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Wednesday, February 05 2014 15:14

Review: MEGA BLOKS Barbie Build 'N Play Luxe Camper

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In the year or so since MEGA BLOKS began issuing building sets based on licenses from fellow toymaker, MATTEL, we've seen a lot of great sets that have been centered around those brands, namely, HOT WHEELS and BARBIE. The building category is massive right now, and with kids of all ages spending more and more time assembling these sets, it's always interesting to see where they'll go next. One of the first Spring 2014 sets to emerge pre-Toy Fair combines two of my oldest daughter's greatest loves - dolls and vehicles. The MEGA BLOKS Barbie Build 'N Play Luxe Camper arrived at Rock Father HQ for review, and since it has wheels, it rolls into Rock Father Rides for an early look at this new set. Oddly, this build introduced me to a term that I wasn't familiar with: "Glamping."

The urge to build this was immediate from Addie, and it was hard to fend her off. In fact, it got bumped up in the queue for that very reason, a little to my dismay, but it's hard to say "no" sometimes... and there lies my true weakness.

Recommended for kids ages 4-10, this 305 piece set is not a super-challenging build (though some small bricks will require patience, and assistance for the younger builders), but it's certainly a fun one. The set includes not only Barbie's decked-out Camper RV, but also a little "oasis" of sorts, a picnic table, and a fine scooter for Chelsea.

campermain

There's really a lot going on here, and some neat details for repeat play. The camper has removable bunk beds, two seats in the cab (complete with seatbelts), makeup and hair stations in the back (with really tiny lipstick and brushes - so watch it if you have little ones running around like I do), a little tv, and a the cutest fire pit that Ive ever seen.

campermain2

So, "Glamping" - it's "glamorous camping," or camping without leaving behind certain luxuries. I can dig that, and with around three feet of snow outside, building this set was just another reminder that warmer weather is on the horizon, and that the girls and I will be playing outside again very soon.

glamping

In the meantime... I have an idea for a custom mashup build that would find Barbie's camper getting merged with the HOT WHEELS Super Blitzen Monster Truck. Hmmm...

Keep an eye out for the Luxe Camper to hit retail soon, and get building with some additional sets, all available from (my affiliate) Amazon:
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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