Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... 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 ex... more
Beautiful Bluebell Boot
ELC Fairyland Bluebell Boot
Member Name: Bunnyhop2
ELC Fairyland Bluebell Boot
Advantages: A lovely toy with lots to explore
Disadvantages: 2 out of 3 sounds don't work
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.
Summary: Makes my girls happy, I was disappointed by sound failure
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