* Prices may differ from that shown
My daughter's latest 'thing' is Sylvanian Families. Sylvanian Families are toys which have been going for years, I have fond memories of playing with them as a child in the late 1980's/early 1990's. The toys come in the form of little animal characters (that wear clothes) which are made from flocked plastic. The characters began as woodland creatures (foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs etc) but now include other animals such as cats, elephants, meerkats and penguins. Sylvanian houses, cars and furniture are also available. There is SO much Sylvanian Families merchandise to collect.
One of the latest sets to my daughters Sylvanian Families collection is 'Katie and Mazie Go Shopping'. The set comes in a cardboard box (with a full visual list on the bottom) but you can see most of pieces which are covered over by plastic. The description on the box reads...
'Mother Katie Hawthorn is busy doing the weekly shop with baby Mazie. The wheels on the trolley actually roll and there is plenty of space for all the groceries. Baby Mazie Hawthorn loves sitting in the trolley's baby seat whilst helping her mother shop'.
The set consists of 14 pieces which include 2 characters, a trolley, a baby seat (inside the trolley), 4 different bottles, 2 boxes, 2 tins and 2 jars.
The bottles (except for 2), tins, jars and trolley all require you to place stickers on them. There is a sticker sheet included in the box. I really hate toys that require you to stick stickers - it's fiddly and time consuming. Plus if I buy a toy, I want it to be whole! Sylvanian Families are supposed to be a quality brand and they aren't cheap to buy, so I assumed that the stickers would be pre-stuck.
I stuck the stickers on myself (it was too fiddly for my daughter) and I used the box for reference. It was relatively easy but I had to make sure I stuck them down very firmly as some of them looked like they were about to peel straight off! Since sticking them on (about a month ago) they are all still in place, although some of them have a tendency to peel at the ends. My daughter finds this slightly frustrating as she often has to stick them back down. This isn't a huge issue at present, although I will be happy to update this review if the stickers provide any future problems.
The 2 characters are very cute. They are both white mice. Katie (the mother) wears a pink heart print dress, with her long tail poking through. Mazie (the baby) wears a little pink nappy/bib outfit. They both have round pink ears, small black eyes and pink noses. Katie also has little whiskers. Unfortunately Baby Mazie doesn't come with any accessories of her own and doesn't have a mouth (like most Sylvanian babies) to put a dummy or bottle inside. Katie's arms, legs and head can be moved which allow my daughter to put her in different positions. Only Mazie's head can be moved. Both of their outfits can be removed. My daughter enjoys undressing and dressing her Sylvanian Families characters.
The trolley is made from white plastic and is has a blue baby seat which can be placed inside (at the front) of the trolley. Putting in/taking out the trolley is an easy task for little ones to perform and also makes filling the trolley up a little easier (there isn't a huge gap when the baby seat is in the trolley). My daughter does find it a little awkward to fit everything inside the trolley, it probably would have been an idea to make the trolley slightly bigger. The baby seat is for Mazie to sit in (although other Sylvanian Families babies will also fit). Mazie fits perfectly fine but my daughter pointed out that she doesn't have a seat belt! It would have been quite nice to have a little seat belt to keep her safe. The trolley is quite detailed and sweet. It's the perfect height for Katie to 'push' around. The trolley has real working wheels which allow my daughter to push the trolley around the 'shop' to do shopping. I would say the only downside is that Katie's hands don't fit the handles on the trolley (the gaps in the hands are too small), so she can't actually hold on to the trolley to push it. Instead my daughter has to lean her on the trolley to push it along!
The food and drink consists of a box of corn flakes, box of flour, 2 bottles of drink (no labels), bottle of milk, bottle of orange juice, tin of peas, tin of tomatos, jar of jam and jar of honey. They are all made of good quality plastic, except for the 2 boxes which are made from cardboard. The boxes are in good condition so far, but I doubt they will last very long. It probably would have been more beneficial to use a more robust material. The food and drink are all very small, to scale and detailed. I like the fact that there isn't any junk food and all of the food is vegetarian! I would say there's a generous amount of food and drink. Any more and you would need a much bigger trolley.
We bought the Katie and Mazie Go Shopping Set from The Entertainer for about £15.00. This may seem quite expensive but Sylvanian Families are generally quite expensive, so for a 14 piece set it's not actually too bad. Sylvanian Families are widely available at most toy shops, supermarkets etc. A quick Google search informs me that the Katie and Mazie Go Shopping set is also available at Smyths Toys, John Lewis and The Early Learning Centre. The age recommendation is 4+ years as there are lots of small parts.
Overall this is a nice little set that my daughter enjoys playing with. It's very sweet, detailed and contains a generous amount of accessories. It's a nice addition to my daughters Sylvanian Families collection and is a set which she can often be found playing with. It can really encourage imaginative play and role play. However I do have a few issues with this set (stickers aren't pre-stuck/stickers peel in places/Katie's hands don't fit trolley handles/awkward to fit everything inside trolley/cardboard food boxes are a bit flimsy etc) so I award it 4 stars.