This is a decent size play tent, big enough for two children to sit in. It has the all important Thomas theme, a door and windows. It can be used indoors or out - it would be fun to put it up in the garden in summer, but not on too breezy a day as it doesn't come with any way of tethering it to the ground.
So why do you need to think carefully before buying? Here are the down sides :
1. The tent mostly pops up, but its not quite as easy as just that. You need to take the 10 bits of plastic pipe and slot them together in pairs to make 5 longer poles. Then you slide the poles into the fabric of the tent and secure with a Velcro tab.
2. It is fairly big which is good, but also means if it is being played with indoors, unless you have very big rooms, it takes up what seems like most of the floor. Which in turn means you will probably want to put it away after it has been played with. Which leads on to point 3...
3. Putting it away is not difficult, but it is a faff. You remove the 5 poles, and pull them apart so they will fit back in the box. Then you have to get hold of the tent so the pointy roof bit is on the floor, put your foot on the pointy bit and do this strange twisty/foldy thing to the tent so it ends up folded small enough to fit back in the box (this requires a few attempts until you get the hang of the manoeuvre). Maybe it's just me, but I dread putting the thing away and it's even more irksome if the tent was only played with for a few minutes before being abandoned for something more interesting.
On the other hand, if you have a large play room and can leave it up permanently, it's no problem at all.
on 7 October 2011
Pop up Playhouse is really missleading - it is NOT a pop-up ie: take it out of the bag in it is ready to go - in fact on the box it says something like pop-up elements and some assembly required. You have to assemble the frame for the roof section which is only sticking poles into the fabric, but still irritating and takes time and then when disassembled you have lots of separate poles which can be lost. It's cute when its done and my nephew likes it, but the description is very missleading.