Product Type: Sylvanian Doll
Newest Review: ... of the caravan. First you have the kitchen - the floor folds out to give the Sylvanians more space, there is a sink and drainer, cooker... more
If Sylvania Did Caravan Holidays....
Sylvanian Families Caravan and Family Car
Member Name: Rhiana
Sylvanian Families Caravan and Family Car
Advantages: Beautiful quality toy, stunning design, interactive and fun, grows with collection
Disadvantages: the tow bar isn't perfect, but everything else pretty much is.
I did a bit of research and shopping around before buying as prices seemed to vary with up £20 difference on various offers, although it was quite often out of stock. In the end I hit lucky and picked it up in our local independent toy store for £44.99, which seemed reasonable and avoided delivery costs. Christmas present secured I headed off home to wrap it for the big day.
The Sylvanian Caravan and Car consists of two separate vehicles, a car and caravan to state the obvious and can either be used individually or joined together so the car tows along the Caravan. An added bonus to this set is that unlike many other of the Sylvanian buildings and sets, this one actually came with lots of accessories and didn't need to be purchased separately. This is one of the issues that puts me off SF usually, especially the dearer buildings which after forking out for, you're left with an empty shell unless you stump up even more to furnish it. In this respect, the Caravan is an ideal starter to the collection as many of the pieces can be used later on in houses etc and is in itself complete immediately. At the time ours also came with a free Penguin family of four figures (which usually cost around £15 I believe) although I'm not sure if this 'freebie' is always on offer, it certainly made me feel I'd got a bit of a bargain.
As expected on Christmas Morning this was the first toy she wanted to play with after ripping the paper from all her presents. Setting it up was pretty simple as it more or less comes complete, except for the obligatory fiddly decorative stickers I always manage to make a mess of. We did struggle to work out how to attach the tow bar, and that still remains a little bit of an issue and doesn't really connect that well meaning it often looses the caravan when you're pulling it along by the car. The accessories are also a little fiddly, with tiny plastic glasses and cutlery joined in little frames and needing separated. But after twenty minutes we were up and running and my daughter settled down to play.
I have to say that my overwhelming feeling about this toy was quality, in this case you really do get what you pay for. It's made with sturdy and durable plastic, the detailing is fantastic and the finish is high standard, particularly the gorgeous racing green car. Playing with the toy is an adventure and I was just as excited as my daughter as we investigated the nooks and crannies. There's bunk beds in the ceiling, hidden compartments, an ironing board that folds from a cupboard and a flooring section which can be expanded when the caravan is opened up, giving much more space, then folded away again to close. It has bathroom, kitchen, living and bedroom areas that are all designed to be compact and practical yet are still utterly charming. The thought that's gone into the design is amazing, I'd love to stay in a caravan like this myself!
Over the last two years my daughter has had many hours of fun with this set. With her own Christmas vouchers she bought a BBQ set which came with a lovely table and a camping set, both of which compliment the car and caravan beautifully. Despite the hours of play it still looks immaculate and has proven that my first impression was right. I firmly believe that this toy will get years of use, and then will be put away for possible grandchildren someday. It has that timeless, classic appeal and I personally find just looking at it makes me happy...it has that nostalgic beauty about it and is still functional and durable.
While I am confident the high quality materials are up to the stress of younger children, this is one toy where I wouldn't advise ignoring the recommended age of Four Years. Some of the pieces are really, really tiny and could definitely be a choking hazard to younger children and little siblings. Lucy was five when she received this and I'm glad she hadn't asked for it earlier. To keep the little pieces of food and accessories safe we have a tupperware box to keep them in, and I insist she packs everything up properly with this toy when she's done playing to avoid loosing anything. I also don't think this is a great toy to take elsewhere out of the house for the same reason.
Overall I'm more than impressed with the Sylvanian Caravan and Car. It's without a doubt one of my favourite pieces from Lucy's collection despite my initial reluctance. She's played for hours with it; it's fun, interactive, charming and with the addition of other sets grows and becomes more as your collection expands. While at first glimpse it seems expensive, I think genuinely the quality of the toy speaks for itself and it's worth every penny. If you're not planning on keeping the toy once your child outgrows it, they also have an excellent resale value. Personally this is one I plan to keep long after my daughter finishes with it, I love it almost as much as she does.
Summary: ...probably the best caravan in the world
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