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Daniel Tiger Toys (Review)
Not scheduled for official release until September, several pieces of highly anticipated Daniel Tiger merchandise have started to hit the shelves a few weeks early. Although I did share a few basic details about these toys on the Neighborhood Archive already, I wanted to follow up with a more detailed review of these items.
The Good: These character figures are easily my favorite toys released so far. Full of detail, the figures perfectly resemble their animated counterparts seen on television. The heads and arms of each figure move to make them more fun to play with.
The Not-So-Good: With this in mind, one drawback to these figures is that the legs do not move at all. I didn't even think twice about this until one of my daughters asked how Daniel was supposed to sit down if he legs couldn't bend. Good point.
There are variations of the Daniel Tiger figure that can be purchased in the smaller two-packs of figures. I'd recommend going after the set of five considering the price isn't that much more than that of the pairs.
The Good: Of the toys I've seen so far, this one seems to be the most solid. It's small and sturdy which allows for it to be played with without worry of it breaking in two. It reminds me a lot of a modern version of the classic Musical Trolley from Ideal. Although this one just dings when pushed along, it has a cool feature that allows it to move forward on its own when pulled back and released.
The Not-So-Good: The inside of the Trolley could have been designed much better than it was. There is a box that takes up just under half of the inside and is poorly camouflaged with a simple sticker of the Daniel Tiger logo. I'm assuming that this box covers the area housing the Trolley bell and/or the mechanics to make it move. Either way, this looks a little sloppy and greatly reduces the number of Neighborhood friends that can ride along.
The Good: The bungalow set is one of the most creative toys released so far. One second it can be the home of Daniel Tiger and with the turn of a few pieces, it becomes a safari adventure. The fun accessories include Daniel's Trolley bed (which doubles as a jungle cave) and a tree stump (which includes Tigey when flipped over).
The Not-So-Good: When closed, the bungalow snaps shut and it quite difficult for young hands to open. Also, a few of the decorative stickers on the outside of the bungalow are quite small -- one of which came off within two hours of opening it.
The Good: This set features a battery operated Trolley -- not one that moves on its own but one that plays various sounds from the Neighborhood as it is pushed along the track.
The Not-So-Good: Looking at the box, this playset showed a lot of promise; however, it's turned out to be the most disappointing of the toys that I've seen so far. Scattered with three cheap, hollow plastic Neighborhood landmarks, this set is simply boring.
The Museum-Go-Round does not move and the clock and castle are terribly out of proportion when the figures are next to them (as opposed to the bungalow which is not).
Finally, this set comes with four plastic flags to mark each of the Trolley stops along the track. These flags are next to impossible to keep in place which makes them almost certain to be lost in no time.
With high hopes for a full Neighborhood playset, this one is a huge let-down.
The Good: I wasn't too hopeful when it came to this playset as the handful of comments I had received from those who had purchased it were not the most positive. I have to say, though, that I was pleasantly surprised. Sure there are a few faults, but overall this is a pretty fun and creative toy.
The detail of the outside of the tree is excellent and true to what is seen on television -- not to mention that it's a pretty cool piece for fans of the original Neighborhood looking for something to remind them of X and Henrietta's tree. With one of the main themes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood being make-believe and creativity, this playset falls right in line with that focus. With a few very minor adjustments to the pieces, the inside of the treehouse quickly becomes a make-believe space station ("Heeeeyy...do you want to make-believe with me?").
One other minor detail that I appreciate is the print found on the small bridge accessory -- clearly modeled after the floor design of the original Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
For what it's worth, this same print is used on the packaging for all of the Daniel Tiger toys.
The Not-So-Good: One of the main complaints I've heard about this playset so far has to do with the slide. The peg on the slide is a circle while the hole that it snaps into is cornered. Although this does make it difficult to snap the slide into place, I have to think that this is intentional as it provides a more secure connection between the slide and the treehouse.
This set does come with a ton of fun accessories, but those of us with kids know exactly what that means. The more small pieces there are, the easier it is to lose them.
Lastly, the wall in the upper part of the treehouse does not stay in place very well. It is designed to drop down as children convert it from a treehouse to a space station, but there is nothing to hold it in place when it is up. Any abrupt movement makes the wall come down knocking over any accessories in its way.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the 3-in-1 Treehouse. The quality is definitely better than that of the All-in-1 Playset and it provides many options for children to be creative as they play.
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