Product Type: Flair Doll
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The School They Can't Wait To Go To...
Flair Sylvanian Families Berry Grove School
Member Name: Rhiana
Flair Sylvanian Families Berry Grove School
Date: 12/01/12, updated on 15/01/12 (52 review reads)
Advantages: high quality, beautifully made, comes with accessories or can be added to, hours of fun
Disadvantages: one, but a very disappointing one for my daughter....the bell doesn't ring!
Berry Grove School is, as all Sylvanian families toys are, a very nice high quality toy. Made of plastic, this open backed two story building is clearly well made from the moment you open the box. The main body of the building is already built and requires very little assembly...a relief on Christmas morning when faced with a child desperate to get their hands on it!
The school comes with a clock tower that has a real working clock which does need attached. This is pretty simple and straight forward requiring nothing more than clicking into place. The clock however does require 1 x AAA battery and a tiny screwdriver to get into the battery compartment which aren't included and I didn't have to hand. Thankfully we were able to wait until Grandad was available to help out with this and apart from the clock not telling the actual time, it had no effect on the rest of the toy.
The tower also has a bell which needs to be threaded in and is again simple to do taking only seconds. The bell is perhaps the only real disappointment of the toy though, as it's made of plastic and doesn't actually ring when the string is pulled. I know this was one aspect of the toy Lucy was particularly looking forward to and I can't understand why they didn't make the bell a working feature...it wouldn't be difficult and would be much appreciated.
The ground floor is extended to become a large playing space by a removable board and unfixed staircase which is handy for packing the toy away and storage. I was actually surprised at how large the toy was when fully constructed. It's not huge, but is a lot bigger than I was expecting from the box. I don't think these toys are suitable for younger children who may find them far too fiddly, but for more dexterous older kids it's the perfect size.
The toy is aesthetically very pleasing too with some lovely detailing. The clock in particular is very pretty. Like most toys this does come with stickers that need putting on with a steady hand to complete the look. I hate this...I always make a mess and the school does have one crooked times table poster adorning the wall now. Why companies can't have these decorations already in place is beyond me, but Sylvanian isn't the only culprit of this practice so can hardly be faulted.
Berry Grove School doesn't come with any figures, but it does come with quite a bit of furniture and accessories. There's desks, tables, books, art equipment and furniture which is all sturdy and well made, although some of it is tiny and could easily be lost. The books needed folding up and some of the smaller pieces had to be detached from plastic holders which was a bit faffy but all in all my daughter was playing with her completed school fifteen minutes after she first opened it.
And she hasn't stopped since. The school has really piqued her imagination and she's spent hours lining up her figures and taking them into school. With the addition of a couple of other packs that accompany the school (a music lesson set and school dinners set) and the two school pupils set she also received for Christmas along with the pieces and people from her previous collections she's played happily for ages and I've loved hearing her act out the parts of teachers and students. It's been a big hit and judging by how much pleasure she gets from her other Sylvanian toys I'm certain she'll continue to do so for a long time to come.
Berry Grove school isn't cheap, and with many additional add on sets the price can quickly add up. However this toy can stand alone if your child already has a few figures as it does have enough equipment to keep it going. I also like the fact that this is a collection and can be added to throughout the year. My daughter has already bought herself a couple of other sets with a Toys R Us voucher she received from a relative and she's keen to save her pocket money for another longed for pack. I'm also confident that I'm paying for quality. In four years we've never had a piece of Sylvanian families break...and they've been played with a lot. The school is made with the same detail and quality as the others and I fully expect it to last long beyond Lucy playing with it.
Apart from the non ringing bell, which was a disappointment and loses the toy a whole star for us, I'm very happy with the school and Lucy absolutely loves it. I think it provides more imaginative role play than the Sylvanian houses and would actually recommend it above these...after all, what little girl doesn't want to be in charge of her own school? Another success from Sylvania!!
Summary: A well made and functional school for your Sylvanians
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