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Playmobil Open Air Pool with Slide (Model 4858)
When I was younger, my sister had absolutely loads of Playmobil toys which we used to sit together and play for hours. Even to this day, I can probably name all the children in the sets which just goes to show how much we adored the toys especially considering I can barely remember what I did yesterday! Due to this love of Playmobil, I could not wait to start buying items for my own daughter, and as time has flown past, she has now reached the age of four (today actually!) which is the age that most Playmobil sets are recommended for (and upwards). My nephew is also four, though I do not think that he is ‘old enough’ to appreciate Playmobil toys as he is still rather rough with his toys. My own daughter, on the other hand, has always loved playing with little people such as her Peppa Pigs, and so we knew the time was right to introduce her to the fun.
Playmobil does not come cheap unfortunately, and we are lucky enough to have been given many items from my sister’s collection, though this pool set is actually reasonably new. According to Amazon it only came out last year (2010) and is sold between the prices of £30.00 to £35.00. Amazon actually has it for more than the shop bought price we paid.
************************** SPLASH AND PLAY **************************
The set comes in a large box with the beautiful image of the toy on the front. When you open the set, you will find that, like most children’s toys, the set comes in separate bags in which you will need to assemble. From previous experience, children can get rather upset when a new toy takes forever to assemble, though luckily this set did not take too long. Between myself, my husband and a little help from our daughter, it took us about fifteen minutes. Another problem which often occurs is the almost Chinese-like instructions you get in some toys. This is also not the case with this set, thankfully, as all the instructions are set out in clear step-by-step parts, each with helpful images. There are a couple of small fiddly parts to the assembly of this toy, though all-in-all, it is very simple and not time consuming in the slightest.
Once the set is put together, I have to admit that it looks fantastic. Unlike some toys, it looks exactly as it shows upon the box. The main pool area is quite large and in a pale blue colour with a lovely mosaic
seahorse image on one side. To the front of the main pool you have one pool step leading out from the inside to red steps to enable the little people to climb out. You then have two further steps on the outside between two plant areas making the front itself look fantastic. Across the top rim of the pool you have a tile effect making it look even more like a real pool. This is one thing I love about Playmobil in general as well as this set; everything is made to look so real with the brilliant details and decorations, and this set does not lack in this at all. To the back of the main pool you have a centre cliff piece which is covered (when assembled) with greenery and little white flowers. From the centre of this a clear waterfall comes out which looks brilliant when there is real water in the pool area. The waterfall itself is not a real water one, though, it is simply some clear, well cut plastic, though it does look very life-like. Behind the cliff is a silver tower to which a bright yellow balcony is placed with red railings around. This is attached to a large slide which curls around from the back and in to the right side of the main pool, just above another small set of steps. There is a red ladder leading up to the top of the slide which matches the red steps on the front of the pool.
The left side of the pool is attached to the main pool base though again, does need some extra assembly. Here you will find a small decking area with some steps leading up to it. My daughter uses this part as the changing room and occasionally, a café though this is not part of this set. To the back of this decking area is another fun part; a real, working shower! The shower was a little bit fiddly to set up, though once it was in, it works brilliantly. The shower sits to the back of the pool and has a screen around the back to shop water splashing out. To the front of the floor base where the little people stand is a small hole to allow the water to fall back into the main pool area. To the left of the shower is the pump. This pump is a large blue push pump which is easy for little hands to work. The small tube runs under the pump and under the pool ‘floor’ where a small amount of water constantly flows in to. It then runs up through a gap in the floor and secures tightly to the back of the shower unit. The great thing about this is that all the tubing is either hidden or tightly secured so there is limited worry about breaking it.
To the right side of the main pool is a small, baby pool area with a grassy area around it. This is all separate to the main pool base and literally clips on to the side of the pool. This is the only area in which I felt was not secured very well. The clips are simply push and slide clips and comes off quite easily. This upsets my little girl as she can not put it back on herself yet and the first time it happened, she was worried she had broken it. It is a shame that it does not secure as well as everything else on this set, though this is only a small negative feature. The small pool is a triangular shape with a white bench upon the side. Trees and flowers are made up and slotted into holes around one side of the pool and a grassy (green) area is to the other side, large enough to place a number of objects upon it.
No pool would be complete without accessories and people, and this set comes with a good amount of both of these.
Firstly there are six people; two adults, three children (one girl and two boys) and one baby. All these people are made as well as all Playmobil people and can sit and stand very well, as well as turn their heads and move their arms and grip many objects which include accessories such as the stereo and juice carton and well as hold on to the ladders. The ladders on the pool are spaced for the adult people to hold both sides, and although the children can not grasp both sides at one time, they can still hold on with one hand. All the people are dressed in swim wear and all, apart from the baby, have a pair of shoes which come off and on whenever you wish. The shoes, when on, fit snuggly and stay on the little people’s feet well. The adult’s shoes are more of a rubber substance and the children’s are slightly harder plastic though I have no idea why they are different!
On to the accessories, all of which cater for the little people well. There is a green sun lounger with a matching green parasol with pink and yellow flecks on the top which stands securely in a base. There is a yellow swim/beach bag which holds some of the smaller items, though unfortunately does not sit well in any of the Playmobil people’s hands. It looks as though it should with the design, though it simply falls from their hands as soon as you let go which is a shame. Three items need stickers put around them, and these items include a juice bottle, suncream
Pictures of Playmobil Open Air Pool
One of the best Playmobil sets in my opinion
tube and book, all of which can be held by the people and fit in to the bag. There is a small yellow ball which has two slits to enable the people to hold on to it, a small orange stereo and two toys which float in the water (horse and seal). There is also a material towel included which is felt-like though does not rip easily. The main attraction of this toy for our little girl was the fact that real water can be put in to the pools and also the working shower. As already mentioned the shower works perfectly and is a lot of fun, as is the main and baby pool. The bases hold the water really well and there are no leakages to be seen unless you count my daughter using the people to splash each other (and me!). The slide holds a lot of fun as well as the little people slide down well and splash in to the main pool.
Everything on this set is well made, though there are a couple of small issues. The first I have already mentioned with the right side not clipping on the main base well. The shower can also be pulled out reasonably easily, though once she realized this, my daughter has been more careful. Just make sure that everything is clipped in well and most things stay put. There is of course a number of small items which can easily be lost or be found in small children’s mouths. This set, like most other Playmobil sets, is recommended for the age of four plus which I think is a decent recommendation. Of course, Playmobil is not just for the really young. Older children will love playing this as well as Playmobil lasts for years.
********************** FINAL WORDS **********************
Since opening this set for her birthday, my daughter has barely left it alone. It is one of her first big Playmobil sets and she adores it. The number of people included in the set makes for a nice family play as my daughter has named them all after us her parents, herself, her cousins and young uncle and aunt! Her imagination has always been wonderful, and watching her play with this set just brings out the best of it. I personally agree with her about this set. Although I did wonder originally if £30 was too much for what it was, after setting it up and watching my daughter play happily with it, I would say that it is money well spent. Out of all the Playmobil sets around, I have got to say that this has to be one of the best.
I would fully recommend this set to children from the age of four upwards, and maybe some adults may find themselves happily playing with the set too!