Minimalist and modern
Includes a lot of furniture
Solar panels on the roof
A lot of “blind spots”
Characters are not included
Two people needed for assembly
Did your childhood dollhouse have solar panels? Didn’t think so. Well, the Hape All Season Dollhouse does, and we love it. But is it worth the price tag? We tested it for durability, design, and entertainment value to find out. Keep reading to see if it passed our test.
Setup: Easier with two people
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? In the case of the Hape All Season Dollhouse, it’s probably true. It’s not that it was hard to put together; you really only need the wrench provided by the brand to screw in the wood sides (1o of them) to the house frames (2); you can simply slide in the floor panels (6 of them); and you simply secure the roof (2 pieces) onto the pegs that are part of the frames. But there’s a point where it becomes a balancing game, and having someone hold the dollhouse while you screw the hardware in makes it a more seamless and quicker experience overall. It only took 30 minutes to complete.
Design: Modern yet playful, but lacking some visibility
The Hape All Season Dollhouse is playful, modern, sleek, and gender-neutral—I wouldn’t mind flaunting it in my living room. Made of a natural wood frame, the house features three floors, six rooms, and a balcony. Each room is assigned an accent wall, which is a nice pop of color and a clever way to draw kids’ attention.
The lowest levels lack visibility and accessibility in the front.
This house measures 29 x 24 x 12 inches. All the sides are open, which makes it easy for multiple children to play and arrange scenes from various sides. But the lowest levels lack visibility and accessibility in the front. The second-floor balcony, in particular, made it hard to see into the living room. In fact, my son ended up removing it because it was getting in the way of his whimsical storylines involving the house’s lower levels. This was a bummer because it ultimately limited how my kids interacted with the house; as a result, they ended up favoring the upper levels. One way to remedy this issue would be to place the house on a somewhat elevated surface, bringing the first couple of floors up to toddler level.
This dollhouse is called All Season because it incorporates natural and seasonal elements into its design. One of my favorite details is the roof. Not only does it feature solar panels (hello 21st century and renewable energy), but you can also flip it to feature either summery details (green leaves) or a wintery vibe (snow).
Entertainment Value: Great for imaginative role play
The Hape All Season dollhouse comes with a lot of furniture, appliances, and decorative pieces (yes, it even comes with rugs, cushions, and a rubber duck). My kids absolutely loved arranging the furniture and appliances in different ways, each time coming up with new scenarios. Both my children cooperated in creating stories, and my oldest son took the time to teach my youngest new words pertaining to the house and furniture (bedroom, kitchen, bathtub). The open sides made it easy for them to share the house and play together.
My oldest son loved flipping the roof back and forth to pretend the seasons were changing.
At first, we wondered why there were only two sets of stairs, but it turned out to be a great entertaining hook, as they moved them up and down levels to give access to characters or to stop monsters from accessing higher floors. Unfortunately, the house doesn’t include any dolls so we used our Toy Story characters. But, the double-sided roof turned out to be a great touch! My oldest son loved flipping it back and forth to pretend seasons were changing.
The environmentally conscious features are a great opportunity to educate children on things like climate change and renewable energy. It’s a nice touch if you’re an eco-conscious parent.
The open sides made it easy for kids to share the house and play together.
Overall, it held my kids’ attention for a while, but I’m sure they would have played longer had they had better visibility on the lower levels.
Age Range: 3 years and up
Hape recommends the All Season Dollhouse for children who are 3 years and older. I would agree. My 2-and-a-half-year-old son played with his big brother but needed help handling some of the smaller furniture and decorative pieces. Since these are choking hazards, I would recommend supervising playtime if you have a younger child.
Ease of Cleaning: Simple
The entire house and most of the furniture (aside from some of the decorative accessories) are made of wood. Therefore, it’s a breeze to wipe clean.
The roof boasts handles that allowed us to put the house away in a jiffy. The second that my kids were done playing, we were able to pick it up and tuck it away in the toy closet. Easy, light, and convenient.
Price: Above average
Retailing for under $200, the Hape All Season Dollhouse compares to other dollhouses of this caliber. It’s made of durable wood and water-based paint and should be with your children for years to come. So to us, the price is not only justified, but it’s also worth it!
Hape All Season Dollhouse vs. Melissa & Doug Hi-Rise Wooden Dollhouse
The Hape and Melissa & Doug dollhouses are very similar in looks. They both feature six rooms that are coded with vibrant colors; they are both made mostly of wood; they both feature open sides for easily shared playtime, and they both come complete with a lot of furniture (although the Hape house comes with more pieces—31 versus 18).
That said, the ceiling seems a bit taller in the Melissa & Doug house, especially on the lower floors. This could help with visibility and ease of play. What’s more, it comes with pretend people, while the Hape house does not. The Melissa & Doug house gets extra entertainment points for the elevator. In the Hape house, my kids pretended the lampshade was a zipline, so I feel like they would have appreciated an elevator.
The Melissa & Doug house is slightly cheaper: it retails around $150 instead of $200. So if you’re looking for a house that’s gender-neutral and comes complete with lots of accessories, the Melissa & Doug option may be a more economical choice. However, some reviewers complain about its quality and have noted that some of the pieces are loose, so it may not be as durable as the Hape house.
- Product Name All Season House
- Product Brand Hape
- UPC 6943478005679
- Price $199.99
- Weight 14 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 29 x 24 x 12 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3+
- What’s Included House (to assemble), 31 pieces of furniture and decor