There are so few products available that can be considered truly Canadian, this is even more so when it comes to toys. As much as I enjoy my time spent south of the border, and with my American relatives I am raising Canadians, I want them to be playing with Canadian themed toys. I want my kids to know what makes us different, and have pride in their heritage. For that very reason did I fall for the Maplelea Girls. Although Maplelea has not changed the price of their dolls since their original release in 2003, $99.99 can be a bit of shock to the budget.
So another option is Sears Canada’s Newberry dolls, an 18 inch doll line with a Canadian theme. These dolls are available in various, eye, skin, and hair colour combinations, and are priced as low as $29.99. Newberry dolls that come with more features are priced as high as $49.99, but if you watch you can often find them on sale. This line also offers doll sized hockey, figure skating, ski and snowboard equipment, everything a Canadian doll needs at lower prices.
Enough with the chatter you are here for a review. You want to know is this doll really worth the money, or if you should choose a doll from another line? Unfortunately I can’t have you here in my living room to show you firsthand the features of this doll, however I am going to do the next best thing. I will allow our Newberry doll model Emma, to show you what’s she’s got, and allow you to decide for yourself.
Here is Emma in her box.
Now that she is out of her box allow me to introduce you to the lovely Emma. What struck me immediately was how much this doll looks like Journey Girl’s Meredith. As far as I could tell they were not made by the same company, so this threw me for a loop. How could the molds of two dolls from different companies be so similar? In case you aren’t familiar with Journey Girls here’s a photo, so you are able to see for yourself.
Journey Girl’s Meredith is in the top photo, and Newberry’s Emma is on the bottom, their faces are nearly identical. Kind of crazy, huh?
Before we get started here is a photo of her tag. She is made in China, like the Journey Girls, Maplelea Girls, American Girls, My Life As dolls… and pretty much every other doll out there.
Emma, as you can see in the photo above has a full cloth body, and not a half vinyl torso like the Journey Girls that they so closely resemble.
Here is a view of her from the side, she has a nice plump little body.
The back of a doll’s neck, is where you can often find out information about the doll’s manufacturer, and mold. Lotus is the name of the company that manufactures these dolls, and I am assuming that numbers are related to her face mold. In this photo you can also see a visible zip tie nub. This zip tie makes it difficult to remove the doll’s head when needed for repairs or cleaning. However the zip tie also ensures that the doll’s head stays put, something that you want to consider when giving a doll to younger child.
I think that she has such a beautiful face. I love the depth and colour of her blue eyes, she has both painted, and real eyelashes. I love her feathered eyebrows, rosy pink cheeks, and her lips also have a lovely shape. Okay, I love everything about her face, right down to her button nose. This doll definitely is one of my favourite molds.
In this photo you can appreciate how beautiful her eyelashes are. Her eyes do not close when lying similar to the Journey Girls. The fact that her eyes do not close can be a benefit, one of my daughter’s dolls, has had a sticky eye since she got her and despite my best efforts there was nothing that I could do to fix it. So now we have a doll with what we call a “lazy eyelid”. Sleep eyes are higher maintenance, so I would recommend this doll like this, with fixed eyes for younger children. It’s tough to put an actual age on my recommendation as every kid is different but if your child is prone to take their dolls literally everywhere with them, i.e. the sandbox, bathtub, swimming pool, and even will give the occasional “makeover”, I would encourage you to consider a doll with fixed eyes, so you don’t end up with a “lazy eyelid” too.
With Newberry dolls in the past I noticed was how soft their vinyl faces were. However with this new Newberry doll, I wasn’t able to depress her face much at all. Newberry is obviously improving the quality of their dolls, since they first were introduced.
Hair is literally your crowning glory when you are a doll. I love the length and colour of her hair, but there is so much more to doll hair than what can be seen at a distance so let’s take a closer look at that hair.
Emma has rooted hair like so many dolls in her price range. Rooted hair is once again lower maintenance, and yet again a better choice for the younger crowd. With rooted hair you don’t have to worry about getting the wig cap wet, the wig coming loose, or your brush catching on the wefts of the wig. Again this something you’ll want to take into consideration when selecting a doll.
Here you can see how her hair is distributed. Her hair distribution looks to be about average for a doll of her price range. If hair is something that is important to you, you might not want to choose this doll, and look for a wigged doll instead.
Her arm and legs joints were identical and very similar to other 18 inch dolls. As you know I love to see how dolls work, so I tried very hard to pull her arms and legs away from her body to get a better look at her joint and I was unable to do this. I came to the conclusion that her joints don’t use the elastic and and tension cups like the Maplelea dolls, Emma’s joints rotate in place. This lack of elastic causes her joints to be extremely stiff and difficult to pose. Although this can be considered a negative feature it is a great feature for a young child’s doll. With Newberry dolls there is no need to be concerned about the limbs coming loose, or the elastic becoming twisted and stressed from being rotated over and over again.
As you can see her legs are fairly plump, as much as Emma looks like a Journey Girl, the Journey Girl clothing would not fit her due to the difference in size.
Her elbows are well defined, as seen above. I must admit, I do love the details of the wrinkles on the back of her elbows. So cute!
Her hands have quite a bit of detail. I like the added details of the wrinkles inside the hands. They are also a great shape for holding objects while your child is playing with the doll.
Her toes are well defined on top as well as on the bottom. This is the first doll I have seen with wrinkles on the soles of her feet!
So that’s about it for Emma, if you are looking for a less expensive option for your Canadian child, Newberry might just be your answer. Like I mentioned a few times this doll is a great choice for a younger child, who isn’t quite ready for the responsibility of caring for a more expensive doll. If you haven’t yet go check out the adorable ski and snowboard set available for this doll. Don’t forget to use Ebates when shopping at Sears.ca, you can earn up to 4% cash back on your purchase!
If the Journey Girl similarity is still bothering you too, I have the answer! I found out from the experts at Journey Girl Adventures and Dollation that the Lotus Onda makes both the Journey Girls and the Newberry dolls. Now that makes sense doesn’t it? Also if you want to see something else crazy visit JG Kelsey’s review of Barnes and Noble’s Kayumi Espari doll. It seems Meredith and Emma have another look-alike!
I would love to hear from you! What do you think of the Newberry doll? Have any other Canadian doll questions? Either comment below or find us on Facebook.
Thanks for stopping by!
*As always on our site, prices are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD), unless otherwise stated.*