My Daughter has suddenly devolved a passion for sylvanian families all started off by the canal boat.
What is it?
The Canal boat is part of sylvanian friends which is a Japanese idea which first started life in 1985 and is based on a village called Sylvania which is in turn based on the idea of a 70;s English village!
The Canal Boat
The Boat is a replica canal boat which comes complete with galley kitchen, bunks, little table and all the accessories as well as this it also have hanging baskets to ensure the outside is as attractive.
Cost and stockist
The sylvanian range is expensive but does offer excellent play value and is available online at www.amazon.co.uk and also at most major toy stores the rrp is £49.99 however currently in Argos it is on offer at £33.29.
Since we have owned this my daughters have set sail and amazingly the sound of squabbling has abated instead of the screeches of get out of my room we hear quick catch the rope lets go through the lock! So it does offer lots of play fun and encourages imagative play which can only be a good thing.
I do recommend the sylvanian range as it offers excellent imaginative play but I still think it is expensive although my sister-in-law still has her childhood sylvanian families so it is built to last as long as the small pieces are put away before the Hoover comes out!
Summary from the daughters: The Narrow boat is good fun to play with we like the little shower and toilet and we have lots of fun playing canals.
This canal boat is a brilliant toy for children to play with. My granddaughter is really interested in Sylvanian Families at the moment and she spends a lot of time playing with this boat.
The boat is now cheap, it costs about £60 so is a lot of money but there is such a high level of detail in it that you can get a lot of entertainment out of it.
The barge is long and narrow and the roof lifts off so you can see inside properly. The roof itself has lots of detail on it including a little washing line which you can set up and put away. This is quite fiddly to do but my granddaughter can manage to do it much better than I can! Inside the barge are lots of things to do. There are little beds which open up to show storage space, a little bathroom area which my granddaughter loves as the shower pulls off and for some reason she is highly amused by this! The little seating area in the lounge/kitchen is cute and it has a little cooker and sink there too. The cooker has a door that opens and my granddaughter is delighted by this!
There are little outside areas at each side of the barge too where they can soak up the sunshine!
The boat has lots of stickers for you to put on. When you buy it it's quite plain but you can liven it up with the stickers. The problem with this is that they are small and so you need an adult to really put them on but of course children wnat to do it themselves but may put them down wrong and then the boat will not look quite right forever... I think the barge should come with these details already added on.
My granddaughter loves playing with this, she never keeps the roof on and prefers to play with the inside of it.
I think the quality of it is very good and it does entertain and gives her a lot of fun.
The only problem really is that it is very narrow and so it's difficult to actually get a good amount of space to be able to get hands right inside to play properly which is a shame.
It is expensive and I think it should be improved slightly to warrant such a high price tag
My daughter was about 7 when she decided that she wanted to spend her hard saved Christmas and birthday money on a Sylvanian Families Canal Boat. I tried to put her off - after all, it's a lot of money - but she was adamant. And she was right.
We bought the boat at the local toy shop and she carried it home with a huge grin on her face which became even bigger when she opened the box. Now, having read the other review, I must point out that we have the less 'poster coloured' version, rather than the one that's been reviewed before. It came with a cooker, clothes line and pegs, bucket, toilet (her favourite bit!), emergency safety floating ring, hanging baskets etc. I found that she played with the boat a lot at the beginning, even taking it into the bath. There was lots of scope for on land and on water play, which allowed her to make up many imaginative stories. She has had many, many hours of fun playing with the boat. However, she has since bought more Sylvanians and, although she still plays with the canal boat, it is no longer her favourite (that's the watermill bakery).
It has lasted well, with the exception of the hanging mechanism for the washing line which is a little flimsy and is now bent. As with all Sylvanian toys, I have found that the stickers have started to wear, but that's through lots of play rather than a lack of quality.
For us, it is a valuable addition to the collection as it gives another dimension to the play. But I feel that the houses and the caravan give better value for money as they have more extra 'bits' included. I would certainly buy it again, but, if I were only able to buy 1 Sylvanian home, it would have to be the bakery or the caravan.
Please note that this review also appears on Ciao under the 'bobbieal' username.
Copyright BobbieAl 2012
My eldest daughter has been collecting Sylvanian items for some time now, and for anyone who doesn't know what Sylvanian items are, well, they are over priced toys/goods such as tiny little figures, mainly animals, who reside in such places as plastic houses or even mansions and all drive around in overpriced cars, bikes and even boats, (bit like the real world then, apart from the plastic bits that is).
Anyway, as she has collected many items, from figures such as meerkats, dogs, pigs and even cows, to the houses and vehicle that these figures were made for, it is easy to guess what she wants for her birthday/Christmas. I simply head off to amazon, or a high street store, and see if they have something that she has not already got, which is getting a little harder as her collection expands, (it's almost taken over the entire house).
So, for her recent birthday, she asked for something to add to her collection, something that she didn't already have, and this led me to buying her the Sylvanian riverside canal boat.
** SO WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE..?
It is a rather colourful flat hulled canal boat which is approximately 600 mm long, 150 mm wide and 135mm high.
It is made of a hardened plastic and is a combination of several colours, having light green walls, a dark blue flat base and a lovely red roof, with other rather colourful stickers that surround the boat itself.
There is a little yellow rudder at the rear, giving the boat more of a life like impression, and in fact, several of the accessories come in the same yellow colour.
The windows on either side, (left/right or port/starboard - for those sea faring types), open, whilst the actual side on the right, (starboard) as you look from the rear,(stern) open fully for easier access.
(That's enough of the mariner talk then)
Inside is split into three sections...
The first being the kitchen/dining area, which is to the rear. In here you have a table, a sink and a lovely little black cooker, with a little fold away chimney allocated right above it on the roof.
He middle section is the toilet and the shower area... you can guess what is in there.
Then at the front you have the bedroom area which houses a bunk bed and a double bed. The bunkbed hangs onto the wall via two hooks allowing access to the double bed below.
The roof itself is totally detachable, giving easier access to the inside of the boat itself.
On the roof there are a few accessories, including the chimney as I said. There is also a hook, a fishing rod and a lovely little mop with string for the mop head. Plus there is a washing line which can collapsed onto the roof and a life belt in case anyone falls in the water.
There is also a swinging crane like arm which is used for loading/unloading heavier items onto the boat.
It is called 'The Rose of Sylvania II', (what happened to the first one I ask myself?), and this name is embedded on the rear and the front of the boat, although when I say embedded I do actual mean that it is on stickers which you have to attach to the rear and front.
There are several accessories which come with this, such as a couple of flowery baskets and a couple of lantern, which can all be moved around the boat to give it a more realistic effect.
** MY OPINION...
When I looked at the box I could see that this boat was indeed quite colourful so I was not to surprised when I finally took it from the box in order to check that it was all in working order, so to speak.
The actual box it comes in is long and the contents are pretty well packaged indeed. The boat comes in one piece, although you do have to add the little extra details and the little fiddly stickers, but once this is all done you can see exactly what you have bought.
And this is where the slight dissatisfaction sets in...
As I said, my daughter has several Sylvanian accessories so I had some things to compare this boat too, and sadly I myself was quite disappointed by what was in the box and, to be perfectly honest, so was my daughter.
The other items, such as the 'Toy Shop' and the 'Applewood Cottage' looked nice, being a 'normal' design and very 'normal' colours, with even the car and caravan looking as it should do.
But this canal boat just didn't look anything like a Sylvanian product, looking more like it was half heartedly crafted by a colour blind boat hater.
It lacks the usual Sylvanian product care of detail and what detail it does have is just plain wrong, I mean, who puts an anchor on a canal boat? Where did the designer get that dollop of inspiration from?
The insides of the boat can only be described as 'plain', with the best bit of detail probably being the toilet itself. Although you can tell a little effort has gone into it somewhere though, with the bright yellow interior doors all swinging open to give that spacious feel, and the bunk bed managing to hang from the wall with two flat plastic hook.
The actual space inside isn't massive so people with bigger fingers may struggle slightly playing with their Sylvanian people.
It is quite light due to the fact that it is made of plastic, and believe me it does look plastic, which does spoil it a little as it looks a little 'tacky' for me.
It does come with a couple of sheets of stickers which have to be attached manually to the boat itself and, anyone who has done this sort of thing before knows, adding those stickers can be a bit of a frustrating task indeed. But once they are attached, hopefully straight and in the correct position, the boat looks a little less 'plastic' and a little more homely.
I do think that it is the colour of the boat that brings it down somewhat, although I do realise that canal boat are supposed to be colourful, this one is just plain awful. I mean, blue, green, red and yellow, who ever thought this colour combination was worth trying together needs to go to spec-savers for a check up.
This overly colourful part of this Sylvanian canal boat may not be to everyone's taste, it's certainly not to mine, but for those that either want to play with it or simply add it to there collection, (it may be worth something one day as part of a larger collection), then it can be bought from places such as Amazon, for around £55.00, or some high street stores for around the same price, if not higher.
I have noticed that on amazon, (to this date), there is a less colourful boat of the same style, which does look a little more realistic, which is selling for £75.00, although I did notice this well after I bought the more colourful one.
I know that this one is £20.00 dearer but it doesn't half look a lot better to add to your collection.
I wonder if a lick of a less colourful paint would make this canal boat look a little better?
Right, you must understand I am 100% adult. I do all the things we are told we shouldn't and I do them with regard for nothing at all.
Which means I am a huge kid. Come Christmas I am the one running around Hamleys toy store like a idiot on an ice cream rush. Love it!
I had a huge collection of Sylvanian Families things when I was younger. I gave them away when I got too 'old' to play with them and had regretted it every since.
Until about 5 years ago when I was searching the shelves of a toy store for that perfect gift for a nephew who does nothing but moan about how he wanted the other one, not the one you bought him. Sitting in the corner was a collection of little blue and white boxes. I almost cried with joy. Almost. They had reappeared into the world where they so belong.
And so the collection began again.
It was only last year then my boyfriend thought to buy me this canal boat. The very same I had as a child. I was so excited to have another piece for my ever growing collection. Since reliving my childhood I had not once been disappointed by the stunning detail and care put into all of their products.
Until I go the canal boat that is.
I can't stress how much I think Sylvanian families should be a part of any young girls life. They have lots of small parts, plenty of detail, families of forest animals. It truly is a dolls house on a whole other scale.
However the canal boat missed the mark. It has little of interest within its plastic walls. It doesn't have the same detail as many of the other houses/buildings. There is little furniture space, a couple of cubby holes for the families storage and some stickers to place along to side of the boat to give it some colour. The only detail I really like is the tiny washing line (complete with towels and pegs) that hang across the roof.
It is a nice piece to add to any collection, but doesn't hold the same play time potential as other Sylvanian homes and houses. It is the kind of thing for a collector such as myself to use, set up and never move. Not a high rating on the fun factor. But please don't let this put you off many of the other fantastic houses and families available in the range.
Age: 5-8 Years.