Product Type: ELC Doll
Newest Review: ... to their records it was going back to full price soon. I decided to order the product and it was delivered very quickly and I went to ... more
Rachel's ice palace is falling down, falling down...
ELC Snow Queen Palace
Member Name: kingfisher111
ELC Snow Queen Palace
Date: 05/02/09, updated on 28/08/11 (806 review reads)
Advantages: beautiful, ideal for little princesses
Disadvantages: far too flimsy
Father Christmas was very kind to both my daughters this year and for my eldest he brought this rather spectacular pink ice palace courtesy of the Early Learning Centre. Once assembled, it really is very impressive and actually is as tall as my six year old herself! My husband was a bit concerned as to where we would put it but the base is not too huge and it does fit very nicely next to my daughter's bed. The dimensions are actually Height: 112 cm, Width: 68 cm, Depth: 59 cm.
When my daughter saw the ice palace on Christmas Day she was over the moon and ever since it has brought a lot of fun to both her and her younger sister. However, from a parent's point of view it is slightly disappointing which I will explain a bit later!
Firstly though let me tell you what my daughter loves about it. It is a beautiful looking palace and of course it is pink which is absolutely perfect. It has four floors with three tall turrets. It also has glittery blue ivy, and a doves and bows motif. We also bought some extra figures and bits of furniture which go with the palace so she can arrange these in lots of different places. A lot of the spaces are quite open so it is very easy for small hands to reach in and move everything about. I often find her playing with the ice palace making up lots of imaginary games about princes and princesses. It's also a great hit with all her friends and there is enough space for two children to play together very sociably.
I did order the ice palace well before Christmas to make sure that it arrived in time and also to take advantage of a 20% off offer. It arrived in good time in a flat packed box so we knew we would have to assemble it before the big day. However, as I did not want my daughter to catch sight of it and ruin the whole Father Christmas illusion, after checking it was the correct order, I kept it in it's delivery packaging well out of the way.
On Christmas Eve morning with the girls well out of the way visiting a friend, my husband started to assemble it. There were tons of small and large pink wooden pieces to slot together. This was not a problem though as it was easy to tell which parts were which and also the instructions were very easy to follow. It actually did not take too long to assemble which is surprising when you look at the picture because it does look quite complicated. We did encounter one small proiblem though as we discovered that one small piece was damaged. It was not actually broken but it had a large crack running all the way through it! My husband rang customer services who said that there was nothing they could do before Christmas and anyway we could not just replace the one piece but we would have to send the entire palace back! Obviously, as Father Christmas was meant to be bringing it the next day, this was not an option and then also, if we had to pack it uyp after Christmas to send it back and then wait for another, my daughter was likely to be quite upset. In the end we decided that we would just put up with it and to be honest it took about three weeks for my daughter to even notice the crack.
My biggest gripe is that the whole structure is very flimsy once it is assembled. The worst part is the three turrets at the top of the palace. There are circular rods which are supposed to hold up the turrets and these have round holes to fit into at the top and the bottom. The problem is that they just don't fit very well and even the slightest knock has them tumbling down. I find this very annoying but I have to say that my daughter really does not seem to mind. I don't know why it is not supplied with glue to fix it and I think that that is what we will be using with it soon to try and make it more stable.
I did read some reviews after Christmas on the ELC site and this seems to be a common complaint. Some parents said they had returned the palace with no problems, but how do you explain to a five year old that Father Christmas is taking his present back??
Anyway, as I said earlier, my daughter absolutely loves the palace and is not worried about its faults and I guess it's her opinion that really counts. However, if I had known better I really don't think that I would bought it because it really is not worth the money. It's usual selling price is £75 but with our discount I paid £60.
As a parent I would probably only give this one star but my daughter would give it five which is why in the en d I have settled for a three star rating!
Summary: Probably not our best ever buy!