Reviewed by David Savage
In today’s world there should be no toys that are deemed “girls” or ”boys” toys and with that said, a doll house is still perceived by many as a toy for girls. Well we have been trying out the Doll Family Mansion doll house with 5-year-old twin boys, and they love it (even if their aeroplanes do sometimes make it into the house!)
The Hape Doll Family Mansion (E3405) measures approx. L: 83.5, W: 13.5, H: 75cm and is primary made from wood (MDF) with plastic doors, windows, staircases and balconies. It does need assembling and it took around 20-30 minutes to do so but was very straightforward using the supplied instructions and labelled pieces.
It has 29 pieces including 4 figures (Family – mum, dad, brother, sister), toilet, bath, bathroom cabinet with sink and mirror, double bed with duvet and 2 pillows, children’s bunk bed, table with 4 chairs, sofa, armchair, coffee table, orange rug, barbecue, 2 kebabs for barbecue, fridge freezer and kitchen sink with cupboards, 3 working lights – which are moveable (held on by magnets). The box shows a television and a car for the garage, but these are not included (and this is clearly stated on the box).
It features a working doorbell, an opening front door, opening ground floor windows, garage with roll-up door, sliding doors onto balconies, water hose, a pull-out garden and a carry handle. It has a living room, master bedroom, dining room, garage, children’s room, bathroom, kitchen, swimming pool in the garden, 2 balconies and an awning over one of the balconies. The toilet seat lifts and cupboard and fridge freezer doors open and close.
Overall, the boys love playing with this house (and playing together with it). It helps children learn about household daily routine skills, promotes and encourages imagination and creativity skills, teaches how to share, social skills, self-discovery, problem solving, physical skills and fine motor skills. It has also been helping the boys with their speech and language.
It’s colourful, each room has decoration on the back wall and floors and they children find it extremely easy to play in each room and love parking their cars in the garage (we will have to get the wooden Hape car so that it fits in properly).
The garden (complete with image of a swimming pool) pulls out from under the house and slides back in when finished playing to reduce space.
And is easy to move (by an adult due to the weight and size) with the convenient cut outs in the roof that create a carry handle.
The only real negatives we found with this house are that the stairs aren’t held into place – while there are plastic lugs on the top of the stairs they do not snap into anything, which sees them falling over quite a lot – a fitting to snap them into place would improve the quality of the house. Also the box shows that the bunk bed has bedding, but sadly isn’t supplied with the house (the master bed does come with duvet and 2 pillows). And lastly, the pull-out garden has a balcony/fence which inserts into 2 pre-drilled holes and then is supposed to be screwed into place – it came with the screws but there were no holes to place the screws – not the biggest of problems but does mean the fence is constantly knocked over or removed.
While at first glance the price seems expensive, but after looking at other similar types of houses in is in line with other manufacturers and the quality does show.
A very realistic and quality house that is suitable for all children aged 3-12 years. It is sturdy, well-built and great for imaginative play. Hours of fun.