Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... particulars This retailed for £30 in Early Learning Centre shops and online for a period. As with ELC though, Happyland is regularly on ... more
Come and Play in my Cottage
ELC Happyland Rose Cottage
Member Name: noodlesandwich
ELC Happyland Rose Cottage
Date: 18/01/09, updated on 13/06/10 (157 review reads)
Advantages: Holds the interest of toddlers
Disadvantages: some irritating sounds, door can be yanked off
I bought this for my daughter for Christmas for £20 on sale from Early Learning Centre, it's usually £25. The reason I bought it was because my daughter always makes a beeline for the dolls house when I take her to toddler group so I thought she would like this. I was right. I liked the fact that it wasn't pink, as it's quite difficult to find toys for girls which aren't. I think it is aimed a both sexes as it's part of the Happyland range, which consists of lots of characters and places with a map to place them all on, it includes a vets, market stalls, a school etc.
It's quite a small cottage, standing at just under 12 inches from the ground and about 11 by 5 inches width ways. I've found this to be a good size though; it doesn't take up much room but it's still chunky enough. It comes with a family of four characters plus dog and little red car. It's made from plastic and is brightly coloured with a yellow thatched style roof with two chimneys, a red door and blue window frames. The cottage takes a couple of AA batteries in order to make various sounds; there is a sizzling cooker, a ringing doorbell and phone and some annoying flashing lights and music for the television. I wasn't sure whether to actually put the batteries in as I'm not a fan of flashing lights and loud noises in toys, I don't think they're necessary and imagination works just as well, probably better, after all children are capable of making ringing doorbell noises for themselves, but I did put them in just to see and, well, they do the job if you like that sort of thing, but the cooker and television noises go on way too long and I find them irritating. There are two storeys and the back is simply open for access, rather than being the fold out or slide along type. The front door opens but the rest of the furniture and fittings are molded together. The door has come off a couple of times as I thought it might, but it fits back in without a problem. Other than that, everything seems to be quite sturdy, as it would need to be for this age group. Upstairs are beds and bathroom, with open plan kitchen and living room downstairs. There are a few nice details dotted around - a little bookshelf, chopping board, vase of flowers etc.
The family are Mr and Mrs Barley and their children Poppy and Charlie - of course you could call them whatever you like, but they had been given brief names and biographies on the box they came in, which we went along with. Apparently Mr Barley teaches geography at the local school. The dog wasn't given a name - we've called ours Wuffles and unfortunately he has disappeared at the moment, we may have to pin up some reward signs - although I suspect he may be in 'Under the Fridge Land'. The Barley family are a touch stereotypical with the little girl holding a teddy bear and the boy a toy train, Mrs Barley carries a handbag and sports a pink scarf with matching earrings, while her husband has the newspaper under his arm.
My daughter has played with this every day since Christmas, often for long stretches of time. It is the toy she has shown most interest in in her life, although this may be partly due to her age as I think imaginative play starts to develop a lot around 18 months. The age for this product is stated as 18 months to four years, although I'm not sure it needs an upper age limit on it myself.
It seems to have been a very good buy.
Summary: a fun, sturdy little toy to encourage a child's imagination
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