Day 106: Fisher Price Play Family Castle

fp_play_family_castleAny kid that had a pulse during the 70s in the US would certainly remember this gem of a toy, in fact one of the great Little People play sets of their golden age in the 70s, but just one of them. I’m inclined to say the greatest, but I have a few more Little People sets to work through before Christmas, so I have to be careful. That said, the Castle is a model for imaginative design and creating a toy that was in many ways magical for those spaces you couldn’t necessarily access or see. For example, the dungeon in the front-right tower (pictured below) was part of this set I played with for hours on end, and it’s connection to the alligator in the moat—which was nothing more than a matte-like sticker—was for me the most frightening and exciting part of the toy.

fp_castle_descGranted this was a 1974 toy and I was probably four or five when I first played with it in earnest, but what I remember was how much the castle was like my family’s big old house. All sorts of unexpected nooks and crannies that your characters could get lost in, like the secret hiding space behind the stone stairs in the foyer/entrance. And while the Weebles Haunted House—another magic design I will certainly discuss in the future—did something similar with the secret space behind the wall mirror, it was nowhere near as perfect as the Family Castle.

Finally, the Dragon’s Lair beneath the Castle (or on the side at the bottom) was cool, I was not as crazy about the Dragon as most were, I was all about the Knight figure, who was most definitely my favorite Little People figure of all-time.

Picture 7The alligator in the moat which was covered up by the drawbridge was one of my favorite elements of this set. Not to mention the tower dungeon with a movable cell door.

Picture 5

Another feature that can’t be underestimated was the hiding spot behind the staircase. The genius of this playset was all about the crazy hiding spots and all the nooks and crannies you couldn’t see, not unlike an old house.

Picture 10

The Dragon’s Lair, with yet more cool floor/matte stickers for effect as well as a yellow door into the Castle.  Also, you’ll notice the sticker of the very classic painting of  the Knight and dragon.  I should have been a toy designer in the 70s, what a cool it job it must have been.

Picture 9Even more than that, the knight figure from this play set was my all-time favorite Little People character.

Image credit: Wishbook’s “1976.xx.xx JCPenney Christmas Catalog P356”

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13 Responses to Day 106: Fisher Price Play Family Castle

  1. Andrea_R says:

    I still have the pieces and up to the last couple of moves, I had the castle too. My kids LOVED it.

    The dragon is my fave.

  2. Reverend says:


    Lines were drawn over the Dragon vs. knight lovers, what does that say about us? This was a real classic, and I’ll also be talking about the Fisher Price “A” frame and the Sesame Street set. These were amazing pieces in my opinion, but the Castle might just be the most inspired design.

  3. Andrea_R says:

    If it was 1976 you would totally be my bestest friend. Wanna go hang out at the playground later? My grandma will give us koolaid if we drink it outside.

    (My grownup self is going to go hunt in the toybox for the dragon & snap a pic.)

  4. Andrea_R says:

    Also, I still have the Fisher Price Camper and almost all the pieces.

  5. Reverend says:

    I’m thinking WPMu is simply our adult toy!

  6. Scott Leslie says:

    Rev, man you are taking me back, this was an absolute fav of mine as a child

  7. My best friend had this – I still remember the sticker/moat, and the spiral staircase that revealed the hidden room. oh, man. this takes me back.

  8. Heidicrafts says:

    After my kids broke off my dragon’s tail, we went back to “Mom, may I play with *your* toys.”

    I still have the camper + the A frame, the school, the house, the castle, the airport, and the village. I never had Sesame Street or (oddly enough) the farm with the mooing barn door.

    What bugs me is that when FP first came out with the non-choking Little People, they had essentially Pretty Princess Dream Castle and Let’s Throw Boulders Boy Castle. I assume they did their market research, but I much prefer Attach Your Own Imagination Here old castle.

    I just checked Amazon, they do have a more generic castle, and still a pink castle. But ours is still best.

    Hi, Andrea! You can play FP at my house.

    • Reverend says:

      The Camper and the A frame are awesome, I have a whole post set aside for the “A” frame because I think that’s the Fisher Price toy, along with the Sesame Street set, that challenges the castle in my imagination. I actually put a bid in for the castle last year and lost it, I was getting pretty high and finally had to drop because I didn’t want to miss rent. But I will get it again one day, mark my words! 🙂

  9. Pingback: Day 92: Snake Mountain at bavatuesdays

  10. Carol Wolff says:

    I have this same castle that came out in 1974 but I would love to find the people and the horses. If anyone would sell just the characters, I would love to buy them.
    Carol Wolff

  11. Reverend says:


    I bet you can find it on ebay, but you may have to buy the whole set again, but I do see the just the figures some time. I would definitely keep hope alive, you can find it.

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