It’s that time of year when, as parents, we start to turn our attention to Christmas gift ideas for the kids. Toy ads are everywhere you look, the kids are chatting with their friends about their present wish list, and the annual scramble for the last remaining stock of this year’s must-have toy is in full swing. As much as I love it, I’m getting a bit panicky just thinking about it!
Amidst all this frenzy of toy crazes and last-minute wish list additions, there are always some toys that remain popular year after year. Barbie is a great example of this; she has dominated the fashion doll market for over 50 years, evolving regularly to reflect trends, social values and the interests of kids worldwide. Combine this continual adaptation with a wealth of merchandise and regular film and TV adventures, and it’s no wonder Barbie still features heavily on those present lists.
Miss J, five, really enjoys playing with dolls and they are often key to her imaginative role play. She loves a bit of outfit-swapping and hair styling too, so we’ve been having fun introducing two of the latest Barbie Dreamtopia toys to her collection.
What is Dreamtopia?
Dreamtopia is a magical, make-believe world that has been imagined by Barbie’s youngest sister, six year old Chelsea. Barbie joins Chelsea and her puppy Honey in every adventure, as either a princess, a fairy, or a mermaid.
Dreamtopia is a perfect fantasy world, limited only by imagination – so it’s completely normal to do things like swim through rainbow rivers, fly though candy-floss clouds, visit lollipop forests and go wild with magical hairstyles. It’s gentle, fun, and shifts the focus to a younger age of child, while still keeping Barbie firmly in the spotlight.
Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Cove Light Show Princess doll
Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Cove Light Show Princess doll, RRP £19.99, is designed to complement the Rainbow Cove adventure, in which Barbie is a Rainbow Princess.
The doll is the standard fashion doll size, with a beautiful rainbow-coloured gown, tiara and impressive pink hair.
There’s more to this Barbie than meets the eye though. When you press the gem on her bodice, she comes to life with a light and sound show designed to recreate the effect of Rainbow Cove.
The rainbow lights illuminate Barbie’s dress, ponytail and accessories, creating a colourful, sparkly show. There are seven different light sequences, each accompanied by musical sounds. It’s very pretty, and Miss J was transfixed – in fact she ran immediately to turn off the lounge light so that we could appreciate the spectacle more fully. She really enjoyed trying out all the different effects, and soon got to work re-enacting a magical rainbow adventure.
Barbie Dreamtopia Princess, Horse and Carriage
Barbie Dreamtopia Princess, Horse and Carriage, RRP £44.99, also features Barbie as a rainbow princess. If you’re considering something from the range for your child’s Christmas, this would make quite the centrepiece.
The set includes Barbie in a colourful rainbow gown with cute pink accessories (this time her hair is the more traditional blonde, but with pink streaks), plus her beautiful carriage pulled by a magical unicorn.
The carriage is really lovely, with it’s super-bright colours and lots of attention to detail on the decoration, wheels and interior. The roof opens up which allows little hands easy access to the dolls, and the blue reins are simple to attach too.
The unicorn is also rainbow-themed, with a bright pink mane, yellow horn, and purple bridle.
There’s room for two dolls in the carriage, so Light Show Princess and some of Miss J’s collection took it in turns to come along for the ride.
As a parent, I really like the Dreamtopia rainbow theme; there’s still plenty of pink going on, but the emphasis is on other colours too, which feels like a more balanced, modern approach to a fashion doll.
Barbie Dreamtopia Magical Hair app
We’ve also been enjoying the world of Dreamtopia virtually, with the Barbie Dreamtopia Magical Hair app.
Available to download free, the app takes you to the Wispy Forest with Barbie and Chelsea. You can create and style magical hairstyles for seven characters including princesses and pets (there is a charge for the full range of options), and there’s plenty of cool accessories, styling effects and chat from Barbie.
Miss J absolutely loves playing stylist and has had lots of fun creating her own unique looks. The fact that you can take a picture of your masterpiece has been really popular too, we’re building up quite a library of styles!
Barbie Dreamtopia has been a real hit with Miss J. The products are bright, fun and have provided lots of play value. She has returned to them again and again, building them into her role play with her other dolls and using them to dream up new adventures and characters. Being able to extend the adventure via the app has definitely added to the appeal, and it’s also a convenient way to take Barbie with us when we’re out and about. I suspect Barbie and her Dreamtopia gang will be regulars in our adventures well beyond Christmas.
Will Barbie Dreamtopia be featuring on your kids’ Christmas list this year?
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Mattel provided the Barbie Dreamtopia toys and Kids Fire Tablet for review and giveaway.