In the world of building toys, most of the construction sets are marketed toward boys. Now there is a series of building sets that are clearly pointed at little females ages 4-8 years old, although the boys may want to give these neat sets a try as well. “Build & Imagine LLC” has just released its first group of such sets, which include “Malia’s Beach House,” a “Marine Rescue Center,” and a “Day at the Beach” surf shop with cafe. Each of the sets includes magnetic illustrated panels that allow children to create a story while they are building. Dolls are also included with the materials to create even more fun.
We are going to look at “Malia’s Beach House” in more detail. This particular set is currently the largest available and includes 16 dual-sided illustrated magnetic panels, along with two magnetic dolls and loads of magnetic accessories to create and decorate your very own storywalls. When you first open the box, you will find ten 5″ x 5″ panels, two 2½” x 5″ panels, two large “right angle” triangular panels, two small “isosceles” triangular panels, and two dolls standing approximately 4″ tall, both made of wood. There is also a small booklet including some suggestions on “how to get started” along with a few building tips. For more specific building examples, kids can go to www.buildandimagine.com/ideas. When we checked, there were 18 photos showing various building ideas.
We decided to play test this toy on a large art table, trying to use as many of the pieces as possible, including the accessories. We first built an L-shaped house, then one with two stories, and then another with a roof. One of the panels even included a door than opened and closed, and, of course, every beach house must have a swimming pool, and this set did not disappoint. Using the accessories, we were able to dress the two dolls in several different types of clothing, and there was even a teddy bear, dog, rabbit, bird and a pair of kittens. There were many outdoor items to choose from too, including a soccer ball, sunglasses, a camera, a box of tools and many many more. The magnetic accessories stuck to either of the dolls, plus they could also be positioned on any of the panels that were marked with a star in the corner of the panel. The possibilities were endless.
“Malia’s Beach House” retails for $59.99, and it is best to check things out at www.BuildAndImagine.com when you are ready to order.