When I was a kid my Barbie doll brought me countless hours of companionship and entertainment. Oh, the imaginary adventures Tiffany (her adopted name) and I used to go on; we’d go ice skating on frozen lakes, and swimming in waterfalls and there were quite a few trips to the Moon thrown in there too.
From memory, Tiffany was a doctor, a teacher, a horse rider and an astronaut. She was a multi-talented plastic lady.
These days, Barbie and her friends don’t just have Sindy to compete with (whatever happened to her?!), they also have the lure of the digital world. If only there was a way we could combine the two to create a magical place filled with cotton candy clouds, lollipop trees and rainbow seas… oh, wait!
Dreamtopia is a make-believe land that comes to life after being imagined by Barbie’s younger sister, Chelsea. First a fun kids’ feature film, now a delightful range of dolls and accessories are available too. But that’s not all – there’s also a Dreamtopia app, so children can get the best of both worlds and find the happy balance between screen time and imaginative play.
We were lucky to be sent a hamper filled with Dreamtopia goodies, including the Barbie Rainbow Cove Light Show Princess, the Barbie Princess, Horse & Carriage and a Kindle Fire Kids’ tablet, complete with the Dreamtopia app loaded up and ready to play.
The girls were in heaven and rushed for the dolls. ‘Mum!’ Big Sis gasped excitedly. ‘It’s not actually a horse, it’s a unicorn!’
‘And this one lights up when you press the button on her dress!‘ Lil Sis squealed.
They spent the next two hours huddled on the floor role playing and creating their imaginary kingdom. Everyone now and then I’d hear them chattering together in their high-pitched Barbie ‘voices’. ‘Oh Scarlet (Lil Sis’ doll), you look lovely – are you going to the ball tonight?’ ‘Yes Charlotte (Big Sis’ doll), but I have to feed my unicorn first.’
They were playing so intently that didn’t even get a chance to play with the app before it was bedtime.
The next night the girls had swimming lessons, and I knew we’d have a little wait before the class. Usually they rode their scooters, but the dark evenings had put an end to that, so I brought the tablet along to keep them entertained instead.
‘Look Mum,’ squealed Lil Sis (who wants to be a hairdresser). ‘You get to make all these cool hairstyles!’
They were having such a great time taking turns to play the game (no arguments – a miracle in itself!) that I paid to unlock some of the extra features (it’s £2.99 for each added package, or £4.99 for three).
Thanks Barbie and Chelsea, for letting us join in with your Dreamtopia adventures.
• our Barbie goodies were very kindly gifted to us so we could visit the magical land of Dreamtopia