Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
Review: Mambo Combo
Little Miss is enjoying the Mambo Combo by Ryan’s Room â€“ a nylon clubhouse tent, play tunnel and dome tent supported by light weight plastic poles. Each piece stands alone or can be connected together.
I 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
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 â€“ 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.