Hornby Flower Faries: Fairy Bedchamber play set

Hornby Flower Fairies is one of those doll lines I vaguely remember from my childhood. They were dolls in the 7''/20cm range dressed as fairies with wings and dresses resembling different flowers, vaguely based on Cicely Mary Barker's paintings of, well, flower fairies. As a kid, I don't think I could imagine anything more awesome than tiny pixies wearing flower petals. I never had any of the dolls - and looking back, they were kind of ugly - but I did buy one of the outfits sold separately: a blue dress with a skirt that looked like a harebell, plus a green plastic belt with little green stylized hook-like sepals (yes, I had to google that) and a pair of wings that never fit on any of my dolls since they had little pins to stick into corresponding holes in the doll's back. Actually, the dress never really fit any of my dolls either, but I still thought it was awesome because come on - flower dress!

Somehow I managed to keep the dress in good shape during all these years (maybe because none of my dolls could wear it). When I bought my first Monster High doll a couple of years ago I dug it up again to see if I'd have better luck this time. It's a bit too big for MH, but the Ever After High girls are pretty close to the right size. Their torso is a lot longer though, so it probably depends on the style of the particular flower dress whether it works or not. I have photos of my 12DP Hadley/Ashlynn Ella hybrid modeling the dress somewhere on my old computer, I'll try to dig them up some time.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about.
After unexpectedly finding that boxed Arco office play set at goodwill, I've started to pay closer attention to the boxes in the toy corner - turns out they're not all puzzles and board games! Last week I found this Flower Fairies play set in its original box, and in good condition.

Flower Fairies Fairy Bedchamber
Fairy Bedchamber with box (sticker says "Doll not included!")
As I mentioned above, I loved the idea of flower fairies as a kid - and I still do! Also, I love things that are made to look like flowers and twigs and little toadstoals or whatever - particularly if they're made of an incongruous material like plastic and ends up looking a bit cheap and ridiculous. Like they had this great, fantastic vision of Fairyland that they just couldn't convey in actual physical, economically viable materials. The reason I like this is, I think, because these things actually did look pretty magical to me as a kid, despite the cheap materials and at times lacklustre design.

Anyway: Flower fairies, obviously, sleep in a flower. Or a converted flower? I'm not sure. It looks like some kind of ...lotus?
Canopy without curtains
My Little Lotus: Gold Spray Paint is Magic
There are instructions:
Fairy Bedchamber instructions

In case you can't read it, step 5 is to fit flowers onto the bed posts. Yes, the little nylon flowers (included) are an integral part of the structure. You use them to keep the curtains out of the way (duh!). No word on whether they're load-bearing.

Also a list of contents:
Fairy Bedchamber contents
Man, I can't believe you only get 3 Joining Clips with this set!
Did I mention this thing is ridiculous? Because it is ridiculous:

Totally realistic flowers
This is what nature looked like in the '80s.
There are exactly five (5) little plastic-and-nylon flowers included in this set, and they all have their place (in The Circle of Life, I presume). They look exactly like any other cheap nylon flower you've ever seen, but don't be fooled: this is highly specialized building materials we're dealing with here! Apart from the two used to tuck back the curtains, these go on top of these plastic flowers and butterflies (???), which in turn go on those little green fiddly things with four pins, and these in turn slip onto the green I-beams flower stems that hold up the flower bed. Whew! Who knew nature was this complicated?!

Fabric bits
Pillow, duvet, mattress, curtains. Crown goes on top.
The bedding material is considerably more straightforward, and actually really cute. Very good condition, no snags or stains, but I cleaned it anyway to be sure. The mattress is basically a paper plate with a thin layer of nylon stuffing glued to one side and the whole thing stuffed into a pink fabric envelope, but it does the job.

Flower Fairies Bedchamber
So. Close.
The curtains bear the classic playline accessory insignia of skimping on material: just one more centimeter and it would have hung perfectly over the edge of the bed, like the picture on the box. Aaaarrghh! Or maybe I managed to shrink it when I washed it?

Flower Fairies logo
The Da Hornby Code
Also, the bottom section has a molded Flower Fairies logo. This is one of the telltale signs this set is almost unused: there's no sign of dirt or icky grime along the edges of the letters. Still, a funny place to put it, like some secret stamp of authenticity.

Flower Fairies catalog
Notice the address: Fairy Treasure Department!
There was a Flower Fairies catalog too, which didn't contain any revolutionary new information apart from this token offer, which honestly reminds me more of a well-padded casket than a toy. Or a toy casket, I guess.

There was also a catalog for Hornby's Flower Fingers, which was a series of sets of even more plastic flowers plus little plastic pots to put them in. It's an incredibly '80s product, and one of those things that just leaves you wondering "WHY??". Well, the previous owner had included one or two (incomplete) sets in the box, and if you put them next to a big plastic gold spray painted flower with I-bar grass and flowers on top of butterflies, they actually look comparatively sane. Or at least they fit right in. I forgot to take a proper photo, but I am now the proud owner of a little white plastic swan and a little white plastic watering can (with a non-working spout), plus a bunch of fake flowers to stuff them with. Looking at the catalog, I kind of wish I had the little white plastic bird bath or tiny white plastic bridge, because they would make great 1/6 garden decorations. Also, some sets seem to have come with those little plastic frogs that seemed to be everywhere in my childhood, so that's their origin explained I guess.

The price was a little over $4, which isn't bad for a complete set in good condition. All goodwill stores have their pricing quirks, and I've noticed this one tends to overprice their dolls while dollhouses and other structures are really cheap. All in all, a really good find!


  1. The set is so cute! You are looking at it as an adult, but a kid wouldn't mind the flowery silliness. Do you have any dolls that work in this scale?

  2. Hello from Spain: lovely set. Keep in touch

  3. @BlackKitty I feel like I can look at it both ways: as an adult I can acknowledge it's just a piece of plastic, but still think it's almost as cool as I did as a kid! I haven't figured out which dolls should live there yet, though.

    @All4Barbie Hi, and thanks!

  4. It's ridiculous, but something about it is kinda appealing.

    1. Oh, definitely - I wouldn't mind sleeping in it! If it were, you know, a bit bigger.

  5. Hornby Flower Fairies are new to me ;-)

    Things that make you go hmmmm?

    BTW I've tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award. I enjoy reading and seeing your posts.

    When/if you get a chance, I'd love to see your answers ;-)

  6. Hornby Flower Fairies are new to me too. But the bed looks cute and I can imagine a lot of little girls who would love it. I wish you luck with finding the other pieces.

  7. @D7ana "Hmmm" but also "oooh!", I think. :)

    Thanks for the tag - I think someone tagged me ages ago and I forgot. I always find it difficult to come up with answers to those questions, but I'll see what I can do.

    @Carrickters They were only around for a couple of years, and without the internet I'd probably never have found them again.But yeah, I would have loved the bed as a little girl too.