* Prices may differ from that shown
My daughter has been collecting Sylvanian Families accessories for a while now, in fact her ever expanding collection has overflowed from her bedroom and has now taken root in more rooms of the house.
Her collection consists of tiny little animal figures, - dogs, pigs, elephant and more- to rather strange coloured canal boats and many many diferant types of houses.
So I thought I would add a few of those said items onto this review site, so here goes then...
As I said, she owns quite a bit of the Sylvanian families collection, including the item I am going to tell you about today, that being the Sylvanian Toy Shop, which, as the name states, is a shop that sells toys, magazines and the like in the fictional Sylvanian village.
** WHAT IS IT THEN..?
The Sylvanian Toy shop is a solid plastic building, although when I say building I really mean that it is three wall, a roof and a floor, with a few bits thrown inside.
It is not massive in size, being approximately 200mm high, 230mm wide and 130mm deep at the base, although the actual house itself is approximately 80mm deep.
The roof is a blue colour with a crème chimney and a dormer window to the rear with a lovely sign clearing stating that this is a Sylvanian Toy Shop.
When you look at it from the front you simply see a single bay window to the left of the beige wooden slatted building, the window allows you to see into the shop a little, although I think it is really so that you can display small items on the little window table inside.
To the rear, where you can access the actual shop, you can see the two shelving systems inside, one being under the display window, the other being a removable 'grand' shelving unit which seems to only be able fit to the left hand side, as you look in from the rear.
That's all that is in the shop and it is up to you to display the may items that come in this package
As for the items that do come with this Toy shop, well, there are several, albeit some are almost as small as a pair of ants underpants. But what you do get, amongst other things, is
* 8 miniature houses from Sylvanian land
* A shelving unit
* Four baskets
* A tray
* Three magazines
* Three children's books
* A sheet of ready to construct cardboard boxes
* A sheet of stickers
And many other items which can don the shelves, helping to make this Toy shop look more like a toy shop
With many on this list being so small that they DO pose a choking hazard for smaller children, so please be careful.
** MY OPINION...
When we first bought this it came in the usual style that we had become accustomed to when the name Sylvanian families is written on it. Packaged quite well with a few things to either stick on or put together.
In the box itself there is the small building, which was the shop itself, and a few even smaller building, which were the Sylvanian toy house that the shop sold.
Then there were a few plastic bags which contained things like the many tiny pieces which would don the shop shelves and the standard sheet of stickers for me to attach to the shop itself. There was also another bag which contained a sheet of cardboard with what looked like flattened boxes imprinted on it. This I recognised straight away and, with a sigh of almost depression, I knew that this cardboard sheet was in fact the boxes that had to be constructed by slotting 'tab a' into 'slot 12' whilst holding 'flap g4' underneath 'tab b'...
These little flattened pieces of cardboard, which you do have to twist into place to make such things as boxes and newspapers, (a little origami training would be useful here), is very fiddly work, especially the little roll of wrapping paper which you have to somehow manoeuvre onto a spindle.
To be honest, I hated these sheet boxes more than I hated putting the stickers on the buildings themselves, and the most annoying part of it is the fact that they just won't stay 'put together', the little flaps keep coming out of the slightly bigger slots.
As for the shop itself, the attention to detail is not the greatest, being a little basic, with the brown floor looking like sanded down floorboards and the walls looking like wooden slats. But then again, once the stickers are in place and the shop is filled with things to sell, it does look more realistic, (Sylvanian families style realism that is, not your local newsagent realism).
Then there's the actual 'small' buildings that this shop sells are quite well detailed indeed, being almost like miniatures of the real thing, which does add to this shops charm.
It is a shop so it is designed to sell things, mainly Sylvanian things, hence the many small items you get in this package, such as the small houses, magazine racks and a myriad of other tiny things,
Another thing I noticed, and thought was a bit of a let down, was the fact that many of the 'Adult' Sylvanian figures that my daughter has collected do look a little too big to be inside this shop, the figures averaging around 90mm in height with the shop roof being only 115mm high, so there's not a lot of head room left. The smaller, child figures fit a little better, but who's heard of a shop being run by a small child just because the roof's a little on the low side.
But, apart from the height issue, and the need to construct those fiddly little boxes, this is a rather fine effort from the brains behind the Sylvanian families idea, and is well worth adding to your collection. As for actual playing with it, well, it is a good size for smaller hands, as most Sylvanian items are, but as there are so many smaller 'choking hazard' parts with-in it's contents I feel the smaller the hands, the smaller the person, thus the easier the chances for them to swallow one of the small parts. But if you take all the small 'choking hazard' pieces out then there is enough left in the shop to play with so the younger kids can enjoy many hours of imaginative fun.
As for the price, well, it sells for between £20.00 and £30.00, depending on where you get it from. Amazon sells it for around the £25.00 mark, which is good, and there's a range of stores who go under the name of 'Toymaster' that sell it for around the same price, although the on-line price is cheaper than the actual shop prices.
My daughter received this as a gift for Christmas from her boyfriend! Yes sweet - at 3 years old and she has a young man buying her flashy gifts! She must take after her mummy!
Anyway back to the review... You get a lovely little building - the toy shop -every child's (and Sylvanian children of course!) dream. The toy shop measures approx 23 x 20 x 13cm. It co-ordinates with some of the other shops available with it's blue roof just like Applewood Department Store and the Courtyard Restaurant. The front of the store shows a big large bay window giving your Sylvanians a glimpse of whats on offer.
There is no door to the shop, the back of the store is totally open, giving your child easy access to the inside. No getting hands stuck in little gaps or getting frustrated because you can't get your figures inside.
The toy shop comes with over 30 accessories. There is a large sign wich attaches to the top of the shop and also one which attaches for all to see on the side. Minimal assembly is required to attach these but I find getting the decorative stickers on them straight a nightmare. There are a number of stick on peices included here -signs for the shop and posters for inside.
There is a large display stand to display the toys. The majority of the toys are miniature Sylvanian Houses -replicas of the ones you can buy. These have tiny stickers on to decorate inside - wallpaper, capets that kind of thing! Except thet are not proper stickers, they are small bits of card for which you are supplied with tiny bits of double sided tape. Once you have managed to get these tiny bits of tape in posistion and remove thir backing the card bits are buch easier to place than a complete stickered piece. Now some of them measure only half a cm or so - I found it difficult with my grown up fingers to do!
But you have decorated your replica houses, so you will be pleased to know that you get a selection of replica furniture to go with them. These bits are very small so keep away from small bit eating young kids, pets, hoovers and small spaces like under the sofa! There are chairs, tables and beds! There is also 2 replica boxes and a small toy train. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't a bigger selection of toys available to our Sylvanian Families but I don't think that they or my daughter give two hoots.
There is also a book display type stand which comes with little paper books about how to decorate your dolls house! Aww! You have to fold them yourself though which I found quite fiddley. In addition there are 3 rolls of wrapping paper - I rolled them up and have forbidden my daughter to unroll them as they were a nightmare and held tight with a tiny sticker! As usual with Sylvanian stuff the attention to detail is amazing.
I think this set offers good value for money - RRP £26.99 but is available on Amazon at the moment for £17.99. Great for imaginative play but please bear in mind that you don't get any figures included in the set which if you don't already have any Sylvanian Families will be costly as they are not cheap. It has been played with daily here so great value for us!
I give it 4 dooyoo stars - sorry but it has to lose one due to the fiddly sticker placement!!
Age: 3 to 5 years.