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Having purchased this for my daughters main Christmas present, I was excited as she was to play with it. She was so excited on Christmas morning when she tore the paper off at around 8am. As well as this obviously she had other presents to keep her amused while we unpacked all the bits and attempted to put it together......
Right, where shall we start.... The item comes in a lovely large box with the picture you see above. Looks simple enough to put together right? Open the box and you are greeted with over 600 (yes you read it correctly!) tiny little pieces that when asembled should look just like the picture. There is also a couple of sticker sheets. Luckily there is also an instruction booklet. All of the bits are in seperate bags but they don't seem to be in any logival order! I'd have thought say for instance all the bits that go together are in the same bag but no.
It all looked pretty self explanatory - hubby reckoned about an hour and it would be done, so I set about making the dinner whilst he built the hospital.
Now my hubby is no stranger to airfix models, flat packs or DIY so you would have thought he'd have no problem. It quite literally took hours to build. By lunch time he'd given up although daughter was happy to put her Sylvanian families and a few playmobil figures in the half finished hospital and have a bit of a play.
In all I think it took about 5 hours to build. The instruction booklet is totally pictorial so it should be simple. It wasn't overly difficult but every single nit is held in place with its own connector and they are all seperate. They all need to be put together with the unique playmobil tool/key thing. This does include furniture etc - I mean EVERYTHING needs to be assembled. There is no instruction on where all the stickers go though you kind of have to guess some of them but its's pretty self expanatory. At least everything you need is in the box - you don't need to hunt out a screwdriver or anything just have a few hours to spare.
So was it worth it? Most defaintely! This is played with daily and my daughter adores it. So whats included? Obviously you get your hospital - it is rather large so not a purchase to make if you are short of space! It measures about 75 x 60 cm and about 40cm tall just to give you an idea. These are approximate as I only have a 30cm ruler and can't find my tape measure!!
The hospital is on 2 floors and has a working lift - its nothing fancy you just slide it up and down. It was however quite stiff to begin with but a smear of vaseline has sorted that out.
You also get a couple of patients, baby, doctors, a nurse and a receptionist. There is even a clown to cheer up the poorly kids. The detail is amazing - the doctor comes with stethoscope attatched, there are removable bandages for the patients and there is even baby bottle warmers with bottles, a cute little dect phone, box files for the reception desk, games for the kids ward, working giraffe height measuring chart an operatiing theatre, beds, cot defib, oxygen masks, medicine, vase of flowers - you get the picture oh and I must mention there are even slippers for the patients!! I'm sure you can imagine that some of these bits are very small so it's unsuitable for small children. The recommended age is 4+ but obviously it depends on the child.
All of the pieces are very sturdy even with our dodgy assembly! I am able to lift the hospital up to move without it falling apart! Of course all of the parts are expertly made and playmobil as I'm sure you know is a well established and trustworthy name afterall it has been around over 30 years since it was forst produced in Germany in 1975.
Not only is it educational - it is fun. And there is nothing that plays annoying sounds or music and no batteries are needed woohoo at last! My daughter has enjoyed making up her own tales and learning about different bits in the hospital etc. It encourages imaginative play and also fine motor skills as I believe they are needed to play with the tiny bits. All of the figures are caucasian though it would be nice to see others in there too. I believe they are available to buy seperately.
Ok so where can you buy this - you can get it direct from www.playmobil.co.uk or John Lewis, Hamleys, the Entertainer, Toys R Us and such sell it too. It's not cheap as it is around £100 -£120 depending where you get it - I have found John Lewis to be the cheapest - they had it on offer for £80 just before Christmas.
THere are co-ordinating sets and figures that you can buy in addition to this eg more patients, ambulance, air ambulance, a paediactrition and new parents and baby. These range from around £5 - £30.
Overall I think this is brilliant - a must have for any wannabe doctors or nurses but would recommend if you are giving it as a gift that you build it the day before and give it already built as a whining 3-4 year old is no fun while they wait the 5 hours!!!