* Prices may differ from that shown
A year ago we bought my son the Tower of Doom castle from the Early Learning Centre. It has been a hugely popular toy and he plays with it most days. At the time we also got a few of the figure sets to go with it and since seeing how much the tower is played with, we have bought quite a few more toys in the range. One of the sets we bought is the Monsters of Darkness.
The Monsters of Darkness set of toys has been made specifically to go with the Tower of Doom, meaning that each figure is the ideal size for using with the tower. Also, just like the tower, the toys are very well made.
In the set you get 4 toys: 2 big monsters and 2 smaller warriors. The first monster is a large minotaur. The detail on the minotaur is excellent, and gives the minotaur the appearance of being hairy. He looks very fierce, with bright red eyes and a snarling mouth showing his teeth. Around his ankle is a broken shackle, suggesting the minotaur was a prisoner somewhere. I explained to my son what the shackle was and he uses it in his gameplay, often having the knights take the minotaur to the castle dungeons.
The minotaur is made of very solid plastic. His arms and legs are fixed and can't have their positions changed. This isn't a problem for my son and he's never complained about it. I think it is actually a bonus as it makes the toy stronger and less likely to break, as some of his poseable limb toys already have.
A word of caution - the minotaur is surprisingly heavy. A child can carry it asily but if dropped on a foot it could cause considerable pain.
Also in the set is a three-headed snake, which is my personal favourite. Just like the minotaur, the 3 headed snake is full of detail. It is bright red with black patches and the front of each snake is gold. Every scale is shown and again, the snakes look rather fierce as their mouths are open in a hiss, with their tongues out and teeth showing. Like the minotaur, the snake is made of hard plastic and is quite heavy.
The third toy in the set is a skeleton warrior. This is basically a skeleton figure wearing armour and holding a shield and sword. This figure is of the same high quality as the larger monsters and again it is very detailed. Because the skeleton warrior is smaller, he can fit into all areas of the castle which makes him an especially good addition to the set.
The final toy is another warrior, this time he is a big beefy looking man. He is dressed in armour and carries a big club. He is of similar size to the skeleton warrior so he can also be used in all areas of the castle.
I love these toys and more importantly, so does my son. We have had this set for over a year and they look as good as when we first bought them. My son plays with them a lot and regularly bashes them together. He also takes them in the bath a lot. Despite all that, no paint is chipped at all.
The toys are so well made and have such a lot of detail on them that they really inspire creative play. Whenever my son's friends or cousins visit, it is this set of toys that they all go to straight away.
The Monsters of Darkness set is available from the Early Learning Centre and costs £20. This may seem like a lot but I feel it is worth the price as you get 4 high quality toys.