“ Manufacturer: ELC / Type: Cars / Age: 3 years+ „
The ELC Ready to Drive Roadway is on offer at the moment. Usually it retails for £13, but presently it is £10.40 thanks to a 20% off offer (available online and in store). As it's an ELC product, it's exclusively available from the Early Learning Centre only.
I was impressed with the size of the box I got for the price I paid. It's a sizeable box, with quite a substantial weight to it. When you open it up, you find lots of pieces of thick, cardboard roadway tucked inside. My first impressions of this were very good, and I thought I'd got a really good quality product that the grandson would really enjoy playing with.
Unfortunately this doesn't live up to the usual high standard you expect from ELC toys. The roadway pieces don't quite line up properly, as the pieces haven't been cut very well. They will go if you push them, but this is really awkward as it's hard to explain to a child that they can only force them in if they're sure it's the right piece. If they try to force in every piece, and are actually ramming the wrong one in, then it will break the toy. Not all of the pieces can be joined together you see, this is a kind of jigsaw toy and the roadway can only be fixed together in certain ways.
If you, as an adult, take the time to fit it all together, it will function okay and the pieces stay together if you have layed them on a hard floor or short-pile carpet. Kids may find it frustrating that you have to always put it together for them though, as the assembly process is supposed to be part of the fun for them. Also, I think most kids will be impressed with the size of the roadway once all of the pieces have been joined together. This takes a fair while to achieve, due to the difficulty in getting the pieces to fit properly, but once you do finally get there - you'll have a very large track that easily fills the average sized living room floor.
For £10 I can't complain too much, and sadly I can't find a better alternative. To be honest, I'd have rather paid £20 and got plastic pieces that fitted together properly, but that product just doesn't seem to exist at the moment! So for want of a better alternative, this will do the job. But it's not ideal, it can be a bit frustrating, and the quality is below average for an ELC product. You might prefer to just spend the money on a roadway playmat to be honest.