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Fisher-Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Super Surround Batcave

(Fisher-Price $149.99)

No doubt about it, Imaginext DC Super Friends Super Surround Batcave is going to be on a lot of wish lists and letters to Santa. Given the size of this not-so-mini setting, Santa’s going to need a stretch-sled. As pretend settings go, this is anything but mini. It’s over 4 feet wide and 2 ½ feet tall, so it’s not for cramped living spaces. On the plus side, it’s big enough for multiple children to use together and comes with plenty of play figures, props and stations for everyone. Based on DC Super Friends TV shows that are directed to younger kids, it’s a mission control center with 8 activation points, working Bat-Signal, spinning Bat-suit vault, helipad, 3 jail cells, elevator and climbing wall; plus plus Batman, Robin, The Joker, Catwoman and Mr. Freeze.

Of course, a play setting that centers on battles between DC Duper Friends and Super Villians will likely inspire dramatic play of the battling kind, all the more so with those activation points that are likely to dictate the stories and limit the play. Loaded with 200+ sounds and phrases, dual speakers, and interactive lights and stories, this talking toy with buttons to push, may lead some kids to more watching and listening than a less elaborate set, where kids dream up their own stories. That said, we know it’s an over the top wow-wee kind of gift. Once the newness wears off, try letting the batteries go dead; that may spark more original dramatic play with child centered storytelling. In addition to the big-ticket price, you’ll need a screwdriver and 4 C cell batteries; it took our tester family about half an hour to assemble. Marked 3-8, this is probably a best choice for early school age kids pf 5 and 6.

Ages: Preschoolers, Early School

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020


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