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
Splish, Splash and Slide
Playmobil 4858 Pool Water Slide
Member Name: KLockwood75
Playmobil 4858 Pool Water Slide
Advantages: Fun, encourages imaginative play, relates well to real life experiences
Disadvantages: Danger of little pieces being sucked up by the hoover!
One of the gifts that my son received for his recent birthday was the Playmobil Pool with Water Slide. This was a set that he had been eyeing up for a long time, his cousin already owns it (and loves it) and we had a constant shouting of 'I want that' from both my son and his little sister every time it was advertised on the television. So, when he unwrapped the big box, he was very excited and wanted it set up straight away. Unfortunately for him, and luckily for us, we were on our way out for a birthday tea and he had to wait until later - which gave my husband the time, and space, to build it unhindered by little 'helping' hands and the endless 'is it finished yet', 'can I play with it yet' questions.
* Construction *
Like all Playmobil sets, the Pool with Water Slide takes a bit of putting together. There are several main pieces - the pool itself, a paddling pool attachment, the water slide and ladder, decking - and these slot together fairly easily. The fiddly part is the little details such as the climbing plants on the stone wall behind the waterfall and the greenery in the 'sun-bathing area'. I love the attention to detail in Playmobil sets and this one is no exception. Fortunately the set comes with very clear step-by-step instructions, similar to those that accompany Lego models, and it only took my husband about 15-20 minutes to complete the construction phase.
* Contents *
Once put together, this is a really lovely set. The swimming pool is large enough for a multitude of Playmobil people to splash around and has steps leading down to a mosaic tiled floor. At the rear of the pool is a plastic waterfall on a stone-effect wall. A red ladder leads up behind this wall to a bright yellow water-slide. The bit of the set that my children seem to like best at the moment is the shower, which really works by using water pumped out of the pool. There is also a paddling pool for the baby to play in, a grassy area for picnics and sunbathing and a decked area. This set contains six people - two adults, three children and a baby. All of these people are dressed in their swimwear ready for a day at the pool. They also all come with plastic pool shoes in different colours. Other accessories included in the set are a reclining lounger, a big sun umbrella, bottles of suncream and shampoo, a book (for the rare moments where the Mummy gets to laze around on the sun-lounger), beach ball, two floating toys and a fabric towel.
* Playability *
So far, this is a set which is loved by both my children. I think that the 'reality' of the set really appeals to them, particularly my two year old daughter, as swimming pools and holidays is something that they can really relate to and have a shared experience of. It is lovely to watch them sat on the kitchen floor together, with a towel underneath the water-filled pool, chattering away as they make the people slide down the slide, play with the water floating toys or head off to the shower clutching the bottle of shampoo. I feel that it would integrate well with other sets in the Playmobil range as well. My niece has the Harbour Café which I think would work perfectly as a poolside snack bar, and my son has the catamaran which he makes sail up to the 'island' (the towel we use to put the pool on is green) and the people get off with their picnic hamper for a day at the pool. The Beach Holiday set, Camper Van and Holiday Home would obviously all work well too. Overall though, this is a set which appears to have a great amount of playability all on its own. I love the fact that is a set that mirrors 'real life' as I believe that enhances my childrens' ability to play together and encourages more imaginative play. My son is very into the emergency services, knights and pirate sets but this is one that appeals to both boys and girls and they will play happily together with it. Of course, like most toys, it has a few downsides - I am constantly paranoid about the tiny accessories being sucked up by the hoover, and it takes a while to dry everything out properly after a play session, but these are minor irritations which do not detract from the quality of the set.
* Cost *
The RRP for this set is £27.50 but you should be able to get it cheaper, or on a multi-buy deal, by shopping around. I feel that this represents good value for money as you do get a lot with this set, whereas some other sets seem to be much more limited in their content.
* Final Thoughts *
I would definitely recommend this set for all existing Playmobil fans, or even as a starter set for a child that is just getting into the idea of Playmobil. The 'small world' element of the set is fantastic for encouraging imaginative play, the little pieces assist in the development of manual dexterity and, most important of all, children have fun playing with it. The recommended age range for this product is 4+ which I would suggest is about right - my daughter is 32 months and she can play with it confidently, but she is very dextrous and has passed the 'putting things in mouth' stage. The other recommendation I would make is that you get a tiny box to keep all the accessories in (we are using one of the tiny food pots from IKEA) as it is very difficult to keep track of 5 pairs of beach shoes and the other miniature items). Overall though, this is a brilliant product and probably my favourite of all the sets that my son has.
Summary: A fantastic set from Playmobil - highly recommended!
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