Itty Bittys – Review

Last week we received the most brilliantly crammed full box of loveliness. A gift from Hallmark of some of their new plush collectable toys – Itty Bittys.

Itty Bittys are already a massive hit in the US and Australia, and I predict that to continue when they launch here at the beginning of October.

Firstly I love the name as it’s describes the product so well. Not only are they small, but they are unbelievably cute, and I think the name perfectly encapsulates that.

They are so small in fact that this is the little box we received to review.

And guess how many Itty Bittys were hidden inside?


All these guys. Seven Itty Bitty plush toys!

In our box was a Superman and Batman, cowedly lion and tin man from the wizard of oz, A Santa and Rudolph, plus a Snoopy.

Itty Bittys have a great range of characters from comic books, films, tv shows that both children and adults will know and love.

The first ranges to be released in the UK are Super Heroes, Snoopy and Charlie Brown, Scooby Doo and The Wizard of Oz.

One of the first Itty Bitty characters to go on sale will be Batman, which is currently the top selling Itty Bitty in the US.

I honestly love these Itty Bittys so much, and can’t wait to see them in Hallmark stores and add to my collection.

The great thing with them being so small is that they don’t take up as much room as normal plush toys, even smaller ones. I have just put lots of plushies up in the attic as I’ve no room for them. It’ll be great to have a collection out that I can see and enjoy, without worrying about space.

It’s all the little attention to detail that makes them so special. Like the fact that you can bend Batman and Superman’s cape, and it stays up so it looks like he’s flying. Also Cowardly lions mane is so curly and gorgeous, it feels so luxurious.

The boys love them too. Even my husband thinks they are adorable. We’ve all argued about who’s getting which Itty Bitty character. Jacob loves them as they are easy to hold and cuddle, plus their size means he has more room in his bed at night. Although we do spend 5 minutes every morning digging them out of the bedclothes.

I was surprised that although obviously Thomas and Jacob loved the Batman and Superman, they were also really into all the others just as much. Jacob loves Tinman especially, and for Thomas it’s Snoopy.


Thanks to the lovely people at Hallmark I’ve got a set of Itty Bittys to giveaway to one lucky Toybuzz reader.

Isn’t that awesome!

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below and fill in the Rafflecopter,  letting us know which character you would most like to see turned into an Itty Bitty collectable


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition begins 15.09.15 and ends 30.09.15 at 12:00. Uk entries only.

Dream Toys 2010

Yesterday saw the Toy Retailers Association announce it’s annual list of Dream Toys.

The TRA complied their predictions of the Top 12 toys in 7 different categories, and then the best from all the list were combined to create the Dream Dozen.

I was pleased to see plenty of my favourite products making it onto the Dream Dozen, like the Lego City Airport, Kidizoom Videocam, Moon Dough and the Paper Jamz Guitar.

Here’s the full list of all the winners:

The Dream Dozen

Lego City Airport

Fireman Sam Deluxe Fire Station

FurReal Go Go Walking Pup

Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear

Kidizoom VideoCam

Monopoly Revolution

Moon Dough Barn

Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS

Paper Jamz Guitar


Sylvanian Families Motorcycle and Sidecar

ZhuZhu Grooming Salon

Girls Top 12 Toys for Christmas

AniMagic Tender Care Twins

Baby Alive Bouncing Babbles

Baby Born Magic Feeding Doll

Barbie A Fashion Fairytale Doll

Barbie Puppy Swim School

Bratz Party Dolls

FurReal Go Go Walking Pup

JLS Collector Dolls

Moxie Girls Art-titude Dolls

Ocean In My Pocket Coral Reef

Sylvanian Families Motorcycle and Side Car

ZhuZhu Grooming Salon

Boys Top 12 Toys for Christmas

Armouron Action Set

Bakugan Maxus Dragonoid 7 -in- 1

Ben’s Mark 10 Car

Beyblade Super Vortex Battle Set

Doctor Who Eleventh Doctor Sonic Screwdriver

Hot Wheels Dr Bones Colour Lab

Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear

Kung Zhu Battle Arena

Star Wars: Clone Wars General Grievous Lightsaber

Star Wars: Hoth Wampa Cave

Toy Story Collection Sheriff Woody

UNSC Arctic Rocket Warthog

Pre-School Top 12 Toys for Christmas

All Around Chuggington Train Set

Duplo Toy Story The Great Train Chase

Playmobil Fire Engine

Fireman Sam Deluxe Fire Station Playset

Thomas Zip, Zoom & Logging Adventure

Kidizoom VideoCam

My Pal Scout

Peppa Pig Lullaby Peppa

Play To Learn Mr Colour Maker

Play To Learn Pic ‘n’ Pop


Toy Story Collection Lots ‘o’ Huggin Bear

Games Top 12 Toys for Christmas

‘Best of British’ Board Game

Boogle Flash



Gator Golf

Harry Potter Hogwarts Lego Game

Jolly Octopus

Monopoly Revolution

Pig Goes Pop


Scrabble Trickster

Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It

Creative Play Top 12 Toys For Christmas

Bendaroos Creativity Centre

Lego City Airport

Lego City Cargo Truck

Crayola Color Explosion Glow Dome

Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush

Disney Princess Snow Globe Maker

Harumika Designer Dress Form Set

Moon Dough Barn


Play-Doh Puppies Playset

Toy Story 3 Woody & Buzz to the Rescue

Zubber Jewellery Maker

Cool Toyz Top 12 Toys For Christmas

Air Hogs Lazer Zero Gravity

Air Hogs Vectron Wave


Barbie Video Girl

Battle Machines

Bladez Micro Helicopter

Bop It!


Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS

Paper Jamz Guitar

Technic Buggy


I had a great time at the show, and as you can imagine was in my element playing with all the new toys and gadgets, I also got loads of new ideas for toys to cover in the future. So be prepared for a Toybuzz deluge, as it’s look like Dream Toys is going to keep me busy all the way up until the big day itself!

Scooby Doo Mystery Mates Mansion

Just been flicking through the catalogues and noticed that they’ve changed the name of the Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion, to the Scooby Doo Mystery Mates mansion.

By the looks of it nothing much has changed from the original, apart from a lick of paint. It’s now got Green doors rather than the Purple ones.

It makes sense to change the name though as the new range of mini Scooby figures, the Mystery Mates fit perfectly inside. My little boy always had trouble making the bigger older figures stand up, as they were so articulated he could never get them to stand still properly.

We have been using the Mystery Mates in out Mansion for ages, and it seems to be holding up a lot better since then. Click here to  read my full review of the Scooby Doo Mystery Mates Mansion

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Scooby Doo Maps give you a clue


My little boy Thomas is Scooby Doo mad. He had a small dalliance with Ben 10, but now much prefers Scooby Doo again. I think the newest incarnation of Ben10 put him off. He doesn’t like that the Ben in Ben 10 Alien Force has grown up. I much prefer him liking Scooby anyway, not as violent!

Anyway as a craft project on the Easter weekend, we decided to make some maps. To help Scooby Doo navigate his way around all of his enemies and traps, and to remind him were the Scooby snacks are buried.

It was a great success he played with them for ages, and they were really simple. We drew a basic map together, and Thomas told me what traps and things to include. We made sure all of the monsters would be captured, and added some footprints and treasure as well.

The next step is to rub a used teabag over your map. I used felt tips for my first attempt but after the teabag step they ran a little, although they still look good. I next used crayons but as you can see from the bottom picture the colours arn’t so vivid, but close up it looks great. I think they both work well, however if you use felt tips try to make the teabags as dry as possible or they will run too much and make a hole in the paper. 

Wash over lightly with the teabag and then crumple the paper up, at this point my son cried as he thought I was chucking the map out. Console your child then uncrumple the map and leave out to dry. This shouldn’t take long as it shouldn’t be really wet.

When dried your map is ready for action. However if your child can be a little heavy handed or they have an over zealous younger sibling who enjoys ripping things (like Thomas does), you may want to cover the map in sticky back plastic. 

I bought a roll recently and have found endless uses for it. It worked wonders on the map, keeping it unrippable and wipe proof. I used it for making the Monster tokens I mentioned before and some quicksand and water , just by cutting some yellow and blue card and covering them too. 

This is an incredibly simple idea that you can make as complex as you like, and if you forgo the plastic  it costs nothing to make as everyone has some pens and paper and tea bags in the house already.

Scooby Doo Toys

My son Thomas is really into Scooby Doo again! He had a long period of being a

Scooby fanatic before migrating onto Ben 10, but now he’s well and truly back into Scooby Doo.

Which I’m pleased about as for Christmas we bought him the Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion amongst other things, and being an organised mum bought well in advance. Then about two months before the big day he decided he only wanted “big boy” Ben 10 presents. So at least the house gets used now, in fact, he doesnt stop playing with it!

In the time that we’ve been out of the Scooby Doo phase lots of new Scooby toys have been released. So I thought I’d have a look at all the main Scooby Doo toys currently out there.

It’s been about a year since we went all out and collected all of the Scooby Doo figures, and he plays with them all the time and gets a lot of fun out of them. However he does get easily frustrated with them sometimes. He likes to stand them all up when he plays with them, and sometimes this can be tricky with the normal figures.  There is now a new range of smaller ones called Scooby Doo Mystery Mates. Although smaller than the original figures they’re perfect for small hands, and as they are not jointed in the legs they stand up freely. No more tantrums because they fall down! The Mystery Mates are available in a five figure pack or various 2 figure packs.

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Another product in the Mystery Mates series is the Mine Car Mayhem. Watch Scooby and Shaggy fly around the loops in a mine car, and jump over barrels. I don’t actually have this product  so I can’t comment on how well it works yet, but it’s on my list to get.

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Thomas has 3 of the Kooky Vehicles, a Mystery Machine, Pizza Van and Fire Engine. However it looks like these are being phased out and have been replaced with the Mystery Mates Vehicle set. Basically the same as the Kooky Vehicles, they come in new designs and each include a Mystery Mates Figure also.

There’s a Fire Engine with Shaggy as a fireman figure, Ghost Buster van with Shaggy and a Racing Truck with a Scooby Racing Car driver. I think these are good value as you get the figures with the cars, although they are dearer than the Kooky Vehicles were.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mini Vehicle & Figure Set - Monster Trawler (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Scooby Doo Mystery Mini Vehicle & Figure Set - Motorbike (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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+ 3 others available from Character Options
Scooby Doo Mystery Mini Vehicle & Figure Set - Monster Catcher 4 X 4 (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Scooby Doo Mystery Mini Vehicle & Figure Set - Quad Bike (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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We have had great fun with the Scooby Doo Ghost Patrol Machine, but it looks like this has become scarce also. If you can still find it, I highly recommended it for any Scooby fan. It comes with two small ghost figures, Shaggy on a ghost catching scooter with a net and the Mystery Machine. Open up the back and you will find a cell for locking up all the villains, and a satellite dish and computer for searching out bad guys. The Drivers compartment is also large enough to fit all the gang, although they won’t sit down they will fit in there. The jail cell also comes apart easily, so you can fit the bigger figures in there also. Just take off the front, put them in then put the cover back on.

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The Scooby Doo haunted mansion is my son’s all time favourite toy, and for all it’s faults I love seeing the joy on his face playing with it. Check out my full in depth review of the mansion here.

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Spare Parts Scooby Doo Hide & Seek - Paw Remote (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Putting a new spin on the always popular hide and seek is Hide and Seek Scooby Doo. When you hide Scooby, you give your little ones a special bone to help try and find him. The bone is like a small sat nav although not as advanced. Different zoned rings light up as you go and the closer the lights get to the middle, the closer you are to Scooby. Scooby will also shout out helpful comments like “You’re colder than my nose” Thanks a bunch!

Spare Parts Scooby Doo Hide & Seek - Paw Remote (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Another fun little toy is Find A Clue Scooby Doo, with this set you get a magnifying glass which has a talking Scooby Doo button and a pen down the other end. With the pen you can write secret messages in special ink on the provided notepad. When you press the Scooby button it emits a UV light, and you can see what you’ve written on the pad. Scooby also talks and Say’s “I’ve found something”. A great toy for fans of the show, my son loved looking for clues with his magnifying glass all around the house!

Stretch Scooby Doo (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Stretch Mini Scooby Doo - Scooby Doo (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Stretch Mini Scooby Doo - Zombie Scooby (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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Stretch Mini Scooby Doo - Skeleton Scooby (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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The latest version of the popular Stretch Scooby has a special glow in the dark skeleton painted on him. Can be stretched up to 3 times his size in all  kinds of shapes and always springs back to normal.

Another piece of Scooby merchandise is the Scooby doo 10inch Bike. A perfect first bike complete with stabilisers, see here for my full review.

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Although this is not technically a toy and not at all new, one of my sons most favourite Scooby Doo things is the Playstation 2 game Scooby Doo Night of 100 Frights. He’s amazingly good at it, even though he only gets 30 minutes a day (he’d never sleep otherwise). It features all the best loved villains from various series of Scooby Doo. Zombie, Headless Spectre, Ice Man, Witch Doctor they are all here. Thomas’s number one part of the game is the collecting of monster tokens. You collect a token with one of the villains on it and then take it back to the Monster gallery, where the villan is then kept locked up and you can visit them anytime you want. I even made some Monster Tokens myself, that he plays with when using the Haunted Mansion. The game also has some insanely catchy songs for each of the boss villains, Thomas always sings “Mastermind, he’s the brains behind the whole operation” as he plays with his toys. You can still get this game and I would highly recommend it, we have tried several other Scooby titles but nothing else lives up to this one.

And with that I’m all Scoobied out, hope you’ve found something that your little mystery solver will love.

Scooby Doo 10in Bike Review


Yesterday was not a good day for the bike to arrive. Both of the boys were ill and me and my husband had  been up all night  dealing with everything (I wont go into details thankfully). 

So when at lunchtime the delivery driver rung the doorbell I opened the door in two minds. I was happy that the bike had arrived, as it cheered up a very poorly Thomas no end. Although it also meant tackling the construction of it very worse for wear due to lack of sleep. There was no way Thomas was waiting until tomorrow.

Fortunately due to the boys being unwell, my husband was around to help with putting it together. 

On opening the box we took out the instructions and checked that all the parts were included (a habit we’ve learned from experience). We found that the instructions were distinctly lacking .. um instructions. There was no mention whatsoever of the stabilisers, and we had screws and bolt nuts both different to what was listed or just not listed at all. Not a good start!.

As we had no instructions for the stabilisers, we decided to put the rest of the bike together first and whatever was left over would be for them. We were wrong!. 

It only took about 30 minutes until we were ready for the stabilisers, and began trying to figure them out. About an hour later, after endless attempts to get the left over bolt nuts to screw on, to no avail we gave up.

We even started dismantling the bike to see if we’d used the wrong ones previously, but we couldn’t seem to find enough of the bolt nuts that were the right size and fitted. It was so frustrating as essentially the bike was finished, it was just the stabilisers.

In the end my husband went back to the shed and hunted around, eventually finding two bolt nuts that would fit. Problem solved.

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It took about 3 hours all in all to put together, whilst  interspersed with Jacob running off with various parts and Thomas’ “is it done yet” and “when can I peddle”.

All finished and Thomas proudly rode around our conservatory and loved it.

 We haven’t tried it outside yet as he’s still not well enough. we’ve promised to take him to the park on the weekend with it,  and he can’t wait to try it outside. I’ll give you an update afterwards just to let you know what it’s like.

It’s a lovely little bike with cute Scooby Doo decals and matching colours. My son has been riding around supposedly chasing Redbeard the pirate and locking him in the tower of his Scooby Doo mansion.

 Its a good size for him, and the height of the handlebars and seat are easily adjusted. It’s small enough to be ridden inside aswell. 

In conclusion with missing and extra parts I was disappointed. Im sure if we hadn’t had been able to find some bolt nuts we could have rung the manufacturer, and they would have sent us some out. That’s not really the point, with a brand new product you shouldn’t have to do that. Also the shoddy instructions seriously need updating and improving. 

However even with the assembly problems In the end Im essentially happy with my purchase.

Scooby Doo Bike Where Are You?


With the sun coming out over the last week and it getting a bit warmer out, we decided to get Thomas’ trike out from the garage.

Instantly Jacob took a real shine to it and jumped right on, he was having a really good try at peddling as well.

Thomas wasn’t at all impressed with little bro pinching his bike, but he does look a bit big on it anyway.

We decided that if we want to pass the trike onto Jacob in one piece, well have to invest in a new big boy bike for Thomas.

We had a look around and decided to take advantage of the Entertainers Easter deal. All products on the site are reduced but only online.

There’s some really good deals to be had ,and activities and toys to keep little ones happy over the Easter holidays.

We’ve decided to give the bike to Thomas as an Easter present. We’d rather buy him that than an egg, he always has too many anyway. At least it’ll last for longer than a day , that’s as long as the chocolate usually lasts.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mini Vehicle & Figure Set - Quad Bike (Character Options) Character Options Logo


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We ordered a Scooby Doo bike and hopefully it’ll be delivered this week.

Once we’ve had a play around I’ll post a review on the site. 

Lets just hope Jacob doesnt fancy this one as well.

VTech V.Smile Cyber Pocket Touch Review

I love computer games, my husband loves computer games ergo my son loves computer games.

Obviously rather than getting him hooked on the XBOX or Playstation 3 too early, I thought buying him a junior games console with some education value as well as fun would be the best option.

Thomas already had the V.Smile console which plugs into the TV, we bought it as a present for achieving toilet training. We had three games for this system which he loved playing, and we had no problems with it until the new baby came along.

Unfortunately his new baby brother has a fascination with anything electronic and anything with leads, and prevented Thomas playing because he would always pull the leads out of the tv and not leave him alone to play.

We then decided to buy Thomas the portable version of the V.Smile the CyberPocket for Christmas as they both took the same game cartridges so we knew he would be able to play the games he loved again, or so we thought.

As soon as we took the Cyber Pocket out of the box on Christmas morning we realised there was a problem, a big scratch across the screen. I was not impressed.  We decided to persevere for the time being with the scratch and I would exchange it after the holidays, disaster averted we began to play.

My son first wanted to play the included Scooby Doo Funland Frenzy game as he is a favourite of his at the moment. He couldn’t get to grips with this game and got very frustrated with the controls. As this game is recommended from age 5 and Thomas is only 3 we put the problems down the advanced age difficulty and popped in the trustworthy Bob the builder game, Thomas’s best game he says.

Even though he had played this game many many times and knew it like the back of his hand ,he still didn’t like playing it on the Cyber Pocket.

His main complaint is that his fingers hurt which makes sense as when you use the original V.Smile you move the character with a joystick, but the Cyber Pocket uses a directional pad which has to be constantly pressed. I had a go and I’ll admit it hurt my fingers too.

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After 10 minutes total play of 2 games on Christmas morning he’d had enough and it was put away. Days passed and no mention of playing his computer so I started prompting him but I couldn’t get him to play it again.After more harassing from me he has played it a few times for about 10 minutes each time but just gives up and puts it away, he just doesnt like it.

One of the main draws for the Cyber Pocket is that it’s portable, a big factor in us buying it was being able to use it on long car journeys to the mother in laws,  V-Tech also sell in car chargers so that this is possible. Regrettably the screen is so poor that using it in the car is not an option, too much screen glare. My son tried to use it for a while but just spent all the time tilting the lid back and forth trying to see the screen.

Even when using the device indoors the screen is a problem, everything is very jerky and lines of interference constantly run up and down the screen. It’s a very poor effort in my opinion and should have been improved.

Below the screen is a stylus pad for using the pen stylus. This is the only part my son enjoys but the stylus is not compatible with every game,  and even if it is it’s only for a short portion of the game. Thomas would have really enjoyed a drawing game and I think there should have been one included with the console to make use of the stylus. I think there maybe one available to buy separately though.

One good point is that it’s suitable for right and left handers, with a simple flick of a switch you are able to switch the controls from one side to the other.

It comes with a tv lead included in the box enabling you to plug it into the tv if you so wish.

It dosn’t come with a power adaptor which is regrettable as from other reviews i’ve read the battery life of the Cyber Pocket is atrocious, unfortunately we haven’t even run out the first set of batteries we put in as it hasn’t had enough play yet.

The new V-motion might be the answer to our prayers, it’s a tv console but it has wireless controllers and motion sensors like the Wii. Although I’m sure Thomas would love it I’m at pains to pay out for another V.Smile when I have 2 perfectly good ones at home not being used.

The cyber pocket  is Available in Pink or Blue and recommended from age 5 years.

I think that all children are different and I’m sure lots of kids enjoy the Cyber Pocket, but my son didn’t maybe he was just too young for it but as he had enjoyed the tv version so much I thought he would be ok.

Taking everything into account with the bad control system, poor screen and aparent bad battery life I am not able to recommend it.

For an update to this review after 6 months of use, see VTech Cyber Pocket Review – Update

Review – Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion Playset


Pester power is one of the worst things in the world isn’t it, and the cause of more bad purchases than anything else. I really didn’t want to buy my son the Scooby Doo haunted mansion for Christmas as I knew it wouldn’t live up to expectations, but he really really wanted it no needed it so it had to be done. I knew his Christmas morning would not be complete unless he got this toy, so it against my better judgment went on his list to Father Christmas.

For the record I think that some of the ideas in this toy are great and some of it is really well done, it’s just manufactured really cheaply which is a shame as I do want to like it.

Scooby Doo is a truly evergreen character who’s been around for generations, everyone’s seen Scooby Doo and knows it’s all about traps,baddies and ghosts. That’s the really good thing about this set, it makes it really easy to re-enact your own Scooby stories as it’s full to the brim of trapdoors and revolving bookcases.

There’s 11 special features to the house altogether, im going to list them all as when I researched this toy before christmas I couldn’t find a complete list anywhere of all the features.

  • Theres a hidden button on the doorstep, which when stepped on makes the front doors fly open.
  • Suit of armour houses a scary skeleton
  • Push the boot and the lounge chair catapults forward
  • Revolving bookcase reveals secret room
  • Flick the mooses antler and his mouth opens
  • Step on the special step on the stairs and the cupboard opens to reveal the Ghost clown
  • Press down on a button on the floor and some scary hands appear from under a trap door (that’s my sons favourite)
  • Touch the mirror and you fall through another trap door
  • Climb the ladder into the attic, where you’ll find a huge sticky spiders web and a small spider
  • Hanging chandalier which falls down when a lever is pulled (another great one)
  • Pull a rope by the attic ladder and a ghost flips down

All the features are great and very well executed the only thing that lets this toy down is the poor build quality.

Unfortunately most of the hidden traps don’t work as well as they should because of this. When trying to press down on trap doors the cardboard floor comes away from the base and the roof regularly pulls away from the rest of the house during play and needs to be pushed back in.

I think the major fault though is that it’s just not stable. One side of the house sits on the surface but the other half is suspended in midair, so as soon as you start playing with that side things start falling apart. I don’t know why this wasn’t addressed when they made this as it’s obvious as soon as it’s put together that it’s a major design flaw.

Another little gripe I have with it is that both sides are supposed to come back together after play and be put away easily, but ther’s no clip on the side so any movement just makes it come back apart. Also I can’t get the staircase to fit in the house when I close it up so that means i’ve got an extra piece hanging around seperate from the house just asking to get lost.


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It took me about an hour to put this together on Christmas morning, I’m not sure why as there’s not that many pieces but they were just really hard to fit together and everytime one piece went in another popped out very frustrating.

Another point to mention is that no figures are included, even though every photo shows all the gang in the house they will need to be purchased separately. One saving grace is that no batteries are need for this toy a novelty I know, so that’s one thing you can save on.

I truly truly do want to love this house as my son loves playing with it and get’s some much pleasure from it, but he has to play supervised as it falls apart so easily I need to put it back together every five minutes.  If you can get past it’s flaws your little Scooby fan will love it but don’t say I didn’t warn you.