Product Type: ELC baby toys
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ELC Lift Off Rocket
Member Name: NickyBo
ELC Lift Off Rocket
Date: 10/04/10, updated on 24/08/11 (82 review reads)
Advantages: Well made, fun, cute characters, great moon buggy
Disadvantages: Doors can be difficult to open, price
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.
Summary: A well made toy, ideal for any rocket fans.
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