Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Journey Girls Ski Lodge Set

A few weeks ago I decided to take advantage of a 20% off sale and get the Journey Girl's Ski Lodge from Toys R Us. I had never seen anything from this brand in person but it looked cute online. I've wanted a doll-sized fireplace since I was young and would set up Christmas each year for my sister's dolls. My childhood fireplace was a badly-painted piece of cardboard with a string across it to hang my youngest sister's socks. Good times.

So I bought the Journey Girl's Ski Lodge... because as much as I love American Girl's beautiful parlor for Caroline, that thing costs $300. Maybe someday. When I have a place to put it. If I can convince myself to throw that much money at a non-doll doll-item.


Its a cute set. I pretty much knew what I was getting myself into as far as quality goes so there were no real big surprises. Anyone who's read any reviews knows that the chairs are a bit too small for AG girls to fit into properly. The little cushion had to be taken off to get her in.

I'm not really fond of the bright blue logo stamped on the front. If I were to keep the rest of the set, I'd want to repaint the chairs.

The coffee table is okay. I honestly don't have much of an opinion on it. Its just kind of... there.

Rug is hideous. But I've never been fond of animal print so maybe its just me.

The TV surprised me by being made of wood. I don't know why, but I expected it to be plastic and none of the reviews I had read said otherwise.

I may just be spoiled by AG food, but this food is cheap looking. I never took it out of the plastic. If and when I do, I'll add pictures of it as well. The photo I took through the plastic turned out way too blurry and is packed away in the box with most of the set at the moment.

And now we get to the main event - the fireplace.

Its a decent size. It came in three pieces that required a screwdriver. The stone facade is just paper. I hadn't noticed this from pictures online, but there are splotchy colored blots over the stone that are kind of ugly. The bricks on the inside are also paper. They have a slightly colored gradient added to them that I suppose is meant to make the center of the fireplace brighter... as if the fire is casting shadows onto it? I'm not really sure. I may eventually try to make my own paper to replace the ones the set came with.

Now this is the part where I both complain about Journey Girl's Quality Control and praise Toys R Us's customer service.

The paper was peeling off in places that made it impossible for me to fix without entirely disassembling the fireplace. I might have just dealt with this myself - After all, I was already thinking of replacing the paper, but that wasn't the only problem. There was a dent on the mantle.

I tried to ignore it, to pretend it didn't bother me. But it did. A lot. So a day or two later I called customer service and got a label to ship it back. They were very easy to deal with and I commend them for that. A few days later my new set arrived via UPS. It took me a few days more to ship the original set back- it was hard to get out of the house with a giant box and a six-month-old baby. UPS couldn't pick up the package themselves without charging me and that just wasn't going to happen.

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