Pros: beautiful, easy to assemble, durable
Cons: price, lack of local retailers
I was in the market for a toddler or twin size bed for my daughter, who was ready to leave the world of cribs behind her. A twin sized bed seemed the best route, as everyone I have talked to had said that toddler beds are a waste of money due to the short lived use, and most of the kids never slept in them at all.
I found the Step 2 Dream Castle Toddler Bed listed on eBay for less than $100, so I decided to do a little browsing on the web to find out more about this cute fairy tale bed of rest.
I went to several sites and was astounded to read that these toddler beds sell for around $300, and since no one in my area actually carried them, I would have to add over $50 in shipping to my total. That's a pretty price for a pretty bed that may not get any use.
After looking at the details of the bed on several websites, I decided to place a bid on eBay for it. What sold me on the bed wasn't that it was a toddler bed, but that it could be converted into a twin size bed by purchasing the conversion kit for about $80 from the Step 2 company. This of course greatly increases the age range of the child who may enjoy this royal addition to her bedroom.
I won the auction, and for $75 dollars total, I brought the bed home with a little help from the original owner, who just happened to live 10 minutes down the road.
I was amazed by the size of the bed, which was a lot larger than I had expected. The dimensions listed on the Step 2 website are 49.25 inches high, 94.75 inches long, and 52.25 inches wide. I'm not good with numbers like that, so it took seeing it in person to really understand the size. It also weighs in at a hefty 129 pounds. I had the race car bed for my son, and it did not compare in size or weight to this fortress! According to the website, these dimensions are for the bed set up as a twin size.
Here are the features of the bed:
The bed converts from a toddler to a twin size bed with purchase of the conversion kit.
The headboard has twin towers that feature authentic looking stained glass.
There is a built in night light located between the towers with auto shut off. Four AA batteries are needed to power the night light.
The footboard has a "draw bridge" play table that can be positioned so that the child can access it from the mattress or from the foot of the bed, where you can position a toddler chair.
The assembly instructions are easy to follow, but you may find it easier to set up with the help of another person. There are screws that are provided for assembly. You may view the assembly instructions at the http://www.step2.com website. You can also find retailers or buy direct as well.
The bed is made of durable plastic, that is easy to wipe clean. There are 4 sections of the bed, head board which is comprised of the two towers, the foot board which contains the draw bridge table, and the two side pieces which resemble a pink bridge when viewed from the side. The stained glass in the towers are actually card board posters that adhere to the plastic.
My daughter has enjoyed her bed, and there is plenty of room for her, as well are for her dolls and stuffed animals. The top of each tower acts as a shelf on which I place stuffed animals. At the bottom of each tower, to the left and right of where her head lies, are more built in shelves. Between those two shelves is another area that can be used to place pillows, dolls, or stuffed animals as well.
Please go to http://www.step2.com and click on the "children's products" tab. Choose beds on the drop down menu, and you will find the information for this particular bed, as well as others in their line. The photo really does not do this bed justice.
*UPDATE* We have had this great bed for a year, and my daughter loves it more than ever. She is now 3 years old. It has held up to the torture that toddlers her age can inflict on furniture. Not only is my daughter enjoying sleeping in her "castle," but our cat has made her bed in one of the head board "towers," and I often find her curled up there during the day, so we have since folded a baby blanket to lay on the tower shelf for her. Talk about a multi-functional piece of furniture! Not only can your daughter dream like a princess, but your cats can sleep like royalty in the turrets!