“ Age: 3 to 5 years / The Sylvanian Families Corgi Family are from good breeding stock and love a royal celebration / The posh DePembroke family is made up of these four Corgi dog figures : Mum Queenie who rules the roost Dad Duke who's charming but has a tendency to put his foot in things Brother Earl who's cheeky and gets into all sorts of bother Sister Duchess - a little miss goody two shoes / Warning! Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts - Choking Hazard / Use under the direct supervision of an Adult / „
At four years old, my little girl is beginning to develop a real passion for Sylvanian Families. As last Christmas approached, they were heading firmly towards the top of her (very long) Christmas list and she spent many happy hours browsing the Sylvanian aisles in our local toy shops. It seemed inevitable that she was going to ask Santa for some, so I was delighted to pick up the Corgi family for the bargain price of £4.00 on the sale shelf of our local Boots. To be honest, Corgis wouldn't have been my first choice - I was eyeing up some very cute little rabbits for her - but at that price I didn't feel that I could pass up the opportunity to get them as a stocking filler.
* Meet the Corgi Family *
If you're not familiar with the phenomenon that is Sylvanian Families, you probably won't be aware that all of the little animal families have their own individual names - unsurprisingly, the Corgi family names follow a royal theme. They are the DePembroke family - father Duke, mother Queenie, little boy Earl and little girl Duchess. I suspect that they were brought out to commemorate either the Royal Wedding or the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. They are visually very sweet to look at , with their white and orange faces and cute little individual outfits. Duke wears a smart royal blue waistcoat and trousers, over a shirt and tie. Queenie wears a red dress with a white flower pattern. Duchess wears a pretty white sundress with red polka dots and Earl wears a striped shirt and red trousers. They are more formally dressed than some Sylvanians, probably to reflect their 'royal' status - definitely no flowery aprons on this particular family. Quality-wise, they are exactly what you would expect from Sylvanian Families - well made, lovely to handle and surprisingly robust.
* Playability *
My four year old loves to play with her ever increasing Sylvanian collection, although I don't think that these are her favourites - she seems to favour the Kangaroos and Badgers at the moment. However, they are all interchangeable and fantastic for encouraging small world play. She makes them chatter away to each other as they set off on 'holiday' in their camper van, stopping off for fish and chips on the way. Needless to say, she doesn't see them as a 'Royal Family' - to be fair, she calls them foxes 99% of the time and has given them different names. I think they are a lovely toy in their own right - even if you don't have any other families / accessories as they can be used in all kinds of imaginative play and in different environments. Emma's have been spotted in the Playmobil school, strutting their stuff at the Playmobil disco and sharing the dollshouse with the doll's house family.
The only minor downside is that she keeps removing their clothes and then can't put them back on again (I blame my Mum for buying her a Sylvanian laundry set for Christmas where she can hang their clothes on a washing line!) and I spend a lot of time hunting for tiny clothes in her messy bedroom. Obviously, if children remove clothes which are so small, it is easy for them to get lost and, somehow, naked Sylvanians just don't have the same appeal.
* Price and Purchasing *
As previously mentioned, I got these for a real bargain price, but you should probably expect to pay between £10 and £15 for them. They don't seem like one of the most popular families and are often on sale. You can also buy the baby corgis seperately (they come in a pack of boy/girl twins) - we haven't got these yet but I can see that they will be 'needed' by my daughter at some point in the future. They are available on Amazon and various other online stores (and in 'real shops' too).
* Final Thoughts *
These are cute, like all Sylvanians, and my little girl enjoys playing with them. They help encourage imaginative / small world play which is very important in a child's development. I am impressed with the quality of the little figures and how well made their outfits are. They aren't my favourite of the families that she has (I have a soft spot for the Kangaroos) but I do think they are a lovely toy, which would be a good addition to all Sylvanian Family collections - especially if you can get them on sale! Just be warned, Sylvanian Families seem to be addictive and collecting them may become an expensive habit.