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My daughters auntie was looking for a toy for Lily for her Christmas, she usually buys something big for her as a main present and then lots of other little bits. For her second birthday, Lily had got her first dolls house, it was a nice little thing, made of wood and it had her name personalised on the removable roof. She didn't start playing with it until she was coming up for three and by then she was in need of a bigger one. I suggested her auntie buy her a new dolls house for her Christmas, what I did not expect was for her to buy Lily a 3 story mansion. Lily's auntie bought the dolls house and her partner wrapped it and arranged for someone to drop it off at mine. I had no idea what I was expecting and I had to carry it up three flights of stairs to the attic room, it weighed a ton.
==What is it?==
The Sylvatown Glamour Mansion Fashion Dolls house is a three story dolls house that comes fully decorated, apart from the stickers you need to put on the accessories. The house is recommended for children aged 3 and over and it is roughly the same height as my three year old, so it is perfect for her. The house has 1 bedroom (hardly a mansion then), 1 toilet/bathroom, 1 kitchen, 1 living room and 1 utility room. The mansion also has a veranda just outside the bedroom, where your little dolls can perhaps relax and have a cup of tea in the mornings (weather permitting of course). The mansion is open planned making it easy for your child to view every room and interact with them accordingly. The house is totally made of wood and the decorated backgrounds look really good, I like the little guitar on the wall in the utility room. Each floor is also decorated differently as well, sticking with the theme of whatever room it is. The house also has lovely arch shaped windows on one side of the house. One thing I found odd about it was there are stairs going from the ground floor to the middle floor, but how would Mr and Mrs Dolly get to bed, there are no stairs to the top floor or is there a lift, I have found a flaw in their design (this is probably where the childs imagination comes into play). Another thing I find a bit odd is, in the kitchen on the background there is a picture of a cooker, yet you get a cooker with the dolls house anyway.
The accessories that you get with the dolls house are also made of wood, and are extremely sturdy, they can be positioned anywhere in the house and your child can move them about your child wishes. The staircase is quite chunky and the top of the stairs rests nicely on the middle floor. It says on the Asda Direct website, that the house is designed to accomodate a 12" doll, my daughter has a few 12" dolls, but prefers to use her smaller ones, and I also think they go with the furniture better too.
The dolls house comes flat packed, so assembly is required. It is a really large dolls house H115 x W75 x D28.5 cm, so make sure you have the room first.
==What's in the box?==
Everything you need to assemble the mansion, along with a few accessories to get you started are included in the box.
1 x base
3 x floor tiers
2 x side panels
2 x top floor side panels
1 x middle separator
2 x roof panels
1 x roof support
2 x top floor fences
2 x back panels
29 x long screws with 29 x locking nuts
18 x small screws for the back panels
1 x stairs
1 x bath
1 x toilet
1 x coffee table
1 x couch
1 x wardrobe with three coat hangers
1 x cooker with opening cupboards
1 x bed
1 x bedside table
1 x lamp
1 set of decorative stickers for the furniture
I decided to build this a few nights before Christmas,when Lily was in bed. The plan was to build it and store it in the attic room until Christmas Eve, where Lily could wake up on Christmas morning with it already built (I checked with her auntie to see if she minded first).
I still had no idea of the size of this before building it, I knew it was big, but nothing could have prepared me for how big. In hindsight it would have probably been better building it in the attic room, than building it downstairs and carrying it back up to the attic room.
Before you start building this, you will need a flat head screwdriver and a phillips screwdriver (the one with the star head). Building it and following the instructions was relatively easy, apart from one problem I had on my particular mansion. One of the locking nuts got stuck in the base plinth and I had problems getting it out. I decided to go ahead and build the rest of the house, hoping that one little screw missing would not make any difference, if it did, I would have took it to bits and asked for a replacement base. Luckily I didn't have to go to all that trouble and once all the other parts were screwed onto the mansion, it was a sturdy piece of kit.
All the different parts are slotted into each other and then screwed into place, and because of the problem I had with the locking nut, it took me about an hour to build. Without this problem it should take an average Joe Bloggs not very good at building flat packed stuff type of person around 30 minutes. It wasn't the easiest thing I've put together and it wasn't the hardest. The fun part came when sticking the stickers onto the furniture. The mansion comes with seven stickers; the front and base of the couch, two stickers showing shelves packed with clothes for either side of the wardrobe, and two stickers, one detailing pots and pans, and the other detailing glasses and tableware. These are all fairly easy to stick on and there is a detailed plan of where they go on the back of the instruction page.
Luckily Lily's auntie bought this from Asda before Christmas for £24.99, for the purpose of this review, I popped onto the Asda Direct site and it is unfortunately out of stock. amazon.co.uk are selling this for £94.97 with free delivery (no that isn't a typing error, I think Lily's auntie got this mansion on a special offer at Asda for the price she paid for it to have been so low). I would say that it is worth more than the price she paid for it, but less than the price on amazon.co.uk. If I was buying this for my daughter and it was on sale for £50, I would have no hesitations in buying it.
Lily absolutely loves this and she was so surprised when she awoke on Christmas morning to find it in her room. Putting it in her room was like a military mission though, I had to carry it down from the attic room and take her old dolls house out and put this one in and my daughter is a very light sleeper, it was touch and go for a minute or two. Lily has had so much fun with this and although she doesn't play with it everyday, she has used it a great deal since she got it and it also means I get to watch normal T.V downstairs during the day when she's up there playing happy families with her dolls. I have put her old dolls house away, although she had a lot of furniture and dolls that she still uses with this mansion. I went in today to help her tidy her room and she opened the cupboards on the cooker to show me her pretend tins from her shopping playset in there, the imagination is endless with this dolls house, and I think it's fun when I hear her talking away with her dolls, sometimes I think she's talking to me when I here "daddy" being mentioned. I think imaginative play is good for a child's development and this dolls house is certainly a great way to bring out that imaginative side. I'm just glad Lily has a room big enough for this monstrosity of a house, it does take up a lot of room, so I wouldn't recommend this unless you have the space for it.