We’ve accidentally continued our theme from last time of “antiquity via retro kids TV” – but with a slightly different approach. Egypt has definitely been H’s favourite ‘ancient’ topic so far, and we’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months reading different books and trying out lots of excellently messy activities (we’ve even mummified a Brio man, RIP). But maybe the most fun yet has been acting out lots of very silly hijinks with Scooby Doo Adventure in Egypt from Playmobil. Yes, you read that right: Egyptian Scooby Doo! I was probably as excited as H was (maybe more).
Last year H’s granny sent him a wee Mystery Machine set, and he obviously had absolutely no idea what it was – so I showed him an old Scooby Doo episode, and he LOVED it. And so started a long phase of watching it together on Saturday mornings, which was a very welcome break from Paw Patrol. Since then, we’ve been slowly gathering bits and pieces from Playmobil’s immense Scooby Doo collection – and given the big interest in all things Egypt, this was high on the list! It is fairly sizeable for the price, and 71 pieces altogether, though a number of those are tiny little accessories like shoes or bracelets – or a portion of chips (?!) There’s actually a good number of figures included: Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Velma/spooky Cleopatra, and a Pharaoh – the gang all in pretty cheerful Egyptian costumes to try and blend in to their surroundings.
By far the stand-out feature is the building itself: a bright and colourful pylon with Scooby-themed hieroglyphs (fantastic touch), and of course two hidden doors – opened by pushing a secret button on the back, with a secret key. It is just right for little hands: big chunky building, nothing too fiddly to use. In terms of imaginative play, given the number of figures and accessories it has pretty endless potential even before combining it with the other figures/sets! We’ve have had some weird and wonderful storylines so far, and I love hearing H nattering away as the different characters.
We’ve been able to put into practice some of the trickier words we’ve been encountering in our books – Pharaoh, sarcophagus, Cleopatra, hieroglyphs – and it feels much more authentic reinforcing their meaning in contextual play. We’ve also been able to introduce some new ones too, like ankh (the ‘secret key’). But that’s not to say it is all very serious stuff: the string of sausages has probably been the focus of more plots than anything else.. !
I loved Scooby Doo when I was younger, so this is probably a toy for me just as much as H, but at least we’ll get plenty of use out of it!