Awe-inspiring size. Decent quality. Assembly may induce panic.
MSRP: $189.99 (typical retail around $150)
Adjusted Price:* $170 (typical retail + $20 for two dolls)
Mfr. Recommended Age: 3 Years+
Assembly: FOREVER (we clocked 5+ hours on this one)
Furniture Included: Yes
Dolls Included: No
*The adjusted price is our rough calculation of the total cost of this item once you’ve bought any accessories (i.e., furniture, dolls) that aren’t included with the dollhouse.
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Huge play spaces
If play space is what you’re after, the KidKraft Majestic Mansion is your ticket. The Majestic Mansion offers loads of room for storytelling. We won’t kid you, assembly is lengthy and involved. But if you’ve got the space and follow a the-bigger-the-better approach to dollhouses, it’s hard to beat the Majestic Mansion.
The Majestic Mansion is a first-time homebuyer’s dream in at least one respect: It comes fully furnished.
The Majestic Mansion doesn’t come with any dolls. It’s designed for what KidKraft terms “12-inch fashion dolls” (translation: Barbie dolls). If you need to buy Barbie dolls to live in the Majestic Mansion, we suggest checking out the Barbie Careers dolls, like Firefighter, Robotics Engineer, Chef, and Game Developer, or a Made to Move doll, like Soccer Player and Dancer.
But here’s a quick PSA about doll choice. The first three floors of the Majestic Mansion have about a 14.25” ceiling height (plenty of room for Barbie). Attic / baby room ceiling height is about 9.5”, so Barbie will have to crouch a bit. From headboard to footboard, the bed included with the Majestic Mansion measures about 11.25”. You can make it work, but Barbie and any other 12” friends aren’t going to sleep comfortably.
Not a big deal, of course, seeing as Barbie doesn’t really need to be up and at ’em. Unless your kiddo cares. Then we all know it could start to feel like a very big deal. Cue the ominous music.
Again, you can make any of these dolls work. But if you want to play it safe, go with a doll that’s a bit smaller. The American Girl Mini Dolls (and there’s a broad selection, including Julie, Kit, Rebecca, Samantha, Josefina, and Melody) are just 6” tall. There are also DC Super Hero Girls dolls like Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman, and Bumble Bee of this length. There’s an 8” Raggedy Ann and a 10” Sofia the First doll, too.
Hold the phone while we rant.
On second thought, better get off that call and sit down. This could take awhile.
We clocked an assembly time of 5 hours and 50 minutes. That’s right. 5 HOURS and 50 minutes.
Maybe that shouldn’t be too shocking. After all, the Majestic Mansion tops out at 4-and-a-half feet. This is clearly no 15-minute build. But still.
Here’s the story:
When you open the box, Styrofoam will explode confetti-style all over the room (and you). Try to pretend it’s snow.
Not-so-expert tip #1: Have a glass of wine before you start. Keep the bottle handy.
The build is basically assembling the frame and then slotting in the colorful backdrop panels for the rooms.
Building the frame involves inserting a lot of screws. Worth noting that the set comes with ten different types of hardware. Never a good sign. On the plus side, the set should come with all the screws you need. But totally possible that your container full of hardware will arrive opened, as ours did. There were literally loose screws scattered throughout the box.
This makes for an extra exciting challenge. Not sure which type of screws were supposed to be “I”s and which were supposed to be “D”s? Us either!
Some of the screws have different colored heads (blue, brown, pink, etc.). This actually works out nicely if you are clued-in to the fact that you should use the colored screws that match the surface you’re working with. Not rocket science, but would have been nice to get a heads up in the instructions.
Our set was missing four 18 mm screws. Luckily we had some on hand.
These are all solvable problems. They just insert extra time into the process.
Not-so-expert tip #2: The Majestic Mansion comes with a hex key (that L-shaped tool that helps you tighten sockets), but you’ll need a Phillips-head screwdriver as well.
Inserting the room panels can get a little tricky because the instructions are in black and white and don’t show you the design of the panel you’re looking for.
Not-so-expert tip #3: Keep a photo of what the completed dollhouse should look like handy. This will help you insert the panels in the correct places and facing in the correct direction.
In theory, the pieces are all nicely labeled by number and easy to identify. Problem solved.
Not so fast. In practice, a non-trivial number of the pieces arrived without number stickers. Which one is supposed to be #5 and which one is supposed to be #26? Excellent question.
The second tricky part of the panels is that it’s not clear which way they should face. Again, take a look at that image of the completed house you’ve kept handy. Try to use it to make sure you orient the panels the correct way and the house exterior doesn’t end up facing into the living room.
A couple times we also ran into problems fully attaching pieces of the house. For example, we inserted three of the elevator rods and screwed them in place, but then couldn’t get the fourth to line up correctly. Once we loosened the first three screws, we were able to attach the fourth rod.
Not-so-expert tip #4: Keep the screws a little loose until all the screws for a particular section are attached. Then tighten screws.
There was also one instance where glue must have dripped down into one of the holes where we needed to insert a piece of hardware. It took some forcing to get the glue cleared out.
The KidKraft comes with a wall mount set, too. Probably a good idea given the size of the Majestic Mansion.
Serious points for sheer awesomeness.
The Majestic Mansion is not something to be trifled with. We measure it at 53.5” tall and 49.5” wide. (Note: This is slightly off the KidKraft official measurements.) Wowza.
It has the biggest play spaces of any of the dollhouses we tested.
It has eight rooms, each of which is generous in size.
Most of the rooms are what you would expect—a kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, etc. It also has a garage and a solarium-type room with plants and flowers. The backdrop for every room is cute and colorful.
There’s a movable elevator, though it’s worth noting that the elevator is a little finicky about when it’s willing to go up and down and when it prefers to stay in place.
No electronics here.
The included furniture is attractive and sturdy. Extra bonus that there’s certainly enough of it to furnish the house.
The Majestic Mansion fares pretty well on the quality front. The house is fairly sturdy (though we’d recommend using those wall mounts) and the artwork is nicely done.
The Majestic Mansion gets a few quality dings based on its components. Most of these are pretty minor gripes:
There’s often glue visible where a panel attaches to the wood base;
Some of the panels arrived slightly damaged or with the sticker backdrop starting to peel off;
Instances of wood splintering
We also had a couple construction issues (described above) with glue blocking hardware in one instance and pieces missing their number stickers.
You would not want to move this house if you didn’t have to.