Maybe you have children of your own, or nephews or nieces who you love dearly, or maybe you’re pulling a Boo Radley and exchanging sentimental gifts with neighborhood kids while holed up in a dilapidated house like some Santa Claus/boogeyman hybrid. In any case, you’ve no doubt noticed how difficult it can be to one-up yourself around the holidays, constantly trying to outdo the last year’s toy or game so you can prove that you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to the little ankle biters. And worst of all, no matter what you get them will undoubtedly fail to be the kind of long-term investment that can ensure both years of fun and financial stability.
Stress no more, friends, because here it is: the last word in over-the-top gifts. If you want to thrill and amaze the young ones in your life, just open up as many credit cards as you can find and pick up the Astolat Dollhouse Castle, AKA the most expensive toy in the world. How expensive are we talking? According to the New York Times, it was appraised at an astonishing $8.5 million, making it worth more than most real houses and also worth more than the real people who live in them.
Standing nine feet tall and weighing in at over 800 pounds, the Astolat Dollhouse Castle boasts 29 rooms, including an armory and a ballroom, and contains tens of thousands of miniatures. Created over a period of more than a decade, it’s the brain child of Elaine Diehl, a miniaturist who understandably holds a lot of clout in the world of making small things that look like big things. It’s also inspired by the poetry of Alfred Tennyson, which, you know, kids love.
And what dolls, you might wonder, live in this dollhouse? In keeping with the American housing crisis, none. According to the Astolat Dollhouse Castle’s website, putting tiny people inside the structure “would give away the superb accuracy of the miniatures” — which is basically saying that this dollhouse is literally too good for any actual dolls. If that seems wasteful to you, feel free to cough up the seven figure asking price, have a team of twelve people spend four days disassembling the house and reassembling it at your place, and enjoy the rush you can really only get from giving your Chewbacca action figures the most bespoke living arrangements possible.
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