Earlier this month saw the launch of Mattel’s new doll line, the Enchantimals in South Africa. Our girls were lucky enough to receive 4 of the products launched, beautifully packaged and delivered to our door.
I’ll be honest, when this amazing little package arrived I was clueless. We don’t allow a lot of screen time and only have Netflix. So, we decide what the girls may watch. Admittedly a lot of the time we selfishly stick to our own childhood classics, secretly reminiscing about our own youth. We do however follow a few of the new remakes too. My Little Pony, Barbie Dreamhouse etc. All the usual girly favourites. As long as we can get behind a wholesome story line and good characters, we’re happy to get the popcorn going.
So , before handing over the wonderful world of Enchantimals to the girls, I did what any paranoid mama would do… Binge watched every Enchantimals episode available on YouTube (you can too over here, you’ll see our subscription to the Enchantimals channel).
Welcome to Wonderwood
Over the course of a few hours I was introduced to Patter Peacock, Felicity Fox, Bree Bunny, Danessa Deer, Sage skunk and all their fantastical friends. Patter is new to Wonderwood and Felicity Fox and her friends want to welcome her and make her feel at home because to Enchantimals “caring is everything”. Together with their own animal bestie, these half-human / half-animal girls strive to create a balance of peace, harmony and compassion in the world.
Friendship and empathy are the two core values promoted and explored by the Enchantimals. Two things we are also currently trying to promote between our 3 and 6 years old.
More about the dolls.
Mattel is known for creating dolls and products that are on-trend, engaging and appealing to little ones. With the help of fun stories they want to awaken the creativity and imagination of every child. Enchantimals are no different.
Celebrating the special bond between kids and animals Mattel drew inspiration from popular social media filters (you know which ones) and also from what is often a child’s first experience of true friendship – The love and bond between a furry 4-legged sibling.
14 small dolls and 3 playsets are available. I especially like the size of these dolls. They are easily handled by our 3 and 6 year old and come with just the right amount of accessories to please both. Their outfits are painted on with only a few pieces that can be removed. Eliana likes swapping out the different skirts and shoes for variety and Lia doesn’t feel overwhelmed trying to keep all the bits and pieces safe.
They are also reasonably priced starting at R130 per doll and going up to R720 for elaborate playsets.
Who did we get?
There was no arguing, the girls knew who they wanted even though they had never “met” these characters.
Lia first choice; Felicity Fox and Flick. The fearless leaders of the group. These two love exploring new places. They are quick, clever and curious about everything. Special animal powers include:
• Heightened senses
• Moves silently
Eliana was instantly drawn to Patter Peacock and Flap. It was completely by chance but Eli shares Patter’s love for fashion and singing and this year has been our girl’s year when it comes to confidence. She is becoming a “big-girl” getting to know herself, learning to love herself and how to encourage others despite our differences. All the values Patter strives to promote too. Her special animal power is:
• Ability to fly in short bursts
Next Lia picked Merit Monkey and Compass.
Our little foodie couldn’t resist the fruit cart and I was impressed to see Eliana willingly give-up the “bigger” playset. Rather wanting Sage Skunk and Caper. Sage is the problem-solver of the group and a little prankster at heart but never in a mean way. She is also a ROCK STAR and I know it was her cool look and black outfit, of course, that drew Eliana’s attention. I also love her optimism – a very important trait we hope to pass on to all our kids. Special animal powers for Sage are:
• A nose for danger
• Never panics
Do we love the Enchantimals?
Our world needs more compassion, empathy, caring, kindness and friendship. We are also massive animal lovers and I still remember my first BFF; Dinky, the kindest large Yorkshire terrier in the world. They girls now have Murphy, our Cocker spaniel which we all adore. Thanks to Enchantimals her title has been upgraded to side-kick too and the girls play with her even more in fun, new ways.
“Young children learn by imagining and doing.”
In our house make-believe is always encouraged. With vast benefits regarding language skills, social and emotional development as well as cognitive skills, we see it as our “job” as parents to promote imaginary play. The Enchantimals have opened up yet another world of fantasy to enjoy.
Weeks later I still find the girls hidden in the garden, setting up their own Wonderwood (BONUS: They want to play outside with these dolls). The way they talk to each other, figuring out what they will be playing today. Verbalising the worlds they image and the adventures they get up to. Always solving some kind of a problem, escaping a wild animal, helping someone in need and figuring out how to be better friends to one another by taking turns, listening to ideas and doing it together. They have also allocated specific sets of skills to every character reminiscent of their animal origin. It astounds me to the interesting way they use these “animal traits” to come up with solutions and conclusions during play.
We’ve also been known to fun with an animal filter or two, laughing at the simple pleasures technology can provide. And dress-up is part of our daily routine.
So, YES! We are Enchantimal fans and think most girls will be too.