In our house, Barbie has now become a firm favourite with both of my girls, aged 3 and 6. The girls quite regularly will role play and make games up with their Barbie dolls as an occasional game, but it isn't very often that a Barbie toy becomes the primary focus for a few days in a row. the Barbie Spin 'n Ride set is a bit of a change to this, in that both Lara and Holly seem to return to this play set each evening to play - I think it has a bit more of a "toy" appeal than a "I'm another Barbie doll in my set of role play dolls" appeal.
The Barbie Spin 'n Ride doll is a little bit different from most Barbie dolls in that Barbie has a fixed outfit (a pair of blue jeans) and movable limbs with rotating knee joints. Barbie sits on her own bike which steers and moves just as a real bike does. Alongside her ride her two puppies on their own skateboards, one of them even spins around and around as Barbie pedals.
Both girls enjoy attaching and detaching the puppies and their skateboards from the main bike and there also seems to be a strange fascination with taking Barbie's cycle helmet on and off! I think its a little disappointing that the bike won't stand alone without the puppies riding alongside (you have to hold it to balance it... or else whoosh it REALLY hard across the floor) but to be honest, most of the time the girls want Barbie to be accompanied by her pet pals!
Holly struggles to grasp why her other Barbie dolls can't use the bike and also keeps trying to take off Barbie's special boots. But despite this, she has formed an attachment to this doll - I think this is something to do with her big sister having recently learned to ride and having received a new bike for her birthday.
Barbie can be taken off the bike and played with, as any other Barbie doll would be, but I think this doll is a little bit special. OK, she's not wearing sparkly glam clothing, but her appeal is very different and it has hit all the right notes with my two girls.
The Barbie Spin 'n Ride Pups set costs around £24.99 and is available from Smyths Toys.