“ Brand: Cassidy Brothers / Type: Doll Accessories „
My young nephew is cared for by myself and other members of my family as both of his parents work full time, and so his childcare needs are met by members of my sister's family, and this includes myself and my parents who work in a sort of 'rotation' to baby-sit him on a part-time basis whilst his parents are working. This means that he needs something to occupy his time whilst he is in my care, and thus, I have a large toy-box in a spare bedroom at my home which is brimming with a whole host of toys to entertain and amuse him during our play-time together.
In addition, I have two young nieces and a young (female) cousin who are also regular visitors to my house. This means that I have to ensure that some of the toys I have in the toy-box are unisex and are suitable for both sexes, but also suitable for a range of ages. To buy a whole host of toys in these assorted ranges would no doubt cost me a small fortune, and so I will regularly snap up second-hand bargains at car-boot sales and charity shops, taken home with me to be given a new lease of life into the clutches of the various youngsters who I am lucky enough to have in my life.
This "recycling" method is how I came to possess the "Casdon Toy Dolls Bath & Potty Set" when I purchased it at a local car boot sale for only £1. In actual fact I ended up buying a whole host of dolls' accessories and accoutrements from the same seller - most of which had never even been used - and she ended up doing me a bit of a deal and I left, quite delighted with a bulging bag full of all manner of toy bottles and nappies, bath-things and thingamabobs, and all for under £4... Bit of a bargain!
After a little research online, I can see that the version of the Casdon Dolls Bath that we own is the "Casdon 403" which is currently unavailable on Amazon. However, there is a very similar set to be found in the "Casdon 711 Baby Huggles Bath" and this currently retails on Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk) for around £7 plus postage costs. The items are very similar, but for the purposes of this review, the set I am reviewing is the "Casdon 403 Doll Bath & Potty Set."
The small pink bath is what makes for the focal point of the doll's set of course. Comprising of pink-coloured plastic, the bath is quite small, and is significantly smaller than other doll's baths that I have seen elsewhere. Not only that, but the plastic used for the bath is really quite flimsy - especially when the price tag of the Casdon Bath Sets is considered. I'd go so far as to say the plastic used in the bath is inferior when compared to similar doll's toys that we own, although to give it credit it has never broken or perished - even with some rather rough handling by our families' toddlers. (I remember my nephew attempting to park his behind in the bath at one stage..!)
There were several smaller items provided with the dolls' bath and these were:
* A plastic dolls' comb
* A little dolls' hairbrush
* A purple potty
* A sponge in the shape of a duck
A little quick research online shows that in fact our Casdon Bath set has a few items missing, which I believe are a small bar of soap (made of plastic, presumably) and a small plastic bottle which is make-believe baby talcum powder.
My nephew is probably not the best candidate to discuss our play-time experiences with the Casdon Dolls Bath, as he is somewhat obsessed with cars and vehicles, and playing with these types of toys takes up most of our play-time together, so I will concentrate on my experiences of playing with the plastic bathtub with my niece, who is 6.
As a side note, what I will mention is that my nephew has a slight infatuation with the small plastic hair brush that is included with the gift set and when it is spotted by him among other toys and play-things he will often stop, pause, retrieve the hairbrush and brush a few strands of his golden curls before discarding the brush and continuing with his play... rather cute and well, slightly hilarious..!
The point of the bathtub is to allow for "role-play" activities such as bathing, changing and dressing the doll. My niece loves this type of play and as I have a toy iron and ironing board at my house too, we will often "iron" the doll's clothing before carrying out their bath-time routine. Next, we will place the doll into the bath and give her a (make-believe) sponge bath - easily done, thanks to the ducky sponge provided in the set. Afterwards, my niece will usually ask for a towel to 'dry' the baby and so I will retrieve a small towel to let her carry out this little task. Once baby is 'dry' she will be positioned on top of the little potty to do her business, and I do find the potty is slightly neat as the doll's behind overhangs its edges very slightly. Obviously, this is down to the size of doll used alongside the accessories.
Whilst I am on the subject, I believe the bath is suitable for use with a 16" doll, but as our doll is slightly larger than this she is slightly cumbersome when using the potty and the bath. We also have a 14" doll and she is better suited to using the bath and potty in my opinion, but alas, she is apparently not as popular a choice as her toy-box neighbour.
The next step in the doll's 'routine' consists of my niece attempting to dress the baby although she usually becomes frustrated during this part of her play and will need a little help before attending to the baby's hair with the comb and brush provided in the set.
Other doll accessories come into play at this point, and my niece will often 'make up' a bottle and undertake the laborious duty of feeding - and burping (!!) - the doll with a doll's bottle. At other times she will proceed to 'iron' every item of doll's clothing she can find in the toy-box and so on, until this type of play is abandoned altogether, in favour of some puzzle or game that is next selected from the toy-box.
I have to confess that I'm not sure I'd be particularly impressed with the Casdon Dolls Bath Set if I had paid full price for it - the £7 mark seems excessive for the bath, considering it is quite small and is made of rather flimsy material. Likewise, I feel the potty is neatly-sized and is also rather flimsy. The other little items that we have serve their purpose I suppose, but none could be described as being of premium quality. Obviously for the sum I paid I do not have many complaints, but I'd probably shop around if I was looking to repurchase an item like this in the future.
On the plus side, the bath set is easy to store due to being slightly neat, and it is easy to clean too, with a damp cloth taking care of any grubby marks that have appeared over time. And in terms of the flimsy feel of the bath itself, perhaps I am being slightly unfair as it has never cracked or burst in the time it has been used.
Overall, I am pleased enough with the performance of the Casdon Dolls Bath Set and think it is deserving of a four star rating. I'd probably not be as happy with it if I had paid full price however, and cannot honestly say that I feel THIS price tag is fully justified.
There are several Casdon Dolls' Bath Sets available to buy on eBay (www.eBay.co.uk) as @ August 2012, with prices starting from around £4 plus postage costs.
My 21 month old is obsessed at the moment with dolls and prams and everything that goes with them so when my mother in law seem this is a little shop while on holiday she just know that my daughter would love it.
I think that it is a typical cheap sea side holiday tacky purchase but it has been played with a lot and was worth the £5.99 she paid for it.
The bath itself is quite small but therefore easy for my litttle one to carry around the house with her. She can fit her My First Baby Annabel in it but normal size bigger dolls are just to big although that doesnt stop her trying to squeeze them in. It is made of very thin plastic but is still in one piece despite my daughter trying to sit in it.
It comes with a tiny purple potty, a babies soft brush (which she uses on her own hair and everyone elses) and a little sponge in the shape of a duck.
I think that my daughter has had so much fun from this that I would have to recommend it, even though I think it is cheap looking.