Review of the Early Learning Centre Supermarket and Trolley ELC

The ELC Supermarket and Trolley after a few months of use
The ELC Supermarket and Trolley after a few months of use | Source
The good quality trolley that has been driven a few kms around the house :)
The good quality trolley that has been driven a few kms around the house :) | Source
The basic weighing scaled with printed figures :(
The basic weighing scaled with printed figures :( | Source
The basic cash register again with printed figures and no coin money, just paper money.
The basic cash register again with printed figures and no coin money, just paper money. | Source
The annoying fridge door that falls out of place every time its opened.
The annoying fridge door that falls out of place every time its opened. | Source

My daughters got the ELC Supermarket and Trolley as a combined gift for Christmas. It was a surprise so I had no idea they were going to get it and had read no reviews about it. The following review is completely from my own experience of the toy and not influenced by things I have read. ELC is one of the largest chain toy shops in Britain so I was exited about this gift.

ASSEMBLING: The supermarket came in a very large cardboard box and needed to be assembled at home. Although the instructions were easy to follow, there were a lot of pieces to be assembled and stickers to be stuck so it took one person (with 2 enthusiastic kids touching everything) around 50 minutes to assemble the whole thing.

CONTENTS: Supermarket counter complete with weighing scales, cash register and 4 pieces of paper money, trolley and 13 items of grocery that include some of the most common items like milk, eggs, butter, banana etc. Over 20 accessories in total.

PROS:

  • The kids loved this toys and since its an ELC toy, they had other ELC veggies from their kitchen which they could add onto the supermarket, so the groceries became interchangeable between the kitchen and the supermarket. They were also playing a more complicated role play game, first buying the groceries and then taking them to the kitchen to cook them and finally sitting at table to eat them. Groceries can also be bought separately from ELC, so you can add on as many as you like.
  • The supermarket is a perfect toy to encourage two children to play together (rather then fight and grab at toys) since one can pretend to be the seller while the other is the buyer.
  • The main items of the supermarket (the cash register and the weighing scales) are both fixed to the surface of the supermarket and do not slip, slide or get lost around the house. Thumbs up for that!
  • The trolley has been able to withstand several runs around the house since my younger loves pushing it along while running from one part of the house to another. Have had no problems at all with it so it must be of decent quality.

CONS:

  • Some of the groceries like the butter, cornflakes and chocolate chip cookies are made of carton so they get squashed really easy especially if a younger child is trying to play with the older one.
  • The fridge door is absolutely useless and keeps coming off every time. It is so bad that I honestly thought it was defective on my model but was assured its in perfect working order.
  • The cash register is a bit too basic for my liking. It doesn't do much aside from beep and the drawer comes out. Also when you press one button, the whole keypad goes down. Its the most basic and primitive of cash registers you can think of with no proper working display or anything. My 3 year old already finds the cash a bit too boring. Another point to consider is that there is only paper money in the drawer and children love playing with little plastic coin money. Same goes for the weighing scales which is the most basic of models and a bit disappointing.
  • The supermarket has an open/closed sign but this too keeps falling off its place and I honestly feel like I am constantly picking bits and pieces of this toys. Which reminds me.....of the eggs. One of the grocery items that comes with this toy is a carton with 6 eggs. I don't know if its my kids or all kids, but mine keep insisting on taking all the eggs out of the carton every time I pack them in. I keep finding eggs everywhere, under sofas, on stairs. Enough said. I think I am going to tape shut the carton to save my sanity!

OVERALL REVIEW: While disappointed with the quality of this item and the functionality of both the weighing scales and the cash register which really and truly do nothing much to enhance the spirit of pretend play, this is still a toy which intrigues and interests my children and their friends. I would rate this item a 4/5 with points being lost for the aforementioned issues. Notwithstanding all its drawbacks, after a few months of daily use from both my children and their friends on play dates, all parts of this toy are still intact! If you are looking for a more functional supermarket would be to formulate your own by buying a better ELC Electronic Cash Register, some groceries and a trolley apart and building your own makeshift supermarket.

PRICE: Price is 40 pounds off ELC Uk website and 50 pounds off Mothercare website. However both sites have different promotional prices at different periods so its worth to shop around first.


4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Early Learning Centre Supermarket and Trolley

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