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We bought this for my daughter just after christmas from toys r us. It was something she wanted for christmas that santa didn't bring. She couldn't wait to hit the shops with her christmas money. The rrp was £49.99 but luckily it was in the christmas sale for half price. I feel that the rrp is expensive but the joy my daughter has got from this has been well worth the money. It was relatively easy to put together as the main assembly parts are quite large. The dolphin pool is in one piece with only the rocks and reception area that takes any real construction. The pieces are fitted together using the usual playmobil locking technique qnd comes with a handy tool which makes the job a lot easier. I would say it took me about an hour to get it all set up, which is not bad going for Playmobil. Once assembled, the clear pool has a viewing area to allow spectators to see the dolphins underwater. Very clever idea. The detail to this set is amazing, chairs in the viewing area, a till, even a bucket with fish, everything you need to create your own dolphin show. It comes complete with two dolphins a larger one and a baby. The best thing about this set is that you actually fill the pool with real water. This entertained my daughter no end. We initially set it up on the kitchen table and she couldn't wait to get her sleeves rolled up and get playing. it also features a crane with a little red ball that you can adjust for the dolphins to jump at. Of course kids being kids, my daughter soon had a man dangling from it by his foot shouting 'help'. strange but true! she's also had the dolphins in the bath and in with my washing up!. My point is that it provides hours of entertainment and well worth the investment. This kind of creative play is so good for kids and certainly beats hours of sitting infront of a games console.
I have no critisms about this, apart from a few splashes on the kitchen floor it has made my little girl very happy.
Playmobil set 4468: Dolphin Basin is a much bigger Playmobil set than I was expecting. It retails for a whopping £49.99 in Toys R Us, and the cheapest you seem to be able to pick it up is for around £40 from smaller online retailers. Fortunately, this came to us as part of an ex-display deal from Playmobil Direct and we probably only paid about £10 for it! It even came partially assembled - bonus.
Inside the large box, you get a dolphin basin (which is basically a large, clearish plastic dish with some curves and dips in the design), then there's a platform for the shelves, seats, supplies etc, and three large plastic rocks to sit around the basin and add decoration (and sturdiness!) to the whole thing.
There are loads of really detailed and fun accessories with this set, including a large crane arm which slots into one of the rocks and hangs over the basin for the dolphins to 'jump up to'. There's a little hook on the end which you can add various accessories to for the dolphins to jump at, and it winds in and out with ease and includes a stopper so that it doesn't unwind when you don't want it too.
Also included is a little till, some beach accessories (so you can double this up as a seaside set if you want to I think), a bucket full of plastic fish for feeding to the dolphins, some stairs, a couple of visitors and a sheltered seating area. Lots to be getting on with then. I have to admit that I am concerned a little that some of these items will get lost over time, but for now there is so much variety that I can't help but approve of all the fun games that can be played with this.
The plastic basin can be filled with real water, and we've done this a few times now without any hassle or spills. The only downside is that once you're finished and want to dry it out, you're left trying to fish out loads of tiny accessories before you can pour the water away. A lot of the accessories are really tiny, such as the plastic fish, and could easily slip down the plug hole when you empty this out if you haven't removed everything beforehand.
Over all this is a highly detailed and nicely designed Playmobil set. I like that the rocks come off easily so you can remove the basin for filling and emptying, but I'm not so sure about all the tiny accessories when it comes to fishing them out of the water! I also think the price tag is a little dramatic, but then I recently paid £40 for a Zingzilla playset and nearly had heart failure over the lack of accessories, play value and quality that it had to offer. I guess you get what you pay for, and with Playmobil, you always get that quality which is designed to last. It retains it's value after use too so you can always re-sell it later on for around 2/3 of what you paid for it.
You could give this as a large gift at Christmas or for a Birthday and not need to buy anything else to go with it in my opinion. The box, and the contents, amount to the same as the Penguin and Alligator basins combined I think. I wouldn't pay the full retail price for this, but then that's because the grandson isn't specifically keen on dolphins. If I was paying full price I'd get the zoo so he had more variety for a similar price tag. I think whether or not this is the set for you is purely down to personal choice, and which animal(s) your child is a fan of.
Model: Dolphin Basin