* Prices may differ from that shown
My daughter has a collection of both Happyland and Fisher Price LIttle People which she is slowly outgrowing, however she still occasionally asks for either or both of these sets to be brought out. Recently, she wanted both out and was playing with her Fisher Price LIttle People farm but incorporating many of these ELC Happyland Farm animals, which I realised I had never reviewed and had been given to her for her second Christmas by someone. The set that my daughter has includes 5 farm animals and currently retails on the ELC website at £8, which is pretty expensive in my view, and it is worth waiting for a 20% deal in the ELC before purchasing, making it a much more realistic price. This set of farm animals includes what you would expect - a cow, horse, chicken, sheep and a pig, all familiar to most children even from an early age as they learn to recognise each one and learn the sound that each one makes. Certainly my daughter enjoyed doing this with the animals when she started talking. This range is suitable for children from 18 months which I think is a fair enough recommendation as my daughter would have been 16 months when she got them and she was able to use them straight away without any major safety concerns as they are too big to really be able to put in the mouth, though they still got an attempted chew frequently when she first got them. Obviously it would be sensible not to leave a young child alone with these but I never noticed any problem or obvious danger. These little animals are chunky so are perfect for little hands to grasp and manipulate. They are well made and bright and colourful and so should appeal to young children. They certainly appealed to my daughter and still do to a degree. She played a lot with these animals using them to make the relevant noises and like she was doing recently will use them with other playsets as well. Now that she is two and a half, I think these chunky animals are almost too basic for her and she is moving on quickly so she has got good use out of these toys make them decent value for money, especially if you get them on offer. If you are looking for toys to encourage talking as well as role play then I would certainly look at this paricular set of animals.
We are big fans of Happy Land in our house. Over the last few years we have built up quite a collection as both of our little ones have (and still do) enjoyed playing with these. Happy Land is a lovely invention as you can add to it by buying various sets. This one of farm animals was one which Hope was bought for Christmas one year. It was a lovely gift and has been played with on a regular basis since. Happy Land is a collection of toys suitable for toddlers. They vary in what you can get from just single sets of animals and characters to huge great villages and fair grounds. They are all brightly coloured and made from a robust plastic which makes them very popular with toddlers and a great purchase which will withstand the test of time. We have a whole host of these toys including the fairground set, a windmill, a veterinary surgery, fairy car, caravan and more. These farm animals were bought by a friend for Hope's Christmas gift about two years ago. I thought it was a lovely gift as they knew how much she enjoyed playing with these toys. In the set there are three different animals and you get two of each- a mummy and a baby. They are a sheep, a cow and a horse. They are not exactly spot on in terms of colours compared to reality but that doesn't matter, everything in Happy Land is bright and colourful but these are not that far off. The sheep is white with grey face and ears and feet with lots of round bobbly wool. The horse is bright orange with brown details and the cow is cream with brown splodges and a big pink nose. These animals are chunky and cute. We have a farm set of Happy Land so these compliment that set nicely. We do already have a sheep from that set but that doesn't matter, it means there are more animals to put in the pen. Hope enjoyed playing with these a lot, she would use her imagination to play with them and would make up little stories which were lovely to listen to and watch. She also used to make the noises that they would make and it always resulted in lots of laughter. Now her little brother plays with these a lot and they are a perfect size for his little hands. We have had these for just over 2 years and they are still as good as new, no paint has come away despite being played with a lot. This is a lovely compliment to Happy Land sets and can be played with alone too.
I bought a Fisher Price Little People Farm from Barnadoes for £2.99. Trouble was, all the animals had scarpered, vamoosed! Dusty and neglected the farm had clearly seen better days, but with a bit of elbow grease could be brought back to some semblance of its former glory. I looked on ebay, amazon and other online haunts for replacement Little People farm stock, but the prices were exorbitant: several times the cost of the farm. Some time later I chanced upon a double sale deal in the Early Learning Centre, and bought two Happyland figure sets for £6.40. One of these was the Happyland Happy Farm Animals Set, which contains different animals to those pictured above; I expect it has been updated. In the Happyland Happy Farm Animals Set you get five plastic figures with nice detailing: 1 pig, 1 sheep, 1 chicken and chick, 1 horse and one cow. This was ample stock for the farm, which conveniently required exactly this selection of animals, and had enclosures for all of them, each capable of making the correct animal noise for its new occupant. The figures come in a small cardboard box with open front, and they have plastic ties securing them in the packaging, which are fiddlesome and annoying to take off. The packaging contains tips for playing with the figures, which basically involve imagining things the animals might do: "jump fences and neigh, or have a good kick as you bray! Baa as you eat grass and cluck as you try to keep your cheeky, cheepy chicks in order". Baby CrazyEgg sometimes makes her animals do these things, though more often than not it is me that makes the sounds. (She really only does a dog sniffing and a lion roaring at the moment), however, she has clearly learned the names of the animals and the sounds they make as I can ask her to pass me the one that goes "Oink!" for example. Having the farm as a backdrop helps, and Baby CrazyEgg likes to put the animals away for the night in their stalls, or alternatively in the Happyland Post Office or Tea Shop. She has a lot of fun simply lining them up in front of the telly, or hiding them in the washing machine. Something about them appeals and she will take a shine to one or the other and carry it from one room to the next for quite some time. The figures are generally well designed and make a nice collection. They are also easy to wipe clean. One concern I have is that the sheep is cracked at the base, and as Baby CrazyEgg is not rough or boisterous when playing with these I am surprised. I have removed it from play in case a bit snaps off. We have only had the figures out for playing since Christmas so this is disappointing. * However, judging from other reviews I think this must be an exceptional case, so they will only lose one star for this. We have recently purchased a jungle animal set for Baby CrazyEgg's birthday at the end of May (to go with the FisherPrice jungle from Barnadoes, whose animals had all escaped) so this fault has not put us off Happyland, just made us more aware of the need to check the figures periodically. Additional thoughts It may be that you are reading this because your child has reached play-figure age, and you are wondering whether to stick to one brand as your collection grows or whether it doesn't really matter. Two of the main collections are the Fisher Price Little People range and the Early Learning Centre's Happyland. The former is a slightly bigger and chunkier range suitable from age 12 months. The latter, a slightly more detailed and smaller collection suitable from 18 months. A key difference is out of sight on their bases- the Happyland figures have a tiny hole that enables them to be seated securely in Happyland vehicles and so on, since these products have a tiny plastic 'spike' that they fit onto. The Little People on the other hand have a much bigger hole in their base, with corresponding bigger 'spike' on their vehicles. I think it is this that makes them suitable for the younger age group since the movement to place them in their various carriages and cars etc requires a lesser precision of movement. Despite this difference, we happily blend figures from the two series and for the most part this works very well. * I raised this with ELC customer services along with another query about a different toy. They were surprised and agreed it should not have cracked. They sent us a replacement pack of figures to make up for 'any disappointment caused.'
My niece had a number of the Happyland sets when she was younger but the favourite and most played with was by far the farm. Happyland is a range of toys that seems to be very popular with young children and there are a number of different sets available. My nieces set was ever so slightly different than that shown above as a few of the colours are different and we also had a donkey. Now, the set available on ELC's website and in stores contains 5 animals which are a cow, horse, sheep, rooster and a donkey. The set retails for £8 but currently ELC are offering 25% off of all toys online so this set really can be picked up for a bargain price. Our set consisted of 2 horses, 2 sheep, 2 cows and a donkey. I'm surprised there werent any pigs as personally when I think of a farm I do think of pigs but never mind. The sheep are identical to those shown above but the cows are much whiter and the horses are brown rather than orange. Each of the animals are of a good size and are easy for little hands to hold and move around. However, they are not correctly sized in comparison to other parts of the farm eg. the barn and the tractor and they do look a little bit like giants but this doesnt really matter! The larger animals are about 2 inches tall and they are all made from a soft rubbery plastic. They are not overly hard and there are no pointed bits etc so they cannot pose any risk to your child if they (or you!) stand on them. The animals are all cute and round and look much chunkier than they do in real life but I think this adds to the character of them and they look much better than they would if they were in the correct proportions. The cows are the same as above apart from being black and white rather than cream, the sheep look identical and the horses are brown. The donkey is grey with black and white detailing. My niece liked all of the animals and they do all look really good but I think the sheep may well have been her favourite because of the texture. These animals were played with extensively with the Happyland Farm. They could certainly have been used outside of the farm setting but my niece absolutely loved her farm so this tended to be out every day. The animals would sit in their fields and chat to one another and even escape the farm! I do think their chunkiness makes them look a little bit cheeky which added to the play value and the ideas my niece came up with. The animals were also really useful to help to teach my niece what noises the animals made however it would have been nice to have some pigs and a few more animals. It would be nice if a sort of add on pack was available with a few more farm animals in for example pigs, ducks, a dog, a goat etc. The animals are suitable from age 18 months which is great as it is a toy that can be bought for younger children and it can initiate role play games and also learning about the animals etc. My niece got this I think for her 2nd christmas when she was about 15 months old and she was supervised with it but there are no small parts so it wasnt too much of an issue. She actually played with this right through until she began school so it lasted her at least 3 years and it was played with most days. These animals are of a good quality and they are a lovely little set to have. All children tend to have some sort of farm animal set and this is a great set as it can be bought for the younger child from 18 months and it can be used to teach the child and also to encourage games and role play. The animals stayed in perfect condition despite being chewed on and flung around etc and they would certainly last for another baby. One thing that I do feel lets the set down is the fact that there are a limited number of animal types and I would really like an add on set or a larger set available for a slightly higher price.
Down on the farm. We have quite an extensive range of Happyland sets, houses and figurines now as I think they are great toys for my little girl that in my opinion are not only fun but educational as well. Happyland is a magical land brought to you by those clever people at Early Learning Centre. They describe Happyland as, "A place where children's imagination can run wild. ELC offer a range of fabulous buildings, characters, animals and vehicles from this great range. With HappyLand toys children can build a collection that can be added to over time to create an imaginary town and learn about all walks of life." I think Happyland is great for this as once you have a big house or something like that you can then buy little bits and pieces here and there to add to your collection. The little sets make a nice gift and are not that expensive if you just buy a little set from time to time. The Happyland characters are all made of tough plastic so stand up to a lot of rough play. They are bigger than say Sylvanian Families characters as in my opinion these characters are aimed as a younger age group. I would say that Happyland are perfect for children aged 1 and above. They are bright and colourful and have a wide range of ethnicities, looks and accessories to add to the role play function. One of the favourite places my little girl and I like to go is the farm as we have one just up the street from us that we have a season pass to so as she loves it so much I recently bought her a set of Happyland farm animals. The farm animals cost £8 from The Early Learning Centre which I thought was a fairly good price. The set consists of 6 animals, 2 sheep, 2 horses and two cows. They are all incredibly cute looking and realistic enough that you can tell what they are. I hate it sometimes when you get toy animals that look nothing like the animal they are supposed to be. The sheep are a very cute white colour and they have a woolly look to their coat as well as a grey face and grey feet. The cows are the cutest of the bunch in my opinion with brown spots and a cute pink and yellow bell around their necks. The horses are a bit too yellow in colour for my liking but have a nice brown mane and still do look like a horse which is nice. All in all I think this is a wonderfully cute little set and if you have other Happyland sets this fits in perfectly, great fun to role play with and make up fun stories with your little ones.