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It's Doll's Life
Traditional Wooden Dolls House with 100 Pieces
Member Name: arleek
Traditional Wooden Dolls House with 100 Pieces
Disadvantages: It needs painting
This was my eldest daughter's main Christmas present this year. It was half price in Toys R Us so we paid £49.99 for it including 100 pieces of furniture, people etc. I'm not sure if it stands at this offer price all year round, or if it was just mainly for the Christmas market, but it has been marked down for quite some time now.
Anyway, the reason we bought it was because my daughter's older cousins both have this exact house as well and she always plays with it whenever she is at either of their houses, so we thought it was an ideal gift for her. She's nearly 3 so is at that age where she is role-playing and making up stories etc, and this dolls house is ideal for her to disappear into her own world.
The house itself comes flat-packed so obviously has to be assembled before use. My husband put it together on Christmas Eve, so there would be no waiting on Christmas Day for my daughter, she would be able to play with it straight away. What we did notice while trying to put it together was that the pictures on the instructions were slightly different to what you get in the box, the holes for the stairways were in slightly different places, now this didn't affect the way house fitted together, but we thought that maybe this might have been why is was reduced in price.
Anyway, once we had overcome this hurdle and realised that it didn't really matter where the stairs went, the house came together quite easily, it was just a matter of screwing the floors into position and the doors on etc, very easy for a man!!
Once assembled, the house stands quite tall, the exact dimensions are 55cm wide, 70cm tall and 20cm deep. So as you can tell there's not a lot of depth to it, but it's very tall and wide. Inside the house there are 4 floors with 2 rooms on each of the first 3 floors and a large attic room at the top. The rooms on the first 3 floors are not split down the middle, you get a large room on the left and a smaller room on the right. The front of the house opens right out and the roof comes off so you get full access to the entire house for maximum play. The doors are hinged and swing open quite easily, but they also attach to the house with magnets when they are closed. But these are quite weak magnets so the house isn't pulled over every time my daughters open the doors!
The house is quite sturdy when together and I don't think there's any chance of it falling apart any time soon, it also stands firmly on the floor, no-one has pulled it over...yet.
The accessories you get with the house include the doll family (mum, dad, boy, girl and baby), furniture for the dining room, kitchen, sitting room, bedroom, kids room and bathroom. Items include beds, sofas, bunk beds, cooker, sink, toilet, bath...all the usual stuff you find in a house; but you also get little details like a quilts & pillows, cushions for chairs, a vase of flowers, a mop and bucket, a stereo with speakers, lots of tiny items like pots & pans, cups, plates, bottles, books for the bookshelves etc.
There are actually 7 rooms in the house, but this kit only comes with items for 6 rooms, so I'm presuming one of the rooms in the house is perhaps meant to be a junk room! I have tried, with my daughter's help, to arrange all the furniture into the correct rooms, but somehow it doesn't all seem to fit with ease.
The bathroom and kitchen equipment seem to fit fine as does the attic room, but when it comes to the main bedroom and living room there seems to be too much and it becomes difficult to arrange everything into a comfortable arrangement. And this does actually hinder my daughter's play time with it because she gets annoyed with all the furniture being in the way. Also the very small items such as the cups and saucers are quite fiddly and considering this is aimed at 3 year olds, I would say these could probably have been left out. But then again, as my daughter gets older I'm sure she will be able to handle these parts a lot easier. But with me having a 14 month old in the house as well, who likes to eat everything, these are quiet a hazard at the moment!
The furniture that has doors on such as small cupboards and wardrobes do not have opening doors, and the toilet seat does not lift up. The oven and fridge doors also do not open whereas they did on my neice's earlier versions of this house, which is strange. Now I know that opening doors would probably make it a more expensive house and more chance of items breaking, but this aspect has quite frustrated my daughter because she likes little things with opening doors, and can't understand why the toilet lid doesn't lift up when someone needs a wee! It's a minor detail but one worth considering when you don't get to see the items before buying.
Another thing that I'm not keen on with this house is that it is all just plain wood...and I like things to be colourful. We did look at a house in ELC but it was much more expensive and you had to buy the furniture kits separately, which really bumped up the price, but because it was all nicely painted, I was tempted, but then I came to my senses and couldn't resist this bargain.
Despite those tiny drawbacks, my daughter does love this house and has played with it most days since Christmas (and doesn't mind the plain wood). I know you might think I am reviewing a bit early because Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago, but this house (or one the same) has been played with by my daughter in other people's house for quite some time now and she always enjoys it. She likes to mop up with the tiny mop and bucket, and she likes to put Mum and Dad to bed, put baby in the crib, and just general pretend play. She enjoys rearranging the furniture and tidying up, and sometimes I find that she has piled everything into the attic. Why she does this I don't know!
All in all this is a great buy, for £49.99 you can't really go wrong and it comes complete with all the accessories you need so you don't need to spend any more money. But if you are like me and like things to be decorated, you could end up spending more to put wallpaper on the walls, carpet on the floors etc. I have actually seen a doll's house shop and it's quite amazing the accessories you can buy for houses such as these and the prices you can pay for them!!
Summary: I wish my house was this big
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