Review of Journey Girls Bistro Table Set

I don’t know what it is about this year, but it seems to be the year of the table and chairs!  AG came out with a new set for Truly Me as well as a set for Melody, Our Generation came out with a set right around the new year, My Life As came out with a set recently and so did Journey Girls.  Take your pick, they are all cute!  I have the prior AG table and chairs set, but I’d been contemplating a smaller set for when I do set ups in the bakery, using that set was just a bit on the crowded side.  I’ve seen reviews on several different sets, but the one that appealed to me the most as far as looks was the Journey Girl set.  I think part of that is because it resembles Kit’s table and chairs set a bit, and that is a set that I’ve always liked.  The only reason I don’t have it is because it’s all metal and weighs a lot, and I would have difficulty storing it when not in use.

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In my recent trip to Toys R Us, I decided to take a close look at this set, and after much debate, it came home with me.  I wasn’t sure what to expect after my last wrestling match with the packaging but I’m happy to report, it was easy as pie to get out of the box.  I guess they were saving the frustration for the assembly.  While the pieces appeared to be easy to assemble, they did require a bit of manual dexterity.  It was all worth it in the end though, this is one adorable set!

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The accessories with this set are very well done, I especially love the tiered serving stand and the fact that the plates are removable, just like with a real one:
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You get 4 macarons, 4 heart shaped cookies–and only 1 cupcake?! I guess the dolls have to fight it out over that one.

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You also get 2 plates (saucers), 2 cups and 2 placemats. I like the sizing on these pieces, scale accurate.

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I love the attention to detail on the table, so well done.  I think the top will be fairly easy to get off too in order to store it a little easier.

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The chairs are very nice as well, about the only thing I’d be tempted to change are the cushion covers, not wild about the print, but that’s more of a personal choice. I was a little concerned about how easily they would tip with a doll in them, or how well the doll would stay on them, and my concerns went out the window once I tried them out. They are very sturdy despite their light weight.

Now the big question was, who would get to try them out first? I decided on Emily and Lanie for 2 reasons. 1) they haven’t done any modeling yet for the blog and 2) it shows how well they work for both sizes of dolls. Don’t they look so sweet, sharing a snack together? I laughed once I opened the photos up on my computer too, with them sitting by that window and it looking so pretty outdoors, it almost looks like they are at a real bistro!

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I give this set an A+++++. This is well worth the $24.99 price and a fantastic bargain at that. Once I got it all assembled, I was tempted to stick it in the doll kitchen and take out the AG set, I like it that much! The only issue that I feel like I need to mention is that the assembly on this was not all that easy, so if you are buying it for a small child, be prepared to assemble it. Otherwise, it is perfect!

Review of Journey Girls Fashion Gift Pack

I don’t have a lot of Journey Girls items, but the few that I do have, I like a lot.  I check the Toys R Us website periodically to see what new items they have.  Recently, one item in particular caught my eye.  I decided to go pick one up and see if it was as nice as it looked online.

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It’s called a Fashion Gift Pack. I’m not sure if they are going to have others like it, but this was the only version I saw at this particular store. They had a bunch of them too, so they must anticipate good sales. I thought it looked very cute though, and it was $9.99, very reasonable price.

After I got it home, the fun began. I think Journey Girls has just taken the crown from Our Generation when it comes to packaging and making it as difficult as possible to get the items out. I even suspect they hired some origami specialists to figure this packaging out. After a lot of wrestling and finally just taking scissors to the darned thing, I got it out of the plastic. I wanted to keep the box part intact so I could show it to you:
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The box inside the plastic sleeve is a very nice, durable box that is suitable for gift giving and/or storage. I don’t quite understand the degree of over-packaging on this piece, especially since it’s $9.99. Whatever.

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Both items are very well done. I thought the hat would not only be a nice accessory for outfits, but also for Abby to wear when she’s at a horse show. The fur collar will work with several different pieces I have. I wanted to show it on, and poor Cassandra just happened to be handy, so she got the job.

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“You could have at least let me comb my hair!!!”

And a side view of the hat:
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I think they are both very chic and well made. I definitely intend to keep the box to store the hat in so it doesn’t get squished. I give this set an A+. (but an F for the packaging!)

Review of Melody’s Electric Piano

A few posts ago I mentioned that I wanted to get Melody’s Electric Piano as my birthday present.  Originally I was going to wait until Evil Twin and I went to the new pop-up store in Pittsburgh.  My plans all changed though when we not only postponed our trip, but I also discovered that it doesn’t seem to be available in any of the pop-up stores!  I decided to just go ahead and order it so I was sure it was here by my birthday and after a bit of fuss and hassle, I finally managed to get the order placed.  It arrived this past weekend and I just had to show it to everyone!  Happy Happy Birthday to Me indeed!!

The first thing I got a chuckle out of was on the box where it said “adult assembly required”.  They apparently don’t know the same children I do, just about any of the kids I know could have put this together in seconds.  I did.  You basically just pop the legs into place.  Unscrew the battery compartment, insert batteries, put the cover back on and you’re ready to go!

I was very disappointed when I got everything out of the box and discovered that the sheet music was just floating around in the box, all by itself.  Mine got a little bent up because of that, fortunately not mangled.  I thought for sure it would come in some sort of envelope, or in a plastic bag with the instructions, but nope, just floating around in the box.  Weird.

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Here it is assembled:

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A shot of the underside so you can see where the legs pop in:

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And a view of the on/off switch (which is also the volume control) and the battery compartment.

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One thing I was very pleased to see is that the speakers on it are in the right place!  This is where they would be on a real piano keyboard or even the more modern synthesizer type keyboard we have now.  Very cool.

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Overall, I’m really thrilled with this piece.  It’s a toss up between this and the camper as to which I like the best!  I think this is a terrific accessory for the price too, $48 is not horribly out of line, especially if you compare it to some of the other items they have for sale that don’t do anything special.

I had a couple of questions that I suspect others do too, so I decided to do a quick demonstration video of how it works.  I apologize for the poor lighting, one of the drawbacks of living where I do, even natural light doesn’t always do the trick! (unless you go outside)  And ignore the barking dog in the background, I don’t know what she thought she heard, but you all can hear her!🙂

You can view the video here:

**note: If you noticed the keyboard rocking in the video, it’s not a reflection of the keyboard. It’s more an issue of the very old and warped surface I had it sitting on!  I later moved it to my dining room table and it didn’t budge.  Unfortunately the light there is almost non-existent.😦