Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... 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 f... more
Have A Base On The Moon!
ELC Mobile Moon Base
Member Name: xxBeccaxx
ELC Mobile Moon Base
Advantages: Sturdy, attractive, hardy, long lasting, excellent size.
Disadvantages: The moon base doors easily come off and have to be reattached every few minutes.
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.
Summary: A good solid toy from the Happyland Range