Pamela Chan, Contributor
When I was a child, the ultimate aspirational set-up for Barbie was an airplane galley where she could work as a Flight Attendant. I never owned one of these dreamy toys but I did have a chance to play with one at my friend’s house. I remember how exciting it was to play with something that represented an intriguing activity that I did quite often – watching flight attendants at work while flying in a plane.
The arrival of a Barbie Glam Camper was an exciting event for my daughter. After she had set it up, she started playing with the camper and now enjoys talking and singing while she organizes her Barbie’s activities.
With more and more Zoomers taking to the road in their RVs, most children nowadays know all about the comforts of glamour camping. (AKA “glamping”). This is particularly the case here in British Columbia where my five year old twins love going for day trips in their grandparents’ RV.
This holiday season, Mattel has selected 28 toys – including the Barbie Glam Camper – that cover all the children on your shopping list from ages 1-12. They have also created an online destination for these Holiday Toys at MattelHoliday.ca.
What you Receive
The Barbie Glam Camper is packed in a box that mirrors the shape of the camper. It has a handle on the top for easy transport. If you had to, you could easily buy this item and transport it home on a bus or train.
The glam camper includes:
- detachable vehicle with two seats and seat belts
- full kitchen
- eating area with two chairs and chandelier
- kitchen supplies with some food items, glasses and plates and other accessories
- BBQ surface on the underside of the table
- shower stall and bathroom, including a toilet
- sleeping for four (including a double bed, with a bedspread, and two single bunk beds)
- sofa that seats two
- flat screen TV that is mounted on the wall
- bonfire with three sticks holding two marshmallows per stick
- detachable swimming pool
Setting Up The Glam Camper
The glam camper comes with a sheet of stickers that need to be applied to exterior and interior surfaces. These stickers require a steady hand as they are applied. Younger children might want to ask an older child or adult to apply the stickers.
The accessories and parts (shelving, for example) are clearly organized in plastic bags. It doesn’t take long to place all of the parts inside.
The first feature of the glam camper that my daughter wanted to try out was the swimming pool. I used to have a Barbie pool when I was a child, so I can relate to her excitement. She happens to own a California surfer Barbie and a Skipper, who fits into a retro crochet swimsuit that I’ve had since I was a child. She also added a third doll – little Chelsea.
The pool can be used on the back of the vehicle or separated from the vehicle.
The table and kitchen are an interesting area of the camper. The table flips to reveal a BBQ surface. Barbie can either BBQ or stand at the stove to cook and wash dishes. There are three cupboard doors that open and one stove door that opens to reveal muffins that are cooking. A tray of eggs is provided for the fridge.
The pink chandelier adds a glamorous decorative detail over the seating area.
The couch folds down, Murphy bed style, to reveal a double bed and two bunk beds. The top bunk bed has an extension that folds out and clips to the edge of the shower stall. (Make sure that the bathroom has slid out completely.) A bedspread and two snap on pillows are provided for the double bed. My daughter added her own collection of pillows and blankets for the other beds.
As she was busy setting up the camper’s kitchen, my five year old son organized Barbie’s shoes and bedroom. Both my daughter and my son have enjoyed setting up the camper, putting it back together and driving it around. They are both big fans of their grandparents’ RV, so they understand what it means to go camping in a glamorous and comfortable way.
It is easy to close up the camper, place the accessories such as the bedspread and fireplace inside and clip the camper together. In a play area that has a limited amount of space, this means that your child can open up a vehicle to create a type of mini house and then close it up and store all of the parts together.
There isn’t space to store Barbies inside the camper once it has been closed up; however, the vehicle up front seats two.
The Barbie Glam Camper is like a smaller version of a Barbie home. There is the opportunity to eat, prepare and serve food, sleep, watch TV, drive a vehicle and use the swimming pool. When play time is over, it can be folded up and stored without taking up too much space. Even though the decorations and colours of the camper are designed to appeal to girls, there are activities and play possibilities that attracted my son as well.
Since this is a camper, it also speaks to the idea of going out into nature and enjoying scenic camping spots – just like the real people a child might know. Children can relate to this idea and transfer their excitement about real life glam camping to their own play session with the Barbie Glam Camper.
My daughter has set her camper up in her room and is now introducing her toy ponies to Barbie and her friends at the camp site.
As a gift, the Barbie Glam Camper would provide hours of play opportunities for a child.
This Christmas the Barbie Glam Camper is one of 28 toys that Mattel is featuring on the MattelHoliday.ca website.
Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.