My eldest daughter is almost 7 and has a bedroom full of toys, some are played with regularly and others hardly at all. I wasn’t quite sure which category this would fall into. Polly Pocket is a firm favourite with both my daughters so the small bits are likely to appeal (if they don’t get lost in the first week) and we have been nagged on many occasions about getting a hamster (2 dogs, 3 kids, fish and an inability to keep her bedroom tidy make this a firm NO).
My expectation before it arrived was that it would be an overpriced toy with huge amounts of packaging, revealing a few tiny bits once the packaging had been discarded. The amount of packaging used on children’s toys in the quest to make them look more enticing drives me mad. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the playhouse was not swamped by packaging and there were no unnecessary inserts. When it arrived my daughter and her 2 friends (both boys) had great fun getting through the packaging and working their way through the tags to get it out of the box. The 3 of them played really imaginatively with it, giving the hamsters names and roles to play and it was an instant hit. The set comes with a hamster and a mouse and the girls have named them Cutie and Patch.
When I observed the girls playing there seemed to be quite a lot of creative thinking going on. There is an ambiguous tool in the set that looks a bit like a frying spatula – my girls thought it was a trowel and stuck the carrots in the grooves and dug them out. I thought it might be a poop scoop (they didn’t know what this was). After explaining they decided they were having a hamster cleaning day. They used the tube for cleaning the apples
‘It’s not really for cleaning apples, I just pretend it is – I expect you could put water in it.’
Maybe she has found an added dimension as a bath toy or in the garden with a jug of water.
I tried to explain to my daughter what a review was and why I needed her help with this one. I explained that she needed to tell me things like why she liked it, if there was anything she didn’t like or thought could be improved. She liked the fact that the hamsters slot inside the wheel without falling out. Her other comment was this
‘You know I’m meant to say something I don’t like about it – well there isn’t anything I don’t like.’
So in my household for now it is a hit, time will tell whether it will become a firm favourite or pushed to the back of a shelf. The RRP. for the set is £24.99 but I found many places selling them for around £15 and I would be happy to buy it at this price.