Product Type: ELC Child Development
Newest Review: ... flimsy and babyish. On the of chance I went to my local early learning centre to buy a birthday present for my niece and came across a perf... more
A Safe Deposit Box For Little Ladies
ELC Keepsake Drawers
Member Name: Hishyeness
ELC Keepsake Drawers
Advantages: Solid construction, no sharp edges, well designed.
Disadvantages: None to speak of.
One of the more useful and practical gifts my four year old daughter received this Christmas was a set of Early Learning Centre "Keepsake Drawers". She is now at an age where she has a burgeoning collection of dress-up jewellery (such as beads, necklaces and the like) and her long hair has fostered an ever-proliferating number of hair bands, elastics, clips and other accessories. Having one place to put them all has certainly helped keep things organised and tidy.
WHAT IS IT?
The product is essentially a white mini chest of five drawers, decorated in a girly pink butterfly and flower motif. There is one large drawer at the top and four smaller ones, each with a pretty flower-shaped handle, which appear to be glued, rather than screwed, on. The sides and back of the chest extend above the top surface, giving an additional shelf area for little items. The unit is approximately nine inches tall, six and a half inches wide and four and a half inches deep and is made of solid, forest-friendly wood which is finished with thick white paint.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
Despite the fact that it is manufactured in China, the first thing that strikes you about the chest is its weight and obvious build quality - a by-product of using solid wood throughout the construction. Having generally lost faith with the durability and design of kids toys, I was pleasantly surprised to see a product from the Far East that was well built with decent materials - this unit could so easily have been made with laminate covered chipboard.
The joins - on the main unit and in the drawers themselves are practically seamless. Without testing it to destruction, it's hard to tell how they are put together, but I suspect they are glued together rather than "joined" in the carpentry sense of the term. There are no screws, bolts or other bits evident in the construction.
The overall finish is first class - there are no sharp edges - each of the drawer corners are rounded, as are the base and handles. Not only does this ensure the chest looks more "soft" and feminine, but it certainly helps from the safety perspective as well. The matte white paint is very hard-wearing and resistant to chipping and scratching and even the flower and butterfly decorations are cleanly and evenly applied with consistent colouring throughout.
The drawers themselves slot into the chest easily and smoothly, with enough give to ensure they can easily slide out, but not so much to make them too loose. However, they do not have any stoppers, so they come right out - as such, if the chest falls over, it will spill its contents. That said, given its weight and stability, it's not going to fall over unless encouraged to do so by mischief-minded little hands.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
This product is exclusive to the Early Learning Centre and can only be bought in their high street shops or through their web-site at www.elc.co.uk. It is currently being sold for £12.00, which represents excellent value - however, their on-line store charges a flat £4.95 for delivery, so you may wish to combine this with other purchases to justify the extra cost.
When I first opened the box I was prepared to be disappointed, but despite my best efforts to find fault with the product, there is precious little wrong with it. If I were nitpicking, the only improvements I would make to the design would be to add discreet rubber feet to stop it slipping off of smooth surfaces, and perhaps a system to stop the drawers from coming out all the way - or at least without some effort.
That said, my daughter finds it helpful that the drawers come all the way out as she can take things in and out much more easily given the size of the drawers and unit, so what to me looks like a niggle is actually an upside for her.
This is a very well built and hard-wearing jewellery and accessories box. Also, in keeping with ELC's ethos, this unit - which is advertised as suitable from ages three to eight - also encourages imaginative play and organisational skills. Although we received ours as a gift, I would have had no hesitation buying this for my daughter at its excellent value for money price. Highly recommended for little ladies and princesses everywhere.
© Hishyeness 2010
Summary: A surprisingly well built set of drawers for little ladies little things...
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