Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Our Generation Retro Doll "Joy" by Battat

At this time of year, I like to walk through the aisles of the toy stores in my area and pick out the dolls and accessories that I think would make the best gifts.  I don't have many doll lovers on my actual shopping list this year, but I still like to see what new items are in stock for the holidays and choose my favorites.  Most of the time I just make a mental note of the items I like best, but this year I purchased a few of my selections so that I could share them with you here on the blog.

I have been keeping a close eye on the 18-inch play dolls that are available near me (Journey Girls, My Life As and Our Generation).  While all of these brands have something new to offer for the holidays, Battat's Our Generation line is by far the most appealing to me.  I feel great about purchasing dolls from this company because I know that they use only recycled and recyclable materials in their packaging, they promote charitable work, and they avoid using harmful chemicals in the production of their dolls.  I also think that the Battat dolls are very attractive and well-made for their reasonable price.  Furthermore, whenever I am visiting my local Target store, the Our Generation section always seems to have the most constant stream of young admirers.

Today I'll show you my favorite new Our Generation doll...along with an outfit set that I thought would go really well with her:

Our Generation Retro Joy
Our Generation Retro Doll "Joy," with pieces from the "Winter Wonder" outfit pack.
Of course, it isn't just the dolls that tempt me in the Our Generation display at Target.  I also like the look of the larger articulated horses (which I own and still haven't reviewed!  Argh!):


And of course the adorable foals...which are more realistic (but less fuzzy) than the cute My Life As foals:


There's even a large (wooden!) horse stable set that can be purchased for around $80:


I met a few girls in this aisle, and we were all discussing how the larger horses would actually fit inside this barn.  It doesn't look like there's enough room:


However, you can see over on Doll Diaries that the doors fold out to elongate the stalls, and then there's a fence that can be added to the front to keep the horses from running away. The set is pricey, but it looks pretty fun and comes with a lot of accessories:


My Target was also packed with a good supply of Our Generation clothing and accessories, including a few of the wonderful mini dolls:



Among the larger accessories, the styling chair seems nice (and I know the kitchen set is great), but the scooter, the 4x4 and the camper are all made out of thin plastic that doesn't appeal to me very much.



My Target actually didn't have very many dolls in stock during my recent shopping trips.  The selection is much, much better online (and there's a free shipping offer during the holidays).

There were only five different dolls in stock at my nearest store (note: they're all white, which is typical.  Battat could really step it up with the ethnic diversity in this line.  It's pretty disappointing):

I don't like the face with the exposed teeth very much.
The dolls I had not seen before were Ginger, who has a red dress and green eyes that would be great for Christmas:

And some neat-looking winter accessories...
And the two new Retro girls, Rose and Joy.  Rose was much easier to find than Joy, but I don't like her coloring anywhere near as much as the redheaded Joy:

I do like her red polka dot dress, though!
I eventually managed to find Joy in stock, so I purchased her along with the Winter Wonder outfit, which I thought might coordinate nicely with Joy's pink and black dress:

Our Generation "Joy" doll ($22) and "Winter Wonder" outfit ($17.99).
Total: $40
I think a mini Our Generation doll would round this gift out perfectly, but I've already reviewed a few of those.  All three items could be purchased for $50.

The Retro Our Generation dolls come in cream-colored boxed that I think are even more attractive than the typical bright pink and orange packaging:


The back of Joy's box features Ashlee's story.  This inspiring clip describes how an eight-year-old girl founded her own charity, Ashlee's Toy Closet, which is dedicated to collecting toys for children in need:


The box advertises it's own recyclability...and the fact that it was made from already recycled materials.

That just makes me happy.
There's also mention of how a portion of the doll's sale price goes to Free the Children's "Power of a Girl" initiative, and a blurb about the value of recycling:


To be fair, though, recycling envelopes doesn't create energy (unless you burn them)...it just saves energy.

Joy is attached to a cardboard backdrop that slides out of the open-faced main box:


Joy comes with a small leaflet describing how to care for different kinds of Our Generation doll hair:


Given my poor track record with curly hair, I made special note of numbers 4 and 5.

Finger style, Emily.  F-I-N-G-E-R style.
It seemed at first as though Joy was attached to her box with only two large cable ties--one around her neck and one around both ankles.  However, as she started to come free, several tiny plastic ties in her clothing become painfully apparent:

Two on each side of the skirt.
Once the plastic ties were cut, she could be removed from the box.  Her hair still had a considerable amount of plastic in it at this stage, though:


She had a small ponytail in back, and the sides of her hair were sewn into plastic strips.  This is my least favorite method of hair control.  I am a bit sympathetic in this case since these dolls are packaged in open-faced boxes.  They certainly need something significant to control their hair, but I have a really hard time getting these blasted plastic strips out.


The plastic was also folded over and plastic tied to itself--just for fun.

Yippee.
This method of hair control leaves behind some pretty messy hair:


Fortunately, Joy's shoulder-length hair brushes out very easily and can quickly be made to look nice:


Our Generation Retro Joy

One thing I'd like to mention here is that Joy has no smell whatsoever.  Some other inexpensive dolls (the new My Life As girls and My Size Anna jump to mind) have strong chemical odors when they first come out of the box or when their clothes are removed.  This doll definitely does not have that problem. 

Joy comes wearing a vintage pink and black party dress.  She also has a black bow in her hair, lace gloves, pink net tights and vinyl saddle shoes:

Our Generation Retro Joy


Her hair bow is attached to an elasticized headband that is easy to remove from the doll...after the plastic ties that attach it to her head are cut, that is.

Looks exactly like a bow tie.

The dark black color of the headband (and all of the other black in this outfit) made me nervous about staining, but there's actually very little staining on this doll.  

Here is the only mark on Joy's entire body, and it's nicely hidden behind her ear:

You can also see the cut plastic tie at her hairline.
With the headband removed, Joy's red hair falls into her face on the left.  It also hangs quite a bit longer on her left side, which makes some sense with the side part (when the hair is pulled back into the headband, the sides are even in length):


The back of the hair is quite uneven, too, but I don't see a good reason for this.  I'll certainly be giving this hair a little trim.


I really like the practical length of Joy's hair.  So many play dolls have really long, hard-to-manage hair these days, this is a refreshing change.  The hair is just long enough to pull back into a sophisticated ponytail: 

Our Generation Retro Joy

With the hair pulled back, it's easier to see Joy's pretty grey eyes:


Her irises have an almost metallic glint to them and some good detail.  They remind me a little of Paola Reina eyes.


Like all Our Generation 18-inch dolls, Joy's eyes close (sort-of) when she lays down:


One detail that I don't think Battat has mastered yet is lip color.  Many of the Our Generation dolls have opaque, unnatural-looking lips.  They always seem like they're wearing heavy lipstick, which isn't my favorite look for this style of doll.  

Joy has opaque pink lips, but she pulls it off better than some since this color happens to match her pink dress nicely:


This isn't the greatest picture of Rose (the other Retro doll) but you can see that her lip color veers a little too much towards purple and (at least to me) doesn't look attractive or natural:


I was hesitant to purchase Joy since I already have Kendra--another redheaded Our Generation doll.  Let's look at these two together:

Joy (left) and Kendra (right).
The dolls are pretty similar, but there are a few differences between them that are worth noting.  First of all, Kendra has freckles (which I really like) and Joy does not.  Also, Kendra's eyes are a very bright turquoise blue while Joy's are a more muted grey.  I prefer the color of Joy's eyes.  Kendra has a mini doll counterpart, though, which I think is a huge plus.  I hope Battat will make a mini Joy some day.  That pink dress in a tiny size would be amazing!

Joy (left) and Kendra (right).
Finally, and perhaps most important to me, the two dolls have different hair colors and hair lengths.  Kendra's hair is a dark flame red that borders on unnatural.  It's also very long.  Joy's hair is a lighter orange-red that seems more realistic to me.  Joy's hair color (and its short style) make her my favorite of these two.  


Now, let's take a closer look at the rest of Joy's outfit:



Before I could remove Joy's dress, I had to take the little net gloves off.  These were tied to her wrists with white thread that needed to be cut.  

The top side of each glove (left, below) has finger lines sewn into the netting, but the bottoms of the gloves (right, below) are plain:


The top part of my doll's left glove is significantly yellower than the bottom:


The discoloration is hard to see in photographs, but is best shown by this view of the seam:

Yellow on the left, white on the right.
I think the gloves are a nice aesthetic touch, but they're a bit tricky to get on and off.  This, combined with the discoloration will probably prevent me from using them.

In contrast, the dress is very easy to get on and off.  It is all one piece and includes a stiff tulle underskirt that allows it to stand up on its own:


The bodice is a dusty pink color with a black sash and four decorative black buttons.  The pink fabric has a slight sheen and reminds me of a matte satin or maybe a silk shantung.  There's a seam along the left side of the bodice that makes it look like the dress has a sailor-style buttoned opening along that side.  


The bodice opens in back with plastic velcro:


The black skirt is made out of a thicker woven fabric that does not have any shine to it.  This is more like linen:


With the dress turned inside out, it's possible to see the careful stitching and the black tulle underskirt:



I especially like the detail in the gathered sleeves:


Underneath her dress, Joy is wearing pink net stockings (just like Sienna's), bright pink underwear, and vinyl saddle shoes:


The shoes were held in place in the box with clear plastic strips:


The shoes have vinyl straps that can be unfastened:


The strap buckles look like doughnuts to me:


These shoes are ok, but they're nowhere near as nice as the rest of the outfit. The vinyl looks cheap and the bright pink color clashes with the more subdued rosy pink of the dress.  I wish these shoes had been made out of canvas or imitation leather.


At least the shoes match the underwear, though!

Hello, underpants!
Joy's outfit can be shared with My Twinn and American Girl dolls...although the shoes can't be buckled and the gloves are way too small:

18" My Twinn with the "Helen" face.

It also fits the new My Life As girls:

Including the shoes and gloves!
Looking at this picture with the headband, though, I am struck by how high the foreheads are on these dolls.  My goodness.  How did I not notice that before?

Lots of real estate up there in the north.
I think Elise looks better without the headband--with some of her hair falling towards her face:


The dress also fits the Journey Girls, although the shoes are a bit too big and the gloves won't fit.


Kelsey looks pretty in this dress, but (as usual) my camera cannot handle her ultra-pale complexion.


When I first saw the Winter Wonder outfit, I assumed that it was meant to go with Joy.  They look like a perfect match for one another:


In fact, this outfit set is not part of the Retro collection--or at least it doesn't share the cream-colored packaging, and it doesn't say "Retro" anywhere on the box:

$17.99
Also, while the doll pictured on the box looks a lot like Joy (she has short-ish red hair and pale eyes), it actually isn't Joy at all, but a green-eyed redhead whose name I don't know:

Is it Lana, maybe?
Since the outfit doesn't seem to have been made to go with Joy, it's amazing that the pink colors match so well.

The outfit pieces are sewn onto an orange cardboard backing that can be pulled out of the main box:


It's easy to snip the threads from the back.
This set includes a pink coat, patent leather shoes, a pair of socks, a headband, a purse and a plastic hanger:

Our Generation Winter Wonder outfit

The coat was the piece that tempted me most with this set.  It is made out of a thick, soft fabric that hints at brushed wool (but isn't actually wool).  It has lace accents on the front (it's plain in the back) and a black collar:


The coat is not lined (I expected it might be because of how heavy and nice it feels...) but seems to be well constructed.  It has working buttons with actual button holes--no velcro in sight.


The coat comes with a matching rhinestone headband that looks very fancy.  It has a section of elastic in the back that allows it to fit a variety of doll heads:


The double row of rhinestones is mounted on a pink velvet ribbon:


The purse that comes with this set is made out of printed snake skin vinyl fabric:


The fabric doesn't feel very high-quality (and I don't really care for the print), but the silver plastic clasp on the purse looks authentic and opens and closes nicely:


I was excited to see that the shoes in this set are not made out of vinyl...but closer inspection put an end to my enthusiasm.  They are ballet slipper-style black imitation leather shoes with velcro straps decorated with large chunky bows:

I'd have preferred a buckle to that huge bow.
The bottoms of the shoes are made out of a sueded grey fabric that is very soft.  This is more reminiscent of a ballet slipper than it is of a dress shoe:


Because the shoes do not have a hard sole, they look a little lumpy and shapeless.  Also, the white underside of the leather, the unfinished edges of the straps, and a few loose threads here and there all add together to create a vaguely sloppy appearance:


The worst thing about these shoes, though, is that they don't fit on the doll's feet.  At least not with the cream-colored socks that come with them:


No exaggeration--I simply could not get the shoes onto Joy's feet over those socks.  The socks are good-looking on their own, but their usefulness is diminished if they can't be worn with shoes.


However, when I looked at Joy with the coat and socks on...


I felt like the cream color of the socks didn't match the coat very well and that Joy might look better with the rose-colored net tights she came in.  Not only that, but the thinner texture of the tights allows the patent leather shoes to be crammed into place:


It's still not a pretty fit by any means (the velcro barely closes...) but at least I could get them on:


The seams along the sides of these shoes aren't smooth, and the soft soles do nothing to help Joy stand up on her own.


The coat itself looks lovely on Joy...


...and can also fit American Girl, My Twinn, and other 18-inch play dolls.  Here's my American Girl, Keira, modeling the coat:


With most of the dolls who tried this coat on over other their clothing (including Joy herself) the fit was a little tight with the coat closed.  The buttons could all still be fastened, though:


As a little aside, as I posed Keira in this coat I was reminded of how nice the American Girl dolls' balance is.  Joy does not have this same level of balance, and cannot stand on her own in a walking position the way Keira can.

The last piece that came with the Winter Wonder outfit set is the rhinestone headband.  This looks very nice on Joy and matches the coat well:


Our Generation Joy with Winter Wonder

Mixing and matching all of the items that came with Joy and with the Winter Wonder set was really fun.  I think maybe my favorite combination is Joy's dress, headband and tights with the shoes and coat from Winter Wonder:

Our Generation Joy with Winter Wonder


Our Generation Joy with Winter Wonder

I also like the look of Joy with her hair pulled back and the rhinestone headband as a delicate accent:


Our Generation Joy with Winter Wonder

However, the thick rooting along Joy's side part creates a little lump that is accentuated by the thin headband.  Do you see how it doesn't lay flat across the top of her head?

Minor case of cone-headedness.
Joy also looks good with just a simple hair clip holding back the longer hair on the left side of her face:


Our Generation Joy with Winter Wonder

Here's Joy back in her original outfit for a few more shots:



One interesting thing about Joy's hair is that it has a densely-rooted pseudo part down the back of the head that allows for some decent-looking braided pigtails:


There's a larger-than-normal gap (with exposed scalp) in this part, but it's still better for pigtails than most rooted (and some wigged) doll hair:


I could probably criss-cross some of the hairs along that part to make it look even nicer.

I mention this pigtail feature because I told you that I would offer up some better alternatives to the high-priced and disappointing My Size Anna doll that I reviewed last week.  

With Joy's red hair in pigtails...and with the addition of a reasonably-priced outfit that I found on eBay...suddenly I have a Frozen doll option in the $50 price range with great versatility and play potential:

Our Generation "Joy" as Frozen's "Anna."
There are a lot of these outfits kicking around on the internet.  You can pay anything for a handmade 18" Frozen outfit, and the nicest ones are usually in the $60-$100 price range.  

I am very happy with the quality of this particular outfit given that I only paid about $20 for it.  I can't find the exact eBay store where I bought my outfit, but the pom-pom hem and fancy clasp of the cape make it easy to identify--for those who are interested.


The sueded cape is fully lined...


...and the vest and dress underneath (while made out of slightly odd-feeling synthetic fabrics) have embroidered, movie-accurate details that make it very clear what character this doll is trying to imitate:



The fit of the vest is not perfect (this outfit was designed for an American Girl doll) but it works fine.


I really like Our Generation's Joy as Anna and I'll be interested to see how she compares to more expensive 18-inch versions of the Frozen characters, especially the highly-anticipated Madame Alexander Anna doll, which I have on pre-order.  


Bottom line?  Joy is a great addition to the Our Generation Retro collection.  Her realistic orange-red hair and pretty grey eyes are a new combination for this doll line, and I think it looks great.  I also like the short length of Joy's hair.  It's easy to manage, but still long enough to be put up into some simple styles--including short side pigtails.  My doll came with uneven hair in the back, but this is a fairly easy thing to fix.  Joy's outfit is beautiful and well-made for the most part.  Her dress is especially nice and looks great on several of my other dolls.  However, Joy's net gloves are hard to use and my pair came with some unattractive yellow discoloration.  Also, I feel like the vinyl saddle shoes stand out in a bad way.  Their quality does not match the rest of the outfit, nor does their bright pink color.  However, it's hard to complain about little things when I've already gotten a pretty doll and a great dress for $20. 

The Winter Wonder outfit offers some great additions to Joy's wardrobe.  The coat is thick and soft and coordinates perfectly with Joy's dress.  I love that the coat has real working buttons instead of velcro.  The rhinestone headband provides a more delicate alternative to the thick black bow headband that comes with Joy's original outfit.  The black imitation leather shoes that come in the Winter Wonder set could have been the perfect substitution for Joy's disappointing vinyl saddle shoes, but, unfortunately, these shoes are shapeless and tight...and they don't even fit onto Joy's feet if she's wearing the socks that come with them.  The purse is cute and works well, but I think the main reason to purchase the Winter Wonder set is to get the coat and headband.  As much as I like the coat and headband, $18 is a lot to pay for two pieces.  The black shoes would need to be better-made to justify the current full price of this set.  But still, we're not talking a huge error in pricing here--a few dollars at the most.

Despite flaws in some of the smaller accessories, I think Retro Joy and the Winter Wonder outfit pack would make a beautiful gift for under $50.  The more Our Generation dolls I own, the more impressed I am with their quality.  I find most of the dolls' faces appealing, and the straight hair is silky and easy to play with.  The outfits tend to surprise me with their attractive designs and solid construction.  Best of all, the body style of the dolls makes them more durable than the other 18-inch play dolls in this price range that I have encountered.  I have yet to see an Our Generation doll with a body defect--something I can't say for Journey Girls or My Life As dolls.  Last, I simply like supporting Battat.  This company clearly has an eye on quality, safety and environmental responsibility...while encouraging an empowered, proactive lifestyle for young girls.  

To me, Our Generation offers the best value in the 18-inch play doll market.  The low prices, great selection, and positive image of these dolls creates a feel-good purchasing experience that can make holiday shopping a lot of fun.

36 comments:

  1. Whoa .... This makes me want an OG doll even more!!!
    They've only just started selling these in Smyths Toy Superstore Emily! Which doll is better though, an OG or a JG? They happen to sell both near me!
    Toys R Us should sell some You And Me dolls clothes for the 18 inch range. 6 years ago I received a You and Me baby doll for Christmas, AG dolls can wear some of the clothes! I think you can go and check that out, they are pretty cool and they do 16 inch "little sisters" for AG dolls.
    Have you heard of the Gotz Just Like Me dolls? They are ADORABLE XD
    Sorry for writing so much, I just thought you would like to know!

    Mouse

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    1. Hi Mouse! The Gotz Just Like Me dolls look wonderful! I agree! Thank you for reminding me about them--that would be a fun review to write. :D
      As for Journey Girls compared to Our Generation, that's tough. The Journey Girls have better faces (and a better variety of faces), but I have had some bad luck with extensive clothes staining from that line. I have also encountered a few body defects with the Journey Girls. They don't feels as durable to me. My JG Dana's hair was pretty bad, too. Both lines have some great clothes, but the selection of clothes and accessories is better with the Our Generation dolls. The prices are another big difference: the OG dolls are $18-$25 here while the Journey Girls are twice as expensive at $40-$50. And last...clothes sharing between American Girl and OG is more reliable. The Journey Girls have their own unique shape. They both have a lot to offer, but I prefer Our Generation. I just wish Battat would introduce some new faces!

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    2. Oh--and don't apologize for writing too much! No such thing. ;)

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    3. Yipee !the first ever our generation store has finally opened in HONG KONG, ( where i live)
      i don't have to only buy journey girls anymore !!

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  2. It's funny you write this, I was just suggesting the Our Generation Retros to my aunt as an inexpensive alternative to American Girl for my (somewhat destructive...) cousin. I think they're pretty adorable for the low price tag, and I love Joy's eyes in particular!

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    1. I think it's a great suggestion, Stella! Both the price and the durability make these dolls a good choice for younger somewhat destructive kiddos. A great "starter" doll to have before investing in a $120 American Girl. I hope your cousin is delighted with the gift!

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  3. I don't believe I've ever actually seen any Our Generation products at any stores I've been to here. I wonder if they are even available in Canada? Even though I'm not interested in the 18-inch dolls themselves, I love the company's philosophy! Hooray for recycled and recyclable packaging!! :D Especially the no chemical smell on the dolls when they come out of the package; as a child with asthma that was always something that hindered my playing with a lot of dolls that looked really pretty but smelled terrible. It's so nice that there is a company who is really conscious of that, for the earth and children's sensitive lungs! Hooray for everyone being able to play with toys!

    Joy looks adorable as Anna; I wonder, if a child wanted to use her exclusively as Anna, if you could use a bit of white fabric paint on a strand of the doll's hair to give her Anna's trademark streak? It would definitely limit the doll's versatility, but if you wanted a more movie-accurate doll it might work really well! Shall have to do some research on fabric paint on doll hair. :)

    I really hope these dolls are available in Canada after seeing those articulated horses! Wee, moving horses! Now I really want a smaller follow-up review! Our Generation Anna needs her Norwegian Fjord horse. ;D
    Hehe!

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    1. Hi Melissa! I know! I need to review that horse. I don't know why it's taking me so long. Poor thing is in the garage just patiently waiting. :( I wanted to do the review this summer outside near my fence, but then the leaves fell and now we have 10 inches of new snow. The snow could actually make for a pretty photo shoot, but it's less tempting to lay down and take pictures in snow. ;)

      I really like Battat's company image, and I hope they are as awesome as they seem. They could definitely increase the ethnic diversity in their line (!!), but they have been moving in the right direction with other things, so I have hope.

      I like your idea of fabric paint in hair...I wonder how much it would change the texture of the hair? That would open up a whole range of fun possibilities! For a permanent Anna doll, though, I'd probably pick one of the OG redheads with longer hair--maybe Charlotte, Kendra or Peyton. That would be a great gift.

      Please let us know if you learn anything cool about the fabric paint! :D

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    2. Melissa,

      In Canada the Our Generation products are sold at Target and Matermind Toys. The prices at Target are lower but if you don't have a Target store near you, Mastermind accepts online orders.

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    3. You can get OG stuff at Target (if you have a target near you). But my targets are terrible about stocking it. The outfits are always gone in a week or so after stocking and the selection is minimal. (While other products stay on the shelves forever!)
      OR
      Mastermind Toys has recently started stocking the brand. They are a Canadian toy store and they have an online shop if you don't have a shop near you. They don't always have everything, but they are getting better. And recently started stocking the minis. Since they are Canadian, there is no duty and free delivery if you meet their minimum order.

      I also heard a rumor that Target is planning to open online shopping to Canadians. I pray that is true. Because they can't seem to even manage to stock their exclusives. (What is the point of an exclusive that you choose not to stock!!!!???????) Canadian Target sucks.

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    4. Ooh, thank you so much for the help Dee and Natalia! I do have a Target nearby me, but I don't recall ever seeing any of the OG dolls on any of the shelves; maybe they're also a bit lackluster at restocking it where I live? I hope not, because I want to see that horse! A Mastermind Toys just opened up near me; I will have to check it out!

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    5. Hi Emily! Oh, I know what you mean about the snow. We're currently in the middle of a good old prairie blizzard! Hopefully you are still having nice weather even with the snow. I would love to see the horse reviewed, inside or out, snow or no snow!

      For the fabric paint, I think it would work. Fabric paint is specially designed to stay soft and flexible when it dries so the clothes are just as comfortable as they naturally are. And since artificial hair fibres are essentially a form of synthetic material, like nylon and polyurethane, I think the fabric paint would behave much the same way on them as it would on man-made materials, IN THEORY. I'm not sure if the finish of doll hair(probably what makes it so shiny) would prevent the fabric paint from adhering though. This is all complete guesswork on my part. Ooh, just found this page on dying doll hair with acrylic paint or fabric dye; it doesn't say anything about fabric paint or using it on specific strands to produce streaks, but now I'm really interested in if it would work! Here's the page: http://www.dollyhair.com/dyeing.htm
      Maybe I shall have to buy some cheap MLPs to experiment on! Just um, don't try this on a expensive doll or one you love, okay? I don't want to be responsible for anyone's poor doll getting ruined! Eek!

      Ah, me and my crazy DIY ideas. :P

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  4. Hi Emily, I think that she is super cute! I really like the that outfit she came with. These dolls and the horses are available in my local department store here in the UK. I am not a huge fan of these large dolls but I am drawn to the Disney Collectors ones. This Christmas I am thinking of getting ........ Tinkerbell :D

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    1. Oh, yes! That Tinkerbell is super cute, and the perfect choice for you. ;)

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  5. will you review the og horse?

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    1. I will! I don't know why it's taking me so long. As soon as some of the new snow melts down a bit, I will try to get this done.

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  6. Yeah, OurGen shoes are really hit or miss. They're either the fully-molded monstrosities (I do cop to keeping a few pairs of those around for outdoor photos, especially boots because they're really sturdy and good if I take the gang outside in the snow), or they're like the ones that came with that coat set, basically one step up from what we in the South call "house shoes." Slippers. I've had better luck with buying Springfield shoes at Michaels, or even those little individiual pairs of shoes that OurGen sells. Those ones are on a par with AG shoes, really.

    I'm continually tempted by OurGen. There's one doll that's clearly mixed-race, Kaylee, and she has the softest looking tight curls ever, but I've just never been able to bring myself to pick her up. Some of that might be because I have Kanani coming home at last and I know I need to save space for her, but part of it might just be that I don't like the OurGen face that much. I may never figure it out.

    I'll still gang OurGen clothes for my own mix-and-match purposes tho.

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    1. Hi AJ! Kaylee is beautiful and I am very curious about her hair. She tends to be out of stock in my stores, though. I am happy to see Battat taking steps to increase the (previously pathetic) ethnic diversity in their line. I was wondering if those individual shoe packs would be a good option. Joy certainly needs a new pair of shoes! Thank you for the recommendation.

      I do not care for the toothy OG face, but the other one has grown on me (if only the lip colors were better...). I think the lack of face mold diversity is one of the biggest weaknesses with this line. They can't compete with JG in this department at all. Battat seems to be investing a lot in these dolls, so I'll cross my fingers that more face molds is part of their plan.

      Yay about Kanani! I hope we'll see her on your blog?

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    2. Yes, they totally are! Case in point, I bought the "To Our Heart's Content" outfit over the summer. It came with these horrid sandals that are constructed similarly to the shoes you reviewed here, and then to top off, okay. The dress was a sandy grey color with yellow. The sandals were red, white and blue. I'm all for accent colors but... c'mon! So I bought the yellow dress shoes pack, Bright to the Top, and they looked much better with the outfit. Here is Miss Gracie modeling the ensemble.

      I'm glad that I have a wide selection of shoes to choose from so that I don't have to use OurGen shoes (I'll use the molded ones if I have no other choice), but on the other hand, I shouldn't have to buy shoes so I have a pair that'll match and look good on my doll. At $7 a pop for OurGen shoe packs, anywhere from $4-$7 for Springfield shoes, $6-$8 (plus shipping!) if you buy from My Doll's Life, or $14 (plus shipping, or gas if you live near a store) for American Girl, that's a lot to add on to a once inexpensive outfit. Most people aren't going to be as picky about this as me, but to me, shoes can make or break a great outfit.

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  7. I totally agree with AJ about OG faces and shoes. I love their outfits, well most of them, because some are a bit frumpy and nothing like the clothes a ten year old would wear (Like the coat reviewed here), but they are generally nice quality. But I really don't like their faces. They just seem too bright eyed and smiley, and... starery. In contrast, I LOVE the Journey Girls. Their faces are beautiful, and their outfits are all high quality and things ten or eleven year olds would wear, except for the limited edition girls, but then again, it could be a special occasion dress, or a flower- girl dress! I have 5 of them! Still, this doll is definitely one of the prettier and less starery OG dolls, and I am tempted!
    -Arieta

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    1. Hi Arieta! Thank you for sharing your thoughts as someone who knows a lot about Journey Girls! The Journey Girls do have great faces--and pretty eye colors, too! I think OG is trying for a different look with their faces--not so much a realistic face like JG but more of a sweet "dolly" face. Still, as I mentioned to AJ, above, I wish that OG would introduce a few new face molds. That would really ramp up the excitement of seeing new dolls.

      I was so surprised by the quality of Joy's shoes. Ugh. I figured since there were so many OG shoes being sold separately, this was one of the things the company did well. Not in this case! Oh, well. I love the dress and coat, which mostly makes up for the shoes in my eyes. ;)

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    2. Actually, I went to Kmart the other day, because that's where OG are sold here in Australia, and I was tempted by the hairstyling doll Phoebe, because of her face. There is practically no OG dolls here, and they are expensive, from $39 to $45. We have Phoebe, Lily Anna, Sydney Lee and Sadie, a thoroughbred non- articulated horse, a styling chair, two deluxe outfit packs, and a few accessories sets. Despite being non articulated, I still love the horse, and will ask for it for Christmas.

      And yes, OG should introduce, more dolls of color, and more facemolds. Out of the 5 JG I have (Mikaella, Kyla, Kesley, Meredith and Dana) there are four different facemolds. What I also find interesting is that out of the 10 dolls they have so far, (because there are two versions of this years holiday girl) 3 are dolls of color. And this is 1 doll less than OG, and yet OG has about 35 dolls. Hmm..

      That being said, overall I do think OG is great, just not my taste, Though I do particularly love Kendra :D
      - Arieta

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  8. I bought Joy and after much pacing, took her back. I prefer her grey eyes but I've had Kendra for years (she's my Amy Pond) & I couldn't legitimize keeping both. I do love Joy's hair in braids!

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    1. I totally understand! Joy and Kendra are quite similar, and it's tricky to justify having both when there are other dolls that offer something completely different. And Kendra is a great Amy ;) Still, I learned about Joy because of you, so I'm sorry she didn't end up making you happy! Thank you for sending me the link to her way back over the summer! I just love her. :)

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  9. If you take a blow drying to most vinyl shoes for a couple of minutes, the vinyl will soften them enough to allow you to stretch them on if they are a bit too small. Of course, you may have to use the blow dryer again to get them off. But it's a good trick.

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  10. I love your reviews, especially of the different types 18-inch dolls. I just bought the Our Generation Kiana (have you seen her and her puffy vest? I don't usually favour blonde dolls but I think she's adorable) and Ella Grace (a redhead)dolls for the Christmas toy drive and have been having so much fun imagining the little girls who will get to open them on Christmas morning. I agree with you about the ethnic diversity though - I'm always on the hunt for dark-skinned dolls but never even seen one of the rare OG dolls on colour on the shelves here in Canada.

    - Sarah Charlotte

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  11. Another wonderful review! This one was especially helpful, as my little sister has been getting into 18 inch play dolls lately. She has an AG doll on her Christmas list this year, (The new redheaded MyAG, #61) and we've been looking at the OG outfits as cheaper alternatives to the pricey AG outfits. This coat set was high on her list, (as well as this darling one modeled after Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's: http://www.target.com/p/our-generation-deluxe-retro-outfit-it-s-a-pearl-lific-life/-/A-15586805#prodSlot=medium_1_6) so I'm glad that it seems to be up to par, and fits AG dolls. It's a shame the shoes don't fit, but I'm sure I'll be able to find some extra pairs from my own AG days. :)
    Thank you, and happy holidays!

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  12. Aww she's so cute! You should review the lammily doll, it has realistic proportions and I LOVE the message of it

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  13. Wonderful review as usual. I do want Joy's dress, and the coat is perfect with it. OG is having a "Buy one, get the second for 1/2 off sale right now, and I'm probably going to pick up some things. I really like their accessories and their clothes are improving in quality though still not up to AG level (but the price reflects that). The dolls...if OG could get that stark look , that blank expression straightened out, they'd blow AG doll out of the water at the prices. As it is, I just can't mix those dolls with my AG dolls because they look so wooden. Some are better than others, I'll admit. The coloring, like the light lips, purplish lips, I can fix with a bit of paint or oil makeup but not much one can do about that expression.

    I like Kendra better, I think and that she has a matching mini and can wear that Frozen outfit to be an Anna makes her a great pick. She's going for $20 right now as is Sadie, another who has a mini match,, which means one can buy the two of the for $30 and the minis for $14. Throw in an outfit apiece for about $20 with the sale and that means one can buy for two doll lovers quite the ensemble for $70 with tax.And the two of them would make a nice Elsa and Anna set. If one likes the OG dolls. At those prices, for my own indulgence, I am tempted to buy the dolls and strip them of their outfits, donate or give away the dolls, The OG dolls are probably a better quality than the Hasbro and Disney versions of the Frozen dolls.

    But the AG outfits on sale are very good deals these days too. And the quality is better, IMO. A lot of choices these days.

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  14. Joy is so cute! I love her hair length, and she is adorable as Anna.

    Our Generation has very well-priced outfits in comparison to American Girl, but their quality isn't quite the same. I can get two OG outfits for the price of one AG outfit! (This is sort of off-topic, but AG's Coconut Fun outfit was on sale for $14! That's half price!)

    Lastly, when you bought your American Girl, Keira, you also purchased the Sweet Spring outfit. I don't want to be pushy or anything, and I'm sure you're super busy, but I would love to see a review!

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  15. I need another doll like I need a hole in the head, but Joy is so gorgeous I found myself in the doll aisle at Target today. Luckily for my wallet, they didn't have her. They had Retro Rose in both the red like you show and a dark green. I thought the dark green looked better with her icy coloring than the red does.

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  16. Hey doll lovers, visit my site sometimes if you like..
    Great post as usual Emily;)
    https://mycutelittlepeople.wordpress.com/

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  17. I was at Target last night (getting a mini doll) And saw this new girl next to the Our Generation doll. She looks like a Thin 18" (Or maybe 16") doll

    Heart for Heart Girls. Purchase supports World Vision. I thought you might like to try these out.

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  18. in a few days this comment is going to get buried..............

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