Product Type: Worlds Apart Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... Argos and Tesco. You can also purchase online from Amazon and Play.com. The RRP for the tent combo is £24.99. We purchased the tent c... more
A pop up that won't fold up!
Worlds Apart Pop Up Concertina Combo Tent
Member Name: Lools_24
Worlds Apart Pop Up Concertina Combo Tent
Date: 02/08/11, updated on 15/11/11 (150 review reads)
Advantages: Lightweight, versatile, fun for kids
Disadvantages: Very difficult to fold back up, tunnel is connected to the tent rather than 3 separate pieces
As soon as my boys started crawling they started to develop a fascination with crawling under pieces of furniture and hiding. In order to minimise bumped heads and them using my dining and side tables as play areas I decided to buy them a specially designed "play area" which was the Worlds Apart Pop Up Concertina Combo Tent.
***Worlds Apart Pop Up Concertina Combo Tent***
The Worlds Apart Pop Up Concertina Combo Tent is described as "Combines pop up play tent, fun cylinder and connecting crawl through concertina tunnel. The items can be used together or separately". The three parts are a cylinder with tunnel attached. The cylinder is around 70cm wide and 80cm high with a cut out section to enter into the cylinder shaped tent. This is connected to a concertina play tunnel which is around 2m long. There is then a traditional shaped tent with peaked roof which the concertina can be slotted into the side of. On this "camper" tent there is an opening with drawback curtains for entry and exiting. The play area is made from a lightweight material and brightly coloured with a mixture of blue, green and orange sections. I personally thought it would be more of a shiny material like a tent is but it is more of a soft fabric.
The play area is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It is also described as "pop up" so it is easily assembled and "folds away in seconds for compact portable storage".
The toy is described as suitable from aged 2 years.
The Worlds Apart Pop Up Concertina Combo Tent is available from a number of retailers including Argos and Tesco. You can also purchase online from Amazon and Play.com. The RRP for the tent combo is £24.99. We purchased the tent combo from Argos for £19.99 (with a £5.00 discount). I think this is reasonable value for money and a comparable price to similar play areas and pop up tent combo type toys.
My previous experience of children's toys meant I was sceptical that the tent combo would be simple to set up and in fact "pop up". However I was pleasantly surprised that on the first assembly with following the instructions the complete combo was set up within 10 minutes. The instructions for assembly are very clear and the tent does actually just "pop up". You simply unfold the "camper tent" from the packaging. With the circular tent this pops up but you do need to insert 4 plastic poles within it to keep it supported. The concertina tunnel simply pops out and slots into the side section of the camper tent.
My boys started playing with the tent combo at 12 months obviously a lot younger than the 2 years recommended age however as they are constantly supervised I did not see a problem with this and they really enjoy climbing in and out of the tent combo and crawling through. For use with two small toddlers inside there is plenty of room. This toy often is assembled for when my friends children who are 20 months and 3 years old. Playing alongside my two boys (who are now 18 months) there is plenty of room for all the children to sit inside and play together however if a fifth child was playing it might be a bit of a squash. Toddlers can stand up inside the cylinder tent and camper section but the camper section is too low for my friends 3 year old to stand up in. I have successfully managed to fit in the tent and can fit through the tunnel section. The toy is suitable for indoor and outdoor use however if using indoor you do need to ensure you have a space around 4m long (by around 2m) in order to have adequate play space.
From a practical perspective there are many aspects of the tent combo that require improving. Firstly the material the tents are made from is quite thin and flimsy. This is less of a waterproof material and more of a soft cloth type material. We have used the tent combo on around 10 occasions (with half of these being indoor use) and there are some small tears on the base of the cylinder tent. The cloth type material also means that the product stains easily and although you can wipe spillages off the tent it is very difficult to remove all evidence of them (we have a blackcurrant stain splashed up the side of the tunnel section). The material is also lightweight and there are no features which allow you to fasten the tent down therefore if it is windy the tent will blow away/over.
Another issue I have is the concertina tent does not remain fixed inside of the camper tent section. This just slots into the tent and would benefit from being tied or fixed with Velcro because when children crawl in and out of the tunnel it moves away from the camper section of the tent combo.
Although during playtime I have some gripes with the design of the tent combo these are excused as my children and my friend's children love playing with the tent and get a lot of enjoyment from climbing in and out of it.
My main complaints come with trying to dissemble the tent combo. The instructions states "folds away in seconds for compact portable storage" and I would say this is a complete lie. The instructions show how you bend and twist the sections of the tents in order for them to store away in a portable fashion. The instructions are very unclear and instead of the tent combo fitting into a box of a size around 1m wide by 1m long and about 20cm deep it has been shoved into our garage folded at around double this size. I can't fold the tent and neither can at least 4 other people I have asked for assistance. Therefore if you are very limited on storage space this would not be a wise purchase.
The basic concept and design of the tent combo makes it a toy that my boys love but I do feel as a parent slightly let down by the design of the play area looking at it from a practical perspective and feel it does not live up to many claims that it makes. My minor gripes are the material the tent is made from is flimsy, stains and is not durable in the way a typical tent is. Secondly I feel the concept of this being a 3 in 1 play area is incorrect because the concertina tunnel is connected and cannot be used on its own making this in fact a 2 in 1 play area. The main criticism I have is that this tent does not simply pop up and down. The tent popped up very easily and even on the first assembly we managed to assemble in under 10 minutes.
For £19.99 this is not a bad purchase as my boys have had hours of play with the tent, but I would probably not have purchased if I knew it didn't live up to the claims of "pop up AND down".
Summary: A lightweight pop up play area for indoor and outdoor use