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I read the other thread and realised that I'd bought most of the toys listed there, so I thought it'd be nice to have ideas from other mnetters about toys that'd be good to buy for the DCs. Ones that'd be played with every day and would last for years so I don't make any more expensive mistakes!
My first suggestion for other people is the duplo Thomas the Tank train set. We've had it for years and it has had a lot of play but is still in great condition. Also, the pieces are chunky enough that even kids aged 3 or so can put the tracks together without needing adult help.
Toys DD has had over the last few years that are played with consistently:
Disney store figure sets, she has the tinkerbell fairies, nightmare before christmas, toy story 3 and disney princess sets and they are always played with, they often move into the ELC rosebud house she has.
Sylvanian families house and dalmatian family.
Moshi monsters, she has about 30 of the moshlings and adores them, we have the treehouse put away for Christmas.
Mini lalaloopsy dolls are played with very often.
Basically for DD anything that involves small character figures, and an assortment of houses she can fashion into a village.
OMG -- we have this, but again, bought it years ago, and it wasn't a fraction of the Ebay price.
This was a lovely set. It had a secret key and secret teaspoon, towers that came apart and became teacups and saucers, the castle itself was a teapot, and there were tiny figures. It came with a tray. Constant vigilance required however, in order to keep it all from getting lost. It was one of those toys we hid when having friends over.