After my twins were bought a Happyland Toadstool cottage for their 1st birthday I thought I would see what else was available in the range. A huge amount of choice as it turned out and so after looking at the different items and seeing that Early Learning Centre (ELC) had a sale on I decided to get them one of the larger toys each for Christmas. The description and online photos of the Fairyland looked great and I thought it was a good choice to go with the toadstool cottage which is also part of the Fairyland range of Happyland.
The Bluebell Boot comes in a box with a clear plastic front allowing you to see the toy in detail if you are browsing in the shop. Come Christmas morning our 1 year olds were keen for presents to be open and out of their packaging so they could start playing. Without serious practice this toy is never going to be out of the box in a time acceptable to your little one. It is held in place by a huge amount of that awful plastic covered wire stuff that you have to unwind time and time again before it gives up it's grip on the toy.
Welcome to Bluebell Boot
This is a really lovely toy with lots of different parts for your little one to explore. Even though the recommended age is from 18 months mine both showed some interest from a year. Only at nearly 2 are they starting to play more with it and still rely on me to make up the adventures that the fairies and their friends have in the boot.
In the shape of a boot you can open the front door, the toe and one side of the boot. This allows good access to the downstairs when playing and my twins can easily get the happyland fairies in and out of their home. The 2 chairs, table and stove that come with the boot are usually kept in this part or in the toe. A fairy and gnome are usually seated, also included are another couple of fairies and a caterpillar. I think this is a good number of pieces to come with a set this size and gives more options when making up stories.
The top of the boot opens up to reveal a bedroom where a fairy can be put to bed, it can then be shut again to allow her to sleep. Outside the bedroom window is a small balcony, often found on here are a prince and princess from another Happyland set who like a balcony to wave from! We often have other Happyland characters popping in for a visit and I think it's great that the toys can be used together in this way. A real advantage of the Happyland range.
My 2 particularly like the slide which is the front flap of the boot. It's a clever design and lots of fun is had whizzing fairies down the slide. The boot also has a bluebell flower on the side which is a swing for the fairies.
Lights and sounds
I think this toy is great but again have been disappointed with the quality of the sound mechanisms. The product information states that you get sounds and lights from the doorbell. This works great and is really enchanting. However it also states that you also get sounds when opening the toe or door of the boot, neither of these worked on ours. As it wasn't a cheap toy we took it back to the ELC, there they offered to open another one before we exchanged. After more removal of plastic coated wire to be able to try it the one in the shop didn't work either. We had bought online so it was unlikely to have been part of the same batch. The manager offered us an exchange for another product but the girls really liked it so we decided to keep it whilst an enquiry was sent to ELC customer services. We didn't hear anything back and so next time we were in the store (a couple of months later) I asked the manager who was working. She had a look but couldn't find that they had any response so not sure if anyone gets all the sounds when they buy this toy.
It takes 2 x AA batteries, we haven't needed to change these yet. That may be due to 2 of the sound options not working to run them down.
Price and Availability
I purchased mine when one of the regular Happyland sales was on, this item was reduced from £40 to £20 and I think this offer price is far more reasonable. Even if all the sounds worked I don't think it is worth £40.
Would I recommend?
Despite the problems with the sounds this is a lovely addition to any Happyland collection so yes I would recommend. The plastic is sturdy and although the door comes off it is easily replaced. The colours are bright and it is easy to wipe over to keep clean. My girls are increasingly playing with it more and I'm looking forward to them making up their own stories for the characters.
This was one of the many toys my eldest daughter (now aged 4) got for her first birthday, and she's had lots of enjoyment out of it over those three years.
Part of the popular Happyland range, this building is in the shape of a boot, and is home to three fairies and a gnome. It's a lovely looking toy and very attractive in shades of pink, purple and green.
I'll start from the top of the boot and work my way down. The green carry handle isn't really much use for its intended purpose as it's always falling off. Whilst I understand that ELC make the doors the way they do so that little fingers don't get trapped and doors don't get broken, but instead come away easily, this doesn't really apply to a carry handle and it should be able to be used without falling off.
There's a room at the top of the boot, accessible via two small doors or by lifting half of roof up. It's much easier to play with if you lift the actual roof up, although there isn't a huge amount of room to get hands inside, even little ones. There's enough room inside to fit the little bed that comes with the boot, and maybe a chair or two. The two doors have stayed on and have never fallen off, and they lead out to a small balcony, where there's room enough for a couple of figures to stand. The upstairs in our boot hasn't been used much to play in, but rather to stuff figures in to hide them there!
The main inside part of the boot is down at the bottom and has the most floor space. It's big enough to fit all of the accessories provided in it and is easy enough to access once one half of the boot is opened up. Despite the ample room inside my girls rarely play with the accessories inside and prefer to have them just outside of the boot, with just the figures popping in and out of the boot.
Visiting fairies can enter via the front door, after ringing on the doorbell which plays a nice fairy jingle sound and lights up the three bluebells above the door. This is something kids love doing and mine are constantly pressing the doorbell. Opening or closing the front door catches a little trigger which also sets the fairy jingle sound off. Our front door falls off constantly and is at the stage now when we don't bother putting it back on.
On the half of the boot that swings open there's a small balcony inside, which has always been overlooked when the girls play with our boot.
The tongue part of the boot pulls down to create a slide, which is great fun for the fairies to slide down, but there are no steps to climb up to it so they need to jump quite high to get onto the slide. When the slide is down you can't open the toe part of the boot.
You'll hear another fairy jingle sound when the front toe part of the boot is opened or closed. There's a small amount of floor space in here, but as it's difficult to move the fairies from this bit to the main part of the boot, it doesn't get used very much.
There's a large pink flower at the front, which doesn't have a purpose apart from being part of the front hinge and for decoration.
At the back of the boot is a swing made from a bluebell, with the bottom shaped like an acorn. It can be a bit difficult for little fingers to get the fairy into the swing due to the shape of it and the fact that it moves when you're trying to put someone in. Still, it's a really nice , but don't swing them too hard or they may fall out as there's nothing to secure them in.
Included were a gnome (we named him Norris), three fairies (ours are called Fairy Bluebell, Fairy Violet, and Fairy Dotty), a caterpillar, table and two chairs, chaise long/bed, and a stove with a kettle on. The chairs are made to look like they're made from leaves, and the fairies fit nicely into them. The bed isn't an ideal shape however, and they can sometimes fall off easily. These additions give plenty of scope for imaginative play. The fairies can have a tea party around the table, cook meals or a cup of fairy tea on the stove, or go for a sleep on the bed.
Apart from the bits that fall off, it's been very durable and has lasted well, with no scratches or paint chipped off.
In the three years we've had it I've never had to replace the batteries despite constant use, which is pretty good going.
This is a really good set, which I'd recommend for any little girl who loves fairies and make believe, despite it's price of £40. Recommended for ages 18 months - 4 years, it's suitable for either side of that age range, with no small parts and plenty of appeal for slightly older girls.
My litte girl was bought this item for her second Christmas and nearly two years later it is still one of her favourite toys.
This item comes from Fairyland range at the Early Learning Centre and is priced at £38. ELC products are nearly always good quality and reasonably price but personally I feel this one is a little on the excessive side and in all honesty I probably wouldn't pay that much at face value for the item.
I instantly loved this item as it reminded me of the old Playskool boot I had as a child, it is so similar to that just much more modern and much prettier than the brown and yellow variety I had.
The boot is mainly cream with a green roof, brown toe and pretty purple flowers. One side of the boot opens right up so your little one can access the inside of the boot which is designed to look like the interior of a cottage. The front toe also opens to offer more access and the toe provides another little cubby hole for your little one to use.
The tongue of the boot folds down and is curved so it becomes a little slide for the Fairyland characters and attached to the side is a bluebell swing which you can place your character in for a swing.
One side of the roof opens and inside you have another room, ideal for a bedroom for your little ones characters and the whole item has a handle to the top so your little one can carry it around with them to wherever they wish to play.
Along with the boot itself you receive
*3 x Fairies
*1 x Gnome
*1 x Table
*2 x Chairs
*1 x Stove and teapot
*1 x Bed
*1 x Catterpillar
A lovely feature of to this boot is when you open the small side door and one of your characters crosses the threshold it plays a little tune and the lights above the door light up.
This boot is aimed from 18 months up to 5 years and encourages creativity, imagination and is great for your childs social skills as it is an ideal toy to play with others.
This toy is very durable. My little girl has had it for near one two years and has played with it at some point most weeks. All the pieces are as new and the boot is in near perfect condition. Another plus side to this toy is everything is durable plastic which can be easily washed.
We have had this fairyland bluebell boot toy for nearly 2 years now and my toddlers still just adore it. All the items included are quite large, so easy for small hands to play with. It is very durable, the only thing ever to happen is sometimes the front door comes off, or the tongue of the boot, the 'slide'. There is a bed, a stove, table and hairs, with 3 fairy figures, a gnome and a cute little caterpillar. The roof opens up to allow access to the bedroom, with little doors to the balcony. There is a little swing to sit your fairy figure in on the side of the house, though they tend to fall out! Finally there is a little button to press that makes the bluebells over the door light up and tinkle.
At £37.50 retail price, this is a worthwhile spend for any little girl. 2 years and still going strong. It encourages the imagination and your child learning to entertain themselves for a little while. If you have more than one child there is enough included to limit problems with sharing.
My Daughter's eyes widened when on Christmas morning, after ripping all the wrapping paper off, she discovered she had been a very good girl and received the Bluebell Boot.
For ages 18 months to 4 years and costing £37.50 this is another great educational toy from the ELC. My daughter now sits happily for hours playing and particularly likes to press the doorbell to make the lights flash and the bells tinkle. It really is a very cute toy and Mummy gets to play aswell!
The Boot is made from durable plastic in lovely pastel colours. One side opens out to reveal a little house inside. The tongue of the boot folds down which creates a slide. The toe of the boot also opens out to give access to what I would call the kitchen although interpretation by others could be different. And again the top of the boot opens up to reveal another play space. At the back there is a really cute swing which fits the characters well.
The toy came with some really cute people such as a gnome and fairy and also a sweet little caterpillar. There is furniture included aswell which is a set of seats, a lounger/bed, table and a kettle. All parts of the toy are chunky and easy for little hands to manipulate and use. They are also robust and will take a lot of rough and tumble which is great for the age group this is aimed at.
The Fairyland Bluebell Boot is really fantastic! Our eldest daughter was given it as a gift when she was 15 months and has played with it and played with it ever since - she is now 3 and it's still going strong! Our youngest daughter (just turned 1) is now also a huge fan of the boot and despite being played with so much for the last couple of years and landing quite heavily on the floor on more than one occasion, it's still in fantastic condition! You know when you buy from ELC you're getting a good quality toy that is not only fun but educational and very well put together. They know their audience well and build their toys accordingly - the boot is no different and really is built to last!!
The age range is 18 months+ but both my girls have played it from a younger age and although they may not have the imaginative play as much when younger, they have enjoyed looking at the boot, opening the various doors, pushing the doorbell, and playing with the fairies! Our youngest particularly enjoys putting things into things and on top of things so she has a great time putting the fairies into various parts of the boot and is now working on getting them to sit in the chairs! And our three year old is now well into the realms of real pretend play so has great fun setting the fairies up for tea parties! So it really is a toy that could be bought for a very young child and they would continue to get more and more out of it as they get older.
The boot itself is quite enticing and really does look magical! It's even more magical as you open it up or press the doorbell as you then hear the lovely tinkling magic sounds play! The boot opens up to have sort of two rooms downstairs as well as an attic and even has a swing outside! You also get 3 fairies, a gnome, a table, 2 chairs, bed, caterpillar and stove so your boot really is well kitted out!
The boot costs £37.50 from Early Learning Centre but there are always lots of 20% off codes for them so in reality you can get it for £30. This is also included in the Boots 3 for 2 christmas gifts offer so if you have a few toys to buy check out Boots as you can really get some bargains. I'd also recommend second hand if you're on a budget - as I already said, the boot has lasted us really well for a couple of years and ELC do build to last so second hand would no doubt still be in great condition.
If you like this, ELC also have a few other similar items to extend your set. The Roaming Rose Caravan is a gorgeous roamany caravan set that is very similar so definitely worth a look if your little ones enjoy the Fairytale Bluebell Boot.
My little girl Elsa is fast growing into an imaginative and clever little girl, gone are the days where a few brightly coloured soft toys would keep her happy, no, now she plays like a proper little girl with dollies, farm yards and all manner of play sets, one of her favourites is the Early Learning Centre Bluebell Boot play set from their Fairyland range, it was given to her as a gift from her uncle and from the moment we opened it she's wanted the toy out everyday.
The Bluebell Boot play set follows along the ELC range of Fairyland & Happy Land play sets, made up of a playhouse of some form which comes complete with characters and furniture, always made of chunky plastic and in bright colours the sets are designed to be suitable for children from 18 months of age, and as such there are few "small parts" to get broken or lost.
The Bluebell Boot looks as you would imagine it to, it's the shape of an old boot and opens up revealing the inside of the house which consists of several different floors including a small bedroom area, living room, porch and balcony, the tongue of the boot folds down creating a slide for the characters and at the back of the boot is a large flower from which is hung a swing. The boot itself is decorated with flowers and leaves and is a work of pure imagination looking as if the boot had truly been left in a garden and inhabited by fairies (fairies trained to install windows, doors and electronic musical doorbells) The inside of the house is designed to reflect the inside of a house with little features liked tiled flooring and some basic wall detail.
Several Fairyland characters come with the boot and the set also comes with furniture to put into to the rooms. The characters themselves are simply made with 1 piece of moulded plastic, making them very toddler friendly, but they all are beautifully moulded with adorable features and simple detail. Characters include 3 different fairies, a cute little gnome and a caterpillar, the furniture includes chairs, a table, an oven and a few other bits and pieces.
Price & Availability-
The play set is only available from the Early Learning Centre shops (which include outlets at Mothercare) and from their online store at www.elc.co.uk. It retails in the region of £38 although it will often be included in their sales.
Accessory sets are available for all Happy land and Fairland play sets and are also available in store and online. For the Bluebell boot in particular there is a nice Fairy Friends set which consists of a leaf swing and 3 extra fairies to boost your child's collection (£7) the Bluebell boot would also fit in nicely with other play sets including the Fairy Toadstool Cottage (£17) and Fairytale castle (£20)
As I said earlier from the moment Elsa saw this toy she loved it, anyone who's a parent will know the pressure when an excited child so desperately wants their new toy out of the box, this particular play set came with so many twist ties and tags holding it all in that the kids had a fair old wait until I finally released all the parts from their confinement. I didn't even have time to put in the batteries to operate the doorbell before they'd run off with the toy to start playing. We have another ELC play set, which we purchased a few years ago for Christopher, in the shape of a castle and so they were able to use both sets and characters to play happily for hours.
The play set is really well made, there are a minimal amount of small parts and only the carry handle and front door are easily detachable, I'm sure with a bit of force the hinges for opening the boot or it's roof could be pried loose but considering the castle set we had from 3 years ago is still perfectly intact, having never been broken in this way, I hold out great hope for the boot. Naturally keeping track of all the characters could prove tricky, however we've dedicated a toy basket to the play sets and their pieces meaning no bits get lost, they're all there ready for when the toy is wanted the next day.
While at first glance you might presume the boot to be a girly toy I can safely say that most toddlers will love it and that includes little boys (although for the more manly of boy toddlers there are lots of suitable sets for them including pirate ships and rockets) Christopher is going on 4 years old now but just as happily sits down with the set to play as his little sister does. It's great seeing them both playing happily together, marching the characters around their imaginary city, sitting at their table, talking to each other.........the play sets really do catch my little ones imaginations and I find it funny, yet totally adorable, to see these two little people in front of me making their toys act out "real life" Elsa even enjoys making the fairies from the boot play set go for a ride in the horse and carriage from the other play set and go to the shops, although a little less cute and slightly disturbing is when she brings the caterpillar to me and says "mummy eat" just what is she trying to say about my cooking I wonder!
Early Learning sets have always been popular and while there is little of academic educational value with the play sets like this there is so much to be gained from the imaginitive play that you simply can't complain if your child isn't learning their ABC while playing with them. The sets are meant to be suitable for up to 5 years and I can quite believe this to be true, they certainly last in a physical sense and because the child can grow as their imagination develops without outgrowing any specific age group allocated to the set (many academic toys are only suitable for certain levels of ability and achievement) you wont find a 5 year old bored with the toy because it is too easy for them.
There is only one issue I have with the toy and that is the price, £38 is a lot of money for a family to spend out on a toy like this, we were lucky that Elsa received it as a gift because I was unlikely to have got it for her myself, now I know how much she loves it I can see a certain value to the toy but having not known this before hand I wouldn't have wanted to risk spending the money for her not to enjoy it, at least I know it will last long enough to be worth £38.
Overall it's been a huge success, it's played with daily and the kids just love it, if it follows the trend of the castle play set it will last us a good few years, maybe we'll even be able to keep it in the attic when my kids are all grown up and pass it on to the grandkids (if I'm ever lucky enough to get any) but for now I at least know that my own kids will enjoy it, they'll certainly get enough play out of it to justify my brother having spent so much on it. If you've got the money to spare and are looking for a fun, imaginative play set for your child I can highly recommend this one.
Review can also be seen on Ciao under Piggypine.
My eldest daughter was so excited on Christmas morning when she discovered what Santa had brought her all the way from Lapland (via the Early Learning Centre!)
I do think that the Fairyland Bluebell Boot is every little girl's dream and when I first set eyes on it in the ELC, I knew that it was going to be my daughter's Christmas present!
Essentially, it is a doll's house but with a twist - the house is actually a boot, but when you open up the various different bits there are a number of rooms. The house is made out of sturdy plastic and is beautifully decorated on the outside with flowers and leaves. There are a number of little pink window frames which my daughter loves peeping through to see what is going on inside. There are also three tree trunk steps leading up to a pink front door complete with a bell that plays charming fairy music and lights up the bells overhead! My daughter loves this effect.
There are various different ways of getting into the boot - the toe opens up to reveal a space that could be a kitchen, the tongue of the boot (which also acts as a slide for the fairies) folds down so that you can see the bedroom area and balcony at the top, the leaf on the top of the boot lifts up so you can look inside and then one whole side of the boot swings open to reveal the main living space. There is some additional detail inside like an umbrella stand moulded to the wall, but there is not much of this which is slightly disappointing. At the back of the boot there is a lovely fairy swing.
The boot comes complete with three fairies and a gnome to live in the house. There is also some furniture including a couple of leaf chairs, a toadstool table and a stove and teapot. So you have everything ready to stir up a little girl's imagination, which it certainly did for my daughter. As soon as she set eyes on the boot, she was starting to make up stories involving all the little characters and has continued to do so ever since. This was one of the reasons I was so pleased with this present as it really has captured her interest.
One useful aspect of the boot is that it has a carrying handle which makes it quite portable. As we were going to the grandparents on Christmas Day, and there was no way Rachel was going to leave her boot behind, we were able to put all the little bits inside, close it all up and she was able to carry it like a suitcase.
As with most children's toys these days, it came in an incredibly large box, to which it was well attached with all these little bits of plastic string which are twisted and take forever to undo! Realising that it would be somewhat frustrating for Rachel to have to wait to get it out of the box, we did all this the night before, which I would always suggest when giving presents to young children. It always does seem such a waste to see so much packaging on a toy, and the size of the box did feel a bit excessive!
When I went to buy this boot it was selling for £35 but I managed to use an online code for the ELC which gave me 20% off which meant I bought if for £28 which I think was a better price. But, I would have to say, that for the hours of enjoyment it has already brought, at either price it is very good value. The boot is recommended from 18 months to 5 years, but at three and a half, I feel that my daughter is at the most appropriate age to get maximum enjoyment from it.
So far, it seems pretty sturdy and well put together and also is quite easy to wipe clean.
It's funny though, because when people ask my daughter what Santa brought for Christmas, there are many puzzled looks when she says a boot! But of course, they soon realise when they see it that this is not just any old boot!!
The fairies have made an old boot into a magical home. Bluebells over the door light up when the tinkling doorbell is pressed. The boot's tongue opens down to become a fairy slide. And there's room inside for the three fairies, gnome and friendly caterpillar. Plus a conker shell swing and a little garden round the back. Age Range: 18 months - 5 years.