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My eldest (will be 5 in march) old got this playset last christmas so just over a year ago. It was the only thing on my sons list, having just got into the batman programme, sadly the playset had sold out everywhere (this wider version is the older style) so I managed to pick it up brand new for £35 as everyone else seemed to want the newer taller version retailing at 50.00-60.00. I was happy with his choice as i went to view it in toys r us and i could tell it was very strong and durable. It was our 1st Imaginext playset and thanks to the positive experience with this set we have gone on to buy another 5 imaginext playsets and 9 imaginext vehicles.
*****Whats in the box*****
2 Batman weapons
5 turning activation points
Secret hook that moves up and down
Working draw bridge that opens and closes
It is made by fisher price from the 'Imaginext' range which we associate with good quality toys. Its age recommendation is 3+ (personally id say from 4+). The playset is made from very durable strong plastic, and has a rough rock look to it but it actually just feels like plastic. The batcave sits at 14.5inches high, 12.5 inches wide when closed and 21.5 inches wide when fully opened. The batcave is mainly grey with a back base finished off with blue, purple and yellow detailing.
The playset is 2 stories high with some form of activity in every part of the playset, there are 6 little compartments. There are also 5 little red turning dials with feet shaped marks for you to stand the figures on as these turn dials do something different within the playset.
The bike is 4inches long and has little handles so that the figures can actually grip their hands around the handles. The figures are 2.5inches high and are flexible to add to the play with movable body parts. Batman is wearing a black outfit with a cape and mask. Robin has his red and green outfit on with a black cape, both figures are exactly the same as you would see on the TV.
The 1st thing you will notice is the big batman sign on the front of the playset. Under this is a blue drawbridge, this is opened by the small red turn dial just to the left hand side of the drawbridge, as the drawbridge opens you will see a purple dial behind the door turning. On the left hand side you will see a purple window with a blue rim, this is opened by the small yellow lever just underneath it. Just to the left of the purple window you will see 5 steps that lead to inside the back of the batcave, under these steps you will see another secret blue drawbridge. Above the purple window you will see some black string with a yellow hook, the yellow lever that the string is attached to can be taken in or out by a secret lever on the inside of the batcave (top right section. On the right hand side you will see a little balcony for batman to keep watch for any baddies, this balcony can open all the way out for batman to get a better view! On the right hand side you can also see the inside on the lift compartment.
When opening the batcave you will find even more to do, on the left hand side you will see another red turn dial, this takes the secret lift from the bottom up to the top of the batcave then back down again, simply place a figure on the turn dial with another figure on the lift, turn the turn dial and watch your superhero go either up ir down. When the lift goes to the bottom a yellow lid will come down to cover and hide the lift. Under the lift compartment is a chamber. In the middle on the bottom level is the purple turning dial you saw when you lowered the main blue drawbridge. Above this is a plain blue platform with yellow barriers. On the bottom left hand side you will see another red turn dial in batmans office, that lowers the smaller blue drawbridge on the front (under the purple window). You will also see the batsign and a small computer. The level above and there is another red turn dial, this opens the purple window. The higher lever there is one final red turn dial, this adjusts the black strings and yellow hook that is on the front of the batcave. There also also steps that lead to the very top of the batvave to the cannon area where batman can protect his batcave.
*****What does my son think?*****
He loves it, there is plenty to do in the batcave to keep him amused for hours. As soon as it was delivered i knew my son would be impressed. It looks awesome with lots of fun little activities, and he is forever coming up with new stories to make this toy go further. He can easily use the figures, moving their hands etc. He was also very pleased that it came with 2 figures...both goodies...this did mean that we had to purchase a pack of baddies for batman and robin to capture (we got a pack of 5 baddies in Smyths for £15).
He does struggle with holding the figures onto the turning dials at the same time as turning the dials because obviously he only has little hands and the turning dials are quite chunky, and awkward to put your hand over with the figure in place. To be fair to him it does seem a little tricky, you have to stand the figure where the feel holes are, hold the figure on there and turn that dial at the same time. Some times these yellow turn dials do get a bit hard to turn so often my son will just use his hand, i cannot say if its just his turn dials that get sticky of if it is all of them. The figure can stand up alone while in the turn dial but as soon as that is turned if you are not holding onto the figure at the same time then he will fall off.
Hes now nearly 5 so so had the playset for just over a year and over the year has started to get the hang of turning the dial with the figures on top of it as his hands are getting bigger.
He also loves that there is a little clip and carry handle at the top meaning he can close all of his figures inside and take the playset with him, very handy if staying at nanny and granddads house.
I canot express how happy I am with this toy. It was the 1st imaginext toy I purchased so wasnt sure what to expect, I was also quite panicked because at the time my youngest was only 13 months old and dreadfull for putting his older brothers toys in his mouth, but other than the accessories (which to be honest my boys have now lost) its a very safe, well built, strong and durable playset.
Its amazing, lots of play value thanks to the many activities and features, lots of accessories which I was surprised at, very sturdy and well built and easy to keep clean.
My youngest was 2 on 14th November and he plays with his older brothers imaginext sets, we loved this playset so much that we went on to add the Mr Freeze playset and Gotham City Jail to this set along with the pack of baddies I mentioned above, with all 3 paysets lined up my 2 boys will sit there for hours if they could in their little batman world. My 2 year old does struggle a little as hes under the age recommendation but still loves to stand the figures on the batcave making shooting noises. Im that pleased with the set that ive also brought the complete imaginext disney cars range for my youngest for christmas.
My nearly 5 year old plays with it daily. We also own the majorty of the vehicles, mr freeze playset and gotham city jail so set everything up and tmmy 2 boys play for hours! I recently purchased the imaginext toy story landfill set after having such a positive experience with the batcave, but it isnt as good as the batcave, theres never a dull moment in the batcave,
Theres just so much to do, it really gets my boys imagination going. Normally we have poor experience's with playsets with them either being very fiddly, poor quality or just not much to do. This batcave is jammed packed with features and things for batman and robin to do. The playset can be played with on its own due to the amount to do or with other toys. My eldest imagination really gets going while playing with this set and for us its money well spent.
I only have 2 little niggles with the batcave, neither seem to bother my boys tho, 1) the turn dials seem to get a little stuck at times even tho I regularly wipe the toy over. 2) the batcave doesnt have any sound effects, which I feel would really set the toy off. My sons best friend has come around a few times after school for tea and its the first thing he goes to. Highly recommend this toy to anyone considering buying. Well worth the money even at full price!
Im guessing from my review you will see we are more than happy with it, with its many features and activities theres never a dull moment with this you. As like the other Imaginext sets we own its strong, durable, well built and anything but flimsy. Although I would suggest for 4+ rather than 3+ in my opinion from watching my 2 boys and my eldest school friends playing with it.
Summary: amazing toy for years to come
The Batman Cave is something that we have owned for about 13 months. My son was given some cash for his birthday last October from my mum so he could go and choose himself something he wanted from the toy shop. We took him to Smyths, and he picked out the Batman cave.
I was quite pleased with his choice as it is part of the Imaginext range and we already owned several other items from the range that are well made and much loved and played with toys, so although it was £45 and quite large, I was convinced he would really enjoy playing with it and have a lot of fun. This was one of two designs of Batcave that were in the store, and this one was not quite as tall, so I thought it might be easier to store.
At first this was a big hit. My son is not fully aware of what Batman does, but he had been given a toy car and Batman figure, and this set came with some nice little accesories, like a Batman and Robin figure, and a motorcycle, and a computer console so you can pretend that you know about the crimes happening in Gotham city.
The little figures are about 3 inches tall with movement at the hips and shoulders so that the figures can sit down. My son was pleased as he could now put two relevant characters in the Imaginext Batman car, and my youngest son was even more pleased as we now had two batman figures so they could have one each to play with. The Batman in this set is dressed in black with a black cape.
Like the other Imaginext sets we own, the set is made of plastic, and it has several points on the set which are movement points. By standing the figure on these points which are circular discs with footprints on them, you turn the disc and then something happens within the set. On this set there are 5 of these discs.
One occurs on the front of the playset, and this opens the blue drawbridge at the front. Inside the set there are two floors. On the lower floor there is one that opens another drawbridge at the side of the playset. On the middle floor, there is one that opens a purple hatch seen on the left of the photo. This opens fast, and can also be opened by a little yellow lever on the front of the playset. The last two are located on the top floor - essentially the roof of the playset. One of these operates a pulley above the hatch making the hook go up or down, and then there is a lift on the other side of the playset, which the final disc moves from the ground floor to the roof.
From a childs perspective, this is a good set that encourages imaginative play, though I do think when you start with the superheroes, every hero needs a good villain to have a fight against, and this is lacking. We just use figures from other sets, and you can buy the Joker and other Batman villains seperately to go with this set. My children spend a lot of time playing with the figures more so than the actual set.
The set is on the large side. When open as shown in the picture, it is 40cm in height, 57 cm in length, and 16 cm in width. When folded, it takes on a more square shape at 26x26cm on the base, but I find one of my problems with this set is that it has a poor design to keep it secure when folded. The two sides fold behind the front, and there is a plastic hook which is supposed to hold it all together, then a carry handle on the roof so you should be able to move it about without any hassle. However, this hook just doesn't work as one side seems to be a little lower than the other so it just doesn't line up properly even when on a perfectly flat surface like laminate flooring.
I think the 'feel' of this set is a little more flimsy than other sets we have such as the fire station or the toy story landfill site, and I think part of the problem is the two hinges to fold in, as the other sets do not have hinges or only have one in the case of the fire station.
The actual discs and mechanisms such as the lift and pulley still work fine, though I have seen other reviews on sites like amazon which say that these have stopped working on their child's playset. It also seems like Imaginext have moved onto producing the other version of this particular playset in preference to this one, I presume because it is less flimsy for the 3-7 year olds to play with and isn't a folding set like this one.
I would say this is not awful by any means, but it is the weakest out of the range that we own, and it is not played with as much as I thought the kids would. When they do play with it, I've noticed they leave it open and are most likely to get the set of toy soldiers out and position them around the roof section and have battles with this acting as a barrier in the middle of the room. I felt they played more with the space set and the Toy story range, I don't know if this is because we have had more toys in these ranges so it was easier to develop a suitable game? Perhaps just their own experiences prior to owning it allows more imaginative play with figures they have more prior knowledge of? Who really knows with kids.
If I had the choice again, I would probably still let my son buy this, but I am not sure how much I recommend it. I think the idea is a good one, but it could have been better.
This Batman cave from Fisher Price is a toy that my son and I are a bit divided on he thinks it's fun to play with and I think it's over priced and not really worth its money. Also the other thing to mention is the current model is different to the picture that Dooyoo are displaying. The model above is the old M5652 which I think is no longer available. The one in the current Argos catalogue and the one we bought before Christmas is the V8945 which is taller across several floors has a lift and perhaps more importantly for those of us with small houses is not foldable.
What it is
The bat cave is basically a huge moulded bit of grey plastic with lots of yellow purple and red bits on it. In the centre is the bat signal that can flash for Batman and Robin to get their messages. There is a mechanical claw to work on the bat motorbike, a secret entrance, a turnstile, a telescope that fits on the top of the cave, a lift for them to go up and down and the bit that really appeals to my son a jail section. Also included is one Batman and Robin figure the Bat motorbike a rocket launcher and a few weapons.
The cave comes ready assembled bar a few bits and come Christmas day this was my first gripe there were no instructions to let you know where to put these few bits so you have to guess from the box. The section that is the control desk doesn't fit where it is supposed to from the picture so this was gripe number two. The weapons are fiddly to get the figures to hold and often my 4 year old finds this too tricky to do given this toy is from 3 years old I think it would be harder for younger children to coordinate this aspect.
This was one of the toys my son had wanted for Christmas curtsey of a lot of adverts about it on Channel 5 so was delighted to open the wrapping paper to find this. As it was soon good to go out of the box he was able to play with it straight away which was a huge bonus for him. However he was disappointed that there were no "baddies" included in the set and improvised with some knights form his castle set. During the first day of play it became apparent that the secret entrance wall bit at the top was not always going to stay on and despite him trying to be careful it often falls off during playtime. This however doesn't put him off and he merely puts it to one side. Once he had figured out how the telescope worked he was initially enthralled by it and was taking it off the cave and looking at other things with it, but this has soon proved a short lived novelty and it is hardly every used now. This is probably just as well as the section where you can elevated it to the top of the cave is terribly designed and it can only go out of the trap door in one position otherwise either the trap door falls off or it gets jams in the entrance.
The lift section is also a bit temperamental and sometimes works without a hitch as you turn the button on the top of it sticks and jams on the way up and down.
The jail is one of my son's favourite sections and he loves putting figures in here. The only issue is the door can come off the hinges very easily which is great for the baddies escaping but poor for the frustration factor of a 4 year old boy.
The secret entrance at the bottom is equally as frustration and often has need myself or my husband to give it a firm shove to get it opening and closing properly. The entrance however is great for the imaginative play and often my son has the baddies trying to knock on the rock to find the way into Batman's lair.
The figures that come with the set of Batman and Robin are limited in their movements and have their leg and feet splayed which can make it a bit fiddly to get them to sit in the motorbike but equally makes it they look a bit odd and hard to do some super hero fighting my son would like. The figures are robust but I personally would of loved the set to come with at least one baddy as you need to either buy another set at around £10-20 to get one or use some other figures from other games such as Playmobil like my son who uses his knights or pirates to aid in the playing.
The motorbike is perhaps the most sturdy bit of the set and so far there has been no problems with the design or it working correctly it is just hard for the figures to sit on it.
These are all my negatives about it and I do think it is very over priced for what you get and I think unlike a lot of the Fisher Price toys we have it is poorly made. I equally think he plays just as much with his wooden castle and knights which is better made and just as great for imaginative play and was cheaper so the imaginative play aspects can be got from other toys
The positive aspect of this toy is how much my son likes it despite the problems he loves playing superheroes and Batman with it stretches his imagination as he plays with it. It is also a magnet for some of his friends when they come to play at our house and they love playing superheroes with it. My son would give it around 4 stars for the lack of baddies and lack of noises and bits that fall of it.
It is designed for children 3-8 years old and I think it definitely fits this age group from the children that have played with it in our house.
Educational wise this isn't really an educational toy with no benefits other than imaginative play and I think you can get these befits from cheaper and better designed toys than this.
This is an expensive toy for what you get and is to my mind poorly designed and built with multiple bits that fall off or don't work the way they should. There is a lack of "baddies" in the set meaning you either have to buy more or improvise. At around £50 full price I am glad we got it in the sale though I think the £35 we paid for it was still too much and I would only give it 1-2 stars for the imaginative play aspects. My son however loves Batman and the cave and playing with it in imaginative ways as superheroes and baddies and would give it 4 stars. As a compromise I would love to give it 2 and half stars but will settle for 2 stars.