Product Type: ELC Doll
Newest Review: ... to follow as they have plenty of illustrations to show what should be going where. What I liked best is that you don't need any tools ... more
Is there room for the Tower of Doom?
ELC Tower of Doom
Member Name: HonestBob
ELC Tower of Doom
Advantages: Can be played with on all sides at different levels.
Disadvantages: Needs a lot of space to be used fully.
The Tower of Doom from the Early Learning Centre was my nine year old son's main Christmas Present. He had been asking for it for months, since his birthday in July, but as it is marketed for 3-8 year olds I told him he was too old for it and tried to direct him towards more age appropriate presents.
However, a nine year olds' pleas can be relentless, and once we had established that this was all he really wanted for Christmas, I could hardly say no. Hence, I duly purchased the tower, which came with 6 'free' monster and warrior figures, plus an extra present of a pack of knights with King and Queen, just to even up the battle a little.
The Tower was met with delight on Christmas day and 9 year old son soon fitted all the pieces together with the help of his 15 year old brother. They all slot together without the need for tools, hence it was easy for the boys to assemble. Once put together the Tower stands 111cm tall and is 68cm wide with a depth of 95cm. That's one big Tower! It takes up a lot of space in itself, but you also need to allow for space to manouvre around it as it is one of those fab toys that can be played with on all sides at several levels. We have had a 9 year old, 11 year old and 15 year old practicing various battle strategies on and around the Tower, plus a 22 month eager participatory onlooker, so it definitely has multiple play value for several children of different ages. Even 10 year old sis has had a go, but as she was assigned to 'Queen' she still got to girlie up the game a bit!
The Tower stands on a board, giving the impression of foundations with oily, black depths and large stone boulders. The castle itself is made to look as if it has been constructed from grey stone, with flames licking the castle walls and devlish eyes above the drawbridge. I find these eyes particularly eerie as my son stores the Tower on top of a table, making the eyes almost level with mine when I enter the room to check on my two sleeping youngest sons - how it hasn't given littlest HonestBob nightmares I don't know.
Overall this has been a good buy. At £75 it was expensive, but it did come with 6 plastic warriors and monsters (see other review if interested in these). It has been played with daily, both by my nine year old alone and with various combinations of brothers (he has 5!) and a sister. I doubt a 3 year old would make much use of the Tower so the age range 3-8 is not accurate as far as I am concerned. Aged 3 boys are too young to get much fun out of this Tower and children over 8 miss out if parents stick to 'age-appropriate' toys and overlook this as too young. The Tower does require additional play items however as on it's own there is not much to play with. Figures of some kind are required. Having already added a set of Knights (with King and Queen) to the Tower, my son is now saving for a Chariot and the ELC also sells more knights (in different armour colours) and different monsters and warriors with prices ranging from £10 per figure set to £20 for a Lights and Sounds Battle Dragon or a Stomping Battle Rhino. Were we to get the entire set it could work out fairly expensive. However, there are plenty of ideas for his Birthday now and that makes things easier for the rellies!
Summary: A fabulous playset which encourages co-operative play as well as competition.
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