Product Type: ELC baby toys
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Where the fairies live
ELC Fairyland Bluebell Boot
Member Name: CheshireJ
ELC Fairyland Bluebell Boot
Advantages: Lots to play with
Disadvantages: Carry handle and door fall off
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.
Summary: Little girls' imaginations will run away with this toy!
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