Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dora the Explorer Window Surprises Dollhouse

My daughter loves dollhouses and loves Dora.  I thought this Fisher Price Dora the Explorer Window Surprises dollhouse would be a major hit with her.  Actually, it is quite the opposite - and I am not too fond of it, either.
First off, it was playable when taken right out of the box, which is probably one of the few plusses of this toy.  All I had to do was place a few stickers on the walls of the house to give it a 'homey' feel.  But, half of these stickers have since fell off.  The doors that open to expose the 3 levels of the house stick more often the not, so she is constantly fighting to open the the house, and getting aggravated in the process.  Then, when the doors are open, you can't play with the front door because the main door has no stability and you have to hold the door with one hand and open the front door with the other.  The position of that front door is questionable too.  It would make more sense if it was on the main floor of the house next to the kitchen.  The stairs on the other opening flap serve no purpose.  My daughter loves to walk her dolls up and down the stairs, but these stairs are stationary, very narrow, and there is a plastic floor just above it (see where the Dora figure is standing).  Dora can only walk up a couple stairs before she has to stop - there is no place to go.  These are the stairs to nowhere!

Next, when you buy the house, it only comes with a Dora figure and maybe a couple other small accessories.  You have to buy all the rest to make it actually look and feel like a dollhouse.  I bought the bathroom set in which the bathtub/shower goes on the other blue plastic floor above the front door.  Problem is, it does not fit there!  It kept tumbling over onto the floor.  The doors of the shower also proceeded to break within the first few weeks.  This dollhouse has no flow to it and it is hard to imaginary play with it when you are getting frustrated because everything is falling over.  

The Dora and Diego figures are very cute and have bendable legs, but when you try and sit them on the plastic couch or chair, they just slide right off.  My daughter used to cry and cry because sit could not get them to sit and stay.  She got so frustrated one day that she hurled the figures across the room.  The accessories are cheap, small and easily breakable.  Our list of broken ones include: bathtub/shower, computer, lamp, umbrella that Boots carries, and kitchen chairs.  It is pathetic.

Perhaps the best feature of the entire dollhouse is the 'working' fireplace.  It gives a pretty glow and realistic crackling sound.  It almost feels like winter when it turns on.  This dollhouse also has two buttons on the very bottom to scroll the change of Seasons on the inside window.  It works nicely and the songs are cute, but the overall quality of this product forces me to give it a thumbs down - on both hands.

Once you buy this dollhouse and all the necessary accessories, you can easily spend $100.  Do yourself a favor and invest on a REAL dollhouse for you little girl.  Fisher Price dropped the ball on this one.

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