Mattel Disney Princess Glitter Glider Castle Playset
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It is a castle of a small doll of the Disney Princess of a completely new play pattern! Cinderella and gas slide on the slide and appear on the dance floor -.
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Assembly was fairly easy. Everything clips together--no screws or tools required. It took me about 20 minutes to assemble the entire thing.
What I like about this castle is that it is modular. It comes with Cinderella's castle (the blue section where the clock is) and Aurora's tower (although there is very little to define the pink section below Cinderella's castle as Aurora's tower except for her crown on the gate and some stickers of the three fairies). This toy has room to attach two more Flip 'n' Switch rooms to it (the small rooms that fit a Magiclip doll). If you already have these smaller playsets, you're in luck. If you don't, and you want to add to the Glitter Glider castle, it will nearly double the cost of this toy.
And that is not to mention the fact that the Glitter Glider Magiclip dolls need to be purchased separately. This set comes with Cinderella and Gus, but more dolls are needed to take this toy to its full playing potential. The regular Magiclip dolls fit in this castle, but most can't slide down the slides without falling on their backs. (Update 7/1/14: The following dolls can slide down the slides---just not as fast or as easily as the Glitter Glider dolls: Elsa in the white and blue dress, Cinderella in her classic blue sparkly dress, Anna in the blue dress with the black top and purple cape). I ended up spending nearly 3 times the cost of the Glitter Glider Castle by the time I bought the extra Glitter Glider dolls (of course, we had to have Anna and Elsa, which were the most expensive on Amazon) and the 2 extra Flip 'n' Switch rooms. Am I sorry? No, I believe it was money well spent. My little girl was giddy when I put it all together and I believe this castle has great play value.
My reservations in recommending this castle are twofold: first, the cost, which I have described above (plus the fact that we now have two full sets of Magiclip dolls, the originals and now the Glitter Gliders. Sigh). Secondly, the ability to move the towers and slides around makes this toy fun. But, the fact that it is modular is the very thing that makes it feel nearly flimsy. The towers just slide in: there is no real locking mechanism. So, it needs to be played with fairly gently, to keep it from sliding apart. The slides do snap into place, so they are sturdy.
As far as the actual gliding, that is the most fun part of this castle. Cinderella and Gus really do slide down the two slides, while standing upright. They also spin as they slide, which is neat. The larger slide ends in the dance floor, which has a lever to make it spin. They spin around the dance floor, which is fun. My little girl and I like to sit at opposite ends of our living room and slide the dolls and friends across our wooden floors. They can go pretty fast and they spin in circles as they glide. This may be her favorite aspect of the Glider dolls.
I would recommend the Glitter Glider Castle. Just keep in mind that when you're purchasing it, all you're getting is the structure, a bed, a table, Cinderella and Gus. So don't let the low(ish) price fool you---it is an investment if you want to complete the set. As far as how this toy holds up over time, I will update my review after we've had it for a month or so.
The Playset comes with two two towers, a slide, and a dance floor. It also included some furniture and tiny accessories that are lost quickly if your kids are anything like mine. Finally, the set includes Cinderella, one gliding dress (a Magiclip dress with wheels), and a little Gus Gus with a ball bearing that helps him to slide.
Like most toys you buy these days, assembly was required. There are a lot of little pieces to put together with the columns and slides, but it is easy to assemble. There are also tiny stickers. Fine motor skills are not my forte, but the stickers are only a bit off center here and there. They are forgiving and can be moved before you fully stick them. Upon assembly, I moved it to hide it because this was meant to be a gift. I immediately noticed that it was not very sturdy.
The toy is such that you can remove the towers and move things around. For example, the top tower can be placed on the ground and played with alone. The problem with this is that the individual pieces have to be easy enough for a kid to move around. That means they do not lock in place. Thus, when the tower is placed on the top, it slides around and sometimes falls off. This frustrated my daughter a few times. They slide also sometimes becomes detached and is not easy for a young child to reattach herself.
Now, fully assembled it is a neat little toy. My daughter loved to slide Cinderella and Gus from the top tower, although she didn't like that they stopped at the middle tower rather than sliding all the way down in one push. Still, it is fun to watch them slide. The dance floor is also cute enough. It has a mechanism where you squeeze two plastic pieces together and the floor rotates quickly allowing Cinderella and Gus to slide along. That is fun enough, although it is not exactly clear why Cinderella would be dancing at the ball with Gus rather than Prince Charming. Maybe the prince gets motion sickness on slides. It happens.
Realize that if you buy other Magiclip princesses that this kit is not necessarily compatible. The sliding dresses have wheels on the bottom of them, whereas most of the dresses do not have wheels. If you try to push one of those princesses down, they just fall over and embarrass themselves in front of everyone. No one wants that.
My daughter grew tired of playing with this after awhile. She prefers to just play with the princesses and dresses on the windowsill. Also, as this playset only includes a single princess (Cinderella), it probably would get boring really quickly without someone else. No one wants to be alone at prom...I mean at the ball. Cinderella would need some friends. Thankfully there are other Magiclip sets including a sliding Elsa and Anna, as well as many other characters with the non-sliding dresses. As a standalone set, just note that you are limited to Cinderella and Gus.
This playset does not come down from the closet often, but sometimes my daughter requests it. Storing it is a bit of a pain because it takes up a lot of space with the slide. Also its tendency to fall apart at random when you move it can be a hassle. If you have a kid who says, "You know, Cinderella would have been so much better if she had a royal slide," then this is the kit for you.
To question if this seller is knowingly selling "less than perfect" sets. I can come up with no other for the large X that was obviously printed on the mirror. (The mirror is actually a sticker that gets put into place on the underside of the bed.the bed stands up to be a vanity. The other thing to know is that you must be sure to buy glitter glide princesses. There are other princesses with clip on dresses, but only the glitter glide dress have wheels,and their dress are made heavier and rounder at the bottom.The actual little doll is exactly the same. The doll slides down the slides well and I the set can be made in two formats. The two bottom pink sections do not stay together well though.
Update. Dec 27,2015. Turns out the x on the mirror was a sticker, we thought it might be but were totally unable to find any edges so had ruled that out, but we were wrong. Increased my rating from 3 stars to 4.