“ Brand: ELC / Age: 18 months / Type: Playsets „
* Happy Street has been renamed HappyLand *
Welcome to Happyland, a town in miniature, I'm Sandra and I'm your guide for the day.
Founded in 2000, the town has grown up around the emergency station, which began service on the second birthday of the founder (Michael). For the last five years the fire engine and police car have been regularly attending all the local emergencies, ably assisted by the helicopter, and the sirens have been regularly sounding from the actual station, which houses our three brave rescue workers, the fireman, policeman and the highly skilled helicopter pilot. It's hard to believe the station is actually five years old as it's in such wonderful condition, surely a testament to the quality of the builders (The ELC), and it was built at such a bargain price too, costing the town forefathers the extremely reasonable price of £15.
Moving on, we can see all the busy construction workers as they improve the town's road and rail network, look they've even got a portacabin with flushing toilet. Although they're busy working on the very expensive travel network, (the town taxes were raised considerably to fund the £50 this cost), this will be their last job as they appear to have been decommissioned in the form the town paid for them, although they do seem to be available in smaller packs. The actual road and rail system is nicely integrated into the town, and it was easy to link the rescue station into the new roads. As you can see Happyland also boasts an electric train, which is operated by the weight of our very own driver. As the town grows in size we will probably be extending both our road and rail network to cope with the added traffic by buying expansion packs.
Now if you'll follow me we'll make our way to a some of the town's newer buildings, firstly we have the church, and look the Reverend Hughs has just finished marrying Jenny and Jasper and they're about to make their way to the airport in their horse-drawn carriage to leave on their honeymoon. The airport was very generously donated to the town by Mummy and Daddy last Christmas, and so the aeroplane and helicopter haven't really had much use yet but do seem to be as well built as the other vehicles in town. But our able pilots and air traffic controller are more than up to the job, and the control tower has already stood upto one giant attack.
Now if you'll just come into the tea room with me, we can look at the plans for the towns expansion while we have one of Mr Buns delicious cakes. Don't worry he won't mind if we talk while we eat, after all it is a bakery, and one taste of his bread and you'll wish you were in the range of his delivery round, but perhaps you live to far for the delivery boy to get there and back in his van in time for dinner.
To celebrate the founder's seventh birthday, we are planning to add a few new buildings to the town, we're not totally sure which as yet, but we have quite a large choice including A doctors surgery, train station, market stall, thatched cottage and farm, maybe you can help the town decide at the next meeting.
And that ladies and gentlemen concludes my tour, but if you pick up a leaflet on your way out, it contains even more information.
~~~What you always wanted to know about Happyland and we're afraid to ask~~~
When was Happyland founded?
Michael got his first Happyland set (the emergency station) on his 2nd birthday in 2000, and although he is developmentally delayed he soon learnt that pressing buttons on the station would give him the instant reward of siren blaring. He still has this first piece, and it's in remarkable condition, yes it's faded a little and some of the paint has chipped off the people, but it's still in one piece, even after the town was invaded by giants.
Who are the builders?
Happyland is constructed exclusively by the Early Learning Centre, and is available for purchase either on-line, in their High Street stores and certain branches of Sainsbury's.
What did the town cost to build?
When it was bought the emergency station only cost £15, but this has now increased to £20, we bought the road/rail network and construction set in a bumper pack for £50 and this is no longer available, but you can still buy separate packs containing the rail system, road system and construction workers. The church cost £15, while the airport was £20 and finally the tea-room cost £15. Now this may seem quite expensive, but they are very well made and seem to last forever.
How much will other buildings cost?
There are still quite a few buildings that Michael's town still lacks which include :
Market Stalls (£10) ~ A flower and vegetable stall with two stall keepers and their van.
Thatched Cottage (£25) ~ The Barley family's country cottage, this looks adorable.
Goosefeather Farm (£25) ~ This looks brilliant and is currently top of the most wanted list, consisting of a farm, complete with farmer, barn animals and tractor.
Country Station (£10) ~ A station for the railway system, along with the station guard and a passenger.
Doctors Surgery (£15) ~ Doctors surgery complete with doctor, ambulance, nurse and two patients.
Village Vet (£15) ~ Mr Paws the vet and his surgery along with his nurse, jeep and animal patients.
Along with these you can buy sets of people and animals from £5.
Come on help us decide which we should invest in next.
How old do you need to be to run Happyland?
The ELC's recommended age for Happyland toys is 18 months and up, and believe me, the upper limit is only decided by whether or not it's cool to play with such things. Michael is nearly 7, and he still loves his town and wants more, and his elder is sister is 9 and will join in.
Is Happyland a safe town?
Happyland is extremely safe, there are no sharp edges, and all batteries are hidden by screw down covers.
Will it survive a giant invasion?
Of course it will, over the last five years it's survived several clumsy giant invasions as Michael has tripped over it, I'm sure it will easily survive one more.
What does the Town's Founder think?
Michael adores his town, and plays with it regularly. from day one he has been able to make it do something, due to the fact all he needs to do is press a button. He often takes the people to bed with him, and needs his pockets checked each morning to make sure they're not hitching a ride to school. Oh and he was absolutely fascinated by the flushing toilet.
And what (if anything) is he learning?
To begin with he was only really using the cause and effect function of the pieces and was learning to press buttons, and place the driver in the train, which all helped his hand-eye co-ordination. But just recently he has started developing a very limited imagination and now spends time making up very limited stories. He is on the autistic spectrum, and although these are monotonous it's a start and it's improving all the time.
Finally, what does The Founder's Mum think?
Happyland is a wonderful concept, that combines cause and effect with imagination. Literally as your child grows the town can grow with them, my advice would be to start with one item and then add buildings on birthdays and Christmas, as they can be a little pricey, but remember they are very durable and Michael's first pieces are still going as strong now as they were 5 years ago.
Hiya I shop at the ELC quite a lot as I think it is great value for money, and the toys ae tough for little terrors like mine. I have recently come accross the Happy Street Hospital, the newest addition to the Happy St range. I love this toy, it is big enough for little hands to hold like all the range. It is a hospital with play ppl beds, wheelchair and ambulance. The price is good as well for the size and toughness of the toy. The hospital costs £30 and is available in most ELC toy shops. Other things in this range include a Playground which includes slide,swings,climbing frame ect as well as ppl, There is a Rescue Centre fire engine,and police cars, There is also a village with shops flower shop, post office, and various other things. This range also does a Road and Rail set with a train and track ,station which all clips together. I think the Happy St Range is a great product for all toddlers which is tough and turable for little people. The prices are reasonable as well, £10 for exras ie extra cars 3 for £10. The other sets are between £20 and 30, The hospital is £30, Village is £20, Recsue Centre £20. Railway £30. With christmas comming up this is a great toy that will last the years. Thanks for reading
Although this is an ELC product check out your local Sainsburies, as they sell a range of ELC toys, and often include them in the after Christmas sale. This is how I first discovered Happy Street, when I purchased the Village Green for £15 instead of the usual £30 with Christian's Christmas money, from Sainsburies when he was 13 months old. The set came with a track of about 15 pieces, park play mat, two cars, four figures, two animals, trees, traffic lights, a clock that chimes and has roosting pigeons that peep, a Post Office with a chiming door mat and ringing till and a phone box that rings. All comes in bright durable plastic, which is easy to clean. The track is easy for tiny fingers to put together by themselves, and the noisy parts are easy for tiny ones to reach. The batteries just started to run out after over a year this week, but when I took them out and put them back in they have come back to life, which is amazing considering how much my son plays with it. ELC are always adding new bits, so it really is an ideal starter, great as a back up if people don't know what to buy for baby. We received some doubles this year, and the ELC were great about exchanging them, so no problems there. With the age recommendation, ELC say 18 months plus, but once I had taken out the weighing scales there was nothing remotely dangerous. The solid plastic cars and figures would be fine for even quite a tiny baby, as they are moulded in one piece, and are much too big to be swallowed. Christian played with this quite happily from a year old, and friends with smaller babies found they really like the figures, which are chunky without movable arms etc., so very baby friendly. Also goes right up to as old as seven or eight years as provides opportunity for imaginative play. This will of course all depend on your child or baby, but I would have a look and see, as I think you'll be supprised at the excellent design that makes this possi
ble. The range of sets is ever increasing, from a set of four cars (racing car, police car etc.) with four figures for £7 to a Channel Tunnel kit, which is huge and even includes replica Big Ben and Eiffel Tower, for £75. This kit is though on sale at the moment, for about £60. They Happy Tracks sets are totally compatible, and includes really great ideas, like a train which only moves when the driver is in the seat, a lot easier for tiny fingers then the switches on a lot of train sets. The goods train, which comes with carriages and costs £10, can be used on Happy Street road set, so you don't even need to buy the track. Super quality, and if you shop around can be picked up for a reasonable price.
A couple of years ago My family were strugling to find pressies for my little boys 2nd birthday,we had searched every where then like a prayer answered the ELC bought out a new catologue.We had a look and in it was the "new" happy street range.It looked nice and sturdy and the colours made it attractive.We decided to get the village square to start with but when nana went to buy it they had sold out so she bought a flower stall and fishmongers set.It came with a couple of people which are nice and chunky and each person had a car.The shop has a welcome mat that makes a noise aswell as a phone and till that also make noises.My little boy loved it and now has a large set including a rescue centre with police,fire vehicles and a helicopter with helipad. The toy is suitable from 18months and i agree with this as all there are no small parts and the cars have nothing to come of them like wheels.The people are chunky making them easy for little hand to hold and if they end up in the mouth there is nothing that can come off. As there is a lot of shops sold seperatly it is a present that you can build on or tell the family about.Prices vary ranging from 10 pounds upto 75 pounds.They are adding to it all the time as this season they have brought out a park including slides swings etc,all parts are compatible and they evev have a train set in the same range called "happy tracks". It is well worth a look.
My best friend works in our local ELC. She mentioned that it is best to shop now rather than battling it out in the Christmas rush for the toys you wish to purchase. As grandad gave me £20 to 'get something for the little fella'. I thought I would try him out on the Happy Street Range. We (son and I) went into the ELC after about 5 minutes he spotted the Happy Street Emergency Centre. It is a little Emergency Services Station with helicopter and landing pad - police car and fire engine. They all come with a little matching person and a button to press to make the chosen sound. Each unit is compatiable with other peices of the Happy Street range and they also include track for trains and car etc. Everything you would fine on a very very busy street. Shops, farm, train station. He has played with it none stop - its a definate winner. Purchased the train station also, but thats gone to santie. The best thing about the whole range is that you can extend it with extra track and purchase the car etc on their own. Although it isn't particulary cheap. You can be assured that no small pieces will come off and they will be really tough toys to play with. I can't wait to see his face when he sees what will probably be the whole range of happy street on christmas day.
Set of 5 figures from the three emergency services and a police dog too!