Review by Chloe Witters
Arlo is a Raa Raa fan, so he recognised the packaging straight away and wanted the Treehouse Playset out of the box immediately.
The playhouse is pre-built, so it doesn’t involve any putting together like some other playsets we’ve tried. Having become very familiar with Raa Raa the noisy Lion and his pals over the past year, I can confirm that this playset is an exact replica of Raa Raa’s house, with the exception of the car ramp.
Only Raa Raa himself is included with the set. You need to buy the other characters separately. I would have liked to have seen one or two of Raa Raa’s pals included with the playset. If your child really gets into the make-believe element of playsets, then Raa Raa will seem pretty lonely all by himself. Luckily, for the moment Arlo is really only concerned with putting Raa Raa in his car, which is included with the playset.
Arlo is a car fan, so the ‘cubby buggy’ is definitely his favourite part. It’s a fun little car and seems quite robust. One thing I would say about the cubby buggy is that it doesn’t really interact much with the playset. It doesn’t fit on the raised platform, and unless it is parked underneath the jungle leaf carpark, it exists completely separately to the playset. I think it would have been really fun if a slide for the cubby buggy had been incorporated into the playset, like the ramp in the opening credits of Raa Raa the Noisy Lion.
When you stand Raa Raa on the various platforms, the playhouse plays sounds and phrases. There is not much variety, but this aspect of the toy amuses Arlo quite a lot, and you get more phrases and noises if you have the extra characters.
The ladder doesn’t seem to stand up properly, so we’ve not really bothered to use this or the other extras like the drumkit – they seem to be just decorative elements that don’t really do anything.
Arlo is making good use of Raa Raa independently to the playset. He likes to put Raa Raa in his pushchair and take him for ‘walks’. I’ve also been finding Raa Raa in Arlo’s highchair. Despite me not seeing a lot of potential for longevity in the playset itself, there is no question that Arlo is quite taken with Raa Raa. The charm of having a toy version of one of his favourite TV characters has not yet worn off.
I would hesitate at buying it at the original RRP, but Toys R Us have just reduced the playset to a more reasonable price. The Raa Raa and cubby buggy can be bought separately as individual items, which might be a good middle-ground option if the playset is above budget.