Product: Sofia the First Micro Playsets
Price: £6.99 to £19.99
Age Range: 3 years +
Manufacturer’s Description: Sofia the First is an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary Princess. Sofia learns that looking like a Princess isn’t all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart.
Our range of beautiful Sofia the First micro jewel playsets are themed on key features within the hit TV show and come with detailed micro doll characters that can bend sit and even bow!
Rating: (3/5 stars)
Review: We were sent a selection from the new Sofia the First Micro Playsets range to review ahead of a twitter party, so that the children attending could play with the toys and put them through their paces.
The sets we received were the amulet, tiara, bracelet and magic wand. They are all marked as 3 years + and all come with small micro figures that hide inside.
Each micro character has a hole in the bottom so they can be stood on small pegs within the playsets, allowing you to position them in different places. The human characters bend in the middle, allowing them to sit and bow.
The branding of the range is great; these items are all instantly recognisable as belonging to the world of Sofia the First. The level of detail in the playsets is good, as almost all the characters are easily recognisable if you are a fan of the show, and there is lots of sparkliness going on too. Georgie, Lydia & I have been playing with these sets for about a week now, and the children who attended our Sofia party had a great time testing them out too.
Bracelet – £8.99
The Bracelet playset is avaliable in three different designs; a teacup, a carriage, or a tiara sat on a cushion. Each of these bracelets has a secret compartment with a micro figure hiding away inside. Matching ring & earrings sets are available for £6.99.
Inside each bracelet is a peg for you to stand your figure on before closing the lid, although almost all the children seemed to prefer just plonking them in and closing the lid, which gave them a nice rattle.
The clever thing about these bracelets is the strap. It is completely mouldable to your wrist, so it stays securely on any size wrist from toddler to adult. You simply bend the strap to the shape and size you want and it stays like that until you manipulate it into another shape. Georgie really enjoys wearing these bracelets and they are possibly her favourite items from the range.
Tiara – £9.99
The Tiara playset comes with three micro characters; Sofia, Mia (a bluebird), and Ruby – Sofia’s best friend. In this set, the heart on the top of the tiara opens up to reveal a hidden palace garden, complete with working swing. The heart can also be worn as a pendant using the included chain – with safety clasp.
The heart fits onto the tiara with a small hole in the bottom, and is easy enough for children to pull off the tiara – but not so easy that it falls off. The children at the party did manage to pull the heart into two pieces which is quite easy to do, and needs an adult to put back together.
The swing is a little fiddly to play with as it is hard to get a character balanced on it, either sitting or standing, without them falling off when you swing it. Mia’s head can be bobbed up and down, which gives the impression that she is drinking from the bird bath.
I do like the fact that this playset can be worn both ways, although in reality the tiara is far too small and is really difficult to get onto the children’s heads. Georgie wore it for a short amount of time, but it was very hard to get on her head without hurting her (she can’t get it on herself), and she found it uncomfortable once on.
Amulet – £19.99
This playset comes with three figures; Sofia, Robin, and Clover, her rabbit friend. The robin’s head spins side to side and Clovers ears spin so you can have them up, down, or whatever directions you choose. The amulet comes with a chain so you can wear it around your neck – and as with the tiara, it has a safety clasp so a sharp tug and it will come apart rather than hurt your child’s neck.
Once you open up the amulet the first scene is the outside of the castle, with a lake in front. A boat on the lake can be moved around, and has a peg for a character to be places onto. The castle then opens out to reveal the throne room and then another piece flaps down to become a ballroom, complete with a (manual) turntable on the floor. When you press the chandelier music plays and the little stars at the back glow.
The amulet looks great but we had some real trouble with this one. It is very difficult to open and then once we got it open it the kickstand that keeps it balanced fell off a few times, and the whole thing came apart at the main hinge a few times too. Another issue was that the boat came off far to easily.
Magic Wand – £14.99
The magic wand is Lydia’s clear favourite out of all the sets, and Georgie really enjoys it too. It is really sparkly and fun, and comes with a micro Sofia hidden inside the crown at the top of the wand. A little peg on the top of the crown allows you to remove Sofia from inside and place her on top.
A button on the bottom part of the wand causes the top to light up in a few different colours, and a chiming magical sound effect is played. The kids love waving this wand around and setting off the effects; I’m pretty sure they even enjoy the fact that Sofia makes it rattle when she is lying hidden inside the crown.
The wand was hugely popular at the party and we have had to settle more than one squabble about who should get to wield this “magical” toy.
Although these sets are pretty and a great concept, in practise they seem to have been executed poorly, in the case of the two larger sets.
The bracelets and wand are great, but the amulet and tiara sets are very fiddly, fall apart, and require an adult to be on hand constantly to put them back together or help with putting things in the right places. I think the age of 3+ is accurate for the wand and bracelet, but the other playsets are more suitable for five year olds or older.
Overall we give this range 3 stars. Although all the kids had loads of fun playing with these, the poor build quality and design flaws of the two large playsets really let them down, and both the children and adults that have played with them got frustrated. It’s a shame as I would definitely recommend the wand and bracelet sets for preschooler Sofia fans.