Although we have an extensive Playmobil collection, I couldn't say no when my 7 year old begged to be allowed to buy this Playmobil set with her birthday money. At a reasonable £8 it's an excellent little set with plenty of play value. It's actually called a "hotel shop" as it's designed to go with the larger Playmobil hotel, a recent addition to the range. Whilst my daughter couldn't afford the larger building- I figured she's a bit young for a mortgage - this set does work perfectly well as a stand alone item. The shop is beach themed so perfect for play with a range of sets; I think it would work well with the swimming pool or beach set. There's a lot packed into a 11.5 cm by 6cm shop.
What you get:
The shop requires some assembly when you get it. The shop stand is made of solid clear plastic and requires minimal assembly - there are a couple of shelves to be added and the postcards, cash till, sun cream and toothpaste have to have stickers put on them. There are a lot of small pieces in this set, so it's probably not for you as a parent if you have very young siblings around or if you are particularly precious about bits ending up the hoover, there's a lot of variety in what is included. The included shop assistant has her own money and cash till and lots of things to sell from pens, toys, shells and playing cards through to toiletry items. Everything is to playmobil scale and can be held by the little figures.
Promoting imaginative play wise it doesn't get much better than playing shop. My daughter loves selecting customers and matching them up with various goods, and will play with this by itself or with some other sets. The shop has variously featured as a farm, zoo and playground shop. She really likes it but it's not without a couple of frustrations. Apart from the aforementioned teeny pieces, the set is rather prone to toppling and this can get quite annoying for my daughter and would, I imagine, be ever worse for a smaller child. For this reason I think the manufacturer's guideline age of 4-10 is a little ambitious. I think a 5 year old would have the fine motor skills required to play with this, and it may be a little too childish for a ten year old - probably 6 and 7 year olds are going to get the most use out of this.
I do think there are better sets at this price point, the beach holiday set springs to mind, but for all that it's not a bad toy. Like every playmobil set we have ever owned, it's a well made, quality item with bags of play potential. I like the new Summer Fun series, which is new for playmobil, and particularly welcome the fact that it's neither boy or girl centric. I would recommend this set, despite the toppling issue, my daughter has had lots of fun with it and I think it's fair value for money. Let Summer go on forever!
Model: Summer Fun Hotel Shop