Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Hey ladies, here's a (c)hunky fireman for you to play with!
ELC HappyLand Village Fire Station
Member Name: HonestBob
ELC HappyLand Village Fire Station
Advantages: Can be used alone or alongside other Happyland playsets.
Disadvantages: The doors drop off.
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'!!
Summary: Priced at around £28 this is a nice set for boys AND girls!!
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