Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... their other Happyland pieces and they are much easier to replace. The top door opens to reveal the cockpit where the 2 included astronauts... more
Are you ready for take off?
ELC Lift Off Rocket
Member Name: KLockwood75
ELC Lift Off Rocket
Advantages: Solid durable plastic, funky design, promotes imaginative play
Disadvantages: Slightly too heavy for younger children, comes apart easily
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...
Summary: A great toy for encouraging imaginative play for pre-schoolers