I attempted this design a year or so ago, but when I finished it the thing looked like a deathtrap so I shelved it, and opted to post this instead. This time I took child safety into consideration (for once) and made a super-simple toy chest that transforms into a playset.
It still opens on the top like a toy chest or trunk, and you can even sit on it like a bench. It can be placed in front of a bed or anywhere really.
Large playsets are a thing of the past it would seem. He-Man’s Castle Grayskull, G.I. Joe’s USS Flagg, and Hot Wheels Sto & Go were all rather large scale toys that were the norm back in the day but not so much anymore. I thought it would make sense to incorporate a playset into a storage solution like a toy chest or trunk.
The two sides slide out like drawers (they have small wheels underneath too). The lid opens and ratchets into place to stay upright. A panel folds into place to create a counter surface. A storage bin holds all the toys, and can be yanked out if needed.
For this example I went with a generic New York City theme, which can be used for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, LEGO City, Marvel superheroes, or Hot Wheels. You could incorporate many other generic themes, like castles, pirates, outer space, or a farm even. Preschoolers love farms.
One thing I like about this concept is the toy chest doesn’t have to be thrown out when the kids grow up. It looks like a trunk that can be placed anywhere. The art could be removed or swapped for something more tasteful, like a plaid pattern or dogs playing poker.
There are a few other potential configurations for this too, like a dollhouse:
Apologies for the lazy demo. You could create a roof, maybe turn one of the side modules into a garage. The potential is there! If you squint you can see it.