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My little girl loves watching the Ben and Holly TV program on nick JR. It focuses on fairies and elves so my little girl instantly loved it. It is also made by the same creators of Peppa pig and they certainly know how to draw their target audience in. My daughter added this swing set to her Christmas list, which I was surprised about as it is one of the smallest items available in the range. Imagine Santa's delight when it was found for less than half of its RRP at home bargains for just £5.
In the box you receive a park play, a tiny Holly figurine to of course use the park, and a slightly larger wand for little one to use to cast spells. It looked impressive and I was excited for my little girl to open it. On Christmas morning this was one of the first toys my daughter asked us to take out of the box. It looked lovely. The toy all comes in one piece so no assembly is required. It was surprisingly easy to remove from the box and my children began playing straight away. There are lots of details incorporated into this play set, from a pond to flowers, it is perfect to attract a child instantly and pull them in with the bright colours. As well as the slide and the swing there is a small opening in the tree trunk. This is the perfect hiding place for Holly, and my daughter loves to play hide and seek using this.
The park features a slide for holly to be pushed down, although she does drag a little as the figure has a flat piece of plastic at the bottom of her shoes so she can stand up. This did not bother my little girl she thought it was fantastic holly could use the slide. There is also a swing that again holly can actually use. You place the figure in the basket seat, and with one push it begins to swing back and forth. The idea is for little one to wave the wad and magically push the swing. Holly fits in perfectly sitting safely in the swing, and was very easy for my little girl to do. There is a small area marked on the back of the tree to hold the wand over, but this does nothing. I thought maybe there was a magnet function to magically move the swing move but there were no results for us.
The problem is within a few times of being used the swing snapped. It completely came away from the play set, and as it does not click into place it cannot be put back on the set. My little girl was so upset and began crying but once we calmed her down she was happy to start playing. She was happy walking holly around the scenic pond pictured on the park, and past all the flowers and lovely details shown. Holly of course could still use the slide which made my daughter very happy. She still had every other part of the set to play with, and as it was a clean break there was nothing that could hurt her so I let her continue using it.
The next day the owl that sits on top of the tree and rocks had snapped off. This time it was not a clean cut and there were actually two pieces of jagged plastic sticking up. I had been watching my daughter as the swing had already snapped so luckily I was able to take it out of reach straight away. My little girl really got upset this time as one of her favourite toys had broken. She continues to use the Holly figure in her hello kitty sets, as they are around the same size. The wand is also in perfect working order and my little girl thinks it is fantastic she can use magic spells with holly's wand. The holy figure is actually rather good. It is tiny but it is the perfect size for small hands to move around easily. It does have bendable legs, but at the bottom of her feet is a small disc of plastic that can be used to make sure Holly can stand up.
The wand again is perfectly made and replicas Holly's wand from the programme perfectly. It is a little small but perfect for my little girl to hold in her hand and cast her spells. This set had the potential to be brilliant with bright colours, and lots of simple interactive pieces and of course my daughter's favourite characters. It is a shame that the quality is so terrible and the set barley lasted three days. It is recommended from three years plus, which if you do decide to purchase this set needs to be stuck too. This is because it snaps so easily it really is a choking hazard to younger children. My little girl is four so a year above the recommendation and she was not overly rough with this set.
Unfortunately it seems the manufacturer that both Peppa pig and Ben and Holly use are just useless. We have had terrible experiences with some of the early sets from Peppa pig, and this seems to be a case with this range of toys also. This set apparently retails at around £15. Please do not waste your money on this set as it is just terrible. Every movable part of the set had broken within a day, and by looking online I can see this seems to be the case for everyone rather than just a faulty toy. The holly figure and wand are well loved by my little girl but this is what you are really paying for, as the play set it is rubbish.