Darah is a HUGE Sofia the First fan. We actually don’t have cable, so she’s never seen the show that features Sofia. She has, however, seen the movie at least a dozen times, and she has a Sofia app that she loves to play with.
Darah knows that she is a very important part of the Stuff Parents Need family. Her role in the company is to be the chief toy tester, which is something she takes quite seriously, you know!
When Mattel recently sent two of their Sofia the First toys for Darah to experience, she was ecstatic. I’ve been observing her and playing with her as she plays pretend, and I’d like to share our thoughts with you!
Sofia the First Magical Talking Castle
While the castle came in the box unassembled, I found that it was all put together in about 20 minutes. It wasn’t extremely difficult, by any means. Darah very quickly picked up on what needed to happen in order to get the miniature Sophia and Clover that were included with the set to talk. She also really enjoyed setting up all the little accessories for a picnic.
One of the features of the castle is that Clover has his own built-in hiding place. He can be secured into the under-side of the bench on the second floor and “hide.” Let me warn you right now: it is REALLY easy to not secure him correctly, and to have Clover get stuck in the bench. We “hid” him once and we will never do it again. Sorry, but this was only a cute idea in theory, and not in practice!
Darah did seem to really enjoy playing pretend with Sofia and Clover. She liked that Sofia had her own bed, and that she had yummy food to offer to Clover. She even liked the feature that made it easy for Sofia to “walk” up and down the stairs. But I did notice that she got bored quickly with only the two toys to play with in the castle. Mattel offers many more friends for Sofia to play with in the castle, but those have to be purchased separately. I get that, but I think they should have included one more human friend, at least. Darah’s solution was to go retrieve her Octonauts and their Octopod, and make them next door neighbors of Sofia’s. Problem solved!
I think this toy is quite fun, overall. Don’t expect it to be the world’s most awesome toy or the world’s highest quality toy. It isn’t either one of those. But it does provide a canvas for creative little minds to play and create on, and so it serves its purpose. If you don’t have any handy “neighbors” at home, though, be sure to pick up a few friends for Sofia to play with in her castle. I think you’ll see play time last longer with this toy with a few extras. The Disney Sofia The First New Magical Talking Castle is currently on sale at Amazon for $49.97, down $10 from its original price.
Sofia the First Talking Doll and Animal Friends
This doll is a huge hit with both Darah and Layah. Sofia is wearing her purple amulet, and when you press it, she will talk. Now that isn’t very impressive in and of itself. The magic really happens when you take one of the included animal friends that comes with the doll (Robin, Clover or Mia) and hold them up close to the amulet. That’s when you will hear the animals talking to Sofia, and Sofia talking back! My 18 month old has the hang of how this works and loves to make the toys talk with each other.
The Sofia The First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends retails for $39.99. My opinion? The price is a little steep for what it does. Amazon currently has it marked down to $28.99, and that seems like a more reasonable price. My 4-year-old does like having her doll “talk” to her and to her animal friends, so it definitely is entertaining. Beware that the animals unlock certain phrases, so if they get lost, you won’t hear Sofia say those particular things any more. Just a note of caution for those of you with kids who tend to lose their toys easily! With that said, though, if you have a big Sofia the First fan in your home, the doll is cute and a whole lot of fun for the kids. I got bored with it fairly quickly, but fortunately, it isn’t my toy. The ones that matter play with her every day. 🙂
Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends doll!