When it comes to birthday presents, it's difficult to remember the ones that I've received each year. But one birthday present that will always stick in my memory is the one that I received for my seventh birthday - the My Little Pony Dream Castle. I absolutely loved it. I remember setting it up with all the accessories and I had such fun playing with it. It was one of the few toys that I kept when so many were passed on, and it spent quite a few years waiting up in the loft for new children to play with it.
It's not in the best shape now, and you can tell that it has been well loved. The two walls have come away completely, many of the accessories have been lost, and poor old Majesty is missing her tail.
A few years ago we were sorting out our loft, and I hauled it down for Harry to play with. He was only little, and had never heard of My Little Ponies, but he had a brilliant time playing with it, setting it all up and getting out all the ponies, even if he did add a few cars in to the mix. I love this photo - you can just spot baby Mia in the background looking on with interest!
More recently the Dream Castle has been out again as the new My Little Pony television series has entered our lives, with Mia in particular being a big fan although Harry still enjoys it too. In fact the castle has become a pretty constant fixture in our living room. Mia has amassed her own fair sized collection of the My Little Pony figures, but she still enjoys playing with my old ones which are still in good shape (and I like to think nicer than the more petite newer figures!) There is still so much play value left in the castle even though it's getting a bit battered, it was definitely a sturdy toy when it was purchased all those years ago.
In exchange for sharing these fond memories I was given the opportunity to select a new 'future heirloom' toy from the toy section from George at Asda. As soon as I saw that you can now buy an updated My Little Pony castle - the Canterlot Castle Playset - I knew what I would choose. The castle looks fantastic and I know that it is something both children will love playing with. So Mia will be opening it on Christmas morning, and I'm hoping that it will be something that they will enjoy playing with for years to come. Maybe Mia will even store it in her own loft for any future grandchildren to play with!