With Big Sister E's love of books from a very early age (Little Sister B is already following in her footsteps), we have read what feels like every children's book out there.
One series that we have all always enjoyed is Olivia, written by Ian Falconer. A piglet who knows her own mind, is brimming with confidence and has a limitless imagination, Olivia inspires children everywhere to think boldly and follow their dreams. Cute, right? Clearly we're not the only ones who think so - the Olivia books have sold six million copies worldwide in 20 languages. That's a whole lot of piglet cuteness to go around.
But now hit toy makers, Spin Master, has taken Olivia's bold personality and extraordinary imagination and turned it into a collection of fun and creative toys for children ages 4 and up. Meet the Olivia 8" Plush collection and the Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset.
Available in four different versions, the Olivia Plush Dolls are available as an Artist, Opera Singer, Cow and Outfits (her everyday red dress). This super-soft and extra cute Olivia was a hit with Little Sister B the moment that she saw it. "Pig! PIG!" She cried, hardly waiting for me to get the packaging off.
It was instant friendship for everyone.
The details included on Olivia the Artist are really cute, as she comes complete with a beret, paintbrush, palette and paint splashes on her apron. But it was mostly her large, friendly smile and big floppy ears that led to the amount of hugging and kissing that she has received ever since her arrival.
The Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset is definitely made for older children, as it comes with a variety of small parts and pieces that could easily be lost (or swallowed). However, the uniqueness of this toy really is something that any Olivia fan can really get into - from the outside, it appears to be a regular house, complete with a handle on top for easy carrying.
But open the front and you instantly have the inside of Olivia's house, complete with a living room, two bedrooms and a kitchen. However, if you open the house from the back, you instead magically have a pirate ship ready for adventure!
Even without the included sticker sheet and 23 accessories, the details on this Playset are really cute. Each room or part of the pirate ship is already decorated and illustrated on its own, but then adding in things like the couch, table, chairs and a bed in the house or a pirate hat, parrot or eye patch for the ship make it even more fun.
Big Sister E loved the way there were miniature plates to go on the table that could be filled with imaginary food from the refrigerator. Then turning over to the other side, the movable steering wheel and lookout pole were just the things to make sailing the high seas fun for everyone.
With a different adventure and story each time, this Playset is a great item to pull out for imaginary play at home or on the road. The ease of folding this back up and storing the pieces inside makes it great to bring along for any travels. We did find the clasp holding the back of the house together needed a little extra maneuvering to get it to completely grasp on, but nothing that we couldn't handle in order to have portable Olivia fun.
Available at Toys R Us, Target or Kmart, these Plush Dolls and 2-in-1 Transforming Playset are a great way to bring the imaginative creativity of Olivia home. Visit Spin Master for more information and a list of their other entertaining brands and toys as well.
(Other than the Olivia the Artist and Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset that I was sent from Spin Master in conjunction with my membership to Team Mom, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of these products.)