Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Camper

A few weeks ago I walked past the Li'l Woodzeez  Happy Camper and I could simply not leave the store without it!  I always wanted to get a camper van and I have been eyeing the one from the Calico Critters collection for quite some time now but it was still too pricey.  So when I saw this box at half the price of that other camper... you bet I took it home with me!  

I really love the toys from the Li'l Woodzeez collection.  If you don't know about them, you must go check it out!  They shows tons of detailed photos of their toys so you really know what to expect when you buy them.

They are much more affordable than toys from the Calico Critters/Sylvanian Families brand. One could argue that Calico Critters toys are better designed and of better quality but I am very happy with this camper van set.  I haven't owned or played with the Calico Critters Camper so I can't really say which one is better, but I know which one was less expensive ;-)  This one is beautiful and comes with a great number of accessories!

The inside of the camper van is very big.  It is made to fit the Li'l Woodzeez fluffy animals but it is perfect for my Strawberry Shortcake dolls as well.  It can also fit Calico Critters / Sylvanian Families, Lalaloopsy Mini Dolls and Melissa and Doug Dolls.

The galley is very functional. All door and drawers open but you cannot put anything in the oven because it is covered with a cardboard picture of pizzas, which I think is a real bummer. They could have easily made a space inside the oven!

But there is a removable drying dish rack with 4 little pegs that you can push on the countertop so it won't fall.  I also like the pots that you can cover with a lid  There are actually many items that come with this toy.

Below is the list of items included in the Happy Camper (from the official Li'l Woodzeez website):

1 car, 1 camper, 1 spare tire, 1 luggage, 1 table, 1 double size sofa bed, 2 armchairs convertible into single beds, 1 foldable sofa mat, 2 foldable armchair mats, 2 large cushions, 2 small cushions, 1 dish rack, 1 pot & 1 lid, 1 pan, 2 milk bottles, 1 large bowl, 4 large plates, 2 large cans, 1 small can, 1 honey jar, 1 peanut butter jar, 1 chocolate spread, 2 jam jars, 3 loaves of bread, 3 apples.  

The Characters shown on the box are however sold separately. which I don't mind at all because I already have a few Calico Critters and other characters that can use this camper van.

The furniture is made of sturdy plastic and the chairs can all recline to a complete horizontal form and become a sofa bed.  The cushions used with the chairs can also be folded open to form a mattress. The cushions come with velcro sewn to their back which are used to stick the mattress back into a cushion form.  There are lovely curtains with ties at each window and the door of the van can open.

There are hidden storage space under the table and under the floor of the camper van.  I find that very useful and well thought of, because you can store the many items that come with this toy and it also emulates the clever use of space in a real camper van.

The car is big and has a removable luggage that you can open.  It can fit six Strawberry Shortcake Mini Dolls (in the car, not in the luggage!) and it can pull the camper van thanks to the strong magnet located underneath the luggage which connects to the magnet in front of the camper van.

There is also a tire that fits in the back of the van. It is really a good addition because it gives the possibility for the children to think about what would happen if they puncture their tire and so they would need a spare. That eventually leads to talking about the list of things to bring for a trip and planning ahead for solutions to possible problems!

This toy was a great hit with the very young kids too but be aware that there are many small pieces that would be dangerous for babies and toddlers.  My nephews are all over 3 years old now so they know not to put toys in their mouth but I wouldn't give this to younger children.

I paid full price for this camper van and I don't regret it at all.... but if you consider buying one and have a Target store nearby, it is on sale this week! If you don't have that store in your area or it does not ship to your location, there is always good old Amazon but it is unfortunately more expensive there than at Target.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my review and I wish that everybody could find a nice camper van like this for their children to play with!  :)