* Prices may differ from that shown
My parents were looking for a little toy to buy for my son for Christmas as they had got him some other things as well. We were in The Early Learning Centre a few days before Christmas and it was absolutely manic with kids running everywhere and frazzled parents looking like they wanted to run away so I was not too interested in browsing so I literally just quickly picked up this Happyland police station knowing that Happyland usually do really good toys as my little girl has quite a few of the sets. Well, I'm glad we got this in the end as its a really nice little toy.
We have quite an extensive range of Happyland sets, houses and figurines now as I think they are great toys for my little girl that in my opinion are not only fun but educational as well. Happyland is a magical land brought to you by those clever people at Early Learning Centre. They describe Happyland as, "A place where children's imagination can run wild. ELC offer a range of fabulous buildings, characters, animals and vehicles from this great range. With HappyLand toys children can build a collection that can be added to over time to create an imaginary town and learn about all walks of life."
This set comes with a police station with a yellow handle so you can carry it around which I like because then you can play with it in different places or can pack it up nicely as everything fits inside and can take it to other peoples houses to play with. It's a cute little barn looking station with the word police written on the side. At the front it has two red doors that open and have a hook on the to keep them closed.
Then there is a police car which the policeman can sit in and when he does the siren rings and the light flashes. The siren is really quite realistic and does sound like a fairly real police car so I think this is great for role play and a fun car to have.
The set also comes with two figures. There is one policeman with a hat and little tie and a robber with a cool mask which makes him look like the hamburgular from McDonalds. The set is for 18 months plus but I would recommend it for ages well before that. The police car takes 2 x A76 batteries.
All in all I think this is a wonderfully cute little set and if you have other Happyland sets this fits in perfectly, great fun to role play with and make up fun stories with your little ones.
For Freddy's birthday rather than people buying him duplicate presents, we asked that he should be given various sets from the Happyland range. One of the sets that he received was this the Happyland Police Station, which appears to have changed since the picture above was published.
==Hello, Hello - A Parent's View==
The police station came packaged in the standard Happyland box, with an open front to allow the sounds to be tested before purchase. Removing the station from the packaging was a bit of a palaver, there were those ridiculous plastic ties to be untwisted and plastic that needed to be peeled back from cardboard. Although it did only take a few minutes to remove the packaging, I would suggest keeping the child's attention diverted while opening this.
On removing this from the packaging, I was slightly disappointed by this set and the number of pieces it contains. The station itself is fairly small, measuring just 14cm by 9cm and standing 18cm high. Made of durable plastic, the cream and pale blue exterior does feature a fair amount of detail, but no where nearly as much as some of the other Happyland buildings. The rear of the station is open allowing little hands easy access to the interior and there is a single opening door on the front. The two windows are firmly fixed in place and do not open or close. I do like the little notice board on one of the sides, but I don't like that it's a sticker rather than being painted on. The only other real detail on the exterior is the very old-fashioned blue police lamp and a sticker declaring that this is a police station.
The interior of the police station is also quite sparsely decorated, there is a desk with a phone and computer on it, a bell above the door and clock, coat hanging on a coat hook and map on one of the walls. Considering that it's always been the little details that have impressed me with the Happyland toys, this building just doesn't quite cut it. Being a Happyland building, it comes as no surprise that there are buttons that when pressed activate different sounds. When the telephone is pressed it gives off a loud ring, that does sound quite realistic, while the doormat will make the sound of a bell ringing. What is disappointing here is that there are no sounds specific to a police station. The lack of a siren is particularly disappointing and really the available sounds could be from any shop.
Along with the actual police station, there are a few other pieces in this set. There are a total of two police characters, a mad in a fluorescent jacket who appears to be directing traffic and a woman who is standing in the classic "'ello, 'ello, 'ello" pose, with her hands behind her back. In common with all Happyland characters these police officers are non-poseable, made of a tough rubberised material and about 10cm high. There is also a police dog, who appears to be either a bloodhound or a basset (I'm not quite sure which). Personally, I feel it would have been better if the dog had been a breed that was instantly recognisable as a police dog, such as an Alsatian. The dog itself, is instantly recognisable as a dog and is made of the same material as the characters.
The final pieces in the set include a set of traffic lights and road closed sign, both of which are made of fairly tough plastic, but the detail is formed from stickers which could cause a problem with inquisitive little hands. The very last piece in the set is a motorbike and side-car, which can hold a total of two characters. This free-wheeling bike doesn't feel nearly as sturdy as other Happyland vehicles that we own. Also, while the character is held securely in the side-car, the method of holding the rider in place on the bike is a little on the insecure side.
All-in-all, from an adult's point of view the Happyland Police Station is a little disappointing, especially when compared to other sets within the same price range. Although it is very well made, there just doesn't seem to have the same level of detail, or thought gone into it. The lack of a siren is very disappointing, as this would at least have signified that this is a police station rather than just another shop. The dog is also not instantly recognisable as police dog, and I really don't get the inclusion of the motorbike and side-car. When was the last time that the police used these? I'm sure the only place any child would see a police bike with side-car is on the television in the programme Heartbeat. In fact I was so disappointed with the bike (and lack of car) that I went out and bought the emergency vehicle set, so that Freddy would have a police car.
So as an adult, I would give this set a mediocre three stars out of five, but it's not just my opinion that counts, is it?
==What's Going On Here Then? - A Child's View==
As always when he receives a new toy, Freddy was initially keen to explore the police station and he spent a good few minutes discovering the different sounds that it made. He loves to press the phone and say "hello", in fact he maybe loves this bit a bit too much as the phone does ring quite loudly. The doormat is a little harder for Freddy to press than it is in the other buildings, but he can manage it. One of Freddy's favourite things to do with his Happyland building is to try and remove the doors, so far the door on the station has survived quite well, only having come off the once. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, as Freddy does get a little frustrated that it won't come off and I am a little worried that he might break it.
Although I am disappointed with the motorbike, I must admit that Freddy loves pushing it along and putting characters into the side-car. He hasn't worked out how to put a character on to the actual bike though, and every time I've helped him the character has almost immediately fallen out. So I really can see this becoming a source of frustration when Freddy is a little older. I must say that Freddy loves the dog, who he often tells me is a "woof woof". I've had to put the road signs away though, because Freddy has a habit of chewing on them and the stickers have started to come off.
Although Freddy has played with this set on it's own, it doesn't really keep him entertained for very long and is very limited even when I spend time playing with him. The police station, is much more entertaining when used in conjunction with other sets, when we can chase cars with the bike and use the siren on the fire station to make the nee-naw sounds. This really isn't that popular a set with visiting children either, especially those old enough to realise what a policeman is, as they just want to know where the police car is.
So from a child's point of view, again this would probably get a mediocre three stars out of five, as it really does have limited play value.
As with all of the Happyland range, this police station does encourage your child's imagination and understanding of the world around them, it's just I do feel that this is a little limited in it's scope and could actually be a little confusing. Let me explain what I mean by confusing. We're very lucky where we live, there is very little crime and we rarely see a police officer, let alone a police car, so Freddy's experience of what the police are, what they do and what they drive is limited to what he sees on the TV (virtually nothing) and this set. So while I've been able to spend time talking to him, telling him that the police keep us safe, as far as he's concerned the drive round in very old-fashioned motorbikes with side-cars. Which obviously isn't true, but he's still at an age where everything is black and white, and children don't grow out of this stage until they get to about three to four, which is the upper age range for this set.
So while I have watched Freddy's imagination begin to develop while he plays with his Happyland sets, this one included, I can also see that I may run into difficulties when he starts to insist that policemen should drive motorbikes with side-cars. As well as encouraging role play, this set also rewards fine motor skills and exploration as the child discovers what he has to press to make the station make noises. Gross motor skills are also encouraged as the motorbike is pushed along.
As to the recommended age group, as with all the Happyland toys I do think that the lower age of eighteen months is being a little on the over-cautious side. Freddy has been playing with Happyland sets since he was ten months old and there is nothing in this set that would concern me if given to a younger child. The whole set is well made, with no sharp edges or pieces that are small enough to cause a choking hazard and the battery compartment is securely hidden behind a screw closed compartment. The upper age group of four years is probably about spot on, as although older children will have a sneaky play, at the age of four they are probably ready to move on to the more complex world of Playmobil.
All in all this is a rather disappointing set from the Happyland range and one that I really don't think is worth the full asking price of £16. I'm really glad that it wasn't actually me that bought this, but I won't be telling Nana that Freddy doesn't like it quite as much as his other sets. As to my recommendation, well, if this is the first Happyland set that you are buying for your child, then chose a different set (the Post Office is brilliant). If, however, your child already has a good number of Happyland village buildings, then what village would be complete without a police station. Only wait until the ELC are running one of their regular offers, at the moment the police station can be picked up for £12.80 which is much better value for money. As to stars out of five, I think both Freddy and I are agreed that this really doesn't deserve more the three out of five.
The Early Learning centres Happy Land collection has been resident at my house for almost 2 years now. My son who is 4 years old in November still plays with these toys most days, creating his own world which he loses himself in for hours. This toy which forms part of the bigger Happy land collection prices at just £16 but we managed to get for £12.80 with the birthday clubs 20% voucher! Little tip: Sign up to the online birthday club add all your Childs friends birthdays to the calendar and get a voucher through to use in store, this way I have xmas and birthdays all covered!
Back to the toy and review!! PC Button and his police station set Includes, Police station, Police car, Police motorbike, Traffic light, Road block, Police dog, PC Button police man, Police woman. This toy is typical ELC excellent quality, very detailed, robust and with a boisterous boy has withstood many knocks and throws across our lounge. When your police officer walks through the door and stands on the door mat, a doorbell sound is created and the telephone rings, my son loves his happy land toys and loves his police station, ELC state is helps develops imagination and for our son is most certainly has, this toy has helped him to learn to play independently. Would definitely recommend!!
The Happyland PC Buttons Police Station from the Early Learning Centre was a recent purchase for my son who is currently 21 months old. He has a fascination with toys that have opening and closing parts and he is very favourable towards play sets like this one.
PC Buttons Police Station is part of the vast collection of Happyland toys available at the Early Learning Centre. Sets start at £8 for a simple set of figures and rise to £40 for larger, more comprehensive play sets. The recommended age for these products is between 18 months to 4 years.
Just as with the majority of the Early learning Centre's range of toys, this toy looks and feels well designed and thought out. There is attention to detail in the opening door, the furniture within the police station and the sound effects to give it that added interest.
This product certainly looks and feels more substantial than it appears online so I would certainly recommend checking it out in store. Another advantage of not buying this toy online of course is that ELC charge £4.95 (per order) for delivery.
This particular set cost £16 and comes complete with a police station, a police car, a police dog (a Basset Hound), a road block, a police motor bike with side car, traffic lights and a police man and woman. My son's favourite feature is the police dog, or the "bow-wow" as he refers to it, though he also loves to whizz the car and bike around the living room, making his own sound effects as he goes!
The PC Buttons Police Station is now slightly different in terms of colour than that shown on the picture above. The predominant theme of this set is cream and blue and the police station itself sports a rather lovely blue tiled roof, windows and door. It has a very clean and attractive look about it and is not garish in its colouring like some other brands of toys. The characters have quirky features and are nice and chunky for little hands to grip.
This product is strong and sturdy and its shiny plastic surface makes it easy to wipe clean whenever the need arises.
What I find so fantastic about the Happyland range of toys is that as well as being toys on their own, they also build into a wonderful collection and can be stored away in the play mat storage box also available from the Early Learning Centre.
Toys like this one will keep children entertained for years rather than months and at just £16 it really is a bargain. The Happyland range is also a great idea as a stocking filler for Christmas and a collection that can be built upon throughout the year.
Happyland is a large variety role play toys aimed at small children. Each set is sold separately and range from £9.99-£34.99
The happy land police station is a must buy for all happy land collectors, well somebody needs to chase away all those happy land criminals! Included is a fabulous bike with side carrier, a police car which makes a siren noise when the back wheels are pressed down, a set of traffic lights, a street sign, a traffic warden, police man and a police dog.
The set itself is fairly small but great value for money especially if you join their birthday club for 20% off items near to your child's birthday.
The door is fairly sturdy and opens and close which children find very fascinating! Used alongside other happyland items this provides hours of fun for the young and old alike! It makes noises like the rest of the happy land collection.
My daughter received this last Christmas and she just loves chasing the 'baddies' around with the police man! Its also a great learning tool to teach children who police men are and what their job is.
Early Learning Centre Happlyland Police Station. My daughters grandparents collect these for her rather their house than mine as you can build up quite a collection tat can take up a lot of room. The Happyland Police Station retails for about £15 which I think is qute expensive given the product size however as you build up your happyland village its nice to have the whole set. The Happyland Police station comes complete with police car and motorbike. The police station makes sounds. Happyland is great for little hands and encourages make believe play. Once you have the playmat you can build your happyland dont forget to add these to your friends and family christmas list for your little one to try and spread the cost and by the end of the christmas period hopefully they will have the whole village. Happyland happy for all little ones. Stocked at all Early Learning Centre shops. See ebay for second hand ones.
When Toby turned 1 last April, he received the HappyLand Police Station, to go with the Fire Station and PostOffice (see previous reviews,) Although the catalogue price is £15.00, we are members of the Early Learning Centre, Big Birthday Club, so therefore able to save 20% on purchases, which can help a great deal on purchases of this amount.
Happy Land is the name collectively given to a lager selection of toys from Early Learning Centre, which encourages children to learn through play. Prices range from £6 up to £35. You will find that some sets are discontinued and they bring out other sets. If you can't find something you are looking for, try Ebay, there always seem to be lots of HappyLand sets for sale there.
What did we get for our money this time?
In the Police Station set you will get:
Police station - looks just like the PostOffice, except for the colour fascias are blue instead of red. The building is the same shape and style. With the doormat making a ringing sound, and the telephone rings when you press the button.
Police Car - this is exactly the same style car you get in the Fire Station set, obviously, this one is white, and has police written down the side.
Police Bike - This bike is white with a side car, it holds 2 people
2 Police Officers - These 3inch high characters are dressed in full Police uniform, one of them is female, the other is male.
Other bits - a dog and a couple of road signs, one being a road closed sign, the other is a traffic light
Toby's and My opinion
Although I think that having the Police station as part of the HappyLand collection is a great addition, (showing you have a police presence in any town or village is always good,) but it's not the best set you can buy. Compared with the fire station and post office, where extra bits are easy to include, you are fairly limited to what could be included with the police station, I am glad that there are no guns or weapons around. There main aim is obviously to help in the town directing traffic, as the Policeman is standing in a traffic guidance pose!
Toby loves all his Happyland toys, but doesn't tend to play with this set as much as the bits in the other sets he has, the characters tend to be played with all over the place, compared to the firefighters, who always travel in the fire engine. I'm sure with time he will recognise who each character is and use them in their own building/vehicle.
Overall I think that this will be played with more in time, but for the moment the other sets are more favourable. We'll have to keep an eye out for police cars and police people in town, then talk about them at home, so Toby starts to associate his toys with real life. This may take a while though as we don't see many police walking the streets nowadays!!
There are many other benefits from having these toys to play with, and these include fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination: all needed to develop their hands and fingers for early writing. Lots of language can be introduced into their vocabulary, while role playing. Whilst in the car I talk to Toby about traffic lights, saying what we do at each colour, i.e. red = stop, green = go etc, last week we approached a red light he said 'oh no.' when at home he found the traffic lights and pointed to the red circle and said 'oh no' again. So he has already started to match objects, and is developing his early maths skills, as well as life skills: learning that we stop at red etc.
Thank you for reading my review, more HappyLand product reviews coming soon!
Included: Police station, police car, motorbike, traffic lights, road block, dog and 2 police figures. Makes realistic sounds.