Saturday, September 8, 2018

Australian Paddle Board

"Exclusive" Paddle Board

Another “Bankruptcy find” was this paddle board set.  Originally released in Australia and Canada, "exclusively" for the Australian Journey Girls line, this set has shown up in many Toys R Us stores as the bankruptcy liquidation has begun.  Probably just a coincident to the liquidation, as this set was probably going to be released in the US at this time anyways.  

Here’s what comes with the set, which was retailing at $29.99; a paddle board, a paddle, a wet suit, goggles, snorkel, fins, a towel, a bag to hold the items, a water bottle, and sunscreen.  That's a lot of pieces for the price, especially compared to the normal outfit sets.

Let’s first look at the outfit that comes in this set.  The three colored wet suit looks like it is two pieces, due to an interesting hem on the bottom of the shirt, but it is in fact one piece.  

A large majority of the suit is black, including the legs, and a large part of the top, and the collar.  The sleeves and above the black on the shirt are a bright pink.  Swatches of white under the arms round out the colors of the outfit.  

Like most swimwear, this outfit is made of the stretchy nylon/spandex material. There is Velcro in the back to make it easier to get the doll in and out of the suit.  

My suit's Velcro doesn't quite match up on both side.  

Luckily the longer section is the loop part of the Velcro, so it doesn't snag the material.  Be Careful.  This suit stains the doll if it gets wet.  Soak the outfit or wash it so that there is no color transfer.  

You can see on my Meredith where the color transferred to the vinyl.  The suit was not on her for more than a day.   

Besides the color transfer (which is preventable if you soak the suit - I forgot to this time) a great piece of swimwear that matches this set very well.

Close to the actual shape of a real paddle board, the Journey Girl's paddle board is round at the top, flares out like a surf board and the taper to a rounded point on the back.

Made of a hollow teal plastic, the board has a slight curve to it from front to back.

Unlike Our Generation's surf board or American Girl's sail board, this paddle board is hollow, making it thicker than either of those two items, similar to a real life paddle board.  A pink and white Hawaiian curled design, accented with hibiscus flowers adorns the deck of the board.

There are no fins on the bottom, probably so that it can slide across the carpet easier, but there is a slot where the leash is attached.

Made of a thing rope, connected to a nylon strap, that is connected by another piece of thin rope to a rubber braided cord, attached to yet another piece of rope, that is finally attached to the ankle strap.

It's lovely to have this little piece of authenticity on the paddle board.  The length of the cord is probably longer than it needs to be, but it makes it easier to pose the doll that way.  Lovely piece!

Similar in color to the board, the teal paddle has a rectangular handle for Meredith to slide her hand through and a grip at the top of the shaft for her other hand.

The blade is thin and scooped out like a spoon.  It feels very chintzy compared to the shaft of the paddle.

On the front of the blade a hibiscus and the words "Journey Girls" is designed in white, tying it into the board.

Even though the box shows Ilee easily holding the paddle with her hand through the handle and her other hand on the grip, do not be deceived, it is an exercise in patience to get this to happen.

As you can see from my photos I had Meredith just hold the paddle without using the handle, which was much easier to do than having her hand through the handle, like in the outdoor shots (I ended up using double sided tape to hold the grip in her hand!)

I don't know why the handle isn't further down the shaft of the paddle anyways.  It is much too high to be usable there.

It's interesting that the snorkel, mask, and fins are included in this set, as they seem to be a separate activity than the paddle board.  Glad to have them though.  The fins (or flippers) are a bright pink  flexible rubber.

They easily slip on to Meredith's feet, but still hold well and don't fall off.  The design on these is awesome.  They look very realistic and feel the same way.  Really a great piece...even if they don't go with a paddle board.

The goggles frames match the bright pink of the fins, but the majority of the goggles are a transparent blue.  A little bump below the glasses makes room for Meredith's nose.  Although the goggles have a curve to them that mimics the curve of the dolls face, there is still a gap between the goggles and Meredith's face.

So water would get in if she was actually swimming.  Just an observation, not really a criticism. A pink band of soft plastic wraps around the back of Meredith's head and can be tightened by pulling on the notched ends.

On the left side of the goggles there is a clip that the snorkel fits in.

The snorkel itself is made of a softer plastic similar to the fins, and the same bright pink color.  At the top end, the mostly solid tube has a very short opening to give the illusion that the snorkel is hollow. At the other end is a clear blue mouth piece.

Instead of a realistic piece that would go in the mouth, this one covers the lips on the outside.  It looks realistic and fits perfectly!

If you go out into the water, you have to have something to dry off with, so this set has a great towel. It's white with aqua blue stripes a little darker then the blue of the paddle board. The alternating stripes start with a thick aqua blue stripe then two thin ones then another thick one. 

This is a normal size beach towel which means it's not quite big enough for Meredith to lay on but she can definitely sit on it with no problem. 

This soft cotton beach towel is similar to other Journey Girls beach towels, feeling softer than some of the Our Generation towels. 

Two small accessories come with this set; a water bottle and a sunscreen bottle. 

Both are perfect size for the Journey Girls to hold onto and Meredith has no issue holding either of these. The water bottle looks similar to a Fuji water bottle.  It is square and clear and has a Journey Girls sticker wrapped around it. The sticker has "JG" and then a colored hibiscus underneath of it, similar to a Fuji bottle. 

To the right side of that, it says "Journey Girls" and has the nutritional facts on it, which is kind of cute. The back and the left side of the sticker are identical.  

They're blue with water droplets on the bottom half. The square shape does make it a little difficult for Meredith to hold, not hard, you just have to figure out how to fit it in her hand and then it'll stay. One thing that I don't like about the sticker is that as it goes around the outside of the bottle it stops on a corner. 

Making it very easy for it to come off as you're playing with the bottle. Otherwise very cute.

The sunscreen comes in a white bottle with an orange top.  A sticker on the front with the Journey Girls emblem, a hibiscus and the SPF of the sunscreen.   

The sticker fades from pink to orange.   Very simple, but cute and kind of promotes that we need to be careful of the sun.

Most Journey Girls outfits come with a purse, however since this is a beach set it comes with a beach bag. The bag is white with yellow stripes and is made of a thicker rougher fabric similar to what a beach bag would normally be made of.   

On the front there is a purple "JG" with a hibiscus flower on it. The handles are made out of yellow ribbon and go from the bottom of the bag up to the top and then form a handle. A couple of great things about this bag: one it's big enough to fit everything including the blanket into it, which is awesome, that's exactly what you want for a beach bag. 

It's a little tough to get the fins in there but they will fit with everything else. The other thing that's awesome is that the handles are long enough to put it over Meredith's shoulder so she can actually carry. Meredith is not able to carry the bag with the fins in it.  

She can fit the mask and snorkel in there if you position them correctly.  The fins are just too tall and will not fit with the bag on Meredith's arm. This is a great little bag though and I'm really glad the Journey Girls decided to include it.

All ratings are out of 10

Playability 9 – With more than just the paddle board, this set has a good amount of playability.  Although it was a little disappointing to see that the paddle board didn't have fins, it makes it much easier to play with.  As it can slide across the floor with no problem.  Meredith easily stands on the board.  With the addition of the snorkel, fins, and other beach items, this set becomes much more rounded as a set.  Meredith can go paddle boarding, snorkeling, or sit on the beach.  Although I'm not sure that many people would lay on their beach towel in a wet suit.  Still it's awesome to have all of the different items with this set.

Value 9 –  The amount of items that you get in the set for the price is awesome.  There are so many pieces.  This set really could have been just the paddle board, the paddle, and the wet suit, which makes it nice to have the other items.

Quality 9 – Most everything is made really well.  The water bottle's sticker is not perfectly designed.  The paddle board is not solid (which makes it more buoyant...if you put it in water like me).  The paddle is a bit flimsy.  But there is nothing that is made poorly, just not the best design. 

Overall 9 -  This is a great set, with lots of items to play with.  Everything is made well.  There are some small design issues, but nothing enough to make the set not worth buying.  If you are in Canada, pick this set up!  It is well worth the cost.

AG note

I thought because the fins looked a little bit bigger that they would easily be able to fit an American Girl doll's feet.

Unlike all the other shoes that Journey Girls makes, these fins do fit on the American Girl dolls, but just barely, and they look a little wonky.

 Most Journey Girls outfits fit fine on the American Girls, but are a little bit snug.  

The wet suit is tight but Olivia can move her arms and legs just fine with no issues.  

The only problem is the Velcro on the back is tight.  

Other than that, the outfit fits perfectly. All the accessories worked great with the American Girl dolls. 

The paddle is actually easier to put in  Olivia's hand then it was to put in Meredith's hand. 

Because Olivia's hand is more open, she can hold onto the water bottle better also. The one piece that surprised me was that the paddle board cannot be Velcroed to the American girl dolls leg. 

The ankle strap isn't quite long enough to go around Olivia's ankle, but a slight modification makes it work . 

Overall I would say that this is a great outfit and set to have for both dolls.   Only a few things are snug on the American Girl doll and those are really just accessories that don't make or break the set.  If you can find it for a good price...or you live in Canada...scoop this set up!