“ Brand: ELC / Age: 18 months / Type: Playsets „
The happyland toys from ELC are a great range for any little girl or boy aged 18months to around 5 years (although I know of plenty of children who would happily play with it way beyond then!) The figures are durable and easy for children to pick up, and the buildings are great for introducing them to new scenarios, and letting them act things out. The firestation is one of the larger happyland sets, same size as the farm and school, and comes with plenty of accessories which mean it is a great toy on it's own, or as part of a set. The building is on 2 levels- the main part being on the ground floor, but with a loft space for the figures to stand too/storing things. All of the parts in the main building, like the fire hose etc are fixed- this is brilliant as it means things can't get lost. The front doors open to allow the engines to go in and out, and along the top of the building you have several buttons which when pressed make various fire station sounds (hose, bell, siren etc) The set comes with a large fire engine, a car, cat and several firemen- so you really do have everything you need to play. Additionally extra accessories are available from ebay etc to increase your collection. This generally sells at around £28-£30 (although is often on offer), and I would say it's good value for money, due to the quality of what you get. The one negative I would say is that the doors and windows come off easily, and so can get lost.
The ELC Happyland range is in a word fantastic and by collecting the various sets your child can take charge of their own village. One year old Freddy has quite a few of the sets now, having received many when the ELC held a sale where they were half price and then yet more on his birthday. One of the things that I love about Happyland is that there are sets to suit all budgets, from £8 for a set of people right up to £60 for the village. The Happyland Fire Station is a set that Freddy received from his Nan and Granddad for his birthday and one that he's played with every day since. ==Is There A Fireman In The House? - A Parent's View== The Fire Station is one of the larger and more expensive of the Happyland sets coming at £26 (although it is on offer at the moment). Supplied in a reasonably large box, there are a good number of pieces in this set and with many of them needing to be removed from plastic bags along with installing batteries this does take a little while to set up. Although there are none of those nasty plastic ties to untwist, it's still a good idea to either make sure your child is distracted while you set up, or do as I did and set it up the night before. Once I'd set it up I really couldn't help having a play with this myself, it's just so much fun. The bright red fire station sits on a pale green base and has a bright, yet pastel blue roof. With the base measuring approximately 30cm by 15cm and the station standing 25cm tall, this is quite a large toy that takes up a significant amount of space in the toy box. Although there are no buttons to press on the interior, there is lots of detail to help fuel your child's (or even your own) imagination. I love all the little details, there's a computer, complete with monitor, pair of telephones and even a tea set. There's also a pole for the firemen to slide down and a hose reel that actually turns. The outside of the station also has lots of detail, there are two sets of doors, one single door that opens on to an office area and the double doors with ivy growing up the side that open to the engine bay. There's even a klaxon on the roof and a bell above the double doors, this really is a detailed toy. I also love the two open windows in the roof, which form a perfect handle for carrying the station around, they really do make it easier for me to put it away at the end of a busy day. Although there are doors at the front of the station, the rear is open to allow easy access to the two floors. Perhaps the best bit about the station is the sounds that it makes. While other Happyland buildings have buttons in the form of doormats, phones or tills, the fire station has a set of five buttons on the roof's apex. These buttons are powered by 2AA batteries (not supplied), which are secured in the underside of the roof behind a tiny screw. Although there is no volume control the sounds are not too loud, loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to drown out the television or be heard in the next room. Each of the buttons has a picture on it corresponding to the sound it activates, with there being the sound of an engine being started, a hose running, two different sirens and a bell ringing. My personal favourites are the two sirens, they really help bring the station to life. Although we've only had the station for a week, this has had extensive use and there's no sign of the batteries running down yet. Along with the station there are a number of other pieces in the set, including not one but two vehicles. There is, of course, a fire engine, which is actually really cool. The fire engines cab is bright red, while it's rear is grey and the two parts pivot (but do not separate). At the very back of the fire engine is a rescue platform, that rises up with a very satisfying series of clicks to allow the fire fighters to rescue cats from trees and reach to the tops of the buildings. The fire engine also has room for not one but three characters which are all held in place via holes (rather than the newer peg system). Although the fire engine is chunky, it's a good size for little hands to hold and the three sets of wheels make it easy for them to push it along the floor. The other vehicle is much smaller and is the Fire Chief's car, again it is chunky a good size for little hands and easy to push. A fire station and engine, wouldn't be much good without any fire fighters and if you include the fire chief in this set we are treated to a total of four. As with all Happyland characters the fire fighters are non-poseable but full of detail. What I especially like about this set is that rather than sticking to gender stereotypes there are both male and female fire fighters. At approximately 10cm high, these characters are the perfect size for little hands to hold, but too big to cause a choking hazard. There's also a little cat, who is perfect for rescuing from trees. All the characters are made from a rubberised material and while the detail is painted on, it has shown no sign of wear and tear. The final two pieces of the set are a couple of road signs, which I have had to put away for the time being as they are decorated with stickers and a certain little someone has been trying to remove them. As with all the Happyland sets, the fire station is extremely well made and a lot of thought seems to have been put into the construction. The only problems I have is the fact that stickers have been used for some of the decorations and that the doors do come off very easily. All in all, as an adult, I would give the Happyland fire station four and half stars out of five. But it's not just my opinion that counts.... ==Help There's A Cat Stuck Up A Tree - A Child's View== Although the recommended minimum age for this set is eighteen months, Freddy received this for his first birthday. I will say that there is absolutely nothing in this set that would cause a hazard to younger toddlers and I would say that although they might not get the absolute most from it, they will still have fun. Freddy loves all of his Happyland sets and this is no exception, this is a toy that he will explore and play with on his own as well as enjoying the time that we spend playing firemen with him. As with any new toy, Freddy spent a good amount of time examining every inch of the fire station when he first got it. As he's used to Happyland toys having buttons for him to discover, he spent (and still spends) time pressing everything that he could think of before discovering that he needed to press the buttons on the roof. It's quite funny to watch him press the bell above the double doors and then expect the station to make a noise. The next thing he did was pull the doors off, which is something that he is quite obsessed with at the moment. While the fact that the doors do come off so easily may become frustrating in the future, I'm actually glad that they do as I would much prefer that to them breaking, especially as Freddy is so determined. The doors are easy to replace, but I must admit, I've just put them away for now. As well as enjoying spending time exploring the station, Freddy absolutely adores the fire engine. He loves the way the platform clicks and is quite happy just to spend time pushing it up and down. He also enjoys putting the fire fighters into the engine or car and then pushing them along, making them "vroom" as well as occasionally chewing on them. As Freddy's imagination is only just starting to emerge, as well allowing him time to play with this independently, we also spend time playing with him. I guess, I enjoy this time almost as much as Freddy does as we put out pretend fires and rescue the cat from the fire station roof. All of the pieces add to this play and the sounds really do add another dimension, although I must admit that I do love to make the "Nee-Naw" sounds myself, while Freddy giggles at me. Along with Freddy, other visiting children have enjoyed playing with the station over the last week (while he was having a nap of course) and they had just as much fun as Freddy and I. Being only one, Freddy's not really able to put how much he enjoys playing with this into words, but he is able show us in other ways. The fact that he will sit exploring the station, pushing the vehicles and playing with the characters for up to half hour at a time speaks volumes as does the smile on his face as we play together. Although this isn't quite his favourite Happyland set (that would be his rocket), it is one that he enjoys playing with both as a standalone set and with other sets. All things considered I would say that he would also give this set four and a half out of five. ==Learning Through Play== As well as simply being a wonderful toy that Freddy enjoys playing with, the fire station will also him to develop new skills while improving those he's already learnt. The ELC themselves claim that this will help children develop their imaginations and understanding of the world around them. These are claims I completely agree with and are in fact claims that I would say could be laid to any of the Happyland range. You see what I love about the Happyland range is how the ELC has taken buildings and situations that could well be familiar to young children and created toys around them. Now although we do have a fire station in our town, it is a very small one and in the year we've lived here I don't think that we've ever seen a fire engine go out on a call. So Freddy really doesn't have a clue what a fire engine is, apart from what he's seen on TV, so this fire station has been a really good way to introduce the idea of fire engines and fire fighters to him. Even in this week he's begun to learn that fire engines go "Nee-Naw". The addition of the cat is absolutely fantastic, because Freddy does know what a cat is and it's lovely to hear him saying "meow" as he plays with it. Other skills this set is helping Freddy improve and develop include, his fine motor skills as he pushes buttons and puts the people into the vehicles and his gross motor skills as he pushes the vehicles around. As there are so many pieces this is also good for helping a toddler start to learn about cooperation and sharing. As to the recommended age, well I do think that eighteen months is being rather over-cautious. Freddy has been playing with Happyland toys since he was about ten months and there's really nothing about them that would make them unsafe for that age group. I would say that although younger children might not get the most out of this toy, think of it as an investment as while a ten month old may only really play with the fire engine and car, as they get older they will steadily make more and more use of the set. And you'll be safe in the knowledge that this will easily survive the rough play it will receive over the next few years as your child plays with it in a more and more refined way. I would say though, that for younger children, it is essential that you spend some time teaching them how to play with this by playing firemen with them. ==Final Words== The Happyland Fire Station is yet another excellent toy from the range, full of detail with plenty of pieces to keep your little one amused. If your child already has a Happyland collection, then this is an essential add-on that adds so much play to the other sets. This is also a wonderful set for any young child who is fascinated with fire engines. Freddy and I both love this set and it's one of the better presents he received for his birthday, so I don't hesitate to recommend the Happyland Fire Station and give it four stars out of five.
Early Learning Centre has a range of pre-nursery children's toys called HappyLand, they are aimed at children in the 2 year bracket, and they tick the boxes in terms of bright colours, chunky play figures and are robust enough to survive some hammer from the most enthusiastic child. They are sold in box sets and are themed, so we get police, fire, planes, pirates etc. There will be a procession of HappyLand themed reviews as my 2 year old is hitting the age when such products are fascinating and so had quite a range of products. HappyLand Happyland products are made of solid chunky plastic, they all have a central large product such as a fire station which nearly always open outwards and tend to have things which can spin, shut, and interact with along with a set of figures which are appropriate for the product. The Fire station costs around £25 and as the products are almost indestructible they are a decent car boot sale buy because they should be playable for many years. Fire Station Fire station is a large brightly coloured building which folds open behind the central facade of the building. The roof has 5 buttons all giving different fire station esque sound effects, so we have sirens, water flowing, and engines running. Fair to say such buttons are hot spots for any child and fingers constantly press them. This product really ticks all the boxes in terms of product placement so along with your big lovely colourful building you also get a fire chiefs car, 5 fireman, road signs and a station cat. However, the big thing is the fire engine which comes with the station, the fire engine is satisfyingly red has a raisable bucket and will park inside the large double doors at the back of the station. I've sometimes wondered with my 2 year old boy whether the toys he's got are truly ones he's interested in or he has to have boy's toys errr because he's a boy but he genuinely seems to have gravitated towards boy stuff. So we watch Fireman Sam rather than Waybuloo and he loves trains going past, this fire station toy was one of many he received for his 2nd birthday and it would be fair to say he has become mildly obsessed by the toy. As he's got a bit older, I can now see the reason for the combination toys so along with the single building to play with this comes with a huge cast of little toys which can interact with the larger toy. So now he plays parking the engine, putting the firemen on the roof and in the bucket of the engine. The educational impact of the toy is a little hard to interpret but it does encourage play and to associate different parts of a game, so rather than simply bash everything which my 9 month old does, my 2 year old definitely plays with the toy. Pushing the engine around, pressing the buttons with the firemen etc. The noises are a bit annoying but after a while they just become another sound in the living room and usually indicate the first time the toy has been re-found and play with. Indeed the sounds are usually a good indication of the kids playing with something safe and we can relax for a few seconds. This is a great toy and for £25 lasts a long time with plenty of scope for passing onto other children.
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, and the village fire station has become a firm favourite again over the police station as he become slightly Fireman Sam mad! We bought the fire station for £24 (originally £30) as I'm a member of the ELC birthday club online and with this for every friend (or your child's friend I should say) that you add to the birthday calendar, you get sent a 20% voucher, so I have every birthday and xmas covered with these. The village fire station is of typical ELC excellent quality, sturdy and robust and many a times been thrown around my lounge with yet no breaks or cracks in almost 2 years, that's a lot of knocks!! The station comes with fire engine, fire chief's car, 5 figures, road sign and station cat. It Makes realistic sounds such as the siren and water hose, and is a great addition to your HappyLand collection. ELC state that is helps develop imagination, hand eye co-ordination and social skills and i couldn't agree more. The age range is 18 months to 4 years and i think that right, although as i said my son is 4 years old November and i could see him playing with beyond his 4th birthday for sure. Requires 2 x AA batteries.
We purchased the Early Learning Centre Happyland Firestation when my sons were two. As the boys were obsessed with firemen and fire engines we thought it would prove a safe bet, and it has turned out to be a favourite. The firestation is one part of an extensive collection of happyland toys made by the early learning centre. The whole range includes a school, airport, police station, vet and many other sets, people and vehicles so that you can build a whole miniature village should you so desire! Typically of the early learning centre, the toys are good quality, sturdy toys designed to resist the rough time that toddlers can give their toys. This range is aimed at children aged from 18 months to 4 years. The firestation is a very attractive red building with sunny yellow windows and doors- it has an opening door for the firemen to enter and double doors for the fire engine to exit. The back of the station is open so that you can play with the firemen inside the station easily. The inside of the station includes nice details such as a telephone, hose reel and a kitchen area. The set includes five fire fighters (male and female) and a station cat. It also includes a nice fire engine, complete with a cherry picker on the back, the fire chief's car, and road signs for those emergencies where they need to close the road. Perhaps the most exciting part of this toy for young children though (less so for their parents) are the buttons on the roof of the fire station. These buttons produce a range of noises, including a siren, emergency alarm, noise of the engine starting, and the sound of water squirting. My sons have really enjoyed playing with this set- they are now three and still get good use from it, their games getting more involved as they get older, so I would say that the recommended age range is right. It is very sturdy and I can see very little that could break on it- the doors do come off the firestation but this means that they are unlikely to break, and they can be easily reattached. The set is currently available in the early learning centre for £30, which I think is quite good value for a well made set which will be played with for several years. Overall, if you have a toddler who enjoys playing firemen, I would definately recommend this set.
I am a big fan of the Early Learning Centre Happyland range. The buildings are generally large enough for two children to play alongside one another and the bits and pieces that accessorise each set are generally well thought out, adding extra play value to the building. Probably the best thing about the range is that you can buy one building and leave it at that or you can acquire an extensive collection of different but connected playsets over a number of birthdays and christmases, knowing that the range will continue to be played with for a good few years. Happyland appeals to both boys and girls. I know some parents perceive some of the buildings as more gendered that others, but I'm quite happy for littlest HonestBob (now 2!) to play with 'girlie' toys so among our favourites are Rose Cottage and the village school. Grandma has other ideas however and decided to redress the balance with the addition of a more 'macho' firestation to our village scene. I'm not complaining though..... one of the firefighters is a lady!! The firestation itself is a bright red colour with a lime green base and blue roof (unlike the one shown in the picture accompanying this review). There is a silver alarm bell above the firestation door and this can be sounded by pressing a button on the roof of the building. Other noise buttons are located in the same position and produce the sound of the fire engine siren, the station alert alarm, a hose sound (gushing water I assume) and the sound of an engine running. It is not clear from the pictures on the sound buttons as to which represents which alarm/siren so littlest HonestBob and I generally press the nearest to hand. Either way, the villagers in Happyland come rushing to assist or get out of the way of the hurtling fire engine! The firestation comes with 5 firefighters (4 men, including one chief who is permanently on the phone and 1 woman), a station cat (why?) a fire engine with seating for two plus one in the crane, the fire chief's car and two road signs, one to stop traffic and one to warn that the engine is in position. We play with the firestation on the Happyland storage box (available separately) which unzips at both corners to form a playmat. The mat is never completely flat and we find the road signs are too light to remain upright for long. When we play on the laminate floor they are much more secure, but generally the signs are consigned to a heap in a corner, ready for usage when the chief requires them. The firestation fits the fire engine inside, behind double doors, until a call comes in and the engine has to go and rescue someone, give a safety talk at the school or fit a smoke alarm in Rose Cottage. The doors are a real bugbear. One fell off the second I removed the packaging (which involved the excessive use of those annoying plastic twisty ties) and the other fell off shortly afterwards, neither have remained insitu for more than ten seconds since. I would have returned the engine to the elc but read countless reviews saying the doors constantly fell off. It's a design fault which really should have been rectified by now. We don't bother with the doors now. The engine generally sits there ready to go, but it would be nice to have the option of closing the doors to keep the 'look' of the village. The firestation is a nice addition to the Happyland scene. We've rescued various children and cars from the village pond, put out chip pan fires, rescued the station cat and educated school children (and littlest HonestBob) on the dangers of playing with fire, electricity and water. Of course I do much of the scene setting... but littlest HonestBob knows whats 'hot, hot, hot'!!
My daughter is nearly 3 and as most parents will know buying toys can be a minefield, there are soooo many!!! I decided I would go to the Early Learning Centre and have a look at what they had to offer. I always find that the ELC toys are great quality at a price that is mostly reasonable. Upon entering the store I was immediately drawn to the huge display of Happyland toys, they looked bright and excellent fun so I decided these would be the next purchase! We purchased the Happyland Fire station first which was £30 (one of the higher prices items). It is one of the larger pieces in the collection in addition to the fire station you also get a fire engine, fire chief's car, 5 figures, road sign and the station cat. Along the top of the roof there are various buttons that make the appropriate sounds e.g siren, bell, sound of running water and an engine. Inside there is an area to park the fire truck, a hose reel, desk with phone for taking emergencies along with a computer. There are double doors on the front with a single door to the side. My only gripe (and it is a small one) would be that the doors come off very easily and could be lost. The colours are very bright with a red building and a bright blue roof. My daughter plays with this for hours, its amazing how many emergencies a 2 year old is capable of creating. All in all a great toy highly recommended.
Early Learning Centre Happy Village Fire Station......... Now I just could not help myself this weekend in the Early Learning Centre and had to buy yet another pre-Christmas present for Jack. Jack's always had a little passion for dolls houses, I guess it is all the little rooms and doors, I really wanted to get him something like a dolls house but of course without all the pink and flowery bits that go along with it. We were looking in the Argos book but nothing much looked like what we really wanted for Jack. There was a small Fisher Price Little People house but this still looked slightly girl aimed and anyway it was an Argos Extra item and our Argos itself and Extra one so I decided to have a little look in the Early Learning Centre and see what they had on offer. Luckily, for us, there was a ton of new things in our small local store and they were just what we wanted. The Happy Village is the Early Learning Centres version of the Fisher Price Little People but I do think it has a better look and feel than the more expensive Fisher Price range. There was also a good 20% reduction on all the Happy Village items, which was an even better deal for us. There were lots of different types of buildings that we could of chose for Jack such as an Airport, shops, a Police station, a School or we could of bough a whole ready to go village (for a fair bit more money than we wanted to be paying out.). In the end, we thought the best buy for Jack was to get the Fire Station. The Fire station itself comes with quite a few added extras rather than just a fire station building. Included in the box was: The good size fire Station with three opening doors and two levels, 4 Fire Fighters including the Chief, A small black cat (which I assume can be used for the main fire-fighter job of retrieving cats out of trees), A Fire officer car, A road closed sign, A Fire engine complete with rescue ladder, And a warning fire fighters at work sign. For £22, I think a lot of pieces come with the Fire Station and you are certainly getting you monies worth. Along the top of the fire station roof there are 5 separate buttons each giving off a different noise such as the fire bell, the fire engine starting up and water spraying. These are good sounds although fairly quiet. Jack loves playing with the toy and we have had trouble tearing him away from it at dinner times. The little people that come with the toy are chunky and easy to pick up for small hands. The age range of the toy is for children aged 18 months and over (which Jack nearly is). The only problem that we have encountered when playing with this product is the fire doors are not regulation! The doors are easily pinged off and we have been forever putting them in only for them to be knocked out, as it really doesn't take much for them to come off. All in all though this is only a small problem and I think the toy is overall a brilliant one. Jack enjoys playing with it and it was a good price for what you are getting. I may also think of investing in different buildings from the Early learning Centre Happy Village range and expand on Jack collection, as he loves it so much. A 5 star rating is awarded for a great toy which cost a reasonable price. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I hope this has been of help to you, especially so near Christmas as this would make a great gift! Thanks for reading x
Another part of the vast Happyland village from ELC we have at our house. Although to be honest I think this is rather disappointing compared to the other products in the range and although works well as part of the village on its own I think its lacking something. Despite that my son still loves it. The fire station is solid at the front with 2 windows and double doors that open allowing the fire engines out. At the back it is all open to allow you to create your scenes easily. Inside its very basic there is a telephone, desk, firemans pole and a small loft area, but thats about it. Like all the products in the range it comes with fun sound effects, however on this one they are located on the top of the building as 5 buttons and are rather confusing to which is which, compared to others where you have to press the actual phone to hear it ring. It also come with a small fire car, a fire engine with ladder, some signs, a cat and 5 figures. Most of the time my son just spends pushing the engines around rather then using the building itself. Is good but considering it around £30 I just dont think it is as good as the others in the range.
One of our new acquisitions this Christmas was the Happyland Fire Station, part of Early Learning Centre's Happyland range. This range of toys is designed to allow children to partake in creative role play and consists of a range of people, vehicles and buildings which allows you to create a make-believe town in which children can play. The bulk of our Happyland toys are kept at my son's grandparents' house and are used both my son and my niece. This item was, however, intended as a stand-alone item for use at our house and, I'm happy to say that it seems to fulfil that role. The fire station itself is an open-backed building (like most in the range) and allows the child to play from both inside and out of the building with the accompanying figures. Double vehicle doors allow either of the two fire trucks to enter and exit the building and there's a separate pedestrian door. Internally the building is very simple with a couple of fixed telephones, a computer and a hose reel. There's a fireman's pole and a loft area. As with many of the buildings in the range there are sound effects with the toy. Unlike many others, however, the sound effects are not "hidden" within the building but are presented as buttons atop the roof. Each of the five buttons has a picture on it supposedly depicting the sound that will be made when it is pressed. There are a number of issues with the toy and things that just didn't seem to be thought about when putting it together. The loft (or upper) area of the fire station is too small for the figures provided and the only way they can stand is either directly in the centre or with their heads poking out of the holes in the roof. This renders this are redundant save for the ability to post things through the roof and letting them fall to the lower floor. Similarly, the fireman's pole serves no purpose as it's inaccessible from the top (unless you're very dextrous) and you clearly can't climb it! It would have been far better to present a chute which the figures could slide down. The noise buttons I find rather confusing as an adult and so I doubt that they are really within the grasp of a child. There are several "alarm" noises and I assume these are meant to be telephone, station alarm and fire engine siren but, from the pictures you'd never guess. Similarly they are not set out in "chronological" order, the noise of the engine starting up is the last button, after the noise of the hose and water! Also, being atop the roof, its too easy to push them by accident, especially when my son steadies himself using the roof. The internal area is small but, rather disappointingly, the fire hose is just a plastic barrel which can be turned. Again, it would have been good if there could have been some kind of hose which could be reeled in and out - it's small enough that it shouldn't present a choking hazard. Finally, the larger fire engine has a lift at the back comprising two concertina parts. This is so stiff that I can't extend it upwards and my son stands no chance. This aside, my son has great fun playing with the station and its parts. The engines are regularly pushed from one side of the station to the other and used as vehicles on other toys. The characters are increasingly used in a make-believe way and interact with each other and other figures from other toys. The sounds are less of a hit but are used and I can see them coming to the fore as my son gets older. As a stand-alone unit this toy works well and it would also be excellent as part of a larger Happyland set up. It encourages imaginative play and is ideal for children from about 18 months (there are no small parts) through to about 4 or 5. Unlike some of the shops this is one that would appeal equally to girls and boys throughout the age range.
Early Learning Centre is a great toyshop, where you can buy a vast selection of toys for your children, from birth right up to.... well any age, we never stop being children really. The Happy Land collections are no exception, they have been around for several years, and been popular with any of the children I have looked after. When I had my own child, I knew that he would have some of the Happy Land sets to play with. Much to my surprise, in December 2006, my mother in law told me she had bought Toby the Fire Station set, without even asking what he would like. At the time, Toby wasn't even a year old, but as my husband is a Fire-Fighter, she wanted her grandson to have his own Fire Station, and this was the best one she had found. What do you get? `````````````````````` For your £25.00 you get the main Fire Station building, a fire engine (with movable bucket at back which lifts up.) a fire chiefs car, five fire figures (in full uniform) 2 road signs and a station cat. On the roof of the station there are 5 buttons which make different sounds when pressed, which include, engines starting, water running and sirens too. These are not that brilliant, but small children think it's exciting, the buttons are easy to press and children seem to know how great it is for them (and annoying for us) when they have learnt how they can make a noise and keep doing it, which is when you wish for the batteries to run down, (or magically disappear!!!!) If you wish to replace the batteries you will need 2 AA, these can be easily replaced in a screwed down compartment inside the main station. As you can see from the picture above, you will see double doors on the front of the station, which is a big enough space for the engine to go through and park inside, there is also a small door for the characters to use. The little characters are approximately 3 inches high, and are made from some form of plastic, they are hollow inside, therefore a great size and lightweight, for any little one to hold and play with. The engine and car, are made of plastic, but feel very strong and durable. The wheels move round freely. Each vehicle has spaces in the top for the characters to sit in; you can swap and change them around as often as you wish. The station is also plastic, and although the doors can be removed and replaced easily, it still looks brand new. (This is after almost a year of playing with, and being thrown and dropped a few times.) My Opinion ``````````````` I was so thrilled when I found out Toby was going to get this for Christmas, as it was something I thought about buying for him. I was surprised by the cost, at £25.00 it does seem rather steep, but then I didn't pay for it!!! If you were to sign up for the Big Birthday Club you can occasionally save up to 20% off some of your purchases, alternatively, you could buy second hand from Ebay. Toby was only 8 months when he received the fire station, and although a bit young, he was on the move already, we took away the people, signs and cat, leaving him with the cars and station and he was more than happy to play with these. The recommended age is from 18 months, but he would only have it under my supervision, and there were no other small bits that he could play with. The original batteries are still in place, with no sign of needing new ones just yet. When he was about 18months we bought out the other parts and Toby loves playing with the little characters, putting them in and out of the fire engine, and whizzing the car across the lounge floor. Now he is bigger he loves to visit the real engines too (not a problem in our case, we are welcome there any time!) we always have to climb on and pretend we're driving! This toy is not only for the little ones to play with: any age child or adult can join in the fun. In doing so, you can teach the child how to play, learn how to share, build up their imagination and develop their fine motor skills. It also teaches them about the world around them. A must for any child's play room! If you are looking at any of the Happy Land sets from Early Learning Centre, then I would highly recommend them. When I knew he was getting the Fire Station last Christmas, I then gave suggestion to other family and friends, that he may like other sets too. If you wish to find out about these you can read the reviews which I will be posting in due course. You can also look at www.elc.co.uk but you need to be aware that some sets are only around for a short time. I hope you enjoyed my review, please come back soon to read about another part of Happy Land Nicola 4/1/8
Included: Fire engine, fire chief's car, 5 figures, road sign and station cat. Makes sounds. Age: 18 months - 4 years