Saturday, July 21, 2012

Journey Girls Doll Review

This is another doll brand that I've been anxious to review on the blog since it's another mainstream alternative for American Girl.  The Journey Girls dolls are the 18" line sold in ToysRUs.  They retail for around $32 each.  

My mom was able to snag this lovely lady on eBay for a much better price, and then let me borrow her to do a review. :)  So, "this blog post is brought to you mom". ;)

This is Alana, the lovely Hispanic Journey Girls doll.  The outfit she is wearing was her original "meet outfit", although I believe she comes in a different outfit now.

Her boots are thin leathery-like cloth with Velcro closure on the sides.

A few close-ups of her pretty face (sorry about the lighting in the first two):

One of the first things I noticed was how horribly thin her rooted hair was on the top.  This seems to be a recurring problem among the less expensive 18" dolls.  Thankfully, there's always rewigging! ;)

The Journey Girls have beautiful stationary eyes that do not open or close.  They also have "real" lashes (not just painted on ones).

A side view of Alana's lashes.

I took several shots of Alana with some of my other dolls so you'd get an idea of her size compared to the others.

I thought I'd start by comparing her to an American Girl doll, since that is one of the most well-known brands.  I also wanted to try to keep this post somewhat consistent with my earlier doll comparison posts. :)  

As you can see from the picture above, the JG dolls are almost the same height as the AGs...

...but their heads are much bigger.

And here is a shot to show the difference in their bodies.  (I didn't do a warning about "nude dolls" for this post because there's really not much to see...sorry if I offended anyone). :{  As you can see, the JG dolls have a much thinner body than the AGs, as well as thinner arms and legs.

One of the things that disappointed me the most about this doll was the thin, low quality material that made up the cloth portion of her body.  It was extremely lightweight, and between her large head, skinny legs, and the fact that the majority of her body was vinyl, she had a very difficult time standing up by herself.  I think that younger kiddos would find this incredibly frustrating (at least, if they're anything like my kids!).

Here's a closer look at the JG legs...

...and AG legs.

Side view

Back view

Here's a picture of Alana's body tag.

The markings on the back of her head read "Geoffrey, LLC" (after the copyright mark).

Here she is with my 21" Karito Kids doll.

These dolls have similar non-blinking, glass-look eyes with real lashes.  

They also have similar body types, as you can see from this pic, with vinyl shoulders and chest plates (sorry...I just noticed how blurry this picture is!). :{

Here she is with Maggie, my Alexander Girlz 18" doll.

A close up of the two.  In each of these pics, her head seems rather ginormous (that's my favorite new word lately...have you noticed?), ;) but I think that it's closest in size to Maggie's. 

Her body structure is also very similar to the Alexander Girlz dolls, but once again, she is much thinner (and the Alexander Girlz are even thinner than the American Girl dolls).

Notice how far down her vinyl chest plate goes compared to Maggie's?  I think that may be one of the issues with her standing problems.  There's so much vinyl on her that the thin cloth never stands a chance to hold her up.

And finally, here she is with my BFC Ink Britt doll.

Here's a close-up. :)  I didn't do an undressed pic of these two because I was lazy and because I didn't want to issue another naked doll warning. ;)

So now that you've seen the dolls together to get an idea of the JG's compatibility with other doll types, the question you must be wondering is whether or not the JGs can share clothes with the AGs, right?  As a mom, I know that's one of the things I like to know (I'm not a fan of having to go out and purchase or make an entire new wardrobe for another line of dolls!).

Let me show you in pictures:

Here's Charlie, my AG doll, in Alana's clothes.  They technically fit...sorta. :}  She doesn't look all that comfortable in her shirt...

...and while the pants look okay in the front...

...there in the back (this was honestly as high as I could get the pants around her bottom...and see how the thread in the seat of the pants is already strained?).

And even though I got her shirt to close in the back, I don't think it would be the best thing for it to be this stretched out all the time.

I thought I'd try the clothes on Maggie too, since Alexander Girlz are a little bit skinnier than American Girls. I think Maggie looks slightly more comfortable than Charlie did.

The pants definitely fit better on her...

...but I still had to stretch them considerably to get them on.  I don't think the pants would last long if I made a habit of this.

So then I thought I'd try Alana's clothes on a BFC Ink doll, since they're the skinniest 18" dolls I have.

Alana's meet shirt looks pretty nice, as long as you're looking for a comfy, over-sized shirt look.  The black pants worked because they were stretch pants.

But when I tried Alana's khakis on, they were way too loose.

Alana also came with a pretty dress that I thought might work for the BFCs.  At first glance it looks okay...

...but when you get a closer look, you realize that this "tight dress" is a bit large on a BFC Ink.  It was almost falling off of her.

Meanwhile, here is Alana in some made-for-AG clothes.  It looks okay at first glance, although she's wearing her shorts the way most of the teenage boys in the mall do (Dude, what is UP with that?  Hasn't anyone heard of a belt?  Oh, sorry...I's considered "cool" to show the world your undies and have half of your bottom hanging out of your shorts.  Ick.).

Apparently, Alana needs to invest in a belt too.  I think she'd do okay in a made-for-AG dress, as long as it had a sash or ties around the waist to draw the waistline in.  (I can't believe I forgot to get a pic of her in an AG dress...silly me!)

So basically, if you're looking for a doll that can share clothing with most of the other 18" play doll brands out there, the Journey Girls doll is not one for you.  If you're looking for a nice, sturdy doll with great hair for your young daughter that really wants an American Girl doll, I'd refer you to a Hearts 4 Hearts Girl (they're easier to hold because they're smaller, plus they have great hair!) or perhaps an Alexander Girlz doll (icky hair but sturdy bodies and lovely faces) or a Gotz Precious Day (better hair and really cute faces).  

But, if you're just looking for a doll with a pretty face and some cute outfits that you want as a display doll or a rewigging project, this just might be the doll for you.

Alana in her fancy dress.

She really is a cutie.  It's a shame that she's not put together a little bit better.

Originally, I was planning on getting her dimensions, like I did for the other dolls in my second Doll Comparison post.  Unfortunately, I never got around to it before I gave the doll back to my mom, and I figured it would be better to just get this post up than wait around for the chance to measure her.  If any of you are interested in her actual measurements, leave me a comment below and I'll do my best to get them on here for you. :)

Do any of you have Journey Girls dolls?  What do you think of them?

P.S.  Sorry about the lack of music.  Apparently the website is having a problem right now.  Hopefully they'll get it fixed soon!

P.P.S.  Just 3 more days until my 2 Year Blogoversary...yay!! :D


Claire said...

Does the red Journey Girls dress fit AGs? I'm just wondering since I find it very cute but I don't want to invest in another doll type in order to put the dress on comfortably. ;)

Congrats on your almost-Blogoversary! :D

S and O and V said...

She's actually surprisingly cute! The other day while we (O, V and I) were at Toys R Us to get a birthday present for my cousin, we saw these girls and all thought they were a little creepy looking, but in these pictures she's adorable! Thanks for posting these pictures!

~ S ~

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the comments, girls! :)

Claire, I don't believe the red dress fits the AG dolls. I can't remember if I actually tried it on them (it's been a long time since I did the pics for this post), but it was pretty form-fitting on Alana, and as you saw from the pics, she's a lot slimmer than AG dolls. I'll try to look into that just to be sure, though. I'll let you know what I find out. :)

S, no problem...glad you enjoyed the pics. She is a very photogenic doll. :)

Anonymous said...

A random question, but I am 13 years old and I would like to have a blog. If you were my mom, would you let me? If you were my age and wanted to, how would you ask? I want to have one, but I am not sure if it is worth asking because my mom might think it is dangerous! So if your daughter's were my age and asked, what would you say, and if you were my age and asked, how would you do it. I really value your opinion, thanks!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. That's a great question, and it's a pretty valid one for me. My 8 year old daughter is really interested in blogging when she's older, so I need to be thinking about a response to this anyway. :)

I don't know if I'd be comfortable letting my 13 year old blog or not, to be honest. I know that a lot of 13 year olds do it, but I tend to err on the side of caution with my kids, especially when it comes to the computer. If I did decide to allow it, there would be some definite boundaries in place. For example, my daughter would not be allowed to use her real name, mention where she lived, or post pictures of herself, all for security reasons. I'd also look into the security settings on Blogger and make sure I made it as safe as possible. Comment moderation would be on so that potentially inappropriate comments could be deleted before they were published. I would also unashamedly supervise her blogging, especially at the beginning. Of course, in my case, it would be something we could share together, so hopefully it would be fun for both of us.

Another thing I might do is let her have a private blog, like the blog I do about my daughters. It can only be viewed by those who have been invited by email. Perhaps your mom might be willing to let you try that if she isn't comfortable with letting you do a blog for all to see.

I'm not your mom, so I don't know what she'd say, but it doesn't hurt to ask. The worst she can do is say no, right? :)

As far as advice about how to ask your mom, I would suggest being open and honest with her. Think about why you want to blog and explain those reasons clearly. Be willing to follow her wishes regarding Internet security and be willing to have her input and supervision as you blog. Also, on a slight rabbit trail, if you do end up blogging, I would advise you to think carefully about what you type. Be aware that whatever you "say" on your blog has the potential of being read by anyone in the world. It's so easy to just type something without thinking about it first, and then what you said is there for all to see. Sometimes, there's no way to take it back. Even if you delete what you said on your blog, it may have found its way to another site. Retracting something is much easier when it's verbal and just between two people. The Internet has a much farther-reaching consequences. Making careful decisions about what you type and how you use your blog (or any other social media you may be involved in), aside from being a smart choice, will also show your mom that you are mature enough to handle the responsibility of using the Internet wisely.

Above all, try to be understanding if your mom just isn't ready for you to blog yet, and try to remember that she wants to keep you safe and do what's best for you.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know how it goes! :)

Kristina said...

I got a Journey Girl doll for my daughter last week. I bought it used off of Ebay for $13 including shipping. She is the African American girl Tayrn. I was pretty impressed with her. Her hair is really nice, very soft, full, and curly. She is much thinner than the AG like you pointed out, but the vinyl chest is nice if she wears a strappy top so you don't see the ugly cloth body. She does seem a bit cheaper in quality than AG but for the price I am quite happy with her. I still have my old Kirsten AG doll. She is twenty years old, but her hair is awful. It was never good, but now it is absolutely frizzy straw city! I think of all the AG knock-offs the Journey girl is a pretty nice inexpensive alternative.

Anonymous said...

It was very helpful! Thank you, I think I will ask soon!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the comment, Kristina. :) I agree about the vinyl shoulders and strappy tops. :) That's one of the reasons I really like the Alexander Girlz dolls, too. They are lovely dolls, just not my personal favorite of the AG knock-offs. I'm glad you're enjoying yours, though. :)

Anonymous, I'm so glad I could help. Hope it goes well for you! :)

Kaffrum said...

I think I like the upper torso as vinyl rather than the American Girl all cloth body, it would look better with shoulder revealing clothes.

Kaffrum said...

I think I prefer the vinyl chest plate to the all cloth body of American Girl, it looks better, especially with clothing (eg thin straps) that does not cover the upper area.

Anonymous said...

have you seen penpalgirls? there stuff is slight below americangirl but much higher quality. you should ask to let you review one.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. I haven't heard of the pen pal girls...I'll have to check them out. Thanks for letting me know. :)

Sheila said...

very helpful thank you, i am thinking of getting one for my 7 1/2 yo grand daughter.. her mother thinks she is too old for dolls. They look really cute... but is she too old for a doll like this. She is keen to learn to sew and i was thinking dolls cloths would be a good place to start.

beastsbelle said...

No problem, Sheila...glad I could help! :)

I think learning to sew doll clothes would be great if she's interested in sewing. That might help with her mom, too, if she's getting a doll for the purpose of learning to sew. Of course, I'm of the opinion that you're never too old for dolls...especially at 7 1/2!! ;)

Jennifer said...

I would love to see a comparison for ag and Kmart's what a doll. Of the ag alternatives they are one of my favorites, and I'd love to see what you think!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Jennifer. I've seen the What a Doll line at Kmart but have never had the chance to review them. They seem to have the exact same body style as the Alexander Girlz, with the vinyl shoulders and chest, but without poseable limbs like the My Life or Friends Boutique dolls. I'm guessing their hair would be about the same...not the greatest quality. Most of the play line Madame Alexander dolls seem to be that way.

I've never actively pursued the "What a Doll" girls because I don't care for their faces as much as the Alexander Girlz or the Friends Boutique.

If I ever get a chance, I'll do a review for you. :) With finances the way they are right now, though, it will probably be a while.

tezzf said...

My mum and I saw the Journey Girl dolls at ToysRUs and she bought one each for my two girls. When we saw them, we both agreed at how lovely they looked, never thought they looked at all creepy. I also think that their vinyl torso looks much better than the AG dolls fabric body.
We live in Australia and don't have AG dolls, so I looked at the AG website to buy a couple for my girls, but when I saw the price and then the postage on top of that, I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money.
While the Journey Girl dolls are a cheaper alternative, I still think that they are a pretty good quality doll. My girls are pretty good at looking after their things, so I can see the Journey Girl dolls lasting them years.
My little one has the red haired doll, Kelsey, and is just smitten with her. Kelsey takes pride of place next to her when she's all tucked up in bed and she doesn't let her leave her side during the day. She does everything with her. My big girl also likes playing with her doll too, she has Meredith the blonde one. She's 9, so yes, I think that 7 1/2 is not too old. Miss 9 loves to dress Meredith up and do her hair, and I'm in the process of getting together some patterns, so that I can make more clothes.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for sharing, tezzf. It's always nice to hear the opinions of others who have these dolls. :)

Anonymous said...

My 7 yr old daughter has had the Journey Girls doll Kyla (maybe she's the same as Alana?) since last Christmas and plays with her daily. She still looks really cute except for her hair which is awful! It's a matted mess. Thank goodness for wigs!

Anonymous said...

My 10 year wanted to know if the hair can washed and once wet can it be blow dryed.
This Alana doll is so pretty but her hair is curled and it seems gel has been put on her ends.
We bought her off craigslist cause all the jg dolls were sold out at toys r us.
She just loves these dolls.
We had gotten her madame alexander doll but she seems to like the other better instead.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous...thanks for your question. :)

Ordinarily, I would avoid washing the doll's hair unless it really needs it, but with the gel situation, I think this is one of those times where washing the hair is necessary. So yes, I would wash the doll's hair. I would suggest using a mild shampoo, such as a baby shampoo, although I've also used Herbal Essence on my dolls and had good results.

If the hair is still tangled after washing, you might try doing a Downy Dunk on her (you can see my post about the Downy Dunk here: )

I would NOT recommend blow drying the hair. For one thing, you risk melting the hair, even if the dryer is on the lowest setting. And for another thing, lower-quality hair like the Journey Girls', in my experience, does not respond well to blow-drying.

And that brings me to another point. Even after you do all this, it is very possible that the hair will still be a mess. Hair that easily tangles and is not good quality does not always respond well to the Downy Dunk method. I learned this the hard way when I tried to work on my nieces' 2 Battat dolls. Even after all my work, their hair was still a mess. You may want to consider rewigging your daughter's doll if the hair doesn't turn out. They have beautiful faces, and it sounds like your daughter is really attached to her, so giving her a nice head of hair might be a good idea. :)

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

So I should not buy journey clothes for my AG dolls marie grace & cecile?

beastsbelle said...

I wouldn't recommend it. The Journey Girls dolls are much slimmer and the clothing will not fit Cecile and Marie-Grace properly, if it fits at all!

Unknown said...

I picked up a Journey Girl (or 4) and I am absolutely smitten with them. I like their figure, I find the American Girl dolls kinda.. fat.. I love the eyes, the hair is better for playing with than almost all of the other 18 inch dolls I'd had experience with (other than AG). If you are using sewing patterns to make the clothes the AG patterns fit them very well, but I think the secret is elastic waists and dresses... lots of dresses. Then again, my daughter likes to dress hers in cabbage patch kid clothes too.. she's weird like that. I love the top of the body being plastic instead of cloth because I find it looks way better with anything strappy. I just can't get over how bad AG looks in a strappy dress. I think the only thing I really liked better on AG was the hair, they really do have the best hair. The Madame Alexander Favorite Friends dolls hair scares me, it's so fine and inclined to tangle. Journey Girls I would put up with Barbie hair, where if you take care of it it will stay nice, if you go around shaking your doll it is gonna tangle and look like junk. Now another easy solution for fixing the tangles is to use a spray in detangler like "it's a 10". I found this stuff great for getting out some pretty terrible tangles even in the cheap 18 inch dolls from the craft stores.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the comment, Unknown. The Journey Girls do have beautiful faces. I'm glad you're enjoying them so much. :)

I don't think I'd go as far as calling the American Girl dolls "fat". In fact, I find their plushy bodies rather refreshing in this age of super-skinny dolls that girls can't realistically emulate without major health problems (not saying the Journey Girls are one of these, please don't misunderstand!). I do agree that they don't look as good in strappy dresses because of their plush bodies. I'm another fan of the vinyl chest plate for that very reason. :) And yes, I do think the AGs have the best hair that I've found so far.

While the Madame Alexander hair is pretty bad, I prefer them to the Journey Girls for their sturdier bodies and their better compatibility with standard 18" doll clothing.

Thanks for the tip on the detangler. I have been warned in the past that using human hair product on doll hair can damage it over time, and I saw this firsthand with my daughter's Alexander Girlz doll. One thing I've heard suggested is to use a spray bottle with just a touch of Downy or another fabric softener (since doll hair is synthetic). I've also heard that braid spray works wonders.

Have a nice day, and thanks for stopping by. :)

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

There is so much vinyl on this doll's body that I don't see the point of having any of her body cloth. I think she would be able to stand better if she were made completely of vinyl.


beastsbelle said...

I agree. I think in this case it would have been a better decision to make her only vinyl. She definitely would have been sturdier that way.

Mom2Avery said...

Hi! I'm just reading your post now and I really appreciate the comparison. My daughter has 2 JGs but her Kyla is your Alana. Did they change the name or is it sold under different names in Canada/US? No matter. She also has an 18" doll, very similar to AG, called a Maplelea doll. Unique to Canada. She favours it over the JGs, although tonight she was playing with all 3. The Maplelea dolls have closing eyes and lots of hair that feels real. Their packaging is very unique and every doll, every piece of clothing and accessory come with pages for the doll's journal that tells something about Canada.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Mom2Avery. Thanks for commenting. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

I'm not sure if they've changed Alana's name or's possible she's got a different name in Canada.

I've heard of the Maplelea dolls but have never had a chance to see one in person. I've heard good things about them, though. I hope to have the opportunity to review one someday. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Dee Bartholomew said...

Good Evening,
I would like to purchase a Journey Girl Kelsey doll and re-wig her.
Would you recommend an AG 10-11 size, or a slightly larger 12-13 size?
I found some wonderful, full, light brown, long haired wigs at
Thanks in advance for your expertise. -Delsbethh

beastsbelle said...

Hi, Delsbethh. :) I'm guessing that your Journey Girls doll will probably take closer to a 12-13 sized wig, but I would recommend purchasing the doll first and then measuring her head. I'd do it myself except I no longer have a JG doll at my house. ;)

I'd also check to see if they have any sort of diagram showing you how to measure your doll's head. One of the sites I've purchased from,, has a picture that shows the proper way to measure a doll's head circumference to make sure the wig will fit properly.

Hope this helps. Can't wait to see how it turns out for you. I also think I need to check out the site you found...that's one I've never heard of! ;)

Dee Bartholomew said...


Thank you very much for your advice and assistance.

I ended up purchasing the very long, loosely curled "Donna" wig in light brown, in a size 12-13, and the Kelsey doll. It will be interesting to see how the project turns out.

Also, thank you for the additional helpful information on your site regarding the JG dolls, re-wigging, etc. It was concise, informative and well presented.

All my best, your sister in Christ,

beastsbelle said...

Glad to help, Delsbethh. :) I hope you stop by and tell me how the project turns out. ;)

Glad to meet another sister in Christ, too. :) Have a great week!

Dee Bartholomew said...

Good Evening!
Yesterday the light brown "Donna" wig arrived from  I was prepared, so I quickly snipped off the doll's original rooted red hair and then finished by skimming over the head with electric clippers.  After checking for correct fit and proper placement, I used a quick-drying, non-toxic, tacky adhesive to attach the wig.  I had researched the wig last week while waiting for it to arrive, and had learned that it was very long - approximately 18 inches.  I knew it would need to be cut in order to ensure a reasonable length on my 18 inch doll.  The wig is a wavy, loosely curled style, and I was initially disappointed at the crusty, stiff feeling of the “set” of the curls.  I wanted wavy hair that is still soft enough to brush and style.  When I began combing through the wig hair to eliminate the crustiness and stiffness, the ends (last 2 inches) became VERY entangled.  It wasn't a problem because I then trimmed off the bottom 4 inches anyway, to achieve the ideal length.   The result is a beautiful, brushable,  soft and curly, fingertip length style which I'm very pleased with.  I have a few pictures if you are interested.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the update, Dee! I'm so glad everything worked out with the rewigging.

I'd love to see pictures! :) You can email them to me if you like:

Have a great day! :)

Courtney B said...

Thank you so much for your review! I've been looking for a "test run" doll for my daughter. She really wants an AG but I told her we'll see how she does with a cheaper doll first. The JG really are adorable. My daughter picked out Meredith since she also has blonde hair & blue eyes. I'm hoping that the girl scout uniform from amazon fits her though! Thanks again! Xoxox Courtney

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Courtney...glad to help! :)

Makenzie & The dolls said...

My sister has a journey girl, Kelsey. She is REALLY pretty, and her hair is good quality and very silky. But we did have the problem where there isn't much hair on the top. I doesn't bug us though. About the clothes, lots of AG stuff fit her, but most of her stuff doesn't fit AG. We have the same skinny jeans, and they had the same problem. She doesn't stand up well either. But she is a very good doll!!!!

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the info, Makenzie. :) I always enjoy hearing what others have to say about the different doll lines. :)

Anonymous said...

Herbal Essence is great for my mini Rebecca's hair! She really need a wash, and that worked, SO glad that other people use it too! I was scared that I had scarred her for life!
- Anonymous A.

Anonymous said...

I have purchased 4 Journey Girl dolls for my daughters and they LOVE them!! To be honest, I took them to the AG store to introduce them to the 18 inch doll world because I wanted them to be all goo-goo, gah-gah over them so I could buy them for Christmas! EPIC FAIL...they thought the AG dolls were strange looking (couldn't get past the bucked tooth thing and thought they looked a little old fashioned). So when I took them to Toys R Us, they saw the JG dolls and were in LOVE! I purchase two Chavonne (formerly Taryn) and two Kyla (formerly Alana). All of them have different outfits and I purchased the mega pack set as well as the white swing-coat outfit because I loved it so much. I must tell you, I couldn't be happier with these dolls. The clothes are very fashionable and current. I purchased all Our Generation accessories from Target (the Kitchen, Wardrobe closet and Trailer)! Christmas is gonna be great. Thank you for doing this comparison because in wanted to know how the differenc in sizing would look on them. I'll stick to the JG clothing and shoes until my 7 year old starts sewing classes! That's when the real fun is going to begin!! Lol

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for sharing, Anonymous. I'm glad your girls are enjoying their dolls so much. :) That's what's so fun about doll collecting: everyone has different thoughts about the different lines. It's fun to see what everyone thinks. :)

I do think the Journey Girls have lovely faces. And I think you're wise to stick to the JG brand clothing...there's a definite difference in size.

It sounds like your girls are going to have a wonderful Christmas!! :)

Funmi said...

Hi there,
Quick question: Are journey girls posable?

beastsbelle said...

Hi Funmi! The Journey Girls are very similar in posability to the American Girl dolls. They are articulated at the shoulders and hips (allowing them to move their arms and legs back and forth). They can also move their heads back and forth...and that's pretty much it. They do not bend at the knees or elbows.

Anonymous said...

We got our daughter an AG doll for her birthday and for Christmas she got many accessories and clothes from other lines. Do you find shoes fitting the AG dolls from the journey line?

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. As far as I remember, the Journey Girls dolls' feet were considerably smaller than the AG doll feet. Even the Our Generation doll shoes from Target can be too small. :( So I wouldn't risk it if I were you.

Caitlin Dundas said...

Alannah reminds me of designafriend we have here in the uk. They seem to cost similar too. They are lovely but I have two designafriend and one girl's hair is thin and the others is frizzy! Other wise theyre good

beastsbelle said...

Hi Caitlin. I haven't heard of the Designafriends. I'll have to look them up. :)

Becky said...

We have the Alana doll, and I think she's gorgeous! She's one of our favorites, even though she is not the most expensively made. :) Thanks for the fun review!

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Becky, and thanks for stopping by! :)

Marilyn said...

Brilliant review! Have you seen DesignAFriend dolls? They have almost the same face mold as Alana, though she is a little more detailed. They have full cloth bodies like american girl.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Marilyn! Glad you enjoyed the review. :) I actually haven't heard of the DesignAFriend dolls yet. I'll have to check them out! :)

Anonymous said...

I am wondering what people think of the Our Generation Dolls compared to the Journey Girls. Also, the new Sears Newberry Dolls look good. I am buying my daughter her first 18" doll and struggling with which brand to go with.

beastsbelle said...

I personally am not a fan of the Our Generation dolls, although I have not had any experience with the more recent releases. I find their faces to be a bit vacant, and their hair is pretty awful. My nieces both have OG dolls, and after a few years of play their hair was so matted that you couldn't even get a brush through it.

I do really like the OG clothing and accessories, though.

You might stop by your local Costco and see if they have the Madame Alexander 18" dolls in. Those were my girls' starter dolls, and while their hair is still pretty bad, it's manageable if you buy dolls with straight hair, help them brush through it with a wire brush, and keep it in braids or ponytails.

Hope this helps! :)

kelley said...

How does the hair on the walmart doll compare to the other dolls. (And the size)?

beastsbelle said...

Hi Kelley!

The Walmart dolls are slightly thinner than American Girl dolls, so every once in a while some of their pants or shorts don't fit. As long as you choose an outfit that is more loose-fitting, it usually works for more standard 18" dolls.

Their hair, unfortunately, is pretty bad. To be honest, the only cheaper play doll hair I've been impressed with so far is the hair on the Hearts For Hearts Girls, which are about 14" tall.

On the Walmart dolls, if you choose a doll with straight hair and keep it in braids or a ponytail or something, it's usually pretty manageable. I haven't personally had a chance to check out the Walmart dolls since they received their new design this year, though (and stopped being made by the Madame Alexander Company).

Hope this helps a bit!

WorkingMom said...

I was wondering if the AG doll hair is significantly better than the JG dolls hair? Does it tend to not tangle or frizz as much?

Thanks so much!

beastsbelle said...

Hi WorkingMom! Thanks for stopping by. :)

There is a HUGE difference in hair quality between American Girl and Journey Girls. AG dolls have wigs instead of rooted hair, so you don't see any scalp coming through the rooted hair like you do with Journey Girl dolls. The hair itself is also stronger, silkier, and less prone to tangles.

AG dolls have a much heftier price tag, so the cheaper price of the JG dolls is very tempting. Honestly, though, if I was going to do a less expensive starter doll, I'd try something like the 18" Madame Alexander dolls at Costo right now. They are around $20 each, have very cute faces, and are closer in size to AG and other standard 18" dolls, so they can share clothing with them (unlike the JG dolls). Their hair is still not great, but it's comparable to JG hair (it's also rooted).

I've found with some of the lower quality doll hair, if you put it in braids or ponytails or something and keep on top of it, the hair will do okay, especially for a starter doll. To keep it manageable can take a lot of maintenance, though, and not all of us have time for that sort of thing. ;) Oh, and be sure to always use a brush with wire teeth, not plastic teeth. Plastic brushes can do a lot of damage to doll hair.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you're looking for in a doll. The Journey Girls have adorable faces and a lot of cute, affordable outfits. If it's not an issue to have a slimmer doll and you're looking for a less expensive play doll for someone, the Journey Girls dolls might be a good fit for you.

I've done several other doll reviews and comparisons, which you can check out on my "Doll and Toy Reviews" tab just under my header. This might give you an idea of some of the other play dolls that are out there.

Hope this helps! :)

WorkingMom said...

Thanks so much for the feedback. I looked at the Madame Alexander dolls, and they may be just what I need. I don't want to spend $130 for an AG doll for my daughter when she may not even play with it after a few weeks. She is set on getting some AG outfits, so at least the MA doll can wear the AG clothes.

Thanks again, this was very helpful.

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome...glad I could help! :)

Anonymous said...

Do any of these dolls come with books about them? That's actually the most important part to my daughter and I'd like to try one of the less expensive ones before making the AG investment.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous! I'm not sure that the dolls have books. If they do, they'd most likely be more of a pamphlet format like the Hearts For Hearts Girls rather than a whole book. Sorry I don't have more info for you!

Fran said...

I just saw your blog and it is funny, helpful and entertaining. I mostly collect 50s fashion dolls but I do have a small collection of modern dolls such as Teen Trends and BFC INk. My question concerns shoes: Would Journey Girls' shoes fit the BFC ink dolls? Looking at your pictures i could not be sure. The clothes are not a perfect fit but perhaps the shoes are? Let me know if you can find out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased a jg at toysrus. She is the newest, Mikayla (sp?) She has beautiful, full, wavy hair and a lovely face. I have found that the Springfield clothes from Michaels and Joann fit perfectly. I did have to run a bit of elastic through the waistband of the shorts, but all other clothes fit fine including the swimsuits, jackets, skirts, and undies. The shoes are a bit large but I like my dolls to wear socks. With coupons, they are quite reasonable.

Surbhi Kapur said...

I just saw your blog and it is funny, helpful and entertaining. I mostly collect 50s fashion dolls but I do have a small collection of modern dolls such as Teen Trends and BFC INk. My question concerns shoes: Would Journey Girls' shoes fit the BFC ink dolls? Looking at your pictures i could not be sure. The clothes are not a perfect fit but perhaps the shoes are? Let me know if you can find out. Thanks.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Fran! Thanks for your comment. :) My aunt still has the Journey Girls doll from this review, so I'll see what I can find out for you. Stay tuned! :)

Anonymous said...

One question - how well does the Madame Alexander/dollie and me clothes fit Journe girls? do they look just as baggy on them as AG/OG clothes? I though originaly MA dolls and JG dolls must have similiar body sizes. I really like JG dolls and I want to buy one for my kid but I want her have clothes that fit other brands as well

beastsbelle said...

Hi Anonymous! I think the pants would still be way too big. You could probably make the shirts work as long as you were okay with them being slightly baggy. My Maggie doll (used in the review) is a Madame Alexander doll and has the same body as the other MA 18" dolls.

Hope this helps!

Shirley Melendez said...

Can the Journey Girl Doll wear the American Girl Doll's shoes, and outfits?

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi Shirley! Unfortunately, American Girl clothing is way too big for Journey Girls dolls, especially the shorts, pants or skirts. I included pictures in this post of Alana in some made for AG clothing (not AG brand, but made for compatible dolls).

It's been a while since I've done this review, and I no longer have the doll, but I'm pretty sure her feet were longer and slimmer than AG feet. In the side-by-side side view comparison picture with my AG doll, you can see the difference in the shape and size of their feet.

Hope this helps!

GaiLouise said...

Thanks for your blog! I just purchased a JG doll online for my great-granddaughter and have not received it yet. She received a JG stable set for Christmas but found that the doll and horse must be purchased separately. After I ordered them, I began to wonder if the doll was capable of sitting on the horse!

Your blog was the first thing I found that even discussed if the doll was moveable. I'll have to let you know later is she will be able to "ride" her horse! Ha!

Thanks again. I'll keep you posted!

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi GaiLouise! You're glad I could help! :) I'd love to hear how well she stays on her horse, too. Thanks! :)

auntie Jane said...

Hello fellow doll lovers, I recently purchased a Journey girl doll (Mickayla) and am totally enamoured of her. I have always wanted an 18" little girl doll , but am unable to access AG or any of the other brands, due to availability or cost. I have dressed her in a different outfit from the dismal pants and top she wore in the shop, changing her clothes to a lacy broderie anglaise dress , a white petticoat and a pair of knickers. Now she has informed me she no longer wants to be Mickayla. She looked me right in the eye and told me her name is now Carys Victoria . So I looked back into her heavenly blue eyes and said "OK". All the comments I have read about JG sizing for clothes etc is most helpful. Thanks a Million. Cheers for now . Auntie Jane

organic2live said...

Where are journey girl dolls manufactured? I am interested in American made products. 2173201371

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi organic2live. :) According to the tag, they're made in China.

Ewas77 said...

OMG you are SO lucky your mum is into dolls as well :) :) You can say this penchant for vinyl beauties is being passed from generation to generation in your family!! I am quite alone in my delights over dolls in my household and extended family alike... Only my older boy likes to (gently!) play with some of the dolls that mummy allows his to handle and he sometimes requests that I put new outfits on them. Bless him!

Grey Dove said...

Thank you for an excellent and very helpful review. I was recently gifted with a Journey Girl doll with the idea that I could add a line of clothing for them to my shop. Being out of touch with modern dolls (except for Barbies) I was under the impression that they were interchangeable with the American Girl dolls and had planned to list the hand-made knitted clothes I will be making under that heading. Thank you for saving me from some very unhappy customers!

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks for stopping by, Grey Dove! I'm so glad this was helpful to you. It was my hope that this article would be helpful to those making clothing for dolls. :)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

And for those who collect and enjoy dolls, too. :)