As you know we’re having a bit of a spaced theme this week and you can’t really have a space theme without having a spaceship and a rocket. As luck would have it that is exactly what Izziwizzi Kids Playfest have sent us to review this week. I introduce you to the Discovery Spaceship and Lift Off Rocket by Hape.
As soon as I looked at the box for the Discovery Spaceship and Lift Off Rocket by Hape, I just knew that my Monkey son who will be 4 at the end of the year, was going to love it. This toy is aimed at children aged 3 years and over, so perfect for my little Space Cadet.
This is my first experience of Hape, I’ve heard of them, and heard good things of them. They supply wonderful, brightly coloured wooden products – exactly my type of toy – slap my wrist – why have I not bought before!?
So, my first task was to construct the Space Ship in preparation for our first trip to the Moon! The instructions looked quite straight forward and the only ‘equipment’ needed, was a Cross Headed screwdriver. I unpacked all the parts and set to work …….
….. and had a good look at all of the accessories – 2 astronauts, 1 alien, 1 robot, a solar panel which folds up, a moon crater with moon rocks and a shovel, a bed, treadmill (love this idea – our astronauts must keep fit), a couple of vehicles, 2 fuel canisters, 3 fuel/electricity leads and a connector, a space lander with camera, tool box and first aid kit, and a number of pieces of vital spaceship equipment and even a flag so your space cadets can leave their mark on the moon.
I’m not ashamed to say that I had a little play myself that evening. The astronauts have moveable limbs and you can clip items into their hands, put them in the Lift Off Rocket and make sure they get their exercise on the treadmill. They are smaller than similar figures we have from different products, but there is a lot of scope to improve children’s hand/eye coordination with these astronauts as well as their manual dexterity.
As you can see if you click into the various photo’s above, there is a real wealth of detail on the actual Spaceship, the furniture can be moved around, the Lift Off Rocket can be placed at the top of the Spaceship or you can Blast Off into Space with one of the astronauts strapped in, on a Inter-Galactic mission – I was getting so excited to see how my imaginary play mad Monkey would get on with this play set.
So what did Monkey think? To say that this has become his all time favourite toy would be an understatement. It has basically been all he has played with in the last few days since it arrived. He has added a fire engine (because they could have a fire on the Moon) and his digger has made a few appearances, but other than that, he has been totally enthralled by the Discovery Spaceship and Lift Off Rocket.
The Spaceship is really quite sturdy and able to stand up to his enthusiastic play. As I’ve mentioned above, there is so much detail in this play set that it has literally kept him amused for hours on end. The only way I could get him to eat his dinner on day one, was to let the Lift Off Rocket and an Astronaut join us! As soon as his dinner was down the hatch, he was back to his Space Odyssey.
It’s wonderful that the Discovery Spaceship and Lift Off Rocket allows for 360 degree play – we can play together, Monkey can invite his friends over and they can play at the same time. The different levels within the Spaceship, and the lift connecting each level and another dimension of play. There is a laboratory, a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, a gym as well as the serious space control area.
Monkey has lived in an imaginary world of planets, aliens and moon missions – it has been wonderful to watch. He has picked up lots of information, asked lots of questions and put the things he has learnt from our Space Themed story time this week into practice.
It is very easy for a child over the age of 3 years to work, Monkey understood how to operate the lift immediately, without any intervention from me. He could un-hook cables and attach them to different pieces of equipment himself. We’ve both found the astronauts hands a little tricky to latch onto things, but other than that he has managed everything with no intervention from me. He was in awe when he realised that the Rocket could lift off from the Spaceship. I’m in charge of Mission Control back on planet Earth – it’s a very important job you know! I have to keep my space cadet fuelled with space snacks and space juice at regular intervals.
Can you tell how impressed I am with this product? We both love it. I can see why there is a 3+ years age on this product. There are a number of small play pieces and cables which a smaller child could easily swallow (some do look like sweets) or get themselves tied up in knots. I can see this being played with for years to come. I have a feeling I will be instructed to make some planets very soon.
A little look at our vlog …..
The Discovery Spaceship with Lift Off Rocket retails for around £105.00 (2013 price). For the play value we have already had we would give this a clear 5/5 and can thoroughly recommend. Five, Four, Three, Two, One! …. and I hope it Blast’s its way into your home soon!
disclaimer: We were sent this product for the purpose of review, however, our comments do remain our own, honest opinions.