Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dollhouse furniture review: Plan Toys

Welcome to another installment of "How to Buy a Wooden Dollhouse." A while back CSN stores asked if I wanted to do a review of some of their products. It didn't seem like too hefty of a task and since they had this awesome dollhouse furniture, I decided to give it a shot. Basically I was given a gift certificate and paid for anything over that amount. For the three sets, shipping was only about $8 or $9, not bad at all.

These sets are all from Plan Toys, a green toy company focusing on making safe, educational products. So not only do they make toys that are safe for kids and more than compliant with all regulations, they also manufacture in clean ways. I have not discussed reviewing products with the company. I'm doing this on behalf of CSN.

Scale: As you can see, these pieces take up quite a bit of space in the Ryan's Room dollhouse. I don't have a problem with that. We chose a small dollhouse on purpose. I will talk more on scale in a later post. The pandas fit in the furniture well but poor Papa had a rough time changing the baby's diaper. The Plan Toys and the Ryan's Room pieces are compatible in size. These pieces are a bit larger than the Enchantmints pieces I reviewed in a previous post.

Quality: Wow. These pieces are really well crafted. Superior. Not a splinter, not a single stroke of paint out of line. And there is a good bit of detail here without being too period specific (too bad those pandas look like they're about to join a cult. I'm going to have to sew them something more contemporary). The crib comes with a little mobile (see just up there on the left), the changing table opens up, the baby's outfit has an adorable hood and is so soft. I love the striped stroller and the vegetables, oh my! The vegetables are stellar. Such detail. You can take them in and out of their little rows and put them in the wheelbarrrow. The shovel has a metal head. I actually was shocked at the quality. While at about $18 a set, they are near the top of the wooden play dollhouse range, it is clear why. You do get what you pay for.

Overall, I'm very impressed by Plan Toys. I have seen their other, non-dollhouse toys and they are of the same quality. These fit well with the theme of our dollhouse and while the Calico Critters are a bit small in comparison, if they were wearing better clothes, you wouldn't even feel they were out of place. I will be making new covers for the bedding though. I am not too into the florals they've got going on.

I'm going to say a few words about CSN stores although I'm not required to. Shopping on the website was really easy. They had lots of different categories and everything fit in them nicely. They also made good use of sidebars on the left and breadcrumbs (some webspeak, yo) at the top. That is so important. They also have a price slider so you can limit to a certain range. Good selection of the eco-friendly stuff that I prefer my kid to play with. Oh, and get this, a friend told me that when she was remodelling her bathroom, if she found something cheaper somewhere else and emailed a link to CSN, they would quote her a cheaper price. Cool. I'm not sure if they are still doing that.

All photos are taken inside the Ryan's Room Carry n Play Dollhouse that we got at our local toy store. My mom also got the Plan Toys gazebo since Z had requested her dollhouse to have an "outside." I think we will have to put that together but all of the stuff above was pre-assembled. If you want to read my other dollhouse reviews, click here then scroll down to the bottom of that post for other two links.