* Prices may differ from that shown
The ELC Happyland emergency vehicle set was one of the first toys that I bought for my son when he was very young, and I have had the set for about 7 or 8 years. It is strange that this set remains unchanged from the set that I bought, and I still a really popular item in ELC stores today.
The set is part of the ELC Happyland range, which includes different playsets, figures and scenes. The little figures are just the right size for small hands, and made from soft plastic. The set contains 3 vehicles: A fire engine, An ambulance and a police car. The vehicles are each powered by 2 button cell batteries, which enable the vehicles to make siren sounds when banged or pressed, as well as activating the small lights on top of the vehicles. The battery does not control motion, and these are manual push along toys.
The drivers are each made from a single piece of moulded soft plastic, so there are no bits to pull or break off. They have happy smiling appealing faces, and would make excellent bath toys, or standalone toys without the need for the vehicles.
Each vehicle has a small round dip where you can seat the drivers. It is easy for even very young children to get the drivers in and out of the vehicles. Because there are 3 in the set, the child can use them in a variety of games, having interactivity between the characters, or racing the vehicles and making up stories. The vehicles are just a nice size to pop into a bag to take to a friend or family member's house for something to amuse the child.
There are no sharp bits or breakable bits on these toys, which are aimed at children from 12 months and up. If a 12 month old child put one of these in their mouth, there would be nothing to hurt them.
The fact that I have had these toys for 7 years is testimony to how good they are and how popular they have been with our family. As I had my 3 children close together, I never saw the need to get rid of these excellent toys, which have been popular with all 3 kids at some point.
I don't have many gripes about the toys, apart from the fact that the sounds and lights can be a bit tricky to activate and sometimes you have to bang the cars down really hard to get them to make a noise, which can be frustrating for young kids. Another down side is that a child wedged a large plastic figure into our fire engine and we couldn't get it unstuck, so now the fire engine has a permanent new driver!
For £10 from ELC, these toys are the high quality you would expect, and after 7 years look almost as good as new and have taken the constant bashing, smashing sucking and chewing in their stride. As part of a bigger range, you can expand your collection as much as you want, but I found these toys were great on their own. A lovely first car set for very young kids.
I bought these vehicles for my sons second christmas so he would have been 14 months old. He is now 5 and these vehicles are at my parents house where my son still plays with them, and his three younger cousins.
******** What you get *********
A pack of three emergency vehicles -
* Fire Engine - With a fire man
* Police Car - With a police man
* Ambulance - With a doctor
******* What they do ***********
Each has a siren - a wailing noise - not nearly as annoying as it could be.
Both of these are activated by pushing them along although sometimes you may need to push down on the drivers head to activate these.
******** My opinion **********
My son has spent many hours playing with these vehicles as have his cousins. The batteries seem to last well, I actually can't remember changing them although I must have done. The battery compartment has a screwded on cover like most toys from there.
These are sturdy vehicles, they have survived a lot of rough and tumble over the years and have been used indoors and out. My son is desperate to be a fireman so over the year his play has progressed from simple pushing along for the noise to dashing to emergencies where he can be the hero.
****** The Happyland range *******
These are the first toys I bought in Happyland range from the early learning centre. Happyland is similar in style to the fisher price little people. It is quite an extensive range of toys of varying prices and sizes. You could build your own toy city and let your imagination run wild. The range is aimed at children from 18months to 4 years.
****** The Price *********
This set of three vehicles and driver is currently selling for £10 which I feel is a fair price. However, the other items in the Happyland range can be really expensive. Prices start at £8 for accesories and go up to £60 for the play village. For detailed prices see the Early Learning Centre Website
***** My conclusions ******
As vehicles they are great. Good Value for money and sturdy. If you are looking at them as part of a more extensive collection however check the prices and reviews on the other items. In my opinion there are cheaper and better quality playsets available. Also watch out for the packaging, as a christmas present my son was left impatiently waiting and growing increasingly frustrated as I wrestled with the plastic and wire coils found on so many toys.
Early Learning Centre's Happy Land is aimed at stimulating a child's imagination by letting the child participate in an imaginary world that in so many ways reflects the real world. There are a number of Happy Land packages with various themes that enable the child to create such a world. I remember playing with similar toys myself when I was a kid and always remember using my imagination and inventing stories with the help of small figures and other objects. The Happy Land range consists of different packaged items of different sizes and offering different contents from which a small town or village can be created. The contents of each package may include such items as houses, farms, fire stations, vehicles and people.
I recently bought the Happy Land Emergency Vehicle set as a Christmas present for my niece who is 18 months old. The package includes three brightly coloured four wheeled vehicles: an ambulance, a fire engine and a police car. Each vehicle is accompanied by their own individual figure: a fireman, a policeman and a very young looking doctor. These little people all have similar faces and seem to be from the same family (you can tell by the eyes). The figures can stand upright or can be securely placed inside their own vehicle. The vehicles all have pairs of flashing lights and make siren type noises that aren't as irritating as I first imagined they would be. The siren noises are activated by pressing down gently on top of the vehicles, although this is not as easy as it sounds; sometimes you press firmly and nothing happens, other times you just have to nudge them in the box and they all go berserk. The vehicle lights and sirens are powered by a small battery in the base secured by a screwed down cover. The individual pieces seem sturdy enough and should last well. I like the style of the vehicles except for the windows which are coloured light blue, they should be painted a dark colour to represent the shaded interior of the vehicle (even an 18 month old child would know that! :-)). Although the idea of Happy Land is to buy a range of items that you can add together and build into a little world, I do feel that the Happy Land Emergency Vehicle set is sufficient by itself to give to a child as a present and should provide hours of enjoyment.
The one thing I don't like about the product, nor for the at matter all the other products in the range, is that there is also a lot of unnecessary packaging including pieces of wire and small bits of plastic that are a nuisance to unravel. If you buy this as a present for a young child (it is recommended for kids between 18 months and 4 years) be sure to remove and bin all the packaging before wrapping it up.
The Happy Land Emergency Vehicle Set is one of the cheaper and smaller packages in the range that you can buy. It is currently on sale at ELC for £10.
The HappyLand Emergency Vehicle Set consists of a plastic police car, fire engine and ambulance, each with its own uniformed driver. This was a Christmas present for my daughter who also received other Happyland characters with Rose cottage. The characters do seem to be a good size for toddlers to get to grips with.
The characters - These are 2 - 3 inches high and all are white and probably meant to be male, (although we have decided our police officer is a wpc called Jenny). My daughter's current favourite is the fireman - don't ask me why. All the Happyland characters are similar looking, quite androgynous faces with black dots for eyes, a little button nose and a smiley indent for a mouth.
The vehicles - all the vehicles have flashing lights and make realistic sounding siren noises, although, thankfully, not too loud. It is a bit of a mystery to me exactly how the sirens work. They don't always go off if you push the toy along, but can go off if you gently pick the toy up and try not to set them off! They seem quite sensitive, my husband seems to think they work by pressing the back wheels, but whichever way they work, they go off easily and satisfactorily. The fire engine has a ladder on the back which can be pushed upright, apart from that the only moveable bits of the vehicles are the wheels.
They take small replaceable batteries, although I imagine they will last a while. They seem to be quite durable little toys - they have been chucked about a bit by my little one to no ill effects.
Price; currently £10 on the Early Learning Centre website. The given age range is 18 months - 4 years.
Each emergency vehicle comes with own driver.