This toy is fantastic! A genuinely exciting creation that is inspiring to play with and very reasonably priced. I think that it will last well, and I can see it continuing to appeal for many years to come. Heinz was very quick to respond to my questions, and flexible about tailoring my order.
I love the natural material and the design - a dungeon you can open and close, a portcullis to keep dragons out, secret trapdoors, open backed towers, and buildings with roofs that fold back or lift off. The buildings can be arranged any way that you like – my daughter likes them in a circle so she can sit in the middle (often dressed as queen of the castle).
The scope for different kinds of play with the castle is huge. So far we have: made stained glass windows with tissue paper collages for one of the buildings then put a torch inside to make them light up; drawn pretend tapestries for the walls; created lego and cardboard furniture; made boxes of treasure for the counting house; and re-told the story of sleeping beauty and Rapunzel.
We have found that the Le Toy Van budkins are a good size for the rooms, and Schleich horses for the stables.
It has also been a great toy for learning about the history of castles and castle terminology - the Usborne Peep Inside the Castle book is a favourite – and as the castle has many distinct elements to allowing you to recreate all the buildings in the book e.g. a counting house, a great hall, a stable etc.
The only improvement for me would be for it to have been sanded a little more, which I did when it arrived. The windows and battlements are not always 100% ruler straight, personally I like these variations, and I think it is to be expected in something that has been cut out by hand and not mass produced in a factory.
I asked my four year old what her favourite part of the castle was and she said ‘all of it!’ I agree.