* Prices may differ from that shown
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Introduction ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
My youngest Oscar got this for his 2nd birthday on thursday and loves it! I decided to buy the toy because my 4.5year old Harvey has the imaginext batcave which is recommended for ages 4 years plus, and his younger brother is forever trying to play with that but hes just too young. Naturally having an older brother Oscar wants everything that Harvey has, so when I saw this advertised half price I jumped at the chance to snap 1 up! Oscar is quite behind in a few areas so extra care has to be taken buying toys to make sure they are suited to him, so when i saw this recommended for ages 1 years and up i thought it would solve my problem of Oscar wanting the big boys batcave. Oscar has just discovered playsets so this seemed like the ideal one, a great looking playset, and it stops him wanting the bigger batcave...2 birds 1 stone.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ What's In The Box? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
I felt you get quite a good amount with this playset, normally you have to spend extra money on figures or vehicles to keep the set from getting boring.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ The Batcave ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The playset is recommended for age 1-5 years and is made by Fisher Price, it is the DC Super heroes range. It comes in an open type box so you can see exactly what you are buying. The set is based on the batcave, where batman lives, batman being the main hero with robin being his sidekick. It takes no assembly at all so the playset is ready to use as soon as you have removed the annoying cable ties.
The playset is a good size, with the measurements as follows: L15 x W4 x H10.5 inches. Taking the playset out of the packaging you will notice how durable and well built the batcave is it feels very sturdy, which is always an added bonus when a toy is aimed at the younger age range. It is blue with a yellow base, and has 2 way play because it has features at the front and at the back where it is an open style playset, it also has multi levels with an activity or feature on every level. At the front you can see a grey garage door that lifts up and leads into the command centre, just above the door is where Batman can park his batmobile so that he has easy access to the yellow slide on the right hand side, this level is also a launching point for the batmobile, simply lift the yellow lever on the left hand side to see the batmobile shoot down the ramp. Just under the slide is a little chair for either batman or robin where there is also a computer and a picture of the joker, this area can also be accessed via the back of the batcave. Above the slide is a helipad where Robin can land his helicopter.
Batman's Batmobile is a great size for little hands, at H3 x W2.5 x L5 inches, it also makes a noise when a figure is placed inside the vehicle, when sitting a figure into the Batmobile you will hear sounds and 3 phrases, that are 'To the Batcave' 'Full Power' and 'Turbo Engaged'. The Batmobile is mainly black with blue and grey detailing, with 4 fully moving wheels. It has a seat for Batman with a little peg on the seat to keep the figure in place.
Robins Helicopter is also a great size, at H4.5 x W2.5 x L5, it is red with a yellow base and propeller that turns, it also has a peg in the seat to keep Robin in place, sadly no sounds with this vehicle.
Batman are Robin are 2.5 inches High, and are quite solid plastic, they are both dressed in the usual outfits you normally see them in except Batman is dress in blue rather than black. They have small holes in the bottom so that you are able to sit them in the vehicle's and they will not fall out.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ What Does Oscar Think? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Oscar can easily play with this set alone, its simple but fun with the different levels, ramp, 2 figures and 2 vehicles, there really is enough to let his imagination free to explore. The playset is open planned so that Oscar can move the batcar in and out of the playset by himself, either via the garage door or at the back. I feel the age recommendation from as young as 1 years is fair because the set is uncomplicated and very straight forward to use, there are also no tricky bits that would have to involve an adult, so this also allows Oscar's confidence to grow. He really enjoys playing with this playset and has no trouble with it at all. The fact its batman is a major bonus, as his brother also has the batman toys including the Imaginext Batcave. There isnt much to do, but thats whats makes it more suitable for the younger age group, its very simple, yet fun.
Thanks to multi levels and features including the slide, Helipad and Computer, Oscar can create new stories which aids his Imagination, from Batman checking out The Jokers where-about on the command centre, before setting off down the slide in his batmobile and calling Robin to help.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Our Thoughts ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The playset itself doesn't do much at all, but its great for a childs imagination, and has many features/accessories that keep the set from getting boring, and when added to other batman toys or the other DC super heroes playset your child will have hours of fun. With the set, because its based on the Batcave with 2 goodie figures its even more fun if you can buy a baddie figure to add to it, you can add the baddie figures (6 pack) for around £20, but as Harvey has the Imaginext Batcave, Oscar simply borrowed a baddie figure that added even more play.
The playset unlike a lot of toys now a days is very well built, the playset has been knocked over and pulled from pillar to post and still stands strong, the quality is great and seems very long lasting. What I also like about this playset, is the thought that has gone into it, because the age recommendation is from 1 years plus, it obviously had to be very simple to use, which it is, right down to the garage door that stays lifted up when you open it, so that a toddler wont have to worry about holding the door open while trying to drive the figure through.
The playset and cars/figures are also a great size for chunky little toddler hands, Oscar can push the vehicles up and around the playset by himself, encouraging a number of developments, from his imagination, social and fine motor skills, as well as his confidence, its 1 of the few playsets where he doesn't need any help.
I have got Oscar the Fisher Price DC Little people wheelies playset to add to this playset for Christmas so I'm hoping he will get even more play time out of these put together and come up with even more scenarios for batman and his friends because that playset comes with 2 figures/cars and I have brought another 2 more to add to it, so I feel that this set (especially when added to the other set) will last for a few more years yet.
With the age recommendation being up to 5 years I feel a 5year old would get bored with it due to the playset hardly having anything to do on it, it is simple enough for my 2 year old but there isn't enough complexity for most 5 year's old, so id say 1-4 years is more suitable.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Any Negatives? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
My only negative is that it would be nice for the playset to have some sounds, its great that Fisher Price have added sounds and phrases to the batmobile but little people love noisy/sound toys that add great effects to the toys, it doesn't affect play and maybe its me being pickey, but it would be nice, and really finish the playset off.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Overall Thoughts ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Personally I think the playset is great, with only 1 tiny, negative. It is full of positives, including multi levels, 2 way play, 2 figures, 2 vehicles, lots of features, well built, durable and great for little hands. I would recommend the set to anyone looking for a playset for the younger end of the age groups, it keeps Oscar and even sometimes Harvey entertained for quite a while, and is great for his developmental skills. For what you receive in the box I feel the price being charged at the moment is fantastic.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Price And Availability ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
When released the product was being sold for £35 but I managed to bag it for £17.50 in the middle of last year during an Argos sale, so only roughly a year ago but for some reason it seems to have stopped being sold in most shops, however you can still buy brand new on Ebay for £21.99 or £23.97 on Amazon which I feel is a fantastic price for what you will receive.