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If your child is space, planets, stars and moon obsessed then this toy from Playmobil is bound to be a hit. The Playmobil Mars Expedition was a quick winner in our household, and I know it’s going to be enjoyed for years to come. Read on to find out what’s included in the set, what we liked (and disliked!) and where to buy it.
The Playmobil Mars Expedition (set number 70888) has lots of different elements to create a great play set up. You’ve just landed on Mars, and you can use your Mars Rover with lights and sound to travel around the planet and see what you can discover for unlimited space adventures.
The Mars Rover has a mechanical arm with exchangeable tips – use the drill to drill into the Red Planet to search for minerals in the rocks, then use the gripper arm to carefully pick up any unidentified objects. There’s even a laser gun attachment for the mechanical arm, just in case you come across anything threatening, or maybe you need to blast into the Mars rock. Zoom back to the research station where you can examine anything you find. You can bury minerals in the rock and pull it out using the equipment, then place it in the light up chamber to see what you’ve discovered. The astronauts can also ride on the manoeuvrable Mars trike, which has a basket at the front to transport minerals from the rock to the research station. There’s even a robot to help the two astronauts on their space adventures!
The full list of things included in the Playmobil Set 70888 are:
It’s important to note that lots of the accessories interact with one another, so it can be played with in endless ways – let your child build their own space station! Lots of the accessories are very small and fiddly – I recommend not playing with this on a shaggy rug like we did, else you’ll end up losing lots of the little pieces!
The recommended age for the Playmobil Pack 70888 is 6+. Some elements of the build are a little tricky, so I do think this age recommendation is about right, although older and younger children will also enjoy playing with this toy. Younger children will need help building and putting together the different elements, and older children will probably be able to build it with ease.
The Playmobil Mars Expedition is not suitable for 0-3 year olds because of the small parts – some of them are really very, very tiny and could easily be swallowed as well as of course pose a choking hazard.
My son is only 3, so I built the set for him. Despite being 3 years younger than the recommended age he has absolutely loved playing with the Playmobil Mars Expedition toy. It’s definitely helped encourage more imaginative, small world play for him – it’s so lovely stepping back and watching him act out little scenarios, chatting away happily as he pretends to be an astronaut mining for minerals.
There’s plenty of opportunity for different space adventures, too, meaning that your child could get lengthy play from just one toy. It’s also great for speech development, with lots of new equipment to name and interact with. My son has already asked ‘what’s this?’ quite a few times, which has led on to some great conversations about the different elements of a space station – although I must be honest in admitting I have had to opt to Google many times as I’m not very clued up about space, astronauts and mining on Mars!
There were only two things I disliked about this toy – firstly, it always frustrates me how toys like this, that you have to build yourself, are packed. The pieces are sealed into plastic bags (excess packaging is always a turn off for the environmental factors!), but they do not appear to be sealed in any kind of order.I presume they are probably packed in a sensible way for manufacturing, but this means that when building the set you might need 1 item from 1 bag, 3 from another and 10 from another – surely it would make more sense to seal together all the bits for the Mars Rover in one bag, the trike in another and so on. Again, like I said, this is not an issue with this toy only – many toys of all different brands have this same issue. Surely I can’t be the only parent that finds this frustrating?!
Secondly, I found some elements of the build a little difficult – the pieces maybe needed quite a lot of force to snap into place or the pieces were extremely fiddly to put together. Maybe smaller, more nimble fingers would have been better, but it wouldn’t surprise me that if a child was building this on their own, there may be a few points requiring adult assistance. But hey – that’s not necessarily a bad thing – having an excuse for quality one on one playing time with your child is definitely beneficial to their development!
In my opinion, it’s reasonably priced for the amount of figurines and toys included and well worth it seeing as it could bring hours and hours of play! It also makes a great ‘main present’ for a gift.
Playmobil is sold at many retailers, but I would recommend either Amazon, WHSmith or of course the Playmobil website directly. Remember, if you have an Amazon Prime account you can make use of next day shipping!
Overall, I would highly recommend the Playmobil Mars Expedition for all children. It would make a great birthday or Christmas present, too!
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Are you looking for more toy ideas? Check out all my toy reviews including the VTech Toot-Toot Pirate Ship which is perfect for younger children! Why not check out the Hexbug Lil’ Nature Babies toys which help teach children about endangered animals in a fun way!?