I worked at a Toys R Us all through college, and typically we'd recommend Little Tikes products to customers over Step 2 products. Not because we were trained to our paid to, but just from hearing stories from customers over the years, we tended to believe Little Tikes offered superior product.
Recommend this product?
Well being a father myself now and having the chance to assemble a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and a Step 2 Neat & Tidy Cottage within a couple months of each other, I have to say Step 2 has earned a fan.
I found this playhouse to be really easy to assemble, as I'll take screws and hardware over Little Tikes "pop-in" methods of assembly any day of the week. The only obstacle to assembly was my daughter climbing through it while I was building it, since she was so eager to play.
Obviously assembly isn't all there is to rating something like this. Play value is important as well, and my daughter loves this toy. She loves opening and closing doors, as most kids her age (2 yrs) or around do, and this offers her a door to open and close as well as two sets of shutters.
There's a sink so she can pretend to wash her hands (and my hands, and the hands of her dolls, etc.), and a play phone, as well as two little seats inside to sit on. She loves to go in and sit a doll on one and herself on another, although initially she also liked trying to stand on these, but that danger comes with any toy like that.
I do like that the playhouse has it's own floor, that way if I ever want to put it outside it's a little bit cleaner for her than just plopping down in the grass.
I see other reviewers have noted it's small - I'd say two kids could move around w/no problem in there, and I can squeeze myself in too as she asks me to do from time to time. So no it's not huge but I don't think it's tiny either. Honestly I'd say it's a very good size for where we have it in our house.
Pricewise, it retailed at our local TRU for $160, but we found it on sale there for $119. We had been looking at several other playhouses for a few months, and once we saw this one at this price we felt it was the best way to go. And we (and most importantly our daughter) have been very happy w/the decision.
As an aside, it wouldn't fit boxed up in a Pathfinder, but we were able to get it in w/o the box. So bring a larger car, or be prepared to put all your seats down, or make multiple trips to and from the store.
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Amount Paid (US$): 120
Type of Toy: Other
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months