Shimmering Seashell Castle captures one of the most popular sorts of fantasy creatures that have become staples of popular culture- Mermaids! From dolls to apparel, mermaids are certainly in-trend and the high-tech toy company VTech has fully embraced this trend via their wonderful new playset called the “Shimmering Seashell Castle.”

Intended for children ages one to five, this marvellous undersea castle is whimsically designed and decorated in vibrantly colored hues that seem to speak of the sea: an aqua castle, a pink coral-like rooftop, a gentle pink base, and dashes of purple, green, and pink make this a truly lovely play set to behold. There are also many charming details etched into the surface of the set such as imagery of seaweed, starfish, seas shells, and pebbles. As far as pure attention to detail goes, this is one of the best play sets I have ever seen, especially for this young age group.

How to Play The Shimmering Seashell Castle

As part of VTech’s popular “Go! Go! Smart Friends” series, the castle features a character in the form of a mermaid–who is cleverly named “Pearl”–and her pet dolphin and seahorse who can also be moved around the castle. The castle lights up spectacularly and emits enchanting sound effects when Pearl is placed on any one of the three “MagicPoint” locations on the set. As is typical of “Smart Friends,” Pearl also speaks sentences when she is placed on these locations. The playset also comes with a lot of fun movable features such as a swing, a “slide along” element where–when you pull a crab figurine from one side of the set to the other–Pearl can be made to “dance,” a “carousel” press-and-release feature, and a slide that Pearl can slide down.

Pros and Benefits 

This beautifully-crafted toy leaves little to be desired and so it has impressively few flaws. The pure number of features it comes with is incredible and will undoubtedly amuse children for hours on end. The set is also detailed and decorated on both its exterior and the interior, so children can find ways to play with the set from all angles. The Pearl figurine is beautifully rendered and, since all the Go! Go! sets follow a standard size set, characters from other sets can also be played within the Castle.

Cons and Drawbacks 

Despite its many benefits, this set has a few slight drawbacks. For starters, it is bulky and somewhat spacious and–once you assemble it–is nearly impossible to disassemble it without breaking it. Hence, it can be hard to store as it is not very compact. Aside from its lack of mobility and the possibility of losing one of the five detachable pieces it comes with (including the Pearl figurine), this set is essentially flawless and an absolutely charming gift for little girls.

Box of the Shimmering Seashell Castle

The Shimmering Seashell Castle box contains detailed visual instructions.

Fun Additional Ideas 

Although mermaids do not exist, this toy is a great way to teach children about their mythology and talk about magical creatures in general. Moreover, this set can open doors to a discussion about real life animals and plants that live in the ocean such as dolphins, seahorses, coral reefs, and more. Furthermore, since this is a playset, there are seemingly limitless opportunities for imaginative play via making up stories and acting them out using the Pearl figurine.

Final Note

The Shimmering Seashell Castle requires three AAA batteries and retails for approximately $30. I highly recommend it for little girls under the age of five and honestly state that it is one of the best preschool-she toys released in 2017. To learn more, visit the official VTech website.