Product Type: ELC toys
Newest Review: ... is the perfect set for your own little shopkeeper. All this and it only costs £22 (from ELC), what a bargain! It requires 3AA batteries wh... more
Two Bananas, A Lemon And A Bunch Of Grapes...That'll Be £129.43 Please!!!
ELC Cash Register And Scanner
Member Name: sandemp
ELC Cash Register And Scanner
Advantages: Well made, fun, added features
Disadvantages: Groceries aren't up to much
==Ker-ching - A Parent's View==
The till comes supplied in a relatively large, open-faced box along with a small number of accessories including play money, play food and even a credit card. As is often the case with such toys there were a number of plastic ties that needed to be untwisted but on a scale of one to ten, I would put the difficulty of removing this from the packaging at about a five, meaning it's not really a toy that needs to be put together before the big day. As this is an electronic toy, it obviously needs batteries (that are not supplied), in this case it requires three AA batteries that are installed in a compartment behind a screw closed flap. Once the screw is tightened this flap is held firmly shut, meaning there is little likelihood that little fingers would be able to get at the batteries.
As with many of the ELC role play toys the till is available in two colour schemes, a very girly pink and the far more unisex version that Freddy owns (and I will now be concentrating on). Following the same colour scheme as the trolley and shopping basket, the main body of the till is a pale blue while the keypad is red with green buttons, the drawer is red, the scanner and microphone are white and the chip and pin pad is green with yellow buttons. Personally I would go for this colour scheme whether it was bought for a boy or girl as there is then more scope for it to be passed on to another child.
The till itself is made of a glossy plastic that is easy to wipe clean and is a good size at approximately 30cm by 20cm (including scanning area). I like how this is not so big that we have difficulty storing it, but is big enough to allow room for the child to play. The buttons on the keypad are large enough for even a young child to press and are all clearly labelled. The LCD screen is, however, a little small, the numbers do show up, but a younger child may struggle to recognise the numbers (especially as it's an LCD display, which means the numbers are squared off). What I particularly like about the keypad and display is that it actually adds up as prices are inputted and gives a final total. It even works out what change the customer should get, which really adds to the realism. What I don't like so much is that when switched on each key makes a beep, that gets pretty irritating after listening to it for half hour or so, especially as there is no volume control.
The cash drawer is opened via a large yellow button, which is very prominent. On pressing this button the drawer flies open, accompanied by a ker-ching sound effect. This drawer is also easy for even a young child to close and has compartments for the notes and different types of coin. What I particularly like about the drawer is that it works even if the till hasn't been turned on, which means I don't always have to listen to the accompanying sound effects.
In the top, left corner of the till is a microphone so the cashier can call for a price check or supervisor. This microphone is on a bendy stem that can be manipulated to just the right height and only works when a button is pressed. I wouldn't say that this greatly amplifies your voice (thank heavens) but it does make it noticeably louder and adds another dimension to play. Down the left hand side of the till is a conveyor belt, which doesn't actually move but it does have a button that when pressed on by passing a tin, packet or piece of fruit over will bring a random price up on the screen with a beep.
The final part of the till is a chip and pin machine that is connected via a wire. This machine has a slot for a toy credit card and a numerical keypad so the customer to type in their PIN. What I particularly like about this machine is that it has a pair of LED lights on it with the lit light changing from red to green as the PIN is entered, this makes the till so much more realistic and like something the child would experience in real life. What I don't like is that the wire connecting this to the till is relatively thin and a probable weak point in the till's construction.
The play groceries supplied with the till are a mixed bag really, with some being of good quality that will last the course and others that will probably be rendered unusable after a matter of minutes. There are four pieces of plastic fruit including a banana, lemon and what could either be interpreted as a green and red apple or peppers. These pieces of fruit are fairly small, but quite sturdy and have survived a certain someone pretending to eat them. There are also a pair of tins, one of beans and the other cat food. These tins are both branded M&S and look like perfect little miniatures. Freddy also has the M&S play tins set and from experience with these I can safely say that these are much better quality than the toy groceries from most other stores. The final group of groceries come in the form of packets and cartons, all once again designed to look like perfect miniatures of M&S products. There's a reasonable selection of different packets, including a pizza, milk, orange juice, ice lollies, cereal and tea bags, but as they are all made of card they are very fragile and will not survive any amount of play, no matter how careful the child. Personally while I think it's nice that a selection of play groceries is included with the till, I also feel that you will need to budget for buying extras to add variety. (Or you could save empty packets).
It wouldn't be any use have groceries to buy unless you had some means of paying for them and along with the credit card an amount of play money is included with the till. I must admit that I've actually put this money away for now, but there are a good number of both notes and coins included. As with any paper money, the notes are probably a little fragile, but they fit nicely in the till. There are lots of plastic coins in various denominations, both silver and bronze, but these are all small enough to cause a choking hazard for the smaller child. The credit card is a good size and made of plastic so suitable for even younger children to play with. A really nice touch on the credit card is the amount of detail on it, there is a picture of a chip and even a magnetic strip on the back.
As a parent I can't help but feel that this is a lovely little role playing set. It's well made with lots of attention to detail and plenty of play value. Ok, it's not perfect, there could have been fewer card groceries and more tins and the beeping can start to get irritating after prolonged periods of play, but from an adult's perspective, it deserves a heart four stars out of five. But as with any toy, kit's not just my opinion that counts.....
==Clean Up Aisle Three Please - A Child's View==
At twenty one months, Freddy is considerably younger than the recommended minimum age for playing with this till, but with the exception of some of the extra pieces there is nothing about it that would cause a hazard and he has been playing rudimentary role play games for some time now. For obvious reasons we have put those pieces that we thought could cause a choking hazard away for now, so he hasn't been playing with the money or the cardboard groceries.
As soon as the till was removed from the packaging Freddy couldn't wait to get his hands on it and it's been a firm favourite ever since. When we play shops together this has become an invaluable prop, along with the trolley and play food. Freddy thinks the scanner is particularly funny and enjoys pretending to be the cashier (with some help), pressing the buttons, chattering into the microphone, pressing the buttons and opening and closing the drawer. I won't say that our play is particularly sophisticated so far, but Freddy does seem to enjoy playing. The buttons are all a good size for Freddy to press and he has no trouble closing the drawer, but he does struggle a little to grasp the idea that he has to keep the button pressed down while talking for the microphone to work. Freddy also loves being the customer, filling his trolley up and then paying for it at the till with his credit card. I must say that the credit card fits quite snugly into the reader and it does frustrate him that he can't remove it easily.
As well as spending time playing with the till together, Freddy spends a considerable amount of time playing with it on his own, not always in the way the ELC intended. It only took him a minute to work out how to switch it on and from then on he has delighted in pressing the buttons and he seems particularly fixated on the drawer (spending anything up to half hour opening and closing it). Being quite a boisterous toddler he's probably been a little rougher on the till than the average three year old would be, having carried it around by the microphone, dropped it on several occasions and even explored with his mouth. I must say the till has coped admirably with this treatment, to give Freddy many hours of pleasure.
There's no doubt that Freddy loves this till, it is a toy that he actively seeks out whether to play with by himself or with an adult. He adores spending time pressing all the buttons and the proof of this has been the last few days when he has been unwell and the till has been the only toy he has found the energy to play with. So I think that Freddy would give this till an almighty five stars out of five.
==That'll Be £11 Please - Suitability And Developmental Benefits==
Although billed as suitable for children over the age of three with the exception of some of the accessories there is nothing about it that would cause a hazard to younger children. While I would suggest removing the play money and cardboard groceries, I see no reason why a toddler of eighteen months or over should not be able to play with it. Although they may not be able to understand the concept of shops they will still enjoy pressing the buttons and then as they get older they will grow into the idea of role play. As to the older end of the age range, well I would imagine that a six or seven year old (or even older) would still enjoy using the till as "shops" is a perennial favourite.
As you would expect from the ELC this toy is promoted as helping a child develop all important skills as they have fun playing. Personally I feel this till is particularly versatile as far this goes, especially if it is played with over a number of years. Firstly your child's fine motor skills are tested as they press the buttons, insert the credit card and shut the drawer along with their understanding of cause and effect. (The look on his face as Freddy discovered which button opened the drawer was a picture).
As they get older the till becomes an excellent prop as they develop their imagination and role play. It looks realistic enough and has enough features to make it easy for a child to imagine it's the real thing. The attention to detail with the chip and pin machine, credit card and microphone and noises means your child can be just like Mummy (or Daddy). The till can also be used to help your child start to understand the concept of shops and shopping along with the value of money. As the child further progresses the till can also be used to help with number recognition, counting and addition. And of course it encourages cooperative play and when you play with your child you can help them improve their vocabulary and conversational skills as you talk.
==Your Change Madam - Final Words==
This is a beautifully designed till that has proved to be a big hit with both Freddy and myself. Although we could have quite easily made do with a shoe box, this till just adds a touch more realism to our play and gives an extra dimension by allowing Freddy to also have fun playing with the buttons. Although I'm not too sure about the original £22 price tag it is more than worth the £11 half price and is a toy I would recommend for all young children from about eighteen months to about six years of age. But I would also recommend buying addition play groceries, or building up a collection of empty boxes to stock your shop.
As to stars out of five, if you average out mine and Freddy's scores then we would be awarding four and a half out of five. But seeing as we have to give a whole number, we're going to give the ELC Electronic Cash Register and Scanner a resounding five out of five.
Summary: A lovely toy till that adds an extra dimension to playing shops. Well made and lots and lots of fun