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For my daughter's birthday she received a mountain of presents from friends and family most of which have been opened and set up in great anticipation and have been shunned by my daughter for more favourable toys. Due to having horses my daughter did receive a variety of pony themed toys which of course I was delighted with and she seems to have taken a liking to these!
One toy or set in particular is the Mega Bloks Play N Go Pony Stable which is suitable for children from 1 years upwards. Now of course when I saw this set I was pleased as it was horse related but this obviously meant nothing to my daughter! Mega Bloks is a company that I had heard of previously but if asked about it I couldn't say a word about it but having looked into it a bit more they make hundreds of toys for children of all different kinds and varieties and are widely available on the high street and internet.
What Mega Bloks say about their product:-
"The Play 'N Go Pony Stable playset from Mega Bloks is perfect for little girls who love ponies! This buildable and portable playset allows you to live out the dream of owning a pony of your very own. Set your figurine in her pony; trot about to see the wild flowers and play with the baby pony & puppy."
The Pony Stable set comes in a slim, square box and you can easily see the product in the 'window' on the front of the box - it is protected with a clear, hard plastic cover. However, what I found quite difficult was actually getting it out of the box as it is so many plastic wire ties it certainly isn't easy to simply pull it out of its box and set up. Also, all the figures included such as the dog, horse, rider etc are all tied down too and because of where they are tied they are not particularly easy to get to and untie. It is not a 5 minute job to set it up which is ridiculous considering it is such a simple toy!
After finally managing to untie all the plastic wire ties you don't have to make anything or screw anything together as it doesn't require any self assembly. Simply pop the back down of the stable and there you go! The Pony Stable is exactly like it is on the picture - pink and girly so not particularly realistic but the bright colours certainly attract a child's attention. You also get a small sheet of stickers (flowers, rosettes, trophy etc) so you can decorate your stable which is a nice touch. The stable itself is made of plastic and is pretty well made but due to being quite light it can be a bit flimsy. It has a carry handle for easy transportation which is obviously used by older children.
The figures are quite sweet and are a nice addition as most stable yards own dogs and of course it wouldn't be complete without the pony and rider! There are also a few green building blocks which you can place wherever you are able to - a bit like lego just a lot larger and younger child friendly! The blocks are easy to place and then remove should your child want to move them around. The figures don't do anything special they are just simple figures but perfectly suited to the toy itself. The back which folds out acts as a 'grass' area and this is where the blocks can be placed to make a wall etc.
Now the Pony Stable set is played both by my daughter who is 13 months and my niece who is coming up to 3 years old so they both play with it differently. My niece who I see on what seems like a daily basis understands how to play with the Pony Stable set properly, she understands where the pony is supposed to go in the stable (with its head looking out through the gate etc) and of course she knows all of the sounds horses and dogs make she can animate the toy whilst playing. My niece seems perfectly content in playing with this and can spend quite a few hours playing with it and of course being nearly 3 she can of course open and close the back of the stable as well as move the blocks around.
My daughter on the other hand before starting to play with her cousin just found the figures nice to chew as well as the blocks which was to be expected as this toy despite being suitable for 1 years and up is really a bit too old for a 1 year old but since playing with her cousin regularly she now copies what my niece does so whilst they play nicely together my daughter has picked up quite quickly how to put the blocks in certain places and where to put the dog and horse. Even when she is on her own I find her playing with the Pony Stable by herself and copying what her cousin has done. For me I think this is a great way of learning as my niece very nicely shows her cousin what to do and my daughter is remembering it.
Now, don't expect an all singing all dancing toy! There are no lights, music, melodies or tunes so compared to other toys it is quite limited but it is great for role play and even better if you have an older child who can show a younger child what to do like my niece and daughter. Because it is more of an older child's toy say from 2 years onwards no doubt my daughter will get plenty of use out of it which is obviously great but I do think being marketed for 1 years upwards is a bit silly considering most 1 year olds cannot carry anything very big, master the art of using building blocks and all they want to do is stick things in their mouth and chew!
However, that being said I really do like the toy. Its bright pink colouring with the cute little figures it certainly makes for a nice gift especially for a pony enthusiast! Because is quite large and the surfaces are smooth it is also easily cleaned which with my niece and daughter playing with it, it has to be cleanable! It has certainly suffered a few knocks and bangs and doesn't look any worse for wear and so far we haven't lost any of the little figures it comes with! I would definitely recommend this as gift but for an older child say 2 years and up. 4 stars from me simply due to the age range.
~ Useful Info ~
Brand: Mega Bloks
Price: Range from £10 - £20
Product Dimensions: 34.3 x 10.2 x 28.6 cm