Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Saturday, February 1, 2014

J-Doll Spitalgrasse

This doll was one of my Christmas presents for Christmas 2013! You've already seen her modelling a dress for me. Now I'm finally going to review her for you. As you'll see, I love the doll but am ambivalent about her outfit, so this might have contributed to how slowly I got this review out.

When I first saw the doll, I was thinking Spitalgrasse was somewhere in Austria. Actually, it is the main street in the capital city of Switzerland, Bern. This Australian site that sells fashion dolls has a little information on Spitalgrasse and stock photos of the doll.

Here she is in person:

Lots of pieces of plastic were holding her in, which equated to lots of tabs in the back, held on with stickers. One of the things I hate about the way J-Dolls are packed, is that the stickers completely cover the tabs, ends and all. So you have to peel the stickers off to loosen the tabs, instead of just grabbing the end of the tab, and pulling.

I didn't take a picture of the back, so the next shot is her as she looks straight out of the box.

I didn't think J-Dolls would be able to stand alone on their feet, as the feet are so relatively tiny. However, they can. But shoes mess all that up, so you will see the J-Doll with this chair when she needs to stand.

Anyway, she is wearing a blouse which is deliberately cut to be worn open (it doesn't shut) to show a sort of bandeau top underneath. She is also wearing a skirt with burn out stripes over what looks like red leggings, and brown plastic shoes with a slight heel. Her hair is done in two braids, on each side, of different sizes that are held at the ends with a piece of red ribbon and a piece of lace. There is also some brown string unobtrusively wrapped around the ends of the braids.
I love her face. The glass eyes are so well done, and although the lip paint can look strange in photographs, it doesn't stand out so much in real life. I also pulled back her bangs some so you can see what her face looks like when you can see her eyebrows. I might like her face better without the long bangs.

One quirk that she has is that part of her bangs is cut from the center of her head. This piece sticks up some. I'll show you how it looks in profile. Also, the hair at the back is interesting, because the part looks braided itself. It's pretty.

The blue top is a satin-y material. Although I wish you could close it in the front, I will admit that the cut is somewhat advanced, with the many darts at the waist. Alas, the inside is not completely finished impressively. Also, if you look at the collar in the picture above, you can see that line of stitching at the neckline on the right, which gets hidden under the seam as you move to the left. It's not horrible, but it is another indicator that these dolls were probably not worth the $100 or so that they were initially priced at. Also, I've already snagged the Velcro closure on the satin.

I didn't realize until I actually held the doll in my hands that the skirt can't really be anything but an overskirt, because of the burn out bits. The ribbon trim does bring out the Alpine theme. In this picture, you can also see an unusual thing about this doll; her right hand has curved fingers and no pointed nails, unlike any of the other dolls I have. Also, it's just in there on a peg, so it falls out on a whim. I don't know which J-Dolls ended up with this or why. I tried checking for information online, but came up empty.

The red pants underneath are thin cotton, and they look leggings, but when you pull off her shoes, the leggings also cover her whole foot, so they're supposed to be more like tights. However, they are made out of a non-stretchy cotton, so the effect is more like pajamas with feet. At least the red material didn't cause any staining.

Remember how I said I would talk about the fit in my review of Tonner's Vintage Basic? These tights aren't properly cut to allow her to sit down without her bum being completely exposed. Did J-Doll designers not think about this doll being played with? It would have taken up very little material to bring the waistline up higher and have the proper cut in back so these fit her better. I'll show the you the picture I took of her wearing the bandeau top, the tights and the shoes only.

The low waistline is certainly stylish these days, but they didn't cut the pattern properly to accommodate for the fact that her rear is curvier and needs more fabric coverage. Also, I'll show you a picture of the feet without the shoes.

These would keep my feet nice and warm while I sleep!
The shoes are almost what we in the US would call ankle boots. The Australian website I linked above has copy that was probably put out by J-Doll, that calls these shoes moccasins. They certainly aren't what I would think of as moccasins, especially with the heel.

Included in the box is a pair of what could either be underwear, or the bottom of a two-piece bathing suit. The copy says that she could wear this with the bandeau top when the weather is warm. Interesting choice, since I don't think of Switzerland as one of the top places to hit the beach, or even get a tan. Also, the pieces are again cotton, and the bottom is not cut adequately to cover her behind once she sits, or even starts to bend her knees.

I'm not sure if she's standing on her own here or not.
She also came with a jacket that has an Alpine style to it as well being decorated with bits of turquoise and beads that make me think of the American southwest. It doesn't fit nicely over the blouse and I had trouble even trying to get it on without the blouse, so I gave up pretty quickly. I didn't want anything to tear. The hook and eye closure is a nice touch, but when you can barely get the jacket on, if at all, that's not so impressive.

The other two pieces are a hat, and a purse. The hat goes well with the outfit, but it's cut a little large, so you have to position the hat just so, or it falls over her eyes. The purse does work with the outfit, but it feels strange to me at the same time. It's beaded like the jacket, and it doesn't open.

I do love the doll. She's got all the features I love about the J-Doll, and she's got the number 4 body. My doll has no cracks, chips or body staining, just the hand that falls out. The outfit seems fine looking at the doll as a whole, but I just don't think it will work for me in the long run. None of the pieces really work on their own, especially the bottoms. I'm impressed that they managed to pull together this sort of Alpine-Pueblo fusion, but at the same time don't really care for it. What do you think?


  1. She's cute and reminds me a bit of the J-Doll I have, Maroseica St. Her outfit is kind of horrible though, especially with the accessories on top of it. I do like the way the bandeau looks with the matching bottoms though. I'd use it as a bathing suit.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't think much of this outfit. I love Maroseica St.'s red hair and green eyes.

  3. I love her eyes - great colour and detail.

    It's a shame that the jacket can't be easily put on - it's a great-looking piece. I love the amount of detail on it, but that just means it's that much more of a disappointment that it's too small!

  4. Yes, the jacket was one of the standout pieces of the outfit for me. But I don't want to have to struggle with it, especially with J-Doll hand joints being notoriously fragile.

    The glass eyes are gorgeous, aren't they?

  5. There are some older versions of these dolls that have really, really fragile wrist joints. Their wrists are often broken in the box, and they actually can't be removed (their hands are on pegs, like your dolls' are). So while it's inconvenient (and weird) that they tend to fall out, this body is way better in design than the previous version that can fall apart in the box. :)

    I really like her outfit--and I love that these dolls are wigged, too. (The wigs are glued on, but if you're super patient, you can almost always remove them carefully. I put the dolls in the freezer first.) :) And they can share clothing with my Azone girls, too.

    I've found these at my local Tuesday Morning and sometimes Ross Dress for Less for just $15-20, which is a steal! So cute!

  6. I've heard there can be problems with J-Doll joints. I wonder if that's why so many of them ended up at places like Tuesday Morning? I've looked at my local Tuesday Morning but never seen any.

    Thanks for the information about the Azone dolls. Another source to check for outfits and shoes!

  7. :( I have two J-Dolls with type 4 bodies and their hands never fall off. I was lucky with Galerie St Hubert, her outfit fits perfect, but not so lucky with Rue de Belleville, her outfit is gorgeous an fits nice but her whole body came wrapped in a plastic paper, which was stained.

    1. I don't have a problem with any of my J-Doll hands except for this one with the curved fingers. It's not too big a problem though, since the hand isn't technically broken. I just have to pop it back in. And hope it doesn't get lost.

      I've seen that staining problem with a lot of other people's J-Dolls. I'm sorry it happened to yours.