Thursday, 30 May 2013

Help me obsess over Christmas presents in May. No, really.

Okay - a quick disclaimer.

I know it's only May, and it's crazy to think about Christmas presents.  But I am a chronic over-thinker.  I want Vivian to get a dollhouse for Christmas, but I want it to be something that is going to be able to hang in there for the long run, so I want to make a good choice.  I don't want to get something that is going to end up falling apart, or being too small, or that she'll outgrow in a couple of years.  Also, buying and furnishing a dollhouse can be quite the endeavor.  If I end up picking a dollhouse that I'll need to buy furniture for separately, I would like to be able to keep an eye out for sales or just grab furniture one room at a time so it isn't one major purchase right before Christmas.  Plus, it would be awesome to have some input from other people, so if you want to weigh in on the dollhouse dilemma, I would love to hear what you have to say!

So yeah, Vivian is pretty into Barbie dolls and princesses right now.  So I would like her big Santa present to be a dollhouse.  But which one?  I found a Barbie Dreamhouse on clearance for $75 the other day and couldn't decide if it was something I should seriously consider getting now, or if it would just end up being a cheap piece of crap that would fall apart and I would regret anyway.

So here are the choices I'm looking at.

The classic - the Barbie Dreamhouse.  I know it's plastic and probably not the greatest option, but part of me thinks, "Why not?"  She loves Barbie, and she's only little once.

Find it here
There's the option like this, which is technically a Groovy Girls house, but Barbie-sized dolls would fit in it.  Not a whole lot to it, but it's nice that it's double-sided and wooden.

Find it here

Now, if I were making this decision based only on what I want, I would pick one of the next two.  They're both simple and modern, gender neutral and built to last.  But I worry about picking something that I think looks nice versus what she would really love.  Plus they wouldn't fit the Barbie-sized dolls.
Find it here

Find it here

I love Melissa and Doug stuff, so their house is a cute option, but again it would only fit smaller dolls.
Find it here

My mom suggested this one, the Step 2 model.  It's nice and big, with enough space for more than one kid to play at a time.  It would fit Barbie dolls, but there aren't many rooms.

Find it here

This is what Vivian would pick out.  It's the only time I've ever seen her react to a commercial.  The Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle.  As soon as she saw the commercial she ran over to me, yelling "Mommy!  Castle!  Princess!"  Each princess has their own area, and she has all of the princesses already.  It's so cute, but the reviews for it are terrible.  It's cheap plastic, the pieces don't fit properly, you basically have to glue the thing together...I don't always put much stock in online reviews, but this one worries me.  But then I think about how excited she would be to see it...
Find it here

Whenever we go to Mastermind Toys, she loves to check out the Playmobil stuff, especially that princess castle.  The Playmobil stuff is cool, but it's not cheap.  The Princess castle is $179, and it doesn't fit the Barbie-sized dolls (I keep referencing Barbie dolls because I think she'll end up playing with them the longest).  Plus I worry that a castle would be too limiting.

Find it here


Find it here

These Imaginarium ones might just be my best bet.  They're nice and big, with lots of rooms and will fit Barbie dolls.  But do I go double-sided, or get the one-sided one with the elevator?  I'm not really worried about how much space it will take up (a luxury of only having one kid).
Find it here

Find it here
Then of course there's always the crazy thought I could build one.  Ana White has plans for a house that is basically identical to the double-sided Imaginarium one above, and Young House Love made a really sweet one for their little girl.


So there, lay it on me.  What is the best way to go?  When I was a kid I had the Tudor-style Fisher Price dollhouse and loved it to pieces, so maybe bigger isn't always better?  I'd love to hear if you have any advice!


1 comment:

Eleven's Ink said...

My sister had one similar to the one sided one (without elevator, it was the 90's)made of wood. It lasted forever and even made the rounds in the extended family. Wood is by far your best bet!