LEGO 41055: Cinderella’s Romantic Castle

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Lego 41055: Cinderella’s Romantic Castle / Disney Princess

This is the biggie from the first wave of Disney Princess sets. We had held off getting this one…quite honestly because of the price point. But then Grandpa came to visit. I think you know where this goes.

Zoey jumped at the opportunity to get the castle. Within the Disney Princess line, this is the most impressive set by far. It’s not only the biggest and has the most pieces, but it also has the highest playability factor. The castle is filled with little nooks and crannies, and it’s rife with opportunities for imaginative play once assembled.

Plus, it’s an absolute must if you’re constructing a LEGO Disneyland.

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Lego 41051: Merida’s Highland Games

Lego 41051: Merida’s Highland Games / Disney Princess

Another entry in the Disney Princess line. I had thought this was Zoey’s “least desired” in the line, but she came home from the store with it in hand the other day (after finding some cash on the ground!).

Specs: 145 pieces (11 extras, including a cute little cookie and a cool key); 2 bags (+ 8×16 green base); 1 sticker sheet; 57 steps over 55 pages (2 books); took the 5yo Roarbot about an hour to put everything together

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Princesses Behaving Badly

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings

  • by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
  • published by Quirk Books (2013)
  • Roar score: 3/5

Nowadays, princess obsession is the default setting for many little girls.

Confession time. I don’t really have anything against the Disney princesses. I know it’s fashionable nowadays to hate on them and the corporate machine pushing that particular brand of princess play. Yes, I wish it weren’t so obviously pandering to young girls’ base instincts to be “pretty” and “popular.” And yes, I wish there were a bit more power given to the princesses instead of just pink pink pink all the time.

Here’s the thing, though. The Disney Princess machine and its many clones and copycats aren’t the only game in town. Young girls don’t need to be confined to the pink aisles of the toy store. There isn’t a shortage of other characters in literature, movies, TV, and—gasp!—real life to inspire young girls. Powerful, inspiring female characters in pop culture aren’t exactly the norm (yet), but they’re not entirely absent either.

Does Zoey, at 5 years old, like the Disney princesses? Sure. She’s got her Mulan and Elsa dolls, and we had to wait in line at the Magic Kingdom’s Princess Fairytale Hall with everyone else. But does she have a “princess obsession”? Hardly. We own The Little Mermaid and Cinderella (and quite a few more) on Blu-ray, but if given the choice, Zoey will choose a Studio Ghibli film (notorious for strong female leads) nine times out of ten.

She’s not a tomboy. She’s just a girl who likes everything. And she’s not alone.

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