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Hollie's current passion is Minnie Mouse, she absolutely adores her - to the point of telling her teacher that she wanted to be Minnie when she grew up! So when I spotted this gorgeous Disney branded Minnie Mouse umbrella in my local branch of Mothercare I had to buy it, even though I'd really gone in for pyjamas for her little brother! Please note, the design of Hollie's umbrella is different to the one in the photo above - the structure of the brolly is the same but the colour and artwork have been updated.
Hollie's umbrella has alternating blue and pink panels, which are overlaid with pictures of Minnie Mouse in what looks like a dancing pose and graffiti-style 'Minnie Mouse' lettering. It's very pretty, quite obviously a 'girls' umbrella as even with the blue panels it has a very feminine look about it - put bluntly, I can't imagine any young lad wanting to carry this brolly around when there are an array of Ben 10 and Spiderman umbrellas available.
The umbrella works exactly as it should - it opens and closes with ease, is comfortable to hold and has a small safety feature overlaying the opening/closing mechanism to prevent small fingers from becoming trapped. The brolly itself is sturdier than any other she owns (she has a few!), which in part I put down to the fact that it's a Disney product and I'm usually impressed with the quality of anything featuring this iconic label.
The curved handle is a nice element of the design, being pink it fits in beautifully with the overall appearance of the umbrella and having the deep curve makes it easier for small children to hold onto than those brollys which feature the short stubby handles. I can tell at a glance that Hollie finds it comfortable to carry, whether she has it up against the rain or folded - it's not a telescopic umbrella so is long even when folded up, Hollie likes to use it as a walking stick when it's not open which has damaged the plastic topper slightly but not as much as I'd expect considering how much use this brolly has had.
When the umbrella was brand new it was a bit jerky to open and close, this only lasted for a short while but I'd guesstimate the first three or four times Hollie used it she found it impossible to click open fully in order for the mechanism to hold the brolly open. This was very frustrating for her but luckily it broke itself in just before I was about to ask her dad to grease it somehow, now it's reassuringly stiff (indicating a sturdy umbrella) but not so much that Hollie struggles to open and close it by herself.
I think this is a gorgeous umbrella, the style suits Hollie down to the ground and more importantly it keeps her dry when it's raining - as it jolly well should! I paid roughly £6 for it, which I think was reasonable considering the price of other Minnie Mouse merchandise in Mothercare, and have so far had four months of very regular use from it. My only complaint is a minor one, the strip which holds the brolly closed frayed very quickly and this caused the velcro to fail as after just a month of use there was nothing in the way of fabric to hold the velcro edges together - this is minor because the umbrella stays closed very well on its own, but for school use it would be handy if this band worked properly so Hollie could hang it up neatly on her coat peg.
She loves it though, and for me that's the main thing. It's an item which suits her personality perfectly and most importantly (in her opinion) goes well with her new pink coat and 'beautiful blonde hair'. Which is all that really matters, surely?!