* Prices may differ from that shown
This Lift off rocket is part of the Early Learning Centre Happyland range. For those of you not familiar with Happyland it is a range of plastic toys suitable for children aged 18 months +. There are several sub ranges and this one being from the space collection was the first non princess/fairy purchase that we made. It was chosen by the twins Daddy who felt that as they approached their 2nd birthday they needed to learn about rockets and space.
What do you get?
The main part of this toy is the bright red rocket complete with 3 grey thrusters which double as sturdy feet these have red lights in the bottom of them. There is a chunky grey handle on the side which is great for little hands to grab hold of.
The rocket has 3 opening doors which have a hole in to pull them open with. I have always found the doors to be flimsy on the princess castle and fairy boot which we have but these are much sturdier, designed with boys in mind maybe. They do come off but nowhere near as often as on their other Happyland pieces and they are much easier to replace.
The top door opens to reveal the cockpit where the 2 included astronauts can lay side by side. The middle section is kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. The fixed furnishings include a microwave, toaster and even toilet roll! The astronaut dog which is included in the set normally travels in here and he can look out the hole in the door as he flies off into space. Finally is the lower section which is home to the space buggy. This is bright green with blue rubber wheels, it easily travels across carpet and laminate with an astronaut driving.
When your rocket has landed and the astronauts disembark they are confronted by a cute green alien lurking in a crater. I think this set is great in terms of what is included and I was instantly impressed before my husband had even finished removing all the plastic coated wire so we could get it out of the box.
Playing with the toy
Both my girls were instantly attracted to the bright red rocket and got very excited when Daddy pressed the red button on the handle (because after all this toy was bought for Daddy!) The countdown began 5,4,3,2,1...we have lift off and the rocket was lifted and swirled around their heads as they excitingly watched it. When it came to land they opened all the doors and quickly removed the contents, the buggy was an instant hit and has continued to be their favourite.
After discovering the alien in his crater he became another teether which he has stood up to well as have all the Happyland characters with no teeth marks or loss of colour on them.
My girls are both small for their age but are able to lift the rocket themselves and they quickly learnt where the button to activate the countdown and lights was. If the repeated pressing of the countdown button becomes too much for your ears this toy has an off switch on the back. There is also a choice of 2 volumes.
They have had this rocket for a few months now and it has proved the most popular of their Happyland toys. It is easy to create scenarios with and is a great introduction to the world of space.
The 3 x AA batteries required are included and a screwdriver is required to open the childproof battery compartment.
Price and availability
We bought our rocket when the Early Learning Centre had it on sale with 50% off. It currently retails at £30 with free delivery online but it is worth waiting for it to be included in one of the frequent Happyland sales. I wouldn't have been happy to pay full price for this item but it is well worth the sale price. There are also other smaller sets available to expand on the opportunities for exploring space.
Would I recommend?
Yes, this is a great toy for both boys and girls. It hasn't marked or scratched despite being flown into other toys on more than one occasion. I'm sure it will be continue to be played with for a good while yet as the girls start to invent their own adventures. I think my girls understood that Felix Baumgartner was up in the sky on a rocket like theirs last week with one repeating 'jump no, no jump' at the tv. If it's taught them that skydiving from space isn't a good idea then I'm happy!
The main toy is of course the rocket which is a fair size and has three pads which sit on the floor holding it in stable when not being used. The rocket is red in colour although the handles are grey it holds little ones attention well. There are three compartments that open up to reveal rooms and one being the ramp that lets the astronauts lead down to the floor. The doors are easy to open and close and each compartment shows a different room there is bed that folds up in one of the doors, a kitchen and a control room each one detailed so that little one can use their imaginations to create stories.
As with all happy land sets this rocket is made out of thick plastic and very durable and can easily handle play from young children which can be rather rough. We had the batteries provided for us although there is a panel at the back to replace them when they run out; we have found that batteries last very well in this toy and after a year's worth of use they are still working well.
You also receive with 2 astronauts, space dog, moon buggy, alien and moon crater. All of these are also made of plastic and we think they are a great addition to the set as it lays the background for imaginative play and of course the astronauts can be used inside the rocket to act out stories.
The rocket is not overly loud and there is an on off button on the back of the toy so when it is not in use every touch does not set it off which I am always thankful for when it comes to an evening and the children are in bed. The handle on the side of the rocket has little grooves to provide a good surface for little hands to hold comfortably while they are playing and this also makes it easier to fly the rocket round with ease rather than them trying to grab the main body of the toy.
Although the toy is a great size and rather large it is not heavy meaning little one can easy zoom around the room with it without it becoming too big or heavy for their little arms to carry for a large amount of time. The handle on the side of the rocket allows little one to get a firm grip of the toy while they are playing with it.
There are two sounds to the rocket one for while it is sat on the floor and one for while they are flying around space. When sat on the floor when little one presses the button at the side of the rocket the rocket controller begins speaking getting ready for lift off. Then there is a countdown 220.127.116.11 and some sounds of the rocket taking off begin to play making a realistic takeoff for little one. My children all love the take off sounds provided and it does help them learn to count even if it is only four numbers my youngest son often wonders round saying 18.104.22.168 and in the way that he says it I know he has learnt it from this toy.
Another great thing about this toys take off is at the bottom of the take off pads that sit on the floor a steady light shows as the countdown is being spoken and then it begins to flutter imitating flames that would come from the rocket. My children think this is fantastic and are always careful not to 'burn themselves' as the rocket takes off by touching the pretend flames.
While the rocket is held up by little one while pressing the rockets button it changes to a sound imitating the rocket fly through space and this happens over and over again each time little one touches the button. Again this is great for role play and fuels my children's imaginations and as the button is so easy to press all of them are able to play independently with toy.
My children loved the extras they received with this toy they thought the alien and the space dog were hilarious and they are used alongside the rocket and also in other set we own. This also allows all of my children to play together as one can use the rocket, while the others use the other astronaut to take the dog on a walk while the space buggy is used with other characters from the happy land range to go on a joy ride.
This toy is recommended from 18 months plus but we purchased this for my sons first birthday and he loved it. The rocket did lit a little big with him carrying it around but I think that was half of the appeal when he first saw it and he has loved it ever since.
The doors of the rocket come of very easily and although they do click straight back on in the end we just left them off as every time my children would play with the rocket they would come of straight away. This was a problem from the very first day that my son opened this rocket and although it is a disappointment from elc to be honest my children really do not mind they find the toy interesting enough to play with without opening and closing the doors.
All of my children love this toy my two younger children do play with this a lot more than my eldest son but he still has times where he wants to play with this rocket. There are lots of added extras provided by elc when you purchase this toy and that was one of the reasons I purchased it as it is a little different from other rockets I was looking at purchasing.
There is a lot to do inside the rocket and out and it has provided hours of fun to my children and helps develop their fine motor skills as well as helping them count backwards from four. It is a shame the doors fall off as easily as it can become very frustrating for little one but the main body of the rocket and the accessories we received proved to be durable and so this did not matter as much.
You can purchase this rocket from ELC. Amazon, Argos and mother care and it retails at around £30 although they often have half price sales on so you should try and shop around and get it at the lower price if possible. I would recommend this toy as it has been well received by my children and it is interesting watching their imaginations run wild.
When choosing my son's first birthday presents, I wanted a variety of toys that were different to what he already had and also that he would 'grow in to' and gain benefits from not only now but as he grew and developed. Early Learning Centre have a Happyland range which consists of little people in different settings. One of the more 'boy like' (although I don't necessarily believe in sticking to gender stereotypes!) options in this range is this rocket, which we purchased on a half price offer at £16 (usual RRP £32). The suggested lower age limit for this toy is 18 months.
The toy is a fairly large red plastic rocket - dimensions = height: 22 cm, width: 29 cm and depth: 10.6 cm. It is a hollow rocket that stands independently on the floor on it's three grey plastic feet. On the bottom of these feet are red lights that can be activated using a small red push button on the grey carry handle at the side of the rocket. The rocket is divided into three sections, each with a door that can be opened, each revealing a different section of the rocket. The largest section of the rocket is the middle section which is the living quarters and contains a bed and a kitchen. The other two sections are quite plain and can be used to your child's imagination - for example the lower section can be used as a ramp to launch the moonbuggy.
With the rocket come other small toys - an orange crater with a bright green alien model that can be placed inside, a moon buggy in bright green with blue wheels that can be wheeled around independently an fits an astronaut inside, two astronauts - one in an orange outfit and one in blue and a dog.
The push button on the carry handle results in the rocket saying 'time for liftoff, 5...4...3...2...1...' and then a rocket noise is made. This also lights up the feet. If lifted as if flying through the air, the noise when pushed is flying noises.
We let my son have this toy from 12 months as we felt he could gain some benefit from it at that age. The little people contained are also fairly chunky so fit nicely in his hand without posing any potential choking hazard. He loves exploring the rocket as it is quite a big toy when he is sat in front of it, encouraging to move around it and get on his knees. He particularly enjoys opening and closing the doors on each section, putting the people inside (and various other small toys....) and shutting them in.
It took him some time to work out the button on the handle - using his finger to push it simply moved the rocket away from him. Eventually he worked out that he could hold the handle in his hand and push using his thumb. He now loves to push this continually, smiling as he listens to the countdown and watches the flashing red lights.
He particularly likes the little figures contained in the toy which are lightweight and feel a little rubber-like to the touch. These fit neatly in his palm and he loves to hold these and put them in his other toys (especially posting through shape sorters.....).
I hope that, as he gets older this toy will be a great tool for imaginative play and will encourage him to explore and develop his imagination.
This is a really lovely toy that is generally well made. I am a little disappointed at the quality of the doors however, as they quickly became detached from the toy. They seemed to simply come off in my son's hands with very little force at all. They are re-attached easily to the toy but, once they have been removed once they seem to fix more loosely and come off most times he plays with it now. Had I paid the full price for the rocket, I would have been very upset with this as it is not a cheap toy and, with the age range this is aimed at and it being one of the main features of the toy, I would have expected them to stand up to a lot more usage!
I also feel like the 'sounds and lights' feature could have a little more variety, with two or three more phrases added to make it a little less monotonous! Some phrases like 'Come in ground control' or 'do you read me?' may have added this variety whilst still maintaining the space launch theme.
However, overall this is a nice toy with well thought out features. The moon buggy is different to my son's other car-like toys as the wheels are large and rubbery and in almost bounces slightly as it rolls. I also like the fact that there is a hole in the top to sit the figures in - encouraging my son to place the astronauts precisely in here, developing hand-eye co-ordination. The toy is also equally suited to girls and boys and girls alike and encourages them to explore their imagination.
I would recommend this toy to you if you can pick in up on offer - ELC tend to have various offers throughout the year. At full RRP of £32, I think it is too expensive for what it is and I would want it to a bit more for this sort of money.
The Light And Sound Lift Off Rocket is one of the newer pieces to join one year old Freddy's ever expanding Happyland collection. I make no bones about the fact that I love the Happyland range of toys, the level of thought put into them is just fantastic. From his reaction to his various sets there's no mistaking that Freddy loves these toys too. The Lift Off Rocket is one of the more expensive toys in the range, coming in at £30 full price, but we bought it during one of the ELC's regular half price sales for the fantastic price of £17.50.
==To space and beyond - A Parent's View==
While the majority of the Happyland toys are based around the village theme, there are an increasing number of sets with a space theme. It goes without saying that the Lift Off Rocket falls firmly within the space range. This bright red space ship comes packaged in a rather large box and is secured with several of those plastic ties toy manufacturers seem to be obsessed with. Although set-up is fairly easy, a pair of AA batteries do need to be installed, so it's a good idea to do this the night before if this is intended as a gift.
Billed as being suitable for children between one and four years of age, the rocket is a fairly large and heavy toy. Measuring approximately 45cm in height it is almost as tall as Freddy when he's sitting. The main body of the rocket is bright red, while the jets and handle are silver and the whole thing is made of very durable plastic. The battery compartment is securely closed by a tiny screw, meaning that there's no danger of batteries finding their way into a little one's mouth. The on/off switch is fairly easy to operate and allows partial adult control as to how loud the rocket is, as there are two different volume levels. (I say partial, as although he is only a year, Freddy is perfectly capable of operating the switch).
Once switched on the rocket makes one of two different noises depending on whether it is standing up or horizontal. The button is easy to press and cleverly located on the handle, meaning it's easy for even the youngest of toddlers to operate. If the button is pressed while the rocket is standing upright (firmly supported by the three jets, I might add), then it prepares for blast off with a really cool echoing countdown. Meanwhile, if the rocket is on it's side it makes what I'm assuming is a flying sound. No matter which sound the rocket plays the bottoms of the jets light up and flash red. Although I like the fact that there is a volume control, I must say that even at top volume, the rocket isn't that annoying and what I particularly like is that rather than the sounds keep starting again if the button is continually pressed (rather like stuttering), each sound plays right through before starting again.
As this is a Happyland toy, this is far more than just a rocket with lights and sounds. There are three doors that open onto different areas of the interior. The top door opens upwards to reveal the cockpit in the nose where two astronauts can lay during the take-off and flight. The bottom door opens to reveal a storage area that's the perfect size for a moon buggy and the door doubles up as a great ramp. The final, middle door opens on to the living quarters and it's here that the attention to detail really shows. There's a kitchen area with a microwave, toaster and coffee maker, a sleeping area complete with bed and bookshelves, but my favourite feature is the toilet hiding under the bed, there's even a little toilet roll.
No rocket would be complete with the astronauts to man it, and in this case two spacemen are supplied. As with all the Happyland characters these are made from a durable, rubberised material and while they are not poseable, they do feature a good level of detail. At about 10cm high, they're a good size for little hands to hold, but still too big to cause a choking hazard. There is also a small buggy for them to use to make trips across the moon's surface, this buggy does only hold one character though, but thankfully uses the older system of a hole to hold the character in place (rather than the newer peg system). The buggy is actually really cute, a good size to hold and scoots along nicely on it's balloon wheels. But there's even more, ever wonder who lives on the moon? Well, in Happyland it's a green alien with googly eyes who calls a yellow crater home.
As an adult, I can't help but think this is yet another fantastic toy from the Happyland range with lots of play potential, that will easily survive the rather rough play it's likely to receive from a rapidly developing toddler. The attention to detail is absolutely fantastic and there are a good number of pieces in the set, there's even a little dog in a space suit. The sounds aren't too loud and although the batteries are not supplied, they do seem to last a long time. The rocket also looks pretty good (I think it looks like something out of Thunderbirds myself), and most of the pieces can be stored inside it when not being played with. So, I'm perfectly happy to give this rocket five stars out of five from an adult's point of view, especially at the price I paid.
==We Have Lift-Off - A Child's View==
As soon as he set eyes on the rocket, one year old Freddy was enamoured, the bright red really caught his attention and he couldn't wait to explore it. After being shown how to make the sounds and lights worked the once, he finds it easy to work it for himself and loves to press the button and hear the noises. Although the carry handle is a good idea, Freddy is not yet big enough to carry the rocket around by himself, although he does think it's brilliant when Mummy or Daddy join in and use the handle to make the rocket fly while it makes noise.
We have found that all three of the doors come off their hinges rather easily, but in our case that is actually a good thing. You see Freddy has a thing about pulling the doors off of his toys, and I would much rather they came off easily than they snapped. The doors are all easy to click back into place and although they may become a source of frustration in the future, at the moment the fact they come off so easily probably reduces frustration. Although he can't carry the rocket, Freddy can just about lift it, which has led to a few near misses, especially when he's laying on the floor with it.
As with all the Happyland toys, the characters are a really good size for Freddy to hold and he loves to put them in and out of the rocket and the buggy. Freddy also loves to explore the rocket's interior, although he was confused as to why the toilet wouldn't flush. I do think that Freddy would have liked there to be a few more buttons to press. Many of his other Happyland toys have two or more buttons and Freddy loves to press them. So he's thoroughly investigated every last nook and cranny in the hope that he'll discover a new button.
At only a year Freddy is only just beginning to develop his imagination and role playing skills. So we spend time playing together with the rocket, which is great fun for young and old. I love helping Freddy to take the astronauts on a adventure to look for new life and the rocket's sound effects do add another dimension. We then make up a little story with the astronauts and their dog (who goes Woof woof) adding our own sound effects and voices. Both Freddy and I really enjoy playing together with the rocket, there's something about the countdown that brings out the inner child.
All-in-all the Happyland Lift-Off Rocket not only gets a big thumbs up from me, but also gets one from Freddy, who will happily play with this for extended periods. This is also a toy that immediately catches the attention of visiting children, who then go on to play with it. (If Freddy lets them that is, he hasn't quite worked out sharing yet).
As with all the Happyland toys, the ELC claim that this toy will help your child develop their imagination and understanding of the world around them. As always I agree with this assessment while still thinking that they are selling the toy a little short. Yes the rocket is a fantastic toy for encouraging role play, there are just about the right number of pieces and the little details really do bring imagination to life. At only a year, Freddy does need help with this imaginary play, but he will make woof noises for the dog and 'oogly-boogly' sounds for the alien, while the astronauts say hello, so he is getting there. As Freddy gets older the rocket could possibly be used to help explain the concept of space travel (although we might have transporters then, you never know).
As well as encouraging role play, the rocket also rewards a number of other skills, including fine motor as the button is pressed and the characters placed in the car or crater. Gross motor skills are also rewarded, from pushing and chasing the buggy to making the rocket fly.
As to the recommended age group, well this is the only Happyland toy that has a minimum recommended age of a year (as far as I know), with the others being considered more suitable for children over eighteen months. Well just for once, I reckon this lower age limit is just about right, as while there's nothing in the set that I would consider an actual hazard to younger children the rocket is probably a little heavy for them. At a year old Freddy isn't yet getting the most from the rocket, but he definitely enjoys playing with it and is steadily learning the skills necessary to use it to it's full potential. I would say that the upper age limit is about right too, the fact it's a rocket/spaceship is bound to hold the attention if nothing else.
==Back To Earth==
This is yet another wonderful toy from a wonderful range, it is extremely well made and real thought has gone into it's construction. Although Happyland is often compared to Fisher Price Little People, believe me the difference in quality and durability is like chalk and cheese. (With Little People being much flimsier). Freddy loves his rocket and at only a year is able to put his rudimentary imagination to work while playing with it. Even better this is a toy that I can see him playing with for at least the next three years, and one that will survive even the roughest play. As to whether it is worth the standard price of £30, well that's a hard one, because if I hadn't of bought it at the lower price, I would have probably said it was. But having only paid £17.50, I would say that it might be better to wait until it is reduced again. Only, the ELC does regularly discontinue Happyland sets, so if you wait then you might miss out on a fantastic toy. Oh, this is so hard, so I'll leave you to make your own mind up, knowing that both Freddy and myself are giving the Happyland Lift-Off Rocket five stars out of five.
I noticed a special offer on this before Christmas. It was on special for £15, and still included the free moon base as well. I must say this has been a favourite of both boys this year, but mainly so because it happens to be the same scale as the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse my youngest also received for Christmas, and so Mickey and the gang have had one space mission after another since Christmas. The Happy Land figures supplied with this have sat unused, while Micky and Minnie make off with their rocket and mini space rover.
The toy itself is a large, I am guessing 18", rocket with three compartments. The bottom compartment is meant to carry the rover, or space car, the middle contains the main living quarters, including a bed that lifts up to reveal a toilet underneath, complete with molded in loo roll and everything. The final section in the top of the rocket is the cockpit, with seats if the rocket is horizontal, steering wheels and some type of gauges. the rocket takes 2AA batteries and when you press a button you will 3 times out of four you get static , I have no idea the point of this, but on the fourth time you get "ground control to space ship 1, a countdown from 5 and lift off with the lights flashing and an engine sound. You also get 2 astronauts, a green alien, a plastic crater, rover type vehicle and a space dog.
The main draw back to this toy is the doors. They are very poorly designed and fall off very often. They are easy enough for an adult to put back on, and even my 5 year old can fix them, but with a younger child expect to be running back and forth replacing doors constantly when this toy is in use. This is the only serious flaw in my opinion, but is costing this toy 1 star in my rating.
The toy does have rather mixed reviews on Mothercare's site though, in a large amount due to the amount of time the children spend playing with the toy. I really think this is all down to the child, as well as whether they have other toys that can be combined with this to increase play value. This was bought for my 2 year old son, who loves it, but his 5 year old brother has had just as much fun with it. The fact that my sons love space surely had something to do with it. If a child already is fond of Happy Land Toys and enjoys space I expect it would be a big hit. In our home, the fact that it easily combines with other play sets has really given this a lot of play value. That said, I expect my son's will continue to find other toys to combine with. I am surprised the rocket has not yet started ferrying Hotwheels cars to Mars, but expect that scheduled flights will commence shortly. Even our Pingu figures will fit inside so I will be bringing them down soon to join in on the space voyages. In short I think the only limits on this toy are the users imaginations.
My five year old said this was the very best thing this Christmas other than the bikes, so that is high praise from him. My two year old can often be found pretending to fly this about while calling out the countdown five - four - two five - one - well he has the general idea anyway! Both boys have spent hours every day since Christmas with this, and I really can not see them growing bored with it anytime soon.
Although this is a separate toy, it seems to be continually on offer as free wit purchase of this rocket, so I do think a very brief description is fair enough. The main unit to the moon base is small red vehicle which looks surprisingly like Happy Lands construction vehicles and a larger trailer which can be towed by the 1st vehicle. The trailer opens up with stairs to walk up and has a satellite, small screen and a laptop built in. The doors are sadly as poorly made as those on the rocket and even harder for a small child to fix, but easy enough for Mom to replace over and over. The moon base also contains two astronauts. Unfortunately these are the exact same two included with the rocket - a bit of variety would have been nice. It also comes with a robot, who has been more popular here than the other figures, and now spends his time chauffeuring Mickey and Co about. The moon base is a nice addition to the set. It gives the child more vehicles which is always a good thing in our house, and does increase play value in my opinion. I don't quite think it's worth it's stand alone price tag of "15, but I do think it adds to the value of this set.
This toy is available from Early Learning Centre or Mothercare, the usual price being £30, It does go on sale periodically at £15 though and if you can find it at that price, I would really recommend snatching it up. Even at £30, I would still think this was worth the money considering the fun my boys have had with it.
I bought this as a 2nd birthday present for my son a few weeks ago. The age range it recommends is from 18 months to 4 years so a lot of usage of age range.
It cost £30 and the additional accessory pack usually costs another £20 however I picked it up on offer and got both the rocket and additional pack for £30 so a good deal.
The rocket is red and comes with a space car type thing thats green with large rubber wheels. It's chunky and durable. My son like to use it as a kind of car. There's a green alien that lows in the dark and comes with a yellow moon crater.
There's a little dog and a couple of astronauts that come with this rocket and they fit in all parts of the 3 levels of play.
At the tip of the rocket there's a compartment that opens up and has room for 2 spacemen to lie down.
The next level has a large door and on the inside there's a flip down bed and space inside for the included characters.
The last compartment on the bottom has space to fit the car or alternatively the spacemen.
The button on the handle makes noises. When the rocket is stationary is does a 5-4-3-2-1 Blast off type noise and if it's not placed on a surface it makes a noise like the rocket is flying through the air.
The roket itself is like most ELC toys thick and chunky as well as brightly coloured so it's pretty durable. The only problem I've come across with this rocket so far is that the little doors to the compartments come off really easily which is a bit of a pain even though they easily pop back on.
In all this rocket is a great toy and encourages imaginative play. It's a little expensive as a toy but definately worth it, especially if you can get the accessory pack included for the main price.
My mum bought this as a Christmas present for my son from the Early learning centre and it cost around £30 and my son loves it. He plays with it all the time and likes to pretend he is buzz lighter year from toy story flying his space ship!
The rocket comes in either red or blue with a space buggy which has wheels on it so it can be pushed around easily and the astronauts can be put in. There is an alien which comes in a space crater and can be removed so that it can be played with separately. Also the rocket comes with a small space dog which fits inside all parts of the rocket.
There are three different levels to play on. The top level is the control room where there is space for both astronauts which it comes with to lie down and fly the rocket. The middle level is the living quarters where there is a kitchen with pretend microwave and coffee machine and on the rear of the rocket door is a toilet which can also be pulled down to reveal a bedroom for when the astronauts are ready to have a nap. The bottom level is a cargo hold where the moon buggy can be kept but my son always uses it to keep the dog in and said it was the doggy's house.
There is a button which is on the handle which makes realistic rocket sounds and counts down to lift off! The only problem which we have came across with the rocket is that the doors come off very easily every time my son is playing with it. Luckily they pop back on no bother but I think if they improved the design a bit so that the doors do not come off as easily it would be a lot better as my son gets really annoyed with it when he cant get them back on. But overall a good rocket which provides hours of fun for young children and encourages imaginative play.
Why this toy
This rocket is a toy we have borrowed recently from our local toy library we had an 8 week wait to get this toy which I think shows how popular it is with toddlers.
My son has also enjoyed playing with this at his playgroup so I wanted to borrow it off the toy library to see if it kept his attention and if it was maybe worth buying it for him
What is it?
The rocket is a classic rocket shape with a red fuselage and three boosters with flashing lights at the bottom of each of them. The rocket has a carry handle down the side on the handle is the button to press for the rocket sounds and the countdown. Inside the rocket there are three compartments. At the top the door comes down and there is space for the two astronauts that come with the rocket to lay down for take off. The next compartment swings open to reveal the living compartment, contained on the door is a bedroom and if you lift the bed you will reveal a lavatory underneath very space conscious these astronauts don't you. In the main body of the rocket is the kitchen with a microwave, toaster, coffee machine and mugs for the tired and hungry crew. The bottom compartment is the cargo hold this opens so the moon buggy (also included) can zoom down a ramp and explore alien terrain. The loose bits of the set are 2 astronauts, 1 space dog, 1 moon buggy and 1 alien in a crater the alien can come out of the crater.
I have to say when my son first saw this in the toy library bag his said "wow" and dived straight into the bag to explore the toy and his enthusiasm for this toy hasn't diminished at all.
On getting this home and unpacking it I was a little disappointed that the door from the top compartment was missing but in all honesty I can say my son hasn't missed what is on that door at all as the astronauts can still lay down in the space ship for it to take off. As we explored together all the bits that came with the set my son was enthralled the astronauts and space dog were in and out of the rocket in the crater they all have had a turn at flying the rocket and driving the buggy though the space dog doesn't fit in all the holes quite right.......that is apart from the toilet and he fits there very well which makes my son laugh for some reason.
I have to say I was very impressed that the buggy cleanly rolls out of the cargo bay down onto the ground meaning it is driving up and down a fair bit.
The doors as seems to be the case with all the toys we have come off a little too easily. Whilst this is ok for the living compartment as we can then put it on the floor for him to play with these are just to tricky for him to put back on himself and I have to say they are a little fiddly to get right. Equally it is a bit disappointing that the astronauts can't really stay in the living compartment when the door is closed unless they lie on the bed and there is space only for one of them to do so. This means that when my son wants to get them all inside for take off he finds it hard to make space for them all to be in. So it often needs some juggling on his behalf before he remembers the two astronauts in the top section the dog on the toilet or bed and the alien is left behind.
There is an on and off button on the back of the rocket to stop it making noise if it gets jostled in the toy box which is useful and not a feature I am afraid to say on all toys.
The plastic rocket is made of is very robust and has survived being dropped on several occasions or being knocked off the table when it has been launched. Bar the doors falling off there is no damage to the rocket and it has survived many alien or dinosaur attacks in our household.
Learning and educational value.
The main educational value of this toy is its encouragement to children to take part in imaginative play. They can use this toy on its own to explore space and the world around them or with other space rocket toys in the range too. We have the alien flying saucer in the same range and the astronauts and aliens have all being in flying in both. Space and aliens are a little beyond my 2 year olds imagination at the moment but he certainly loves playing with it. There is also value in encouraging their use of fine motor skills at the younger age range of the toy as it takes some co-ordination to manoeuvre all the astronauts around the rocket.
Overall and recommendation
I would definitely recommend this toy for toddlers upwards it has all the flashing lights and noises that toddlers seem to love. The rocket is very good for their imaginative play and helps with younger ones developing fine motor skills though making the astronauts move around their rocket. It is robust and survives being knocked about well, bar the doors falling off. Since we have borrowed this from the toy library it has been played with every day and we have been allowed to keep it out a little bit longer than normal due to the wait we had for it. It is definitely going to be added to my son's wish list for birthdays and Christmas unless I give in and buy it sooner. I personally just have to resist the urge to role play having alien abductions with his Happyland figures.
Where from and age range
This toy is available from the Early Learning Centre shops and website and costs around £35. The age range of the toy is 18 months to 4 years. Or in my husbands case for him playing with it 35!
My son loves the Little Einsteins cartoon on Playhouse Disney so when he saw this big red rocket toy in the Early Learning Centre he was instantly drawn to it. Now I must be clear, this toy is nothing to do with the Little Einstein's rocket except for being the same colour. But my son doesn't know this and who are we to change that when it makes him so happy!
The rocket is 43cm in height. It is bright red with silver detail. It was also available in a dark blue colour but I seem to remember that was a limited edition so the red is more common.
There is a big handle going down one side of the rocket, this makes it much easier for the child to carry it around or zoom it through the air. It also has three wide legs that mean the rocket stands up securely and is very difficult to knock over during play.
As well as the rocket you also get 2 astronaut figures, an alien, a space dog, a moon buggy and a crater. I think providing figures with the toy is great as often they have to be bought seperately. Although you can buy extra figures and accessories it isn't necessary as there is plenty in just this set.
The front of the rocket has three seperate sections that open using little hinged doors. One of the doors can be removed completely and attached again very easily. My son has accidentally pulled the door off before and he always thinks he's broken it so is very relieved when I show him it can be put back on again. The doors can be quite tricky for toddlers to open and he has to pull quite hard which is the reason he sometimes takes the whole door off!
Behind the top section is the rocket's control room with space for two astronauts to lie down. It has a few levers, dials and other control panels.
The middle section is the most interesting and is the most played with part in our house. It contains a little kitchen area complete with a toaster, microwave and coffee machine. Attached to the opening door is a little bed that folds up to reveal a toilet underneath! This is my son's favourite part as he loves putting the astronaut (and any other toy that fits) to bed or sitting them on the toilet! I like this section too, it seems well made and is bright and colourful. The bed is sturdy and seems like it will be very durable which is important as it is constantly being flipped up and down. All the little accessories in the kitchen are actually moulded onto the units so they can't be removed at all. I think this is good as if they could be removed I would worry about them getting lost, eaten of stuck up someone's nose! They are fully accessible where they are and my son manages to use them in his play just fine.
The bottom section is empty but the door opens downwards and has little dips in it so it can be used to walk the astronaut down to wherever he has landed. The moon buggy fits inside this bottom part and the door also has two grooves so the buggy can be rolled down it. It is this door that comes completely off but like I said, it is easily attached back on.
There is a big button on the handle of the rocket. When pressed you hear mission control telling you to prepare for take off, then doing a countdown from 5 to 0. When the countdown finishes you are treated to some great take-off noises that encourage the child to grab the rocket and start flying it up, up, up.....and beyond! On the other side of the rocket is a volume control switch. You can choose to turn the volume off completely and can also put it on a quieter mode.
The legs have big light up sections at the bottom and these light up and flash when the button is pressed.
The rocket seems very well made and I expect it will last a long time. We have had it many months and it still looks brand new despite being played with a lot.
Other than the rocket, I think my favourite toy in the set is the little green moon buggy. It has space to fit one character, either an astronaut or an alien. It has huge blue wheels and my favourite thing about this buggy is that it rolls really well. It's very smooth and travels extremely well, we can often get it the entire length of the living room and into the dining room with one little push. This is so much better than a lot of wheeled toys that travel a few inches at a time and just cause the child to get frustrated.
The little figures are approximately 7cm in height. They are made of plastic and seem very durable. There are no little bits on them that could get snapped or damaged. The characters are very simple, especially the alien who is all one colour, but they are so cute that you can't help but make them dance around the rocket! Additional figures can be bought at a very reasonable price of £4 for 3 astronauts, an alien, a space dog and a robot. The aliens come in different colours and the astronaut and space dog have different coloured outfits to make them a bit more interesting.
I bought this rocket from the Early Learning Centre for £35. At the time I thought this was rather expensive but felt I had to buy it as my son had fallen completely in love with it and went crazy for it everytime we went into the shop. Now I have seen how much he enjoys playing with it and how much use he gets out of it, then I think it was worth the money. I'm not sure I would be saying that if he didn't play with it as much though. I have seen these rockets on Ebay quite a lot so it is quite possible to pick them up much cheaper.
On the ELC website the age recommendation for this toy is 18months - 4 years. I agree with the 18 months part as I don't think a child much younger would get much from the toy. I think they would find the doors to fiddly and would probably end up quite frustrated by it. My son (nearly 2 1/2 years old) finds the doors a little hard to open and sometimes needs help. I think children older than 4 could definitely still enjoy this toy. My 5 year old nephew always goes straight to it whenever he is at my house.
The rocket takes 2 x AA batteries.
My son got this for xmas from 'santa'. The only thing he asked for was a rocket (after seeing the Wallace and Gromit where they go to the moon for cheese) so i had to get one somewhere. There's not alot of variety rocket-wise on the highstreet so i went for this.
It's quite a sizeable product but the handle makes it easy for kids to carry and blast off. There are a few accessories, astronauts, an alien, moonbuggy and the like, which all fit inside the 3 doors when play is over. One of the compartments is essentially the astronauts home and, much to my son's amusement, has a toilet under the bed; not so sure that's how NASA does it but hey. A button on the handle makes rocket-y noises and does a countdown to lift off when pressed; this, surprisingly, isn't actually very irritating.
It is quite a durable product, although my son has managed to pull the bottom door off without much difficulty; it's easily fixed back on though, no harm done :) Crash landings are a favourite pastime for our astronauts so it can't be too bad if only a door has come off, granted on two occassions.
I would say that at £35 it isn't great value for money but ELC offer money off vouchers often enough to get around that.
This Rocket comes with three compartments, a handle and real Rocket sounds. Perfect for little boys as they cant have dolls houses but this is just like one (albeit a flying one!). The lowest compartment is to store the car in like a garage, the middle compartment is the space mans living area complete with a bed, kitchen and under the bed a toilet and the top compartment is where the space men fly the rocket. When we got it, it came with 2 space men figures, a moon buggy/car, a dog, an alien and a crater. All of these are perfect for little hands and will grow with your child
The colours are vibrant and the handle is perfect to hold and fly it round the living room with.
The noises the Rocket makes are loud and fun and the lights on the bottom flash when it is counting down. It also comes with an off button and a volume control button, a must have for toys like this that only make 2 noises. Easy to clean and small enough to fit in the toy box. The only bad thing is the doors of the compartments break off quite easily but on the plus side they can be re-attached just as easily.
I got this for my 2 year old son for Christmas as it is a very attractive looking toy and came with lots of extras like space men, an alien, a space buggy and a dog. It has 3 doors and can fit the space buggy in the lower compartment via the ramp, the middle door is the living quarters where theres a bed that lifts to reveal a toilet and a kitchen that has a washing machine and toaster and coffee machine, the top compartment is the seats and controls for flying the spaceship. It is very durable and takes a lot of bashing and dropping and all the doors come off easily and fix back on easily so you don't have to worry about them getting broken off, however they are so easy to remove that are rocket spends most of its time with no doors and we keep losing them and finding them down the back of the sofa and things like that. The rocket also has a button on the handle that counts down to lift off and makes rocket noises. My son likes it but quickly loses interest in it, but all in all a good toy.
My youngest daughter is a bit of a tomboy, always playing with dinosaurs and trucks, and hates dolls and prams.
So when she opened her easter present from her Granma she was delighted to find this rocket inside. Granma had been really clever and unhooked all the fiddly metal ties before wrapping it up which also helped.
The roket itself is amazing. My daughter is 21 months and it is almost up to her chest. It has 3 doors which open and a huge handle on the side to hold when imagining it is flying. My daughter cant quite do this yet as she is to small and it is to heavy. My 4 year old can fly it no problems so it is not really heavy.
There are 2 astronauts that can fit into the living compartment which also has a bed and kitchen. The cargo hold opens and has a ramp so it is easy for the space buggy to get in and out. There is a super alien in a crater for when the astronauts want to get out and explore. The space dog is a great feature of this set.
I have to say this is one of the noisy toys that I like, it has real blast off noises and flashing lights. All the pieces are chunky so there is no little bits for putting in their mouth. It is really robust and easy to play with.
I would recommend this especially to help with imaginative play, my daughter spends ages putting the astronauts to bed and just saying 'sssshhhh sleeping'.
My son received the Lift Off Space Rocket from Early Learning Centre as a gift from his grandparents last Christmas. It is currently available at £35, though during December last year Early Learning Centre offered this toy with a 20% reduction and a free accessory set.
The suggested age range for this toy is between 18 months and 4 years and it really is accessible to younger and older children alike.
The Lift off Space Rocket consists of a large red rocket which stands upright. The rocket has three compartments. The flip up hatch at the top reveals two compartments for the space travellers to lie down. The door at the centre reveals a pull down bed with plenty of detail including a small kitchen. The bottom hatch opens to create a ramp for the space buggy to roll down.
When the rocket is in the upright position a button on the large handle at the side sounds a lift off statement and count down. When the rocket is tipped to the side and the button is pressed it makes a rocket sound and a slightly different sound with bleeps if held down. While these sounds are emitted the base of the legs light up red.
All of the doors and hatches on this rocket are on special spring hinges. This means that they are easily detached and will sometimes even fall off if thrown to the floor, however it does prevent the hinges from snapping through rough play. It can be rather tedious fitting the doors back on however I would rather do this than have a toy which breaks easily.
Included in this set are two space men, a space dog, a moon buggy and an alien which sits in a crater.
The Early Learning Centre describe this toy as a "Funky retro rocket" and it certain is a very retro toy. It is a very typical boys' toy which I love, though I'm sure it would be enjoyed by many girls too.
My son adores his rocket and accessories. He is able to press the button and activate the sounds with ease. He also enjoys posting the characters into the hatches and removing the doors. He has not yet tired of this toy and I believe he will have plenty more use from it as the years pass.
This is an excellent toy. It is imaginatively designed, full of intriguing features and is strong and sturdy. It certainly gets a thumbs up from my son and I.
We bought the ELC Lift Off Rocket for our little boy the Christmas before last, when he was one year old. He wasn't that interested in it at first which was ok, as we'd bought it more as a toy for him to grow into, than a toy for him to play with immediately... but in the 15 months he's had it, it has become a firm favourite.
The rocket is made out of tough red plastic. It is 40cm tall and is also fairly heavy, probably heavier than you'd expect for a toy aimed at children from 18 months old. My son has only been able to fly it around the room for the last couple of months (he is now nearly 2 and a half) and, before then, if the rocket needed to take-off, we had to do it for him as it was simply too heavy. It has a carrying handle on one side, which also has the button which you press to make the take-off noises. Inside, it has a storage area for the space buggy, a living space for the astronauts which has a pull down bed and kitchen area, and a space at the top where the astronauts lie to fly the rocket. The set also comes with a two astronauts, a green space buggy with chunky blue wheels, an orange moon crater, a green alien and a space dog.
At first, my son used to only be interested in us making the rocket take off and fly round the room, preferably crash-landing on the sofa. However, as he's got older, his imaginative play has developed and now he plays with it in a completely different way. It's lovely to watch him sit there making the spacemen chat to each other, putting them in the kitchen to 'make a cup of tea', or pulling down the bed so that they can go to sleep. They also ride around in the space buggy... the alien and his crater have long since been discarded (I guess he's just not that interested in those yet), but the rest of it is played with most days. We have just purchased the matching moon base as well and this is encouraging even more interactive play as he now has more spacemen, more vehicles and a robot.
The only reservation I would have about this rocket is the ease with which the doors fall off. My husband assures me that this is a deliberate design feature, intended to stop it getting properly broken by over-enthusiastic toddlers, but it's frustrating for my son as he can't mend it himself, and frustrating for me being constantly asked to 'fix it Mummy'. The weight is probably a bit of an issue too - although I don't think it's so relevant for over twos, just for the younger end of the age group that it is aimed at.
The rocket costs £35 and you can currently buy it together with the Moon Base for £40 from ELC. I think if you are buying the rocket anyway, it's worth paying the extra £5 for the Moon Base as this usually costs £15 to buy separately and it does enhance the quality of the play that my son gets out of the rocket. The rocket requires two AA batteries but the battery life is pretty good, and you can play with it without batteries if necessary.
Overall, I think this is a great toy for the pre-school age group - my son loves it, and I enjoy watching the way he can build his imagination through playing with it. Just wish I didn't have to put it back together quite so often...
The lift off retro rocket is accessible from three doors. The space buggy can zoom down a ramp and explore alien terrain as it exits out the cargo door. The living compartment containing a bed and kitchen for tired and hungry crew also opens. The top of the rocket is where the two astronauts fly their missions. Includes space dog and alien in crater.