Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Journey Girls 18 inch Dolls-Meredith

Hi everyone!  
This past spring, I purchased a Journey Girl (JG) 18 inch doll from Toys R Us to add to our ever-growing doll collection.  Initially, when I started collecting, I didn't intend to add ANY 18 sized play dolls, but as I started to learn more and read other people's blogs, I realized I really did find this style of doll appealing and fun to photograph and use as a model to improve my photography skills. 
Plus, having two little daughters kinda helped. :) 

After discovering JGKelsey's lovely blog, I was introduced to the Journey Girls doll line from Toys R Us.
Her blog has the most beautiful photography as well as very nice photo stories and reviews dedicated to this particular line.
We don't have any Toys R Us stores that are in the area in which I do our routine shopping, so I really didn't have them on my radar, even as a gift idea to give to the girls.
Until now!  :)

I chose Meredith as I thought she was ADORABLE!
Chavonne and Jordanna are my other favorites, but they were not in stock at the time.  :(

Meredith is an 18 inch play scale doll similar in size to the popular American Girl (AG), Our Generation (OG) and My Life (ML) dolls.  She normally retails for about $39.99 and is found exclusively at ToysRUs (although an almost identical doll line called "espari" is available at Barnes and Nobles book stores).

They occasionally go on sale for $29.99 so I waited and bought her then.

She isn't a new doll or line of dolls, but I still thought it would be fun to take some photos and talk about her a little, as I was really impressed and love her so much already!

I forgot to take photos of her packaging (whoops!) so if you are interested in the un-boxing as well as first impressions, I made a video way back in May. :)

Journey Girls Meredith 

There are several releases of each character and this particular one was from the "London trip", which was released in 2014.  
By the time I shot these photos of her, I had already taken her hair out of the original style (which you can see in the first few photos) and brushed her hair out a bit.  
Meredith comes dressed in a cherry red trench coat, with a white sleeveless shirt, blue stretch jeans and black flats with a tiny red bow on the toe.  Love it! 

 Simple and classic. 

Meredith's "personality" that is depicted on the website tells us that she's the outdoorsy/athletic one of the group of friends.  She loves all sports, but is especially attracted to snowboarding.
I love that they made the blonde girl the sporty athlete of the group as it's a nice change to the traditional stereotypes that can sometimes be carried on among doll lines.

To be honest though, when you give this doll to a kid, they don't usually pay attention to the "pre-story" that companies now feel they need to add to all of these dolls.  

This doll has fabulous hair.  It's long, wavy and golden and parted in the center with little bits on each side pulled up into a twist in the back.  Her hair is rooted like an OG or ML doll, not wigged like an AG.
Shortly after I opened her, I took her hair down to see how it would react to a brush. (Totally frizzies or snarls whatsoever despite the wavy texture.)

Her hair is cut in a flattering U-shape and falls in layered curls that cascade down her back.
It's really nice hair.  Once the "box head smoosh" is brushed out, it feels amazingly soft and versatile.

Her hair is rooted a bit sparsely, but because her hair is so light, it's not a huge contrast against her scalp.  I can see how this may be a problem if you had one of the darker haired dolls. 
Bald spots are easily created when trying out new styles. 

With some gentle combing over, the spots are well concealed.  

Her complexion is a light peach color with bright blue eyes, blond eyebrows drawn in a feather pattern, flushed pink cheeks and rosy lips.

Her mouth, to me, is one of her most interesting and appealing features.  She has a prominent cupid's bow and a full lower lip.  Her lips are curled in a sweet upturned smile and I actually prefer her closed mouth smile over any other 18 inch doll I've come across so far.

(And just to throw a little weirdness in here, I just saw that the upturned corner smile is now a "thing" that people get plastic surgery for!)

Her eyes are the second most appealing feature to me and they are extremely blue with a realistic iris design.  The plastic eyes appear glass-like and are fixed in an open position, which is different from AG, OG and ML dolls.
She has dark painted eyelashes on the top and bottom as well as fiber lashes that are attached underneath the rim of the upper lid. Her pupils are a little wonky unfortunately so if you have a chance to hand pick your doll in person, that would probably be best.

Here's a look at her sweet profile.  I appreciate that she has a longer, more realistic neck than an OG or AG doll. 

Meredith has a cloth torso and vinyl chest plate, similar to a Karito Kid doll. She has a sculpted breast bone and this style of doll is a bit more appealing to me as well as I think she looks better in outfits that are cut lower than the neck. 

She has a very slim body compared to other dolls in her category. 

Meredith has 5 points of articulation, as you can obviously see. 
Another thing that stands apart from an AG doll is the range of motion she has in her neck joint which allows a nicer variety for different posing and expressing.  

Meredith can sit with her legs slightly splayed and can do a full front split. 

Her hands are nicely posed and have more details than some of the other dolls I've reviewed. 

The slimness and detail of her ankles, foot structure and toes is very realistic and much more appealing to me than an OG or AG doll.

American Girl Julie, Journey Girl Meredith and Our Generation Kendra

Here's a look at these three body types compared. 

I was surprised to see that the AG doll was a bit shorter than the other two. 

As for clothing, I had heard that JGs can were OG and AG clothing, but they tend to run a bit big, which is definitely the case. 

Here's Meredith in the OG Retro "Soda Pop Sweetheart" 
It's a little big, but the colors look great on her! 
The rollar skates were perfect as they were very easy to get on and off. 

Here's another OG Retro outfit called "Rollar Disco." 
This jacket was much easier to get on Meredith than it was to get on Kendra!

Here she looks very cute in AG Grace's baking outfit. She definitely looks amazing in pastels and bold primary colors.

The shoes are a tiny bit loose, but they stay put. 

 She also makes a great big sister to our Hearts for Hearts Lilian doll. :) 

Wait, where do you want us to look? 

This reminds me of those Olan Mills portraits people got in the 80s. :) 

Just let me go get my guitar, guys!  

I think my favorite way to dress her up was in AG Julie's classic meet outfit! 

Overall, I absolutely love this doll and she may be my favorite of the larger 18 in dolls that I have in our collection.  I think she's so adorable, her hair is fantastic and I love her vinyl chest plate and slimmer body.  
The dolls come in a range of skin tones, hair textures and eye color as well as many fantastic accessories.  
Here is the newest version of Meredith and unfortunately, it appears as though they have changed her face mold slightly.  
I found an additional post here that compares the 2 face molds they've used for her in case you are interested in taking a look. 

For a third of the price (or a quarter of the price if you wait for a sale!) the Journey Girls dolls are a great doll to give as a gift to a child (or yourself!) and I think she is well worth the money. 
I may get Chavonne, Kelsey or Jordanna (if they re-release her) someday and if I notice another sale, I will let you guys know!  

We have since renamed our JG Meredith, Alice and we love her very much. :) 

For reviews on the other dolls in this line, here are some great blog posts:

Callie by the Doll Wonders
Kyla (formally called Alana) by Doll Diaries and Never Grow Up
Dana by The Toy Box Philosopher
Chavonne (formally called Taryn) by My Journey Girls Dolls Adventures and Black Doll Collecting
Jordanna by Mommy's Doll Club
Mikaella by Christmas Toys Review
Giovanna by Living a Doll's Life

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!


  1. She absolutely is adorable!!! I love her face! I have a soft spot for dolls with eyes like this :-). Thank you for this great review. Alice is a lovely addition to your collection :-). JGKelsey's blog is great, thanks for the link. Have a beautiful day too! :-).

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the review, Linda! I was surprised by how much I liked this doll once I started reviewing and photographing her. :) xoxo

  2. She is lovely, what a great price for a lovely doll and an excellent review of her.

    1. Thank you, Serenata! I appreciate your kind words about the review. :) xo

  3. Hello Farrah Lily,
    She is beautiful. What a lovely face and amazing eyes. She is beautifully detailed and made.
    Big hug,

    1. Thanks, Giac! I agree...she's pretty little doll with such a cute face. We are really enjoying her. :)
      Big hug back :)

  4. Love this review, so much good info! I do think the JG dolls are very pretty, they don't have the "deer in the headlights" look of OG or the somber look of Madame Alexander. Thanks for showing her in the different clothing from various clothing, good to know.

    1. Lol, true about the deer in headlights look of OG! They always look so surprised. I'm glad you enjoyed the review. It was fun to see how she looked in the other outfits as her changed her "personality" before my eyes. :)

  5. She's a very beautiful doll, and I like her original outfit. The shoes are cute, while still being classic. Her coloring is nice, too.

    Olan Mills. Good times.

    1. Hi Barb, I liked the original outfit as well. It was very simple, yet could look nice on many different dolls.
      My family never had Olan Mills photos done, but I just always remember seeing them at my friends house and being a little envious that I didn't have such a "glamorous" photos of myself hanging up anywhere in our home! ;)

  6. She has such a pretty face! Those startlingly blue eyes!

    I like the idea of the plastic breast plate -- all-cloth bodies look awkward to me in clothes.

    1. Hi Smaller Places...I totally agree about the cloth bodies!! It's too bad they changed this face mold, though, she looks cuter in the original one! (although, to be honest, I've only seen the new Meredith's in photosgraphs and not in person.)

  7. I really would like to get one of these dolls at some point because they are very pretty with a lovely serene look to their faces. I also like that the body is vinyl to the waist, I don't like the fabric torso dolls at all.
    A couple of years ago I saw one single one of these dolls in our local Toys R Us and she was on sale for 15 euros......I picked up the box, which was a bit battered and then put it back down again. Afterwards I kicked myself for not getting her....and had the store not been a two hour round journey I'd have gone back for her!!!! Oh well, we live and learn. But one day I will find one of these in the EU and bring her home!
    Hugs Sharon xx

    1. Hi Sharon!
      She's been a lot of fun to dress up without that awkward cloth chest, that's for sure! I hope you really do find one...they are so pretty in real life!

  8. I really love how fashionable each outfit is and only half of a cloth chest!

  9. American Girl dolls are not readily available here in Australia but we do have Toys'R'Us stores so there are quite a lot of Journey Girl dolls around. I have a Kelsey because I loved her face and hair colour. I have heard that the later Journey Girls are not quite as slim in the body as the first lot of dolls so it was interesting to see your clothing comparisons - and your photos are stunning.

    1. Hi Carrickters!
      I wasn't aware that you guys had TRU in Australia as well, that's pretty cool! If I end up getting another JG doll either for myself of the girls I will definitely do a comparison post of their bodies.
      Thank you for your nice comment about my photos. :)
      It must be turning into springtime there (unless you're in the north, lol.) so I hope you're enjoying the weather!

  10. Great review! I love all the details you included! They are definitely on my list to add to our collection. I love their unique look!

    1. Thank you, Anna! I was so impressed with them and I'm sure you guys will love a JG once you get one! :)

  11. I enjoyed your great pics and review. I hadn't realized that the face sculpts on these dolls had changed so much. I've also been surprised to see how well the recent AG clothing fits a Journey Girls doll.

    BTW, my early JG Callie with the bangs has thickly rooted hair. There's no areas of bare scalp showing when her hair is combed. Not sure if this is because she has dark hair or not.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. :) That is nice to hear that the earlier version of Callie seems to have such thick hair! I'm really glad you liked the review and thanks again. :)