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For Christmas my children were gifted a set of two knights on horseback from the Early Learning Centre. The two knights were the red knight and the black knight, both similar but also very different in appearance.
Each knight was presented in cardboard packaging with a plastic window to see the toy inside. The horse and rider were tied into the packaging to look like the horse was rearing dramatically before some sort of battle.
The set is aimed at children aged 3-8, though I realised very quickly that it appealed much more to my 5 year old son than my 7 year old son. The toys are chunky figures that are not that sophisitcated in how they move, so definitely better suited to the lower end of the age group. My 3 year old niece was able to play very nicely with these figures, so I would give it to a sensible 3 year old.
The horse and rider do seperate, but the figure is much better on horseback as its legs are in a bent position for riding, so they don't straighten to stand up. Therefore he can stand up, but his centre of balance is a little off so he is not very stable and can get pushed over easily. Especially when younger kids play with him.
The Black Knight appeals much more visually to me than the Red Knight figure. His outfit is very similar, but the black outfit works much better with the silver chainmail and gold bits of his attire. The underside of his cloak is a bright vivid red, and I think he looks really quite fierce and dramatic. Although the figure holds a sword, this isn't a safety issue as the sword is made from a soft flexible material so it would not be possible for a child to hurt themselves on it. The horns on top of the helmet are a lot harder, and this might hurt if pressed hard into the skin, but normal play would not cause a problem.
The horse in this set also seems better quality than the red knight set. The horse is a striking black colour. With the chestnut horse, there seemed to be some sort of colour fading thing going on around the ankles of the horse, and this is deliberate but spoils the look for me. Here the horse is uniform in colour, and he is dressed dramatically in a dark silver and gold armoour.
The horse can balance either by standing on all four legs, or it can be in the rearing position on two hind legs using the tail for balance. I find it brilliant that it balances on two legs and the rider even still stays in place on the saddle.
One slight niggle is that the horse has teeth on show, and these look a bit silly in my opinion as they are quite bright and white. It reminds me a little of Donkey from Shrek. Obviously a horse does have teeth, but I think that it stops it looking quite as fierce as it otherwise appears.
Overall, I find it a well made toy. I think the age range being up to 8 is a bit ambitious as my eldest son has been really into the concept of Knights recently after studying it at school, and this has just not been as good for him as playmobil sets due to the rigidity of the figures. However, my 5 year old has really loved it. It's a really well made set and has captured his imagination. The price of £8 seems reasonable for a well made toy.
At a Glance Battle armies and monsters or conquer walled cities with this brave knight. Features and benefits for ELC Black Knight on Horseback Battle armies and monsters or conquer walled cities with this brave knight.Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts.