Dollhouse Shopping Guide [Top Picks and Buy-it-Now Prices]

Because dollhouses are so good at fostering the open-ended play that keeps kids interested, they always make BC’s Toys that Get Played With lists. They’re fabulous toys, but choosing a dollhouse for your child can be overwhelming. There are over 400 dollhouses and accessories on Amazon alone! How can you choose the one that’s best for your child?

This guide will help. It will also clue you in on what price you should pay for the one you choose. Read on!Dollhouse Shopping Guide [Top Picks and Buy-it-Now Prices]

Choosing the Best Dollhouse for your Child, Home and Lifestyle

When choosing a dollhouse, think about the following:

  • Consider your space. Where will you keep it? Where will your child play with it? How much room do you have in your chosen location? Big dollhouses can span four feet wide or more, whereas the smallest can easily fit on a tabletop. If you’re short on space, consider a folding dollhouse or a corner dollhouse.
  • Consider your budget. The prime ages for playing with dolhouses are from about three to age six. That’s a pretty long span for a toy. How much do you want to spend? If the house you want costs more than you want to spend, check consignment sales, consignment stores, Craigslist. etc. for a gently used model.
  • Does the house come with furniture and/or dolls? If the house you choose isn’t furnished, you’ll end up spending more on those little tiny sofas and chairs. Be sure to take the extra cost into consideration.
  • Will it fit dolls your child already has? Little People? Barbie? American Girl? There are dollhouses to fit all sizes. You may want choose a dollhouse that will work with your child’s cherished pals.
  • Do you want plastic or wood? Plastic can be wiped down, but may parents prefer the aesthetics of wood. You may also be able to repair wooden items if they break.

Top Dollhouses

Here are my top dollhouse picks, taking into consideration a variety of needs and wants. I’ve also listed the Buy-it-Now price for each house, and I’ve linked to the item at Amazon so that you can learn more.

If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the current price (although they may be the same) or the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The picks:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.54.33 PMBest deluxe wooden dollhouseKidKraft Majestic Mansion: Top selling dollhouse at both Amazon and Walmart. Assembly required.

  • Dimensions: 51.0 x 14.0 x 52.75
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories with 8 rooms
  • Furniture and dolls included: 33 pieces of furniture. Dolls sold separately.
  • Additional accessories available? Yes
  • Fits Barbies

List price: $246.99. Buy-it-Now price: $145

Note: You really can’t go wrong with a KidKraft dollhouse. If buying for the holidays, be sure not to wait until the last minute to assemble the house. Some of them can take a while. For extra savings, check out the very similar Imaginarium dollhouses.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.55.41 PMBest if you’re short on space: Melissa and Doug Folding Princess Castle

  • Dimensions: 27″ x 15.25″ x 17.5″
  • Rooms, etc: 2 stories, 5 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 6 pieces of furniture, princess, prince, 2 horses
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $49.99. Buy-it-Now price: $35 (Currently at BIN price at Amazon)

Note: Also comes in gender-neutral gray.

See also: Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse. It also folds.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.56.34 PMBest for toddlers: Fisher-Price My First Dollhouse. Ages 2 and up

  • Dimensions: 22.25″ x 9.125″ x 16.0″
  • Rooms, etc: 3 stories, 5 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: mom, dad and baby figures and a few interior items–kitchen, table, chairs, etc.
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $40. Buy-it-Now price: $35

See also: Fisher-Price Little People Happy Sounds Home

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.57.03 PMBest eco-friendly: Hape All Season Dollhouse. Solid wood construction with child-safe paint finish. Gender neutral.

  • Dimensions: 23.6″ x 11.8″ x 28.9″
  • Rooms, etc: 3 stories, 6 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: four room sets: Master Bedroom, Family Bathroom, Media Room and Kitchen. Dolls sold separately
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $199.99. Buy-it-Now price: $125 (Currently at BIN price at Amazon)

See alsoPlan Toys The Green Dollhouse with Furniture

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.57.56 PMBest Plastic: Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse

  • Dimensions:  25.6″ x 9″ x 16″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 6 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: Mom, Dad, Baby, sofa and baby seat
  • Additional accessories available? Yes
  • Requires 2 AA batteries
  • Folds for storage

List price: $69.90. Buy-it-Now price: $49

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.58.47 PMBest for 18″ Dolls (American Girl, etc.): KidKraft Elegant Doll Manor with Furniture for 18″ Dolls

  • Dimensions:  47.7″ x 19.5″ x 65.5″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 4 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 12 pieces of furniture
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $338.99. Buy-it-Now price: $210

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.59.56 PMBest Gender-Neutral: Kidkraft Deluxe Fire Rescue Set

  • Dimensions:  30″ x 17.5″ x 25″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 4 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 22 pieces of furniture, 3 firefighters, helipad and helicopter, Garage with ambulance and fire truck
  • Additional accessories available? No

List price: $150.99. Buy-it-Now price: $100

See also: Hape All Season Dollhouse

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 3.03.12 PMBest Dollhouses with a twist:

Like to DIY? You can also make your own dollhouse from boxes, bookcases and more. See my DIY Dollhouses Pinterest board for inspiration?

2014 Buy-it-Now Prices for 22 Top Outdoor Toys

2014 Buy-it-Now Prices for 20 Top Outdoor Toys Spring has sprung and the birds are singing–at least here in the South where I am. With the weather improving you may be considering picking up a few outdoor toys for the kiddos. How much should you spend?

Here are the Buy It Now (BIN) prices for 20 of the most popular, highest rated outdoor toys, freshly updated and expanded for 2014. The BIN prices are in bold, and I’ve linked to the item at Amazon so that you can learn more.

Use these BIN prices to help you decide when to pull the trigger on a purchase and when to wait. Since these are heavy items, for the most part, you may be able to find them in-store cheaper. Just be sure your car is big enough to handle the boxes!

If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the current price (although they may be the same) or the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

Sand and Water Tables

Sandboxes

Playhouses

Climbers and Playground Toys

Sports Toys

And don’t forget: You can save even more on these items if you can find them second-hand at Craigslist, a yard sale, etc.

See more Buy-It-Now Prices

2014 “Buy It Now” Prices for 10 Bestselling Strollers Over $150 [Plus Deals]

I’ve updated this post with new buy-it-now prices for 2014. I also switched out a few strollers in favor of some that are more popular and/or recommended now.

Buy-it now prices can help you decide when it’s time to pull the trigger on a stroller purchase. I’ve analyzed sale prices on more than a dozen of the most popular models to find them.

These “Buy It Now” prices, which you’ll find below in BOLD after the words “Buy Price”, are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Wait until the price on the item drops to this level or lower and you know you’re getting a deal.

Note: Don’t confuse these with current prices (although they may be) or with the “lowest price ever” price. In most cases, you can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

I’ve linked to the strollers at Amazon so that you can learn more.

"Buy It Now" Prices for 10 Bestselling Strollers Over $150

The Strollers:

Related:

2014 “Buy It Now” Prices for 12 Bestselling Double and Tandem Strollers [Plus Deals]

I’ve updated this post with new buy-it-now prices for 2014. I also switched out a few strollers in favor of some that are more popular and/or recommended now.

Buy-it now prices can help you decide when it’s time to pull the trigger on a stroller purchase. I’ve analyzed sale prices on more than a dozen of the most popular models to find them.

These “Buy It Now” prices, which you’ll find below in BOLD after the words “Buy Price”, are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Wait until the price on the item drops to this level or lower and you know you’re getting a deal.

Note: Don’t confuse these with current prices (although they may be) or with the “lowest price ever” price. In most cases, you can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

I’ve linked to the strollers at Amazon so that you can learn more.

 

"Buy It Now" Prices for 12 Bestselling Double and Tandem Strollers

The Strollers:

  • Britax B-Agile Double, Peacock: List Price: $450 | Buy Price: $302 (33% off). Previous year’s model.

Related:

2014 “Buy It Now” Prices for 12 Bestselling Strollers Under $150 [Plus Deals]

I’ve updated this post with new buy-it-now prices for 2014. I also switched out a few strollers in favor of some that are more popular and/or recommended now.

Buy-it now prices can help you decide when it’s time to pull the trigger on a stroller purchase. I’ve analyzed sale prices on more than a dozen of the most popular models to find them.

These “Buy It Now” prices, which you’ll find below in BOLD after the words “Buy Price”, are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Wait until the price on the item drops to this level or lower and you know you’re getting a deal.

Note: Don’t confuse these with current prices (although they may be) or with the “lowest price ever” price. In most cases, you can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

I’ve linked to the strollers at Amazon so that you can learn more.2014 "Buy It Now" Prices for 12 Bestselling Strollers Under $150The Strollers:

Related:

2014 “Buy It Now” Prices for 18 Bestselling Car Seats

I’ve updated this post with new BIN prices for 2014. And good news! I was once again able to bump BIN prices on several of the seats down a bit. I also switched out a few seats in favor of some that are more popular and/or recommended now.

Buy-it now prices can help you decide when it’s time to pull the trigger on a car seat purchase. I’ve analyzed sale prices on more than a dozen of the most popular infant, convertible, 3-in-1 and booster seats to find them.

These “Buy It Now” prices, which you’ll find below in BOLD after the words “Buy Price”, are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Wait until the price on the item drops to this level or lower and you know you’re getting a deal.

Note: Don’t confuse these with current prices (although they may be) or with the “lowest price ever” price. In most cases, you can beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

I’ve linked to the seats at Amazon so that you can learn more.

2014 "Buy It Now" Pricing on 15 Bestselling Car Seats [Plus Deals]The Seats:

I’ll be updating the other BIN prices for baby gear later this week!

Related:

Updated: BC’s Baby Bouncer and Rocker Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Updated: BC's Baby Bouncer and Rocker Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Though I’d stop short of calling them a necessity, baby bouncers and rockers can be a handy place for baby to hang out with the rest of the family or catch a few ZZZs. Prices range dramatically, starting at under $25 for a basic model and topping out over $200 for a sleek european model. As with swings, Fisher-Price models are the top sellers.

With the exception of a couple of models listed here that convert to toddler rockers, babies will only use bouncers and rockers until they’re about 25 lbs. (sometime around a year old for many babies). and will probably enjoy using it for far less time than that– another great reason to do some serious bargain hunting.

Wait for a great sale (30% off or more) or try to find a gently used one at your local kiddie consignment shop, on Craigslist, or at a yard sale or consignment sale. A quick check of my local Craigslist board today reveals several gently used bouncers from $10. Just remember to check for recalls before you buy.

When choosing a model, look for non-skid feet, good bouncing/rocking/gliding action, and a three point harness. Popular extras include vibration, music, lights and toy bars.

Top Bouncers and Rockers

Here’s a rundown of the most popular and highly rated baby bouncers and rockers out there. I’ve linked to the items at Amazon so that you can learn more and read reviews.

Note: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to  beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

Updated: BC's Baby Bouncer and Rocker Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

 

Fisher-Price Infant To Toddler Rocker. This rocker grows with your child. Infant seat converts to toddler rocker for use up to 40 lbs. List price: $49.99. BIN = $32 to $40, depending on model.

Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper. This came in #1 on BC’s Best Baby Products of 2013 list! Lightweight rocker features soothing vibrations, For use up to 25 lbs. List price: $59.99. BIN = $42. Want to spend less? Bright Starts has a copycat version of the Rock n Play with a BIN price of $31. It’s only been out since last summer, but it’s getting good reviews so far.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer (My Little Snugabunny, Rainforest, Luv U Zoo, etc.). Features songs, nature sounds and vibration. List price: $49.99. to $64.99. BIN = $40 to $45, depending on model.

Tiny Love 3 in 1 Rocker Napper. Three reclining positions. Converts from baby seat to napper. Later converts to rocker for use up to 40 lbs. List price: $99.99. BIN = $70

Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bouncer. Motorized bouncer glides front to back or side to side. Two gliding speeds. Seat rotates 360 degrees. List price: $99.99. BIN = $80. Currently at BIN price at Amazon.

Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance: Three seat positions for play, rest and sleep. Stylish, but pricey. List price $199.95. BIN = $140

Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer: Features adjustable arches, lights and vibrations. Two reclining positions. List price: $54.99 BIN = $38

Bright Starts Bouncer (Budget Buy). Vibrates. 3-point harness. List price: $29.99. BIN = $25

4Moms Mamaroo Classic. Similar in motion to the Sweetpeace, the Mamaroo bounces up and down and sways from side to side. mp3 jack. Plug in only. BIN = $200

Related: BC’s Baby Swing Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Updated: BC’s Baby Swing Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Updated: BC's Baby Swing Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]Swings can be tricky. There are dozens of models on the market with varying features. At the same time, some babies love swings while others can’t stand them.

If your baby likes his, they can buy you some much needed rest or shower time as he snoozes away. If he doesn’t you’ve just shelled out $50 to $200 bucks for a large and useless piece of plastic that you’ll be stepping around every day.

With some smart shopping and a little luck, you’ll find a winner and get a good deal on it. This should get you started:

How to Choose

Desirable features include a 5 point safety harness, excellent stability, a variety of speeds and sounds, and a flip or fold out tray (for easy access). To figure out what else you need in a swing, ask yourself these questions:

  • How will we use it?
  • How much room do we have for storage and use?
  • Do I need to be able to plut it in?
  • What other features are must-haves?
  • What’s my budget?
To get a feel for different models, read reviews and watch review videos on You Tube. Go to the store and check out the display models. Ultimately, of course, your baby will decide whether the gear you got is any good. That’s why it makes sense to try to borrow a swing from a friend so you can see how she takes to it.

If that’s not an option, try to find a gently used one at your local kiddie consignment shop, on Craigslist, or at a yard sale or consignment sale. A quick check of my local Craigslist board today reveals full-sized swings from $35.

Another thing many expectant parents don’t realize is that babies will only use a swing until they’re about 25 lbs (sometime around a year old for many babies). and will probably enjoy using it for only a few weeks– another great reason to do some serious bargain hunting. Just remember to check for recalls before you buy.

Here’s an updated rundown of the most popular and highly rated baby swings out there. I’ve linked to the items at Amazon so that you can learn more and read reviews.

Note: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to  beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

 Full-Sized Swings

Fisher-Price, Graco and Bright Starts are the big players in the swing market, and Fisher-Price swings are by far the top sellers.

The Fisher-Price Cradle N Swing is the top seller, hands down. This full-sized swing can swing sideways or back and forth, includes a motorized mobile and offers the option of plugging into the wall. Can fold for storage. Buy-it-now prices range from $95 to $125, depending on the model:

Updated: BC's Baby Swing Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

 Spacesaving and Portable

Updated: BC's Baby Swing Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

If you’re short on space and/or cash, or you need to be able to take the swing to grandma’s, consider a portable swing.

Innovative Swings

Updated: BC's Baby Swing Buying Guide [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

  • Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker, Winslet: Removable infant swing seat doubles as a rocker. Can swing side-to-side or front-to-back.. BIN = $145. Currently $144.99 at Amazon.
  • Graco Sweet Snuggle Infant Soothing Swing, Jacqueline. Smooth swinging motion mimics.  rocking of a caregiver’s arms. Four seat positions for side-to-side or front-to-back swivel. Uses AC adapter or 4 D batteries. Features 10 songs, 5 nature sounds, and overhead toy bar. 6 swing speeds. BIN = $115
  • 4Moms Mamaroo Classic. Similar in motion to the Sweet Snuggle, the Mamaroo bounces up and down and sways from side to side. mp3 jack. Plug in only. BIN = $200
  • Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing, Peyton: “Soothes with the same gentle motion you use when cuddling and comforting baby in your nursery glider.” Six gliding speeds and two vibration settings. Uses 40% less space than other leading swings. This Can be plugged in used with batteries. BIN = $99

Related: 

13 Best Baby Products of 2013 [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Yesterday I asked BC Facebook Fans to give me their nominations for “Best Baby Product of 2012.”

Over 170 fans responded. Here are 13 great baby products that made BC fans’ lives easier this year. I’ve linked to each product at Amazon or elsewhere so that you can find out more about it.

You’ll also find Buy-It-Now prices on the list.“Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to  beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The List

Baby Cheapskate's Best Baby Products of 2013

Items are listed roughly in order of popularity with the top three items coming in strongly ahead of the others. This year’s list features some old favorites as well as some new items. The Rock n Play, Nosefrieda, Ergo, and Aden + Anais blankets are multi-year performers, showing up repeatedly on the Best Of lists since 2010.

What would YOU add to the list?

IIHS Booster Seat Best Bets [And Buy-It-Now Prices]

IIHS Booster Seat Best Bets [And Buy-It-Now Prices]When your child outgrows other forms of forward-facing restraints, it’s time for a booster. But which ones are best?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released its latest report with belt fit data on more than 100 booster seats currently on the market.

Of the seats tested, 58 were listed as “Best Bets“(meaning that they fit most kids ages 4 to 8 well in most cars) and five seats were listed as Good Bets (acceptable fit in most cars). Around 40 seats fall into a middle “Check Fit” category (they work in some cars, but not others). Two seats were not recommended–the Safety 1st All-in-One and the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite.

10 Popular “Best Bets” include seats at a wide range of price points starting at around $18:

I’m also including buy-it-now prices (the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularlyon these seats, and I’ve linked to Amazon below, so you can check out the seats there.

Surprisingly, the new Britax Pinnacle 90, Pioneer 70 and Frontier 90 boosters are designated as Check Fit boosters–a significant slip in their ratings. The geometry of the Frontier 90′s armrest “doesn’t consistently provide the same lap belt fit as the earlier model,” says senior IIHS technician Philip Floyd.

You can see more results at the IIHS website.

Other resources:

See more essential car seat posts at BabyCheapskate.com.