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ELC Toybox toy testers review thread

(35 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:01

This thread is for the MN testers who were sent a selection of the new ELC Toybox range of toys to test with their LOs.

ELC say "Our new Toybox range is a nostalgic and classic collection of toys with a contemporary twist, designed and developed by an in-house design team who were inspired by toys from their childhood. Toybox features a host of collectable animal characters and vehicles for young children aged 12 months and above. Each toy is made in a high quality shiny new plastic and the characters have clicking legs and arms so they come to life when children are playing. The animals have textured, rubbery ears to stimulate the senses and are designed to help develop fine motor skills.

The range comprises of 9 characters; Dotty the dolly, Ted the teddy, Sam the soldier, Ellie the elephant, James the Giraffe, Rosie the rabbit, Frankie the frog, Monty the monkey and Kitty. Each character sells for £4. Also in the range are Rosie Rabbit and her cute motor car, Monty Monkey and his funky car, Frankie Frog, in cool yellow goggles, and his flying machine. The Toybox animal train is a fun engine train with moving eyes and two carriages that comes with two characters; James Giraffe and Kitty, with room for a friend. The train is interactive; push the funnel down and the train chugs along to 'toot toot' sounds with four magical tunes.

The Toybox collection is perfect for igniting children’s imaginations and encouraging them to act out stories, take charge of an environment and make things happen when they choose"

Testers - please add your feedback by answering the questions below and please also add your own honest reviews (following the guidelines sent) to the links below:

Toys and Games Reviews on MN

Toybox on ELC

Please state which toys you received and the age and gender of your child who played with them

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?

Did they notice the different textures?

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?

thanks, MNHQ

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?
DD spent a good half hour playing when she got home from nursery and found them waiting for her, she seemed to enjoy them, and named the monkey George, after Curious George (as she names every monkey related toy grin)

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?
Yes, she seemed to also think her brother (6mo) would enjoy them too and kept bringing them over to show him.

Did they notice the different textures?
No, they weren't very obvious really, just the soft ears, which in all fairness weren't really that soft.

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?
No, we have had a few bouts of illness etc so have not been out and about much, but she did make use of them and they kept her occupied here and there.

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?
Yes.

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?
I would recommend it as being aimed at children around my DD's age, yes, they do seem like they would encourage a lot of imaginative play and possibly group play interchanging the little characters.

I have also added reviews to MN review pages and the ELC site.

Cheeriosfortotoro Fri 08-Nov-13 18:02:09

My dd is 16 months and we received the train with giraffe and kitty figures.
How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? what was their first impression?
Dd spent about 30 mins playing with the train figures, so her first impression was good and she like most toddlers usually moves from toy to toy pretty quick. She does keep coming back to it when its in the room she's in.

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?
Didn't really notice as, sound wise was to busy pressing the funnel on the train and saying choo choo, she loves that.

Did they notice the different textures?
yes but she is teething so more a chewing thing I'm afraid! I didn't think they were that obvious looking at them to be honest.

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?
No but have been having fun chasing it up and down the hall way having just started walking more confidently.

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?
yes, she liked taking the carriages off and using them as cars as well as putting other things in the carriages.

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? why?
Yes. It seems a hard wearing toy and dd is enjoying playing with it.

footflapper Fri 08-Nov-13 18:02:43

Unfortunately the giraffe was delivered by CityLink in a terrible state.. The pics are on my profile sad
We did also receive the lovely Monty monkey & his funky car which I will review very soon!
Thanks smile

footflapper Fri 08-Nov-13 18:12:39

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression
my 3yo ds was totally besotted with Monty Monkey & his funky car, he didn't put it down for three days

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?
yes

Did they notice the different textures?
yes

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?
they were kept at home.. Ds treated them roughly (as to be expected for a 3yo) They totally withstood the treatment grin

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?
yes all day, every day

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?
yes! Brilliant toy!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Nov-13 18:17:09

footflapper - oh dear - you should have emailed me...will be in touch with Mothercare for you

TeaAndCakeOrDeath Fri 08-Nov-13 18:22:44

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?

Ds1 (2.10) wanted to play with them straight away (practically wrestled me out of the way as I was getting them out of the box!) and has played with them about 30-60 minutes every day since.
Ds2 (6 months) loves the little toy solider and gumming on his hat!

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?

DS2 does, holds his interset a bit longer when it starts to wane with the toy, Ds1 is not that bothered and prefers making up 'adventures' with them

Did they notice the different textures?

Similar to above really, appeals to baby ds2 while ds1 pplays with them differently

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?

We havent taken them out for fear of losing them!

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?

Definitely Ds1, he likes making up and playing out elaborate stories with his toys and these are perfect for that

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?

Yes, they're very sweet and I love the fact they're based on traditional toys rather than tv character merchandise etc - I'm going to get some for a friends child for christmas after he came round to play and was rather taken with them too!

Lovely product test, thanks!

AmandinePoulain Fri 08-Nov-13 19:38:42

We received the train for our 15mo dd2. Thank you.

We also had CityLink issues - the parcel was left in the rain, by the side of the house, without a card through the door. It was lucky that dh found it (by chance) as we went away the following day and there were gales here! One of the spinning wheels on the side was damaged too, but I couldn't find the missing piece in the box so don't think that happened in transit.

Dd2 enjoyed playing with the toy, unfortunately the batteries needed changing almost immediately so she didn't get much of a first go! She was very excited when I was opening it but had to wait a while as the packaging was very frustrating to open.

I'm not sure that she really noticed the clicking sounds (although she has hearing loss due to glue ear), but I liked them. I can't say that I really noticed differing textures to be honest.

We took the characters away with us, but not the train due to the size, as she appeared to enjoy playing with them out and about. They are a good size for this. I don't really know about encouraging imaginative play - she may be a bit young for that but she puts the characters in and out of the train and presses the funnel to make it go.

I'm not sure I'd recommend the train to be honest. It's a nice toy but £30 is too much to pay for it. I also thought that it was sneaky to have space for 3 characters, and show 3 on the box, but only include 2. Plus I think that the switch for moving with music/just music is too fiddly for the age the toy is aimed at.

I've written a review for the ELC but the reviews don't show up on my phone, only on the computer confused

Bigspring Fri 08-Nov-13 19:47:35

Received Ellie the elephant and month and his funky car.
First impression my child more impressed with the box they arrived in!! Once opened she spent a few minutes with them, preferred the car as it moved along.
The clicking noise didn't have any effect on her particularly
Yes she noticed the textures but they are extremely subtle!
I took the elephant out but it was not a distraction she just threw it on the floor!
Yes they do create imaginative play
I wouldn't recommend then for my child but as a stimulating toy at a very reasonable price I'd suggest them to friends to definitly try out with their kids...
They are very basic and my daughter prefers the happy land products for imaginative play but toys are a good price

Nigglenaggle Fri 08-Nov-13 20:02:42

Please state which toys you received and the age and gender of your child who played with them
The train with James and Kitty, for a 20month old boy.

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression? About 20mins initially, and he's been back to them several times since. He was drawn in immediately - the bright colours make them instantly appealing I think. Definitely a hit! Our City Link man was noticeably lovely, by the way - pleasant professional and chatty.

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds? Not sure really. Certainly he likes the train noises!!

Did they notice the different textures? I hadn't!! So can't really say

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc? We haven't but its November - haven't been far!! The trainprobably isn't that suitable for taking out really. They did save us from rainy day hell the day we got them though.

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO? I think it did although he's still very young to be doing much of that.

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why? I think the toy is lovely and its been a big hit, but it would have to be cheaper for me to recommend it I'm afraid.

LionelRichieAndTheWardrobe Fri 08-Nov-13 20:07:23

Bloody hell footflapper! I dread to think what the delivery people had done to it to get it in that state. Back in my day we used to pride ourselves that ELC toys for that age group were made of much stronger stuff, we used to demo them to customers by standing on them and throwing them on the floor!

Sparklesandglitter Sat 09-Nov-13 11:50:56

Please state which toys you received and the age and gender of your child who played with them

I received the train with the cat and giraffe my daughter is 14 months old

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?

She wanted to play with them before I had even unwrapped them! She loves the characters and the train. She loves putting the figures in to the train and carriages

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?

Yes she seems to like the clicking it captures her attention

Did they notice the different textures?

I don't think she has really noticed the textures but I thought it would be good for teething toddlers!

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?

At the minute the toys have stayed in the house but they are the first she goes to when she comes home

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?

I think that as she gets older it will be great for that but at this stage of her development she just enjoys putting the figures in the carriages and making the train go

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?

I would definitely recommend the range as they feel really well made and solid. I will certainly be buying her more figures for Xmas!
thanks, MNHQ

footflapper Sat 09-Nov-13 14:08:18

Thanks AnnMumsnet smile

LalyRawr Sat 09-Nov-13 22:32:04

We received the Kitty single figure and Frankie the Frog & his plane. DD is 20 months.

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?

She adores the two figures. They literally have not left her side since they arrived. She is currently in bed with them both now. They receive more kisses than I do and she has a toddler panic attack every time she cannot find them.

The plane however has been played with for about 0.3 seconds. They tag line of the box says 'wind the propellor and watch it race across the floor'. I've seen snails race faster than the plane (I tried it on carpet, laminate and lino). Also, because of the wind up mechanism, you cannot just push the plane along without a really ugly clacking sound. It has sat in the corner since the first day and not been touched.

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?

I'm not sure it's enjoyed per se but it seems to soothe her. When she is tired she clicks the leg back and forth and then drops off. Which clearly means I love it more than my own life.

Did they notice the different textures?

No, not really. Or if she did she wasn't overly bothered by them.

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?

I don't drive, but like I said earlier, the little figures haven't left her side since we received them. They go in the buggy with her, in her case to the childminders, to Tesco's etc. if she starts getting cranky we ask her questions about the toys, like 'What can Frog see? What songs can we sing to Kitty?' Etc. this normally distracts her for at least a little bit!

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?

I don't think imaginative is the right word...more nurturing? She gives them her juice, bits of whatever food she has, sings them songs, gives them hugs and kisses etc. She looks after them like her little pets/babies.

Is this a range you would recommend to friends or relations? Why?

Yes I would. The products are very well made, robust, colourful. My DD loves them and I'll be buying her another single figure for her Christmas stocking. Oh except for the plane of course. Don't buy the plane!

AmandinePoulain Sun 10-Nov-13 07:06:18

Laly have you tried changing the batteries in the plane? As I said up thread ours had to be changed almost as soon as the train came out of the box, it works perfectly now.

LalyRawr Sun 10-Nov-13 07:57:00

Ohh, will try that Amandine.

LalyRawr Sun 10-Nov-13 09:48:44

Just checked, plane doesn't have batteries, it's a wind up and go jobby.

I stand by last statement, avoid the plane! grin

suchnonsense Tue 12-Nov-13 13:05:41

Please state which toys you received and the age and gender of your child who played with them

- we received the train with the giraffe and cat. Like someone else, I thought it was rather disappointing that the box shows 3 characters (and there are spaces for 3 in the train), but only two actually come with the train. Annoyingly the missing one is an elephant, which is my son's favourite animal.

- the toys were for my son, aged 2.8 (although his 8 month old sister has also enjoyed them).

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?

- both children spent about 30 minutes playing with them initially, and always go back to them if they are out.

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?

- I think so - I probably enjoyed them more!

Did they notice the different textures?

- No, they aren't that noticeable.

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?

- we didn't, and I think the train is a bit too large to take out. I imagine we would take the characters out though.

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?

- definitely, my son loved using the train to give rides to his other toys.

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?

- this is a robust and attractive toy, and was a huge hit with my two kids. However, I think £30 is too much - similar toys are often significantly cheaper. The Happy Land range, for example, includes far larger toys for a similar price.

NipLash Wed 13-Nov-13 10:21:31

Please state which toys you received and the age and gender of your child who played with them

We got the Monkey with his car, and the Giraffe. My son is 14 months old.

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?

He spent about half an hour pushing the car around and putting the monkey in and out. He enjoyed driving the car around but didn't seem too interested in the figures other than putting them in the car. He got quite annoyed with the figures though, as they just stand in a hole in the car so they wobble around and fall out easily.

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?

Not until I showed him, but even then he wasn't really interested.

Did they notice the different textures?

No I don't think so. They aren't really obvious even to me.

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?

No, but I think the figures might be quite good to play with in his car seat for a while. He might be more interested in them if he's a captive audience!

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?

He's a bit young, but he was definitely taking the figures for rides around the living room in the car. As he gets older I think they will be good for imaginative play, but not as good as HappyLand, as that range has the buildings and role play potential (post office, school, etc)

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?

I think the figures are good little presents/stocking fillers, and I like the traditional style. I think the prices are reasonable.

The car could do with being a bit better designed, as the figures fall out easily. It would also be nice if it had something that moved on it - maybe if the eyes moved with a clicking noise as you push it along. It was a bit boring really after a while. I would still recommend the range though, as they are nice, bright and seem robust.

noo1985 Thu 14-Nov-13 12:22:22

We got the train with the cat and giraffe tho like I have just seen by other peoples comments I to agree that advertising a space for the elephant but not including it is a bit silly!

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?
Good first impression got gasps as soon as I got it out of the box. Spent roughly 15 mins playing with it to begin with then on and off for 5 mins

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?
think that it did make an impression with my lb as he did move the giraffe about and play with the body so he could make the noise!

Did they notice the different textures?
It's not something I could see him noticing but at the moment he is only 13months. My 25 month old daughter also played and noticed the differing textures.

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?
We only took the giraffe and cat as the actual train was quite big to try to carry about but the toys did keep them amused for a short period.

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?
My LOs both love playing with trains so this was the perfect toy for them, they love pushing it around the room saying cho cho so yes I do believe it inspired their imagination

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?
Definitely I think it is a good range and I thought the item I received was reasonably priced!

Donniee Thu 14-Nov-13 13:31:23

We got the aeroplane with the frog and Dolly my daughter is 3.

Evie was very impressed with the toys, Dolly was her favourite and she took it up to her dolls house where she plays with it regularly. The aeroplane she loves playing it in the kitchen floor and pretends it can fly so big hit.

The clicking sounds made it a bit different to the other toys out there.

Its not something my daughter noticed??

No Evie did not take the toys out with her in the car.

Yes the toys were good for Imaginary play.

Yes i would recomment the toy.

Sleepyfergus Thu 14-Nov-13 16:54:17

Please state which toys you received and the age and gender of your child who played with them
We received 'Toybox Monty Monkey and his Motor Car' (RRP £10) and 'Toybox Ted' (RRP £4). My daughters 16 mths (and 4 yo) played with them

How much time did your child spend playing with the toys? What was their first impression?
Not a huge amount of time, perhaps 5-10 mins at a time. They grabbed her attention, but as soon as something else caught her eye, the toybox toys were dropped immediately and left lying. But that's fairly normal!

Did they seem to enjoy the clicking sounds?
Yes, that was what caught her attention at first. It's quite nice and not too loud.

Did they notice the different textures?
Not that I'm aware of. In fact, when I saw this question, I had to go and look at the characters to see where the different textures were (their ears!). Can't quite see the point as the hard rubberised texture is not that different from the rest which is plastic. Why bother?

Did you take the toys out and about with you? Were they good distraction toys on car journeys etc?
We've not taken them out yet, but they would be a good size for the car and would fit easily into the back pocket of the seat in front.

Do you think the toy encouraged imaginative play with your LO?
Not massively tbh. Not much you can really do with them other than push the about in a car. But that’s imaginative enough for a 16mo I suppose.

Is this a range you'd recommend to a friend or relation? Why?
Having said all that, I do think these are lovely items - the designs are simple, and very evocative of old fashioned toybox images. They feel quite robust, and the car has had a few crashes already, and I reckon will withstand a bit of bashing.

However, as I mentioned on the mn review section, the packaging was excessive and the toys very difficult to extract from the boxes etc. I do not see the need for such extreme security seals/ wire/ sellotape. It makes trying to open it with a kid pulling at my jumper very fustrating. I normally (say for birthdays/ xmas) open the toy and remove lots or all of these sorts of ties before wrapping the present, so as to avoid frustration when opened.

This is not an just an ELC thing, though!

Thanks very much for picking us

SaltySeaBird Thu 14-Nov-13 21:06:50

I'm a non-tester but hope it is okay to add a few comments.

My 14 month old adores these toys. She always picks them out and seems to really like the clicking sounds. Sometimes hear her playing with it at night over the monitor (she insists on taking the rabbit to bed).

I missed seeing this product test or I would have been all over it! I would love to get the vehicles but I think some of them are a bit out of my budget right now, and I can only get the car with the rabbit which she has.

I would love to see more of the £10 car/figure sets with other combinations. She would love the car but I don't want her to have the same figures!

SaltySeaBird Thu 14-Nov-13 21:09:23

Can I also add that I do have concerns over durability as our rabbits legs no longer click! It has been played with and battered about a lot. I'm not sure about imaginative play (and she is only 14 mo) but rabbit is often used as a hammer!

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