I’ve added a new title to my list of titles– that of official toy tester. Ebeanstalk, a toy site dedicated to selecting good, safe baby toys recently asked for mom volunteers to test their toys–and of course I volunteered. I didn’t really think they’d send me anything, but was pleasantly surprised when they did. They sent me MacKenna Mermaid from Manhattan Toy, who makes great developmental toys. Being in a house with 4 young girls of varying ages, I knew this was the perfect review toy for us.
Target Age: The manufacturer recommends this toy for ages 3-8. My almost three-year old thought it was a “pretty baby”, but my 7yr. old was very excited to play with this mermaid doll. There are small parts (the purse and ruffles) that could cause a choking hazard, so I wouldn’t purchase this for any child under 3–in fact I’d probably wait until my younger DD was at least 4 years old.
Since my 7yr. old showed the most interest, I let her check out the toy. We’ve had Groovy Girls in our house before, but never one of the special mermaids. My daughter was captivated by the shimmery fabric, pink hair and the fact that you could take the tail off and the doll becomes a regular girl. She also liked that MacKenna had a neat little shell purse, and that you could remove the arm ruffles if you wanted. For her, the doll was a great catalyst for pretending. Right away she was setting up scenes and mermaid adventures.
Durability and Quality: I thought the doll seemed well-made and looked like it would hold up even with lots of use. I liked that it is a soft-body doll made of velour. It is 13″ tall and light-weight. The clothes have Velcro closures and were pretty easy to change (though I occasionally found it trying to get the legs back in the mermaid tail, but DD didn’t have any problem). I know my DD will probably loose the purse within a week though 😉
My daughter has enjoyed this toy and now has the other mermaid dolls on her wish list. I’m pretty pleased myself and will consider adding more mermaid friends to her collection.