* Prices may differ from that shown
Being the proud owner of many Barbies, it was almost imperative that they had a home. So, this is where the Barbie Magical Dance Castle comes in; last year it was a different castle, but with the advent of the twelve dancing princesses, this is the thing!
The castle itself comes in a gratifyingly large box, and once opened, comes complete with all bits and pieces and instructions. It is surprisingly easy to assemble, being a series of clip together pieces. In fact, the only bit I had any problems with (and thats because I am impatient) was the back panel which would not slot into the base.
Once assembled, the castle is quite unique in that it is almost two castles in one, having both a front and a back to it, both sides having their own features.
The front of the castle has a purple façade with a dance area into which the dancing princesses can be placed and then twirled to give the illusion of dancing. Whilst this is going on, and assuming you have inserted 2AA batteries, then you can have some rather appropriate dancing music. To make them dance to the music, there is a turn mechanism which of course you have to move yourself, so there is always the chance that you could knock over the dolls. Little Miss puts the included pink table and elaborate pink chairs in front of this part of the castle so whilst two dolls dance, two of the dolls can sit and take in the ambience!
The rear of the castle has a small balcony, ideal for the triplets to dance on, and a larger balcony, which is large enough for a chair, and which features an integrated dressing table (gold and pink). There is a pink spiral staircase leading to these balconies, which considering it is clipped into the main frame, is surprisingly sturdy. The purple door leads to the front of the castle, so there is no need for anyone to be alone, although it is a tad tricky to get the dolls through the doors.
To complete the castle, and make it suitable for twelve princesses, this does come with a very special bed. It comes in three bits, and is actually three beds decreasing in size, which slide under each other, the assumption being I think that the dolls sleep 4 to a bed. Its quite a squash, but Little Miss doesnt seem to send them to bed at the same time. Some sleep whilst others dance. The bed is of course pink and gold and comes with tiny white pillows which got lost!
The whole thing comes complete with lots of little bits and pieces- plastic purple and white tea set and flags for the turrets. These are of course deadly for the hoover!
~~Price and Availability~~
I think this was retailing at around the £60 mark before Christmas because it was part of the latest Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses fad. However, it has come down in price and can be bought for about half that now.
~~Made by ~~
Mattel, that great maker of all things Barbie. I often wish I had shares
~~What I think of it~~
Who am I to judge?
I am merely the one who sets the thing up, and makes sure that I dont hoover any of the bits up.
The castle does give lots of scope for imaginative play. There are plenty of activities for the dolls to enjoy- eating and drinking at the table, sleeping in the pull out bed, entertaining the princes and of course, dancing (although the music does get a bit monotonous!)
Little Miss does enjoy this castle, and because there are bits of interest on both sides, there is space for her and her friends to play without arguing over who wants specific bits.
It is easy to set up, and quite sturdy- this has been carried up and down the stairs without mishap. It is big, and does require quite a lot of space, but in Barbie world, size matters.
A fun castle which Barbie fans will get hours of amusement from. The only thing I object to are the little bits and pieces such as the tea set. They seem to come with every Barbie castle or toy, and we tend to lose them.
Thanks for reading.
The bed in the bedroom expands to sleep nine dolls, and a table converts into a bed for the triplets, too! Dolls not included.