A clear leader in the magic of pretend play, PLAYMOBIL launches their Wiltopia line – new for 2022. The Research Station with Compass is an incredible playset that teaches kids about animals, sparks imaginations, and encourages language development through dialogue, new vocabulary, and even listening comprehension.

With over 40 pieces, children were enamored with this wild set that included everything needed for the perfect story. There were 2 main characters (explorers!), plenty of wildlife (howler monkeys, caimans, turtles, birds, and more!), plants and food, and all the tools that explorers need in the wild. The removable compass was a big hit as it directed Wiltopia’s explorers during play and our actual explorers later on outside.

Other stand-out features of this playset was it’s size – nice and tall, allowing for 360 degrees of play. It was perfect for cooperative play since each child was able to get in on the fun and add their ideas to the ongoing story. The top of the lookout platform rotated around as explorers searched and observed. The small props were perfect for promoting fine motor skills and adding different elements of play. Monkeys searching for bananas in the trees, a snake creeping along the bottom of the jungle, and even a flying drone looking to spot some hungry caimans.

Why We Love It

In addition to it’s awesome eco-friendly material (80% sustainable material!), Wiltopia’s design and messaging allows children to show care for their environment while engaging in meaningful pretend play. Open-ended play is essential to a child’s development. It helps them use language to describe their thoughts and ideas in the form of storytelling. They’re able to learn new facts (by scanning a QR code to hear more about animal behaviors, habitats, and even some AR experiences!), and incorporate this new knowledge into their play. It’s cognitive magic!

During pretend play and rich storytelling, like that witnessed during play with the Research Station, children show advanced competence when using semantic diversity and semantic organization. Wiltopia and its Research Station bring on incredible opportunities to develop both play and language while having fun.

Available at PLAYMOBIL, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble