Reviewed by Rachael Farndell
We were very lucky to be given the Barbie Malibu House to review much to my (almost) four year olds delight.
She is a massive fan of Barbie, already owning several dolls and accessories, so when she saw the box for the house she was beyond excited. The house itself is quite big, not cumbersome, but for a family with a small living space it is rather large! It stands (approx.) 60cm tall, 70cm wide and 20cm deep when closed, so we can tuck it away in the corner at the end of the day. It was fairly easy to assemble the house, it is mostly made of plastic with a few cardboard backings, it seems sturdy and the instructions were very easy to follow. My daughter had great fun sticking the stickers on things and loved the ‘fish tank’ stairs.
The included accessories are great (although there is no doll included), they require minimal assembly, though be warned there are a lot of little bits like toothbrushes and cutlery. Luckily our daughter is past the ‘putting everything in her mouth’ stage though the same cannot be said for her little sisters, so please be mindful if you do have younger children! As was inevitable some of the smaller pieces went missing after a few days play, possibly in the hoover now…
Inside the house there are 6 ‘rooms’; a kitchen with table and chairs, the entrance hall, a sitting area with table and chairs, the spiral staircase, a TV room complete with smart phone holder TV(!), a bedroom and a bathroom. My girls were amazed with the details, the toilet seat lifts up and the oven opens etc… They especially liked that the bed can be converted into a wardrobe for all Barbie’s clothes by lifting it up. I was pleasantly surprised that there was a phone holder which clips onto the wall to act as a TV, my daughter loves putting a video on it and sitting down with her Barbie to watch a movie. The spiral staircase has a pulley system which allows you to clip your Barbie into and ‘walk’ them up or down the stairs. Whilst this is a great idea, I am not sure on the shelf life of the mechanism, especially if children are slightly younger and not as gentle with it.
When the house is opened up my daughter sits behind it and has her own make believe Barbie world, giving her some privacy from the room to play which is lovely. The house definitely stimulates her creative side. Since we have set the house up she has played with it every day without fail and often includes her little sisters in whatever role play she has going on that day. Although it is expensive (rrp £99.99), I do think it is worth the price for the hours of fun you can have with it. I cannot comment on the durability of the plastic as we have not had it that long but if it is anything like previous Barbie houses and product it should last well for the years to come! Definitely a must buy for any Barbie fan or someone looking for a play house.
Available to buy from Amazon here.