Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... is made of bright, chunky plastic in eye catching orange, red, yellow, blue and green. It is very robust and sturdy and comes in just one... more
They say Martian; I say 'alien'
Happyland Martian Moon House
Member Name: lights84
Happyland Martian Moon House
Advantages: Easy to clean, long battery life
Disadvantages: Expensive, unneccesary
My mother in law bought the Happyland Martian Moon House for my daughter when she was about 17 months old. She paid about £30 from ELC as she wanted to invest in something that her granddaughter would play with for long periods of time/for years to come.
Personally I didn't and still don't like the look of this toy. It is completely plastic which feels unnatural in our household as we mostly go for wooden toys and books, with a focus on chemical-free toys where possible. U won't deny, though, that the Moon House is well designed, with inventive rooms including a bedroom, kitchen, and even an area for the dog to inhabit. Instead of stairs there is a slide and there are buttons that little fingers can easily press to make fun noises. My daughter presses these constantly which can be quite annoying but the batteries have not needed replacing yet and she has had this toy for a few months now.
The Martian Moon House is also bright and eye-catching in colour which although is attractive to children can also encourage them to be hyperactive. I have seen my daughter play more gently with a few spoons and saucepans that she has dragged out of the cupboard than with this Happyland toy. In fact, sometimes she gets stressed out by the house quickly because she likes to move toys around but this one is too bulky and heavy, and again I think the bright colours have a strong impact on her. The loud noises don't help either, and we don't allow this toy to be played with at all in the few hours preceding bedtime as they contribute to difficulty falling asleep for my daughter.
There are small parts with this toy which is why it is not recommended for children under a year and a half. My daughter doesn't play with this toy unaided and she has never put any of the pieces in her mouth, so it's up to mum or dad to decide whether this is a suitable toy or not. The small parts are actually the funnest part of the toy for my daughter as she will play with them and carry them around the house, and although I have shown her how to use them with the house she prefers not to do so. To her, the small toys and the large one are for completely separate types of play. The little pieces do often get lost because of this and I have stepped on a few pieces lying around the house on more that one occasion, which was really painful as they are made of hard plastic! She seems to like the plastic dog and alien figures more than the vehicles, and although she has the correct dexterity/hand-eye coordination to put the figures into their accompanying parts of the toy, she is just not interested in doing this. Maybe an older child would be. But my issue with this toy is that it is too rigid, both physically and conceptually, ie it does not leave room for imaginative play. Frankly if this wasn't a gift from mum in law we would oust it from the house, but she would be sure to notice.
The plastic is easy to clean although bits of food have gotten into difficult areas, mashed banana being the worst one. There are also a few scratches on it from my daughter trying to fit other toys into the compartments, as this is how she likes to play and I don't play to stop her from doing things her away so that she does them 'properly'. When mum in law comes over she does do the latter which I think is a shame but it's nice that they have the alien Moon House to bond over. Personally I'd save your money for a day out as kids don't need overly stimulative and rigidly designed toys to teach them life's lessons or to entertain them.
Summary: Save your money for a day trip instead.
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