“ Brand: ELC / Age: 18 months / Type: Playsets „
The Happyland range of toys from the Early Learning Centre are a firm favourite of both myself and two year old Freddy. I love them because they are safe, durable and encourage Freddy to develop his imagination, role play and social skills and Freddy loves them because they are brightly coloured, fun and able to withstand his rather unorthodox play. There are several themes within the range, including Village, Fairy, Prehistoric and Space meaning that there is something for every toddler no matter what their interests. Freddy has many, many sets within these ranges, with one of his favourites being the Lift Up Rocket in the Space theme. As he loves the rocket so much when I saw this add-on set, the Mobile Moon Base was on sale for half price at only £8, I couldn't resist buying it for him.
==A Parent's View==
While many of the Happyland sets come in open faced boxes and features plastic ties that would try the patience of a saint, the Mobile Moon Base is supplied in an enclosed cardboard box with the pieces loose inside. There is a small amount of cardboard to protect the pieces from scratching and the figures are in plastic bags, but the set is very easy to remove from the packaging, taking literally seconds to be ready to play with. As a parent I really appreciated how easy it was to remove this from the box, especially as I had a very enthusiastic toddler who wanted to get his hands on it immediately.
Within the set there are a total of five pieces, comprising of two vehicles and three characters. The largest piece in the set is the Mobile Moon Base itself, which is a reasonably large, plastic cylinder that runs on four chunky, balloon wheels. The Moon Base looks very eye-catching with it's shiny, grey body, red doors, yellow satellite dish and blue wheels and the colour scheme ties in nicely with the Lift-Off Rocket. Being a Happyland toy, the attention to detail is impressive and it more than a toy that your child simply pushes along the floor. The door opens downwards to reveal stairs to the interior, which is decorated with moulded features. There is a computer on the desk that the spacemen can use to write up reports, send emails home, write reviews or sneak a watch of iPlayer. On one side of the computer there is a desk tidy, while on the other there is a jug and cup in case the spacemen get thirsty. At the front of the compartment there is a console along complete with a screen that provides contact with the permanent base and rocket. On opening the top door there are a set of solar panels to provide the electricity that powers all the electronics, while on the exterior of the Moon Base there is a satellite dish that can be positioned by way of a ball joint. Although the fact that the "accessories" are moulded into place could be considered a disadvantage, in that toddlers cannot move them around, the fact that they are not little pieces means that there is no worrying about having to remove them to prevent a choking hazard. There is plenty of room inside the Base to carry all three of the supplied characters, which makes tidying up that little bit easier.
One aspect of the Moon Base that I do not like is the decorative stickers, sure they look nice to start with, but Freddy has something of an obsession with stickers and likes to peel them off and eat them. Personally I would prefer that those details were either painted/printed on or omitted altogether. The Moon base is deceptively heavy, I thought it would be as light-weight as the majority of Happyland pieces, but it really does have a weight to it and I would imagine if it landed on your foot it would hurt. One aspect of all Happyland toys that this piece shares is how easily the doors fall off. Now many may consider is a disadvantage that the doors fall off very easily, but I am positive that they have been specifically designed to do this as it reduced the risk of them being broken by over-enthusiastic toddlers or being dropped on the floor.
The second vehicle in the set is a moon buggy complete with a scoop at the front that is perfect for scooping up moon dust (or sand from the sand table). As with the Moon Base, the buggy is deceptively heavy, (certainly much heavier than the buggy that comes with the rocket). The colour-scheme, is again bright and ties in with the rocket with the bright red chassis, blue, balloon wheels, yelloe scoop and grey detailing. There is only roon for one character in the buggy, unless one sits in the scoop that is, and the thankfully the buggy does not use the fiddly and frustrating peg system to hold the driver in place. The scoop is articulated and can be pushed up and down making a very satisying clicking sound as it does, but the range of movement is perhaps a little limited. As a final little touch the buggy can be attached to the Moon Base via a peg and eye system so that it can be moved to the next area to be explored.
The three characters that come with the set are all formed from the same rubber-like material as all the Happyland characters, with a small hole in the base that makes them compatable with all the other Happyland sets. I love that about Happyland, no matter which theme the character comes from it can be used with the vehicles and building in other sets, which gives a fantastic scope for a toddler's developing imagination. The particular characters in this set are two spacemen and a robot. I have to admit that the spacemen are identical to those found with the rocket, with one maybe being a slightly different colour. But the attention to detail that has been hand painted onto these characters is fanastic, with their tinted helmets and silver moon boots. The robot is a completely new character to us and one that I have to say is quite cute in a metallic sort of way. Again the attention to detail is impressive with his claw hands and "mad" eyes. At about 6-7cm in height these characters are the perfect size for little hands and far too big to cause a choking hazard.
All-in-all, from an adult's perspective, considering the price I paid, I feel this is a great add-on to the Happyland Lift-Off Rocket. It feels as well made as I've come to expect from the brand and has the same attention to detail and little touchs that you would find with other sets. My only qualm would be the couple of stickers used to decorate the Moon Base, as I do have to try and distract Freddy from peeling these off. So from simply my point of view I would give the Mobile Moon Base four and a half stars out of five, but as with any toy it's not just my opinion that counts....
==A Toddler's View==
Before I tell you about Freddy's reaction to this set and how he plays with it, I'm going to tell you a little bit about Freddy as he isn't exactly what you would call an average two year old (and what a child would get out of this does depend very much on the child). Freddy has a significant developmental delay in all areas, but especially in his communication, social and imaginative skills. This means he's virtually non-verbal, needs a lot of help when it comes to role play and doesn't always play with toys exactly as intended. Saying this Freddy is also a little boy who adores his Happyland sets and will happily spend hours exploring them, pressing buttons and putting characters in and out of the vehicles. As he is unable to tell me exactly what he thinks of this set, I'm basing this next section on my knowledge of him and observing him play.
There was never any question that Freddy was going to love this set, the only question was how much and would he be put off by the lack of sounds. And the answer is, that he unsurprisingly adores the set, playing with it everyday. Although heavier than his other Happyland vehicles he loves to push both the Base and buggy around and was really impressed when he discovered that they have very soft suspension and wobble slightly as he puts his weight on them. This same soft suspension means that they are perfect for using on the sand in his sand table, the wheels just don't get clogged up in the same way as ordinary cars. He also discovered the scoop on the buggy is perfect for moving sand from place to place as well as making a comforting clicking noise as he moves it up and down (and up and down and up and down).
When indoors Freddy's favourite way of playing with the Moon Base is to open the doors (which he finds very easy) and then place either one of the characters or some other toy inside, taking them for a ride and then opening the doors with a loud "boo". All sorts of different toys have been taken for a ride in the Mobile Base, including his beloved Tinky-Winky Beanie Baby, which was a bit of a tight squeeze, but a sign that the Mobile Base could be trusted with his most treasured of possessions. Freddy has no trouble wheeling either vehicle over our carpeted floor, they are the perfect size for him to hold and the wheels turn freely enough for them to build up a reasonable amount of speed. As with all his Happyland characters, the spacemen and robot have been thoroughly explored, with hands, eyes and mouth, with no sign of the paint flaking off. The characters have also been taken for rides in other Happyland vehicles and the fairground rides, depending on which other sets he has out.
As I expected, Freddy has attempted to remove the stickers to eat them (he has Pica and eats some very strange things), but so far they have held firm with a little help from me distracting him. The doors have proved to fall off easily, on those occasions the Mobile Base has landed on the floor they have flown off in all directions. But these are easily replaced and I would rather they fell off than broke. The Mobile Base and buggy have proved very durable when played with both indoors and out and the Base has even survived being used as a step so Freddy can reach a door handle. Believe me, if they can survive that weight then they can survive almost anything.
From observing Freddy playing with this and the joy he gets from exploring all it's different aspects, I do think that if he could talk he would give it five out of five, with him not even being concerned by the lack of buttons or electronic sounds (another obsession).
==Developmental Benefits and Age Suitability==
Billed as being suitable for toddlers aged between eighteen months and four years, the ELC claim that this set will help your child develop and improve their imaginations, social skills, understanding of the world around them and hand-eye coordination, and I would say this is just about right. Freddy's hand-eye skills are certainly challenged as he opens and shuts the doors, puts characters into the buggy, attaches the buggy to the Moon Base and pushes them around. His social and verbal skills are encouraged as we play together, with me giving a simple running commentary. Since recieving this set Freddy has attempted to copy me saying "spaceman" and he can now show me the spacemen or robot on cue.
How this set helps him expand the understanding of the world around him is a little harder to quantify, but we have used the vehicles in this set on different surfaces, compared them to other vehicles and discovered that the big wheels make it easier to push them on sand. We've also talked about space, looked at pictures of planets and I've tried to put them in context for him. Finally (for this aspect) Freddy has spent a great deal of time exploring what will fit in the Moon Base. As far as Freddy goes, imagining and role play are not something that comes naturally to him, but even with his games of hide and seek there is an element there. For the more "typical" child, this would be a fantastic prop for their imaginative role playing games, detailed enough and yet leaving enough to their vivid imaginations.
As far as age suitability goes, while there is nothing about this set that would cause a choking hazard to very young toddlers, and those of about a year would gain something from playing with it, I do feel that due to the weight it is more suited to the recomended minimum age upwards. As to the upper limit, as with all the Happyland toys, I do feel the ELC are being a little over-optomistic. Yes a four year would probably enjoy playing with this, but they would also probably be offended at receiving it as a gift, spurning it in favour of more "grown-up" alternatives.
This is a lovely little add-on set for those how already own one of the bigger Space themed Happyland sets, or even as a standalone set. There are a reasonable number of pieces and the attention to detail is fantastic. Freddy may not be a typical two year old, but he adores this set and plays with it daily (along with all his other Happyland sets). I do, however, feel it is a little over-priced when not included in one of the ELC's regular half-price offers. So while I am giving The Happyland Mobile Moon Base five stars out of five (rounded up from four and a half) and recomending it to the parents of any toddler, that recomendation is with the caviet that you wait until it is half price.
When my son was smaller and very rough with his toys I found that many of the options I bought him tended to be broken within a very short time period. After searching around for a birthday present for his second birthday I came across the Happyland range from Early Learning Centre. After reading many reviews on the huge amount of sets available I decided that this range could be the answer to my problem and I went instore to have a look at the various options. You can buy online from both Mothercare or Early Learning Centre and have them delivered to your home for a fee (unless you can find any discount or free delivery codes around) or to your local store for free. Alternatively you can go instore to see the range for yourself, I would say if your store is small then you are more likely going to be able to get a better range of options from the website.
As I hinted at there is a very large range available with all sorts of toys included from people to castles, pirates and rockets. The rocket caught my eye and at £30 I was chuffed that the 'Mobile Moon Base' regularly priced at £15 was included for free. I knew that it was something my son would love and so his birthday was set. I have however seen this set along with the accompanying rocket from half price so available for £7.50 which is a good price.
The actual toy range has a huge age span from a mere 18 months all the way through to 4 years. I personally feel that perhaps this is a little over ambitious, my son is now 3 and a half and he is no longer interested much in the extensive Happyland toys he has ended up with. I would say that from 18 months to 3 years would be more realistic. All included toys are very sturdy, with thick plastic pieces that are very strong, my son launched the digger across the room which hit off the wall and there is still not a mark on it, there was more damage to the wall than the actual toy! Edges are smooth and safe to handle and not to small yet not to large, they are the perfect size for smaller hands to pick up and play with.
The toy comes packaged as two separate vehicles, one of which is a digger and the other a mobile space station, there are also 3 characters included, 2 of which are astronauts and a third which is a silver robot, why exactly a robot would be on the moon I have no idea but it's included none the less. The vehicles are very sturdy and easily manoevered by small hands. The characters are also very easy for little hands to hold and play with with no moveable parts so less chance for any small bits to snap off and cause a disaster. The whole set is very brightly coloured and fits in with the other Happyland options very well, especially with the rocket which has a section for the digger to fit into the rocket however it isn't mandatory.
The actual moon base itself has two doors on it, one which opens to reveal a set of steps for the astronauts to get in and out of and the top door doesn't seem to serve very much purpose. There are no interactive buttons inside the moon base so it is purely down to imagination how it is used which I feel is a good thing as there aren't many toys of this nature around now. The doors however proved to be a source of frustration for me, as my son was a little heavy handed to start with the doors were constantly off, of course they were extremely easy to reconnect but having to do it every few minutes was a feature I was not overly enthralled with. I also found that when my son was at the lower end of the age range he had extreme trouble opening the doors of the moon base, it seemed a good idea but the execution was rather poor in my opinion, I found it a struggle a few times to get into and I would much rather have seen a pull handle or something rather than two pieces of plastic that overlap. I would say that without the door trouble of the moon base the toy would have been suitable for children a little younger than recommended, I have to say though I never go by recommendation I tend to gage the skills my son has and go from there.
The digger provided a lot of fun for my son, the characters fit inside perfectly and the digger on the front moves easily up and down to 'dig' up various treasures from the moon or under the sea! The bright red colour makes it very attractive to the eye, the chunky rubber blue wheels mean that there are no scratches on any of my furniture after my son had played with this. It moves easily and we have still yet to find a problem with it, it looks as good as the day I bought it which does say something about the quality of the toy.
There are a lot of benefits of creative play and combined with other sets I found that this was a good solid set that my son enjoyed playing with for a number of months, he is now bored of the range, it doesn't provide him with enough of a challenge. I did find that the older he got the more creative his play was which was a good benefit and as I say there aren't many of these toys around now, it's all electronic and interactive buttons and noises.
Overall I was very happy with this set, I'm not sure I would be happy to pay £15 for it, especially for what it actually is but I do like that the whole range is expandable to incorporate various characters and buildings providing a much bigger base for creative play. I would say that the price is reflective of the quality of the set but because of the problems with the doors of the moon base I do have to only give this 3 stars purely as it was extremely frustrating to deal with but it is something I have noticed with a few of the Happyland range so it doesn't seem to be specific to this set.
My twin boys collection of toys is ever growing and a large majority of our toys come from ELC. My boys really love playing with the ELC HappyLand Range of toys and ELC frequently include these sets in their half price toy sales. Because I can't resist a bargain I noticed that during their half price toy sale there were a number of toys from the HappyLand range that had more than 50% off them. One of these included the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase which I bought for my boys.
***HappyLand Mobile MoonBase***
The HappyLand range from ELC is aimed at toddlers and within the collection are various sets to make up an imaginary town, consisting of different buildings, vehicles and characters to help children explore their imagination.
The HappyLand Mobile MoonBase is described on the ELC website as "Explore the moon with this mobile space station. It opens to reveal a room for scientific experiments - or a cup of tea and a nap."
The Moonbase set includes a Moonbase which is essentially a grey plastic capsule about 20cm long and 10cm wide for the three figures that come with the set to fit inside. The capsule has a door which when opened has a set of fold out stairs attached. There is also a rock digger that comes with the set. This is a small red vehicle with a large digger at the front of it. There are two spacemen figures and a silver robot figure included with the set.
ELC state that the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase is suitable for children from 18 months old.
The HappyLand Mobile MoonBase is available from ELC and Mothercare stores and online from both of these stores websites. The HappyLand Mobile MoonBase is priced at £16.00 which considering how basic this set is compared with many other of the HappyLand sets I think that this is very expensive and would not recommend purchasing at this price. I purchased during a "half price toy sale" and this was one of the HappyLand sets that had more than a 50% discount on it. I paid £7 from my local Mothercare store which at the time I did feel was really good value however in light of quality issues this is now questionable!
Like many of the HappyLand sets from ELC, as a parent you will need to be prepared to have a 10 minute battle with packaging and ties when you remove the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase from the packaging. However once removed it is ready to be played with.
When taken out of the box I did feel that the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase felt like it was made to the same high quality as the other HappyLand toys and sets and did not notice any real difference. On the moon base capsule I did feel that the door opened very easily but at the time thought that this was an advantage in order for a young toddler to be able to open up the capsule on their own. The rock digger vehicle was also made to a high quality and the plastic and blue rubber wheels on the vehicle felt very chunky and this felt like a durable set.
As soon as we got the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase home and my boys seen the set out of the packaging they wanted to play with it. Although the set comes with different parts (i.e. the moonbase and digger) it is not the best of toys to encourage sharing between children. I think for this being quite a small set the number of characters and figures that comes with the set is generous in comparison to some of the sets but with the moonbase my boys tended to fight as the capsule was too small for two children to play with and there is only one rock digger vehicle.
At 18 months old my boys were capable of opening the moonbase capsule up and lifting down the stairs that come from the capsule and also were able to place the different characters inside of the rock digger vehicle which had a indented slot for one character to sit in. Watching my boys play and based on their development (which I would say was average) they could have played with this set at around 14/15 months old and had no issues opening the different parts of the set up. The three different figures are very easy for a young toddler to hold and move around and all three of these characters could easily be placed in and out of the moonbase capsule.
I did initially think it was a benefit that the door section on the moon base could open and shut very easily as it meant my boys at 18 months old could play independently but after playing with this set around 4 or 5 times I noticed that one of my boys could pull the door off if he used too much force. As a parent I became a little frustrated having to keep clicking the door back into the slots so it stayed in place. However during one play time one of my little boys dropped the plastic moonbase capsule. He was standing up and the toy fell onto laminate flooring but this was dropped lightly in comparison to the throwing / dropping of most of our ELC / HappyLand toys. However the door section to the capsule smashed off completely and I could not put it back on. I also noticed that this had crack the plastic along the top of the moonbase capsule. Therefore I decided to throw this part of the toy away for safety reasons. I think that this is really disappointing considering how durable ELC toys usually are. So now my boys only have the rock digger and three space themed characters to play with. Fortunately the rock digger vehicle is very durable and has survived being thrown around a lot over the last 7 months. The moonbase lasted less than 2 months before it was put in the bin. The three figures that that come with the set are made from a more rubbery plastic and despite my boys regularly chewing these there are no apparent teeth marks and none of the detailing has been scratched off.
ELC state that the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase is suitable from 18 months and my boys were this age when the set was bought for them. Personally I would have had no issue with my boys playing with the toy from around 14/15 months old and think they would have developmentally been able to play with the toy. However unlike many of the HappyLand sets I would have been more apprehensive from a safety perspective of giving this toy to a child of a year old because of how easily the door to the moon capsule smashed off. The door did come off yet was not small enough to be a choking hazard to a young child but I still feel the fact that a young child was able to break this toy should cause some caution.
For the creative play and imaginative benefits I do think that the HappyLand sets are more suited to children from 18 months old but will still be of some interest to younger toddlers. For older toddlers their interest in the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase and other HappyLand toys will be very much dependent on their personal preferences. I feel the range of Happyland toys are probably suitable for children up to the age of 3- 3 and a half but this again will be dependent on the individual child.
Developmentally I think like many of the other Happyland sets the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase is great for encouraging a childs hand to eye coordination in order for them to be able to open up the moonbase and be able to put the characters inside of the rock digger. However the main benefits to the Moonbase and other Happyland sets are they encourage a childs imagination and creativity. My boys at 2 years old love to sit and talk to each other as they play with the different HappyLand sets (both individually and together). Although they do not have all parts of this toy anymore they still play with the robot (and can say the word robot) and when they play they play out different imaginary scenarios.
Unfortunately like the other HappyLand toys the HappyLand Mobile MoonBase does not come with a storage case therefore it is difficult to keep all of the parts of the set together. When we had the Moon capsule part all of the figures did fit inside of this section but the rock digger did not. I now find I just have a big toy box for all things HappyLand which is helpful but as I have an obsession for keeping parts of toy sets together I think storage cases would be a huge benefit to this range of ELC toys.
In my experience this has been the worst purchase from the ELC HappyLand Range that I have made and I would definitely not recommend the HappyLand Mobile Moonbase to others.
At full price I firstly thing the toys is very expensive at £16.00 considering the set only includes a capsule vehicle, a small digger vehicle and three figures. However even at less than half price (which I paid) I do not think the toy is good value because of its poor quality and the fact that it breaks so easily. At 18 months old my boys obviously play quite roughly with toys but only after being lightly dropped (in comparison to some other of our ELC toys) the door to the capsule moon station has completely broken off and will not go back on and the top of the plastic capsule has a slight crack in it.
A great looking toy however the only place this space toy landed was in the bin!
We got the ELC mobile moon base for our son to go with his lift off rocket and it is a great accompaniment to the rocket. It is brightly colored and comes with a mini digger, a moon base on wheels, 2 space men and a robot. It has very big rubbery wheels and the digger and moon base can attach together so the digger can pull the moon base. Like the rocket the moon base has easy to remove doors which is good to stop them breaking off but in my opinion are too easy to remove and spend most of there time on the floor. The robot is my sons favorite of all the little men that come with this and the rocket and because we bought both together we got this quite cheap. Inside the moon base there is lots of little detail like a lap top and a control panel. I would recommend this to anyone who is buying the rocket too and will get it cheaper although I don't think I would have payed full price for it.
My son received the Mobile Moon Base from the Early Learning Centre for Christmas alongside the Lift Off Rocket. The Mobile Moon Base is an accessory kit for the Lift Off Rocket though it is also a great little set on its own.
The Mobile Moon Base is available from the Early Learning Centre at £15, though during December last year it was offered with either a 20% reduction or free when purchasing the rocket.
The age guidance for this toy is from 18 months and up to 4 years which gives an indication of accessibility to younger and older children alike.
This set consists of a mobile space station with opening doors and a satellite to the side. Inside the space station is a computer screen and a little kitchen area. The wheels to the space station are made from hardened rubber which has a very soft feel and grips the floor when rolled along. Similar to the lift off rocket, the doors to this item are on spring hinges causing them to come away easily, though preventing snapping from rough play.
Also included are a moon rock digger, again with rubber wheels and a scoop which emits a clicking sound when lifted, two spacemen and a robot.
This is a fantastic little set and one which my son loves to play with. Along with his Lift Off Rocket, which also comes with a number of accessories, he now has a great little space play set which he gets plenty of enjoyment from.
It is perfect for playing with alongside friends and encourages imaginative play.
This set is strong and durable and has withstood rough play with no damage whatsoever. It's shiny surface makes it very easy to wipe clean if needed.
I fully recommend this product either as a toy on its own or alongside the Early Learning Centre's Lift Off Rocket.
We bought our two year old son the ELC Mobile Moon Base about six weeks ago, and it is currently one of his favourite toys. He already had the ELC Lift Off Rocket which was a Christmas present in 2007. It took him a while to get into playing with the rocket on a regular basis, partly because it was too heavy for him to fly it around like he wanted to, and partly because his imaginative skills weren't really developed enough to play with it, but in the last few months the rocket has become a firm favourite in this house. Unfortunately, the blue spaceman didn't survive a trip out in the buggy (I think it fell down a drain!) and my son made so much fuss about his missing blue spaceman, even waking up crying for him in the night, that we decided that the only solution was to buy him a replacement, even though that meant buying a whole new toy in the form of the Mobile Moon Base.
** The Product **
The Mobile Moon Base consists of two vehicles and three figures. The first vehicle is the Moon Base itself, which is a wheeled vehicle with a roof which opens to become a staircase on one flap and solar panels on the other. Inside is the computer centre for the spacemen, and there is also a satellite dish which can be moved around. The second vehicle is a moon buggy with a digger attached - my two year old loves this simply because it is a 'digger'. This can be hooked on to the moon base to pull it along. Both vehicles are made of a sturdy plastic. The moon base is silver and red, and the moon buggy is red with a yellow digger. There are also two spacemen (one blue and one green) and a silver robot included in this set. All of these are compatible with the Lift Off Rocket as well as the Moon Base.
** Playability **
There is no doubt that the playability of this toy is enhanced if you have the Lift Off rocket as well. As we have both, it is difficult to accurately comment on how much fun my son would have with just the Moon Base set. However, he does spend a lot of time playing with the Moon Base.... He likes to open up the doors so that the spacemen can climb the steps to work the computer, pull it around with the space buggy and make the spacemen and robot chat away to each other. It's a good toy for all pre-schoolers that like chunky vehicles as it does encourage imagination. In tandem with the rocket, I think it has a lot of playability - my son definitely plays with it for ages and it is a very popular toy in our house.
** Issues **
Like the Lift Off Rocket, the major issue that I have with the Moon Base is that the doors come off far too easily and my son can't click them back into place himself. He finds this very frustrating. My husband keeps telling me that this is a design feature to prevent the toys being properly broken by over-enthusiastic toddlers but I'm not convinced. Surely it wouldn't be that difficult to design doors that don't fall off?
** Price **
This costs £15 seperately, or £40 together with the ELC Lift Off Rocket (which is £35 on it's own). I think it is worth the money as an add on toy, but you do need to have the rocket to make it come into it's own. Without the rocket, I think £15 is probably a bit over-priced for a toy that would have limited playability.
** Overall Opinion **
I like this toy as it is well-made apart from the door falling off issue, and my son gets a lot of enjoyment from playing with it. For us, it was worth buying just to stop him crying for his missing blue spaceman, but the amount of time he spends playing with it is an added bonus. It is definitely beneficial for encouraging imaginative play - sometimes I think he uses the set almost like a dolls house as he is very into putting the spacemen to bed in the rocket and making cups of tea, but then I think that makes it a good toy for boys in particular. It makes a change from the endless games involving cars and trains in our house anyway! I do think the rocket is pretty much essential to get the best out of it though.
Littlest HonestBob received this ELC Mobile Moon Base as a Christmas present. It was actually a freebie with the Lift-Off Rocket, but also retails separately for £15.
The moon base is approximately 20cm long and 15cm high. It's basically a push-along toy that opens to reveal a plastic moulded workstation for the 2 astronauts that come with it. On the front of the moon base is a satelite dish which can be moved around manually as if seeking a signal from other planets.
The mobile moon base comes with a moon rock digger which can be attached to the back and pulled along by the moon base. The digger has a scoop which can be manually lifted or lowered. There is also a model robot to add to the play experience.
Used with the Lift-Off Rocket this extends the play value of both toys as various scenarios can be played out by the child, or more than one child can play with the set together, therefore encouraging co-operative play.
On its own, however, I do not think that this toy is worth £15. Maybe £10, or £12 at most, because it does consist of two vehicles and three play characters.
So far, littlest HonestBob (21 months) has not sought out this toy. However, he has played with it when his attention has been drawn to it, and two of his older siblings (brother aged 9 and sister aged 10) have happily played with this and the Rocket together.
One problem we have had is that the doors fall off! This is a problem that we have found with the Lift-Off Rocket too. It seems to be a common flaw in the design of ELC playsets as I have heard complaints of doors falling off the Happyland playsets too.
I would buy this toy again, but I think it is best thought of as an extension to the Lift-Off Rocket rather than as a toy that will get played with alot on its own.
Explore the moon with this mobile space station and two of your best spacemen. Inside the mobil is a room for scientific experiments! Also included is a detachable moon rock digger and your own robot to make your space adventures complete.