“ Brand: ELC / Type: Airplanes / Helicopters „
Planet Protectors, the mighty 'super' animals, that are here to save the earth from the gruesome, evil baddie Doc Tox, and his sidekick Ripp Rilla, who keep putting slime and toxic waste over the planet. Each animal has an area to protect, the rainforest, the oceans, the mountains, the skys and more. Can they do it?
It is up to you and your little one to help save the planet with the Early Learning Centre Planet Protectors Spaceship. The space craft is part of a larger collection of toys which is included in the Planet Protector series. The other animal protectors are also available to buy, along with their special planet protecting mode of transport and weapon/tool.
The spaceship is the biggest vehicle in the collection. It stands at 32 cm high and weighs a hefty 1 kg. It is white with black markings and gold trimmings. At the base there are four red rocket boosters, which light up and make fun space whizzing sounds with the press of two buttons. These orange buttons and the on/off switch, which also controls the volume of the sounds, are under the main body of the spaceship. There are four sides to the main body of the spaceship which also act as doors. These fold down and specific planet protectors (not included) can slot in. Once slotted in, they can introduce themselves (clever). The tip of the spaceship is also a removable space capsule, which has a small orange button attached. This button activates the voice of Nuts the monkey, who is included with the toy, he has four different sayings. With all these gadgets 3 AA batteries are required.
As you can guess from my introduction this toy has lots of potential. Imaginative play, space investigation, learning about pollution, alongside having plenty of fun. To get the full use of the space craft you do need to buy some of the other characters from the series. It extends imaginative play and you can hear the characters talking through the spaceship. Doc Tox, the evil scientist, and his glob chucker, are great to include in your set. Everyone needs a baddie! You and your little eco warriors can constructively save the planet and get rid of toxic waste all from your playroom floor (theoretically).
The spaceship is most certainly a solid piece of kit. It looks great and feels very durable. However, spaceships are meant to fly. This means little hands, have to try and grip this big heavy, toy and try to simulate flight. Not only is this a mission, but they also have to try and press the buttons for sound effects at the same time, impossible. It is no good going into space without zooming and blasting noises in the background!
Actually placing the planet protectors into the spaceship is quite a job. Firstly, there is Nuts, who sits in the capsule. I have trouble fitting him in, let alone my 5 year old. He needs to be in the exact position for the capsule to close. The other larger characters slot into their own portion of the spaceship. They are very much like Fisher Price Rescue Heroes, and have an extended piece of plastic on their backs which slots into a groove in the spaceship. This is also quite tough for little hands. Once in the craft, it is hard to shut the doors completely, they also need to be exact. Often the doors, come unattached, they are easy for me to fix but not my son. Getting the figures out of the craft is just as hard. You can certainly not have a quick get away, or emergency landing!
The Planet Protectors are exclusive to the Early Learning Centre and are suitable for 3 years and up. The spaceship itself costs £30. The other pieces are not so much, but are still quite expensive.
Now, I have really been quite negative about this toy. It is large, heavy and also quite fiddly to operate correctly. The Early Learning Centre has come up with a fantastic concept, helping save the planet, but to me, have not quite got it right with this actual toy. The fact that they are using animals to save the planet (us humans aren't good enough!) is great. Educationally, it serves a fantastic purpose bringing about a wider awareness of what is happening to our planet.
I would not really recommend that you go and buy this specific toy. However, I would very much recommend the other Planet Protectors, as they are far more user friendly, which young ones can easily use alone and save their planet.
My son received this toy as a gift for Christmas 2007 when he was 4. He was over the moon with this rocket!
***** Planet Protectors *****
Planet productors was a new line of products released by the Early Learning Centre in 2007. The recomended age range is 3- 8 years. This modular range consists of :
Nuts the Monkey
Kay Land - protects the Land
Ice Artic - protects the Artic
Reef Sea - protects the seas
Eye Sky - protects the skies
Ridge Mountain - Mountain protector
Ace Jungle - Jungle Protector
Doc Tox - The baddie
Rip Rilla - Doc Tox buddy
***** Planet Protectors Space Ship *****
The toy needs no assembly, although does require batteries.
The spaceship or rocket as my son calls it. Has flashing lights on the launch pads and makes noises as ay lifts off and flies. (Not a flying toy) There is space for the four main planet protectors : Ice Artic, Kat Land, Reef Sea and Eye Sky to stand in the rocket and while there they will all say their names and place to protect.
The rocket has four fold down 'doors' where these Planet protectors stand. These doors do come off quite easily and I seem to spend a long time pushing the hinges back together. The top of the spaceship is where nuts the monkey sits. It also is removable however i have never really understood why.
***** Play *****
My son is fascinated by space and rockets so loves this toy. Generally he plays independantly with it and makes up space missions. I'm glad he can occupy himself. The characters come with an information card, unfortunately can't find these anywhere but they weren't of much interest to my son who prefers to use his imagination.
***** Educational Value *****
Useful for teaching children about the planet and environment. My son now has a globe so he could see where the artic was and is interested in the threat to the wildlife by the ice melting. He has also learned about sea polliution etc.
***** Price and availability *****
Exclusive to the Early Learning Centre but more and more of their ranges can be found in larger Boots and Mothercare Stores. The Planet Protectors range in price from £10 to £40 with the Planet Protectors Spaceship costing £30.
****** In summary *****
** Good bits **
Rocket toy with lights and sounds but is not overly annoying or loud
Space for Planet Protector characters and a button for each to talk
Learn about space, protecting the environment, the different environments and the larger world around them.
Allows imagintive play
*** Not so good ***
Planet Protectors all sold seperately which make this about around £50 to get all the characters
The doors come off easily
My son loves the toy but once again it is expensive and you will probably be hounded to get the extra figures as there are spaces for them. Greaat if you want to teach your child why recycling, saving electricity and preventing waste are so important. Also if they like rockets I haven't really found any other toys aimed for this age group.
Spaceship has flashing lights and makes lift-off and flying sounds, while each character talks when placed in his own seat.