I never minded tidying away with them after a particularly far reaching game of Sylvanian Families. I enjoyed handling the little figures and the gorgeous miniature accessories.
We had a tree house, a mansion, a picnic bus and, my favourite of all, a bakery. The observant reader will note my use of the word we in the previous sentence. I really was as fond of those Sylvanians as my children were.
Sadly, the breakdown of my first marriage and having to move from our family home, necessitated a ruthless sort out. I needed to travel light into my uncertain future and the girls were growing up and happy with computer games. The Barbies, the action figure and the Sylvanians were all victims of our streamlining. Had I known that within a few short years I would be a mother again to a baby girl, I never would have parted with so much. (I still would have gladly said goodbye to the matted haired Barbies but I deeply regret losing the Gary Barlow doll that lurked amongst them!)
Reminiscences aside, this year, Sylvanian Families are celebrating their 25th Anniversary. I was thrilled to be sent the Wedding Celebration set and Motor Car and Sidecar to review so that I can introduce my latest daughter to Sylvania and begin a brand new collection.
The packaging and the essential qualities of toys themselves don't seem to changed much over the years. They are every bit as lovely as I remember. I really like the emphasis on 'family' which is something that always features in my daughter's play.
The characters themselves are very appealing with their shiny black eyes, movable limbs, tactile skin and highly detailed outfits but for me, it is the exquisite miniature accessories that accompany them that make Sylvanians so special.
Although my children would have absolutely no idea about the seventies British sitcom George and Mildred, the humour in the naming of the Sylvanian characters in the Motorcycle and Sidecar set is not lost on me.
Geroge and Mildred Mulberry have everything they need for riding around the country lanes and both motorcycle and sidecar have storage spaces to store their maps, licences and information books.
In the light of the Royal Wedding fever that gripped the country, the Wedding Celebration Set featuring Katherine and William Balmoral was one of the most successful Sylvanian products of the year, and deservedly so. The dog-collared Reverend is ready to preside over the nuptials of the beautiful bride and her groom, attended by two adorable bridesmaids and a page boy. A bridal bouquet of pink roses adds the perfect finishing touch.
The bride and groom could easily be used as a fun wedding cake topper and the set itself would make a lovely bridesmaid present.
Twenty five years of popularity is quite an achievement and I'm sure that with a product this good, the Sylvanian success story will continue.
For details of stockists and retail prices see www.flairplc.co.uk