I bought Cecilia this doll house for Christmas hoping she would spend hours playing with her Calico Critters, but no, I guess she's not yet old/ mature enough for pretend play for more than a few minutes at a time.
I discovered the Calico Critters a while ago in our local toy store and loved the cute animal families, the delicate accessories, the wide variety of furniture for different rooms of the doll house, the clothes you can put on the animals and take off and all the sweet little details of this collection.
Last summer, when Dominic's cousins from Canada came to visit they surprised Cecilia with a CC set, a mommy bunny with a baby bunny in a carriage. All the "women of the house" loved them, Cecilia, myself and my mom and that was the beginning... since then, every occasion we had to buy Cecilia something, be it for her birthday, Christmas or when someone wanted to get her something and asked us what they should get, it was always Calico Critter stuff. The deluxe house was, I thought the one thing missing and I invested a considerable amount of money in it . Cecilia, however is not very interested. Of course, every time we go to the toy store, she plays with the display CC's like she's never seen any before.
It's the same with boys with "Thomas the tank engine" stuff. Did anyone invest in a Thomas train table because their little boy always loved to play with T. trains at Barnes and Noble or the toy store and once he had it home he just ignored it? It happened to us. At least we bought the cheep version of the table from Costco.
The Thomas trains themselves, though, have been very popular in our household. Over time we've collected quite a lot of trains. Alex will be one lucky boy when he turns 2 or 3.