Reviewed by David Savage
When I was growing up, when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth if the kids are to be believed, boys had Action Man action figures (never called dolls) and girls had Barbie and Sindy dolls. Whilst the boys’ figures had vehicles, the girls’ dolls had houses, swimming pools, vehicles and all manner of accessories. These days, whether deemed dolls or figures, children play with all sorts of toys and have a variety of choice (although a lot is still marketed as “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” instead of just “toys” that all children can, and do, play with, regardless of their sex.
There are lots of playsets and figures on the market, and one of the biggest is probably Sylvanian Families. Sylvanian Families originated in Japan (who knew?) in 1985 before coming to the UK in 1987 and have sold over 100 million figures worldwide, even having their own themed restaurants and theme park in Japan!
Sylvan means ‘of the forest’ and Sylvanian Families have three core values: Nature, Love and Family. All the figures have their own names, birthdays and personalities. So, I was delighted when I was sent the Sylvanian Families Elegant Town Manor for review as my niece already has some figures and this home to keep them in would absolutely delight her.
The Sylvanian Families Elegant Town Manor is a rather striking house, one that I am sure my niece’s figures will adore living in. It is a luxury two-storey house, which is actually the home of Stella, the Chocolate Rabbit Older Sister. Lilac coloured with spacious room and a high ceiling, it is definitely an elegant home.
It comes with 17 pieces:
- Main Unit
- Spiral Staircase
- 2x Windows
- 2x Fences
- 3x Terrace Fences
- 4x Roof Decorations
Unfortunately there are no figures or furniture supplied with the house (there is a gift set version (RRP: £79.99) available with Stella and furniture included). I received the bare bones house for review.
It doesn’t come completely assembled, but any assembly that is needed is very easy and straightforward. It really is just as simple as placing the roof on top, adding the railings, bannisters and window trims (these just snap into place), and placing the extra floor pieces. It all feels very sturdy and secure. The spiral staircase doesn’t actually attach to anything, but this is intentional as it can be moved around and used in different places.
As mentioned, my niece already has some Sylvanian figures and some accessories so she soon started moving her figures in and furnishing the house (she used some furniture from her doll house).
She really does love the house and added furniture to her letter to Santa and is keeping her fingers tightly crossed that he may be able to bring her some. It is great watching her at play and her imagination at work.
Playsets like this are great for children being creative help develop social skills and emotional intelligence through imaginative play, as well as teaching about family, relationships and how to be kind to each other.
This is a great quality house that I am sure she will want to add more to. If you are planning on buying something like this for Christmas, unless you already have Slylvanian Families figures and furniture I would suggest purchasing the gift set version as it is much better value.
Available to buy from Amazon here.