Friday, September 24, 2010

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Holiday 2010 Review: Olivia Basic Plush Doll & 2-in-1 Transforming Playset Dollhouse

battery-free toysAll three of our children, two preschoolers and a 1st grader, very much enjoy the Olivia animated television show on Nick Jr. With most shows, there is always at least one child who protests when it comes on, but not with Olivia. There is never anything but delightful cheers for this program. That is why I knew our children would be thrilled to receive some Olivia-themed toys by Spin Master to play with so that I could report back to my readers about them.

We received two toys. One was a basic 8" plush Olivia in her signature red jumper and the other was the Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset. Our 3-1/2 year old daughter immediately claimed the plush doll.

Everyone had to wait for me to unpackage the 2-in-1 Transforming Playset. It comes with all the pieces shown below. There really is no assembly aside from attaching the flagpole and the palm tree, both of which need to be removed before the playset can close back up again.

There was one sheet of decals to apply. Aside from the food which was to be applied to the plates, there were no instructions for where the other decals should go. So I used my imagination to decide where each sticker should be placed. My 6-1/2 year old son kept correcting me because I was not putting things exactly where they usually appear on the show. So perhaps if you purchase this toy for the holidays, it might be a fun activity for your child to assist you in the placement of the decals on Christmas morning.

I have to say that this playset is very well-designed. It is two compact portable playsets in one. One the front and the back of the house, there is a switch like the one pictured below. This allows the playset to open into Olivia's house on one side and a pirate ship on the other.

The first thing my children ask was if we can buy additional figures at the toy store, so it would have been great if there was at least one other figure of a character included in the set. Also, instead of having two pet decals, it would have been nice to have either the dog or the cat in a figure.

The plastic Olivia comes with a removable stand so that she can remain upright independently. Her removable dress is made of rubber. Although it was easy for my children to remove the dress, they needed assistance getting it back on.

(Click on any image to enlarge)

One of the reasons why I think this toys is so well thought out is because all the furniture and accessories fit right inside. The house can close up and your child can carry it by the attached handle. This is perfect for playdates, vacations, and visits to relative's houses.

The only improvement I can suggest is to make the palm tree out of plastic, rather than out of laminated cardboard. After attaching it twice to the built-in clip on the beach section, the cardboard was all worn and could no longer be inserted into the clip.

Although this toy is marked 4+, you really do have to watch the smaller items, such as the dinner plates and the lamp. They could easily be swallowed or lost.


The plush Olivia, which is recommended for children ages 3 and up, was a huge hit with my daughter even though both our sons paid no attention to it. I think what she loved the most was that Olivia's dress was removable, so she could dress and undress her again and again. The other thing that fascinated my daughter was Olivia's dainty little feet. She loved making Olivia dance, as well as wiggling Olivia's long ears.

The Olivia Plush Dolls come in several different versions. To view these dolls, the Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset, or other Olivia toys, visit .

Thank you to Spin Master for sending us sample toys free of charge to base this review upon. This article was written as part of a campaign for Team Mom.