The recent partnership between Mattel and MEGA Bloks has given kids (and grownups) some new ways to play with characters and vehicles from iconic brands like HOT WHEELS and BARBIE. From the latter collection comes the MEGA Bloks Barbie Build 'N Play Super Star Stage, a new entry for Fall 2013 that features 290 pieces, and the addition of lights and sound. The MEGA Bloks crew sent one of these sets here for review in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (in this case, the dining room table) and my oldest daughter, Addie, couldn't have been more excited. It's Barbie. It's Building. It's a Stage for ROCK. Before it was even out-of-the-box, the right ingredients seemed to be present. But how is it for real?
Back in the 80s, my sister and I had the BARBIE AND THE ROCKERS collection, and along with it... the Hot Rockin' Stage.
For the full-size Barbie dolls, I don't think there's anything comparable or near as cool on the market right now, and I've been tempted to pick-up a vintage one on eBay (provided condition is great and cost is low). Addie wants a stage for her Barbies, and while we haven't found a full-size version yet, the MEGA Bloks Super Star Stage definitely struck a chord... a big, rockin' power chord.
With the box opened and the pieces separated by color, we dug right in and got down to business. Addie's becoming a fine little builder, especially when she's excited for the outcome. As always with every set we do, she started with the figures - in this case, Barbie and two friends... her band.
Our build took about an hour (taking things casual), and Addie stayed attentive throughout, as we carefully completed the stage...
She loves the lights and sounds... the moving elevator (probably the most exciting feature for her) and all of the figures. A good set overall, there are a few issues here. While I've always appreciated the reasonable pricing of MEGA Bloks, at $60, this set feels a tad overpriced (even though we received our review set for free). There's two little backdrops on each side of the stage that don't really attach to anything - they just sit in there, and thus tend to fall. Finally, the figures - a highlight of the set - are fragile in that they do fall apart easily and these little "hair accessories" (a bow, flower, etc.) are unnecessary and way too small.
Despite my few criticisms, the MEGA Bloks Barbie Build N' Play Super Star Stage is a fun set for kids and parents that are looking for a new spin on some old favorites.
The Rock Father Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Disclosure: As noted above, MEGA BLOKS provided this toy to The Rock Father for the purpose of possible review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn with input from his children. You should agree with them, for they are wise. Seriously. Why are you reading this part?
About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.