Review: Mambo Combo

Little Miss is enjoying the Mambo Combo by Ryan’s Room – a nylon clubhouse tent, play tunnel and dome tent supported by light weight plastic poles. Each piece stands alone or can be connected together.

Mambo Combo nylon play set comprised of a dome tent, playhouse tent and tunnelI unfolded the tunnel the evening we brought the Mambo home. Little Miss was up past her bed time, but rather than being cranky, she went wild crawling through the tunnel. It is supported by a spiral wire frame that expands outward like a spring as soon as you untie its binding strings.

Seeing the tunnel, I realized the playset was bigger than I
anticipated. The box says the three pieces span a length of 11 feet
when connected, but the manufacturer’s web site says 13 feet. Either
way, the Mambo will dominate the room in which is resides, at least
with the tunnel in use. The box also says Mambo can be used outside,
but I wouldn’t want the headache of cleansing it of outdoor grime.

The next day, I packed up the tunnel and replaced it with the
clubhouse tent. This thing is a rectangular tent with a pitched roof,
big enough that I can crawl in and sit, filling about half the floor
space. Two panels of the tent (not shown in the product photo) are
clear mesh. When Little Miss is inside, the mesh allows for an exciting
game of peek-a-boo. I run around the tent taunting her and she tries to
figure out where I am before I surprise her by peeping in through one
of the mesh windows. Miss gets absolutely giddy with giggles, but she
never wins. I am a Peek-A-Boo Grand Master.

Sometimes we just run around the tent trying to catch each other.
Sometimes we hide inside the tent and are really quiet so we can
surprise Mom. (It’s really cool that by 14-months-of-age Miss
understood the concept of quieting down and stopping her movement to
surprise someone!)

As for the dome tent, I haven’t opened it yet (each play structure
comes in its own nylon bag). The dome tent and tunnel are precisely
toddler sized, and thus too small for big ol’ Thingamadad. I’m sure
we’ll have all three pieces set up in a couple years when Little Miss
has friends visit more often.

We picked up the Mambo at Costco last month for under $30, a
significant savings over web vendors. Mambo Combo is made by Small
World Toys under the name Ryan’s Room.

The recommended age for this toy is 2 years and up. I don’t know why
younger ages are not advised. I have seen Miss push the playhouse tent
over from the inside, but that did no harm – that just meant she was
now sitting on a wall. Hmm, who knows. She’s always supervised during
play, so I’m not too worried.


17 Responses to “Review: Mambo Combo”

  1. tod says:

    Thanks for the review AJ! I saw this at Costco too and thought that it was pretty cool. I might have to pick it up next time I’m there. :)

    September 14th, 2005 at 1:43 pm

  2. Shannon Davis says:

    Hi–My daughter received the Mambo Combo for her first Christmas. My husband was so excited for her he put the the whole thing up at once and then threw the instructions out with all the wrapping paper. We have since moved and of course had to take the tent apart– now we have a million little connector pieces and various size white supports with no idea of what goes where. We are missing out on all the fun. My husband says he can figure it out without the instructions, (I am not as optimistic) — but if it’s not too much trouble could someone e-mail them to me or mail me a copy. Please respond if you can help. Thanks So Much, the Davis family.

    October 15th, 2006 at 5:04 pm

  3. shannon davis says:

    My e-mail address is E-mail me if you can send instructions but need a mailing address or a fax number. Thanks again, the Davis family

    October 15th, 2006 at 5:09 pm

  4. AJ says:

    Hi Shannon. I have to side with your husband. There’s not a lot to the Mambo Combo tents. Do you have the dome tent or teepee version (the teepee seems to be new for 2006)? If you’ve never used a real dome tent before, I can see it being a little confusing. Mostly, you just have to remember what the tents are supposed to look like.

    If Dad can’t get the tents assembled, let me know and I’ll try taking some photos to illustrate.

    October 15th, 2006 at 6:56 pm

  5. Dani says:

    Shannon,I agree with you!
    The dome tent is easy( just like any other tent), it the clubhouse that is rough with its 30 tubes and 15 or so connectors…it baffles me. I am also looking for instructions to that part of mombo combo “tent city”

    November 4th, 2006 at 2:21 pm

  6. Lisa Caldwell-Moskowitz says:

    Could you send me directions on how to set-up the Mambo Combo.. Lost them and having a heck of a time figuring it out.. thanks.

    June 7th, 2007 at 1:59 pm

  7. elaine franklin says:

    please send me directions on how to put together the tee pee tent for ryan’s room. we have the tunnels and have put together the dome tent but can’t find directions for the teepee tent. it is very frustrating. thanks so much.
    looking forward to having a fun time with the tunnels and teepees.

    July 6th, 2007 at 10:15 pm

  8. Steven Harper says:

    I, too, was looking for instructions to set up these tents again. Shortly after finding this website, I found the manufacturer’s website with pdf instructions here:

    The Cozy Club House and Camp In Comfort instructions should help everyone who is looking for instructions for the versions sold at Costco.

    August 5th, 2007 at 6:43 am

  9. Jennifer says:

    I was wondering if anyone can suggest where I might be able to get some replacement parts for the Mambo Combo. I need 1 90degree connector (the bottom corner ones) and 3 of the straight connector ones.

    Thanks in advance


    September 11th, 2007 at 8:41 pm

  10. Kelly says:

    Can anyone send me instructions and all parts and pieces for the see me teepee? We do not have the directions and do not know if we received all the parts. We just got the poles w/ connectors but do not see how to set this up without a piece for the top to hold it all together. Sad mommy.

    December 25th, 2007 at 9:02 am

  11. Kelly says:

    Email me at PLEASE!!! This is for the tent directions! thanks

    December 25th, 2007 at 9:05 am

  12. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    How did this hold up over the long haul? We’re getting requests from the grandparents wanting to get a significant gift for our son for his first year birthday and trying to decide what to put on the list.

    July 9th, 2008 at 10:49 am

  13. Rose says:

    Hi there! I have this Mambo Combo. I had to take everything apart when we moved and we lost the directions!!! So im in a need of a little help! If someone could that would be just great!
    Thanks Rose

    August 3rd, 2008 at 7:51 pm

  14. Rose says:

    I see alot of people have been asking for instructions wow i guess im not the only one lol
    If it’s not a problem if anyone got the instructions, or has them, if you can please help me out on this one! Thanks!

    August 3rd, 2008 at 7:56 pm

  15. valerie says:

    In case you are still looking for the instructions for the mambo combo. I found it at small worlds toys website. There’s a link on the left side titled “instructions”. Also, here’s a direct link to the cozy clubhouse pdf instructions.

    August 10th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  16. Ursula Jones says:

    Does anyone know where to get replacement connectors for mambo combo?

    September 3rd, 2008 at 4:08 pm

  17. Meghan says:

    I have been looking for replacement parts too. Apparently Small Wonder Toys does not offer replacement parts at all anymore. So now I wonder, would it be possible to get the same parts from the plumbing aisle at Home Depot?

    November 5th, 2008 at 6:55 pm

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