“ Brand: Worlds Apart / Type: Childrens Role Play „
I have to admit that this set was something I saw and thought my daughter would like. She had not asked for it but I had caught her looking at the advert with dreamy eyes, so I took to Google and found it was on sale for £100! I decided this was more than I was prepared to pay and forgot about it. In the summer Argos had a huge toy sale and I managed to pick up a lot of bargains. When I found this set at just £20 I jumped at the chance to buy it for her, and I am so glad I did. The thing with this stable set is not all parts are sold together which means the high price tag is pushed further. In this set you receive the pony and the stable. There is a feeding set which includes a basket and some items of food to feed the horse, and a brush to clear the stables. Then there is a dressing up set to match this stable which is also sold separately. Now I am not sure if Argos had put the dressing set up on purpose to get rid of old stock but ours was actually included in the box. My sister in law also purchased one when I let her in on my bargain find and she also had one in hers at a store 300 miles away. There is no mention of this on the details and in fact it says that it needs to be purchased separately, so at £25 on Amazon we got a huge bargain gaining 2 pieces of the range for such a small price.
**In the set**
We decided to set this up for my little girl to come down too. I was expecting the set up to be a pain to put together as the box made it look there was lots to do. In fact the pony already comes in one piece as you would expect when it is aimed at young children. So it was just the stable that needed putting together and this really only took around five minutes. There are a number of different plastic poles that need to be put together to form the base of the stables, and threaded through the material sides of the stable. This was very easy to do with enough space to push the poles through, without too much movement when they are inside. The stable once built was a lot sturdier than I expected. Children's play tents can often be ill thought out, and although this one does have its downfalls but it lasted longer than most. The back of the stables is open so little one and the pony can get in and out easily. There is also a door at the front of the stables that the pony can pass through if they like. It also means the pony can sit with its head peaking out which is one of my daughters favourite things to do. It is very pretty pink in colour, with lots of stable related pictures printed around the whole of it. My little girl loves walking round and talking about the boots she has just taken off, or the bucket she has just cleaned up with so the extra details are a good addition.
The pony is a plush pony so lovely and soft. It of course can be sat on and the toy is recommended from 3 to 6 years which I think is a good range. My daughter was using this while she was three and now she is four she still sits comfortably without looking too big. It still fits my youngest son who is just two as well. He loves this set nearly as much as his big sister does, and as soon as she is at nursery Fudge becomes his pony for a few hours. It is large but not too high so that little one could hurt themselves if they fall off. You also receive a number of items to take care of the pony. There is a brush and hair accessories so little one can make them pretty. This is perfect for when Fudge needs to get ready for a show or to take my daughter on her imaginary journey. You also receive a saddle, a bridle and reigns for Fudge. Each and every accessory is made to a good standard, and are perfect additions to this set to make them complete. So even without the other buy on for this set, just purchasing this pony and stable set gives little one more than enough to do. I never imagined just how much fun my children would receive from this set or that each of them would use it.
When my little girl walked through the door and seen her pony sat in pride of place she was over the moon with what she found. She ran straight to it and began playing. She patted the pony, but Fudge was definitely left behind for the stable. His play has been made up since but the stable does seem to steal the show at first. She got straight to making up a story and it was hard to pull her away from it. For three whole days it was impossible to remove her from the set. She wanted to ride fudge everywhere and generally take care of him. Fudge sat next to the dinner table eating his carrot apple while my daughter had her food, and she even wanted to take him up stairs at night. The hours of role play fun that has come from this set is unbelievable. Sometimes she will just use the stable, others just fudge and sometimes she uses them together but guaranteed that it will be used each and every day. She is always coming up with new games and stories and her enthusiasm really has not calmed at all.
When you sit on Fudge you can actually ride him and he will move across the floor. His feet have a slightly raised area so that even on carpet little one can jump around taking the pony with them. All of my children thought this was amazing and they are constantly back and forth taking it in turns to ride Fudge. As there is material over these raised areas it also provides some grip on wooden flooring so that little one is not flying down the room rather than riding. My children use Fudge as a seat for just about anything they do. There is barley a moment I turn around and one of them in not sat on the pony. The stable seems to have lost a lot of its appeal lately, but they just turn it into a sweet shop or a supermarket so not all is lost with it.
Of course there is also caring for your pony. My daughter uses the hair accessories provided to make the tail of fudge looking amazing. She loves brushing him with the brush provided, and we have been really surprised with the durability of them all. Usually after a few days they would have usually broken or lost but ours is still going strong and provide an extra way to play with the pony set. As fudge is very soft and welcoming he is also perfect for big sized cuddles and often receives a number through the day. The durability of the whole set is fantastic. With three children using this toy, riding on him, caring for him and just generally making sure he gets good use Fudge is in perfect condition. He is light enough that he is easily portable, but durable so it can last with the constant battle it is to have toddlers play with you.
The stables have taking a bashing also. My two year old son is a whirlwind at the moment and terrible twos really have hit. He has thrown it around, rolled all over it tipped it upside down countless times without any real problems. It is starting to look a little misshaped and I do think that it will have run its course before Fudge will, but for now it still remains an important part of this set. The power this set has to give the imagination a push is fantastic. It really does seem to transport my little girl into a world of her own, and I can honestly say it was worth every penny. She loves using the dressing up set and presenting Fudge in a riding show. All of the accessories' are perfect for the target age range to use without any problems, and they all provide a fantastic base for little one to build stories.
The stable and the pony are both large toys so having somewhere to put them is a must. You could take the stable down when it is not in use, but from experience as soon as it is down it is missed so it needs put back up again. We had to clear some space in the play room to allow room for Fudge and the stable so this is something you will need to consider when purchasing it. Also both the stale and Fudge are wipe clean only. This means they can both become a little tired after constant use but they do come up rather well. Finally Fudge malts a lot of his fur on my floors. I find handfuls of it just lying on the floor, and it does appear on the children's clothes whenever they ride him. This has lessened since Fudge first arrived, but there are still notable amounts of fur everywhere. It is nearly as bad as having a second dog so I am not sure my vacuum cleaner is too happy.
We really do love this set, and it has received a lot of play. Even with all the use it has received I am not sure on the £100 price tag. Especially as there are two other sets to purchase separately at £25 each which actually pushed the cost up. I was happy with the £20 I paid and was lucky to receive the dressing up set with this so I did get a major bargain. That being said I would pay around £50- £60 for the full set at a push rather than the huge asking price. The good thing is because this was released a number of years ago it is fairly easy to pick up on sale, and Amazon have it for around £60 at the moment. The quality of the toy is fantastic, and it has provided to be a huge hit with my children. For this reason I would be more than happy to recommend it for any child not just girls!
My daughters were handed this down from their older cousins after they had grown out of it, so it came in a large carrier bag with no instructions. There are about 20 smallish plastic tent poles of 4 different sizes around the same number of 3 different types of connectors. Trial and error looked like it could drive me round the bend, so I tried googling and didn't find any instructions. I called their customer service centre and a very friendly and helpful lady directed me to where I could find the instructions of the company's homepage http://www.worldsapart.co.uk/assets/file/INS.200STS%20080410.pdf
I found the instructions relatively easy to follow, just had to swivel a few of the connectors a couple of times so that the poles met up as per the picture. I agree with another review, another pair of hands is useful to pull on the stable cover. Also yes, the build quality is not amazing and I am sure that any rough and tumble could snap one of the plastic poles. I'm hoping my little girls will heed warnings to play with the horse and stables gently!
My youngest daughter received this as a joint present from a few relatives for her second birthday earlier this year. It came in a large box, with the poles in plastic bags inside, and the horse in his own plastic bag.
I decided to tackle the assembly myself rather than waiting for my husband to come home as it looked relatively easy at first glance, that was until I started to read the instructions. Well, I say read, but there wasn't really anything to read, just a very basic diagram. There were twenty poles made up of four different sizes, with some having an extra connector piece attached. Then 3 different types of connectors, with 8 in total. The first job was to sort out the poles, which didn't have any number stickers on, so it was pure guess work as to which was which, and a case of measuring the largest to the smallest to figure it out.
The instruction diagram simply showed the poles as numbers, with coloured arrows to show which connector to use where. There were no words at all, and even though I consider myself quite adept at putting things together it was a challenge to make sure I got the pieces in the right place, and I felt like I was in an episode of the Krypton Factor at one point. The poles themselves simply slotted into each other which was the easy part. You were required to leave the two bottom poles unconnected in order to get the cover on, which I didn't realise at first and had to take them apart again. It was only when the frame was assembled that I realised what poor quality the poles were, being very bendy, and looked liable to snap at the slightest bit of pressure - not good for a toy aimed at young children.
The cover itself was tricky to get one, and I could have done with an extra pair of hands to pull it over the frame. The cover has a front, sides, roof, base, but no back which is left completely open. It doesn't seem like terribly strong material/plastic which is a worry for the base which gets stood on a lot. The cover is made of a plastic type fabric, and is printed to look like stables, with brickwork, a roof, rosettes stuck on, and wellies & a bucket under the mesh window.
There was just one other small diagram which was even worse than the main one. It showed where to put the flat lengths of plastic - on the roof apex and down the edge of the door frame - to connect the poles after the cover is on, and where to tie the cover to the poles. Again, this wasn't very clear and I had to work most bits out myself using trial and error. The ties to tie the cover to the pole aren't very long and need re-tying regularly.
The door to the stable is just a half door, so the horse can stick its head out. It opens and closes easily enough, and fastens by way of a magnet. However, because the actual stable frame is so poor quality, when the door isn't shut, the frame and cover on that side has a tendency to gape outwards a bit, so you need to pull it back in to secure the door shut.
The finished stable measures 95cm x 95cm x 49cm, and can fit two small children inside, although there's more room to move if there's just one, and only little kids would be able to stand up inside.
I get the feeling that the main thing you're paying for here is the horse, called Fudge, which itself it fairly good quality. It feels like it's got a wooden frame inside, covered with wadding, then fur. It stands 57cm tall (I should really measure it in hands shouldn't I?!), and measures 62cm nose to tail. It's soft to touch and sturdy enough for children to sit on. My two year old can sit on it, but her feet just touch the floor so she can't move on it. Whereas my four year old sits on and can walk around dragging it underneath her, as if she's riding a horse.
Fudge comes complete with a fabric saddle, with fur trim, bridle and reins, which also fasten with velcro. I find it hard to work out how to get the saddle back on once it's off, so you can imagine the trouble small children have! I'm sure if you're familiar with horses and know how to saddle up it would be a doddle, but for the uninitiated a diagram would be helpful. A brush, hair scrunchie, 2 hair bobbles, four hair clips, a strawberry clip with 2 lengths of plaited hair attached, are also supplied. The brush isn't the best quality and the plastic handle looks as if it might break. My daughter enjoys grooming Fudge with the brush and doing her mane up with the bobbles and clips.
The RRP is £99.99, and amazon.co.uk currently have it for sale at £89.99, but I have seen it on there for less than £60 which is still very overpriced in my opinion. Whilst the idea is nice, and any child who likes horses would be thrilled to have this toy, the quality of the stables is very poor. We bought her a play café/shop tent from Tesco at the same time she got this. It only cost around £20 yet is much better quality.
Officially it's not suitable for under 3s, which I guess is due to the small accessories, which can be taken away if need be.
It's made by Worlds Apart who do lots of role play toys, including a Strawberry Stable Care Set. This consists of an apple and carrot to feed Fudge, a blanket, blow-up bale of hay, nosebag and broom. My girls just use a plastic carrot that they already had. There's also a Gymkhana dress up set outfit available.