My daughter has been a huge Dora the Explorer fan ever since she was about two years old. Her older sister had a Loving Family dollhouse that was her own special toy, so I wanted to get something special for my middle daughter that would be similar for her birthday. I chose this Dora Talking House because of her love of Dora and because it looked like there would be so many different things to do with it.
The first thing that surprised me was how huge the dollhouse is when it is all unfolded. Both sides open out and it pops up to create a second floor. It stores fairly compactly but it is a huge house to play with! The only thing I did not like about this design was the fact that it seemed quite difficult for a toddler to open and close on their own. I like toys that are able to be used independently. With three kids, every time one of them wants to play with a different toy, I don't want them to have to come and ask me for help. Fortunately, once this house is out and opened, they play with it pretty consistently for several days before we pack it up again and store it in the closet for a while. The other thing I didn't like about the design was the fact that the upstairs floor folds out and it doesn't seem very sturdy. We have had this house for quite a while and it is still in perfect condition, but it always makes me nervous the way the kids seem to lean on it that it is going to snap off the hinges.
There are tons of fun things for the kids to do with this house. The stove makes noise and lights up, the radio plays music, and there are lots of other sounds and effects. My daughter really likes playing with Dora and her friends in the house. Unfortunately, most of the figures and furniture sets are sold seperately. I was lucky to find them all in stores but I know at times certain sets have been very hard to come by. The house does come with Dora and her parents and I think there was a sofa and maybe a couple small accessories. But you definitely need to buy the additional sets.
Despite all the fun my daughter has had with this house, I have one major complaint. It is next to impossible for anyone, let alone a two or three year old, to actually get the people to stay on most of the furniture! The figures and the furniture are both made of hard, slippery plastic, and they slide right off when you put them on the couch or in the chairs! It is very frustrating. They need some kind of non-slip pads on their chairs or something, it's impossible! But despite the few flaws, I would defninitely recommend this dollhouse for any preschool Dora-loving child. It is a lot of fun and very versatile. It should last through all my kids and be well worth the cost.