shoes, however, I think this style of tennis shoe is difficult to make in a fabric. Our Generation is the only one that I've really seen that has nice tennis shoes that look like running shoes.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – Overall this is a great outfit.  Everything is made well.  I wish the shoes were not just the normal plastic tennis shoes we have seen before, but they are okay.  Although I am not a huge fan of purses accessories, I would have liked to see some sort of accessory with this set.  Maybe an iPod? As a whole, it's a great set.

Fitment 10 – Perfect fit for the clothes.  Like many of the plastic tennis shoes, these ones are tight, making for a game of wiggle and push trying to get them on Dana's feet.  Better this way than too loose in my opinion.

Versatility 9 – The entire outfit can be used for completely different outfits.  The pants and tank top are the easiest to use with other outfits, but the jacket will work with certain clothes.  Even the tennis shoes can be used with an accent piece!

Cuteness 8 – If I hadn't found the purple jogging outfit near the same time I found this one, scores would maybe be different.  This is a cute outfit, but not quite as cute as the purple jogging outfit.  This set is more practical an updated than the purple one.  The bright colors give it a much different feel than the older purple outfit.  

Overall 8 – Solid outfit.  Wish it had an accessory, like a water bottle, an iPod, or a pedometer watch.  That would be awesome!  As it is, it is made well, has great color, and has a real zipper!!!  Although the shoes aren't my favorite, they look great with this outfit and there aren't as many of the JG plastic tennis shoes out there as there are the flats!  Great outfit.  If you find it on eBay, it should be less than $20.  

AG Note

Say no to the shoes...because (as always) they don't fit.  Too skinny for the AG feet.  The rest of the outfit squeezes on to an American Girl doll.  The pants are tight around the waist and at certain points along the leg, but they actually aren't horrible.  

I was expecting them to be extremely tight.  However, sitting is an issue.  The pants pull down off the dolls bottom most of the time.   As you can see from the photo of the tank top, it is tight.  

It just Velcros in the back, but because it doesn't go around the shoulders there is no restriction in movement.   

This looks tight, whereas the pants do not.  If the jacket was a normal Journey Girls jacket it would fit perfectly on AG dolls.  Since most JG jackets are meant to be worn open they usually fit well on an AG doll.  This one fits, although the arms are very tight, but can not be zipped up  Because the arms are tight around the biceps, moving the dolls arms up and down is not really an option.

If this outfit was still available from the store (lucky you is!!!) I would suggest getting it to share with your JG and AG dolls.  Since the only place to find in the U.S. is on eBay...skip it unless you love it for your Journey Girls.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Jogging Suit

Alana in an Older Journey Girls Outfit

As Toys R Us cleared out their stores, interesting things showed up in store.  The outfit I am reviewing today is from the first or second wave of Journey Girls.  It’s a purple, crushed velvet jogging outfit, with a pink tank top, pink duffel bag, and tennis shoes.  A neat outfit that I was glad to have snagged…here’s why.

The pants and jacket (hoodie) are made of the same crushed velvet material.  Soft, with deep purple color, the material looks shiny rather than soft.   

Embroidered into the right front hip of the pants is a heart with “JG” in the middle, a tiny crown over the heart,  and “Journey Girls” around the heart.  

There is a matte purple ribbon, tied in a bow, in the middle of the waist.  It's probably there to simulate a drawstring, but the pants actually have an elastic waist.  The fit is awesome when standing, but gets a tad tight on Alana when she sits down.

You can tell this is an older Journey Girls hoodie; there is a zipper, and there is no liner on a dark materialed outfit.  Both of which are kind of neat.  

A real white zipper runs up the front of the hoodie, making it easy to get it on and off, and adding to the realism of the outfit.  

The cuffs of the sleeves and the bottom of the jacket have dark purple elastic.  Embroidered on the left breast is the same heart with a crown above and the initials “JG” inside.

Running the outside  length of the sleeves are two white ribbons, accenting the sleeve and matching the zipper.  

Like many gym hoodies, the back of the hoodie has the Journey Girls monogram embroidered across the entire back of it.  

It’s really neat, and it’s interesting to see that the old Journey Girls symbol was the heart with the little crown over it.

I am not sure what to call the pink undershirt.  It’s not quite a tank-top as it has very small sleeves, but it doesn’t strike me as a t-shirt either.  

No matter what you call it, it’s a nice little pink cotton shirt.  There is a collar with two white stitched rings in it.  It has Velcro up the entire back, making it possible to put on without going over the dolls feet.  (YAY!!!)  It’s nice that it is not a white shirt.  The pink adds more to the outfit.

The duffel bag is made of a silk like material.  A brighter pink than the shirt, it doesn’t match anything on the outfit, but it does look like it belongs with the outfit.  

The”JG” monogram is stitched into one side of the bag with black thread.   It has a tubular shape, with an opening on top to put things in…although I’m pretty sure none of the items in this set will fit in the bag.

Back in the day, these shoes may have been a new design, but now they are old news.  The standard molded pink plastic goes well with the outfit and are easy to get on and off of the dolls.  

Even though they aren’t new or fancy, they work well with this outfit.  And since back when this outfit was released they were still a fairly new design…I’ll say they are good shoes.

When Journey Girls first was releasing outfits all of them came with a hanger, like this one does.  They were removed from most outfits after awhile, only remaining in the “Celebration” outfits.  This one comes with the hanger, which is a nice little accessory.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 9 – Old outfits like this one were made really well.  The stitched "Journey Girls" emblem on the back of the hoodie is a great example of this, as is the real zipper.  The outfit also comes with a decent amount of pieces to it.  And, although the shoes are not awesome, they were nice at the time when this outfit was released.  

Fitment 9 – Perfect fit on every piece....if the doll isn't sitting.  The pants get tight when Alana sits, but I feel like that is real life.  Maybe the pants could have been a little looser in the butt without looking floppy, but I am not sure of that.  AS they are, they are great pants, just tight when she sits down.

Versatility 7 – The pieces of this outfit can definitely be used with other outfits, but I feel like they are going to look better as a set.  

Cuteness 9 – Cute and cuddly!  I love the color and the design of the outfit.  The embroidered emblem and name are great touches.  It's a really cute lounging or exercise outfit.

Overall 9 – Overall this is a really solid outfit.  It is made amazingly well.  I forget how nice many of the early outfits were made.  One of the things I really like about this outfit is the emblem.  It's really awesome to have some Journey Girls swag.   The fit of the pants is such a small issue that it doesn't really factor in to the score for this outfit.  I'd tell you to look for this one, but now that Toys R Us is gone in the US and because this is an older outfit, it is going to be harder to find.  I think it would be worth getting on eBay if it showed up, but not for much more than $15.

AG Note

No...the shoes don't fit.  But the rest of the outfit does...very snugly.  Of the three pieces to the outfit, the pants are probably the worst.  

You could have probably guessed that though, since the American Girl dolls have a big derriere and the Journey Girls have a flat behind.  

The undershirt stretches enough to fit, but that Velcro is really working to keep it closed. 

The jacket does zip up pretty easily, but the tightness of everything restricts movement.'s a cute outfit and it does fit.  

However it feels wrong putting a piece of clothing with so many Journey Girls emblems on it, on any other doll than a Journey Girl.  Keep this outfit for the Journey Girls!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Matilda Travels Down the Great Ocean Road

From Phillip Island to Port Campbell 

Matilda's final stretch of her travels brought her to the southeastern part of Australia, near Melbourne.  Beginning at Phillip Island, Matilda explores the beautiful ocean views and the wildlife that populates the coastal areas.  

Philip Island is home to many unique things, including a koala sanctuary, a GP road course, and the worlds smallest penguins.  Matilda is a HUGE koala fan! 

In the koala sanctuary koalas freely climb through the trees, resting in the crooks of the limbs, and eating....lots of eating! 

Matilda learned that koalas sleep a large portion of the day because they only eat leaves.  The eucalyptus leaves just don't give them a lot of energy.  

Like humans koalas have five fingers, but instead of one thumb, they have two, making their grip much stronger than ours.  

Oh my gosh these koalas are cute!

Matilda had cuteness overload on Philip Island.  Along the shore, near the Nobbies, small two by four boxes are strewn throughout the landscape. 

Peaking inside on of the boxes, Matilda spies one of the tiny penguins that inhabit the island.  Every evening, after dusk, thousands of these tiny penguins make their way on-land after a long day of fishing at sea. 

As the waves roll onto the shore, tiny splashes can be seen on the curve of the wave.  After the wave crashes on the shore, it recedes, magically leaving 100's of penguins in its wake. Matilda didn't get any pictures because the flashes from the cameras scare the penguins.  But here is a video of the cuties.

A beautiful sunrise greeted Matilda the next morning as she enjoyed the serene beach scene. 

Only the locals were out on the beach, walking on the sandy beach....and the seagulls. 

Further up the beach was an area of smooth rock formations. 

She enjoys the beach for a little longer before getting in the car for her trip down the coast on the Great Ocean Road.

In places the road is right on the coast with cliffs leading down to the aqua blue water below.  Beautiful beaches pop up along the road with flat golden sands.  Every twist of the road brings a new magnificent landscape into view. 

Matilda keeps thinking that she has seen the most beautiful stretch of oceanline, until the next curve reveals a new view, even more spectacular than the last.  Some of the coast has sharp jagged black rocks, forming cliffs that in places were forty to fifty feet high.  Other places are made of layered sandstone that are worn away by the crashing waves and the roaring wind.  Matilda loves the areas where harder sandstone creates a lace looking design to the stone.

Even though much of Matilda's trip down the Great Ocean Road was hampered by rain, she was still able to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  Along the road there were a couple of amazing lighthouses that you could walk to.

Her favorite was a tall white one with a bright red top.

Further along the road the 12 Apostles, 12 large sandstone rock formations along the shore, amazed Matilda with how simple but amazing they were.

She tried to imagine how they were formed by the wind and the waves.  How different the coast must have looked hundreds of years ago.  It was an awe inspiring sight.

She could have stayed there, listening to the waves crash against the rocks for days, but it was finally time to drive back to Melbourne.  She had a long flight back to her new home in the US.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of Matilda's trip and a small amount of the amazing country that is Australia!

Sorry...not many doll photos in this one.  It rained most of the time we were on the Great Ocean Road.  All of the photos were in between rain showers (hence the rainbow and rain clouds that can be seen in many of them).  More doll photos to come in the next few weeks though.