Dolls / Reviews

Review of Canada’s Newberry Doll

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.

Newberrybox_Fotor

Here is Emma in her box.

NewberryEmmaMeet

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.

NewberryJourneyGirlCollage_Fotor

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?

Newberrytag_Fotor

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.

Newberrynude_Fotor

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.

Nweberryside_Fotor

Here is a view of her from the side, she has a nice plump little body.

Newberryneck_Fotor

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.

Newberryface_Fotor

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.

Newberryeyes_Fotor

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.

Newberryfacesquish_Fotor

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.

Newberryhairback_Fotor

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.

Newberryroots_Fotor

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.

Newberryscalp_Fotor

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.

Newberryjoint_Collage

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.

Newberryleg_Collage

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.

Newberryarm_Collage

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!

Newberryhand_Collage

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.

Newberryfoot_Collage

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!

~Meg~

*As always on our site, prices are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD), unless otherwise stated.*

35 thoughts on “Review of Canada’s Newberry Doll

  1. Love the blog! The Newberry dolls come from the same parent company as the Journey Girls and Espari dolls. Made just a little different so each company has an “exclusive” doll. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Thank you for this post! I just picked up what must be Newberry’s Emma at a thrift store. At first I thought she was JG Meredith, but then noticed the lack of a chest plate. Your post was super helpful in pinning down which girl just joined our doll family. Hope you have a great day!

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    • Yes, her hair is washable, you just want to make sure you wrap her body in a plastic bag, or towel first so it doesn’t get wet. You will also want to use a sulphate-free shampoo or one designed for synthetic hair. Since her hair is rooted, it very easy to wash as you don’t have to worry about getting the wig cap wet. Just try not to get her head too wet, as you don’t want water getting inside her head and becoming moldy. Hopefully this helps, if you have any other questions please feel free to ask away!
      ~Meg

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      • 3 of my granddaughters have Journey girl dolls and another granddaughter is getting the Newberry doll for Christmas. I have sewn some doll clothes with patterns available online through Liberty Jane. I gather Journey Girl has half torso cloth body and Newberry has full torso cloth body. Have you measured any of the dolls you’ve reviewed to compare clothing fit from one brand name to another? It would be interesting to know, especially for those of us that sew.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We actually have measured (and even weighed) all the dolls we review. We are currently working on a spreadsheet with all the measurements. Once it is done we will be sure to post it on our site. Is there anything I can help you with measurement-wise right now?
        ~Meg

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    • Hi Addie, so happy you found us! The American Girl pants and shirts will be a bit too big for the Newberry dolls. The American Girl clothing won’t fall off them, just be a bit baggy…dresses you wouldn’t notice the difference. The American Girl shoes won’t work very well at all. Hope this helps!
      ~Meg

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  5. I am lost in the world of which doll to choose – I never imagined it would be so hard… I was looking at Maplelea dolls but with twins, the price tag is a bit high. Have read (it feels like) so much info on Journey, Our Generation and Newberry and now am completely confused. Girls are 5 and tend to take their Barbies etc into the tub, so the hair seems worrisome. I like the idea behind Journey and OG (travelling and charity) but also the Canadian theme of ML and Newberry. The torso on the Journey dolls seem a bit odd… Girls have baby dolls but are asking for 18 inch dolls and one girl would really like the stable from OG. I’m assuming accessories will work with all these dolls – any suggestions?Please help – I am going crazy trying to figure all this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lianne, you are the reason Michelle and I started this site. We were exactly where you were 2-3 years ago, and there wasn’t much help available as all the sites I could find were American. I am so glad you chose to reach out to us!

      Since your girls are just five and starting out I would recommend starting with less expensive 18 inch dolls. Michelle has triplets, one boy, two girls and this is what she did, and recommended I do the same, (which I did).

      Now which of the cheapest dolls do you choose? Journey Girls as far as I am concerned are the prettiest, but their bodies are so slim that you can’t buy anything other than Journey Girl clothing for them, this really limits your options.

      Newberry dolls have the same pretty face mold as the Journey Girls, but their bodies are closer in size to the other 18 inch dolls. This will be great if you are at Walmart and want to grab your girls an outfit or two from the My Life As line. These clothes will fit your Newberry doll.

      Newberry dolls are also one of lowest maintenance dolls available, due to their fixed eyes and rooted hair. (You will have to find out from you girls if they care whether to not their doll’s eyes close.) They are not great quality, but you can use these dolls to judge just how interested your girls are in 18 inch dolls, and how they treat them.

      If closing eyes do matter, you then have a few other options like My Life As dolls, Our Generation, and Modern Girls. I would recommend you check out our reviews of these dolls before deciding. Every doll has different features, and it is good to know what you are getting.

      After time and if your girls show interest in these dolls it may be time to invest in a Maplelea doll, normally this is around 7-8 years old. (I made my girls save for half of the cost of their Maplelea doll, and I paid for the other half. $100 is a lot to put out for a toy!)

      If you are set on a Maplelea doll an option is buying a secondhand Maplelea doll from Kijiji, you can normally find dolls on there for about $50 each.

      Anyway, I hope this sheds some light on the subject. Sorry this was so long, but I have been where you are, and I want to help you as much as possible. We have reviewed as many 18 inch dolls as possible on our site, so hopefully this can give you some direction.

      And yes, you are right, from my experience all 18 inch doll accessories will work with any 18 inch doll. The clothing is the only hang up. We are hoping to break this down for our readers in the new year. In the meantime if you have questions about clothing and how it fits, just drop us a line. (Clearly we have a lot of dolls and clothing!)

      Sears, as you probably know is currently having some great sales on their Newberry items too, by the way 🙂

      Good luck, and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

      ~Meg

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      • Thank you so much for your detailed and thoughtful reply! I really appreciate it. I currently have purchased two Our Generation dolls…. and some accessories, so we’ll see what the girls think come Christmas 🙂
        Thanks again!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for a great review of the 18″ dolls. It really helps when deciding to invest in a doll for your child. Would the clothes for the Maplelea Dolls fit the Newberry dolls. The dress alike outfits is what my girls are after.

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  8. I’m hoping you are my answer….
    Will the shoes from Journey girl and Newberry fit each other? My daughter has 2 Journey girls and we are plagued by the fact that so many clothes and shoes fall completely off. I was curious to see that some of the Newberry accessories look familiar to past ones offered for journey girls (that I can’t buy anymore).
    Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Heather, Thanks for asking! Don’t tell Moy-moy but I just unwrapped her Christmas present to answer your question… this is what I came up with:

      The Newberry clothing fits the Journey Girl great as they have the same waist size, 10 inches. The Newberry doll’s legs are about an inch shorter than the Journey Girl’s so the pants will be a bit a short, but will fit otherwise.

      As for the shoes they fit on the Journey Girl fine, but they were a bit loose as the Newberry dolls feet are wider and a little shorter.

      If you are not looking for a perfect fit with the shoes and the length of pants, Newberry clothing would be a great and inexpensive option for your Journey Girl dolls.

      Hope this helps. After Christmas Michelle and I plan to do a series of which clothing fits which dolls, so please stay tuned for that. Also since you are here don’t forget to enter our Christmas giveaway!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Meg~

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  9. can the hair be brushed back to beauty once it’s tangled? This is a good feature of the Maplelea dolls – so many are cheap enough the hair never looks “new” again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My daughter’s friend had a Newberry Emma doll which was in rough shape. I was able to restore her hair using the flat iron method that I used on Phoebe. If you search “Phoebe” on our site you should be able to find it. Although I was able to restore her hair, it is nothing compared to the quality of a Maplelea doll’s hair.

      Thanks for stopping by! Please be sure to enter our Christmas giveaway!
      ~Meg

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  10. I was hoping if any of you fine folks might know the actual manufacturer of Newberry. My daughter got “Sommer” from my Mother about three or so years ago. She absolutely adores her and sleeps with her every night. Tonight while playing with her right next to me, her leg fell off!!! The joint broke within the leg itself. She is devastated. I immediately went online and found Emma on sale and she was ordered within five minutes of the trauma, but my Little is still so sad and really just wants her Sommer. I am trying to see if I contacted the company, if they would consider either sending me another leg joint, or fixing the doll for us. Any help you could give would be truly appreciated. Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The name of the actual company that makes the Newberry doll in China is named Lotus Onda. It might be better to contact Sears Canada customer service and see what they can do, as there is not much information about Lotus Onda available online.

      If you want to repair the doll yourself I will refer you to JG Kelsey’s blog post where she has a step by step guide on how to repair your Journey Girl’s leg:

      http://journeygirladventures.blogspot.ca/search?q=leg

      Seeing that Journey Girls and Newberry dolls are both made by Lotus Onda, this method might work for your Sommer doll.

      If nothing else Emma and Sommer are identical, so hopefully this will ease your daughter’s grief.

      Good luck, if there is anything else we can help you with please let us know.

      ~Meg

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      • Thank you SO much for getting back to me!!! I checked out the post you linked and, although the two dolls are similar, Newberry’s legs are different. The hip joint looks the same, but the leg joint is completely encased in the plastic of the leg and therefore, unreachable. If I knew how to post pictures, I’d send you some for your future reference. I will try calling Sears, but I don’t expect much since they don’t actually make the dolls. I fear I may have to buy her a new one…and of course, “Sommer” is more expensive than “Emma” right now. ;D
        Thank you again for your help!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • No problem, sorry I couldn’t help more. I have a couple of Newberry dolls and have yet to dissect one. Would you mind either emailing the leg joint photos to me (Canadiandollnotebook@gmail.com) or through our Facebook page? Repairing dolls is my passion, I would love to try to figure this problem out.

        Thanks,
        Meg

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