Monday, November 25, 2013

Toy Review: Hello Kitty Market Stall

Disclaimer: The toy reviewed in this post was sent to me gratis with the expectation that I would review it on the blog. To that extent, I guess you could consider this a sponsored post. But the views I shall express, I would like to think, are objective and my own.

The other day, I was asked if I would be interested in receiving and reviewing a toy, the Hello Kitty Market Stall set. I have never done this sort of thing on this blog before so I was in two minds about it. But after checking that they would be okay with me posting my honest opinion, be it negative and positive, I decided to go for it.

I decided to open it when Ayaan was still at school so that I could let Tarana enjoy it for a while before the inevitable sibling turf wars began. She insisted on opening it herself and was all set to start playing with it when she realised it required installations and Mama's help would need to be solicited.

There was no manual inside the box so we assembled it via the trusted but time-consuming trial-and-error method only to realise later that pictorial instructions were printed on one of the flaps of the box it came in. Grrrrr... how was I supposed to know to look there?! Anyway, here is what it looked like when it was just set up. It was missing a couple of pieces compared to the picture on the box but most of the crucial stuff was there, so we are not complaining.

Given that most of her toys tend to be shared with her brother or are his hand-me-downs, Tarana was absolutely thrilled to have this to call her own. It was practically her third limb for the first few days. Here's a picture from later that day, where madam insisted that she would only go to sleep if her shop was parked next to her bed!

It has been almost three weeks since we got it and she continues to enjoy playing with it. She is constantly on the lookout for people to play customer to her shopkeeper. Just yesterday, she found a captive audience in her aunt and grandmother on Skype. She tried to get her brother to play with her but since his idea of fun was to have an earthquake hit the shop, she soon gave that up.

Overall, it is a nice, well-designed toy. The plastic is good quality which makes a good change from the made-in-China stuff that seems to be the norm these days. It has a decent range of produce, a calculator panel, weighing scales and a shopping basket. I like that it is self-contained and compact and takes up very little space in the toy room. For kids into pretend play, it is a source of hours of fun and entertainment.

My only major complaint with it was the colour. I am not a big fan of the pink overdose that seems to be swamping the girls' toys aisle. I guess one can't entirely blame the manufacturers - I am pretty sure the chances of being picked up by a girl must be substantially higher when the toy in question is pink. But still... Also, I suspect that is one of the big reasons why Ayaan won't play with it, because 'Mama, pink is for girls.' Grrr...

Another thing that is missing from this set is play money. It's a shop so it would have been a logical conclusion to have some to go around. I gave Tarana some coins and that really upped the fun quotient. It is also a sneaky way to build early Math skills :-)


  1. Good review Ro. Balanced and honest, as with things you.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Toy money is a good idea. Have them draw up some notes of different denominations?