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.