Newest Review: ... are very lifelike. The makers of this toy have thought of everything. The people who go in the pool even have flip flops!! The toy comp... more
Splashing around with Playmobil
Playmobil 4858 Pool Water Slide
Member Name: CheshireJ
Playmobil 4858 Pool Water Slide
Advantages: Attention to detail, well built
Disadvantages: Water. Need I say more?!
After wandering the aisles becoming more confused about what to get (she wanted everything she saw) I found myself keep returning to the Playmobil toys. I've been eyeing up Playmobil for a while, loving the amount of detail they appear to have. But last Christmas opted to buy her Sylvanian Families instead, as I thought they were more girly.
I gave her the option of choosing between a Sylvanian Families set, or the Playmobil pool with water slide. Like many kids her age would, she chose the option that involved water.
Once home, not having given any consideration to possible assembly required, I opened the large box and was shocked to see numerous plastic bags full of small bits.
Two sets of sad little eyes looked up at me when I tried to explain that Mummy would need some time to put it together.
I set about reading the instructions, supplied in colour booklet format, each page showing anything from one step to a few. Although there were no text instructions, the pictures were very clear and easy to follow. For some of the pieces which required more complex assembly, a separate more detailed picture was shown at the side of the main instruction picture.
A small special Playmobil screwdriver type tool was supplied to use for the tiny connecting blocks, of which there were many. All parts were either connected by these small blocks, or simply slotted into ready-made holes. The small connectors were quite fiddly to do, and definitely needed the provided tool.
It took me around 30 minutes to finish assembling it. If you were giving it to your children for a birthday or Christmas present it might be an idea to put it together the night before then they aren't disappointed if they can't use it straight away.
Should you need to take it apart at a later date, all parts come apart easily, which can be a bad thing when small children are involved! Within a short time of me finishing, my youngest had taken all of the flower shapes off the leaves.
I absolutely love the level of detail involved, right down to the little radio, bottle of orange juice, flip flops for each figure and the foliage around the pool.
The main thing in this set is the pool, which has steps leading up to it. The idea is to fill it with water, then the figures supplied (2 adults, 3 children and a baby) can swim in it. Slotted onto the side is a baby pool, again to put water into. A water slide goes into the main pool and my girls have loved sending the figures zooming down the slide into the water.
Something that's provided even more fun for them is the shower at the side of the pool. When assembling the set, you'll attach a thin tube from underneath the shower into the shower head. Press the pump button at the side of the shower repeatedly and water comes out of the shower head. One problem here is the shower isn't fixed down enough and easily turns around. This can lead to water leaking out of the shower through the drainage hole, which normally sits over the pool, when the pump is being operated. I'd set this play set up on a rug on top of laminate flooring in the conservatory, thinking it was a safer bet than having a water toy on the carpet in the house. As the girls were playing happily I snatched the opportunity to go and get something done for a few minutes. When I returned a short while later the rug was pretty much saturated and had to be taken up to dry. The set is now on a plastic play table in there, although it keeps getting pushed to one side which means that grassy area falls off as it's only slotted on. I suppose it's good in a way that things aren't glued on or fastened securely as they'd probably get snapped and broken.
The set also comes with a sun lounger and parasol. The parasol pole is bendy rather than stiff plastic and leans to one side a bit, although it seems to be quite durable, and again I think this will prevent it from snapping. A beach ball has two slots in which fits onto the figures hands so they can play with it. A beach bag holds a bottle or orange juice and book, both of which needed stickers putting on in the assembly process. Despite having numerous dunkings in the water the stickers have stayed on. A towel was supplied for the figures to lie on or dry themselves with, although it's spent more time soaking wet due to keep ending up in the water. My girls haven't really bothered with the likes of the sun lounger, parasol and other bits. They've spent ages just playing with the figures swimming in the pool and having showers. They also like putting the flip flops on the figures.
It wouldn't be much fun without the water in the pool, so I wouldn't recommend buying it if you're worried about water getting spilt as it's pretty much inevitable to some extent. I just put a small amount in, less than 1cm depth which is enough. Placing a few towels underneath it would be a good idea if playing with it on a carpet. The instructions recommend emptying the water out after each time it's played with, but I've tended to leave it in. To empty it it's best to take the baby pool & grassy area off so you can tip it upside down to get the water out.
It was definitely the right choice when we bought it and has certainly whetted my appetite for buying more Playmobil at Christmas, which I know my girls will love.
It's recommended for age 4 and upwards, and officially not suitable for under 3s due to small parts. However my youngest is 2 and absolutely loves playing with things like this and has it conditioned into her that small pieces don't go anywhere near your mouth. She's had as much enjoyment out of it as her older sister. But if you do have younger ones around I'd recommend only allowing them to play with it when supervised, or remove the smallest parts until they're older.
No batteries are required at all, which is a novelty these days!
The set cost £29.99 at Toys R Us, which is the recommended retail price.
It comes under the Vacation category on the Playmobil website.
Summary: A great toy, whether it's your first Playmobil set or you already have a collection
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