We have a lot of building blocks in our house. We have a whole box of Duplo that we still pull out every once in a while, and my twelve-year-old will still happily build a ropes course for Dora and Diego. We have Tegu magnetic blocks, we have Lincoln Logs, we have lost more LEGO than I can count. This year, however, we are taking our first ride with Mega Construx from MEGA, thanks to a new collaboration with Barbie, and my daughter’s abiding love with everything pink.
Five new sets were recently revealed, transforming traditional Barbie playsets into a new-to-Barbie buildable form, with an array of customization possibilities. Currently, there are three base sets available. The Barbie Dreamhouse has been a toy icon for over fifty years and so, of course, one of the new sets is the Mega Construx™ Barbie® Malibu House™. But you can also get the Barbie® Adventure DreamCamper™ and Barbie® Animal Grooming Station. All three kits come with micro-dolls and accessories. Beyond that, you can build your new Barbie world further with miniature “You Can Be Anything” grab bags containing accessories such as a telescope, piano, and a skateboard. You can also customize the theme with “Location Assortments,” providing larger, more location-specific, accessories.
This was our first attempt at doing a kit from start to finish with our six-year-old daughter. She has been on the sidelines for most of our builds, most recently watching her twelve-year-old brother construct his Star Wars: The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle LEGO kit single-handedly. She always enjoys watching the process and definitely partakes in the after play of a build.
At first, she seemed very excited about the kit. She looked over the packages and all of the instructions, telling me which bits should go first, and which should wait. She was most interested in the Micro Dolls and loved that their accessories were interchangeable. She followed the instructions and connected the first few pieces herself, but lost interest very quickly. Cheetah speed. Not that she lost interest in the toy itself, just that she wanted the finished product, not the construction. Where my other kids have always enjoyed the process, she definitely wanted to skip that part.
So, mum stepped in. The instructions were easy to follow, and the pieces of course fit together beautifully. I had a running commentary from the disinterested six-year-old, and as soon as it remotely resembled a vehicle she wanted to play with it. I managed to fend her off until I was done, and in the end, minus interruptions it probably took about twenty minutes to assemble.
It has since been subjected to hours of play and has held together remarkably well. Though that probably has a lot to do with the style of play. Her siblings would be deconstructing and reconstructing as they went, but she really only wanted to play with the finished product.
I was thoroughly impressed with the whole kit, but it’s not something we’ll be getting into with her beyond this. Lesson learned: this kid likes a finished product, not a construction toy. It is nice to now have the option of buildable Barbie kits, and I, for one, would have loved this as a child, despite preferring the English Sindy doll to the more American Barbie. The Malibu House would definitely have occupied a space on my LEGO railway.
GeekMom received a sample from this new line for review.