Ahhh Playmobil - the toy that kids love but mums hate because all the little bits get everywhere and invariably end up inside the hoover ! That was the first thing that struck me about this clever addition to the collection though - it serves as a handy storage box so that kids can quickly pack away all the tiny accessories when they've finished playing. Juliette is a total Playmobil-freak and has got the campervan, the vet's, the playpark, the bedroom, ummm can't remember what else but there's more. Lots more ! But she managed to stash all of the fiddly tiny bits from all of her collection into the Fantasy Chest. No more nagging her to tidy it all away, it's all part of the playtime fun now because she loves the funky double-sided carry case.
I love Playmobil because it gets kid's creative juices flowing - when Juliette's playing in her room with her Playmobil all over the floor, I can hear her making up stories and doing different voices and it always makes me smile ! This princess-themed chest is perfect for little girls, unlike a lot of the other Playmobil and Lego-type toys, so Juliette was in her element. As was big sister Sophie who may be nearly 9 but who still loved playing with it (baby brother Pierre is also looking on wishing he could join in the fun but he'll have to wait a while yet !) ...
... not to mention Grandad and Daddy who obviously weren't at all put off by the girlie-girlie theme ! What is it with men and Playmobil ?!
Playmobil give you the basic storyline idea behind the playset : "It is the little princess’ birthday and she is standing in her bed-chamber not knowing what to wear. On the other side of the chest, which is separated by means of a little door, the guests and, most importantly, the prince are waiting for her. Here in the garden, everything is ready for the big party. From the presents to the birthday cake, the many careful details make for varied fairytale role-play." But the rest is up to you. Yesterday afternoon, we had naughty princes hiding the birthday presents, the horse eating the cake, a royal game of hide and seek, the king getting hayfever from the flowers and knocking over the table ... ! The possibilities are endless and it's great fun listening to your little ones making up the funny stories !
I'm actually really impressed with the variety of little accessories in this chest which really do give you a lot of scope for creating new and different storylines, especially if you combine them with the rest of your collection. Juliette loves the two different indoor/outdoor sides and the fact that you can walk the little Playmobil figures through from one side to the other.
The only problem is, she has decreed that as it looks like a suitcase, she's bringing it to Turkey on holiday with us ! Hmmm might have to have a little discussion about that in a few week's time !
star rating : 5/5 (Juliette said 12/5 !)
RRP : £37.99