Monday, December 27, 2010

Xmas 2010: The Year of Barbie's Dream Town House

(One picture for posterity of the Town House in its fully glory before all the pieces go missing.)

Merry Xmas, Y'all. I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Mine was very nice. I went into it with "Blue Christmas" stuck in my head and came back to my apartment from seeing my family with "Home For The Holidays" on permanent rotation instead. That's a good sign that thinks went well. It was a marathon of playing with the nieces and nephew, and all the gifts I gave them went over well. It was quite the feat carrying all the presents all out there on the LIRR, as I had bought them in waves and didn't factor in the difficulty of carrying them all at once. Luckily they were just bulky and not really heavy. The Muppet WhatNots were a big hit. I have to start brainstorming what can top them next year. It will take me all year to think of something.

(Merry Xmas from the Muppet WhatNots!)

The biggest gift for the girls this year, in both importance and physical size, was Barbie's Dream Town House. When assembled, it's over three feet tall, three stories tall and has five fully furnished rooms. They key words there are: when assembled. The Dream Town House came with a Nightmare amount of parts and instructions that made no sense. I'm not saying they were hard to follow, but literally made no sense. It would go "Step 1. Install the elevator" and then show you a picture of the installed elevator. We were hoping they would provide a little more guidance than that, considering how there was this whole pulley system involved. Maybe they'd show us HOW to install it. Also, the many pillars that hold up each story of the house are not interchangeable. Each one is shaped slightly differently so you have to really look at them all, and not just jam them in, or it won't fit right. Then there are pages of decals to stick on the inside and outside so it looks pretty. And then there are a million tiny accessories for each room. A full set of plates and utensils for the kitchen, picture frames and a remote control for the living room, and hangers for the wardrobe and a full bed set for the bedroom. My favorite mini-accessories go with the bathroom though, the highlight is the toothbrush that is roughly the size of half a staple. You could easily mistake it for a pink nail clipping. But Barbie believes in good dental hygiene! A toothbrush is essential.

Despite its initial "tons of assembly required" drawback, the Town House is pretty cool. Things make noise and light up and it's all pretty fancy. I've always really liked playhouses. My sisters had one that my grandfather built that was pretty great. I had a small yellow Fisher Price one that my sister and I played with for hours on end, and I also had The Annie Mansion Playset:

(Now selling at $500 on Amazon. Dang.)

And The Annie Flying Limousine:
(the Limousine only flew when you chucked it like a football, but those toys were built to last and it survived many flights.)

I really like toy houses, but my imagination tended to go to a dark place as a child (who'm I kidding? it still does) so bad things always happened inside them. My sister and I would always play "Burglar" in the Fisher Price house, where robbers would try to break into the house while the Little People were asleep. And the Annie Mansion was haunted by Poltergeist (Annie and Poltergeist being two iconic 80's movies, and all) and Grandpa's Dollhouse also had an eerie other-worldiness about it, ghosts and aliens were lurking everywhere. Here's hoping the Barbie Town House can face less harrowing times, and if not, I hope it brings my nieces the same countless hours of enjoyment and imaginative play I got from playhouses when I was there age.

...And maybe I'll put one on my own Christmas List again next year.

No comments: