My daughters are driven to delight by the Power Wheels Barbie Dream Camper. It’s the best of a ride-on vehicle and a play kitchen packed into one massive toy.

I don’t think Santa’s elves are equipped to build all this.
GIF: Walmart

We have an old, second-hand Power Wheels Jeep that’s been used so much that it has gone through three 12v batteries over four years. I can’t believe it still functions, let alone that they still want to play with it. When Power Wheels released the Barbie Dream Camper, my wife and I knew our kids would make it worth our spend. It will likely retain a fair bit of value when they outgrow it.

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Combining a play kitchen with a powerful 12V battery powered ride on, Power Wheels’ Barbie Dream Camper is two of our kids’ favorite toys rolled into one. It includes a play campfire, hot dogs, s’mores components, and will set you back less than $400.

The camper is recommended for kids aged 3 to 7, but my petite ten year old fits just fine next to my seven year old. This thing is so big that I had to remove my truck’s camper shell to get it home. It almost warrants its own garage bay.

A daunting amount of parts, but they all assembled easily.
Photo: Corey Foster

Assembly only requires a screwdriver and some patience. Specifically in my case: a screwdriver, two hours of patience, a fit of cursing my inability to put decals on straight, and a couple beers. Compared to a play kitchen I assembled a few years ago on Christmas Eve, this was light work that my buddy Jack Daniel didn’t have to help me through.

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Out of the box, a “fast” drive option is locked out for the safety of younger children and first-timers. Removing a screw enables up to 5MPH of speed from the 12V battery.

I was working outside when my daughters first showed it off to a pair of their friends. The following are [modified] excepts from their conversation.

“It has a vase [built into the kitchen area] for flowers!”

“It plays music and has [pretend] navigation.” “And we can hook up our tablet [3.5mm audio jack] to play different music.”

“We can store lots of food in the back. And there’s a food window.”

“Let’s play food-truck!”

“[beep... beep... beep] [laughter] It beeps when it backs up!”

We’ve had the Power Wheels Barbie Dream Camper for about a month, and I can’t keep the two batteries we have charged fast enough to suit my daughters on a sunny weekend. There’s zero doubt that this will be in constant use for as long as they fit in it. I’ve always been a fan of ride-ons, but this camper is truly next level outdoor play. It’s one of my top “big gift” picks for the upcoming holiday season.

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And I absolutely can’t wait to see a middle-aged dude barrel down a hill in one of these.