Doll House Kits - Explaining the Difference
Author: Jayne Cremasco
With many different dollhouse companies offering beautiful dollhouse designs, it is easy to let a visual interpretation of a dollhouse kit make your mind up for you. There are a couple of things however that you should be aware of when choosing a dollhouse kit.
There are basically two types of wooden kits on the market today.
Die Cut Doll house kits - For those of you who are not familiar with this term, I will try to explain how it works. You start with a large sheet of thin plywood, usually approx 1/8-1/4a thick. The plywood has to be thin enough to enable a large aDiea to be pressed down into the plywood, effectively scoring the wood into intricate shapes that when fitted together, form your dollhouse. Die Cut houses traditionally offer more elaborate design options and intricate trims. These houses are best suited to collectors as the plywood is not thick enough to stand up to heavy play. Collectors love the design elements and are well prepared to spend the extra time needed in sanding, filling and finishing the tab and slot designs. These kits need only glue to hold them together. The most popular die cut Dollhouse Company in North America today is Greenleaf and Corona Concepts doll houses.
Cabinet Grade Plywood Doll house Kits - 3/8a plywood is usually used in these kits. Assembly includes small nails as well as glue. These houses are much sturdier for play use, and usually simpler in their design than the die cut houses. Some of the higher end houses are stunning with working components, turned porch spindles and many elements that replicate their larger counterpart perfectly. The smooth plywood exterior finish on these kits can be painted, stucco can be added, or you can add real wooden siding for a very realistic look. Real Good Toys in Vermont is the largest and most respected doll house maker of plywood houses in North America today.
Milled MDF - Similar to solid plywood houses milled MDF (medium density fibreboard) an engineered wood product formed by breaking down softwood into wood fibres, combining with wax and resin, and formed into panels by applying temperature and pressure. It is much denser than normal particle board. These MDF sheets are cut similar to plywood, however they offer a unique difference. The asidinga of a dollhouse can be milled directly onto the outside walls of MDF kits, creating a realistic exterior finish when painted. MDF is heavy, will withstand a reasonable amount of play and also will take nails for assembly. Dura-Craft controlled the MDF doll house market for many years, and their demise has left a hole in the dollhouse market. Real Good Toys is now offering many of their dollhouse kits with a choice of smooth plywood finish or MDF, depending on the choice of the consumer.
Plastics continue to be available as a dollhouse alternative for very young children.
Consider all of this information when choosing a type of dollhouse kit to purchase and avoid disappointment in your finished product.