International Playthings Calico Critters Table: Small But Sturdy

Aug 28, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Large storage drawer, sturdy, stand to play

Cons:Small surface area

The Bottom Line: I bought this table second-hand and find it to be sturdy and a nice addition to our Calico Critters collection. 

My oldest daughter is four years old, and she is a big fan of Calico Critters.  Her two younger sisters are too small for Calico Critters, but I know that before I know it, there will be three children to play with Calico Critters. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar, allow me to offer a brief explanation.  Calico Critters is a series of toys.  There are animal families, and there are houses for the animals to live in.  There are also furniture sets for the houses.  There is even a whole subseries of Calico Critters devoted to the animal family babies, complete with schoolhouse and amusement park. 

Needless to say, if your child gets involved with Calico Critters, you might find yourself with a lot of accessories and nowhere to put them- very frustrating! 

About a month ago, I was in my favorite children's resale shop, and they had a Calico Critters play table.  I was very excited, and made arrangements to bring it home. 

Now, because I purchased this table second-hand, it was already assembled, so I cannot comment on the assembly process.  I will say that this table is extremely sturdy.  It is also on the heavy side: about 35 pounds.   This is a very cute table with a Calico Critters labeling motif all over the table.

The Calico Critters play table is similar to a train table, but it is much higher off the ground than the typical children's train table.  The Calico Critters table is 2 feet off the ground.  It is the perfect height for my oldest daughter, who is 43 inches tall.  It is much more comfortable for her to stand at the table and play, rather than kneeling at a train table.  I have found myself joining in my daughter's Calico Critter adventures, so I can confidently say that there is room for two at the Calico Critters table.    

This is a square table, and the edges are raised to keep things from sliding off the table.  The play area measures 24x24.  The surface of the table has two sides, and the board can be flipped over to switch sides.  One side of the table has a floor plan built in.  I suppose this is in the event that you don't have a Calico Critters house. The other side is plain green.    

One side of the table has a humungous drawer.  This drawer goes all the way to the other side of the table (just about the full 24 inches), so there is plenty of room to store animals and furniture when playtime is over.  The drawer is equipped with drawer-stopping capabilities and will not slide out of its base, spilling animals and furniture all over the floor.  This makes me happy. 

However, the play area is a bit small.  We have several of the houses and the Baby Play Park, and the table is too small to accommodate more than one piece at a time.    The Village House takes up almost the entire surface area of the table!  While I would never expect the Town House and the Village House to fit on the table at the same time, I was a little surprised that the Town House and the Baby Play Park cannot fit on the table at the same time.  So, if you are purchasing this table with the hope of being able to fit multiple houses/buildings, you might be out of luck. 

As I have mentioned, I purchased this table second-hand.  It was in impeccable condition, and I bought it for $40.   I see that the same table is being sold online for $110+.  I would not recommend this table for $110.  The play area is just too small, and for less than that, you could purchase a train table.  It might not be as comfortable to kneel, but you would likely have more space to spread out the houses/buildings.

If, however, you happen to be at a consignment sale/yard sale/clearance event, and you come across the Calico Critters play table for $50 or under, buy it quickly.  This is a nice table, but the price has to be right. 

Based on my experiences, I recommend this table.  It is a sturdy and solid table.  I like that my daughter can stand to play, and I like that our large Village House fits on the table.  I think the storage drawer is great.  I don't like that the play surface is so small, and I know that if I had paid $110 for this table that I would be slightly disappointed.               

Recommend this product?

Read all comments (3)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!