The happyland funfair is a brilliant small world set. Happyland in general is a high quality toy perfectly made for small hands that provides hours of fun for children aged 1 and above.
The set itself includes a ferris wheel, swinging pirate ship, merry go round, spin around rocket ride and a train. All of these have seats with holes in that the happyland people fit in to have a ride! The ferris wheel and merry go round make classic fairground musical sounds. You also get some lovely happyland people including a clown, ice cream man and a young girl eating candy floss.
Happyland funfair's RRP is £60 although I purchased it half price in Argos for £29.99. I think it is worth the money although the RRP is quite steep and I don't think I would purchase it at full price.
As well as purchasing this for my Son they have it where I work at a nursery. It has been played with lots there (and quite roughly) and still has not broken. I think this is brilliant as it has been used for over 3 years on a regular basis.
The set has thick people perfect for the whole hand grasp of young children, as well as chunky levers and buttons to make it easy for young children to be able to use without help.
There are no small parts for children to put in their mouth or lose and the bright colours and musical sounds make it extra appealing.
I feel it is one of the best small world sets you can purchase for a 1-2 year old and provides hours of fun for them.
We love the Happyland range from early learning centre and we now have a number of sets from the range. When I came across the funfair set reduced from £60 to just £20 I jumped at the chance to purchase it for my little girl. I had planned to buy the previous version a number of times for my son, but every time I remembered I found it was out of stock. For this reason I rushed through purchasing when it went on sale as I knew it would be popular.
In the set you receive a carousel, a train, a car, a pirate ship ride and a rocket ride. Then you also receive a huge set of 7 people to play in the fair. The 7 people include 2 fair ground workers, a clown and four children. All of the characters fit into each ride, including the fairground workers and figurines from other Happyland sets.
As with all happy land set the pieces are made from bright durable plastic and are the perfect size for little hands. The bright colours pull little one in but the interactive features really hold their attention. While all of the pieces and rides are fairly small put together it is a really substantial toy. Every ride, figurine and detail of the set are well thought out and very bold and attractive for small eyes.
While I was opening the different parts of the set as they are separated in the box all I could hear was gasps and wow's from my little girl. She is only 18 months old but she was clearly impressed with the contents that were appearing from the nice large box she had received. Before I could even pull out all of the parts she got stuck in and began playing. Since then its popularity has not dwindled in the slightest. This is still the first toy she runs to when she gets up in the morning and she truly seems to love it. She loved there were 7 characters to add to the set as it means that more than one ride can be used at a time.
The train has three spaces for characters and can be pushed along by hand. It moves freely across the floor. It is a really good size and is the matching pair to the car. Again the car is a fantastic size and is pushed along by hand. My daughter and I both think the vehicles are a really good addition to the set. It means she can transport the children between rides and make the full journey around the rides. They are large and chunky vehicles which make them perfect for smaller hands just learning how to make things work.
The carousel is my daughter favourite and mainly because it is more interactive than the other pieces of the set. All of the rides are operated by pushing them round with your hand. The carousel round actually has a large button that when you press it, the toy will spin independently. The more you press it the more power that builds up and it moves quickly. My little girl is able to do this all by herself, and while it is a great feature she still enjoys pushing it around herself. The ride will move when little one pushes the horses, so it can be operated two ways depending on how little one wants to interact with it.
The rocket ride has to be pushed by hand and only has two seats. This is probably one of the least used toys by my little girl, but it still receives a fair amount of play. It moves freely and rotates in a circle so it looks as though the children are almost tilting. Again the pirate ship only holds two characters at a time but my little girl really like this part of the set. By putting the characters in and pushing the handle on top of the toy it sends them rocking back and forth. As she only has to give it a little push and it continues to rock forwards and back for a few seconds she thinks it is brilliant. While it is simple it always brings a smile to her face.
We like that everything ties in with each other. As there are only two spaces on the pirate ship and two on the rocket toy it means that all four children can ride at once without anyone being left out. The carousel holds all four of the children at the same time so they can ride together, and with the train holding three and then the car holding one, again it evens out so none of the characters miss out. Also, as there are so many pieces more than one child can play with this toy without any bickering at all. At times three of my children will happily sit and play together, and as there are so many pieces they can do so with everyone having a fun part of the set.
My little girl just loves the simple details. Of course all of the rides actually move, but the little details like stairs leading up to the rides, a button on the carousel to push it around, the figurines holding ice creams and being really detailed add to her fun. While she is at the lower end of the age range she really embraces each part and it already adds to the fun she can create with her imagination. As she gets older I'm sure these details will be even more vital to create more detailed stories and really push her imagination further.
It states that this set is suitable for children from 18 months plus but I think it could easily be purchased for a first birthday as there is nothing that could harm little one. It is made for small hands anyway and there is nothing overly complicated that could confuse little one. To get the most out of the set I suppose the 18 months age range is probably best, but I still think it could be used by a younger child easily. All of the characters are pushed into the ride with ease and the base of their figurines mean they can both stand upright easily, but it also works on a push and click system so once they are in place they stay where they are supposed to until little one decides to take them back out.
I would highly recommend this set to anyone with a child one year plus in their house. I do think the £60 retail is a little inflated and this is shown in the fact that it is almost always on offer for at least half price. I would have been happy to pay £30 for the set, and I think at £20 we did get a bargain. The simple yet fun interaction is perfect for hand eye co-ordination, the colours hold little ones attention and all of my children love this set, so it appeals to a large age range. Every single part of the set fuels imagination, holds little ones attention and is generally good fun. While some parts are played with more than others, she genuinely loves every part and I would go as far to say this is the best toy we have purchased from ELC to date.
Having previously bought our son the Goosefeather Farm set, Fire Station and Police Station, when I saw this Funfair ready to play set on offer, I had to get it! It was £30 in Argos, original price £60.
It comes in a huge box with a carry handle, and contains four different rides (Ferris wheel not pictured for some reason), a train and 6 different figures. The carousel and Ferris wheel both takes batteries, one takes AA and one takes AAA (I can't remember which takes which!).
Once my little boy had opened this on Christmas morning, he forgot about all of his other presents and spent most of the morning playing with this. Each ride spins or turns very easily. The carousel plays music when you press the button down, and the ferris wheel plays music when you turn the handle. This is easy enough for a 20 month old to do, so is great for playing alone, although I love playing with it too! The little people have to be pushed into place otherwise they fall off when the rides are turning round. This is quite stiff, and very hard for my little boy to do by himself.
The rides are all very bright and chunky, and very hardwearing. They have already been dropped quite a few times, and it hasn't affected them at all. It's a perfect toy for a fun loving toddler!
I don't think it's worth it's full price of £60, but if you can get it when it's on offer then it's a great deal!
We recently brought this for our 18 month old daughter, and unfortunatly so far we have been a little dissappointed.
We paid £29.99 from argos, it was 1/2 price reduced from £60.00.
When we went to collect it I was very excited. The picture on the fount looked great and it was quite big so we were optimistic.
Inside was six littlepeople figures as well as a train, merry go round, a spaceship ride a swing boat ride and a Ferris wheel (this is not in the picture above, not sure why).
The Merry go round takes AA batteries and when you press the button it turns and plays music, which seems great except that the batteries only control the music, not the motion so you have to press the button furiously to keep it spinning and our 18 month old cant press hard or quick enough and gets a bit frustrated and bored. It would be much better if this could spin on its own.
The Ferris wheel takes AAA batteries (not sure why as like the merry go round this is simply to play music) again all the motion is created by manually turning the handle (again our daughter can't yet do this on her own).
There are no other features, except that you can swing the boat with your hand. push the train along etc
The people push down into the seats on the rides so they don't fall out when your spinning, pushing etc.
both the ferris wheel and the merry go round have two sound setting low and high which is always handy.
This does have some very good points:
It is well made an colourful, there is a variety of things to play with and you get six different figures to play with.
I think when our daughter is a bit older she will appreciate this a lot more and to be fair I think it is recommended for 2 years plus so maybe this is our fault to some degree. However she has lots of other toys aimed at older age groups and it hasn't been a problem.
For the £29.99 it was a good toy, not fantastic but quite nice.
However if we had paid full price at £60 I think we would be very disappointed indeed.
Two year old Freddy has a huge collection of Happyland toys, from almost all of the different themes, he has the village, the school, train, farm, space rocket and even dinosaur set, but one set that was missing from his collection is the Ready To Play Funfair. When we saw this set offered at a fabulous 50% off recently, we couldn't help ourselves, we know how much he loves his Happyland toys, how fantastic they are for helping him develop his imagination and how well they survive his rather rough play. The Ready To Play Funfair seems to have been updated quite recently, previously you had to buy the Ferris Wheel separately, but now this comes included which is reflected in the price, which is £60 at full price and £30 when on offer.
==Roll Up, Roll Up - A parent's View==
The Ready To Play Funfair is supplied in a fairly large cardboard box that comes complete with a rather handy carry handle. Unlike many of the Happyland toys you are unable to see the pieces through an open face or test the sounds before purchasing. Within this large box are two smaller boxes each containing a number of elements wrapped in their own plastic bags. While I was immediately happy that there were none of those stupid plastic ties to untwist, I do still feel there was a little too much packaging and that the plastic bags were, perhaps, overkill. There are a couple of elements within the set that require batteries and these are not included, so if you are planning on giving this as a gift it's a good idea to buy a pack of AA and another AAA. Just like the real thing the Happyland Funfair features a few different rides and has a lot of children who come to join in the fun so it takes up quite a lot of room when set up. In fact when we set this up it takes up most of our living room floor, so maybe not idea for those short of space.
The largest element of the funfair is the Ferris wheel or as we call it (being English rather than American) the Big Wheel. If purchased separately this fairly large piece would set you back £22 at full price, which as far as I'm concerned means that this set is an absolute bargain. Standing approximately 27cm tall the big wheel is almost completely formed of tough plastic. The yellow wheel turns easily on it's axis and can either be turned by hand or via a crank handle. Within the wheel there are a total of four swinging seats for the Happyland characters to sit in, and what I especially like about these seats is that rather than the newer peg system these simply have holes to hold the characters in place. This system makes it easy for a child to place the characters in the seats and yet holds them securely enough that they don't fall out during a ride. The crank turns easily and the extra special little feature of the wheel is that once a pair of AA batteries are installed behind the securely screw locked flap a short tune will play. This tune literally only plays for a couple of seconds and really isn't that annoying, but the volume can be controlled if your child is a little obsessive, with the half volume not being loud enough to hear over a moderately loud television. Battery consumption is on the low side, we installed a pair at the beginning of the month and with very regular play they are still going strong.
The next largest piece in the set is the carousel or merry-go-round, which is another piece that requires batteries, this time a pair of AAA. Although slightly smaller than the big wheel, the merry-go-round still stands an impressive 24cm (approx) tall and takes up a touch more floor space. I think that this is probably the prettiest part of the with it's red and yellow striped marquee style top and four horses that ride round and round. Each of the horses has a space for a single character to sit and ride, but unlike the big wheel these do utilise the peg system to keep those characters in place. From experience I know that this peg system is frustrating for young children and even as an adult I find it quite difficult to push the characters down hard enough for them to stay put. As with the big wheel the horses can be pushed down by hand, but there is also a large button that when pressed not only sets them moving but also plays one of three short tunes. If this button is repeatedly pressed then the horses build an impressive build of speed and in fact travel so fast that the riders occasionally fly off in all directions. The tunes played are of a traditional fairground type and while longer than those on the big wheel are still very short at under thirty seconds and again there are two volume levels available. What I particularly like about both the big wheel and merry-go-round is that they can be played with while switched off or without batteries, so that if you did forget to buy batteries before giving this as a gift it doesn't really spoil the child's enjoyment.
There are another two rides in the funfair, neither of which require batteries. Firstly there is the spinning space ships, which holds two characters (using that peg system again). The two space ships spin easily with just a small push but do lose momentum quite quickly. What I particularly like about this ride is that space ships have very obviously been designed to tie in with the space themed Happyland sets. The final ride is a pirate ship, that again holds up to two characters, again using that awkward peg system. I wouldn't say the pirate ship was the most extreme of rides, it does swing easily but again comes to a stop very quickly. All of the rides are made of the same tough plastic and apart from the Merry-go-round they are all designed so that there is a platform for the operator (character) to stand. While I do think that all these rides are generally well made, one possible problem that I have noticed is that nearly all of them are decorated with stickers and Freddy and stickers really don't mix (he tends to pull them off and eat them). I do however like the colour scheme and think that it is very attractive to toddlers, the light blues, yellows and reds are bright without being garish.
Even if there were only the rides included in the set I think we more than got our money's worth but there are still several more pieces. There is a small red bus, with free-wheeling wheels that can hold four characters as they make their way to and from the fair. This is quite a nice bus, in fact it is identical to one that we already own that is the Sunflower School Bus. There is a also a small steam train with two carriages that is perfect to carry the characters from one ride another. This train is extremely easy for little ones to push and rather than the carriages being removable they are permanently attached and yet still articulate. Unfortunately the train yet again uses the peg system to hold the characters in place, but the bus doesn't. The final vehicle in the set is an ice-cream bike which is a kind of backwards tricycle with a freezer box on the front. What's really nice about this bike is a roller that has pictures of all different types of ice cream on it and can be spun to display which lolly the buyer wants.
The final elements of the set are not one, not two but seven Happyland characters. If you've never seen a Happyland character before then you wouldn't know that these little people are fantastically detailed and formed of a tough rubber-like material with their features painted on. All of the Happyland characters are incredibly well-made , about 7-8cm tall and feature a small hole in their base that allows makes them compatible with other vehicles within the range, meaning that your child can really mix and match. Another thing I like with the Happyland characters is that they encompass both sexes and different ethnicities and many of them break with stereotypes. Unfortunately a couple of the characters in this set are stereotypical, the ice cream seller is definitely a stereotypical moustachioed Italian, no matter how beautifully detailed he is with his bow tie, apron and ice-cream scoop. The ride operator is equally stereotypical, with his boater hat, stripy trousers and money apron. Personally I would have liked at least one or the other of these characters to be female. While very jolly looking with his hat, suit and pom-poms the clown is rather out of place in a funfair, if this was a circus set I could understand his inclusion, but I can't quite work out why he was included. The final four characters are a group of four children, two boys and two girls, who have obviously visited the ice-cream seller and are now eating their goodies.
As an adult I think this set is fantastic and more than worth the £30 I paid. There are lots of pieces to spark a child's imagination and lots for children to push, turn and spin. As with all the Happyland sets, I can't help but be impressed with the attention to detail and thought that has gone into the pieces. In fact simply from an adult's perspective I would give this set four out of five, dropping that one star because the original selling price is a tad high. But as with any toy it's not just my opinion that counts....
==All Of The Fun Of The Fair - A Toddler's Perspective==
At two years old, Freddy falls firmly within the recommended age range of eighteen months to four years, but I must tell you that Freddy has a developmental delay including speech and social difficulties and so isn't a typical two year old. Saying that he has been playing with various Happyland sets since he was about ten months old and he does love them even though he doesn't exactly play with them conventionally.
As soon as he saw the box Freddy made it perfectly clear that he wanted to play with the funfair NOW. So we opened it and he took the pieces as we freed them of the plastic wrapping. The first piece that Freddy got his grubby little mitts on was the big wheel and he instantly discovered that he could spin the wheel round and make the seats swing. He absolutely adored doing this and it was a struggle to get it off him long enough to install the batteries. On discovering that the wheel now played music as well as spinning, Freddy was even more entranced (if that's possible) and spent a good length of time spinning it. As some of the characters were unwrapped, I showed him how they could sit in the seats and have a ride, which was something he could manage with ease. I then showed him how to turn the crank handle, which is a good size for little hands, but to be honest he finds turning the wheel by hand easier.
It was a similar story with the merry-go-round, he loves to spin the horses round, but this time finds the button easier to press and can manage to get the horses going really fast. As the Merry-go-round uses the peg system to hold the characters in place, Freddy does occasionally get frustrated at how difficult they are to place and how easily they seem to fly out. With all the rides Freddy loves to make them spin or swing, while occasionally placing the characters in or taking them out, but he is very obsessive about this kind of thing. Freddy also loves the vehicles, finds them just the right size to hold and very easy to push across the floor. As with all the Happyland vehicles they run very smoothly and quite fast even over short pile carpets.
As well allowing him to play on his own, I obviously share this set with him, very often in conjunction with his other Happyland sets. This gives me a great opportunity to help him develop his conversational, imaginative and role play skills as I talk about which characters are doing what, how they may be feeling and sometimes make up silly scenarios (we had the aliens visiting the funfair one day, and the cavemen another). Just as he enjoys his alone time playing with the set, he loves those times when we play together.
All in all I would say that Freddy absolutely adores this set, it is the first toy he makes his way to in the morning and he gets very upset if it has been moved. If he could talk I'm sure Freddy would give the Funfair ten stars out of five, he really does love it that much.
==Developmental Benefits And Age Suitability==
Billed as suitable for children between the ages of eighteen months and four years the ELC themselves claim that this set will help your child develop their imagination, understanding of the world around them and social skills. Although I do agree with these claims, I do have to add that the set will also help your child develop their fine motor (small movements), gross motor (large movements) and hand eye coordination as they push buttons, chase cars, put the characters in the rides and spin and swing while also learning about cause and effect as they set off the sounds. As your child plays (and you join in) you can use this set to talk about an upcoming trip to a fairground (or theme park) and the different emotions your child may experience such as excitement, nervous, bored (waiting in queues) or even scared. With a child like Freddy this is invaluable as he is non-verbal and I'm constantly looking for ways to encourage his speech and self-awareness.
As to whether the ELC has got the age range right, well I do think that they are being a little over-cautious on the lower limit. Freddy has been playing with Happyland sets since well before his first birthday and this are so well made without small parts that I would have been perfectly happy for him to have played with this at that age. Of course this means that this set is perfect if you have a crawling baby in the house as well as a toddler as you don't have to worry about baby putting bits in their mouth and choking. In fact the characters make ideal teethers as strange as that sounds, Freddy used to love chewing on them when his back teeth were giving him problems.
This is also a set that is going to last the distance, it is incredibly well made and has so survived Freddy's very rough play (including being thrown across the room) with no damage. My only concern is that the stickers may be pulled off at some point (but this is only cosmetic). Being made of plastic the whole set is easy to wipe clean and so can happily be passed down to siblings, relatives or other children (or sold on), once the child gets too old for it (which I would imagine would be around three and a half to four depending on the child.
This is a brilliant set from a brilliant range of toys and even more brilliant when bought at half price. I've been buying toys from the Happyland range for well over a decade now (older children), have always been impressed with the attention to detail, quality and overall design and this set is no exception. Although the funfair does take up quite a lot of floor (and toy box) space, it's well worth is just for the pleasure it gives Freddy. There are lots of different things for him to discover and it's actually a real pleasure to share the rides with him as well as just watching him chatter away in his own special language as he plays. Although the standard price is quite high as with all Happyland toys it is often included in their sales (we have a huge collection and have never paid full price) and so I am perfectly happy to give the Ready To Play Funfair a hearty five out of five and recommend it as a gift to any toddler between the ages of twelve months and three and a half. Just wait for it to go on sale though.
Those who have read a number of my reviews will have noticed that my twin boys have a huge toy collection and at least half of their toys come from ELC. My boys have a very clear favourite range of toys from ELC which are the "HappyLand" sets; a collection of imaginative play sets. For Christmas 2011 we decided to expand the boys' ever growing HappyLand collection with the ELC HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set.
***HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set***
The HappyLand range from ELC is aimed at toddlers and within the collection are various sets to make up an imaginary town, consisting of different buildings, vehicles and characters to help children explore their imagination.
ELC offer two versions of the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set. The older set costs £60.00 and includes a Ferris Wheel. The newer set (which we bought in November 2011 and a staff member explained this was the "new") does not include the Ferris wheel and costs £48.00 and you have to purchase the Ferris Wheel separately although all of the other parts in the set are identical and have not changed. My review will be based on the "new" HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set.
The HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair includes:
A spinning musical carousel. This is made from mainly red and orange plastic and has space for 4 characters to sit on the carousel horses. When a button is pressed on the base the carousel spins and plays fairground music.
A spinning rocket ride- This is made from blue and green plastic and the two rocket cars with space for two characters spin on an axel when a child turns it around.
A swinging pirate boat ride- This is a green and blue plastic swinging boat with space for two characters inside.
Train- A plastic train with space for a driver and two further carriages which hold one person per carriage.
The set also comes with 5 different figures which include a clown, fairground workers and children.
The set requires 3 AAA size batteries which go into the carousel.
ELC state that the set is suitable for children over 18 months old.
The set is available from ELC stores and also online. As explained earlier in the review there are two "versions" of this set however the "new" set which my review is about does not include a Ferris Wheel and is priced at £48.00. At this price this is one of the more expensive HappyLand sets and although I think this is one of the best HappyLand sets I do think this is a lot of money for this toy. We purchased during a half price event during November 2011 for £24.00 which I feel was very good value and personally I would not recommend paying more than £30.00 for this set.
Like all of the other Happyland sets the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set comes with a lot of packaging. Because this is a large set with many parts you are required to remove the individual rides from the cardboard packaging and each of the rides are held in with five or six ties so this does take some time, in fact probably at least 10 minutes. Once the pieces of the set are removed from the packaging they are ready to be played with because the carousel comes with batteries included.
The HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set is basically made up of 3 rides, a train and five different characters. When set out all together this is a really fun attractive looking set because of all of the brightly coloured pieces. For one child this is a really fun set with lots of parts to keep them entertained but because of the larger size of the set is great for encouraging children to share and play together and interact. There are enough rides for more than one child to play with, without too many squabbles and because there are five figures that come with the set these can very easily be shared out. I have found that with many of the smaller Happyland sets although there are enough parts or pieces of the set for both my boys to play with there are not enough figures which causes many arguments.
The carousel is in my opinion probably the "main" part in the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set. There are four horses on the carousel each with a "seat" in which a figure can be placed into therefore four of the figures can ride on the carousel. The seats on the carousel are very easy even for a young toddler to place the figures into. My boys were 23 months old when we bought this set for them and they easily could place the figures into the carousel as they could with the other parts of the set. There is a button to press on the base of the carousel which when pressed spins the carousel around. There is an on switch on the base of the carousel (with a half and full volume button) which when turned on plays fairground music. This adds to the fun and my boys enjoy and giggle as the carousel spins and plays music but you do not need to have the on button on for the carousel to spin. Even when this is switched off the carousel still spins although the music does not play. I was surprised how quickly the batteries needed replacing and after 2 months of a reasonable amount of play I had to change the batteries.
The swinging pirate boat and spinning rocket ride are the other two "rides" as part of this funfair set. These have no buttons to press and do not play music so it depends on a child to make them move. The pirate boat swings by rocking it however I do feel it is quite stiff and means a child constantly needs to push it back and forwards to make it move rather than just set it off swinging and allowing momentum to continue its movement. This is also the case with the rocket ride that spins. A child needs to constantly turn it rather than just set it off spinning around. Both of these rides fit two figures inside of them which are very easy for even very young children to put inside.
The train that comes with the set is also very easy to push around the floor and has space for three figures to fit inside; one in the driver's seat and a seat in each of the two carriages. These are also very easy for a young child to put a figure inside and push the train about without the figures falling out. I do think the wheels on the train are slightly stiff however. This is fine when my boys are pushing on wooden flooring but when they push the train over our short pile rug they have to use a reasonable amount of effort to keep it moving therefore on carpet the train will not move around so easily which may frustrate a child.
We bought the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set for Christmas 2011 so my boys were 23 months old when they started playing with this toy, obviously older than the 18months and over age guide. My boys have been playing with different HappyLand toys since they were around 12 months old and I would have been comfortable to let them play with the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set from this young age. There are no small parts and even for a child under 18 months old I feel because of all of the different coloured rides that move and the music played by the carousel this would be a very fun and entertaining toy. The figures that come with the set are very easy for small hands to hold and I feel for younger children there are many developmental benefits as by placing the figures in and out of the various rides and moving the rides around can help with motor skills and hand to eye coordination.
I do think from 18 months old toddlers and children will get the most benefits out of this toy from a developmental perspective and this will help with encouraging them to be imaginative whilst they play. The set has so many parts to it a child can really enjoy and focus on placing the figures into the different rides and acting out a fairground scenario. Watching my boys play who are just over 2 years old is very enjoyable as they talk out their different make believe scenarios which encourages their speech and when they are playing with the set together they also interact and talk to each other so I feel this set encourages interaction more so than some of the other HappyLand sets do.
For older toddlers and children their interest in this toy will be very much dependent on their personal play preferences so will vary between children but I do think that the HappyLand Musical Ferris Wheel would interest children up to the age of around 3 and a half. I think the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set is one of the HappyLand sets that would interest older children more so than some of the others because of all the moving parts and the attraction of placing the figures inside of the rides and spinning them around fast. I know when my friends little boy comes to visit who is 3 and a half he seems to really enjoy placing the figures on the carousel and spinning them around fast by pressing the button repeatedly whereas with some of the other HappyLand toys we own he doesn't seem to bother with at all.
Durability wise all pieces of the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set are well made. My boys play rough with most toys and this Happyland set is no exception to that. Each of the individual rides and characters have been thrown on the wooden flooring on a number of occasions and have suffered no damage. My boys have regularly attempted to pick up a number of pieces at once and have dropped them and all moving parts of the rides are still in full working order. Like most ELC toys the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set is made from a hard durable plastic which is not only robust it also can easily be wiped clean. The characters that come with this set have all been gnawed on and none of the detail on these characters has scratched off and there are no tooth marks left in these figures from my boys repeatedly biting them.
My boys love the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair set and I would definitely say it is one of the best purchases from the HappyLand range. The set is a lot of fun and because there are different rides which makes sounds and have different moveable parts and a train to play with my boys are entertained for a long time giving the many characters rides on the different parts of the funfair. I also find that because this is a larger set it is perfect to encourage sharing and playing together and you can definitely have more than one child playing with it at one time, which you can't do with a number of the smaller HappyLand sets.
My main criticism of the set is it is very expensive when sold at full price. The quality of the different pieces of the set are very good and my boys get a lot of enjoyment out of the set but I do think £48.00 is excessive, especially if you also purchase the HappyLand Ferris Wheel separately like we did to add onto the set. We did purchase the HappyLand Ready to Play Funfair during a half-price sale and I think for £24.00 this is much more reasonable and I would say the price for this set should be no more than £30.00.
Another (fun) fair toy from ELC.
We bought this, along with other Happyland products, for my daughter's 1st birthday. Although she hadn't reached the recommended age of 18 months, she still enjoyed playing with it. There are no small parts so it's safe for all ages. It required no assembly and was ready to use straight from the box.
This has been one of her favourites from all the Happyland toys she has and she's had over 3 years of fun out of it. I think back then it was £35, and I used a Big Birthday Club 20% off voucher. But it now retails at £40 which is quite overpriced in my opinion.
The set consists of:
- A carousel featuring 4 horses around a mirrored centre. The Happyland characters are supposed to fit into the horses, secured by fitting onto a small bump, but have a tendency to fly off when the carousel is moving - annoying at times, amusing at others! In fact we've been known to not even try and secure the figures in just so they'll fly out once the carousel starts rotating. Pressing the large button on this battery (2 x AAA) operated toy makes the carousel move round, and play fairground type music. One good press and it does around 2 rotations, whilst the music plays. If it stops rotating before the music stops you can keep pressing to make it rotate. As it's been used so much the batteries recently ran out, although they lasted a fair amount of time given how much it's been played with. Not all characters from Happyland will fit properly into the horses, those with larger bottoms won't go in, which is frustrating for little ones. The detail is nice on the carousel, with little "lights" around the edge, and the mirrors in the centre, just like a real carousel. There are two horses of each colour. The top of the carousel collects dust and other bits easily due to its shape.
- The spinning rockets ride has two rocket ships which the figures fit into, again they're not that secure and fall out easily. No batteries here, you need to spin it around yourself. It's fairly sturdy, although pushing it round too fast can sometimes lead to it falling over.
- A pirate boat ride, is basically just that. A pirate ship that swings back and forth, seating a figure in each. It can be used as a swing-type toy, or if you hold down the base you can get the ship to do a full 360 rotation!
- A train completes the ride elements of the set, and seats 3 figures. It can be tricky to get one in the front seat due to the overhang on the front carriage. This is a nice addition and a good way for the figures to get around the fairground, plus it's an extra ride for them to go on. This gets played with outside of the fairground set in our house, and used as a general get around vehicle for the other Happyland figures.
- Four figures are provided: A fairground man, a clown, a boy and a girl. The fairground man looks quite traditional and stereotypical, with a straw boater, bow tie and striped trousers. It would have been nice to have an adult figure provided, i.e. a parent for the children, as it would be good to teach children that it's best to go to the fairground on their own, especially with a clown on the prowl!
Overall this is a great toy set which encourages kids to use their imaginations and develop social skills. It's also good for teaching cause and effect, with buttons to press and things to spin round. Kids can take the Happyland figures from other sets on a day out to the fairground, or maybe the fairground could come to town. If you have the Happyland airport set and plane, they could all go on a Disney-type holiday to the fair. And as I said above my girls have got lots and lots of use out of this and keep returning to it on a daily basis.
It's well built, especially compared to some of the other Happyland range, no bits have fallen off, although paint does scratch off over time.
A musical ferris wheel is available from ELC and would complement this set well.
ELC have sales every so often on Happyland items, so I'd recommend waiting for it to be on sale rather than paying full price, or use a 20% off voucher (via Big Birthday Club or occasionally available on food packs).