Although the main character is female, the show itself is popular with both boys and girls so I have to say I was a little disappointed when I saw just how pink and sparkly the toy range was. Of course I believe it is absolutely fine for boys to play with pink, what of it? However, I know that in some cases (especially when children have started nursery) a pink exterior to a toy could put a boy off from playing with something he could really enjoy. Hey hum...
We were sent the Doc McStuffins Carry Along Clinic for Elizabeth and I to review. My first impressions were: Pink, Plastic and glittery. Which if I'm honest are three things I wold usually avoid in a toy. However there was lots more to see and it's its not what a toy is made of that matters as much as what a child makes of it...
As soon as Elizabeth saw it she was very excited as she recognised the characters printed on the outside of the case and of course Lambie! She couldn't wait to get it out of the box (I would suggest that if this is a present to be played with on birthday or Christmas mornings you may want to unbox it first then wrap it as it did take some time to get all the fiddly bits out).
What's in the box?In the box you get:
A carry along clinic that opens up and has a storage draw
A set of doctors play tools including otoscope, stethoscope, thermometer and syringe
Removable Interactive pane with 4 x character slides
The small blue laptop which is shown on many promotional images is NOT included in the set I have not been able to find out if this is sold separately or not.
Elizabeth immediately put on the stethoscope and went to collect up some teddies to give a check up to! She found it easy to remove and replace the colourful plastic tools from their clips inside the clinic. From watching the show and other role play activities she as rather skilled at toy check ups and even had a chat with each of her patients! It was adorable to watch her playing doctor (maybe this could be a future profession?!).
She really liked the interactive panel which had four different slides to use with it. She intially tried to use this while attached to the lid of the clinic but as she went to press the buttons she was knocking the whole set over so I removed this for her and she enjoyed playing with the different slides. There are four slides in total each baring one of the favorite toys from the show as patients and Elizabeth enjoyed working out which tool she needed to make them better. I can't help but feel that this activity would have been enhanced by having the other characters included rather than just Lambie. This panel is a great size for take along play, for car journeys maybe, although be aware it does play the rather catchy tune from the show, 'Time for a check up!' The panel comes with batteries included (2 x AA).
After clinc time had closed Elizabeth put all the tools away in their places, popping the spare slides into the handy drawer but keeping the stethoscope on (it's actally a good job that she wanted to continue to wear this as their didn't seem to be any obvious place for it to be stored).
The first few times this was played with Eliabeth had trouble closing the the two clasps on the clinc and opening them again as they were very stiff but after repeated play these have become easier for her. Although a large toy with a few different play values this set isn't to large or heavy and my skinny three year old can easily carry it around the house or garden. She loves the handle and often closes it all up just to carry it to another part of the room and continue to play!
Overall ThoughtsI have to admit that the the amount of varied play this set has given Elizabeth and how pleased she is with it has made me reconsider my initial thoughts. Yes it is pink and plastic but the clinic itself is fairly sturdy and the tools are of great quality so I can see them being played with for a long time to come. One thing to mention is the balance of the toy when it is open for play, Elizabeth soon worked out that she had to angle the sides in slightly to keep the clinic upright while playing but younger children may struggle with this. The set is marketed at aged three plus which I feel is about right, and I believe that both boys and girls up to the age of around five would enjoy this set.
Worth The Price?
Finally the price, although I have grown to appreciate the play value of the Carry Along Clinic and Elizabeth would proudly name it as her favourite toy at the moment. I would find it difficult to justify spending the RRP of £59.99 on it. I imagine that this will be a very popular toy on an awful lot of children's Christmas list this year and that often means that retailers will compete against each other to offer the best discounts. So if you can get it at a good deal then you will make a little Doc McStuffins fan's day!
You can check out the full range of Doc McStuffins Toys on the Flair website and latest price on amazon too.
Disclaimer: we were sent this playset for the purposes of review all opinions are our own. Post contains an affiliate link.