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I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Product Review: The Happy Land Train Set, Train Station & Vet

What? The Happy Land range
How Much? Different sets available, costing from £6 up to £60
Where from? ELC online or in store

The Boy received many very generous birthday gifts for his 1st birthday and the Happy Land range from ELC was one that I really want to recommend to everyone! Technically speaking, the range is 18 months +, but I’m not sure why apart from the fact that at 12 months he doesn’t quite get the concept of imaginary play quite how these toys were designed. He prefers to chew them, but that’s OK because they’re chunky enough that he won’t choke and they’re durable plastic so he hasn’t marked any of them with his little teeth (razor sharp as they are right now!)

The selection from the Happy Land range that he got was the train set from his grandparents, and the train station from their dog (there’s a special offer on at ELC if you buy the train set you get the train station free) and he also got the vets surgery from his auntie & uncle.

The Train Set – This is brilliant – a series of brown plastic rails, easy to snap together to make an oval shape large enough to be interesting, small enough to not overcrowd even a small bedroom. It comes complete with a level crossing section that has a ramp either side for the car to drive over when the level crossing gates are up, a beautiful red train with tender carriage and passenger carriage that lock together with chunky links that are easy for little fingers to do up and undo, a train driver, a car to drive over the level crossing with a man to drive the car, and a lady passenger to wait on the basic platform that comes with the train set. You put it together, put batteries in the train and put the train on the tracks, then when you put the train driver into the train his weight pushes down the floor of the train engine and makes it go! Fantastic! Complete with train noises, the train tootles off round the track at a nice speed that makes it interesting enough for little people but at the same time slow enough that they can keep up. There’s also a ridge on part of the track that knocks a button on the bottom of the train engine, triggering it to come to a stop and it waits for a few seconds to let the passengers get on and off before it leaves the station again. The level crossing means that from a young age you can educate your children about safe behaviour around train tracks and level crossings, though I think this is a bit beyond The Boy just yet as he gets older it will be a good teaching tool!

The Train Station – A good size station complete with a ticket office, a ticket master figure, a businessman passenger and a bird in a nest to live on the chimney stack. Now the passengers can drive over the level crossing and park in the car park (the centre of the oval) walk to the ticket office for their ticket and sit on the platform to wait for the next train.

Village Vet – Another good size building, this one has a shop door that opens and when pressure is applied to the mat it makes a ringing noise like a shop bell; comes complete with a vet (who permanently carries a parrot on his shoulder) a vet nurse, the vets 4x4 green car, a cat, a dog and a (rather oversize) rabbit. The building is split down the centre by a counter for the animals to sit on while the vet sees to them – another pressure pad on this makes woof and meow noises when the pet is placed upon it.

Both the train station and the vet surgery are open backed, meaning little hands can easily access inside and play; every little detail is included, such as bottles of medicine on the walls in the vet surgery and flowers and a clock on the station platform.

Having looked on the ELC page at the rest of the Happy Land range I am dying to get him some more of the sets – the only question is, which ones!  But this makes it dead easy for Christmas gifts – if anyone asks what they can get him I can point them in the direction of the Happy Land range or ask for vouchers for ELC so that he can get some more. I’m very interested in the storage boxes that they do for the sets as these can be unzipped and become play mats for the range which I think is an excellent idea! (Also did you know if you register with the ELC site you can join their birthday club to receive money off vouchers which are sent out yearly just before your childs birthday until they are five? Well worth doing!)

I really like these toys, they’re brightly coloured, robust and good sizes, while some of the sets are a bit pricey I do honestly think they’re worth the money as they’ll last for a long time and if you have any problems you know you have the back up of the excellent ELC customer service team to help with your query! An imaginative set of toys that offer a wide variety of sets to keep your kids happy whether they’re into trains, aliens, princesses or horses, this range is a must-see for all parents of young children for good quality toys that I think will last for a long time! Five out of five!

1 comment:

  1. Spike is 7 months and loves Spud's Happyland sets. We definately know what he is getting for xmas!